My issue with Time.
This time it is an even bigger issue. I seem to have lost 30 years of my life.
In 2018, I was woken up after falling into a coma when I was 13.
For the last six months, I have been entertaining this radical thought.
There is a core part of me that cannot quite grasp what has been happening to me for the last 25 years or so.
I did discover alcohol, Marlboro Red’s and recreational pharmaceuticals then, progressing up the drug taking leaderboard until I stopped in 2006 and then I eventually quit drinking in December 2012.
I don’t drink because I am alcoholic, get quickly addicted and don’t know when to stop.
These days I’m addicted to words, Bulletproof Coffee and watching Marvel Comic book movies with my son, life is good.
Talking About Stopping
A few weeks ago, I was talking with Amelie, my therapist, about ending our sessions. She brought it up, and I was glad she did.
I was already wondering how to end the relationship. I don’t want it to end, but it has been six years now. I have mixed feelings about therapy, and this has been going on for quite some time.
I have grown to love deadlines and boundaries, and I was starting to think where the timeline for therapy ended.
Amelie and I have a box on the floor of our therapy room that has everything I need to deal with, folded in it.
We don’t always talk about the box contents. Sometimes we look in there and it is emptier than we thought.
When we found the box, I knew there was an ‘Evil Beast’ in it that I had to slay.
I was able to recognize the creature as it is the same one that Steven Pressfield revealed in Do The Work.
The Evil Beast
The Evil Beast it is the resistance.
It is the self-destructive, frustratingly mind-bending resistance that holds me and everything I can do back, and strangles it into a little box.
It is the self-destructive force that kicks anyone who has ever loved me or wanted to do something with me in the face.
Knocked them over and kicked them in the gut, and then set fire to all their hopes and dreams, just to make sure they hit the point of no return.
It is the epic swirl of confusion that seems to occupy the middle of my heart and head when I want or need to focus on or express something important to me.
You think I am exaggerating. Until I started spending Tuesday afternoons with Amelie in Stratford, this is what I endured.
I had worked out over this year what Jim Carey meant when he said, “You could fail at want you don’t want, so you might as well take the chance on doing what you love.”
“You could fail at want you don’t want, so you might as well take the chance on doing what you love.” Jim Carey
Increasingly, I have worked out a way to do things I love. This does not mean they are comfortable, and also working this out has a knock on effect for people around me that is often not kind.
Failing with things I love is way easier to accept than failing at things, and then getting angry at myself for working on that which I hate, and then getting them wrong.
That is precisely a double kick in the head.
Suddenly, I can work on something and notice when it is hard because I am trying to work it out, or have gotten to the edge of my learning on that.
We both help each other through the story, to seek the edges and feed each other ideas when our paths get blocked.
A few years ago, we might have felt we were shit. Now we can see that we are about to break through on the story of a podcast, or film, or even our website or blog.
My life now…
Last summer, I spent a week without antidepressants for the first time in five years. I had been cutting down for ages. Every time I tried to stop, I had a meltdown.
You might be thinking, “was it real, or was it my meltdown?” I could not function. Supercoolwife and #Babybernie went to Spain to stay with my brother-in-law, and I dug in for a week of space to see how it went.
I needed space. Also, I was very sure I did not want to be popping antidepressants for the rest of my life.
I’m always amazed at the concern I have for taking legal, mind-altering drugs, supplied by the NHS, compared with the previous version of myself years ago that would snort any powder you put on a mirror in front of me. Lick any wrap of magic dust, or pop a pill.
So I went cold turkey (ish), and after a week, I felt like I had woken from a particularly bad dream and hangover.
I kept checking my mood; journaling and tracking my progress, and everything started to work.
I was expecting never to be able to get out of bed; to have a filthy stinking temper and be committed to blaming everyone else for anything that went wrong. From a nuclear reactor bleeding into a river near a school to someone taking my seat on the train.
Nope, all good.
Do I Hate Christmas?
Amelie and I started to reflect on the last six years. I could not get my head around it.
I have been married 12 years, been a father for six years, and been in therapy for six years. All of these things still seemed very new, and something I’m getting used to; like the amazing modern flat or local cafe.
I kept looking for the other me to say, “What had happened? Look! You have all this!”
There are many things I will never be able to get back. Friendships I trashed, moments needed to have handled better, and trips I could have made.
Somehow this is all okay. I have taken a few very deep and painful breaths, and let it go.
Amelie and I have been talking about Christmas annually for six years, and have never really unpicked why I hate and loathe this time of year.
All The Best
We started talking again this year, and I volunteered the information that I had not enjoyed Christmas since I was something like 13; about the time Paul McCartney’s “All the Best” album came out.
I bought the tape for my sister, and she bought it for me too!
I can’t even recall what happened there, but I have fallen into a fit of depression and deep dark thinking yearly since then.
Of course, you are thinking, maybe I’d have been better with a George Harrison tape.
Right now, I can’t wait for January 2018. For the first time since my sister gave me a Paul McCartney album in the 80’s, I am looking forward to the year ahead.
I have been walking around trying to work out where to kick off again in this blog, and I think it is here.
I made a grand declaration a few weeks ago on this blog here, and then got stuck.
We have been working on this ‘stuckness’ in my Fizzle mastermind group about how to get a specific project going, and another week has nearly gone by. I have a Google Drive full of podcast interviews to hit publish on and blogs to post.
So now I have found my voice, and it feels like I can use it.
That is what happened when I woke up from my 30-year coma.
Also published on Medium.