The Bounceback

Hemorrhoids suck. For years I’ve had this horrible hemorrhoid. Well, it was horrible, but the majority of the time, it was manageable, so I sort of got used to it. Unfortunately it recently got worse, much worse. I decided to binge on pizza, eating disgusting amounts of it, thanks to my body craving carbs one sleep-deprived day.

The result? Tearing out my innards during a rather unpleasant bowel movement. I, however, was completely oblivious to what was to come. A couple of weeks later, and I’m okay again, having done unspeakable things to my arsehole. Not recommended!

Moral of the story? Leave the fucking pizza alone.

But that’s not what this entry’s about. As the title might suggest, I’ve somewhat bounced back. I think the aforementioned ordeal sort of told me I needed to sort my shit out. It’s not like I was doing too terribly, I was still cleaning, cooking, eating, and being productive.

The problem was that I was– am being so damn mediocre about it all. I am trying, but at the crux of it all, I’m more depressed than the keys on this keyboard.

I think I’ve gradually been getting better, though. I’m cooking more, cleaning more, eating better, and keeping very busy with programming and various Linux things. Still, it doesn’t seem to be enough. Still feels like I’m wading through an ocean of thick, chest-high mud.

Things have been difficult with the relationship. It’s not that we don’t love each other and all that jazz, it’s just that relationships are hard. Anybody who disagrees is either in the honeymoon phase or is a lucky fuckface who has everything go their way! But, here in the real world, things aren’t perfect.

I’m very in-love with my woman, though. She makes me happy. I seem to make her happy. It’s just understanding and working around our mental health situation that makes things difficult. Granted, my earlier fuckface statement may not apply to “normal” people. The distance is hard too, but I’m hoping that will be removed when Xmas comes around, as that’s the time we’ll hopefully finally meet.

We may not have yet physically met, but I feel so comfortable with her in my life, that it’s almost as though she’s already here. She’s the one for me, that’s for sure. We’re practically made for each other. It’s just getting all the other bits and pieces into place.

In other news, my dad broke his leg. He’d just recovered (mostly) from his hernia operation, was finally able to get out and do normal things, then he hits the deck because of his ankle giving out.

Bit scary how easily and quickly shit can go awry.

The Fear of Losing You

I’ve been in-love before; felt the longing; the passion; the adoration. I’ve just not felt it quite like this. I’ve never laughed, smiled, or been so happy this much with a woman. I’ve never felt so loved; so needed; wanted.

We’re such a good match. We can communicate. We both have a great sense of humor. We’re both pretty open-minded and don’t have our heads far up above the clouds so high.

I love the way she smiles. She has many different kinds, as I’m sure we all do. Bet you don’t have a smile like hers, though. Bet your smile doesn’t light me up; get me so giddy it’s embarrassing.

I can be me with her. I love to wind her up. I want her to feel good. I know she feels like shit sometimes — I do too — and because of that understanding, I feel like every smile and laugh matters.

I don’t think I’ve ever really considered myself a particularly “needy” person. I usually like my own space. I like to do my own thing. I’m an introvert, so I’m sort of used to being alone.

That said, I need her. When you have something incredible, the last thing you want is for it to slip away. Good job she’s a tad needy as well, eh?

“I just love you.” – To quote her, but of course it’s a ditto from me.

Cheesy entry, I know.

Side note: I won’t be using Twitter anymore, simply because it wasn’t really being used. 3 followers in all this time? Nah. I’ll just stick with posting here.

Yes, it’s Long Distance

Being in a long-distance relationship kinda sucks. It’s bad enough having my own depressing doubts without feeling scrutinized by other people as well.

“So you’ve never met each other, then?”

No, we haven’t. I know it isn’t traditional. Does that mean it’s not important? That it doesn’t matter? Just because we haven’t met yet, doesn’t mean we never will.

We haven’t physically met, but that doesn’t mean we’ve not seen each other, heard each other, or even had a level of physical intimacy, albeit not in person. This is 2016; we’re long past the days of dial-up Internet.

“You can’t really love somebody you’ve never met.”

You absolutely can. You can develop a strong connection with anything. If Raj from Big Bang Theory can fall in love with Siri, then I can fall in love with a wonderful woman in another country.

While it’s not all Sleepless in Seattle, it can and does sometimes work.

“You don’t even know each other.”

You try talking to someone to whom you find yourself getting closer and closer, almost daily, for a year, and tell me you don’t know them. When you go through stuff in life together, talking about all sorts, of course you learn plenty about one another.

I’m not delusional. I’ve battled this beast before. I know there are things that come up if we do finally meet and end up living together. That, however, doesn’t make what we’ve experienced inconsequential.

Since the physical side of things is mostly not possible, you’re left with a chance for a rich, vibrant line of communication that even many married couples don’t have. I’d rather that, than a relationship based entirely on sex; a relationship in which we never truly connect.

“She could be a nutcase for all you know.”

So could you.

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Being Adult with MH Issues

This is a big issue that is personal to me. It’s 3:18am, so please bear with me while I attempt to gather my jumbled thoughts into a somewhat-coherent babble.

I have mental health issues, which admittedly isn’t exactly electrifying news for those of whom follow my blog. However, a lot of people don’t seem to realise that having MH issues can and often does stunt how we grow in society.

As a result of at least my OCD, anxiety, and depression, I didn’t socialize properly until I hit my early 20s. I began to suddenly develop a rather decent social life around that time. People often get this done earlier, but not me! Prior to said social discovery, I had only two friends, both of which also had problems of their own.

We pick up a lot from people we hang around with. We learn life skills from those who learned before us. When you have problems though, this can mean you’re often left behind, still trying to figure things out everybody else seems to have mastered.

Got a bank account? That’s great. For me, that was a very scary thing that I didn’t get sorted until I was about 24.

Why?

Because I didn’t have an income as a result of lack of knowledge because things just seemed different for me—I’m “different”.

But really, why no income?

Well, since getting a job just wasn’t practical, getting an income for me, meant getting benefits. I needed to actually understand my limitations, come to terms with said limitations, go to doctors, get judged pretty harshly, sign a bazillion forms, and then wait for ages to see if it all paid off.

It did.

For a long time though, it was something for which I was simply ill-prepared. I lacked the knowledge that it were even possible for me to get such an income. This is just an example of how my mental health issues have made my journey to independence a considerable struggle.

Take relationships. being with someone teaches you a lot. You learn about yourself, what you like, and what you don’t like. You get the opportunity to learn about your body. You start thinking all love-struck about the vast, wonderful future.

I didn’t have my first proper relationship until possibly 23 years of age, so before then I hadn’t even kissed a girl on anything other than the cheek. Don’t even get me started on the sexual stuff!

All the things we go through when we’re younger help shape us into the bitter, know-it-all adults we all eventually become. With these experiences, both good and bad, come a sort of maturity as we learn about ourselves and others.

Unfortunately, if you’re slow to pick these things up, those around you can get frustrated, particularly if they don’t have any real understanding of mental health issues. I’m sure it creates more issues when they think the solution is to push until they get the desired result. While a push here and there can do wonders, it’s not always so viable.

Let’s say you want to go to the shops, but you’re anxious, so you’re not yet ready. Would a good approach be for me to badger you, telling you that you’ll never go to the shops if you just sit around moaning about it? Just go. Stop being such a baby. We all get anxious. Grow up. You need to be more adult. Gosh!

The knowledgeable amongst you will realise that’s an ignorant and unfair approach. Genius though I’m not, I’d still personally try to approach that in a supportive manner, by encouraging them and targeting the anxiety, not the person.

I just wish people understood that this is a real thing. Try to appreciate that those with mental health problems can struggle to do things that you norms would consider simple.

It’s not our fault.

Thank you Mental Health and Invisible Illness Resources for sharing this.

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Honesty is NOT the Best Policy

I used to think being honest was the way to go.

Don’t even bother. Lie, just lie until you’re blue in the face. Nobody wants to hear the truth. We have so many triggers; so many ways by which things get to us. It’s not worth it.

I don’t care if it’s your friends, family, lover, pet, or mug of hot chocolate; you tell that chocolate goodness what it wants to hear and nothing else. I assure you, the risk of hurting someone you love isn’t worth being straight with them.

Do you have OCD and as a result find yourself oversharing? I do.

For years I’ve been hearing and reading how people want others to always be honest with them. Women often go around putting down guys who lie or withdraw the facts, but when we do as they ask? Game over.

That thing you feel you should tell them because they want honesty?

Keep it to yourself.

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Where Do Men Stand?

At risk of losing a number of my lovely female readers…

I feel too much is expected of us. I’m sick of hearing how all these ladies always get the short end of the stick. It certainly used to be the case, but in this day and age, it often swings the other way.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m fully aware that I’ll be pushing the generalisations quite hard. I’m sorry if this annoys those who go against the grain like myself. I know not all men and women are like how I’ve described.

There are women who are apparently paid less, denied jobs, and given special treatment because of their gender; this irks me all the same, and I’m sorry for those who’ve been treated like that.

However, two wrongs don’t make a right. Just because some women aren’t treated fairly, doesn’t mean other men should in return be treated unfairly. I didn’t reduce your wages. I didn’t deny you that working position because you’re a woman. I wasn’t your abusive ex-husband. We’re not all like that, just as not all women are man-haters.

A man is obliged to pay for the date, or society says he’s cheap; a dick. A man must pay through his teeth for a ring, offering it to the woman in hopes that she’ll say yes to a life of fear of divorce love and security, after which yet another, far more expensive ring is required.

I know an amazing woman who genuinely gets annoyed by the whole diamond thing. “Blood diamonds!” She’ll say. If she were to marry, she’d want a gem, something that isn’t absurdly expensive; something that costs more in actual meaning than cash. Her ideal scenario? A gem she and her husband-to-be  found and mined themselves, together.

Her ideal wedding? Somewhere nice in the countryside, perhaps a forest, and near a stream; nothing OTT, but something natural, joined with only those closest to them.

What a woman.

So, you’re both on your date, both trying to see whether you two are compatible. Why is the guy expected to foot the entire bill? Don’t get me wrong, I’m not suggesting she pays for him—that would be weird—but by that same damn merit, it would be equally weird for him to pay for hers.

I consider it highly rude to expect someone to pay your way, least of all because of your gender. Rude and disrespectful. It also indicates that you expect the guy to make all the effort, while you just sit there and take, take, take.

The moment someone goes around expecting you to pay for them because society says so, I believe you should leave them the fuck alone because they don’t care about you nearly as much as they do your wallet or purse.

A happy wife is a happy life!

It seems to me that if the woman doesn’t get what she wants, it’s often game over, or at least a really rough ride, and not the fun kind that ends with cleanup and an awkward silence. Why does the woman automagically dictate when things are sufficient? Men have a voice too.

Man: “Darling, can we get a dog?”
Woman: “I don’t want a dog, so let’s compromise…”
Man: “We’re not getting a dog are we?”

I’m not saying women should do whatever the man wants, or that what she wants isn’t important, I’m saying that what both parties want is important. If we just did business like this, we’d be a right mess.

I get that you probably can’t always compromise. I understand things aren’t always so black and white, unless you’re a zebra of course. It’s just that, in my admittedly cynical way, most of what I see is inequality between the genders.

In my jumbled way, I feel frustrated, because I feel like my voice doesn’t matter. I blame the men who did exactly the same thing, and far worse, to women all those years ago—so what is this, revenge?

It’s outrageous that so many women out there preach feminism, while simultaneously beating men down. Equality? My arse. Women like that only seem to care about things being equal, when it suits them.

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Staying Friends

I’ve noticed some people claiming a perfectly-decent friendship with their ex, sometimes even great; I have to wonder what their secret is, or whether they’re just full of crap.

Long after things were said and done with the woman from my first serious relationship, it occurred to me that we didn’t actually belong in each other’s lives anymore. The very same woman who is now married with a young child.

I just felt as though my being in her life was wrong; it was also screwing with my head, bringing up old memories and feelings I didn’t care to have.

Now I’m once again neck-deep into a situation in which I’m friends with an ex; a woman I care about a lot. How do I look past the closeness we once had?

Everything’s different now.

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Decision Making

I truly suck at coming to a decision about something, or do I? With my mind working hard at weighing up every possible odd and end that pops into it, I’m often left in what would seem to be an infinite game of Pong.

Luckily, the to and fro of indecisiveness comes to an end, eventually. Whether that decision is muddied by my OCD and anxiety or not, is absolutely a different matter.

Likely because of my passion for perfection, I try so hard to make the right decision, oh and not just for me! As long as the end-game is just, fair, and honorable, I can sometimes sleep soundly at night.

The urge to do the ‘right’ thing sometimes comes at quite the cost. Maybe I’ve seen too many old-school movies depicting a knight in shining armor the gals keep banging on about.

There’s always a sincere, perfect gentleman with a solid heart and mighty strength who finds a way to be selfless and honorable in any given situation; a man any woman would be proud to stand by. I think to some extent I grew up wanting to be like that. Maybe I just want to be the hero.

Sadly, all I seem to do is repeatedly shoot myself in the foot, so all I can really do is hobble over to a would-be princess and hope she won’t notice my wincing. Oh, what a fine man I’ve become! Eh…

Because I’m so obsessed with being righteous—preferably not in a pretentious, conceited sort of way—I find it so difficult to stick at a decision, especially when that affects somebody else. As a result, I inevitably fuck up. You can’t throw everything up in the air and expect to catch it all. Sometimes you have to let drop, to catch.

Despite my mental health, I wonder if I’d want to change this about myself. I like that I can at least strive to be good; to do the right thing. Sure, I occasionally balls up along the way, but my heart’s in the right place, and that’s what counts, right?

All I can do is hope that the people I hurt in my crusade of nobility can find it in their hearts to forgive me and have faith that what I do (however bizarre it may seem) is for a purpose I find to be good, and not just for me.

Thank you Mental Health and Invisible Illness Resources for sharing this.

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I Love You

Damn, it’s impressive just how much power 3 little words can have. Heck, just 3 silly balls! Recently, the power of these special words got my ticker pumping, as my girlfriend told me how she really feels about me.

I’ll just be over here, scratching my head, trying to figure out why she hasn’t ran screaming for help. I’m obsessive, depressive, cynical, pessimistic, and probably hella moody, yet there she is, telling this tool right here that she loves me.

“Love is patient.” – she told me these words after I had a freak-out moment. She’s fantastic. I’m lucky. Do you know how I know she’s several cards short of a deck? Because apparently she loves me, and I can’t help but to think it takes a very special sort of woman to love a special sort of man like me, but regardless, she’s that way inclined.

Maybe I’m imagining it all. Maybe I just haven’t woken up yet. Maybe I’m in the Matrix. Maybe it’s Maybelline. Whatever the reason, I don’t think I’ll be complaining just yet.

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It’s the Final Shutdown

Recently, I’ve been learning about shutting down, particularly in the context of a relationship. That awkward, hurtful silence as you realise something has gone awry.

Opening up is difficult, especially when you’re very upset or pissed off, and you just can’t seem to find the right words to express yourself, if indeed you wish to express yourself at all!

The situation may become more complicated when tricky mental health issues are involved. As someone with OCD, anxiety issues, and a history of depression, I’m only too aware as to how these sort of problems can skew an already difficult moment in relationships and friendships.

Unfortunately, shutting down often has a consequence. If I talk to you about something that you’re insecure about, and something I say “triggers” you, thus leading you to shut down and feel upset, then it’s problematic.

Why?

Because when someone shuts down like that, the other person doesn’t know how to react; the person being blocked out has no facts on which to base his or her thoughts and feelings, which leads to confusion, frustration, and sometimes even aggravation.

But wait!

This can be resolved with some careful communication. Even just a word or two from the person who has shut down—and an understanding approach from your partner—can make the world of difference.

Let’s say I tell you something that nudges your insecurities and you find yourself getting upset. You could then tell me “I’m feeling insecure,” or something to that effect, then it would very likely prevent my brain from jumping to the conclusion that I’ve totally and utterly screwed the pooch. Incidentally, who would screw a pooch?

Communication is so key because miscommunication can be damaging. Without clarifying misunderstandings, we can be lead to believe and react to all sorts of silly things that may be no more true than the sky being made out of chocolate. Mmm.

I was once in a relationship with someone who would frequently shut down on me. In my young ignorance, I handled it badly. I didn’t understand, and I didn’t know how to deal with that sort of thing. As a result, I became bitter and felt as though I couldn’t say anything for fear that it would be the wrong thing. While I did feel a similar way recently, I had the experience and foresight to deal with it better.

With that in mind, I recently ran into this situation in which mein Schatzi shut down on me a couple of nights ago. The situation was not handled well, because communication went entirely out of the window, leaving me confused (as to what I did wrong, for the most part) and frustrated, then eventually upset and annoyed. Once again, I went through that fear that anything I say could make her feel like crap; because of this, I myself started shutting down. I felt shut out, which doesn’t feel great.

There’s a happy ending here, I believe. We did talk very recently and the problem came to light—it actually wasn’t me, but rather, something with which she struggles and has done for a long time. Praise Jebus! A real problem became only a hurdle over which to leap. Progress was made, and we’ve began healing, now having more understanding and more strength as a couple.

Please don’t shut your other half out without so much as a how do you do. I know it can be hard. I’ve done it myself, many times. But, for the sake of you both, you are best to push yourself to say at least something that could alleviate any possible confusion or misunderstanding.

If you really can’t tackle whatever caused you to shut down, try something like, “I can’t talk right now. I’m going to take a break.” If it’s not something your partner has done to directly piss you off or hurt you, then you could try adding, “it’s not you.”

As for the person trying to deal with someone who has shut down on you: don’t force him or her! Encourage, sure, but know when to call it quits and give that person space, even if they don’t say anything!

My advice, should you choose to accept it, is to be mindful of how you give your partner space. Shouting, “I’ve had it with you!” then disappearing for a day might not be the best solution, nor is vanishing without saying anything.

However, calmly saying “I’m going to give us both some space to figure this out,” or something along those lines, could really help make it clearer what’s going on. Whatever works for you guys, really.

By no means am I a couples counsellor, so feel free to ignore all this—I’m just a 29-year-old guy with frankly lacklustre experience, however, I am an observant, analytical man who tries to pay attention to the details, and likes to learn from life, rather than breeze through without a care in the world.

Thank you Mental Health and Invisible Illness Resources for sharing this.

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