Dissolving Myself

I started to lose my sense of who I am the 2nd day I got here; I had hoped I would have had the internal tools to last a bit longer. But it seems I slotted into my disappearing act quite effortlessly. All I can describe it as being “dissolving” a separating, a detachment…but not in a recovery sense. I separated myself from myself to the extent that I did not know or see my surroundings. I lived inside of myself to escape myself.

As I arrived at Madrid airport I had left a lot of baggage waiting for me. Not actual luggage but memories. I hoped there would be some good memories there but as I passed through them, as I sat on the bus traveling to the flat, I passed through space and time, and I journeyed through feelings and memories, like a ghost passing through me. But I found no happiness in those memories only loneliness, a sad ghost.

I am alone here. The girlfriend I came and see is working. I have begun to think of her as a “workaholic” but I should not think or write about her here, it is me obsessing about her again, putting the blame onto another, and this is a sign of co-dependency. But the truth is she works a lot, and I am alone a lot. And when I am alone I try and occupy my time creatively.

I used to do this by continuing my work as I did in the UK; and I used to go for bike rides and to do my research. But here I am escaping my surroundings, I am not a part of my surroundings, it is not work, it is an addiction. I am doing these activities to cover up the feelings inside; the feelings of loneliness and emptiness.

It is a very confusing situation being a co-dependent as well as an addict, the two are interchangeable and I often find myself the addict and the co-dependent at the same time. I look after my girlfriend while she works, but the work follows her home and she does not stop.

For example the first morning I got here I slept late, I was very tired. I slept until 12 noon; my girlfriend had woken earlier and done some things…but not her job/work. When I woke she started to work at her lessons and when I went to the supermarket she wanted to work more. When I returned I asked her if she wanted to take-in the last of the daylight and perhaps go for a coffee, she said she needed to work, but she said she would stop working at 9pm and we can watch a film together. At 9pm she was still working and by 10.30pm she was still working and she only stopped as I decided to watch the film without her. She stopped her work then but resumed it after the film was finished. She got to bed at 1.30pm. So about 12 hours of work virtually nonstop, we had spent no time together that day.

But where does that leave me? I come here to see her and spend some time with her, I do not want to be here, and this is how it has been for 8 years. I occupy my time but I do it not out of interest but because I need to do something while she is working. Yesterday was the same, she left at 9am and returned at 9pm and worked until 11pm and we had little time together. I spent my day writing and walking and looking on the internet, but I was lonely all that day and it is the same today, she works from 9am to 9pm.

So I try and fight this loneliness by forgetting myself and the easiest way to do this is via the internet. This is where it is becoming blurred, as I believe the internet is an addiction. Or it can be an addiction for certain people. Since I acknowledge I have an addictive personality I am aware of this potential problem, but others do not.

In the UK I do not carry a mobile around with me, I do not have instant access to the internet 24/7, and I make myself exercise by incorporating it into my daily activities. But I live with someone who is addicted to the internet and to technology… and it becomes more confusing as she works as a computer programmer!

For her technology is part of her normal life and her business life, there is no break, there is no alternative. I do not really know if she sees it as a problem, but for me it is a problem, it affects me and it influences my life to such a degree, that I dislike it, I dislike my life.

It is useless to ask someone to recognize they have an addiction however minor, if they do not see it themselves; then it will always be someone else’s problem. So I am not going to chase after them recommending self-help books or asking them to realize that they have an addiction to work and technology; that all of this is pushing our relationship onto the rocks. I have done it before… but it did not have any result. I am here, but I hate it. Perhaps that shows I have already seen the problem from the outside, and I am not living inside the problem any longer… I do not know?

The real problem I am facing right now is I am dislocating myself from my surroundings; I am obsessing and thinking negative thoughts about her, me and life in general. It is not healthy.

Afraid to Say No

Why am I going, and what for? I have even lost the reasons, why I am travelling to see someone? I keep asking myself for reasons, why I am going to Spain? I hate travelling now, I used to love it, but now I hate it. So if I am not going for the love of travel, if I am not going for the love on the culture and country I am visiting, if I am not going for the experience. Why am I going?

I feel inside like I am “kicking and screaming” not to go. Like I am being dragged there, as though it is an obligation; to please others, or just to please one person. Only one person is getting a kick out of this, and it is not me.

When I am in Spain I ask myself “who am I”? I really ask myself that question, as I do not know who I am when I am there; I lose my confidence, I lose my identity. It is a horrible feeling not to know ones identity…to admit that to myself.

When people ask me “what is your job?” or “what have you been doing?” I freeze; I am blank inside, I say to myself “should I answer them with a funny comment”? Or perhaps I should engage them in a meaningful conversation of what they mean by ‘work’? An internal argument follows until I get so sick of it. I am afraid of these questions, as I do not know the answer, as I do not know who or what I am.

I am justifying myself to myself and to others, I am trying to have an explanation of who I am and why I am there. But the truth is I do not know who I am or what I am doing there any more; because I am there for someone else. I am not there by choice, I am not there because I wish or desire to go. In fact it is the opposite, I am there because I feel I have to go, obliged to go, a duty to go.

I hate the whole process of travelling these days, it is so stressful. Tonight is the first time I am leaving the UK overland, and not flying out. Because I hate flying now, the whole experience is stressful from the UK, it is humiliating and confrontational.

I have suffered too much with nervous exhaustion and anxiety. So now I am getting out of the UK overland, so I can fly from Belgium. It is crazy eh? I think it is crazy. All that time and effort to go somewhere (where I do not wish to go), only to find I have lost my identity, so I can please another person. When I think of it like this I am stupid, really stupid.

I can’t say “No” I feel guilty to say “No, I am not coming this time…or any time soon”. I cannot say it. Why? Am I afraid to disappoint? Do I have good enough reasons not to go? What am I doing here (in the UK) to justify me not going? Am I being realistic? Am I being depressive? Is it an illness or part of my illness that causes me to think like that? What if I just go and take what comes…like a paper bag blown in the wind (again); with no direction or plan what to do when I am there?

I do not know why I want to stay in one place right now; maybe it is because since 1983 I have been travelling, living out of a rucksack…sleeping here, there and everywhere. Maybe this is why I am so tired…so tired inside. I want to stay in 1 place, and I want some security. For the past 9 years I have been “commuting” to Spain every month, a month here, a month there…back and forwards like a yo-yo. I cannot start anything here, nor can I start anything there. I am constantly going backwards and forward to please others, to fulfil a duty to others, and not to myself.

I have become so dizzy, the only place I think of home is 25.000ft in the air with ryanair! I do all this because I have to…that’s how I see it. I do not have a choice…that’s how I see it. I was afraid to say “No”. I keep “chickening out” when the time comes; I intend to say “enough is enough I cannot do this any more” but when I am confronted by the guilt I say “OK, this time”, does that make me a liar…to myself?

Planning not to Organize

In the summer of 2017 I sort of had a melt down. I do not call it a breakdown, it was not that drastic. It was more of a semi-break down. I liken it to when your computer “hangs”; it stalls and does not move. I have to knock it off at the mains and re-boot it.

All my life I had been making plans, I was a one for making lists and planing a future, and putting those plans into action. For example I was a traveller, I was the organizer of summer holidays to the nature, camping, travelling etc. The summer of 2017 I had come from a folk festival in Glasgow/Scotland and I was full of energy, I was buzzing with plans and ideas and enthusiastic attainable goals. I had other plans for that summer too and that trip to Glasgow had helped me to face them all.

Then one after the other those plans did not happen. I found myself cancelling them, or finding reasons not to go. My girl-friend was visiting me and we were going to go on these travels together. It was her holidays, her free time.

But each plan turned into stagnation, and I got really confused. I felt I could not organize anything any more. I could not make a decision as they did not happen. I could not even decide on simple things around the house. My girl-friend wanted to go places and I was making excuses not to go. In the end I gave the responsibility to her. I could not do anything myself so I said “if you want to go on holiday please arrange it as I can not seem to do so at the moment”. She did not/could not and we stayed home. Even local events were beyond our organizing.

I did not know what was happening to me. I just could not organize anything or make any decision; even think what I would do that day. This feeling lasted for weeks, even when my girl-friend had gone home I still could not function properly.

In September it was my turn to visit my girl-friend, but I made the decision not to go. I had been going to Spain for years to see her, but this time I had to tell her I could not go, I can not face the organization of the tickets, of the journey, or the physical movement to go. She was disappointed but she understood, I was burned out. I did not feel good about that decision either, was I being stupid? I was letting people down in Spain also, people I had made plans to meet.

So I stayed home in the UK, and I have been home (at my parents house) for months. Not going out, not going anywhere. Just staying in my room, reading and writing. I needed to stay still, I could not face organizing anything any more that involved travelling. I just needed to be by myself. to stop the world from spinning, to centre myself and to take some control of staying “together”.

Those months alone led me to write this blog. Being alone in my room has brought up a lot of issues I have been experiencing over a number of years. Issues I have not faced, feelings I have ignored, a feeling of living my life for others. Now I feel anger, I feel a sense of loss and regret; I also feel a finality and powerlessness.

In September/October 2017 I had two occasions when I wanted to kill myself. On both occasions felt an urge, a split second of utter willingness, to turn my bicycle into the path of an on coming car.  I did not, because I also felt in that split second that death is the same as life. There is no difference, both are meaningless. Both require energy and a will, and I did not believe it was any good to do either…to live or to die, it was the same.

Things have gotten better since then, as I decided to stay home and be by myself, and that has given me a time to reflect and get myself together a little bit. Now I feel I can venture out to visit my girl-friend and to make a commitment to try and change my life. I do not believe I will find a “happy ever after” solution. No way. But I just hope I can find a reason to be…a purpose to my existence.

Festive Duties

I am not into Xmas or New Year’s Eve festivities, also I am not into birthdays, or any occasion where I believe people are getting together and enjoying themselves. It is not because I am alone…and lonely (which I am); it is also not because I dislike other people enjoying themselves (which I do). It is because I feel time passing.

I have had this feeling since a teenager, a feeling of time slipping away and I am loosing out on life. I can not define what life is, but it is a feeling of me loosing it. It feels like I am not being a part of something that is important. Or having missed an opportunity, something important to my future.

It is also a feeling of passing by, of neglect and missing. I long for that festive occasion to happen and when it comes I would be able to share in it, for it to enhance me and to nurture me, and to share it with others. I would be a different person by sharing the experience. But it never does and all I receive is a regret and a sense of loss, of time passing, and of urgency to catch up and to replace the time that has escaped me (which is impossible of course).

as a youngster I remember my birthdays and Xmas’s as being a happy affair, and now I see them as a lonely affair. So am I missing the the past, the feeling of belonging and being a part of something? Or is it just a feeling of being the centre of attention? Opening the presents and being loved? That I miss?

I did not have a great childhood, my parents fought all the time, but there was a truce at Xmas’s and birthdays and we all had a sense of belonging and families coming together. My parents and my uncles/aunts/cousins all used to meet up and our Xmas’s lasted for 3 days. I guess it is like this in the USA when I hear of the “thanks giving” festivities; families coming together (at least in theory) and sharing some time together. My Xmas used to be like that, of people coming together. On birthday we had the local kids come round, friends came round, we played games and ate, drank and we had a good time; and I felt part of a family, and an extended family.

But even then I remember one occasion when I had to choose between staying with my friends and an offer to go on an outing with my cousins. I choose the stay with my friends. The offer went by and my cousins left. A few minutes later my friends went home, and I had chosen wrong. I was alone. That feeling of loss, of loosing an opportunity, making a bad decision, of not being with people; as acute then as it is now.

Life is so different now. I spend my birthdays alone, and even giving myself a “treat” or doing something different is always done alone. There is no one I can share these occasions with, well no one close by. Xmas I share with my parents, but it is not the same as sharing it with someone who is on the same “wave length” as your self; it is not the same. I come home for them, I do it for them. I guess I would be somewhere else if I had the choice. On New Year’s eve my mother goes to a local dance, and I sit at home.

I do have that choice of course, of not coming home; but I have a sense of duty, or my sense of what duty is; I should be there for them. But I am not sure if I am doing them any good? I am not doing myself any good that’s for sure. But I have this feeling of “being there for them”. I am trying to take care of them in my own way, but maybe I am “care-taking” them, giving up my life so they can be happier? But it is so hard to break away, especially the older they get…and the older I get. Their home has become my home, and they like the security I bring to the house and I find it harder to establish myself away from the family home.

So no solutions, no New Years resolutions, just the same numbness and no plans.

Introduction

This is the excerpt for your very first post.

Sometimes a feeling of deep depression over comes me. When this happens I get desperate and I turn to others for help. But I find the people I turn too for help either can not help or they are no longer there.  So I am alone.

When I find I am on my own, I get very desperate inside. I turn to other things to escape from my feelings. This used to be drink, I drank alcohol a lot, then I gave it up, unless I am in a situation where I have no choice…but more of this later.

The people I turn too can not help me. Why? because I believe I can only help me.  Because however much I try and get other people to “fix me” I know it is not true. This emptiness and depression is inside of me. Wanting others to fill that void is why I get into situations that I can not get out of, and I get my self into a mess, and I am co-dependent.

But although I know what needs to be done, I can not fix it? How can you experience something you have never had before. where there is no “experience” of… it is like there is an alternative universe, it may exist out there, but until you experience it it is always unreachable.