Ever been handed something valuable and it just slipped out your hands onto the floor? I have been thinking more and more lately that the summer feels like one of those things, that somehow I can't hold on to without juggling it, but it turns to sand and I am trying not to let the sand all fall to the floor, but failing. I keep trying to catch the sand and it keeps slipping out. That is what my life feels like.
It is August and yet it feels like the winter is rushing up like a high speed train. I wanted the summer to be better. Because if the summers aren't worth living for, what does that make the winters?
I lost all sense of perspective. Golf became the thermometer of my life, and my golf has been terrible this year. The thing I rely on to bring me some pleasure, some escape from myself, has turned into something that has just made me more frustrated and miserable. My golf holiday preceded by high anxiety over how badly I was playing (despite playing more and more golf, and having more and more lessons - I was regressing though!). The holiday itself miserable as I played badly. Coming back a relief, and an emptiness. What do I do for fun if I play sport badly?
I have been in a relationship for five months. My longest ever without trying to end it, or actually ending it. Wow, a whole five months (said sarcastically).....Being in relationship just brings up a whole load of other stuff. If I hate myself, it is tough to expect anyone else to love me. If I struggle to make it through the day, how do I explain to someone that actually I genuinely don't know what I want in any given moment other than to not be here?
Why is life so hard for so many people? Why have 2.5m people been to this site in the last year? I wish I knew the answers to this question. All I have worked out is that the only time I feel OK is when I don't have time to think. When I am busy at work, or rushing to do personal stuff. Nothing good comes of my own thoughts right now. I can deal with structure and commitment. That's it. There is something safe in that. Not having to work out what I want to do, what I like. Not be on holiday. Not have a day off. Not to have a moment without something to do. I just have to think of something to do, and do it, without thinking. Or better still, be asked to do something.
Work has been quiet. The company is not having a great year. I am bored, and that's not good. I am thinking of leaving to work somewhere else. After 16 years and being CEO that is almost like telling your own family you have had enough and walking out. I do that in relationships - not jobs! What's happening to me. But a busy, high pressure job suits me. Less time to think. Just do....It's a risk. The safe to the unknown. Maybe I'll hate it, and the one constant in my life, work, will crumble. Then what?
I am still in therapy. Five year anniversary came and went. I don't like therapy, yet it is the summer break and I miss it. There is something supportive about it. Maybe some hope that things are incrementally changing, although it doesn't really feel like it.
I don't know why I am writing this blog today. I have been avoiding my website for months. I can't face the amount of stuff that needs doing on the site. The job is so big I can't cope with even starting it. Because I don't have to do it you see, and stuff I don't have to do doesn't get done. Although I'd like to have something to show for my life.
I have realised I can't win with this blog. If I am down, I feel deeply ashamed of it. On so many levels, including wanting to give people who read it hope. I want people to know it will be OK. That we all have a chance of feeling happy. I want to know that too! Maybe living another 13 years after trying to end my life does give people hope. Maybe not actually thinking about killing myself is progress. Who the hell knows.
If I write a blog article in those moments I feel happy, I feel guilty. Yes, perhaps it gives people hope, but it is disconnected from how most people visiting the site feel. Who the hell am I to foster my happiness on the suicidal.
So I am just me. I am scared that if anyone who knows me reads this they will hate me, or pity me, or split up with me. They get the pretend me. The one that looks happy enough and well adjusted. That makes some pretence at looking successful and OK with life. People that see me in a relationship with a lovely girl and think - he's making progress. Whilst inside I feel a failure and don't like life at all. I'm unravelling, bit by bit - on the inside. If only people knew....
I always feel like I want to give readers some words of hope. If I said it will all be fine you'd ignore it anyway. Here's all I know. For some people, life is a real struggle. It may be because your life circumstances are bad. Your health is bad. Or because your mind is bad. And in many ways, it does not make any difference which one of those it is. Because if you could easily fix it, you would. Of course you would.
Some people are ready to check out. Some people want to, they really want to. But they also know as long as they stay living, maybe there is some small chance life will improve. I guess I must be one of those people, although mostly I wish I didn't have to live. But I am. I am accepting the struggle by my lack of motivation to end it. And maybe the next post will be happier one, just to prove it isn't all bad. Until then, it is simply one foot after the after.