Afraid to Open Up to Those Close to Me

This post will be a free-flow way for me to disseminate my thoughts, as I have little idea what the end conclusion will be.

Since writing my last post There Is More To My Story, I have been thinking about my relationships with the people close to me, specifically, what I choose to reveal to them. I was also chatting with another blogger, Fictionatrix, in response to her post Late Night Thoughts – Who Am I? Some of her words struck a chord with what was going through my mind.

As mentioned in my last post, I just got a new set of tattoos. They are on my wrists, so they are quite visible, and I not one with a lot of tattoos. I’ve got a large one on my back, that’s it, but people don’t tend to see it. Hardly anyone in my support network have tattoos, and I know that they will ask me what my tattoo means. The tattoos aren’t “pretty” or superficial, and those close to me will know that there is some significance to me. I tend not to do things lightly. I don’t want to lie or give a half-truth in reply. I care and respect them and it would make me feel incongruent. I am feeling fear and shame right now.

There is a certain freedom with writing a personal blog. I can write what ever I want, be raw, be imperfect, and without the risk of worried and concerned looks from the ones that I love. Only very close friends know of my blog, sometimes even read it. My family knows that I blog (if they even know what that is) but they don’t know the site address. But even with my friends that read my blog, I only sometimes tell them the full depth of my thoughts. Continue reading

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There Is More To My Story

Arm muscles tense, anticipating.

I look to the ceiling, focusing on the hanging light.

A brief distraction; the needle drags across my skin.

Fuck. My courage falters.

I couldn’t do this to myself.

ying yang semicolons

I got a tattoo today. Physically it is two separate tattoos on separate parts of the body, but I say that it is one; connected. It’s a strange feeling, being ambivalent about something that is permanent. It is still fresh, colour jarringly bright, not yet aged and faded. I don’t yet love it: I don’t know if I ever will. It’s not really aesthetically nice. A lesson on acceptance of permanent imperfection?

One on the inside of each wrist, a marker to remind me that when life is totally fucked up, there will be more. Just, more. Not a qualitative “more”, I don’t know if it will be better or worse. The important thing is that I don’t end my story.

On some  of the occasions that I have thought about harming myself or ideated on suicide, my mind has gravitated to my wrists. I would forlornly look at my wrists, images flashing through my mind. I would cover my wrist with my hand, close my eyes, willing myself to stop thinking. From now on, when I look at my wrists, if I be forlorn and desperate, I will be reminded that there is more to my story, more untold.

The semicolon, a marker at a seemingly end of a sentence, but indicates that there is more to come. Not only something more, but something that is connected to what has just been. I’ve liked punctuation for a long time. Punctuation herds words into ideas. It tells us when to breathe. My semicolons will remind me that there is more to my story; to breathe.

Tattooing, in a way, is a form of self-harm. A sharpness, running across the skin, drawing blood. Today’s act was a defiance to any future self-harm that I may do. And fuck, it hurt. I don’t think I could ever cut my skin with my own hand. If ever I wanted to self harm, my semicolons will remind me that there is more to my story, and the pain that I persevered.

 

Energy Crash

There seems to be a small window that I can write. One one side I have am busy and motivated; keeping on top of things and really not looking after myself nor giving myself the space to just be. I don’t really write, or, if I do write, it is only half done with no real conviction (I have 5 unfinished draft posts waiting on the sidelines). On the other side, I just can’t be fucked to do anything, anything at all: not eat, tidy my apartment, not dry the washed clothes in the washing machine, not get out of bed, not WRITE. That is where I am right now.

For the past 6 days, I have been very very busy. Something has always been there to occupy my mind and I had the energy to actually do things. Today, my first day off at home after the 6 busy days, I have totally crashed. My mood was okay when I was busy, but on this day of “rest”, my energy and mood have crashed. My mind overrides my body. I know that my body wants to eat, but I just can’t be arsed and weirdly I don’t feel hungry. It is 5:30pm, and the only things that I have eaten all day are a handful of sultanas and some chocolate (which made me sick). I have something in my freezer that I can heat up in a microwave, but I just can’t be bothered getting off the couch. Even to go outside for a cigarette just seems like such an effort.

Continue reading

Missing in the Future. A Small Dose of Generalised Anxiety.

The back of my throat, a tightening, in constant contraction, like I want to throw up. The back of the neck and head radiates heat. Arms, hands and feet tingle yet are still. I do nothing; fearing yet living in the future.


I am Missing In Action in my own head. Thoughts race around in a cyclone, ephemeral like smoke. I’m finding it harder to write this post, as thoughts are not structuring in my head, so I’m just going try to loosely stream my consciousness on to the screen.

I am not confident that I can handle this state of mind. Not that it is definitive, but my psych has not diagnosed me with generalised anxiety. Depression and anxiety mostly come hand in hand though, like the other sock in a pair. I’m not on any medication for anxiety, and most of the personal work that I have done if for depression. I am trying to use my mindfulness techniques for my racing mind, but it is like grasping at smoke, or trying to calmly watch whilst being in the centre of a whirlwind.  Continue reading

I am my own worst enemy.

It has been a while since I have written anything, and for the past 2 days, I have felt this more acutely. This being the emotions that stopped me from writing. Procrastination is a symptom, but if I really look deep it is all related to my perception of my own worth. “I have nothing good to say. My writing is shit. No one will read it.” ad infinitum. Negative thought cycles have been a constant hurdle, not just in my writing.

I don’t struggle against it, but instead dig myself deeper into the quicksand. I’m under the surface, but my arms, my body, feels heavy with the sand. I can’t act, can’t reach out for help, or seemingly help myself. My time in moment repeat. I don’t know how long I’ve been telling myself to get up, make a coffee, have a cigarette, eat, get up, make a coffee, eat, have a cigarette. I don’t talk to single person all day. My mind and body have betrayed me. Yet I am my mind and body.

Continue reading

Perfectionism is controlling my life.

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I have been agonising over this first post for over a week now. Cycling through my mind “Will I get this post right? I need to get this perfect. No one will read this if it is not perfect. Don’t write anything, cause it won’t be perfect, and no one will read it.” This self talk constantly affects many, if not all, of my life. Fuck I’m tired … Eventually, though, I am biting the bullet, and putting fingers to keyboard. The blog is not fully designed, I don’t understand how to use WordPress and I’m not 100% clear on the direction of my writing, but here I am. I suppose that’s a little progress.

Passion, or even interest, for things has always been elusive. And over the years my interests have shifted. Cooking is still an interest, but I don’t get the same buzz that I used to get when I was a professional pastry chef. To nurture this old passion, I am dedicating a page on this blog to food. Don’t be surprised, though, if it is all sweets and baking – old pastry chef habits die-hard. I may finally get some use of all the food porn (aka cook books) that I have amassed.

The bulk of my writing will be my experiences and thoughts on identity, but specifically, masculinity in modern society/media, queer identity and race. For a long time, I have felt different from the status quo. Labels can be empowering, but in general I don’t like them. Labels do make some things easier though; my perspective is of an Australian of Chinese heritage, gay cis-man. Seeking belonging and community is part of human nature, and I will document my journey of finding my tribe and to celebrating my difference.

“I’m not right and I can’t get better.” This was the recurrent thought in my mind at the bleakest period of my depression 2 years ago. I am relatively better, right now, but my depression shades every aspect of my life. I think this is the main drive of writing this blog: to raise awareness of mental illness by sharing my personal experiences, reduce the social stigma and reach out to others challenged by mental illness. Isolation is deadly, perhaps I can create community here …

 

Feeling distressed? Please, see my “getting help now” tab at the top of the page.