Monday, 23 December 2013

One for the lonely at Xmas...

Xmas is hard for many people. For those of us with depression it can be extra difficult. I've been trying to figure out why this is so. After all it's just one day. The problem is, this one day is built up to for over two months. A relentless barrage of imagery from advertising. These images are likely to make you feel inadequate if you are not part of a huge family who all sit round a table on the 25th. Or they are likely to make you feel excluded because you don't look like one of the beautiful people applying make up or spraying perfume.

Of course these adverts are all just vanity projects of the cunts who make them. There is nothing real within these images. But have you ever seen any Xmas imagery that represents those cast aside by society? Or an advert depicting a person who can't face days like this, so stay at home isolated and away from the overdose of bonhomie.

The only images you will see of this kind will normally involve the Sally Army cuddling some actor who's been paid to act homeless.

There will be a large amount of people out there who can't cope with the 25th of December but they don't get a look in.

Secondly, and personally, I find the need to celebrate Xmas for what seems like endless weeks is quite disturbing and very isolating. You will walk past the packed pubs and look in and see a world you simply don't feel you belong to or can possibly be part of.

But, my friends, most of the above is bullshit. It's not real.  And Xmas is just 24 hours long. It is way past being anything to do with religion. It is now about greed and excess. It's about fucking someone at the staff party. It's about throwing up in public because you can't handle your booze. Do you really wish to be part of this? And yes, many people do have large extended families but the majority don't.

All of the above isolates people like us. The 'sensitive ones'. You are constantly told that it's a time of year for spending with your loved one. What if you don't have one?  The truth is most of the imagery represents a time long lost. Or it's a middle class ideal. I don't recognize any of the images I see leading up to Xmas. They are alien.

I'm a big fan of January 2nd. It signals normality. Whatever that is. But don't go sitting there thinking you have to love Xmas and that if you don't you are somehow fucked up.

I will be 49 on Xmas eve. I've been through much in those 49 years. Xmas makes me extra sensitive. Not because I'm getting older but because it sets me off on a trip down memory lane I'd rather not go on.

I'm not the miserable cunt I come across as on twitter and I'm not the loud mouth either. I'm a quiet reclusive person the vast majority of time. I'm lonely much of the time yes and this is why I wrote this. For the lonely people who may feel even more isolated and cut off from everyone else. Well, you're not. You, like I, just walk differently from those others.

Switch it off. Put your favorite music on. Shut out the imagery. It soon gives over on Xmas day
afternoon to Boxing Day sales and the death of our culture and the death of the morality of the people fucking mad enough to camp out for a sale. They're the unwell ones.

I find much of Xmas morbid. The way people say goodbye to eachother on the last day of work like a death is about to happen. It's melancholic in the extreme and we already know about that via our black dog. Remember, the TV or magazine adverts are made by pigs for pigs.

You will survive.

Tim (London2013)

Wednesday, 4 December 2013

Xmas and Social-phobia/Isolation.

I spoke of social isolation in my last blog and the weekly work I've done with John to conquer this for the past four years. This time of year challenges what I've taken on board but I fucking dread it. I'm not my best around fake bonhomie at the best of times but December brings it on like an express train of vomit.

The work I do with John is entirely based on my childhood and the schemas that were put in place back then and shape your life. It's a fascinating but scary process. Facing demons is hard but John has shown me that everything I do now, the way I behave, was shaped from about the age of 7.

My Dad died last week. Making this time of year all the more difficult. But that's for another blog. I haven't filtered this properly yet.

I'm not going to be forced into doing Xmas stuff. In the past I felt like I had to go to parties at work or pretend I like being squashed in a pub surrounded by people I don't like very much anyway. I'm selective on whom I like and whom I wish to spend any time with. I operate most of my life solo. I have my close friend and can confide in her.

My big change is that I'm comfortable now to decide I don't like this that and the other. Take away my depression, BDD, social phobia, and I'm quite sure I wouldn't like doing these things anyway. In fact most of the elements listed here don't haunt me as much as they once did. I've told John that I'm not putting myself through hell in a pub or a party just because I HAVE to. I don't have to. I find people who've had a drink repulsive at the best of times. Call it another lesson of childhood well learnt.

I like the things I like. I'm not clever or cultured because I watch French films. I like them because they speak to me. My mind is filled with images. Images invade me. I fall in love at least twice a month. I get crushes that crush me at least once a week. I sometimes skew reality with what I watch on film. Even my poems are for a muse I've never met or seen. I think my single sexless life for 7 years has taken its toll but sometimes the films, the images, the non existent muse, are enough. They are my souls companion. I must sound a right cunt but I'm not. I'm just a tad too honest, not a trait that wins you much kudos these days. I must sound or read like a loser. I'm not. I was dealt a hand that just means I can't cope with things that some others find easy.

When you are a single person, this time of year is extra tough but it's only an illusion. An illusion not helped by TV ads telling you Xmas is a time to be around love ones. Images of the beautiful people handing each other perfume etc. It's all bollocks.

This time of year just highlights social phobia, isolation, awkwardness. If you struggle like me then read this and take it in. You don't have to go to the lousy fucking office party. You don't have to do anything in this life you don't want to do. Instead of feeling like an outcast look at it this way. I don't have to follow sheep. I Make my own life. I'm a one off. I'm an individual. I find my happiness in other ways and not the ways of a society that only appears happy when it's pissed and puking up in a gutter or kissing people it doesn't even know.

This is how I do it.

I am who I am.

Tim, London 2013 

Wednesday, 13 November 2013

Social Isolation/Twitter and I.

It's very difficult to explain what work I do with John and have done for coming on for four years come January. If you are reading this you will be on the internet. It's called Schema Therapy, a form of deep CBT. Look it up.  They are the root to my chronic depression.

I have two schemas that I scored highest on when assessed. Defective and Social Isolation. I have a deep seared belief that I am defective. BDD if you like. I do believe this. I believe I am ugly and have no relation in looks and physicality to any other man. This has been my belief for as far back as my mind takes me.  John has proved to me that these beliefs were  established in me around the age of 7/8.  My learning difficulty was badly dealt with at School.  I am dyslexic. John diagnosed this when I was 45!!

So social isolation. Sounds straight forward enough. Far from it. I find it almost impossible to do things that most find so easy. The idea of say going in to a pub full of people will keep me awake for days. Going to the supermarket takes days of mental planning.  My life is going to work and coming home the quickest way possible.

People say, 'you live in London, how can you avoid people ?'. Easy ..London makes it easier in that I can get lost in crowds of strangers. It's the up close and personal stuff that I find impossible.

It has cost me much. I am a total social recluse. I can't establish relationships, love, sex, and all the messy stuff. I've been single coming up to a decade. It has cost me just experiencing things.

Some things are not so hard to do now. I can plan to go the Theatre in advance.

Strangely I can sit in a bar in Paris and feel ok. It's as if the language barrier somehow protects me.

I live alone. I have just the one friend who I trust my life with. I live in a darkness that is so hard to put into words. Desolate. Empty. Noisy silence.

I've never written anything for sympathy. I am not looking for it. I write and tweet truths about it just so people may understand a bit more or someone may think it sounds familiar and that they won't have to feel alone.

And that brings me to why I tweet. It's my company. My lover. My mate. My outlet. My pub.
People dig at me for the time I spend tweeting. Because they are perfect. Always strange how they tweet me this info. It's allowed me expression, creation, proper friendship. My shell opened up on it.

I'm an ok person. Not mad. Never been arrested. I work hard for the down trodden in my community.

Twitter is my small entry into a social life. It is mainly safe. I've been tweeting for 4 years. Folk who have followed me that long kind of know me. I've never known anyone for 4 years apart from my parents.

It will sound very melodramatic to those who don't suffer the side dishes of depression but it saved my life to a degree. I know this to be 100%  true.

I started the Pinter acc and it's loved. And despite the big names who follow it
the big joy for me is been a kid says he picked up a play and read it for the first time because of it. That's my being social. I exist most days. So don't judge me.

Tim ...London 2013