Monthly Archives: May 2019

May’s tears

(No, I’m not talking about our soon-to-be-former Prime Minister — I’ll try to keep politics out of this post!)

It doesn’t happen quite every year, but it’s not unusual for me to develop a certain depression in late May — it happened in 2016, before that in 2015 and 2013 (the latter having the same date structure as this year), and judging from my diary, it happened even as far back as 1992 and 1995 (in both cases, just before half-term)!

What is it about this exact time of year that causes the same problems?  Especially considering how lucky I was in mid-to-late May last year*, getting something nasty out of my head (the symptoms of which first clearly manifested in late May 2015), and living to tell the tale (and with the same number of marbles as before, or possibly slightly more).  I felt no depression back then at all, and only my inability to sleep through the night in June made my summer less than pleasant!

(* Damn, I should have proof-read that post-op blog post, or hired someone to do it for me!)

In May 2013 it was partly post-holiday blues: I still remember walking into the courtyard at the hotel where my group had first assembled, and feeling a pang of sadness that our adventure was over — and, of course, coming back to work in the same office as the overly-loud “annoying woman”, and feeling like my supervisor was threatening my job if I didn’t cheer up, made things worse.  However, it was mainly down to my innate inability to find a girlfriend, and even as I worried about my future career or how to pay the bills in May 2015, that issue came to the fore once again, as a girl I’d met at yoga mysteriously failed to appear when I’d hoped she would (and that was a prelude to a girl at work seeming to like me and then suddenly ghosting me).

So it’s been this May: almost right on cue, on Wednesday the 22nd, I felt a return to my days of serious depression; though fortunately it only lasted a day (or possibly a morning), it reminded me of the bad times in my life, which I’ve been chronicling in this blog in the naively optimistic hope that someone will read and be inspired to carry on with life.  Fortunately “boss lady” was off that day, or she might have called me out on being somewhat cold and withdrawn (except when I managed to pretend to be cheerful), or hiding in the toilet and almost crying to myself (at one point listening to the poignant Gorillaz song “Empire Ants” again), as I brooded on… things.

What things?  Well, naturally the old “girl troubles” surface again: it occurred to me that I hardly ever hear from “Polish female best friend” these days, and although it could be largely due to her heavy workload, I can’t help but consider the fact that she’s not “into” me, if she ever was, and perhaps even going off me as a friend.  I know I’ve been searching for someone since 1995 (and going on about it here since 2012), and that apart from that one special girl in America and a couple of 2016 possibilites here (both in late September), I’ve never been in anything even remotely resembling a relationship; however, thinking (however naively) that she might just be “the one” helped me relax for the first few months this year, not obsessively saying yea or nay to the 21 women I’m offered as matches in a certain mobile app.

(Actually, the main reason I stopped using that app for a while was having coughed and snotted almost constantly since Christmas Eve, though that sounds more like an excuse!)

I’m back using that app now, and already making contact with the fairer sex (and yes, I’m using Quagmire soundbites for the app’s notifications), but if there’s one thing that’s tired me out over the past six or seven years, it’s the dating scene, and an endless sequence of first dates.  Forget what I said before: I don’t want to sleep around (or build a harem), I want a long-term monogamous relationship with one special woman, even if we’re not “perfect” for each other — because my life is otherwise good at the moment, and I once promised in these pages that I’d stop writing this blog once things are perfect.

Okay, my life’s not that good at times: I’m still having trouble adjusting to a new housemate, “best mate’s” other best mate, moving in to replace the bloke who replaced “drummer-trucker” (who I also mentioned in an emotional May post in 2017).  At least I’m able to have conversations with him now, and when the Aussie moves out and he takes over the big room downstairs, he’ll hopefully stop creaking the floorboards right next to our dividing wall when he gets up in the mornings.  There’s also the fact that everyone seems to be SLAMming the front door these days, in some cases even when coming into the house…

Perhaps it really is just the time of year (the onset of summer and increasing temperature) that sets the scene for my depression, and specific events, even trivial little things, which trigger it — thus last year’s surgery and recovery took my full attention, and thus prevented me from becoming depressed.  It gave me an excuse to duck out of the dating scene for a bit, and of course to stay home, let my folks take care of me (for a while), go for walks and pet dogs, and play video games during what would have been working hours.

(But oh, how frustrating completing the original StarCraft was — the sequel was a lot better!)

Of course, there’s also the possibility that the “space invader” itself caused my depression and anxiety over the past few years, increasing during the summer as it heats up (and women wear summer clothes)… but that’s just scaremongering, because aside from occasional issues likely resulting from medication side effects (and the scar feeling sensitive in both sunlight and cold air), I’ve got my head together.

Might as well say it’s something to do with the anniversary of my computer du jour dying on 24th May 2011, an incident which left me feeling ill… as though I’d developed a stomach ulcer?  Or is it just because I always seem to get a cold at this time of year, and end up with mood swings from cough remedies…?

All I’ll say is, I got over it in record time this year, and won’t be depressed on the second May Bank Holiday, unless something really goes wrong — so let me get some sleep, please!

One year on…

One year ago today was my big operation, and I’ve come through the intervening time pretty well, all things considered.  The issue hasn’t been fully resolved, of course — some of the “space invader” lingers within, and one day will almost certainly require radiotherapy — but the dizzy spells are almost gone, and it’s only the side effects of one of the medications that’s causing me trouble, and decreasing its dosages while increasing the dosages of the other has massively improved things.

Why, I can even keep my attention on something long enough to actually write in this blog more than once a month… I’m actually thinking of future posts, such as reviewing my progress in my 2013 “exploring emotions” series, talking about how much I loathe heterosexual white guys at the moment (despite being one myself, or perhaps precisely because of it), or explaining my Captain Kirk-inspired views on what “left” and “right” mean in political terms (since both are hurled equally as insults in Facebook discussions… I know, serious business!), but for now I’ll just keep you informed of my condition, and how life’s been going since that day.

Well, things aren’t all rosy for me a year later: I’ve once again, again, come down with a cold, for the second or third time since Christmas!  I’m feeling dizzy (though not in a “mind static” kind of way) due to the numerous tinctures and philtres I’ve been taking, in a futile attempt to cure my sore throat and snotty nose.  It also doesn’t help that I’ve regained the weight I lost last summer, and not in muscular weight due to becoming buff and ripped; rather, due to medication combined with, er, Easter.

(Fortunately, last night I made a heinous mistake in buying a Polish variety of chocolate truffles which taste astonishingly bad, possibly from their alcohol content — is this enough to put me off chocolate entirely, for long enough to get me back below 13 stone?  Hah!)

At least those closest to me are doing better now: my mother’s been through that dental operation without lasting harm (though now her computer’s going wonky), and “best mate” is no longer threatening to return to Ireland forever (though he’s still got that incoming housemate’s stuff filling his room until the end of May).  It’d be nice to talk to “Polish female best friend” more often, but she’s going through a hellish week work-wise, and can’t meet up — so although we communicate through Facebook’s PM system to check on each other, it’s a long time since I heard her distinctive text message noise…

And yes, I’m still working on that subject as well — and thus, not only have I made my main ringtone Peter Griffin singing “Surfin’ Bird” (also with the possibility of a Pythonesque overly-long name, to complement the Four Peters that I’ve had for years), but I’ve taken a major step: no longer wanting my mother to text me sounding like an Amnesia monster, I’ve replaced her text message noise with Moose the Boxer from the ClearScore adverts!  She is of course mortally offended at being compared to a dog, which is part of the reason it makes me laugh.

Speaking of dogs, I am still petting them when I can (especially the gigantic Samoyed who lives locally, and runs up to me whenever I encounter him taking his owners for a walk), and as I’m sure you remember, it helped me during my recovery last year — apart from anything else, it got me out of the house and going walkies myself, with my mother for support during my convalescence in Worthing, and later by myself back here in Finchley.

Much as I am grateful for my folks bringing me up and taking care of me, I hope I don’t have to go back to living with them in that dump of a town, and can one day help them escape —  but even though it seems a short time since I finally began returning to work, things have been changing big time, including our taking on a whole new, highly-paid team of contractors… and there’s rumours of redundancies coming up to pay for this gamble!  Fortunately, one of my teammates is trying to edumacate me better (in complex matters such as setting up servers, though this is physical as well as mental), so I have a better chance of being kept on — or, worst come to worst, finding a new job before my savings run out and I get kicked out of rented accomodation for being on this country’s utterly unfit-for-purpose benefit system.

(And consider the fact that the Job Centre right here in Finchley Central closed a year or so ago — so if I had to claim Universal Credit, I’d need to go all the way to Hendon!)

“Hello, David; I want to play a game — is it safe?”

Sorry, politics… at least I’m not disabled (or at least not yet), but I’ve been urged to get myself innoculated against two childhood diseases I never had, measles and mumps — because I only had one or two injections as a child (I remember my mother mocking the way I said “injection” in reference to the sore spot on my arm), and my BCG at age 14 — and they may well be making a comeback thanks to the anti-vaxxer movement.  It’s difficult getting an appointment at my local quackery, but there may be a walk-in centre nearby, where I can get some advice on whether it’s necessary at my age, and whether it’d interfere with my medication.

And worst of all, I’m overdue for a dental checkup — somehow, lying in a hospital bed having my skull cut open this time last year seems less terrifying a prospect!  Hell, some of the deadly tests in the Saw films would be preferable to dentistry…

— — —

P.S. I’ve finally finished my latest medley of Gorillaz, Radiohead and Jamiroquai songs — worth mentioning that the last one was…

Everybody hurts (with apologies to R.E.M.)

Shut up, I haven’t seen the eighth season yet — I’m waiting for it to come out on Blu-ray!

I know I’ve spent a lot of time in this blog going over my own problems, but never forget that I care about other people and want to help them, even if it’s just by listening and showing them that they’re not alone.  Three of the most important people in my life have recently been through terrible things, and maybe I can lighten my load by revealing how much I know, and what little I could do for them…

  • My mother’s had to see the tooth-quack regarding pain she’s been in (the original condition going back to when I was a baby, and my father was still married to her!), and naturally I worried — true, she got through elective surgery back in mid-2013 alive and well, but since we lost my grandfather to an operation in late 1999 (and I faced a risky situation a year ago), I wanted to make sure she was all right.  Fortunately, I had the chance to call her today, and she was not only recovering well, but able to speak!  Alas, there’s the ongoing problem of taking care of my grandmother, who still doesn’t want a new dog in the house, so I’ll have to convince her somehow — not just so I can come home to visit Scraps mk.II, but so my mother has a companion to raise her spirits.
  • “Best mate” went through a brief but painful crisis recently, his employer (actually one of his brothers) wanted to make him a contractor instead of a direct employee, thereby not only forcing him to travel long distances to far-flung building sites and working after hours, he also wants to only pay him a limited wage instead of a salary!  My long-term buddy was so upset, he started threatening to go back to Ireland once and for all… fortunately that’s relented to some extent, and he’s content with his work — but this morning, his washing on the line was rained upon (his clothes horse having fallen to pieces at the weekend), and he felt helpless!  I managed to solve that one by offering to buy him a new clothes horse (he paid me back, don’t worry), which just goes to show: sometimes it’s the little things that help the most.
  • “Polish female best friend”, as though not stressed out enough at work, turned out not to be texting me because her bag had been stolen during a closed-eye anxiety-fighting meetup, right from under her chair!  Her phone wasn’t worth much, and she’s been able to port her number to a new SIM (would that I could hear her “Maybe baby” text noise more than once in a while), but she lost an expensive piece of technology that she’d just bought, to replace a tablet she couldn’t charge up (I did that for her once, so she could copy her vital files across).  She’s doing all right, but it was at last week’s “helping the homeless” event, to which she managed to come for once, that she admitted it’s only her religion (lapsed Catholicism) that keeps her going… I hope she was exaggerating, because I’d hate to lose her, even if we’re in each other’s friendzones (for now)!

Mind you, I still feel down at times — and not just due to today’s aforementioned dreadful weather (there have been dismal days in the past when I haven’t suffered from SAD), but due to one person in particular… well, two if you count a nice lady at work with a loud, high-pitched voice, who (like the annoying woman from my Camden days) somehow sounds louder on the other side of the office than she does when I’m helping her face-to-face!  She’s nice enough, but oh, sometimes I have to put on headphones and drown her out with white noise…

No, never mind her — remember my descriptions of living on Caledonian Road with “good housemate” (who gradually became my friend over the years), only for our final companion in the three-bedroom flat to be the guy I anonymised here as “bad housemate“?  I have a nasty feeling it’s going to happen again, as one of my housemates here is moving out (the Aussie who moved into “drummer-trucker’s” room), and his replacement has already been decided: “best mate” is getting one of his other friends (who happens to have the same first name as me), and although he’s been cool when visiting in the past, staying here in the spare room has resulted in him getting on my nerves.

Would BRIAN BLESSED be a better or worse housemate?

Okay, he’s not as bad as others (don’t worry, “drummer-trucker” has been cool since moving back to London in 2018), but I still find myself wanting to avoid sharing the kitchen with him alone — he’s not nasty (like “drummer-trucker” in his final months here in 2017), just rather incessant in asking questions when I’m trying to cook and not in the mood for chatting (due to having spent all day at work interacting with humans).  It’s potentially worse when he’s with “best mate” in the kitchen: I may feel even more anxious, simply due to how exuberant they get, and indeed how LOUD his laughter is!

Oh, and he’s temporarily staying in the small box room next to mine (in which “drummer-trucker” lived for years, and in which his replacement lived until taking over the former lounge), and since he gets up early, and is one of those housemates who SLAMs the front door when leaving, even at 5am… well, at least he’ll be officially moving downstairs by the end of this month, and maybe stop using the upstairs toilet, which is also right next to my room (I heard him sneezing in there this morning) — and that’ll also mean “best mate” gets some floor space back from this guy’s stuff.

At least he doesn’t tell me off for being vegetarian (like “bad housemate” and “drummer-trucker”, and at times “good housemate”) — indeed, he made pizza with vegan cheese for his girlfriend, who often visits him here!  Alas, he then ruined the positivity by knocking on my door and turning on my light just as I was watching the climax of Alien, to offer me a slice, despite me having already pigged out for the evening… ugh, he can’t do anything right, can he?

To be honest, I was worried when “best mate” moved in here four years ago, because I feared we’d somehow get on each other’s nerves and fall out, since we’d be in the same house rather than only meeting up occasionally (climbing at the Castle, driving to the cinema in north Finchley etc.).  Fortunately that proved to be unfounded, and we’re still best buddies… but will I ever get on with this new guy if things are this bad when he’s not yet officially moved in?  Will we work things out, or will he get annoyed at me for asking him to quieten down, or will I bottle it up until I snap at him?

Honestly, compared to this, and the things my dearest friends are going through, I’ve lost all interest in that insignificant “space invader” in my brain — it’s mostly gone, and the medication is working, so screw it, I can cope!  Actually, instead of feeling gloomy, let’s listen to a Jamiroquai song I heard today as I approached work — and while the Sun wasn’t exactly shining down, it lifted my spirits just a little…

(Yes, I’m listening to those three bands in medley, again — well, I got some new material for two of them recently, so why not do something that works?)