Open Up

“You lied, you faked, you cheated, you changed the stakes”

Its time to be honest, but even more honest than in the last few posts.  The last few weeks have not been nice. In fact they have been anything but.  Verging on but not quite horrible.  Uncomfortable doesn’t really capture it. It’s not easy to explain. And that is part of the problem – where to start and with whom. I think Clint Boon summed it up best – no one ever said it was going to be easy. But surely it wasn’t meant to be this difficult.

In the last few weeks I’ve felt myself taking more steps backwards than forwards.  I’ve been out on the bike less for a start and last week’s rain was an easy excuse not to go out for the long ride.  I’ve been constantly tired, unsure if it’s a mental or physical malaise that I’m suffering from though the likelihood is that one feeds off the other. I’m feeling fed up, bored, undervalued, over stretched, scared. My anxiety is reaching peak levels. I’m arguing with the TV. The imaginary arguments are creeping back into my head and festering. I’m feeling like a fraud. I have no direction again.

None of this is new. I felt like this last summer. In fact I’ve felt like this for a number of years – that’s the first own up today – and look where it got me. This time I can recognise the signs and symptoms – step one complete, success box should be ticked. Yet I don’t know what to do about it. Its like being locked into a horrible spiral – like being on the merry-go-round, seeing the alternatives flash by in a blur but not able to reach out grab them and jump off.  But I’ve really got to.

One of the biggest things letting me down is an inability to talk about this in any coherent way (as those of you who’ve persevered with this blog my attest to!). Mrs AB finds it infuriating and I can only apologise but its like trying to find the start of a ball of string.  As I said before communication lets me down, though perversely it seems easier to pour out into the ether via this blog and hope that someone might read and reply with pearls of wisdom or even shared experience than to talk face to face.

So this just leaves me feeling worse. Knowing there is something wrong again but not understanding exactly what. Knowing I need to do something but not being able to manage to do anything about it. A friend asked me last week if I’d changed anything in my life since last October? This is an interesting thing to ponder: I’ve had 6 months off work and gone back part-time……..Otherwise, I’m not sure I have. I try and communicate better especially with Mrs AB. I try to focus on the small things in life. But I still take on too much, swapping one occupation with another. And if I’m honest the cycling is back to being an occupation rather than a relaxation or even diversion, deflecting stress from one thing to another. So what’s changed?

Is it that in need to give it time? Have I been expecting too much too soon? Will the “black dogs” get old at some point and die off or are they perpetually breeding a new incarnation? At the moment I’m at a loss and in all honesty would like to pull the covers back up and hide from everything.

What’s the message from this blog? I have no idea. I do feel like I’ve lied, faked and cheated myself and constantly changed the stakes. I have very high standards, no way of knowing if I achieve them and a low opinion of myself as a result.  I don’t know what others can do either – everybody’s trying! Maybe if you could just message me just so I know I’ve not sent this into the ether would be a start. I’ll hopefully get back to happier blogs soon.

4 thoughts on “Open Up

  1. Hey, well done for putting this out there. It’s a bold and brave step and maybe the way for you to communicate is asynchronously via the blog/tech rather than face to face which is always more tricky.

    I’m really sorry to hear you’ve been feeling like this recently. Despite having very little contact recently I worried this might be the case, though I’m not sure exactly why. I hope this post and the other things you are doing are the first steps back in the right direction.

    My dad told my son an anecdote about me yesterday (about me being chased by older kids and being thrown in a dustbin when I was 8) which I had told him at the time as an excuse as I was late back from school having been round to a friends house, so instead of a mild telling off I got a little creative with my explanation instead and deflected the blame onto some imaginary older kids – which worked a treat! Funnily enough I’ve heard my dad refer to this story a number of times over the years but I’ve never had the inclination/courage to mention to him before that it was total fabrication, until yesterday. Somehow, passing it on to the next generation didn’t seem quite right. Anyway, everything was absolutely fine but I guess we all tell little (and sometimes rather big) porkies all the time, including to ourselves.

    I know my little story is a ridiculous analogy given where you are but I guess it felt good for me to be honest with my dad after nearly 30 years about such a small thing, and I guess we should all open up a bit more, as per the title of your post too.

    Keep on keepin on.

  2. Still on for coffee this Wednesday? For me it’s a time thing – I want everything to happen already and that just isn’t possible. Sometimes those links you make can take a bit of time to start evolving but they will. Some great ideas and I’m excited with some of the things we’ve discussed so far. Since come up with another thing to run past you too. Hope coffee is still on!

  3. Thanks for your wonderfully honest and powerful post. I echo Roland’s thoughts that it’s a bold step and I do hope also that it proves to be the first step forward.
    I have no sage advice except for one thought that’s unhelpful for now but might be worth coming back to when you’re through this period…it’s often when we’re most robust that we can often see what would have helped us when we were less so. When you’re feeling up to it, maybe reflect and prescribe yourself a ‘first aid’ package that can be brought out when needed. Then maybe let the rest of us know what it is through your blog and we’ll gently remind you when needs be.
    In the meantime, I know as you state at the end of your post that there will be happier posts again in the future and we will stand firmly with you until that time.
    If a coffee to talk and reflect ‘future’ would be helpful, I’d be delighted. If being gentle on yourself means dwelling in the present for a while, do that.

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