Monday, 30 October 2006

Whaddaya know...

In a comments discussion on my previous post about depression (causes and fixes -still open to suggestions here...) my dear blogging veteran friend WDKY got me onto the following thought: Is our relentless search for "truth" about ourselves actually undermining rather than contributing to our happiness?


When we were in Brighton the inadequacy
was "lack of Best Man abilities"
Originally uploaded by unkle_sam.

Or is it just that knowing the truth also has to come with some kind of "couldn't care less"-ness?

It is a strange yet proven fact that depressives have a more accurate image of how other people perceive them than do normals (see ancient Psychology Today article on the topic here).

It appears that it's not good for us to know exactly how smart/stupid or liked/resented we are.

Obviously depression also comes from wanting 10/10 people to love you when actually 1 maybe will and at least 7 could not give a fuck. And from wanting to perform every single task 100% perfect (impossible even for a self-confessed superwoman like me).

To cope with life one has to focus one's efforts and not be bothered that there are limitations (for instance I focus on giving good blowjobs and being in a good mood at work; I don't care so much about putting on make-up every morning).

I am not saying that to be happy one has to swan around in complete self-unawareness, but I guess the awareness has to be coupled with a certain degree of couldn't give a fuck. Why is this? What psychological or evolutionary advantage does the apparent survival tool of optimism serve (J would of course describe it as unrealistic-ness)?

Is it because only the curios, chance-taking cavemen survived when they were forced to adapt to changing environments and coming and going ice ages?

Whereas the pessimistic "it won't go down well anyway, so I might as well not migrate south and stay where I am" cavemen froze to death in their comfortable cave, 7 out of 10 optimistic cavemen (and women) froze to death uncomfortably on their way south.

But three of them made it.

And I guess most of us descend from those three.

I guess it also serves a sociological function to be optimistic of own abilities and to what extent one is liked by other people.

If everyone went around focussing on the fact that, on average, we have only a 1 or 2 in 10 chance of being liked by others, walking into rooms of strangers and speaking in front of crowds might seem more daunting and we wouldn't do it, which would make existing as a society nigh on impossible.

Maybe that's also why we're so fascinated by celebrities; we get the impression that at least 8 out of 10 people adore them, and even the two that don't at least give them the privelege of being actively hated rather than largely ignored. So we like them because they help us ignore the truth that most people sadly don't like us.

But the fact of the matter is that 2/10 is enough for all of us. I surround myself with a group of close friends, my loving family, my (possibly) loving J. That's enough for me. I don't need every single one of my collagues to think I'm clever; I know how clever I am and I'm clever enough for me. Etc. Not only do we not achieve having a positive image in the eyes of everyone else, we practically speaking don't need it.

But maybe it's good not to focus too much on that.

J is on his way home for a lovely baked potato with home-made ratatouille (made by himself, I'm hoping); I hope in time being liked by me and his friends and family will be adequate for him, and the fact that there are things he could have done that he didn't may not matter so acutely anymore.

Sunday, 29 October 2006

Dragging me down


Depression
Originally uploaded by nozzman.
J has been depressed to a greater or lesser extent for about half his life now. That's a pretty harsh predicament. I can see how that would make anyone feel hopeless.

For the past couple of days, J and I have had little therapy sessions at our dining table after supper (I don't really say 'supper'; I just put that in for the sake of variety in the sentence, honest!).

He was feeling despondent a few days ago after yet another fruitless visit to his therapist; I really don't think she's doing too hot of a job.

I am by no means expecting her to do wonders, and of course he needs to put in some work himself, but he really does, and it doesn't seem to be helping anyway.

We had a chat about the concept of depression; what causes it and how it feeds itself.

After talking about cycles of negative thinking and unhelpful responses to situations etc, I have arrived at the conclusion that he really is terrified of giving up his negative thoughts.

I think it's kind of like an alcoholic; watching their life fall apart around them, yet refusing to give up the drink, because the drink is the only secure and safe element in a crumbling existence.

How do you tell someone, nay, convince them (J insists he must be convinced) that the way they're thinking is in fact wrong and making them feel bad?

How do you convince someone that their incredibly low self-worth does not correspond to reality?

The fact of the matter is that depressed people have a more accurate view of themselves and how people see them, than do healthy people.

So how can I tell J to let go of the overly realistic thoughts and become mildly delusional instead (i.e. a 'positive thinker')?

We also discussed his completely unrealistic expectations of life and himself; his black and white thinking leads him to think he's "a complete failure" because he is in a less challenging position jobwise than his friends, all of whom are of course graduates from a very top university and thus completely unrepresentative of the general population.

When we discuss these things, he always says: "I'm not being negative. I'm just being realistic." And in a way that's true. Despite being completely fine, he has perhaps to some extent underachieved in life; a common consequence of depression. But rather than feeling like a complete failure, he has to force himself to count his blessings.

I don't want you to think that J is some kind of self-pitying moaning wreck, because he's not. I just don't know how to convince him to take some things on fate and give himself a break.

Saturday, 28 October 2006

Being bold

I came across this in a Blogexplosion blog but forgot to copy the address for the link... However if you see this, Nicole, leave a comment and I'll link back to you!


***Update*** Thanks to kind commenter Bun-Girl for leaving me the link for Nicole!

Originally uploaded by thinkDraw

I usually don't do this kind of thing, but this list was just so compelling that I couldn't resist.

Basically, bold the bits you've done and pass it on... Turns out I've achieved more than I thought, but maybe that's because this is an American list, so speaking a foreign language is actually seen as an achievement...


01. Bought everyone in the bar a drink
02. Swam with wild dolphins
03. Climbed a mountain
04. Taken a Ferrari for a test drive
05. Been inside the Great Pyramid
06. Held a tarantula
07. Taken a candlelit bath with someone
08. Said “I love you” and meant it
09. Hugged a tree
10. Bungee jumped
11. Visited Paris
12. Watched a lightning storm at sea
13. Stayed up all night long and saw the sun rise
14. Seen the Northern Lights

15. Gone to a huge sports game
16. Walked the stairs to the top of the leaning Tower of Pisa
17. Grown and eaten your own vegetables
18. Touched an iceberg
19. Slept under the stars
20. Changed a baby’s diaper
21. Taken a trip in a hot air balloon
22. Watched a meteor shower
23. Gotten drunk on champagne
24. Given more than you can afford to charity
25. Looked up at the night sky through a telescope
26. Had an uncontrollable giggling fit at the worst possible moment
27. Had a food fight
28. Bet on a winning horse
29. Asked out a stranger - No, but I've been asked out by one... Does that count?
30. Had a snowball fight
31. Screamed as loudly as you possibly can

32. Held a lamb
33. Seen a total eclipse
34. Ridden a roller coaster
35. Hit a home run
36. Danced like a fool and not cared who was looking
37. Adopted an accent for an entire day
38. Actually felt happy about your life, even for just a moment
39. Had two hard drives for your computer
40. Visited all 50 states
41. Taken care of someone who was drunk
42. Had/Have amazing friends
43. Danced with a stranger in a foreign country
44. Watched whales
45. Stolen a sign
46. Backpacked in Europe
47. Taken a road-trip
48. Gone rock climbing
49. Midnight walk on the beach
50. Gone sky diving
51. Visited Ireland
52. Been heartbroken longer than you were actually in love
53. In a restaurant, sat at a stranger’s table and had a meal with them
54. Visited Japan
55. Milked a cow
56. Alphabetized your cds
57. Pretended to be a superhero
58. Sung karaoke
59. Lounged around in bed all day
60. Played touch football

61. Gone scuba diving
62. Kissed in the rain
63. Played in the mud
64. Played in the rain
65. Gone to a drive-in theater
66. Visited the Great Wall of China
67. Started a business
68. Fallen in love and not had your heart broken - I find it's mostly chipped away bit by bit these days...
69. Toured ancient sites
70. Taken a martial arts class
71. Played D&D for more than 6 hours straight
72. Gotten married
73. Been in a movie
74. Crashed a party
75. Gotten divorced
76. Gone without food for 5 days
77. Made cookies from scratch
78. Won first prize in a costume contest
79. Ridden a gondola in Venice
80. Gotten a tattoo
81. Rafted the snake river
82. Been on television news programs as an “expert”
83. Gotten flowers for no reason
84. Performed on stage
85. Been to Las Vegas
86. Recorded music
87. Eaten shark
88. Kissed on the first date - Isn't that what makes it a 'date'??
89. Gone to Thailand
90. Bought a house
91. Been in a combat zone
92. Buried one/both of your parents
93. Been on a cruise ship
94. Spoken more than one language fluently
95. Performed in a Rocky Horror Picture Show
96. Raised children
97. Followed your favorite band/singer on tour
98. Passed out cold
99. Taken an exotic bicycle tour in a foreign country
100. Picked up and moved to another city to just start over
101. Walked the Golden Gate Bridge
- OK, so I drove. Tough luck.
102. Sang loudly in the car, and didn’t stop when you knew someone was looking
103. Had plastic surgery
104. Survived an accident that you shouldn’t have survived
105. Wrote articles for a large publication
106. Lost over 100 pounds - Money, not weight.
107. Held someone while they were having a flashback
108. Piloted an airplane
109. Touched a stingray
110. Broken someone’s heart
111. Helped an animal give birth
112. Won money on a TV game show
113. Broken a bone
114. Gone on an African photo safari
115. Had a facial part pierced other than your ears
116. Fired a rifle, shotgun, or pistol
117. Eaten mushrooms that were gathered in the wild
118. Ridden a horse
119. Had major surgery
120. Had a snake as a pet
121. Hiked to the bottom of the Grand Canyon
122. Slept for more than 30 hours over the course of 48 hours
123. Visited more foreign countries than U.S. states
124. Visited all 7 continents
125. Taken a canoe trip that lasted more than 2 days
126. Eaten kangaroo meat
127. Eaten sushi
128. Had your picture in the newspaper
129. Changed someone’s mind about something you care deeply about
130. Gone back to school
131. Parasailed
132. Touched a cockroach
133. Eaten fried green tomatoes
134. Read “The Iliad”
135. Selected one “important” author who you missed in school, and read
136. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
137. Skipped all your school reunions
138. Communicated with someone without sharing a common spoken language
139. Been elected to public office
140. Written your own computer language
141. Thought to yourself that you’re living your dream
142. Had to put someone you love into hospice care
143. Built your own PC from parts
144. Sold your own artwork to someone who didn’t know you
145. Had a booth at a street fair
146. Dyed your hair
147. Been a DJ
148. Shaved your head
149. Caused a car accident
150. Saved someone’s life

Friday, 27 October 2006

One down...

I came back from my holiday to find an email from my possibly best male friend JR (he tops the "All the men I've never slept with" list and is as such extremely dear to me).


Originally uploaded by sato sugar.
It contained only six words: "So I am engaged to [insert middle-class English girls name here]".

The horror. I know he doesn't love her. He just turned 27 and she is his first live-in girlfriend. I don't know how this can be. Did she propose to him, or he to her? Have they set a date yet? Is this the point of no return? Can I be a bridesmaid (I know at least the answer to that last question; a resounding NO! as the bride detests me)?

Or am I just being jealous and small-minded, wanting him all to myself?

I don't know.

But for some reason that email reads more like a cry for help than a cause for celebration.

I love JR dearly. We haven't seen each other very much lately, both busy in new jobs and me with J. But for some reason his email hit me like a hammer.

Maybe it's because he's the first man that I've loved who's chosen to get married to someone else.

Maybe it makes me feel anxious because J doesn't want to get married to me and I've subconsciously seen JR as a fallback position (one can never have too many fallback positions).

Or maybe there really is something wrong; I'm really worried there is something wrong, that he doesn't want to but has somehow been talked into it. Two years ago he broke up with her (for a pathetic 6 hours, but still) and as recently as two months ago he was still debating whether he actually wanted to stay with her at all.

They have been together for ages now; almost five years, and I can see that it was make it or break it time, especially for her as she's a little older and is probably thinking babies etc.

But most of all I think it is my fear of closed doors which makes me feel so intensely uneasy.

The only place in which I like closed doors is in my living room to keep it warm.

Having to choose in a way which means the closure of other options really freaks me out.

And I really need to overcome that, put down some roots, close some doors and stop thinking about what I could possibly have if only things were different.

I had hoped that this obsession would stop once I was happily living with someone I love (which I do), but it hasn't; every day I fight the urge to up and leave and look for something which might not be better, but which seems more interesting because I haven't tried it yet.

JR, I vow here in my blog to be happy for you, and, if [insert middle-class English girls name here] allows it, to be at your wedding and shed a happy tear as you walk down the isle. Because if my heart is still breaking by that point, you would be able to tell.

Still. I want you to know that when you get divorced at 47 and haven't spoken to me in decades, I will still be here so we can get drunk on cheap red wine and talk about how wonderful our lives will be when we grow up.

Wednesday, 18 October 2006

J vs Childhood Sweetheart

I just came home from an infrequent meeting with my childhood sweetheart (we spent about 6 stormy months together at the age of 15 and have remained friends ever since). He's as cute as ever and single; I'm genuinely worried about his happiness at the moment.

His girlfriend left him about three years ago, and since then he's broken his golden rule of never having a one-night-stand and generally been extremely unhappy.

I'm feeling really homesick, and I know that I could get back together with him, move back home and have everything I've ever wanted (apart from maybe a fulfilling career; although his father is an academic and has promised to help me get started should I want to pursue that path).

It really drives a stake through my heart to see him so unhappy; I love him deeply and although chances are he'd drive me up the wall after two weeks of living together, I decided to do a comparison. Conclusion to follow in a separate post, so watch this space... And you'll have to scroll or click here for the test itself; for some reason Blogger has put in a lot of space here!




































































Childhood Sweetheart vs J

CS

Points

J

Points

Comments

Looks

Gorgeous, yet cute. Has good head of hair. Has lost weight lately, which is a plus. The 2nd best looking guy I've ever been with, I think. Only minus slightly less tall than some might like.

9

Ruggedly handsome. Minus for balding. Has put on weight lately, which is also a minus, but big plus for being physically active. Extremely attractive legs.

8

They are both sultry-looking and dark (as opposed to most of my other partners, strangely). Best feature of each is eyes and kissable lips; worst feature of each probably nose. This is eerie.

Communication

We've known each other for 15+ years. He reads my mind which is handy. Doesn't talk much but when he does, it's always worth listening to. Extremely shy with other people; doesn't like strangers.

9

He sometimes doesn't understand me, and gets touchy when depressed. Talks about himself for hours on end. When we do have conversations, though, he's great and I'm always learning something.

7

Probably the department in which CB and I are the best match.

Common ground

We both like PlayStation. He is not interested in football or sports in the slightest; great. Loves watching videos and going to the cinema. Has good taste in music and same penchant for guitar rock as me. However great drawback is that he is unlikely to ever humour any of my interests, and he hates horror films so no Buffy. Never ever finishes books he starts. Not big on travelling. We both like cuddles.

5

Doesn't like PlayStation or any other video games for that matter. Is obsessed with football and sports; future holidays likely to be scheduled around main sports events. Will never be able to go on a fairground ride as he panics just at the thought. Exclusively likes classical music, Stevie Wonder and Michael Jackson which is a bit crap. Likes films and importantly is willing to put up with crap B-horror flicks just to please me. Makes an effort to do stuff he knows I like so huge kudos for that. Likes Buffy. Attempts to read.

8

Bottom line; CB and I have more in common, but J is more willing to work on things. Def. the weakest point of me and CB.

Values and political views

Left-leaning, but a bit capitalist.

7

Left leaning.

10

Perhaps tragically this is the department in which J and I are best matched.

Gentlemanliness

Has a tendency to not show up for stuff without telling anyone, or being appallingly late (we are talking hours here) without giving notice. Not very big on formalities or manners. Eats quietly though.

5

The perfect gentleman in every way, only drawback would be if being too much of a gentleman was an issue. Minor subtraction for being late for stuff (usually about 45 min), though he always calls to apologise, and for making lots of noise while eating.

9

Again, I find it worrying that their bad points are somewhat similar.

Sex

I've never had sex with him (!!). From what I've heard from exes, he's not that interested in sex and prefers cuddles. He kisses like a god, though.

6

Not really that into sex, but when he gets going, he's amazing. In the top 3 I've ever had, and kisses really well. Smells and tastes nice and is willing to be my sex poodle.

8

J's minus two are for lack of frequency, which I actually think could be down to his depression. A bit unfair of CB, but hey, not being able to trick me into bed yet; it must mean something.

Economy

Has the golden touch. Owns several retail outlets and a lovely partment. Good amount of savings stashed away. However quite stingy in everyday life and unlikely to splurge on expensive meals out except for special occasions.

9

Will never be loaded, but is extremely organised. Knows where every penny goes and has quite a bit of savings plus inheritance worth taking into account. Frugal yet generous.

10

CB is enterprising, but J is quite simply the best man I've ever met when it comes to managing money.

In-laws

Great. They wish I was their daughter and actually like me better than I like him. If we were to get together, they would hand over their recently-refurbished lovely house in a posh area and love me like their own. Yet would stay out of my way and let me do whatever I wanted with my life.

10

Awful. There is only one, but she hates me, pretty much, and thinks I'm not good enough for her precious. Would also interfere with everything from house buying to child rearing. She's recently made a slight effort and has offered to help us buy a house (which J refuses), so bonus points for that.

2

This is I think one of my main reasons for liking CB. His parents really are amazing and he gets on with them incredibly well. In-laws don't make or break it in a relationship, but they can certainly give it a firm push in either direction. J's greatest drawback.

Does he love me?

Yes, to bits... but possibly not exactly like that. I'm among his longest-standing friends and he respects me deeply, and there is still a bit of spark there, if only we'd let it be. Would be willing to share his life and fortune with me and be the father of our gorgeous children after a dream wedding to happen asap.

9

He says no, but if nothing else I think he's in love with me still. There is a definite spark. Reluctant to commit.

7

Well, here's the rub. Looks like I've matured into wanting to settle for safe rather than crazy "do anything for you" in-loveness.

Notes

Both boys score a 10/10 for domesticatedness (J is a better cook but CB is better at general housework, romantic-ness (penchant for deep stares, cuddles, hand-holding, surprises and big presents), personal grooming and hygiene (CB takes the longest to get ready out of any guy I know except my gay ex, and J is a religious morning showerer), religion (neither cares what I think or am), the amount of pain they've caused me in the past and taxi driver abilities (both would pick me up/drop me off anywhere at any given time).

TOTALS

69

69

They are both the same... What can I say. It's eerie. And honestly there was no tweaking of sums to make them match up. Or maybe I counted wrong (I'm not very good at counting. Should J get a brownie point for amazing mental aritmethic?)? So should a girl follow her heart and stay put, or follow her head and come home..?/td>

Friday, 13 October 2006

Closer

I mean the film. It's probably the most depressing piece of celluloid I've watched since "5x2" (that is "cinq fois deux" or something to you and me).

"If you believe in love at first sight, you never stop looking"
Something tells me that the director took the most painful breakups of his life (although let's face it, they're all painful) and amalgamated them into a film, only softened by the unrealistically good looks of the protagonists.

It was an interesting film too though; posing not very profound but quite poignant questions about what love is. What is the difference between falling in love, in lust or actually loving someone? Is there a difference?

It was kind of like Nick Hornby doing a Woody Allen; it was Manhattan, but a couple of decades on and with better dialogue.

There were a lot of good lines which could have been funny if they weren't so tragic. Things we all think of saying but mostly manage not to. "Why do you love her more than me?" "Because she doesn't need me." Or "He tasted like you, but sweeter." That kind of thing.

I was quite shaken and had to cry a little on J's shoulder before going to sleep.

Somehow I feel stuck between being The Girl in the film (who can just say "I don't love you anymore. Goodbye." and that's it - how nice it used to be to think that this is how love works) and being The Woman (who can be sensible and guilt tripped into making a decision she ultimately doesn't go back on).

I think I feel especially fragile because I broke up with my previous boyfriend around this time of year; or that is, I broke up with him a million times over in my head between October and New Year.

The words didn't make it out of my mouth until January.

I just remember that horrible Christmas; on about Boxing Day even his self-absorbed person realised that something was awfully wrong between us; he cried and I lied (saying I loved him; what else could I do, it was Chrismas!!). And the whole time I couldn't wait to get away from him and for there to be no "us" anymore.

And now I'm worried, deeply worried in that way that haunts your dreams so you wake up with grinding teeth and a headache, that J feels the same way.

He says he doesn't, but then again that's what I said.

Funny how other people lying to me doesn't seem to affect my trust in humanity, whereas me lying to someone clearly does.

At least he doesn't see the need to say that he loves me.

When I ask him if he wants us to stay together, he just hugs me tight and says "All I know is that I want to be happier".

Well, so do I.

But I also want to be closer.

Bonus Technorati tag:

Friday, 6 October 2006

But not like that

I realise I've renamed my blog "an eye for an eye", but I don't really hope to aspire to that principle in a biblical sense.

Iraq, for instance, is really depressing me today.

I think at least 15 US soldiers have died in the last 96 hours. A Danish soldier just died as well from injuries sustained yesterday.

That used to be a Hummer a few seconds ago
It's not the fact that they're "coalition" soldiers that makes their deaths particularly harrowing.

What makes me really shudder is thinking of all the relatively innocent civilians' deaths which are marked by those official military death tolls.

I really have to ask, what do the insurgents want? OK so obviously they want the US "occupation" to leave, but what then?

They have either not comprehended the enormousity of the task that rebuilding Iraq will be, or they don't care.

As attention gradually is diverted from killing US soldiers (which they do remarkably well) to killing each other, Iraq is descending into something which can't really be called civil war, as I'm sure most of the residents really just want to have peace so they can actually make some money from the oil wealth that lies at the root of all of this.

I look at the way the "resistance" run their groups, the way they post boasting "Top 100 Humvee bombings" videos online like immature Myspace kids bragging about getting laid last weekend.

Do they really think that this is what it takes to run a country? I never hear anyone from Ansar Al-Sunnah interviewed on Al-Jazeerah talking about their grand stategy for economy, education, health or anything else that would be central to rebuilding Iraq once the "occupation" is gone and all the "takfiris" eradicated.

I realise that I can't even begin to understand the frustration that some Sunnis in Iraq feel at the country going to the dogs after the fall of Saddam, but they really don't seem to have much of a better idea of how to run the country than the clueless US administration or their corrupt government.

All I can say is that wasting time, lives and resources on launching endless mortar attacks on "the enemy" hardly seems like a very constructive way forward. It is even debatable to what extent Iraq is actually "occupied".

I just re-watched the documentar "Murderball" about the US wheelchair rugby team, and although it is a strong story about the team taking on their arch-rivals Canada, what really sticks in my mind is a scene where they visit a rehab camp for Iraq veterans.

And the "veterans" are all kids. Really, kids. They all look like they're under 20, they are so young.

I'm sure this demographic is also applicable to the Iraq militants, who obviously also get maimed and killed left, right and centre.

The older, more experienced fighters either sit in a bunker directing operations safely away from the action, or are maybe better at avoiding getting injured when out in the field.

Is this the freedom that both Iraqis and the US is fighting for, the right of their young to lose their limbs to their fight of choice?

I wish I could say for sure that there is a better and more sensible way, but all I can say is that for the sake of all the young people of both nations, I really hope there is.

Thursday, 5 October 2006

Light at the end of tunnel

I think I've reached a small turning point.

To a great extent helped by J.

We went to bed tonight for a quickie, but at the end neither of us felt very horny (for him this of course completely normal, but I think you'll agree that it says something quite particular about my late state of mind) and we ended up having an extended cuddle session instead.

Light at the end of tunnel by holla back.

J was telling me about his plans once he starts work after his promotion comes into effect (yes, of course he's got a promotion, he's very clever, you know), saying he plans to stay in his new job for at least 18 months.

I felt very selfish and self-pitying but couldn't keep myself from saying "well, at least you have a plan in one field of your life."

I think it's the whole not knowing where I'll be working or if I'll be a lonely spinster at 30 that really gets to me.

"I know," he said.

"But I want you to know that I will also be staying with you for at least 18 months."

It helped a little.

Maybe it's an age thing, but more and more lately I've been obsessively conscious of how we only have one life. And it's very short.

When I was younger, I didn't really think about it.

I didn't explicitly think that I'd get the chance to have a 30-year long meaningful relationship (including travelling the world, a mortgage and children) with every man I've ever loved at some point, but nor was I explicitly aware that this would be physically impossible.

It really bothers me now; for some reason, the reason probably being my current frame of mind, I just feel an acute sense of loss, that I'll never be with all these wonderful people that I met at the wrong time or the wrong place.

It's not that I'm not happy where I am (OK, I know I'm miserable at the moment, but I do really love J), it's just that... I guess when my heart broke on each of those occasions, what got me through it was thinking that maybe, someday, we'd be able to be together the way we were meant to before circumstances pulled us apart.

Maybe I've followed my head too much and not my heart enough in letting my studies and carreer come between me and those I loved.

I don't mean that this happened to me in relationships where I simply didn't love the other person; I know the difference. It happened when I deeply loved someone that I just couldn't be with right there and then for whatever reason.

And, of course, relationships that are never tested out properly never lose that elusive box-freshness that disappears as soon as you share a fridge with someone for more than six months in a row.

I think I'm experiencing some late 20s growing pains at the moment. It really is very painful. I had a really easy teens, and apparently I'm being punished with a vengeance for not moping a decade ago.

But I'm getting on really well with J. I love him. We could build a wonderful life together, and if I wasn't feeling so down, I wouldn't be hearing all those voices of people I guess I unwittingly thought I'd have the chance to wake up next to at least one more time in my life.

There seems to be light at the end of the tunnel. And yes, I am really hoping it's not a coming train...

Tuesday, 3 October 2006

Same old, same old

Maybe we all only ever get to be in one relationship, ever.

All my relationships have been similar; I love them, they don't love me, after two years I get tired of this or worn out by their problems and I feel I have to leave.

I swear they stare at you
And then I do.

And I think I'm getting to that stage now.

Everything feels heavy today.

It has gotten progressively worse.

This morning, I went for a very lovely country walk with a friend; she's one of these great people who unlike most of the English population is not afraid to get soaked in the rain.

There is something deeply soothing about wading through mud, although there is something deeply disconcerted about being followed by a herd of bullocks for no apparent reason (as we were at one point).

Afterwards, when J came home, we walked to the grocery store and he bought me a whole apple pie despite my vow to slim down a bit (he thinks I don't need to) and then he made an absolutely gorgeous lamb chili which I argued actually tasted like a curry.

And that's when I collapsed. While he was cooking dinner, I gave in to the vague headache I'd felt all day and fell asleep on the sofa.

When I woke, the headache had got worse. And since then I've just felt really depressed. Or when I say 'just', that's actually a lie. I've also been incredibly restless and irritable.

I don't know what it is.

Oh of course I do; of course I know that I'm tired of his lack of commitment, of how all his energy is soaked into the black hole of his depression and low self-esteem.

I'm tired of asking that myriad of question to which the answer is always "I don't know", followed by a lip curl and a shrug.

But I swore to myself two years ago that this would not happen, that this time it wouldn't be it.

And I pray every day that my love for J and his affection for me, which he does express a hundred times a day in his own inadequate way, will be enough to see me through.

But sometimes, like today, I just don't know where I'll take the strength from.

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