Missing the Old Days


I’m feeling quite down tonight; I’m thinking of old times. Specifically I’m thinking about my time at University. A time before I was diagnosed with all my mental health problems. It was a simpler time. One that for one year was ABSOLUTELY perfect. Whenever I hear music from that time, it brings me right back. And my stomach fills with butterflies. 

I hated school you see. I never knew who I was. I was always an outcast. Sure, I had some friends but we were always people on the periphery. In fact, we probably never really liked each other that much. We just had nobody else. And when I left school, I said to myself that I’d never go back. It was over and I was only going to live for the future. 

When I started uni, I was really nervous. I barely touched alcohol. The most I had was a bit of Bacardi at Christmas and the ocassional Millers that my Mum bought me. I had to live off campus at the start at this satellite place. I was scared from being alone from my parents and I cried when my Dad left. I didn’t even know there was a bus that took me into uni and I thought I had to walk for ages and spend loads of money on trains to get where I needed to be. Luckily, when I went into the communal kitchen, I met some of my new housemates include this really great law student and one of the most beautiful girls I’ve ever known. I fancied her like crazy but she already had a boyfriend and I’m the sort of guy that respects that. Plus she was WAY out of my league. I got on really well with my new housemates and became friends though when I started my degree, I immediately met like minded people who I had made stronger bonds with. Some who I even speak to now. 

As time moved on, things got better. I moved to a halls of residence close to campus. I took my first venture to a union bar. Was coaxed to a club for the first time by some of my friends (I had a great time by the way); discovered one of my new flat mates had lovely boobs (no I never hooked up with her but clubs have interesting dress codes). I made some even closer friends. Became a music “expert”. Bought more CDs than ever before.  Went out to town with friends. Went to country pubs. I fell in love deeply for the first time (I met the girl I thought I was going to marry). I did well with my course. I had a social life. Hell, I was a student bar most nights. Life was the best it had ever been. 

I made the mistake of keeping in touch with one guy from school though. 

I was under the impression that we were friends. And I felt bad for him. He screwed up in his final year of school and redid his final year again. He originally wanted to do engineering but had a change of heart to do art instead. I wanted him to get ahead and I was loving uni life so I didn’t want him to miss out so I convinced him to apply to the neighbouring university. I wanted to share the happiness. He got into the university and I was happy for him. Plus he would be living with us. I should have known that was a bad idea from the time he visited us. But I was idealistic. Naive. Happy. 

In the following two years, the happiness I had collapsed. He took over. He influenced other friends of mine and I partly blame him for one guy underachieving with dreams of bands and stuff. He made a play on the girl I was in love with and told her crap about me. She met another guy the day he first visited me and she ended up marrying him. She even has a child with him. That broke my heat probably the worst. And after the end of the second year where I drank too much, thought hard about killing myself and being genuinely miserable, I nearly decided to never go back. My good deed ended up ruining my life. My degree was in tatters. And in the third year, well the third year I ended up consolidating. I shut myself off from the world. I cried a lot. I lived in hope that I could still get a good enough grade for medical school but it was too little too late. I left uni heartbroken, completely messed up and failing to achieve what I wanted to. And all that I am left with are these amazing tunes that remind me of that perfect year. 

These days, my OCD and depression are the worst they have been.  I’m socially anxious. Hell, I’m anxious about everything and I’ve lost touch with most of my friends. A knock on effect of the shame of flunking and the pain I went through. I can no longer drink beer with gluten in. In fact, I can’t eat anything with gluten in. I never leave the house unless I’m going to hospital. My life is a shadow of that great time. 

I look back it all and it to this day day, even though it happened over ten years ago haunts me. I think of what I lost. What I had. What I could have had. God it hurts so much. 

Music and depression 

I don’t know whether you have ever experienced this. But something that I have noticed with me, especially during my darkest days was the way I used music to accompany my depression. And when I say accompany, I don’t mean to soothe or to relax me. I listen to the music almost as if I want to encourage my depression on. It’s like I’m saying “come on! Take me under”. And I don’t quite know why that is.

I have clear recollections of being at my lowest. That deep low that only depression can take you where you want to do anything to stop the pain. Or at least that’s what I tell myself. In fact, what I was doing was more like punishing myself. Picking songs deliberately that struck a chord. Songs that reflected my mood in ways that I could verbalise. Or songs that highlighted how I’m alone, heartbroken, distraught or a failure. I can remember when I was cheated on how I would purposefully play songs that reminded me of her. It hurt. It hurt a lot. It broke me down and I don’t quite not know why I did it. It deliberately caused me pain. Part of me thinks I did it because I thought I deserved the pain. I’m a failure and that I deserve this. So listen to the damn music.

And when I have been really low about other things. The same again. I’ve listened to songs about the futility in trying and giving up when I’ve just wanted to give up. Encouraging myself to push me over the edge. It’s a bizarre, dark road that I sometimes lead myself down.

These days I still hate myself. Nothing much has changed there. And the fact that I can’t find love hurts me dearly. I look at some people who are mean and cruel or other negative things and see them woman after woman and no one even looks at me twice. It’s probably because I’m ugly and fat although no one would dare say that to my face (well, actually one girl did but that’s another story!). But now, I try to avoid that music. Living with my illnesses is more than enough punishment without punishing myself more. Sometimes that means I don’t listen to music for a while. But it’s better this way.

Do any of you ever turn to dark music when you are down?

Dating: WTF

“I have experienced bad dating and ineptitude with women all across the globe, from Vietnam to Paris. When I was 21, women were an enigma; they were this code that had to be cracked. They were ‘The Other.’ I have often thought writing this stuff into stand-up and shows would be an exorcism, but it hasn’t been; it makes no difference”
Stephen Merchant

So dating, huh? It’s rather mad. I’m 32 years old now and it still does my head in. I still don’t get the rules. 

Everyone keeps telling me that I need to get out there and meet someone. My mum jokes that she wants grand kids soon. I hear you Mum! But dating is far from easy, despite what people say. And it’s even harder if you have an anxiety disorder. 

But anyway, I don’t want to make this post about my anxiety issues or even my other underlying health issues (a slight segway here but I do have some other immune system issues that make getting around less easy than I’d like). I want it to be about dating and the crazy dating game.

Now I’m a fat guy. Not just a little chubby either but a decent sized belly. I have my reasons for this and I’m sure some folk could debate their validity but that isn’t the point here. Dating would baffle me regardless of my weight. It’s just that being heavy means that less women are interested. Fair enough. If you want to judge my suitability as a partner on the basis of my shape, then good luck finding what you are looking for. But that’s not my concern. My concern is about finding my happiness. 

Anyway, I digress. 

So dating is confusing. My current situation doesn’t permit me a lot of elbow room either. I don’t really socialise. I don’t go to bars or clubs or do any evening courses etc. I work long hard hours and then I zone out. This might be part of my problem but I’m not going to be able to change that easily because I’m not well enough to be spontaneously going out and too anxious to make a move in person anyway. My mum swears one time when I was out with her, there was a girl in the Apple Store making a play for me and I didn’t even notice. That or she is blind. I often find it incomprehensible to imagine someone being attracted to me. Yeah, my confidence is not good.

I have tried online dating a couple of times too. Once with a free site and once with a paid. That’s weird. I get really nervous and vulnerable whenever I put myself out there in a message and I’ll check my phone repeatedly in the hope that someone is interested. And I get really sad when I get rejected because in my head, when someone says “you aren’t my type” or that they aren’t interested, in my head I’m hearing “sorry but you are too fat for me or boring”. Consequently I’ve avoided online dating for a while. Rejection hits me hard. 

I genuinely don’t know what to do. Dating is crazy and I know it’s mad for most people. Maybe a fat man can’t find love? I’ve got some crazy stories to tell at least, from the woman who from an online dating site, who was situated in Nevada, kept messaging me how I was her dream guy but lived too far away. I never understood why she even bothered messaging me ! Is it me or is dating just too hard these days? How do you find it?