If you like, you can put this song while you read on for some atmosphere and to get a feeling for where I am at in my lowest moments. Please stick with me until the end – I know it’s long but hopefully it will be worth it :/
It’s Movember. A time where a crap-load of blokes in Australia grow a mustache to raise awareness for men’s health. A fantastic idea and a fantastic initiative.
I didn’t grow a ‘mo’, partly because I have bad allergies and growing a ‘mo’ surely would only make that worse. I offered Amanda the theory that I may be allergic to my own hair. She replied by saying ‘maybe don’t ever say that out loud in public.’
Thanks for the understanding.
But seriously I didn’t grow a ‘mo’ for that reason and for the fact that I simply don’t like the way they look.
Yes I just said that. I won’t grow a mustache in support of men’s health because I don’t like the way they look.
There is nothing wrong with that, it’s only human.
So when I decided to write a post on men’s health for Movember I decided that I would talk about my own struggle. You know, give a little bit of myself to it.
Lately I’ve been struggling.
It hasn’t been an end of the world struggle or anything overly serious. It’s been more of a realisation that I’ve been getting pissed off a lot more lately with people and more frustrated and uncertain with myself. Inevitably when I get pissed off, then frustrated with myself, it is followed by the feeling of being sad and down.
The other day Amanda’s mother said something to me which made everyone laugh. ‘I think that you are smart but your mind always races.’
This is probably one of the truest statements anyone has ever said about me. A racing mind + feeling sad and down is not a great combination.
So why this underlying sadness? Why this underlying melancholy?
It starts with the freeway. I’ve been busy lately and have been driving in to work to get some extra hours in my day.
If you’re driving at the speed limit on the freeway in Perth at 6am – 6.30am, then you can be guaranteed that 80% of the cars on the road will be passing you. For those of you wondering, my speedo works fine.
So what is this strange phenomenon?
Well after it went around my head 6 million times I came to this conclusion.
PEOPLE IN PERTH ARE A BUNCH OF SPOILT ARROGANT FUCKHEADS LIVING IN A BUBBLE WITH TICKETS ON THEMSELVES AND WE ARE ALL TRYING TO GET AHEAD OF EACH OTHER BECAUSE WE ARE SO FOCUSED ON MONEY, WEALTH, STATUS AND BEING AWESOME THAT WE WILL HAPPILY OR SUBCONSCIOUSLY DISREGARD THE ROAD RULES BECAUSE WHO ACTUALLY GIVES A SHIT IF THEY ARE THERE TO SAVE LIVES WHEN THERE IS SOMEWHERE WE NEED TO BE AND WE CAN GET THERE SLIGHTLY QUICKER.
In a lot of ways life is a freeway. Driving down a long road, negotiating, scuffling for position, trying to get ahead where you can, pushing people out of your way, fighting people, doing the right thing…oh wait…
It’s times like this where I feel like an astronaut. Disconnected as if my support has been cut and I’m floating away in space, watching the world get smaller. What else can this behavior be but selfishness? I mean surely every one of these jokers can’t be on the way to hospital with their wife leaking water in the passenger seat?
I have been so focused on the things that upset me lately that I ride this constant roller-coaster.
My mind races.
I’ll stop for someone on a cross walk and if they don’t acknowledge it I’ll despise their character. Not because they should say thanks. Because I would have.
I’ll get shitted off when I listen to the news and hear about electricity companies putting up their prices again because, wait for it, too many people are using solar power and it’s cutting into their profits.
I look at the people that lead our country and think, what an absolute stinking, childish, shit slinging, below the belt hitting, lying, word twisting, he-said-she-said, loathsome, pathetic pack of animals.
I fill up with petrol and see that it’s nearly $1.50 per litre and think sarcastically hell why not put it up to $2.50 a litre? What are the little people going to do about it, not drive? They’ll just put up the price of bus tickets anyway. Twist this screw and if that stops working, twist the other one. But hang on, why on earth do I even care about the little people? Aren’t they the same people out there on the freeway pissing me off? Who’s side am I actually on here?
That’s the outer struggle, here’s the inner one.
I’ll tunnel in on someone who I feel has been aloof with me. Usually it happens when I like someone and think they don’t feel the same about me. Or maybe they think I’m OK but they are just not that interested in being my friend. Perhaps they already have enough friends and I’m just a nice acquaintance. My dad once told me ‘Rory, you’ll find out one day that you can count your good friends on 1 hand.’ So why am I still trying to have 700?
Did you know that I’m a compulsive liker on Facebook? Jesus Christ I’m liking just about everything I bloody see. People probably think seriously is there anything this guy doesn’t actually like? Oh wow he liked my status, biiiiigg, freeeaaaakkkkiiiinnng, deeeeaaaaaaal. Or even worse – I can’t believe he liked my status. What are all my cool friends going to think???
Then I’m reading a comment string that seems to shut down after I leave a comment. God forbid if you were one of the prior commenters, you’re on my shit list because that’s just mean that you haven’t acknowledged mine.
This one’s for my friends.
Have you and I been having a conversation that involved texting back and forth several times? Don’t worry, I’m not trying to have the last word. It’s just that if I don’t respond to your last text I’ll spend the next 16 hours thinking I’ve offended you. The only other alternative is for me to say something like ‘Hahah that’s the best yet, I’m off to bed. Have a good one!’ That’s so you don’t have to feel obliged to continue the conversation. Then I’ll spend the next 16 hours wondering if I offended you with a perceived brush off. And all I was really trying to do was not offend you by saving you the discomfort of thinking that you might have just offended me.
It’s OK, tomorrow I might just flick you a funny text or email just to make sure you’re still talking to me. Nothing like starting a weird cycle again.
But what if you don’t respond? That’s when ‘shit gets real.’
Why didn’t he/she respond?
[Spend far too much of the day worrying about why that person didn’t respond] haha!
Sometimes that person responds later. We have a highly entertaining conversation. Now how is this going to end without that person possibly getting offended?
The thing is, I needed to sit down and work out what the hell was going on.
That’s when I realised.
It’s me, it’s me, it’s me, it’s me…
It’s me, it’s me, it’s me, it’s me…
It’s me, it’s me, it’s me, it’s me…
I am an I/ENFJ.
But I’m also in the grey area between being an introvert and an extrovert. That’s the I/E bit.
Do you have any idea what this means?
Well put it this way.
HEY, HEY, HEY! Look at me!!! Look at me! I’m saying heaps of stuff and doing a whole shit load of things for attention…
….oh no everyone is looking at me. Why is everyone looking at me? I just wan’t to be alone. Someone point me to the nearest black hole.
I’m feeling sad and down again.
You see, I am the kind of person who gets his energy and inspiration from other people. I draw energy from the people around me. Watch out if you’re close to me. I might just suck you dry. That’s classic extrovert. And that is exactly the way I am with the people who I’m close to.
But then there is this other side of me. It’s the part of me who is extremely shy around people I don’t know. I can also be a little intimidated by people with big personalities. And sometimes I just wan’t to be on my own. I need to be on my own on a regular basis.
So what happens when at some point your focus moves from those loved ones around you to others who you aren’t quite comfortable with, with those who’s stories you don’t truly know?
I think the extrovert in me was still drawing energy from people, but in the wrong way, feeding on the negativity born of my failure to understand them.
And then the introvert in me started building a cocoon, and barricading myself off so I could be sad and alone while giving me time to focus on that negativity in a more aggressive fashion.
And my mind was racing.
And I was sad and down.
In one of those sad and down times, just today, I found the source of the problem. I had forgotten who I actually was.
In the past, indeed for most of my life, aside from all of my shortcomings, my imperfection, my humanity, I have always managed to see the best in people. But somewhere along the line I lost that. I started judging the world and looking down on peoples failings.
As I did that, I collected those failings and made them part of myself.
Those failings merged with me and dampened my spirit. At the same time they diluted that ever fragile inner certainty, and the love I once had for myself.
And since then I have been struggling.
My mind will race forever, but in this one moment of clarity, I feel it, it slows.
I will find the good in people again.
Down that path lies the discovery of my true self. The ‘E’ or the ‘I’.
My happiness has never been fueled by money, nor status.
It has always been fueled by people.
My struggle will always be with people. With the ones out there whom I share this world with but will never know well enough to understand. With the people who I am close to whose energy I take, riding the waves with them when they drop to their lows.
So too, my struggle will also always be with the inner workings of myself.
I get high. I get low. I get lost inside. I want to be alone…
…only to discover I don’t want to be lonely.
That’s when I hope you might be there as I reach out a hand. For I am not an alien, I too am human.
I am a person. One of you.
So to the people on the freeway, it’s not you, it’s me. I just had to show you, what I was thinking.
To the people whom with I just can’t connect or simply don’t like me…That’s OK, it’s really none of my business.
To the ones close to me, thank you. You will always be the ones who carry me through my life. Forgive me the times I sucked you dry then pushed you away. Credit me for the lows that I rode with you.
And to Movember, thanks for giving me a chance to confront this inner struggle. Something I’ve been ignoring for far too long.
Wow. I think I just started to work out …
…who the hell I am.