Week 39

This week I was going to post more great things about college, and about how much I’m enjoying it. Which is a lot. I fucking love college right now. I thought though after a few minor things occurred this week online that I should maybe write a little bit about them. So this week is about overcoming break ups.

Contrary to previous postings, generally I am not a male whore. I’m usually very monogamous, I have never cheated on a partner, and in some ways I still retain a Ted Mosby-esque belief that someday I’ll meet “the one”. These days I’m not such a hopeless romantic, but somewhere in my core I think there still is, which sounds ridiculously cheesy. Anyway…

There have been 2 major relationships in my life. One lasted the best part of a year, the other 9 months. The latter was my first big relationship. This was the first person I fell in love with, this was the person who I first thought I’d have a real future with. For the most part when we were together we were inseparable. We were the couple who knew what each other was thinking, we were that couple who naturally gelled together, but mostly we were that annoying couple who did everything together. We had talked about moving in together, getting married, and raising children. For me it was perfect. So when it all ended I struggled to come to terms with why this had happened. When our relationship ended, she said it was because she needed “space to get to know herself again”. A few weeks later I found out she was seeing another guy. For the longest time I thought she had cheated on me with him and left me for this man. This was 4 years ago.

A year later I was talked into joining an online dating site. After about a month I began exchanging messages with a girl who lived 15 miles away. Soon after we began dating, and things quickly became serious. After a while we fell in love, and became that annoying couple everyone hates. I was painfully aware of how my prior relationship had turned out and was hesitant to become as attached as I had been before. Although we shared a lot, and she knew of my past history, I became quite detached at times. For her I think this was quite difficult. In private we’d be quite close, whereas in public I’d tend to let her drift away. I don’t think this was a conscious effort, but I understood where I may have been coming from subconsciously. The result was combustive.

We’d usually have at least one major argument once a month, and at least once a month she’d threaten to end it. Two years to the day, on the anniversary my first relationship ended, we ended ours. This was a hard time for me, 2 rejections on the same date was destroying. We eventually made up 3 months later promising we’d be more considerate to one another, and after 5 months of arguing, false break ups, and making up we broke up for the final time, one week before Christmas. She broke up with me, but then a week later wanted to get back together. I had simply had enough. I really loved the girl, but we just weren’t working, we were a horrible couple, and I couldn’t see a happy future for either of us. This was almost 2 years ago.

This week a message began circulating that Facebook had a bug and had begun publishing private messages from as far back as 2007 onto the Timeline on people’s Facebook profiles. (See this article and/or this video:

General feedback said that you could check your timeline to verify whether this has occurred to you, but also to “hide” these messages on your timeline. This, for most people, meant travelling back to your life online 5 years ago. For me, this was right around the time of these 2 relationships – the first beginning in 2007, ending in 2008 – the last beginning in 2009, ending in 2010. Fortunately I didn’t find any private messages published, I did however find the profiles of my ex-girlfriends.

My first ex I had unfriended not long after we had broken up. We’ve only seen each other in passing maybe 3 times since then, on all occasions in the street and from a distance, and I had never wanted to speak to her again. I still don’t. I knew she was still with the guy she had apparently met after breaking up with me, I heard as recent as last year that they were engaged. Her name appeared on my timeline no longer as her maiden name, but with the surname of the man she had been with for the last 4 years. They were now married. I never harboured any desires to rekindle anything with her, but in some way I had hoped that maybe her life had become as fucked up as mine had. The truth is though, I don’t feel anything. I don’t feel depressed that she’s now married to a man she may have cheated on me with. I don’t feel angry that she has moved on, almost without a second thought towards me. I don’t feel happy that she seems to be happy. I feel nothing. I feel as if a burden has somehow been lifted. I felt closure.

Scrolling through the remaining dates and messages I became a little curious, I wondered if my recent ex still had messages on my wall, and if maybe she had reactivated her Facebook account (she had shut down her Facebook at some point around our first break up). We managed to remain friends to a degree, but the last time we spoke was shortly after my grandmother’s death last year. Since then we’d drifted apart, I think her moreso than I for once.

After discovering my first ex was now married I wondered where she was now. This is where it becomes stalker territory, but bear with me through this. I found that not only were the messages still there, but also she had reactivated her account, and she hadn’t set her profile to private. What I found seemed to show she had met someone else and was now preparing to move in with him. For her I feel genuine happiness. When we broke up I told her unless she learnt to deal with anger issues better, she would be alone for the rest of her life. Now here she was, getting on with her life, she looked happy in her profile picture, and even seemed happy in the messages that were public.

I think my life has been a clusterfuck for the longest of times, things have happened and I’ve done things I’ve regretted. To see other people moving on is somehow satisfying, that perhaps there is a light at the end of the tunnel and maybe it’s time for me to finally begin moving on.  Stay classy WordPress.

Weeks 37 & 38

Updates are slowing down once again, but this time it’s actually due to something important. At least, something that’s important to me for once.

College has begun! I’m now 2 weeks in and it’s going well! For those new to this blog I’ve begun studying Creative Media Production (Film & TV Production).Yes, being back in education is scary, and being 10 years older than the majority of the class makes me feel like an old man and a fuck up, but I feel like I’m sailing through. I feel like I know what’s going on, and I understand the course better than I probably would have if I had approached it after secondary school, and what the real world applications of it would be. The course is pretty well constructed thus far; my only real complaint is being mixed with Level 2 students (compared to my Level 3). This is only temporary mind you to gauge whether students are on the correct course for them. What this also means is we’re now doing a crash course in film making. In the first week we wrote a script using a scene one of the tutors wrote as a starting off point. The tail end of this past week has been about storyboarding. All this is in aid for making a 5 minute film. Next week we should hopefully be choosing what scripts we want to make, and the week after begin filming and editing. Yes, that is 3 weeks left to scout locations, scenes, props, costumes, film, and edit. This could be a close one.

So college has been taking up a huge chunk of my life. Thankfully it seems to be helping with motivating me to get up so far in the mornings; I’ve really felt quite active and productive since it began. The only downside is there’s a lot of grogginess still in the mornings that needs solving with coffee, which is terrible when you have 5 minutes to boil a kettle and drink it down before running out the door because you’re running late for the bus!

But seriously, college really has been a great motivator. I’ve not slept later than 13:00 on my days off (which is drastic change if you’ve kept up with this blog), I’ve been more active when I’ve had half days in college – instead of going home and taking a nap I’ve gone to the gym. Ah, the gym. What a wonderful distraction! This place has probably saved my life this year. I think it’s helped get me into better practice, becoming more health conscious.

I’m also spending more time doing things that are important instead of dwindling the hours away on Facebook, Twitter and other websites, playing bullshit games for bullshit kicks.

Between the gym and college life is running nicely. I’ve been social after hours; having participated in playing for the pool team and the local pub quiz with friends, but I also haven’t drank a lot of alcohol! I know, right?! The alcohol to blood ratio has been at its lowest in years! There have been a few occasions this past fortnight where I’ve wanted to go get shitfaced, but I’ve either elected to stay in or calmed my intake.

All in all life is pretty good right now. There are still some issues around the “Two in Two Weeks” fiasco, but I’ll no doubt bring that up at another point if anything drastically manifests.

The biggest stress for me at the moment is my birthday coming up in 2 weeks. I’m being constantly asked by friends about what I’m going to be doing for it. I mention maybe doing one thing and one group turns their nose up, I try to compromise and the other group gets angsty. I’ve been saying this for the last few years but I’d really prefer to do nothing sometimes. I feel like this year may be the first time I actually get my wish. Hooray (he says in his best Zoidberg voice).

Anyways, let’s leave this on a positive note. Education is good. Physical fitness is getting better (apparently I’ve lost 0.5Kg, grown 0.5cm and lost 1cm from my waist in 6 weeks!! *fakes enthusiasm*) My mind is feeling better generally. I’m noticing negative thoughts have been infrequent, only noticing them on days where not much is going on, which kind of says it all really. Yes life is good.

*looks around, waits for the wheel*

Stay classy, WordPress.

Week 36

So, instead of writing about the folly of my relationships this week, I thought I’d take some time to talk about World Suicide Prevention Day. I’m going to be honest here; up until last night I had no idea what this was. I had no idea how it was organised, nor for what real purpose it had been set up for. Were we all supposed to catch “jumpers”? Volunteer at your nearest Samaritans? Being the Google savvy individual I am I took initiative and decided to look this up. It became clearer to me this was a gateway to talk about depression. So what I want to do is tell you my story in a way I don’t think I’ve specifically written about before.

Depression, for me, has come and eased at various points in my life. I don’t say it’s gone because I know it’s still there. The little voice in my head that says I’m worthless, that I should go kill myself, is always in the back of my head. Sometimes, the good times, it’s really quiet. It’s like it’s been locked in a bank vault and thrown in a river. You know it’s still there, and you can still kind of hear it, but for me it is always present. When I’m at my lowest it’s like having someone screaming in my ear. Everyday, every waking moment, it’s doing its best to belittle me. Sometimes that voice manages to catch me in my life when I’m not only feeling low, but also experiencing complex interpersonal problems.

My first suicide attempt came about 2 months after my first long term girlfriend left me for another man. She was my first love, and it hit me hard, but I was coping. I’d also recently lost my Grandfather and my pet cat (it sounds silly, but it all makes sense in context).I’d started a new job not long after the break up, and for a time that helped me. I felt like I was in a real profession, working with kids with learning difficulties, and supporting them in their homes, or independently. Unfortunately my line manager was a bit of a bully. I was the new guy and so if he said jump I was supposed to ask how high. I got told to cover shifts. Not asked if I could, told to do it. I worked ridiculous hours, that were then becoming stressful because shifts would be changed at the last minute. I had jumped through hoops for weeks and was beginning to reach the end of my tether when an incident with a client had occurred. I was not at fault, but it seemed the blame was being pointed towards me because shit rolls downhill. I remember one day I was working with a guy who was living independently who wasn’t really very sociable with the staff. I spent about 24 hours alone, in the middle of no-where thinking about this job and the break up, and how it felt like my life was falling apart. Because it was my first full month working I also had very little money and couldn’t even afford a few drinks at the pub with a few friends to blow off some steam. Roughly within the same 48 hours of this happening I learned friends of mine who I was quite close with at the time had lost their baby. She was born several months prematurely and lived for about 24 hours. It was here I lost complete hope. Jobs are hard work to keep,  but I probably would have ploughed on if it was only that. Break ups happen, and I probably would’ve been ok, if it was only that. A baby dying? Where’s the justice in that? How did my friends deserve that? All these things stacked together lead to me to overdose.

That was probably the most selfish act I’ve ever committed to. My friends needed me. My family needed me. But ultimately I didn’t care. I was done. I wanted out. I didn’t even write a suicide note. At first I thought it wasn’t working, but not long after it felt like I was falling asleep. There’s a good chance I probably would have died if it wasn’t for my mum walking in on me half an hour after I took the dose. I don’t remember being admitted to hospital, I only remember waking up about 36 hours later, strapped to an IV, semi dressed in the clothes I had been wearing that night, and feeling sicker than I’ve ever felt in my life. I was seen by a Community Psychiatric Nurse, who said I was fine to be discharged with no real referral to anything worthwhile. It took several months before a referral to a counselling group came through, by which point I felt I didn’t really need it, but I digress.

The most painful thing about surviving a suicide attempt is to see the looks on your friends and your family’s faces. I felt as if I had shamed them and shamed myself. Like a lot of suicide attempts it was shushed by the family. Yes, extended family had been told, but we never really spoke of it. That’s the stigma of suicide. That’s the stigma of depression. It’s all some dirty little secret that should be locked away. My dad has tried to speak to me about it over the years, but even though he is quite progressive in a lot of areas it still seems he’s locked in that mentality that depression is something that you should just overcome and “Get on with it!”

When I tried for a second time last year he wrote me a letter. I threw it away recently because I didn’t feel that the message was correct at all. It was an attempt by him to support me, but also a way to shame me into making myself feel better. I remember something about what I’m, “putting your mother through.” At the time it distressed me. I actually contemplated suicide for a third time. Fortunately my stash of medication had been removed, and I had deemed hanging as too difficult (I’d snap the rope, or my feet would touch the floor because of my height) and slashing my wrists as being another highly probable failure. In the end I had to resolve to move past it.

So last year, after having another major episode after having lost another job and struggling to pay bills and to make ends meet. After having survived a second suicide attempt I knew I needed hope in my life again. I needed to set myself goals. The image below is a list I created at the start of the year. I didn’t create it as New Years Resolutions, but as goals that I wanted to achieve over the year.

Out of 10 goals I set myself at the beginning of the year, I’ve achieved 8. None of these are small goals. All of these are life changing. I’m now living a life that is almost completely different to the one I was living last year! My life has improved, there are quantifiable results!

So what’s the story here? For me, it’s that life goes on. No matter how bad you feel about yourself, no matter how suicidal you feel, the truth is things can only get better. I’m going to use the metaphor of the wheel. I love the metaphor of the wheel. We are strapped to this wheel of life, it grinds you down into the dirt, but atleast you know you’re going be lifted into the sun in the future.  No matter how bad life is right now you can change it, life can get better, so get the help you need when you so desperately need it.

Some useful links:

Samaritans:

Website http://www.samaritans.org/

Phone (ROI): 1850 60 90 90

Phone (UK) 08457 90 90 90

http://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org/

Phone (U.S.A): 1-800-273-TALK

Weeks 34 & 35

I’ve been trying to think what to write these past two weeks. It’s not really the topic of discussion that I’m worried about, but how to convey it. How I can fully describe how much of a twat I feel like at the moment, and how I can describe to you why I feel like a twat.

So let’s start with some of the good news first. I got into college, no sweat, full time education here I come! All the fees have been waived (for this year atleast) and the course begins a week today (Sept 10th). So yeah, that’s good news. I’ve been looking forward/waiting for this all year, I should be a little more excited, but I think my positivism dried up about a week ago. Yeah, I’m still looking forward to starting it all; I just think my mind has forgotten about how great this all is, and is giving way to nausea at the thought of being in a class with 16+ year olds, socialising with people, and worry about poor time keeping. If you have kept up with this blog you will know what I’m talking about with time keeping. I want to be there, it’s whether my body will allow me to wake up and have a productive day. So yeah.

Other positive news: I went away for a few days this past week to visit relatives up north. A part of me really didn’t want to go because I thought I’d have a bad time. This turned out to be true. By day 2 of 3 I was missing being able to withdraw from society and having some space, something that was critically missing from this excursion. I ended up sharing a room with my younger brother, whom whilst I get on with, can get irritated by surprisingly easily. It’s a small victory I attended, and it’s an even smaller one that I did so without getting overly drunk despite my best efforts. So yeah, this may come off as sounding mildly negative due to my current mood, it’s actually a positive that I pushed myself to do something that I really didn’t feel up to doing. I don’t think my family sees it that way (I think they’ve forgotten how challenging family gatherings can be for me), but it’s something I need to remember. In fact, I’ve noted it on my Facebook timeline, hidden under privacy controls for only myself to see.

So with that out of the way, let’s cut to the meat and bones of why I’m feeling a bit shitty this week.

To be honest with you, I’ve started and stopped writing this at least 4 times in the last 24 hours. It’s something that I need to talk about, but I want to talk about it right. A few weeks ago I wrote about how I had met someone and we spent the night together, we had a good time, and so things were going to be quite casual. Well, this isn’t about that. As far as I’m aware that ship has well and truly sailed. We’ve had zero contact with each other for something like 3 weeks, and to be honest I’m kind of relieved. What this is about is another girl, someone who I’ve kind of thought I’d maybe like to go out with at some point in the future, but nothing else. But as frequent readers will know, I’m just not in the best of situations to be in a relationship, casual or otherwise, at the moment. Unfortunately drunken mess me managed to finally get some things moving between whom I shall refer to girl B and I. I don’t refer to her as “B” as in “2nd choice” but merely as a means to ease the flow of this post, i.e. The girl I was referring to in previous postings is now “Girl A” as she was the first person mentioned here. Now I’m feeling like a really sleazy dick.

So, why am I writing about my sexual exploits again? Well, dearest reader, because life has consequences. You see, sleeping around, having some fun seems all well and good on TV, but in real life it’s a drag. I’ve known this for years. I lost my virginity to a one night stand and have regretted it ever since.

The one night I spent with Girl A I can live with because it was fairly mutual (it seems), but Girl B I didn’t want to do that her. You see, she likes me, a lot. She’s given me signals over the last year or so that indicated some form of attraction and last week I played her. Well. Strictly speaking that’s not necessarily true. She made the first move (as most girls have to do with me). I believe she was also the one who asked me to go back to her hotel room (that’s a bit complicated to explain, but also completely unnecessary to explain). I’ve known she’s probably liked me for a while but never made a move for 2 reasons. 1) I was either in a relationship at the time or wasn’t ready to involve myself that way again or 2) She threw me off by constantly reminding me of walking in on me and my ex girlfriend whilst we were having sex 5 years ago. It was very confusing.

The confusion has now been alleviated somewhat with the conversations I remember having from that night. She told me she liked me, I told her I did too. The next morning though I felt instant regret. I felt like I had taken advantage of her. Yes, I do like the girl, but I don’t want to be involved with her, or anyone for that matter, right now. It was probably the single most stupid decision I’ve ever made whilst drunk. And to cap it all off I did it without protection.

So instead of being a regular dick and saying “See you around” and not leave a phone number, I felt terrible about wanting to leave it there and Facebooked her my number, to which she sent me a text, which I have since ignored. That was 2 weeks ago. I am a complete twat, I know. To compound things, I remember talking in bed about people we both know who we’ve slept with. I made a comment about how much I hate how incestuous the bar down town is, but at least neither of us had really slept with anyone we knew personally, which she was deeply relieved about.

This week we happened to be in the same bar again at just around the same time, but didn’t see each other. Unfortunately for her, she ran into a friend of hers, a girl I had kind of gone out with for a few weeks from 8 years ago, who overheard her talking with some friends about having slept with me. This resulted in my “ex” giving her a dig about sleeping with “her ex”.

To be quite blunt here, I don’t consider her as an ex-girlfriend in the largest sense, we met up in town a few times and got drunk before I decided to fuck off and travel the world for a bit, ditching her. Sounds harsh, but I’m feeling harsh feelings towards her right about now. I’ve since apologised to her for ditching to go travelling, and I do feel genuine remorse for it, but she wasn’t the right person for me then, and never will be.

Regardless of previous history, this dig at Girl B seemed to have spurred her to leave before I even had the chance to see her. In all truthfulness I didn’t really want to see her, but everything has consequences. I knew that I should at least talk to her. That by ignoring her I’d infact be turning into the type of dick I hated. If I could take her aside and talk to her about what was going on then maybe I could explain to her how I can’t be in a relationship, or whatever the fuck you’d call it, right now. But then would she think this meant that I wanted her to wait for me? Is that really obnoxious to think someone would wait for me? It probably is, and as such I should be loathed for it.

There are only these 2 options though. There is no option 3 available. I do not want to start going out with someone whilst I’m trying to get my life together. What sort of a person does that? I’m not relationship material right now; I have to be on my own. So maybe it is easier if she hates me. Maybe that way she can move on, and I can continue to feel guilt about something I did whilst drunk.

Fuck it.