My 2015

Happy New Year! I had hoped to be posting today’s post yesterday and tomorrow’s post today but it seemed all out of nowhere I had a life again, with places to be and people to see and that was exciting so it took precedent over writing blog posts for basically those same people to read. I’m going to look back on my year today and tomorrow, look forward to the new and this post is for those of you who take some interest in the man behind the rant and how his head works (Spoiler Alert: Not very well)

2014, as it drew to a close, had been an odd year but it ended on a high note because whilst I had recently become unemployed and was still in the same old situation of single and sponging off my family whilst earning just enough to pay for my own things (Social life, phone bills, contributions to the home), I was happy enough and I figured with such valuable experience and good friends, life would work out. 2015 then, said “Ehh…” and whilst I had been employed for a good chunk of the year, working in care, come the end of the summer I was now back on benefits, the margins for which had tightened and the people giving the handouts had gotten meaner than I ever remembered them being. Alas, getting ahead of myself so I’ll try to follow the course of the year and explain myself, omitting names of course for the sake of those involved.

Looking back at what scraps of a journal I had maintained in the start of the year, the year started on a bum note, social events being scrapped last minute and my general tone in the book is grim but with a sort of underlying hope, something I can admit is the same now. The ambitious plan to go jogging out in the wild fell into obscurity around February but then things got better around March because although I had been going through one heck of an odd journey with a friend of mine, I then found myself employed and in a job that didn’t make me want to throttle people, which is hard to come by. All seemed well, perhaps the key word being seemed.

Through no fault of their own but rather their circumstances and general isolation, I was employed as the sole carer of someone, and though we were told there would be more hours and pay coming my way someday, tomorrow never came and I found myself worked to the bone as the carer, cleaner, personal shopper, psychiatrist and advocate of someone who really just needed the various officials in her life to shut up and listen to her. Things reached a peak and the pressure of it all caused her to breakdown, followed shortly after by me and so she found an alternate living arrangement and I found myself unemployed. No malice held for them for what they chose to do, they did what was best for them and for me – after all, I could get work again and whilst I am currently unemployed, at the time of writing three different employers are all very interested in me.

So, with the autumn and winter ahead, my 21st looming and Christmas after that, I was back on the hunt for work, honing my skills in retail by making my semi-triumphant return to Oxfam, having become something of an urban legend in the place judging by the number of “(VOLUNTEER NAME) told me about you, I’m (NAME)”, perhaps the most realistic substitute for actual fame is that sort of remark – though 2015 was the year that saw my blog reach new heights of over 1000 views in a week, video posts on my Facebook page and even some recognition on the street as “That wanker who writes about feminism”.

2015 wasn’t all doom and gloom, there are some friends I found myself closer to than I had been previously and whilst some saw fit to kick me whilst down, I at least weeded out bad eggs in the process – namely people harboring hilariously outdated views and people willing to abandon my friendship for £20, go figure. I also made a new friend in someone whom previously I had not exactly been pally with, they were friends with people who belittled me in my youth and they then contacted me, having remembered me from encountering my blog, they then apologised for following the crowd and explained themselves to the point where we mutually agreed that school isn’t about an education, it’s some sort of psychologically traumatising rites of passage in which you are just doing whatever it takes to get through it and we just happened to have different means of doing that. I also changed medical practice and got my formal diagnosis at long last, considering my former GP was determined my social anxiety was nothing more than “stress” and the need for “a good holiday somewhere nice”, as if I had that as an option.

So 2015 ended with me now unemployed, still single and my depression has only gotten worse but on the upside, perhaps those things won’t last. 2014 ended with me single and unemployed but also lost, which I tried to pass off as looking for opportunities but with no idea where to look where as now, I have jobs lined up, fewer but better friends and I signed up to an actual gym so if nothing else, I can at least be attractive whilst wallowing in self-pity!

Happy New Year and shit.

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Christmas Is Always Coming

So, let’s talk about Christmas, it’s obligatory with it being less than ten days away at this point and I do plan to discuss my actual day of Christmas with you on Christmas as it happens, a sort of sum up like last year followed by a retrospective of my year as a whole. However, for now, let’s discuss Christmas, in particular why some may view me as something of a Scrooge on the topic. I never really partake in festivities to the same degree as my friends – no antlers on my head, no Christmas jumper waiting to be sprung out come December and you’ll never get me singing along to Jingle Bells. A variety of reasons surround this, first and foremost is my social anxiety which insists that although everyone else in the room looks like a colossal dickhead wearing red noses and tinsel scarves, I will be the most dickheadiest of dickheads if I join in, that somehow my foolishness isn’t just fun, it’s utterly disgusting and degrading to watch and people will remember the display as a reason to hold me in slightly less high regard. On the other hand, there are some other reasons I’m not huge on Christmas as a whole, which I’ll cover over the course of this post.

Now, don’t be mistaken in thinking I want December 25th to be just another day on the calendar and we don’t bother at all, that’s not it, I think it’s nice that we all agree to dedicate some time of the year to togetherness and family time and so on – though it sucks to the nth degree not all of us get that. Christmas, forced onto the mainstream by a previously Christian dominated society and now kept around for people of all walks of life due to a combination of tradition and marketing, is fun when you’re in the right setting for it with the right people and resources and so on – hard to be miserable at Christmas when you have all you want. The problem is just that though, Christmas is such a beacon of light and joy that some of us expect it to cast out the negativity simply the grace of existing and we can overlook the pains, struggles and loneliness of our fellow men because we think “It’s Christmas, someone will do something for them and they’ll probably feel better with a belly full of turkey and some nice new trinkets to unwrap”. Here then. we have that phrase, that phrase that is the bane of my life every single year between the end of October and December 26th.

“BUT IT’S CHRISTMAS!”

You know what? So fucking what if it is? We’re aware what time of year it is, which by the way, I resent for creeping earlier and earlier into the year, partly because I’m a November baby and partly because it applies the pressure to be cheerful and excited on depressed folk like me before they’re even in the right frame of mind to adopt false happiness. Christmas isn’t some be all, end all cure to the woes of the world, whatever Bob Geldof insists on telling you. The reality is Santa doesn’t deliver world peace, bosses don’t always let things slide because the big day is coming and not every broken heart finds someone willing to bring them out of the cold, let’s not delude ourselves. If we perpetuate Christmas as being the best thing to happen in a year, it loses that status because we don’t need to do anything, it becomes that for the consumerist masses just by being Christmas – people already have their Christmas spirit pumping without the need for volunteering in a soup kitchen or checking in on their lonesome neighbour who doesn’t have kids to come visit or whatever. By doing that, Christmas becomes less and less like the fairy tales and slips more and more into what cynics like me have been calling it for years – a mass of over-excited meatheads stuffing their faces and buying shit.

So, Christmas lovers, maybe you’re think I’m being a Grinch hmm? I just don’t understand because I’m a misery right? Maybe you’re right, this year is seeing me be the most depressed I’ve been at Christmas time since my schoolboy days, for reasons too personal to disclose here. However, last Christmas (Don’t), I wasn’t as bad, I had money, friends and even though Christmas didn’t happen at my home, I did my fair share of philanthropic gestures and gift giving and even then I STILL wrote an article about how overhyped Christmas is and how unfair it is on children in particular. I love Christmas and that’s speaking as a staunch Atheist to whom Christmas has no religious meaning to give remembrance for, it’s literally just “Winter is shit but hey presents and food happen!”. but I still love this idea of a time in which we stop to think about people and how we can express our love for them, my only concern is that perhaps we lost sight of that.

You know the shpiel here, that Christmas has become about buying affection rather than earning it, in showing love through consoles and laptops rather than actual words of kindness or shows of support and many of you will roll your eyes at the goody two-shoe deal here but it is so important we remember that and we must remember that Christmas isn’t a time of joy for us all, no matter how much you wish it to be. Tragic story time, my Dad when I was young, despised Christmas, so much that seeing decorations filled him with dread and sorrow because to him, it didn’t mean joy and laughter, it meant a time of spending money and fulfilling other people’s dreams because if he didn’t, he had to disappoint them. We had no decorations in our house until Christmas Day itself and they’d come down again afterwards as soon as Dad could manage it, just so he didn’t have to see that tree for one second longer than he had to. I didn’t understand as a child, I don’t think my Dad ever realised that as a kid, I was always happy at Christmas with anything he got me – probably because kids are so shit at being grateful for stuff. We’ve always lived on the breadline in this home and to then have December 25th pop up “JUST A HEADS UP, YOU BETTER SPEND AT LEAST LIKE… £500 ON GIFTS OR PEOPLE WILL THINK YOU DON’T LOVE THEM” when you can barely afford £5, it’s terrifying and makes you resent Christmas as being a toll, a challenge to PROVE your love and selflessness, as if everything else you did all year didn’t count.

Christmas is getting a little too big for its own boots here and stomping on the poor and the heartbroken, it brings joy not only because we are all given what we want and are giving those we love what they want but because everyone looks happy when you push the unhappy ones out of the photo frame. I’m not even going to try and count the number of times my depression has been muddled up with a lack of Christmas spirit, that somehow all this obnoxious corporate money-grabbing and ugly jumper parties should be the strongest mood medication I could ever want. Somehow though, it is not but I still partake in Christmas – gifts have been bought, nice gestures done without the hope of them being returned have been performed and on Christmas Day, as is my tradition, I contact everyone I consider a friend to at least give season’s greetings.

So, what am I saying here, you ask? The article has sort of read as a general guilt-tripping Santa-bashing bitterness sandwich but I guess ultimately, I want you to read this and remember that Christmas in and of itself is not special, Christmas is as special as we make it for ourselves and others. If you think buying lots of stuff is all it takes, well done, you’re nothing more than a patsy Amazon and Wal-Mart will bleed dry year upon year, but Christmas is about charity and charity isn’t just giving to the homeless, it’s showing love. PLEASE take this time to check on people and that they’re ok, if that’s the only genuinely good thing you do that isn’t all about presents, please make sure that miserable fuckers like me are at least safe and comfortable this Christmas. I guarantee you that everyone who hates Christmas has a reason for it and it’s no good telling them to just cheer up; do something that makes this time of year a little easier for them.

Merry Christmas.

Catcall An End To It

Trigger Warnings – Misogyny, strong language throughout

You know sometimes the inspiration for a blog post can from anywhere actually, I usually use the news or my feelings about personal issues but today I happened upon a Facebook status about a friend of mine seeking advice on what to do in regards to cat-callers. Now, I’ll say this first, said friend is an attractive individual and is no stranger to getting attention but said friend is also a human being and does not want the pressure of being a 24/7 gawking subject and whilst they can adopt an attitude of empowerment and resilience, sometimes they’re not up to it, sometimes they just want to walk down the road like a normal person and not get strangers making suggestions about what they should do with their body bits. I made a joking remark that they should respond to the calls by telling these men that their kink is bludgeoning men in the balls with hammers and the comment section of that status spiralled down into madness and hilarity from that point on but it got me thinking about cat-calling as a whole and my feelings toward it.

Firstly, I’m an introvert, I think I’ve said that enough times for it to sink in but still, I can’t even imagine shouting “Nice tits!” at a total stranger, I can barely even say “Hello” to one so to skip getting to know them and jumping straight to the sex talk is a thought that terrifies me, even my basest lewd part of me would be gob-smacked if I shouted at a stranger. Cat-calling is an odd social ritual for the male kind, feeling the need to comment on every passing woman like a child with their face to the car window shouting “Cows! Moo! Mummy look!”, it’s that same logic but instead it’s a group of horny vultures going “Boobs! Nice! Dave, look!”. So well done fellas, you’ve not moved on beyond the age of five, good for you. I acknowledge that not every man in the world does this but it’s still a big issue and enough men do it that we’ve seen a stream of YouTube and Upworthy posts on the subject. I have all sorts of thoughts about people that pass me by but being a considerate person, I keep them to myself and it’s a social lubricant every person on the planet should use really – don’t comment on every single fucking thing you see in the world. Big boobs? Ok, move on, that’s a thing, well done. Someone in a wheelchair? Yes, magical, next? Oh, a gay couple? You know what, leave it, unless you actually spot a bright yellow unicorn in a leather jacket strutting along the street, you don’t really need to say anything do you?

Cat-calling is disguised as compliments but it becomes abuse very fast if the woman doesn’t respond, what starts off as “Hey dollface, I like the way you’re looking tonight babe, come gimme som sugar!” then changes to “Hey, hey, why ain’t you talking to me? Am I ugly to you babe?” and then that becomes “Oh fuck you bitch, you fucking dyke” and so on and so on, it’s disgusting and crude. Do these guys respond to every denial in their life that way? Is shrugging off women that reject them as prude or gay the only way they can protect their precious egos from being as small as their brains? I suppose we live in a world just coming out of the stage in which men were entitled to everything they want, including women on demand, and that’s still a thing for the most part but feminism is teaching the world that women have a purpose beyond being vaginas that can make sandwiches and there are a collective of scorned souls pouting “Grr, we liked it when they only used their mouths for pleasing a fella…”. Well, tough, it is not a human right to be entitled to a sex slave and housemaid but it is a human right to be entitled to walking out in public without judgement or harassment, a human right so many still go without.

Sure, some women can take it in their stride or accept the compliment, some might seem to play along but those that do often do so to pander to these aggressors? What kind of world is it in which women have to fake a smile and thank a guy for saying he’d ruin her ass just so she can go to lunch without being called a tart? Not a world I want to live in, that’s what. Kudos to the women who can take these things and let it empower them, they’re bold women but not every woman in the world can do that and no woman should have to.

Ok so what should you do when you’re being catcalled? Well, here’s a few ideas I gathered together from a look around at the best responses female comedians and general women with social media could come up with:

1. If he says you have big boobs/a cute ass, look at them/it and scream in horror as if you’ve never noticed them to freak him out

2. If he pays you a ‘compliment’, accept it in the weirdest way possible. A good one I found was ‘Oh at last, a gentleman of a high enough calibre to take me to the ball, how splendid! Thank you good sir, you may take my handkerchief as a token of my gratitude’ – Fucking go full Jane Austen on their asses

3. If he calls you a bitch, bark at him like a dog and show him what a bitch really is

4. If he goes with something along the line of “Hey babe, how you doin’?”, you could try “Well, my IBS is a nightmare, I think I have piles and I’ve got this weird rash all over my chest, how are you?”. Gross? Yes, but you know you don’t have those things (Hopefully) and he’s just a stranger, what does it matter?

5. If he asks “Why don’t you try playing with my cock?”, try “I dunno, you play with it alone so much, I think it’s more a single player game really”

6. If he says he’s just trying to tell you you’re beautiful, respond with “I have a mirror/boyfriend/girlfriend for that”

Now, these are jokey suggestions, they’re great if you want to cut down the culprit’s ego a bit but just as a side note – don’t use these if you’re at risk, men can be aggressive cunts when kicked in their pride so if you say this to a group of lads in a dark alley, it will not end well unless you have a really big can of Mace handy. If you are cat-called, remember, you aren’t to blame, there’s no fault on you for being attractive and you are not obliged to satisfy a total stranger and if you feel bad about it then talk to someone. If you observe cat-calling happening, be a good sport, step in and say something ok? You can either be direct and tell the guys to shove it or do something a little less confrontational, approach the victim and pretend to be someone who was looking for them “Ah Sue, there you are, come on, we’ve got that party to go to!” – Be sure to make a subtle signal to the victim or you will confuse the fuck out of them. You can of course point out the culprits to a local authority figure or if they’re in a work environment, find their superior. Afterwards, be sure to ask if the victim is ok, it’s often just enough to feel validated afterwards and be treated like a person, not a slab of meat.

This article was a bit longer than anticipated but hey, it’s an important issue, even now. Ladies of the world, just take pride in yourself and walk on, do not feel dirty for their comments because it’s nothing but the inane barking of horny dogs. Use your wits or use long strides and walk away, it’s a sad reality of the world but hopefully we’ll move past this childish flaw of our society in a few years – the tunes these guys sing changes when other lads try it on with their sisters or daughters, we just have to teach them to be better and that’s a job for feminism but for you in your day to day life, I hope I gave you some ideas for some witty comebacks and helped you respond to the situation better as a victim or an observer. If you’re a culprit reading this somehow, grow up, you won’t ever establish a meaningful relationship by shouting at strangers, that’s the kind of behaviour that usually lands someone in a mental health ward, we just don’t seem to do it if you shout “Nice tits” instead of “I am the dark lord of raisin bread” even though both of those comments are stupid things to shout out loud to the world.

Old Man Wolfe Returns!

Trigger Warnings – Mentions of suffocation/vivid nightmares/death

Well hello internet, Old Man Wolfe is back on your News Feed or your Reader feed, here to treat you to more of that delicious assortment of personal musings,mumblings and miffed off articles about injustice and inequality in society. Missed me? Yes, I’m back a little bit later than I hoped, long boring story there, not really post worthy as it was just some technical issues surrounding internet connection but the point is, I’m back! Feels good to have a solid keyboard beneath my fingers once again and to have justified font, all sexy sleek like. I shall be doing my best to get back into the swing of things now and make up for lost time with some good stuff in the future I should hope.

You might be asking, how was I on my break? Did I relax and have fun? Am I back all refreshed and clear minded? I hope you’re asking, that’d be polite and I thought our relationship was one of sharing and caring. Erhem, well, I did sort of enjoy taking a week not panicking about what to post about but me personally, I’m afraid the past week has been hard on me, that mood scale has been clocking in below five pretty much non stop except for the odd moment of comfort in the company of good friends. I’m scoring one far more often than I’d like and my dreams have involved yet more unusual deaths such as being impaled on a spear and almost having my hand chopped off by my best friend in a gladiator match.To add to matters, lately I’m being kept awake by the feeling of hands around my throat whenever I’m upset, I can even feel thumbs poking into my Adam’s Apple. No, it’s not an allergy, my diet hasn’t changed, I’m not using new detergents and I have not been bitten or stung by anything, I don’t actually have any known allergies anyway, our family doesn’t have many. Apparently it’s psychological, it’s a symptom of an anxiety disorder, thus the stress and sadness being the trigger so it doesn’t help the moment I feel blue, I get this ghost of my own mind trying to choke me as if putting me out of my own misery permanently. Dramatic, yes, but it honestly feels like I’m being throttled, I’ve been throttled before so I know how that feels and this is the same only my feet are on the floor or on my bed.

I hate to come back on such bad notes but there hasn’t been a great deal of joy in my life of late. I mean, it’s not all been doom and gloom, caught up with an old friend after years apart and that was wonderful, we got on as if we had never gone a day without seeing each other and it only served as a warm reminder why we became so close in the first place. However, with no job and no longer being at Oxfam, when I returned for a Christmas gathering, I had to answer the question of “So what do you do now?” with “Oh, nothing”, because I’m not in work and not looking for a bit, the job I had sort of buckled my confidence when it came to the review and with Christmas coming, I want to take a break and start the new year with a clearer head, hopefully. Feels awkward though, I’ve not gone to bigger better things, I’ve gone onto moping in the dark and playing video games (On a side note, I have gone from a total noob to a pro at Demon’s Souls in a week, almost completed my first play-through and I am rocking some sweet ass armour) I will get back on the horse but as I’m not too worried in terms of finances, I think I’ve earned some time to try and focus on feeling less shitty before getting back into the world of work.

I’m thankful for the people who care about me, checking up on me and showing genuine concern for me when my mood drops. I’m still going to see about counselling and maybe some anti-anxiety/anti-depressants from a doctor as there is stuff that is beyond what a friend can deal with and some issues are so deeply seated in the pains of my heart that I just don’t feel I can talk to some people about them. I’m always on and off with this, I listen to a lot of what my friends go through but some of them won’t do the same for me or won’t read up on my blog, which is the best and easiest way of knowing what’s on my mind in detail. I’ve tried to seek the counsel of some friends before and it hasn’t always worked and I’m not expecting it to, they don’t know what to say, some just genuinely can’t stand to hear it and many are far more concerned with their larger troubles in life like not having money for food to eat or a history of abuse keeping them awake at night. So I’ll sort myself out and rely on my friends for what they can feasibly do and I hope nobody takes offence to this article, I’m not shitting on your efforts but just stating that there have been times when I’ve discussed an issue with a friend and they’ve actually told me to stop talking because they don’t want to deal with it. I’ve probably done it to others, maybe karma is making things even.

Still, I’m getting by, money is not as much of a problem, I saved a small sum to tide me over to the new year and I intend to get my act together come January. I’ll let you know how I do with that. I may also look into vlogging, the number of people now saying “If it was a video, I’d watch it, I swear” and so at first I was pissed off taking these people as lazy unappreciative sods who need flashing colours to be amused but if so many people are requesting it and not just because they can’t be arsed to read it but they genuinely want to see me speak and perform, I shall have to oblige and get a YouTube channel. I’ve had offers of help with videos and editing so that should be a fun project to get going. Other than that, the Christmas spirit is surprisingly strong within me, wrapping my gifts for everyone gave me a buzz and I’ve tried my best to be more charitable. So yeah, the world isn’t ending and though times are hard, they could be harder, I’ll get on as I always have done and hope to continue to entertain you all into the new year!

Yo-Yo In An Elevator

Trigger Warnings – Mentions of death, self-harm, suicide, cannibalism

British people, calm down, I know to us it is “Yo-Yo In A Lift” but that didn’t have the same ring to it. In case the title leaves something to be desired, this is a personal post, insert the standard apology for doing more personal blogging than political or topical stuff, lord knows my view stats are taking the bullet for that one, the past week has seen a steady decline in my reader base but when I have an agenda, I don’t want to make a hack job of it by blogging about it when I don’t feel up to it so tonight is some more personal stuff.

My mood has been fluctuating again. Remember recently I did a post about being really content with my life and having this sense of well-being? And remember how I enjoyed my birthday celebrations and stuff and was happy then? Yeah well I feel flat now, perhaps there’s more to my mood issues than I thought, it had previously just been a constant crushing sadness but now it temporarily vanishes and clears away to blue skies before coming back as one hell of a storm. I’ve decided as of next week I shall keep a mood diary listing my mood each hour, on the hour, and what I was doing at the time, see if I notice any patterns and I’ll take this journal to a doctor, who will probably dismiss it as needing more sleep or a job I enjoy more than the one I have but hey, worth a shot, maybe one day one doctor will actually admit there is something wrong and help.

I’ve been having some weird dreams lately, some are pleasant and normal enough but some are very disturbing. Last night, I dreamt I asked someone out, won’t say who, but I was so overjoyed they said yes that I wasn’t looking where I was going and stepped out in front of a bus. Yes, Doctor Who-ey I know, your dreams are influenced by that kind of thing but anyway, I didn’t wake up. Well I did, I woke up in the dream and found myself in a rundown abandoned military building with some friends and strangers, who told me the place was safe except for the West Wing, which is full of cannibals and the only reason the cannibals are kept at bay is the sacrifice of one of the group once a week. We couldn’t escape, we had no weapons, we had limited supplies and we were all scared. I dreamt I was being told to go give the cannibals their sacrifice, they’d chosen someone, but when we turned up there the sacrifice attacked me and locked me in the wing with them so I was eaten alive. Then I woke up for real, confused, horrified and nervously lying still in bed for half an hour.

I do not self-harm, I kicked that habit when I was fourteen (Roughly, can’t remember exactly) and I don’t contemplate suicide. I looked into it, it can mean either a crushing realisation the pursuit of happiness through wealth is impossible or it can be a metaphor for feeling overwhelmed by sexual desires. I don’t sit well with those ideas, the wealth thing sounds silly and my sex drive hasn’t been this low in a long time, the desires I have in my heart aren’t lustful and depraved, I desire someone to be with, to laugh with, to hold close, to enjoy a relationship with, not a fuckfest. I’m still jaded about all that though, I see a pretty face now and then but otherwise I’m resigned to being single for some time now, I accept that fact

Anyway, my other dreams have mostly been along two themes – my own death or a new romantic relationship. The romantic dreams are fairly standard, they’re clearly subconscious, well… conscious fantasies playing themselves out but the death dreams? I’ve been eaten, shot, hit by traffic, stabbed, pushed off a cliff, drowned, it’s disturbing that I’m dreaming about such things and it’s one main reason I don’t sleep very well lately, I’m not sure what awaits me, a dream so perfect I don’t want to wake up or a nightmare so horrific I’m scared straight for half an hour when I wake up

I realise this is deeply personal and very disturbing, I’ll have to look into professional help I can afford but I need to talk about this stuff but actually forming words on how I feel and think is incredibly hard, I’ve never been very good at it. I struggle to express emotions through my own personal behaviour, I can barely cry unless it is something overwhelming and even when I lose people I care about, my face doesn’t budge an inch, I haven’t wept for a loss in so long. I’ve heard it’s a common male issue of being pressured to be tough, so tough you struggle to allow yourself to be vulnerable and being a boy who lost a lot as a child whilst being the elder brother of two young boys and having male role models who were never shown to be weak, I guess I’ve internalised the constant rule of never admitting to weakness or need so the written word is how I do just that. Heck, even romantically, I struggle to say the words out loud and some feelings have remained unspoken forever because I just can’t face the rejection and humiliation

Urgh, that was a huge emotional dump and after all that, I feel no better really. I’ll keep this diary as of Monday and track my mood up until the New Year then see a doctor about it, see what they say. Here’s hoping they’ll take action this time

A Pint of Bitter

Trigger Warnings – None really, very light mentions of drug use/abuse

Early post, off out tonight to celebrate my birthday with some friends, one of whom is moving away before my actual birthday and that’s why the celebrations were moved forward a bit. I’m not going off down the pub, despite everyone attending being old enough for that to be an option, I don’t drink, as I’ve probably mentioned, but I figured this was a good opportunity for me to have my say with regards to the drinking culture of the British people

Now there’s plenty to be said about the detriments on society caused by alcohol, how it’s clearly much more dangerous for your health than say marijuana and here in Britain it causes so many fights and punch-ups because it’s very easy to get very drunk and with a healthcare system like ours, you’ll be patched up before going back to work on Monday, given a slap on the wrist and sent on your jolly way. America doesn’t have that issue as much, mostly because Americans have guns and are a little less brawl-happy than the British pub-goer because they know their opponent could pull a weapon. Anyway, that’s not the article I’m going for here, badmouthing booze in Britain is an act of heresy and I’m sure this one paragraph alone will earn me the scorn of anyone in my area partial to a pint, thinking I’m some nay-saying wet blanket who drinks lemonade whilst knitting myself a scarf

I’m actually more interested in the very casual but committed relationship people have with alcohol. David Mitchell had a soapbox rant about this, largely the inspiration for this article, and he hits the nail on the head by comparing a pub experience to a coffee shop experience. I’ve said before coffee shops are not as full with intellectuals and scholars as you might think, it’s more Hipster ground now (Yes those are still a thing, I think) but even so, a coffee shop experience is perhaps an hour of sitting around with a drink, talking, getting bored of what each other has to say and leaving. Done, painless. A pub, not so much. I hate standard pubs with a passion really, lots of uncomfy furniture and conversations with people who gradually get less and less eloquent the more they drink, who then either make a fool of themselves, become aggressive or cry morosely for nothing until eventually vomiting and looking for some way home via taxi or sober friend. Thankfully, I don’t drive, or at least, don’t drive with friends who like to drink a lot, or I’d be the designated driver for life. I know you can always just have the one and leave but lots of people prefer to make an evening of it and that’s just not something you’d do in a Starbucks or Costa, who wants to spend that long in one place that only serves light refreshments and drinks?  Pub patrons apparently, they’ll live off Carling and pork scratchings to enjoy the banter and odd game of darts or pool, I could maybe have a drink and a game but after that I’d get bored and go home

By all means, this is just my opinion, the opinion of a sober man. I’ve drunk alcohol before, don’t get me wrong, a few kinds in fact – wine, vodka, Jager Bombs (I was a bartender, a customer didn’t like the idea of a tea-total man serving him so bought me three and demanded I down them before taking his actual order), cider – it just doesn’t do much for me and I’m against imbibing large quantities of something that impedes brain power. I like my brain, being intelligent is a big part of what I am and if that was replaced with slurred words and vomiting, that leaves me with a lot less of my personality to go on to make a positive impression of myself. Alcohol is a drug, a socially acceptable one at that which makes any boring situation into a more interesting one, that’s why hours can pass quickly when you’re drinking but they’ll crawl by when you’re sat there with a cup of coffee or a glass of squash and so if anyone invites me out to the pub or to a party which is just “It’s us lot all in one room drinking alcohol and listening to music”, I roll my eyes because I won’t be drinking, because I don’t want to, and I’ll miss out on the biggest part of the fun. Imagine this scenario with smoking weed or snorting coke, you don’t partake in it, you sit watching other people do it whilst you’re sat with a standard cigarette or snorting… umm… sherbert? Talcon powder? I don’t know what the substitute for that could be but you get my point

Carrying on with David Mitchell again here, he asks if our society is in denial that our social activities and interactions revolve around being slightly pissed. I wonder too, it’s not as much fun being the sober guy at the party or in the club, everyone is so loose and stupid and I’m sat there with Dignity sat on one side and Anxiety on the other going “Well aren’t you a stupid twat? You gonna dance with the cute blonde? No, thought not. Tosser”. I mean I could try getting drunk but given the number of mental barriers I enforce on myself not to do a lot of things, being drunk would undo that and a lot of people would then come to realise that without those barriers in place, I might be a total fuckwad. I’ve come a long way and had to invest a lot of hard work in holding back things that aren’t kind to say or indeed overcoming my violent history so I don’t want to take the risk of getting totally trollied, punching someone in the face and calling them every single foul thing I’ve ever wanted to call them, because I’d remember doing it eventually and then I’d never look at myself the same way again

There we go, I’m afraid of what alcohol might help me discover about myself. I like to think I’m a good guy but maybe that’s because I try to be, maybe deep down I’m a piece of filth. Still, as it stands, British socialising does revolve a lot around drinking – clubs, pubs, bars, parties – it’ll be curious to see who heads for the bar tonight in my birthday celebration and how a sober social activity plays out

The Lone Wolf

Trigger Warnings – Mentions of death and loss

Hello again folks, nice to see my blog still did pretty well even in spite of my absence yesterday at this time, the party was fine by the way if you read my post yesterday. Well tonight’s post is another personal one, which I realise the ratio is tilting towards being more in favour of personal posts than political or whatever but this is my blog, my rules and I really just want to get things out there. Incidentally, sometimes people do ask how I can feel so comfortable telling the whole world how I feel about my personal life but truth be told, it’s more for my benefit than the audience, I can’t always be satisfied just wittering away to myself in a corner, I need a human response to what I’m feeling so I figure if I shoot enough arrows, one hits a target, if that makes sense?

Moving swiftly on, no doubt you’re wondering what’s on my mind then? I hope you are. I want to talk about my nature as a person, as I am now, and my disconnect with people around me. By now it is no secret that in my younger days I was not a friendly person, I liked myself a lot and maybe a few other people but for the most part I went out of my way to exude this frightening presence that told people not to approach me, my dress sense revolving around covering as much of myself up as possible in black leather and spikes, a bandana around my face and a wide brimmed hat on my head, even my hands were not visible under two gauntlets. In my full attire, only my eyeline was visible to the world, two fierce golden beads peering out with rage at everything and I barely spoke to anyone about anything. You see a part of being young is angst and identity issues and trying on lots of different looks to find an identity you think people will like until you realise it doesn’t matter and then you find your true self, well the dark demonic look for me was something I liked and something that gained me the response I wanted – respect out of fear and respect out of awe. For the most part, my attire gained three different responses:

1. “Ah! My god, you look like a demon! That’s frightening!”

2. “Wow, look at that guy, that is fucking bad ass!”

3. “Look at him, what a weirdo… there must be something wrong with him…”

I embraced all of these responses, even the third, to laugh at those people and welcome their prying eyes. I went out of my way to be as eccentric and jarring as possible to expose the judgmental nature of all my peers so I could tear them down and feel righteous in doing so. I wanted people to hate me and fear me because that made me feel powerful and soon enough I had a reputation as being some sort of monster in human guise, the “fucking sicko”, the “psycho”, to me it validated me as some sort of lord of darkness and further emphasised this romantic loneliness to who I was which fuelled some awful bleak poetry (You know the kind, it’s nothing but death/heartbreak metaphors from start to finish and usually talks a lot about blood and it’s supposed to be tragic but instead it makes you cringe). I was unbeaten in a fight, feared by all and an oppressed minority in my school because there was so many ‘normal’ people and only one me without a true match in all the school, there wasn’t a rocker clique for me to join or a leather-wearing badasses society, there was some goths and emo kids sure but I didn’t fit in with them either, I was me, I was the lone wolf, I was tragic and romantic and that made me feel like my entire life story would one day be a touching novel or heartbreaking play as I rose to greatness over them all and laughed from my lofty heights at their insignificant efforts to break me

So what happened? I noticed the consequences of my actions, I knew I could not always be Mr. Hard Nut because if you devote your life to having the loudest bark, your life is under the constant threat of meeting someone louder who pisses on your corpse just for trying it on. I suppose it hit home for me when my selfishness started costing me people I wanted in my life, when those around me had to struggle so badly not to give up on me altogether because despite it all, I did have a heart and underneath all that blackness was an inherently kind guy trying to get out, he was just a slave to the demon of his rage. I suffered a lot of loss growing up and it made me angry, I wanted the world to burn and cry and lose because I had done, I wanted revenge on God, I wanted everyone to feel as shit as I did until I took some time to stop, think and change. Why? Why make the world suffer? What would that fix? I would only be remembered as a harbinger of hatred, a bringer of chaos, the biggest bastard in the world and that was not the legacy I wanted to leave and despite what I am now, there are those out there who see my name and think only of the word cunt. I wanted to be called honourable, to be remembered as a lover and a fighter, not just a fighter. I then decided “If I live my life feeling awful, why not devote myself instead to making sure people don’t have to feel like I do, rather than making everyone feel like I do?”

See, as an atheist and a man of science, I do not believe in an afterlife and my concept of the immortal soul is instead that of the legacy we live, the stories of us that people tell long after we’re gone and whilst death is still tragic, I believe in life, in the significance of our actions whilst we were are here. No rewards await us, we must claim them in life. I believe all of us are, at our core, lonely people and life is a hard and horrid thing that we make better by being good people. Pick up some rubbish, talk to someone who is upset, let someone go in front of you in a queue, just do something, some little thing, because why not? Don’t worry about the whole world, just one good deed every once in a while because, maybe it’s not true of you, but seeing people be as horrid as I once was makes me feel bad myself, I see these people and see that version of myself staring back at me. I pick up a lot of other people’s rubbish, I’ve actually caught three people in the act and just taken it out of their hand and wandered off without another word, just because. I sigh and huff but I’d feel worse not doing anything. I know this sounds childish and maybe makes me come across as some sort of beatnik hippy “Love everybody maaaaaaan” kinda guy but I just think, I spent eight years of my life, from losing my mother to leaving school, dedicating myself to scorn and greed and I did that much damage, a whole world on that principle is a horrible thing

I’m not perfect, I am prone to selfishness or dickish moves on my part, sometimes my laidback nature can lead me to just think “Oh fuck it, they can just hate me for this” and I’ll do something or not do something for whatever reason suits me but I like to think I’m a better man than I was and that I’ve made a meaningful impact upon the world around me so that, God forbid, if something ever did happen to me, my eulogy wouldn’t be about how I was misunderstood and impulsive and full of sorrow but instead it would be about how I tried my hardest to be a man of love and honour, a good man who would be missed and that maybe someone out there, someone who knew me well, would remember what I tried to do and carry it on, not out of obligation to a dead man’s legacy but because it was a good lesson to learn in life

Apologies if this is a dark post, it’s been on my mind as I look at my reflection each night and truth be told, it’s one of my weirdest fears is actually what I leave behind. Morbid for a man only just approaching twenty but when you don’t believe in getting what you deserve after you die, death can be a subject you mull over at any given point just as it crosses your mind, which can be a lot of the time if you have a particularly large mind