Monday, October 19, 2009

This Probably Won't Be What You're Expecting

So, first thing's first; the blind date ~ She'd postponed. Despite dressing up that day in my smartest attire - I'd even worn fresh underwear - I was actually quite relieved when the lady in question emailed to take a rain check. She'd just come back from a mini-break and wasn't feeling in the best of spirits, so I'd been handed a stay of execution for a few days, and my evenings were free once again, to return to Deadwood, or drink at the weekend.

But here's the thing ~ I'm not sure if we'll keep in touch. Y'see, she last emailed me on Friday afternoon (a non-replyable "hahahaha", if I'm being fair to myself), but work kept me suitably occupied, and I never did get back to her.

On Friday, I caught up with old friends, friends who'd all met at a lousy exam board we'd temped at years ago. I got drunk and broke my 4 days non-smoking spell, greatly cheered at how well they looked; a little older perhaps, but moving on, and with better, more rewarding* jobs than I (*in both achievement, and in wallet).
On Saturday, despite my hangover, I'd crawled to the other side of London for a houseparty where I may have been abusive to a young vegan gothette who'd quite literally waded into the function handing out vegan flyers without so much as a hello.

But no, this post isn't going anywhere. I didn't meet a special someone, and nor did anything commit-ey happen with the American ex.
Nor did I email blind date lady today, Monday, as I've been too busy at work, and too miserable with a cold I magically woke up with.
I know I should take everyone's sensible advice and just get on with the damn date, but that would be bad. Very bad. Because there's a huge chance she'll spend it watching me sobbing into my arms as I'm splayed out over the table.

Because something happened today that rather frightened me.

I woke up this morning having not had enough sleep. I tubed it in as I was too tired to cycle in (again). I opened up the shop, started receiving phonecalls almost immediately as I attempted to clear the paperwork mountain on my desk whilst adding to it with each call.
I was surly, and sniffy with cold, and sore-headed. Mid-afternoon, I felt the urge to visit the toilet. It took me twenty minutes to leave my desk as things kept ringing or walking in to be served. Eventually, I made it into the cubicle, and burst into tears.

I was more shocked than anything else, although now's a good time to point out that my "bursting into tears" is silent, and apparently involves my eyes angrily watering over as I desperately tilt my head back to avoid any actual crying. In the peace of that damn crapper, I was overwhelmed with a profound sense of what a complete and utter turd I've made of my entire life. At that specific moment, that one thought felt like an almighty thud to the head that came from nowhere, and seemed fit to knocking me out. Then it came back in a wave, and again, then again, and I wasn't sure if I could leave the toilet.

It was then that my Dad's friend Michael popped into my head. He's in his seventies like my old man, except Michael never married. He just never met anyone, and lives alone in his flat in the suburbs, going slightly mad.
'He thinks there are people living up in the attic,' my Dad told me recently.
That was when I started shaking, petrified and utterly convinced that I'd end up like that. 'I'm destined to achieve nothing and appeal to no-one,' I thought, 'and one day, I'll wake up old and convinced there are people living in my roof.'

I gave serious consideration to hiding in the toilet for a few hours, then I composed myself. I coughed, walked outside, and got back to my desk as if nothing had happened.

Before I'd retreated to the toilet to discover I'm on the verge of a nervous breakdown (I Googled it for a bit of self-diagnosis and yes, I'm well on my way), my Mum had called, neatly - I can see now - laying the foundations for my blubbing over the ceramic. It's her 30th wedding anniversary this week and she's arranged a big family get-together. I'd already tried to wriggle out of it once. I like my close family, obviously, but there's going to be at least 40 other people there, relatives and friends I really don't want to be around; repeating to them the job I'm doing but don't want to do anymore, sighing that yes, I'm still single but not gay, and avoiding my idiot brother-in-law, indifferent sister, false step-siblings, and generally pretending to be amiable when I'd rather be crying in the foetal postion in a small room.

My Mum took offence when she first told me about the impending anniversary and I'd asked her if I had to go; apparently, I do. When she called today, all excited about her party, I reminded her that I'd have to wake up early that Sunday to begin the four-hour round trip via a bus, then a train, then another bus and a walk plus waiting in between (then repeat) - my way of suggesting it was all a colossal pain in the arse for me.
'Then stay with us the night before!' she offered.
The only trouble with that is a) sleeping on a fucking sofa instead of my own comfy bed and, b) going to my Mum's on Saturday night? That's my entire weekend, shot down by one family commitment.
So I declined her offer with a sigh, and my mother slammed the phone down on me. She hasn't done that since I was about sixteen.

I did try calling her back, but in true day job fashion, she answered just as someone walked into the office, and I had to start the conversation with, 'I'll call you back,' something I still haven't done.

Instead, I went on to cry in a macho way in the toilets, considered resigning on the spot (again), and wondered what the fucking hell's going to become of me.

The point is this: I can't date anyone in this state, so don't fucking make me, and if you're about to leave a comment that I will die alone if I refuse to date, please instead name your favourite TV icon.



List Maker Girl said...

Just popped by to have a read, as usual. Not sure what to say really as it will all sound a bit futile, but as usual the blog was well written enough for me to be able to relate.

Perspective is a wonderful thing. Try to concentrate on some positive things for a while and give yourself a break. See? Sounds crap, but I tried.

I wasn't going to hit you with my own sob story, but here we go, clearly I am. I will just say that having recently had a (very unplanned) baby recently by a wanker who upped and disappeared six months into the pregnancy, has had me in a heap many a time. Not sure why that's relevant to you, but I spose I just wanted you to know that I read, and definitely related.

Z said...

Oh, dear Fweng. I'm so sorry. I think you're right to resist doing what you don't want to. Not that you need my validation.

Dandelion said...

Dear fweng, I'm right behind you.
Hang in there

Huw said...

Larry Hagman!

Anonymous said...

feng. i like you man, your a goodun. should i ever be london-bound at any point, and not wanking in derelict hospitals, i'll mail you in advance. hang in there bud. mean that man.

daisyfae said...

Mary Louise Parker, Weeds.

the crying? that's coming from somewhere... self-diagnosis only goes so far. you are clearly not as worthless as you seem to have convinced yourself you are... take care of yourself, fella. trained but disinterested third party might be able to help you sort it out.

The Unbearable Banishment said...

Hey, that happened to me about a month ago! Seriously. Do you know what? It made me feel like a little girl. I sure hope it never happens again.

Zstep said...

Time to go see a shrink, my man. The same thing happened to me when I was a 19 or so, Mum convinced me to go see the professional and it turned my life around. You can be miserable if you want but talking to a complete stranger is actually ok at times as there is no pressure and no front. Its just how you feel, why you feel and how to fix it. I strongly suggest it.

Lilly said...

You should quit. There are plenty of other crappy jobs out there. Worth the change (of coworkers alone) and the satisfaction of saying 'fuck you' (erm, i mean 'goodbye') to your current crappy job and life.
I'd totally quit.

shewas said...

i have nothing more to say than i get this, i completely, totally, 100% get this. and it fucking sucks. xx

julie said...

Al Swearingen!

Swin jin!!

No, but really. Do what you need to do.

sas said...

oh love that's shit. But a bit of a relief to cry perhaps? You are probably right to pause on the dating scene if you are feeling like this.

I wonder if now is the time to go and talk to someone who can help you out? I can attest to the benefit of therapy and have used it twice to get my shit back together.

It could be what you need. And I hate to think of you crying in a loo when you just don't have to do this alone.

*virtual hugs*

Pip said...

Some of us just need to deal with this stuff ourselves. Some of us talk to professionals. Some of us blog about it.

I've been there. I'm just coming out of the kind of place you're in right now.

Cold comfort, but you'll get out of this space. When you're ready. When you can. No hurry, no need to fulfill the expectations of anyone but yourself.

And as for the dating. Keep it on hold. That's what I did. Maybe that's what I'm still doing. Because I'm still not strong. I still need time.

You will be ok. You will be

Ariella said...

Dear, you are suffering from a bit of depression after finishing your "book". Your life was focused around writing for quite a now it's time to re-focus on to something or maybe someone new.

jason quinones said...

this phenomenon of crying on the toilet is not uncommon. i believe anybody with a shit job,combined with the stress of that shit job, has done it. i know i have. maybe not deep heaving loud sobs but definitely tearing streams. (i've also (when by myself of course) yelled profanities LOUDLY in elevators.)

even before i got to your sobbing on the toilet bit of this post i was thinking of simply writing back "just shit or get off the pot already!" this ain't exactly yoda, sage like advice but it still pertains.

you gotta STOP making EVERYTHING such a damned upheaval and just get on with getting on. i know that's easy to say from my viewpoint but BELIEVE ME i've been where you are and in some cases still very much am where you are.

go to your mom's a day early, spend the night, spend time with her tell her, make her happy and leave early enough before everyone else gets there. believe me, coming from a large extended family, i know these things are a hassle. extended family members usually are, with their small talk and questioning your life like they give a fuck or are interested.

maybe you should read this book APATHY AND OTHER SMALL VICTORIES by PAUL NEILAN. i think you'll like it. i loved it and found it very relatable.

jason quinones said...

p.s. millhouse van houten.

p.p.s. you don't gotta heed any of my crap advice. i think i just went on a tangent there. sorry. do what ya feel is best for you...

Clare said...

Hi Fweng,

You're quite right, there is absolutely no way you can date anyone while you're feeling like this, and you shouldn't be forced to if you don't feel like it.

Have you thought about telling your mum how you're feeling at the moment? She might be a bit more understanding about you not wanting to go to the party if you explain that you're depressed and can't face large crowds of family!

Concentrate on looking after yourself, make sure you're eating properly (and healthily). And don't drink too much alcohol either, that will probably just make you feel worse. Do things which make you feel happy and positive.

Take care and don't give yourself a hard time.

Clare xx
PS I do know how you feel, I've had periods of depression and it is a struggle.

fwengebola said...

LGM ~ Hello, and welcome to the House of Fun. I'm left feeling numb that you've had a baby and been dumped. It puts my bullshit into perspective; selfish, non-baby perspective. Is everything okay?
Z ~ Oh my god, it's your other eye! And the rest of you.
Thanks for your agreement, though. It seems the right thing to do.
I think.
Dand ~ Thanks. I'm saying that a bit croaky, but with feeling.
Huw ~ God rest his soul.
Anon ~ Ah, yes, hello the Northern chap. Thank you. Colossal alcohol abuse would be just the ticket.
Df ~ Who?
I'm still very torn between Seeing a Therapist, thus becoming one of those people who "see therapists", or not bothering, thereby remaining normal.
I really am quite worthless, though. That's a fair assessment.
UB ~ Jesus Christ, really? But you've got a family and everything. You kept that quiet - was this the song moment?
ZS ~ Hullo, and welcome. I really want to, but at the same time, I really, really don't want to. I can see how it would help, but there's I'd be admitting defeat, somehow. I'd be one of those people that has to see a shrink; at best, a stereotype, at worst, bonkers.
Lilly ~ I really want to, but I can't do it this side of the year. Plus the jobs market is dead. Dead. I'll keep looking.
Shewas ~ Hello. And thank you. Safety in numbers, I guess.
Julie ~ "San Fransisco cocksucker". I have no idea what to do.
SAS ~ I'm not sure if I got the full benefit of crying, with its release of energy and pressure and what have you. This was more like wet eyes from nowhere frantically blotted out with shame. I still don't really know what to do.
*virtual stiff upper lip*
Pip ~ Thank you. I'm just concerned that the wind has changed and I'm stuck like this forever. It's a bit boring to realise that I'll probably have these ups and downs - y'know, like everyone else.
Ariella ~ Hello there. Yup, it would appear that having completed that (and getting feedback that it was largely rubbish), I looked around at what I had, and thought 'Oh.'
Hence I don't know what to do.
JQ ~ You've cried in toilets too? Then again, you're not British. I'm sure our former territories are rife with locals of both sexes sobbing in urinals. There's my tangent.
Sure, it's all a bunch of whatever, but from what I've been reading about breakdowns, they're essentially along the lines of feeling under immense pressure, and not being able to get on with the day to day anymore, making "get on with getting on" easier said than done.
My biggest worry was realising that I'd reached a point where just 'getting on with it' was no longer an option. Hence, perhaps, the wet eye thing.
I've stuck the Neilan book in my 'basket', although I'm terrified to see it's a novel. The theme seems to be not dissimilar to my 'book'. Therefore it will be better than mine and thus I may try and top myself.
But I'll certainly look into it.
Clare ~ Thanks Clare. I did call to tell her, but I started to choke mid-sentence then she started crying and I suddenly got scared because I'm an emotional retard and I couldn't cope with it. I'm trying to make her see that my less-than-happy-bunnyness is reason enough to not attend, but I don't think she's buying it.

Sure, I could diet and exercise and do all that positive stuff, but my god, it's hard...

Z said...

I apologise. I realise that my entire face is a shock for any person, especially an emotionally-fragile one. I need a new picture, there are too many single eyes about now.

If one of my children were unhappy and unable to come to me, I'd be very upset. I know you've been independent and all for a long time, but there's nothing wrong with talking to someone who loves you very much, if you don't want to talk to a stranger. A party is hardly the occasion though. Could you visit her on a different day? Not to start by pouring your heart out, which could horrify both of you, but to spend time with her. For both of you.

List Maker Girl said...

Maybe you should just become a stereotype and 'see someone'. I've become a stereotype and it's quite refreshing.

Ah see I didn't want to sound all whingey woo, it's all kind of Ok generally. There are some shit times when I feel verrrry boo hoo me, but at least I don't have to deal with the tosser anymore, that'd be worse.

I could do with a venting platform such as yours, cos sometimes I just fancy a whinge without having to tolerate everyone's well intended advice. How selfish of me.

Z said...

Ah, LMG is right. Ignore me. Except the polite handshake.

List Maker Girl said...

Oooh no Z, I actually meant that comment only with regard to my own situation, not that Fweng might not want any advice. Yours was spot on...

Z said...

Thanks, LMG - my suggestion is lovingly meant, but Fweng is welcome to ignore it of course. Your blog is damn good, you know. No advice, except I hope you'll keep on blogging.

List Maker Girl said...

Ha, oh thank you - blimey, haven't added to it for a long time. Need ideas for lists at the moment, unless I do top 10 hardest things about having virtually no sleep...

Ellie said...

Oh my God! I didn't know men had those moments in the loo too! That is fantastic news! Thank you Fweng! Thank you!

It seems I might have stolen your list. I don't know if you read through the background, but I am a fucking rock star these days.

It takes different measures for different people. My recipe was time and talk (to family, professional and friends; the whole process probably took 15 years ... different ups and downs. The talking to professionals only required 6 months. My Man, however, has been indispensable).

Love ya, mean it.

livesbythewoods said...

Gah, I can relate. I went a bit bonkers a few years ago and finally accepted that I needed helpto get through it. So I went to my doctor, and then to a shrink, and it took a long time, and it felt like fucking hell on toast for a bit, but it worked. I got through it, came out the other side and everything. You will too.

The only thing that is going to stop you is yourself, and I know that sounds lame and crap but it really is true.

Please, please, listen to the sound advice your other blog mates are dishing out, pick what you think will work and take the first step to being yourself again.

The first one is the hardest, and to be honest you are more than halfway there just by writing that post.

You'll be fine. Really. But trying to be fine on your own will make it take longer.

Anonymous said...

Therapy? Dates? Books?
Hmmm....might I suggest drink and drugs as a palliative for hard times? At least they are fuckloads of fun.
I'll even buy you a drink or four in January.

British Gal (does Tokyo)

Anonymous said...

Still think you should publish your novel (on your blog) or be damned.


Ann Anon

fwengebola said...

Z and LMG ~ Uh, hello. I enjoyed that. It was interesting.
Your points, comments, and non-specific unnecessary apologies are taken on board. LMG, get back to blogging. Z, I won't ignore you.
Ellie ~ Uh, women have moments in loos? Wait, but of course they do! That's a whole genre of... stuff... that women do.
I never went there to cry. I went there to micturate and, well, weteye happened.
But anyway, thank you. I am still pondering.
And thank you for your love which is of course reciprocated like a big soppy candle.
Wait, what?
LBTW ~ Oh crap, you too? I really appreciate your advice and feel as if I may be heading slowly upwards.
Dunno. It's all a bit meh.
BGDT ~ You're back! Fantastic. Drugs may not be so good right now - or ever again. Or drinks, perhaps less (Not that I was ever a caner, but, y'know, being mature might help).
Dates are off the menu. I need to chill with my shit.
And the beers you're getting me.
An(n)on ~ Oh that's not gonna happen. But thanks for considering it as an option.

looby said...

Oh dear, I do feel for you. It's terrible when your walls break down like that. What to do about it? I'm not sure, but having a few pints and blabbing it all out at midnight to a good friend usually works for me.

looby said...

Oh dear, I do feel for you. It's terrible when your walls break down like that. What to do about it? I'm not sure, but having a few pints and blabbing it all out at midnight to a good friend usually works for me.

Peach said...

Come to Thailand Feb 2010 - I'll put you up for free, you just need the airfare, and you know its cheap as chips out there.

come on dude, you need a break

In the meantime, hang in there and quit that damn job xxxxxxx

fwengebola said...

Looby ~ You're right except a) I'm still clinging on to that bullshit stereotype that men can't cry, particularly among others, and b) I've also done the "whinging in the pub" bit to death. I've even written a book about it.
That said, and in complete contradiction, you're still right.
Pea ~ YES PLEASE!!! Except I can't. It would be amazing yet insane. And I'd still have to pay rent. Plus other excuses.
But yes.
Except no.
Although it would be brilliant.
And thank you.

luna said...

I second Jason Q's suggestion on that.Plus you can always write a mail to your mum if it gets too iffy over the phone.
Although swine flu's the ideal excuse these days.

How did you make it up to her in he end?

fwengebola said...

I didn't. I said I'd go see her but she lives all of 9 miles away.

Anonymous said...

A "You're back! Fantastic" made me smile the big smile. Well, how pathetic is my life?
OK, the beers I'm getting you. First week in January.
Reading some miserabilists is usually a good idea when in miserable mode - Cormac McCarthy, Philip Larkin, Samuel Beckett. Not sure why, exactly.

fwengebola said...

I may be dead by then, but thank you.
Should I read miserablists when miserable? Some perspective, perhaps.

Anonymous said...

can't believe you cried - call me. Bx

fwengebola said...

It's okay! I'm cool, B!