Last night, Rob denied that we had ever engaged in sex together. I reminded him that we had done so 2x. On 15/11/2019 after the Eagle Meetup and after last July's Gay Picnic. Rob had no recollection of it. He suggested that he might have fallen asleep before we had the chance to do so. But he was insistent that we had not done it. This stung a little. It made me question my own ability in sex. When he saw how these words affected me, he apologised.
I suggested that I might not be not good ("vanilla") in bed. I even went so far as to suggest that I am having doubts about my sexuality. I might be asexual. I also expressed some insecurities about my frigidity.
Rob explained that he had tried to have sex with me but that I acted resistant, i.e., I rolled over in bed or said something to prevent him from having sex with me. I remember doing that the first time that he stayed over. But the other times? I am beginning to think that I do something subconsciously to protect myself from guys. I told him about my first three major guy crushes (Andy, FF and Nathan). I went into the psychology of how my experience of rejection became a Self Fulfilling Prophecy. And how I have built up these layers / boundaries from having been played by guys. To the extent that I am now extremely guarded and self-regulated. And that whenever I come close to engaging with someone sexually, something within my subconscious comes out of the woodwork and somehow sabotages it. Even without me noticing let alone trying. I have an inbuilt protection mechanism. It kicks in almost automatically. Because my protection is my fear of letting someone have their way with me. I feel afraid to let myself get out of control like I have done with guys in the past. Such that I have developed an aversion and a complex to sexual relationships.
Besides my internal thoughts, there are several pieces of external evidence to suggest this.
April 2, 2012
He remains single and there are certainly issues around sexual identity, which are still not resolved.
[22:39, 21/10/2019] LV: But you seem have problems with sex
[07/07/2021, 13:50:05] Sam: <attached: 00000893-AUDIO-2021-07-07-13-50-05.opus>
Maybe I am not 100% asexual but there is a certain repressed / suppressed sexuality. Or I have an element of frigidness / rigidness that stems from my social anxiety. Which some people mistake for vulnerability. Rob repeatedly insists that he sees me as a strong person (whenever I mention my perceived vulnerability to him).
LV pointed out that I seem to have problems with sex and that I feel myself "used". Could the problem be that I love and respect Rob too much to be able to arouse or excite him in sex with me? Or does he feel like I am delicate and that he cannot touch me due to my naivety and "pure" nature? It is difficult to say.
I told Rob about the Friends plot where Rachel and Joey get together. Rachel slaps Joey because of some self-defence mechanism from her past kicking in. In the end, they try to do it but realise that they are too good friends to be able to do anything physically with one another?
On Thursday night, I was chatting to the guy from the Meetup (the one who I had met at the coffee on 19/08/2021). I found his views Black & White. He drew a clear distinction between "friendship" and "relationship". My care coordinator encouraged me to have friendships with different guys. As a non-exclusive concept. Not to put all of my eggs in Rob's basket as she (plus my family and friends) used to say. Ever since, I have thought of friendships in a wide, generic sense. A friendship can have a romantic or sexual element. It can have both. Why should it mean anything? In the past, I used to think that simply because someone kisses me or tries to sleep with me, it means that they love me. I found myself hurting through thinking that. I was encouraged to get away from thinking that.
Now, I am being told completely the opposite. Not only that there is a clear distinction between "friendship" and "relationship" by this guy from the Meetup. But others, too, have been contradicting the advice that my care coordinator gave me. In advocating a "relationship" as an exclusive concept.
Take Sam, for example. Although the delivery might have been taken (by me) as harsh and insensitive, the message remains the same. Sam felt hurt because the compliments that I was giving him were interpreted as platonic rather than romantic. Is this partly why the relationship failed? Because I was too restrained and rigid in my responses to him? I cannot blame myself. In order for it Ito be an equal partnership, he needed to accept me for who I am and understand that I process emotions extremely deep beneath the surface. He described my English way of acting cold.
[05/07/2021, 15:56:29] Sam: <attached: 00000690-AUDIO-2021-07-05-15-56-29.opus>
[05/07/2021, 16:00:52] Sam: <attached: 00000694-AUDIO-2021-07-05-16-00-52.opus>
[07/07/2021, 15:51:50] Sam: This message was deleted.
With Hafyz, the boot was on the other foot. He decided to friend zone me. The relationship conversation had not even been instigated. The question had never been asked. All that I did was kiss him. I only expressed my love and appreciation for him through my actions and not my words. He took the kisses to mean something more than merely a friendship. There were two levels of "friendship" and "relationship". When, to me, friendship and relationship were one level and interchangeable. This is why I did not respond well to the friend zoning. Because I felt like I was being judged for the kissing and affectionate / amorous gestures. Or that the relationship was needlessly having a label applied to it when it was not necessary (in my opinion). I never wanted to have the "relationship" talk. But he brought that to the table. And in doing so, the conversation became dominated by it. Such that we could no longer maintain a natural or authentic rapport with one another.
Hafyz slammed the brakes down and brought the whole rapport to an abrupt end.
[16:42, 26/07/2021] Rory Duffy: You friend zoned me in front of a couple of my friends and said that us two needed boundaries etc. You made it sound like I had misunderstood stuff like you staying at mine etc. And you even said we were on our 4th or 5th date. You were giving mixed signals and then you said about me being on the spectrum which is why you didn't want to upset me.
This is not unlike what happened with Ron two years ago. Although with him, the delivery was slightly different. Rather than friend zoning, it was bread crumbing and benching. All that I wanted from Ron was a friendship. As my care coordinator advised me. Go out for coffee with him. Talk to him. But the trouble was, we were kissing, hugging and hanging out on an intimate basis. I was training myself to simply focus on reciprocating and enjoying his company without trying judge, label or read too deeply into it. To express love and appreciation through my actions (what I do) rather than my words (what I say). Apparently, this was not enough. The judgement was inevitably made.
[15:37, 04/09/2019] Rory Duffy: Hey Ron, haha no worries 😉 Picnic was ace thanks! Just to let you know, I’m looking for meaningful relationships - whether that’s friendship or something more serious. But not up for something that is random and intermittent. I’m very happy to have found a new friend in you and I’m not expecting anything more than that. I completely understand you’ve had exams and a holiday to organise so if now's not a good time then let’s pause things and if your situation changes then you’ve got my number or you’re very welcome to reach me via email ([email]) and I’d love to re-connect with you… ☺ Enjoy your well-deserved holiday! Cheers, Rory.
[19:30, 04/09/2019] Sonia: Well, what would you want from him Ror?
Rewind back to Avi Taler. He said that we had taken things too fast. Even though he was the one who instigated the kissing. Intimate gestures on that level raise a precedent. Sonia was right that things can get intense.
When I spoke to the guy on Friday, he advised me to take things slow. But how slow is slow? There might not be any hard and fast rules. It is all relative. Although he gave me some pointers (e.g., he said that it is OK to kiss on the first date but you should never engage in sex until at least the 7th / 8th date), this is completely relative. It depends on who is involved.
In all of the above examples, I have rushed my feelings.
Back to Rob. I am possibly paying the consequences (the karma) now for rushing my feelings with him back then.
Last night, Rob said that I deserve a better guy than him. Immediately, I asked him not to self subjugate or put himself down. Because that is likely to make me fall for him even more! I explained to him that no other guy has accepted me or shown me the same level of love and kindness that he has. No-one else compares. But maybe we have more of a mental / emotional connection than a physical / spiritual connection? Just because he accepts me and cares about me, that should not be reason alone to settle with him. Maybe that is a form of self subjugation in itself (from my part): settling for anyone less. But I even expressed to him last night that I have insecurities about my frigidness and that sometimes, I do not feel like I am enough for him. Hence his need to play around on Grindr and Scruff. To satisfy his physical drives. I do not know. I am an extremely thoughtful and spiritual guy. Although Rob is a great listener (he even asked me if that is what he is), I cannot discourse with him on a philosophical level like I do with LV, for example. Maybe it is just what it is. Like Sonia said, I might need someone who is in between Rob and Avi Taler. Like JR. A different blend. I have been having conversations on various dating apps but they have bored me to tears. And again, I turn back to Rob, thinking and feeling that he might be the one. Who knows?
Earlier on in the evening, I had offered to buy Rob a drink. He had said that he thought that we agreed not to do that anymore and that we were buying our own drinks separately. Maybe he needed more clarity from me in terms of where we are on that friendship versus relationship spectrum? To me, it is more about the boundaries of our friendship, e.g., whether we buy each other drinks or pay separately. When he had told me this, I felt like it was a rejection and I grew quiet. Not unlike that second time that we hooked up on 11/10/2019. Although in contrast to that evening, yesterday evening, I did not feel suicidal because of it. I also noticed that he grew quiet during the M&M. I had to make an active effort to involve him in meeting other people and introducing them to him. This is part of his shyness. He asked me not to let him hold him back and that if I wanted to talk to my friends, he would not stop me. I pointed out that these people at the drinks reception were more like acquaintances than friends. And that he was the true friend who I was here to see. I said "I am here for you". I knew that we would be departing together separately. This was out of the question. It was a given. And I was happy to do whatever he wished (whether this might be staying out in Soho for longer or going home). Such is the strength of our bond. It is nice that I stand by his side. Every time that he moved away from the main crowd, I would follow him back to the quiet corner. One of the Meetup members even noticed and described me as an "introverted host". This did not bother me. It was actually quite flattering to hear this. Because someone recognised it as introversion and not unfriendliness.
About the Meetup (and Meetup events in general). This morning, I felt anxious because I drank a lot last night and could not remember a lot of what I had said to people. Although I managed to (for the most part) stay off social media this time, I still said and did some erratic things in person.
This morning, I said to Rob that energy attracts energy. If I put negative energy out, I will receive negative energy back in. This means that I must stop bitching about people. The coup has passed. Now I must move on and stop getting involved. Otherwise, I risk burning bridges with people. Or creating a negative energy field around myself. It is OK to have a moan. But if I am constantly bitching about the rebels, people might start to feel affronted and upset. There is no point. I can still find positive ways of expressing the same thing. I think that I did mention something about there being two carbon copy / parallel groups and the whole drama being unnecessary. And that it being a stressful few weeks. That is OK. Maybe I did not say anything unkind or negative. Maybe I simply remember Jason's defensive reaction when I looked like I was going to launch into a rant and he had heard my explanation the previous Saturday?
[16:45, 21/10/2019] Sonia: Do you think you maybe rushed your feelings about him?
Regarding the Meetup events in general, I have decided to stop attending the late / Little Ku events and only attend the early / Retro events. That way, I would be attending only once per fortnight rather than once per week. Which is too much. I feel like I am on a hamster wheel of drinking and socialising. My life has no other purpose or direction. All that I end up doing is getting drunk and gossiping on a somewhat shallow level with people who I barely know or have anything in common with. I must get myself back on an even keel. I am living for the Meetup events instead of attending the Meetup events to LIVE. It has become imbalanced. All of these Meetup soap operas. I must remember why I started doing this in the first place. A recovery plan? To build back my life again after Avi Taler?
It is nice that I have shown dedication to the Meetup groups. Jenny has recognised that and delegated me as event host. This might have gone to my head ever so slightly. I might be tempted to feel like I am on a power trip just as much as those hungry rebel admins. After all, people have been approaching me and asking me if I organise these events. My response is that I have been "helping out" and that I am "holding fort" for Jenny. One person even described my online presence as ubiquitous and described me as the Meetup guru / posted boy. On various occasions, I have jokingly described myself as a Meetup whore / tart. Although it would be useful to understand my role within Jenny's group (assistant organiser, assistant to the organiser, event host or just temporarily helping out?). I can afford to back away ever so slightly. Jenny has proven that the Meetup events run themselves. All that she needs to do is book the venues. People know how to socialise. They can take care of themselves. They do not need me there to chaperone, "host" or act as a social catalyst. When I joined the Meetup group two years ago and Jenny was not physically present at the gathering, I was still able to socialise and make new friends. Even in the fragile mental state that I was in at the time.
Looking at the tabbed messages to Jenny, I might have been stressing out for no reason when everything is perfectly fine. Not to mention potentially stressing out Jenny by worrying. I do not think that she would have minded. If anything, it shows that I care and that I am looking out for her. I felt like the message "And I just wanted to ensure that they’re not trying to muscle in" might have sounded overly controlling. Apart from the fact that the Meetup group does not own that venue and other Meetup groups are perfectly entitled to book it if they wish. It might have sounded negative, jealous and territorial. Another sign that I might need to back off and stop interfering. I have a habit of this. I am a control freak. There is nothing wrong with that. But maybe, I could show that side of me with a little more discretion. Otherwise, I am acting like Lily.
[09:31, 21/08/2021] Jenny: are you going to the meetup tonight?
[19:13, 21/08/2021] Rory Duffy: Mario was asking if we wanted the others to move downstairs, I just said that they’re fine for now even if they’re not part of the meet-up they can join but he asked me to let him know if it gets too crowded up here and he can move people downstairs if necessary. It’s fine for the moment though, he was asking if you’re coming?
[20:48, 21/08/2021] Jenny: hey
Take today, for example. I had messaged the group (publicly and privately) to establish who would be at Green Park and at what time. Having heard nothing, I was prepared to spend a relaxing afternoon tidying my room and updating my journal. But no, one of the members got in touch to say that they were in Green Park. Of course (feeling responsible as an event host), I dropped everything, jumped on my bike and headed to Green Park. So that I could follow through on the promised event that had been scheduled on Meetup. This was honourable yet selfless of me.
Above all, I need a break from this perpetual hamster wheel. I attend more Meetup events than anyone else who I know (even organisers like Jenny). This is possibly part of my OCD. I go to extremes and indulge in obsessions / endure obsessive phases. Rather than balancing and integrating multiple interests in equal measure.
In the autumn, I will step down the Twilight events from twice per month to once per month. And I will bring back dinners into the mix. Roof terrace drinking events are great for the summer. But for the cooler, darker months, people want to be in the restaurants. Alex has come forward and expressed interest in hosting some Meetup events. He has even announced this on the WhatsApp group.
[12:45, 14/08/2021] Alex E: Good afternoon all!
I will ask Alex if he can host one or two Fridays in the months of October and November. He can choose a restaurant. I can book it in and schedule the events. He can host. This way, I can free myself up a little more to either attend other Meetup events (such as GS) or take much-needed Friday nights in and recuperate. I have been out drinking 2-3 times per week. My thought cycles and speech are starting to become jittery and slurred. This is a long-term effect of the alcohol. Although the alcohol helps me to alleviate anxiety (my social anxiety) in the short-term, it is creating more anxiety in the long-term, e.g., not remembering what I said or did the previous night and confusing dreams and reality in terms of things that I did or did not say and do.
My mum has suggested a 3-5 day retreat in Devon. I would go down to a residence, turn off my phone and all of my social media, cook vegan and vegetarian meals, take mindfulness meditation sessions, take a paper journal and write / draw and generally take a break from the rapidly spinning world outside. This seems like a healthy option. I am trying to work out my holidays this side of October. I have so many commitments in September that it is almost impossible for me to escape London. I have blotted out the last week in September for this purpose. I have put all of the early / Retro dates in my calendar to prevent conflicts. But I will definitely be stepping back from the late / Little Ku events and the Sunday picnics (when the weather grows colder).
I feel like I have lost my memory of how to self-validatte. It seems like I have fallen into the trap of needing to be in relationships with guys (or at least to hang around gay men) in order to obtain validation. That is understandable. I must remember what the guy said to me at the GS Meetup event on 07/12/2019.
One last thing. In order to heal the cracks in my vessel, I must learn a new skill. Whether that is Origami. Or digital drawing on an iPad. Or meditation. Practise it. Become proficient at it. This will boost my Self Esteem and teach me that I am able to do things and be self-sufficient. Practising a hobby or craft is a constructive, creative means of self-validation. Whatever it is. If I can validate myself, others will follow suit. The key is I must self-validate for the right reasons. For myself. Before I can think of being validated by others.
When I am at these Meetup events, I realise that the only two things that I am talking about are:
I am not actually talking about my hobbies and interests. And if I am asking others about their places of residence or occupations, I barely remember. There are several people who I recognise. But I cannot place when or where I met them. Let alone remember their name, occupation or place of residence! This is also understandable.
[09:59, 22/08/2021] Jenny: only 3 people have clicked attending for green park
[15:00, 22/08/2021] Pouyan 🏳️🌈: Hi where can I find you in green park?
Take Harry, for example. I met him the other week at the Cock Tavern / London Gay Socials (LGS) Meetup. He attended my South Lambeth bar crawl on Friday. Last night, he randomly turned up at the 20s and 30s Meetup (even though he is older). And I mistakenly asked him which part of Scotland he is from. Even though we had the conversation that he is half Barbadian / half Canadian (from Toronto) on Friday.
This might be part of my ASD. Being able to differentiate and identify people who I have met through different people. I have often recognised people but not consciously recalled how or why I know them, which can feel embarrassing.
Take Alexandra, for example. Last night, she attended. I had no recollection of her name, let alone the fact that she works as a health practitioner. For the first few minutes, I had to wrack my brains and concentrate on remembering where we had met. Even though we had practically spent all afternoon together the previous Sunday in Green Park!
ASD aside, the fact that this keeps happening indicates that I might possibly be attending too many Meetup events. They blur into one. I see so many people. But I find it difficult to maintain rapports with all of them because there are many people present and I see some people sporadically. I find it easier if I have the person's number and we are able to talk via WhatsApp between meetings.
[12:50, 22/08/2021] Rory Duffy: No worries!! Nice pics. Did you go out in the end?
The overarching feeling is that I have all of these acquaintances who I barely know on a shallow basis. We are attending these events and having banal, surface-level conversations about nothing in particular. Like whether or not someone made it to Heaven last Saturday. And my complexes about that nightclub based on past experiences and previous relationships. Wearing my heart on my sleeves. Serving up my psyche to random strangers who may or may not know how my mind operates. I am missing the depth of knowing someone intimately. So, although I am surrounded by people and I am not alone, I cannot help feeling lonely. Experiencing loneliness among a crowd of people. The reason that I am feeling this way might be because I have forgotten how to be on my own. This is a skill in itself. And why I must remind myself how to self-validatte. Keeping this journal is a good start. At least I am having a conscious dialogue with myself. But it might not be enough on its own merits. I must get back into my creative hobbies. Heal those cracks in my vessel. Reintroduce myself to my creative side.
Yes, dating guys is important to me. That is great and all. And in that way, I am taking care of my needs and desires. To a certain extent. But when the topic of conversation becomes dominated by men and whichever guy is the current flavour of the month, my narrative has become imbalanced. I am not focusing enough on myself. I am focusing too much on how I responded to guys who I barely know. Or (more importantly) who barely know me. This is what I must re-address. These ephemeral and meandering dating app / WhatsApp conversations (that fizzle out as quickly as they have popped up) are exhausting. They are draining my energies. All of the time, I am looking for someone and hoping for something and having my hopes dashed. I am focusing on what the person is saying and doing rather than how I am responding to it. I must focus on myself. I am a selfless, giving person. Doing all of these deeds for Jenny's Meetup group. Acting as chaperone / mentor and helping guys build their confidence in my group. I show kindness and selflessness. This is wonderful. But what about my confidence? I should give myself a bit of "me" time. Time for creativity. Finish editing that mini album that I recorded back in the spring. Get back to some creative writing. This is what I am lacking. Something to bring to these meetings and talk about. Other than the above mentioned topics. People have been telling me for weeks that I must look after myself. Now I am starting to remember (from the grey, alcohol-soaked recesses of my brain cells) what that means.
[21:08, 22/08/2021] Rob: Could you ask Jenny to add rosana to the group
[22:03, 22/08/2021] Rosana: has this group split in two? i see more than one group with a similar name on meetup
Interesting conversation regarding the recent split. I am including it in here because it is reassuring to know that I am not bitching even half as much as Jenny. And if I was bitching, I certainly was not the only one. I even got a mention / shout out!
I had no idea that the rebel admins used Jenny's mailing list (in addition to Lily using mine). Shocking.
[22:03, 22/08/2021] Rosana: has this group split in two? i see more than one group with a similar name on meetup
I wonder if Green Park will go ahead today. 😂
Rob suggested Retro Bar for them. No! That would be stepping on Jenny's toes. In retrospect (LOL), it is smart that Rob suggested it. It highlights how much of a plagiarism their new group is.
I have asked him to not pass on anything that I said to him last night. I am paranoid. I said a lot of stuff. I have been worried all week. I feel paranoid because it is all in WhatsApp and traceable. I feel more comfortable talking about it in person. I do not know why I wrote all of that stuff last night. 😓
I had a bit to drink. And I was triggered.
I have asked Rob to export the chat and email it to me. I want to see what happened after Tuesday night. I am still trying to piece it all together. There is no chat about me. I need to see the whole chat. I do not need the media. Just the transcript.
They are not talking about me. I know, but I want to see everything since Tuesday night. Even if they were not talking about me. Why? Because I heard that some people spoke out. And I want to find out what was said. I feel in the dark. 😢
I am a control freak. Maybe I should rest for a while. Not concern myself with my troubles. 😌
On the one hand, it is probably not healthy of me to pursue this. On the other hand, I am worried that if I do not ask now, the moment will pass and I will regret not having done so.
Did I receive it? I did. I apologised to Rob if I seemed desperate.
03/08/2021, 22:56 - Jenna: Good luck with the prosecution and thank you on congrats for the healing. I hope you do too xx
What has CB said? Just up and down all of the time. She phoned me 45 minutes ago and sounded fine. She said that she wanted to go but she would have a chat with ERD. I asked her to keep me updated. She came back indecisive again. I am feeling stressed out by it. Rob says that I should tell her that. If I feel comfortable. It seems a little unsympathetic of me. Rob can see that. Sorry about this. It is fine.
What has CB said? Nothing yet. It looks brighter now. But it is getting late. Shall I nudge her? It is not fair of her to leave us in the lurch like this. Despite what has happened. Rob is not coming. It is too late now. It will be a rushed day. Unless we stay the night. But I have Green Park. Plus my jab. I can still go to Brighton. I am not in the mood anymore. I feel completely messed up. There were so many things that were possibly happening today. And one by one, they have fallen through. Due to shitty weather.
What other things were there? I could have had a gig but I turned it down because I thought that I would be at the GS picnic. A lady who I played for 2 years ago offered me a gig today. I turned it down because I thought that I would be at the GS picnic. We would have got wet anyway. True. When the picnic was cancelled, I contacted her to say that I could play for her. But she already booked elsewhere. So I decided to do the Brighton thing. And now this has happened.
This rain ruins everything. Plans. Everything. I am sick of it. I feel so upset right now. There will be other opportunities for a gig. Just write off today. Fresh start tomorrow. Chill out. I have been miserable. I will try to rest, relax, make myself a coffee, have a nice lunch and tidy my room.
[09:09, 07/08/2021] Rory Duffy: Morning what time we meeting?
[15:32, 07/08/2021] CB: Hi Rory just woken up again and really not with it. Let’s go again in a few weeks. Need to rest. Hope you ok. X
[14:51, 07/08/2021] ERD: @Rory Duffy Hello mate I’ve not heard anything from you and just to let you know that slight delay if you are planning on coming with Rob then come along will let you know where we are where we are and the table is been booked for tonight at 6:30 at Saint James Street however I understand if you’re not coming CB did mention
Last night, I kissed a guy in the Two Brewers. I do not know what his name was. He was dancing to me. Leading me on. He seemed to be into me. For a moment, I thought that my night was set. I could have easily had a one night stand. I did not have to be up early this morning. Alas, he left. I cannot remember what happened. But he put his arms around me and assured me that he would return. He never returned.
There was something about what Zakir said on Thursday night about me being "sad and vulnerable". I asked him if it was something in my body language and demeanour. He said no, but it is the energy and aura that I am giving off in my words and the way in which I speak.
Last night, when the guy hooked up with me in the Two Brewers, I thought "this could actually be so easy, just relax and go with the flow, try not to judge it too much". Although I forget most of what was said, I think that I did ask him for his name and comment on how beautifully blue his eyes were. It might have been after then that he released me from his embrace.
Maybe this is why I cannot have one night stands? Or why I seem to sabotage relationships before allowing them to develop naturally? Because there is something about me that radiates "sad and vulnerable"? Like when I was with Avi Taler on the evening that I told him that I loved him. Or when Hafyz friend zoned me the other week. These guys who I become involved with suddenly realise that they have set a precedent and it makes them think twice about me. I show my vulnerable side, without me even trying. It is simply there. Even Rob has been on Grindr and Scruff and tried to keep the knowledge from me because he cannot bear to hurt me.
Maybe it shows how high are my standards and expectations of others. And of myself. Most guys want casual sex (despite their assurances that they want a relationship / connection). Or they do not know how to form one. In my case, it is the opposite. It is my high standards and expectations of myself and others that prevents me from developing relationships. My natural inclination is control without even trying.
Much as I would like to, this is something that I cannot change about myself. However, I might be able to change my perception of that. I have an inbuilt mechanism that protects me from getting hurt. Yet prevents me from having a relationship.
[23:01, 21/10/2019] LV: You live your fear all the time
[23:04, 21/10/2019] LV: You need to live, Rory
At least I have a consciousness / awareness of this fear. As being an intrinsic part of myself. Despite not knowing what to do about it. Maybe the right guy will have expectations as high as me. Or maybe, like Sam said, I might die lonely.
[21:53, 08/07/2021] Sam: You are nothing but little insect to me now and I am grossed by you, and to be 100% honest with you I feel bad sorry for you!! Good like dying alone like you deserve 🤮🤮🤮
Did Lily reply? No, not yet. And apparently, they cancelled Green Park today and are going to Retro Bar instead. 😡
After all that 🤦♂️
WTF. They are stealing the locations as well! If I am speaking to Sam L, I must tell him no hard feelings but Jenny is going to have to ban them all. As it is getting ridiculous at this point. They have been sending messages to members in the group, trying to get them to attend their event. And now they are stealing the locations. It is disgusting. Jenny does not want to ban him or any of them. But she feels that for the future of the group, she needs to.
[13:31, 07/08/2021] Lily: Alright everyone, although the weather seems to have improved, the park will be soaked.
From Lily on the "Queer 20s/30s LDN Meetup".
LOL. This is getting too stressful. It is disgusting. I am not speaking to Sam L, or any of them. The Last Message was that long message to Lily.
LMFAO. Jenny just called Retro. Hogged the booking. Will cancel it in a sec. What does she mean? She called Retro and said "can I book the space from 3pm?" So she will cancel soon. Once they find somewhere else.
Cancel, why? I would be up for joining Jenny in Retro Bar at 3. What is going on? Jenny did not want Lily to book the venue. So she booked it to hog it. It is booked from 3.
Why not book it and schedule a Meetup? I know that it is last minute. But we still have an hour. True. But Jenny does not want to go against what she said in her statement re: having two events in one day. Right? I see. I am worried that this might compromise her relationship with the venue. True. Jenny will cancel it in a second.
It is up to Jenny. I am feeling at a bit of a loss. True. Maybe Jenny should run the event? Tom does not think that she should. It is always dead there anyway. She will cancel within half an hour. Also, she gave a fake name. She forgot to tell me. She does not think that this will compromise the relationship. Smart. She does not think that they will recognise her voice. No. She normally emails them. Cool. I hope that it works out. 🤞
Am I coming tonight? I am thinking about it. My Brighton trip was cancelled. Jenny says that it would nice to see me. I have been triggered. But it would be nice to see her. Maybe meet her before and we go early. Sounds great. Maybe we could meet somewhere in Soho at 6 .Grab a coffee. Perfect. Or a beer? I probably should not be drinking alcohol today. It enhances it. But I do not mind if she wants to. I do not want to spoil the party. I think that Tom is out too. He mentioned that he was going to the London Gays @ Welly Meetup. Maybe he could join us?
[15:08, 07/08/2021] Lily: Guys, Retro from 4.30 pm, we've got a booking, ask for the LGBT meetup, see you there
From Lily on the "Queer 20s/30s LDN Meetup".
They copied the name "mingle". And they cannot even spell "drinks". I despair. 🙇♂️
[15:37, 07/08/2021] Jenny: and then tomorrow is drinks in green park!
"dinks in green park" 😂
Sorry, bad joke. 🐣
Jenny & I are meeting at Little Ku, 18:45. I was hesitant about whether or not to go. Especially if some members of the rebels group show up (which is likely). But I think that I will feel better. Rather than stay at home and stew.
Recently, the situation with Hafyz and what happened to the group has knocked my confidence. Today especially, I have been feeling delicate and vulnerable. It might be partly due to the alcohol from last night. Alcohol affects the emotions. Tonight, I should not drink. It might be wise to take a break from Meetup for a while. Or only concentrate on SB&GG and GS. I have a few weekend gigs coming up anyway so it is not like I do not have anything else to do on a Saturday.
I have now read the transcript. I have seen everything that has been said about me. But there is no point staying inside and hiding myself away from the world. That would build up a complex. Even if I only stay for a couple of hours, drink lemonade and go home when everyone else heads to the clubs, I will feel better for it. I need to get back out on to the scene with my head held high. Let them judge. Let them believe what they want to believe. I do not need to explain myself. I have nothing to prove.
[12:44, 07/08/2021] Sam: Alright so, for now, the picnic is cancelled, we'll post more info shortly
[01:02, 04/08/2021] Lily: Rory seriously, what are you doing man?.. We have asked you so many times, can you please stop using our name and images?
[01:17, 04/08/2021] Seyi 🏳️🌈: Hi Rory are you ok? What happened?
[21:10, 03/08/2021] CW: Hey, I can see there's a bit of tension. I hope you aren't getting overwhelmed with it and I'm here if you need help
[21:49, 03/08/2021] Cyrece: Hey
I nearly added "Why, were people saying that I am malicious?" But I realised that this question might sound defensive. Or cause awkwardness / tension. So I decided not to.
[21:28, 03/08/2021] Jaron: Hey Rory, I want to apologize for jumping the gun there, and asking if you directly copied the group name and logo. I don’t know if you actually own that new group in the new place or have an arrangement with the new folks. I hope you folks all do have a new arrangement and that it isn’t some silly sabotage. I’ve met you in person a few times, I think you’re lovely and kind — so this’d be totally out of character for you!
[08:04, 04/08/2021] Rory Duffy: I think that's you in this photo 😊
I nearly replied to say that none of the other admins had contacted me since Saturday and that I had messaged Lily first thing this morning. But I decided against it.
Anything involving (trying to) control others. Bound to end in disaster. Have I not learned my lesson? I cannot control others. I can only control myself. This is why I was holding back for so long when the messages were coming thick and fast last night. The others might have interpreted my delay as me "not defending myself". Or judging me for allowing people to make such accusations at me.
My plan was (as always) to sleep on it and respond in the morning. I had even drafted a message. It might have been a mistake taking my phone to bed. To check that Lily had not tampered with the Meetup page. Of course, she did precisely that, late at night, when I least expected it. When I noticed, I responded on impulse. Obviously, this is what caught me out. The thought that I had put into this drafted message to send first thing the following morning overrode my ability to think rationally. I had not prepared myself for the possibility that Lily would beat me to it. I simply did not believe that she was capable. I was proved wrong.
[09:42, 04/08/2021] Rob: You ok? I saw they were talking about you In the group
I do not know why I am asking Rob to see messages about me. It is probably my OCD. I am trying to gather as much information as I possibly can. In case I can use it against someone? Maybe. People should be using a WhatsApp group to say atrocities about someone to others behind their back. It is not nice. It seems that this is what the WhatsApp group is for. They talk about Jenny. Originally, it was her group that she set up. This is why I have become involved. I know how Jenny feels. It is triggering for me to have seen her treated in this way. Having known her for 2 years. Not many people in that group know her. If they did, they would not be making such hurtful accusations about her. This is what has fuelled my interfering. Defending Jenny. Taking matters into my own hands. I have chosen to do this in a somewhat unconventional way. And it has backfired.
It takes time to process and learn. I have been up for most of the night. I am shattered. I received my due karma for what I did on Saturday evening.
First thing this morning, when I replied to Lily, I was mindful that anything that I said to her would effectively be screen shot and broadcast to a WhatsApp group of 217 people. Therefore, I needed to choose my words extra carefully. I think that I did OK. Given the circumstances.
The attempted takeover might have been a way for me to re-address the balance. Hosting it in my Meetup page would counter-balance any resentment that I might feel towards the others for the lack of respect that they showed towards Jenny. And a way for me to remain involved. But to have it in my terms. So that I was not feeling alienated.
I found myself caught in a "political" hail storm. When the split occurred, I felt torn between the 2 sides. I naturally gravitated towards supporting Jenny and the original group. I went with my gut instinct. However, I did not want to be alienated from the rebels. They forced me to choose a side. Now I realise (painful as it is), I chose the correct side, because it was not fair of the rebels to make me choose! This is why I tried to take over. Because it was the only way in which I could see myself staying involved in both groups amicably. My loyalty is with Jenny and I wanted to represent her as much as possible. I felt that I could not do that if I sided completely with the rebels. There was no compromise. It was either / or. And this is what I have been struggling with.
My initial thought to send to Lily was:
Hey Lily, I didn't mean to confuse anyone! I don't understand why we cannot work together.
But that might have triggered Lily asking awkward questions about the Instagram raid. Which I might not have been prepared to answer. Apart from possibly damaging my reputation and undermining the trust of others in myself, I might have risked outing Jenny (despite her telling me not to). Which I was not prepared to do. Since Jenny asked me not to tell anyone about her part in the Instagram raid, I might have been forced to take false responsibility for what Jenny did. This would affect my reputation. Something that I am not prepared to risk.
Perhaps the Instagram raid was a little impulsive of me? It was too early to tell what would happen with the group. My understanding was that the Instagram account was Jenny's property and that the rebels had hijacked it. This is why my immediate objective was to change the login details and give it back to Jenny. I had no idea that the account was linked to Claire's email address. Or that Jenny would simply delete everything on it. The impulse was partly Jenny. The reality is we share responsibility 50/50.
At the time, I saw this as karma for Anna kicking Jenny off the WhatsApp buckets. Unfortunately, I did not foresee that this might create a subsequent trust breach. And a reluctancy for the rebel admins to work with me (under the assumption that I was working with Jenny). Everything was moving too quickly for me to properly understand what was happening. And my immediate priority was to support Jenny as much as possible.
Despite the trauma of last night's incident, I feel that I have come out of it relatively unscathed.
Yes, it is disappointing and frustrating that the possibility of becoming self-appointed organiser of their park Meetup slipped through my grasp. The Instagram raid and subsequent breach of trust will have certainly played a massive part in the admins reluctance to work with me (as pointed out by Sam L). However, at least I tried to take the opportunity. I owe myself that. I did what I had to do. It did not work. It was a clever and controversial manoeuvre. Although it came off successfully, it backfired, despite my best efforts. Things happen for a reason. And at least I took others' advice when they told me that I am too nice and needed to grow a backbone. Which I hear so often!
I have reverted the group back to London Gay Socials (LGS). I can keep it on the side (as I have done so far) for something better for which I could use it in future. If GaySocial accost me of taking their name, I can at least say that the group was that name before I took over LGS and before GaySocial changed their name from London Lads. And that I did try to rebrand it but was overruled.
Interestingly, I did! And this is precisely what happened! Another prediction. 01/10/21
How am I feeling generally?
I do not know where I am going in my life. My music is not happening. THT are not booking me. I am lacking the motivation. Last night's experience has put a massive dent in my confidence. Not only with Meetup (since I feel unable to continue attending the Saturday park events). But also with dating and relationships in general.
I am experiencing flashbacks of incidents like at school where I feverishly tried to set up clubs and control other people. Or at university, college and music career where I tried to form bands. Throughout my life, I have consistently proven to myself unable to work in teams. Whenever I try to step up and take authority, I end up alienating people. Yet when I play Mr Nice Guy (like I have been doing with these Diáspora recordings), I let people walk all over me. Maybe there is something within me (a trigger?) that is preventing me from having a positive relationship with myself enough to have a positive relationship with others? Or maybe it is simply that my personal standards are too high and that I constantly project my internal standards on the external world (in vain)? This would include both groups (personal and professional) and one-to-one relationships. Maybe I expect too much of others and find myself easily disappointed?
I am feeling like I am giving up on my life. Many unfinished projects and unresolved accounts. I look around my room. I see items such as my colour-coded music folders / band costume collections that have not been touched in months or years. Clothes that I have not worn. Not feeling able to pick up the phone even to my parents because I feel alienated from them. Recordings scattered around my computers that have not been completed. Unfinished conversations on dating apps and WhatsApp that I am lacking the energy and motivation to continue. Everything around me feels transient and ephemeral like it will never reach a stage of completion.
As it currently stands: I still plan to put myself to eternal rest on my 40th birthday. I have been planning to do that for 2 years. I set myself a 2-step life exit plan.
I will do step 2 on my 40th birthday. Late at night. I have 6 years remaining. I want to ensure that these last 6 years of my life I am having fun. Buying clothes. Partying. Even if I never end up in a perfect relationship, at least I will be enjoying those remaining 6 years. I cannot see myself living beyond 40. And that is perfectly OK. Materially, I am lucky. I can still maintain a good quality of life until then. I still have 6 summers in which to drink, dance, prance and socialise (even if it does not lead to anything). And I can still go out on a high note. There is nothing wrong with that. I think that it is better to leave this world in the way in which I desire to live, that is the main thing. To not harbour any regrets.
There is a taboo about suicide. People are ill-equipped to talk about it. But for me, this is a social construct. And nothing more. There is a certain comfort in knowing that I cannot possibly descend to any lower depths. And that I will soon be free of my discomfort. It feels better to sit at the bottom of that well that the sickly sensation of falling into it. If my life has no purpose or reason, why continue with it? When the resources of the world should be put to better uses? Each time and energy pocket to its respective allocation as I like to say.
[11:58, 02/11/2019] Victoria: You are such a horrible person
2 years ago, I joined Meetup as part of my recovery plan for my depression. 2 years later, things have changed. Meetup has become a trigger for my depression.
Is my depression because of the people (Anna, Lily etc.) who have invaded that environment and made it hostile for me? Add Hafyz and HZ to the mix. Sooner or later, Avi Taler will enter that environment. And it will all come together beautifully and ironically. Actors in masks who once sought me, who now seek other spirits that I do not recognise. Creating the perfect conditions for my sadness.
Is my depression because of me? Is it because I seep everything good out? Maybe Victoria Wills was right about me all along. After all, she knew me for 12 years. Longer than most of my friends (who come and go). She witnessed the cycles of thought and action that I manifested and repeated over and over again during those years. We met at university. Our first bonding experience was over a guy (Steve) who I had an infatuation for who did not reciprocate my feelings for him. Did I hold too high expectations of him? Or were my expectations in myself too high not to destroy my relationship with him? This was in 2007. 12 years later, in 2019, I called her out because she cancelled a Halloween party (for no transparent reason other than that I was the only one who confirmed) and exited a WhatsApp group. Throughout my life, people have been telling me that I need to have more confidence and stand up for myself. I have tried to do that. I have tried to stand up for my friends (Jenny being the current example). But whenever I do that, I fail. Is this the poisonous effect that Victoria Wills sees within me? The idea that whatever I touch (whether it be a relationship or a group venture), breaks? Is that what happened with Avi Taler?
Last night, I had a fantasy that I will message Avi Taler on my 40th birthday. Just before taking the drugs, I will say to him:
Dear Avi. Tonight, I am leaving this world. I am saying goodnight. And although I have missed you during these intervening years, I want you to know that I don't blame you. This is why it is important for me that our history is part of my story. Because it meant so much to me. And I never wanted to see you go. But you did go. Despite however much I tried to prevent that. This is why you have become a part of me and who I am. Forever.
Now that my reputation among Meetup is potentially weakened, is this the reflection that I will now see in other people when I force myself to return to those park events?
Screw it. Life is too much effort. I spend too much time thinking, worrying and ruminating. The easiest way in which to escape is to accept that my life is not sustainable. I need to escape. Nothing that I have tried is working for me anymore. Dating. Meetup. Music. Gym. Relationships. Friendships. Family. Job.
I am back to thinking this:
It will happen. On my 40th birthday. I have the money in my account to buy the drugs. Several hundred pounds. It will not go to waste. This journal? It will remain online. It will be made prominent on the night of my death. An elaborated suicide note. I will have nothing to hide anymore. If I left unexpectedly, at least people might be able to read and understand the narrative leading up to it. And I will not be leaving anyone guessing, questioning or speculating. Because it is as important for others to find answers as it is for me to seek solace and comfort in death. 🙏
Thinking and planning this has helped to clear my mind. After all of these months, planning my death again is exciting and liberating. Like starting a new project. I feel an openness. A white space. A serene tranquility. I do not need to try as hard as I have been trying throughout my life. Yes, I still have some years to go. 6 years to be precise. I do not know what I am going to do with those years. Everything else, I have tried and failed. Maybe there is nothing left for me to try.
I keep telling myself that the most important relationship in life is with myself. I keep telling myself that. Maybe it is not enough.
With suicide, I must be in a lucid mindset to go through with it. If I tell someone that I am feeling suicidal, that is like raising a cry for help. At a microcosmic level, it is me telling myself that there is something to live for and something worth fighting for. If I purify that relationship with self in a way in which I am at peace with my imminent suicide, it will be easier to carry out. This is why it is important to carry it out when I am feeling well. Not when I am feeling depressed. This is the key. I must be feeling sufficiently fulfilled enough in myself to know that I have lived my life to the fullest. And that there is no reason for me to continue beyond a certain point. In this way, I will embed the notion of suicide into my everyday rational (rather than irrational) state. I will normalise and trivialise it so that it feels less drastic, extreme or threatening. It will feel natural, like putting myself to sleep at the end of a long day. I will feel satisfied, quenched and tired. But not sad. I can instil it in myself that my life has no meaning. And feel OK with that. Gracefully surrendering those pillars in life that give me something to hold onto or fight for to the welcoming darkness. Embrace suicide as a routine or a procedure. Nothing to be afraid of.
My planned exit: overdose on barbiturates. 👌
How am I doing? ❤️
What is going on? Lara says that there is more drama. Lily is having a go at me?
I think so. It is over. 😪
Jenny advises me to screenshot what I sent to them.
I cannot. I am banned.
Lily is in touch again, I can understand her frustration but I think that it’s important to investigate the root of where all of this started, which I think Jenny & I both agree on.
[16:11, 04/08/2021] Lily: Rory I hope you can understand where this frustration is coming from when you've completely ghosted everyone, and simply took the imagery and made it your own thing
I will reply later. I am going to the gym. I need some headspace to think.
With regards to the drama that Lara mentioned to Jenny, I apologised to Jenny for not flagging sooner. I was still shell shocked from the night before and not wanting to stress her out when she has already had enough on her plate.
Rob forwarded me these from the group chat.
Jenny thinks that they are dreadful.
More from Lily. It seems reasonable, but I would only go if Jenny is there.
[16:58, 04/08/2021] Lily: It's not that we "don't need you as an admin", is that after the donations and Instagram fiasco, we don't know who to trust
I have apologised to Jenny for troubling her. I want to keep her informed.
Jenny advises me not to go. She says that they are manipulative and controlling.
If Jenny is not up for it, I will not. 👌
@Sam @Claire @Anna please add yourselves to the group and I will set you up as the same, you will be able to tweak copy/images/events etc., as desired. I will remain on there in name only. I will not require any financial contribution as this is on a pre-existing organisers account and I already receive donations via my shy group (so I am all covered). Please feel free to set up your own separate...
[15:56, 03/08/2021] ?: that being said... he didn't respond do any of our requests, and he didn't consult us before doing all this. And all admind unanimously agreed we wanted to do things differently.
I have asked Jenny to let me know if she is comfortable with me sending this to Lily. I will probably do it in the morning. Jenny says that it looks good but she will read through it tomorrow. What kind of allegations were they making about donations? I cannot remember exactly, I was not paying attention. Financially, Jenny has been in the minus over the years with that group!
I have apologised again for not consulting Jenny before Saturday but I thought that things needed shaking up for this to come to light. Which it looks like it has, judging by some of the screenshots people that have been sending me. I have taken the consequences. There is no need to mention the Instagram raid (none of their business). I focused on what generally happened. And glossed over the potential coffee with scheduling complications. 👌
Interesting, Jaron messaged me this morning (see top of page, tabbed). He seems to be creating more drama in the act of wishing not to create more drama 🤔
It was wise not to reply to him this morning. He appears to be ambivalent / on the fence. He might have repeated what I said to him privately amongst the group chat.
I disagree with the part about me not "saying a word". I did not "duplicate" the group. And I did announce the Meetup page to the other admins on Saturday evening. There is distortion going on here. Chinese whispers.
Also, notice how it is always the same ones shutting down the conversation who are creating the "drama".
CW is sorry that I received all of this shit for trying to do something nice. She will not say what she wants to as she does not want to be put on the banned list, too (seems to be a lot of that going on these days). But anyone who knows me would know that I am not being horrible.
I feel paranoid about putting anything in writing these days. In case it is traced.
CW does not blame me. This seems so judgemental.
I was petrified, too afraid to say anything. For about a week. More than a week. It is over.
And now something that I have done in good heart has been thrown in my face. CW is sorry.
CW is thinking of me.
It has been a difficult day but I am feeling a bit better now 😌 🙏 I am praying for the members.
CW hears that I am going to see Lily. When did she hear that? She put it in the group.
How are things with Hafyz? No update. Am I OK with that? Not sure. I have had too much on my mind with all of this. I do not have the headspace or emotion to deal with guys right now, much as I would love to. 😍
I must work on myself. Or take care of myself, I think that this is the correct expression. It is good that I am putting myself first.
[22/06/2021, 08:35:29] Sam: Whatsha doing tomorrow btw?
[22/06/2021, 08:41:21] Sam: <attached: 00000449-AUDIO-2021-06-22-08-41-21.opus>
[22/06/2021, 08:41:54] Sam: <attached: 00000450-AUDIO-2021-06-22-08-41-54.opus>
[22/06/2021, 08:42:25] Sam: <attached: 00000451-AUDIO-2021-06-22-08-42-25.opus>
[22/06/2021, 08:44:43] Sam: <attached: 00000453-AUDIO-2021-06-22-08-44-43.opus>
[22/06/2021, 08:45:10] Sam: <attached: 00000454-AUDIO-2021-06-22-08-45-10.opus>
[22/06/2021, 08:45:34] Sam: <attached: 00000455-AUDIO-2021-06-22-08-45-34.opus>
[22/06/2021, 08:46:26] Sam: <attached: 00000456-AUDIO-2021-06-22-08-46-26.opus>
[22/06/2021, 08:50:06] Sam: <attached: 00000459-AUDIO-2021-06-22-08-50-06.opus>
This morning, Sam asked me what I am up to tomorrow. Immediately, I said "relaxing". He asked excuse me? I clarified what I was doing to relax. His reaction (above) was a little extreme.
Before, I said that I did not think I was enough for him. I think that I do not live up to his expectations. Or he has high expectations / presumptions of me that I cannot live up to.
He said something about me needing to change. I am not going to let any guy change me. Perhaps the fact that I am doing my normal routine (shopping, running, gym) and talking about loneliness (in general) makes him feel threatened? Because he sees that I am an independent guy, strong and happy enough within myself to be on my own? And that I am putting the rest of my life above my relationship? He might feel threatened about that.
The reason that I talked about my personal routine stuff was to show him that this is my idea of “relaxing”. I am OCD about the colour-coordination of my shirts. And keeping on top of the game in terms of my exercising / workout. Some people might say that this is not a way of “relaxing” and make a joke about it. The reason for telling him that was to reveal something about myself in the hope that he might see the humour behind it. Apart from the fact that these are important, positive facts about me that anyone getting to know me might learn about me. I thought that he wanted to get to know me? But he took it the wrong way. He might have interpreted it as a passive aggressive “dig” that I do not care about him. Or that I should not prioritise my own life above him. Well, why should I? I have only met the guy once. Yes, I know that it is important to invest in a relationship to some extent, but there is no reason why I should feel obliged or pressurised into meeting him this week. Especially if all that I receive is negativity from him in return. My main concern was expectations management. If he feels that I already cancelled this week, the last thing that I want to do is raise his expectations and disappoint him again. Stick with the original plan (meeting next week) for simplicity. Maybe this is why a plan is necessary to have in the first place. It is a measure to see if he does still want to talk or be involved with me next week or whether I am simply nothing more than a passing ship to him.
Sam wants a long-term connection. I understand that. But he seems to be preoccupied and forgetting what that is. A connection or a relationship (however we wish to label it) does not happen overnight. It takes time to build naturally. If I let him overstep my boundaries by coercing me into meeting him on Wednesday, it is not the healthiest foundation upon which to build any sort of relationship. I made that mistake before by letting Avi Taler talk me into seeing him rather than going to the gym (Read More: Avi 5). If I am feeling pressurised and letting him overstep my boundaries. It might pave the grounds for an abusive relationship.
If he wants me to think about what I have said, I will, of course. But at the moment, I am withholding an apology. I do not see any reason why I should apologise. I have said nothing wrong.
He seems to have a negative outlook on life. In his view of “dating” being like a “market”. We are a product of our own beliefs and expectations. He does not seem to value or appreciate me. I feel like he has latched on to me and I am there purely for his validation, pleasure and disposal. He does not seem genuinely interested in me. If he were, he might have asked me questions about my music, my drawing, my writing, my salsa dancing, my running, my gym routine, the groups that I run or any of the other countless interests and hobbies (obsessions) that I pursue. Or ask me to elaborate on my statements on topics like loneliness or patience. Talk about something not nothing. Things that matter. Talking about the spark dying next week? I think that he has brought about that fate himself. Simply by talking about it.
On the other hand, he is probably having a bad day. Understandably so, given what he is going through with the hospital. Later, he might feel bad about what he said to me. For vocalising into reality a promise / resolution that he will never speak to me again. And that is fine. I have not taken any of it personally. I am more than happy to speak to him again. No one is forcing him. I think that he might have a different outlook on life to what I have. And that is OK. Who am I to judge? It does not mean that we cannot still have a connection. It might not be the connection that he was hoping for. But is that not more worthwhile than having no connection at all?
There is nothing that I need to do apart from take each message at face value, one by one. And simply observe without judgement. See if he responds to the Facebook friend request. Or blocks me. There is nothing that I can do about that. I cannot control him or his actions, in any way. All that I can do is control myself. There might be compromises that I can make, for the sake of our relationship. But will they be worth it, if I am receiving all of this stress in return? Where do I draw the line? Have I not just spent the whole of yesterday evening and this morning imbuing my time, thought and energy on showing kindness and empathy to someone who might not have any understanding of those terms? When I have people in the office who I want to catch up with? I am surrounded by so many wonderful people in my life. Why do I need him? I am not even upset at what Sam said. I am almost beyond caring. At some point, I might well sit down and look at it properly because I am a caring person. But I probably will not need to think much into it.
I find Sam's behaviour heated and impulsive. Or he is simply too scared of experiencing rejection to realise that his fear is only serving to put him in a position of experiencing rejection. He seems to fly off the handle at the slightest word or provocation. I can still distance myself from him slightly. Until I feel safe around him. Without having to become too involved in him.
Words to give Sam if he responds.
- Have a think about what you want and whether you think that I can provide that for you.
Even if you change your conscious mind, the universe will still respond to what you are attracted to subconsciously. The universe responds to subconscious energy. The counter-reverse should be stronger if you want to change it.
Last week, I was talking about my shopping experience at UNIQLO. This week, a guy blocks me because I would rather go shopping than see him. TC asked if if thought / expected him to do that. Reading what I wrote this morning, I seemed to have predicted that.
Do we ever find ourselves predicting the future? It’s not that we are "predicting the future". It is that we are in touch with our own energy, the universe's energy and how the two energies interplay. It is not that we can see into the future. It is that we are sensitive. Our minds are supplanted in the future. Sometimes, it is frustrating. Other people might see it as a power or a privilege. But it is not when we feel out of control of the future. This is why it is important to take back that control. This is why, when we feel drained, lacking in energy, it is wise to pause and reflect.
It is not the facts themselves that are the delimiter of the circumstances. It is the energy that attracts and creates those circumstances. Law Of Attraction
Even if she has said that they are available and someone else buys them within the next 4 hours, I will have prepared myself.
TC was talking about attracting money, but time can also be attracted in the same way. My reservation about Sam is that he has not been allowing me the time. Nice as he might seem on the surface, he is experiencing his own inner turmoil and he cannot see beyond that. To allow anyone else to have that time and space. To respect someone else’s boundaries. The fact that I have stood my ground with him is a positive. It shows that I am not willing to let a stranger compromise my boundaries. It is not me preventing a relationship from happening at all. But maybe, despite his good words and intentions, he is not ready for a relationship with anyone after all. If it were not me, he might encounter exactly the same problem with the next guy, and the one after that. I have listened to his actions. His actions have spoken differently from his words.
I respond to energy. At the moment, I am receiving negative energy from Sam. It might be that his medical condition is affecting his mental and emotional wellbeing. That is understandable. The other day, he sent me a voice note (which he has since deleted) asking me if I am OK physically, mentally and emotionally. The first thought that popped into my mind was that he should be asking himself that question. It was a reflection. This is why, when he cancelled the date on Friday, I was more concerned about his wellbeing than the cancelled date. I told him that he must rest and take care of himself. He might have interpreted that as a rejection (which it was not at all). I was transforming the cancelled date into a window of opportunity to show him my kindness and sensitivity. Perhaps my perceived resistance to reschedule was merely a reflection of the negative energy that he was showing to me in return. Subconsciously, I might have sensed that he was not quite ready to meet me on Friday. Yes, he has an illness and this is the primary, conscious reason for the cancellation. He acted insistent and defensive about that despite me agreeing with it. But dig deeper and there might be something within his subconscious that kicked in, which might have been related to the illness. A deep insecurity. A physical reaction to a negative mental or emotional energy? I cannot speculate with certainty. But also the fact that I recognised this energy, and was able to deflect it away from myself. I wanted to wait a week. What is the rush or urgency to meet this week? By acting impulsively, are we not destroying whatever bond that we managed to salvage yesterday? It is not about us meeting. It is about us respecting one another's boundaries, our need for time and space. Being in a relationship is as much about respecting the other person’s independence without feeling insecure or having to be with that person all of the time. It should enhance life and not provide the foundation for it. My relationship with Rob is such that I might not hear from him for days or weeks, but I know that he will be back in touch eventually. Such is the strength of our friendship and our connection. However much I might regret it not being as romantic as it was when we first began. At the moment, I find Sam exude volatility and fragility. It seems like he shows willingness to throw me away at the slightest drop of a hat based on something small that I said. A neutral answer to an open-ended question. That is not something that I can prevent. But talking about me throwing his messages into the garbage. That is how he feels about himself. There is nothing that I can do. Flying off the handle so easily at the slightest provocation (“tomorrow, I am doing XYZ”) and interpreting what I am doing through a negative lens (“not meeting him”) provides an insight into his troubled mindset and his inability to cope with people or relationships.
[20:29, 09/07/2019] JR: Hey
[13:17, 12/07/2019]: How do you explain to yourself / justify / rationalise giving another person this much control over your own mental state? He didn’t cheat on you, break up with you, he wasn’t mean, so I’m finding it difficult to understand how the effect of those words could be so strong
I know! I have been in Sam's shoes! That time when JR told me that he could not meet me tonight. I overdosed. That was my way of dealing with it. I did not overdose because of JR. It was because of me and my own insecurities. LA rightly pointed out that I needed to strengthen myself mentally and emotionally. She could not understand why one man (as great as he is) could have such a massive influence over my mental health. Or how one thing that was said could trigger me like that. I do not know what has happened in Sam’s past. I do not know why he came out of that relationship. Perhaps I will never know. He might not wish to talk to me again let alone tell me. There is not enough of an open dialogue. There is not enough room for listening. He seems closed. But I think that there is a certain power in being able to listen and not necessarily talk all of the time. What is that meme? If you talk, you might learn nothing. But if you listen you might learn something new.
Throughout the day, I keep a TextEdit document open. I write whatever is on my mind. Personal stuff. Friendships. Relationships. If I find myself consumed by something, I simply capture my thoughts in writing. That way, I can identify patterns BOTH in what is happening AND how I am responding to it. So that I can learn something for the next time. What about music? Why not write some songs? Yes, that is an option. But music throws up a technical minefield of complexities. It does not mean that it does not happen at some stage. Yes, I have written songs about my exes. But there is something extremely powerful about putting it into words instantly. Taking something from within myself and putting it outside of myself. Once it is out there, it is no longer inside of me and it has less power over me. Months later, it becomes trivialised. I read back over my journal entries and see what I was thinking. I wonder why I was worrying about it. It is a tool for self-strengthening. Empowering myself. All of those things that LA advised me to do. I am tougher than I was before. Acting (not being) strong is not about sending confrontational messages or exuding authority over others. Hiding behind the mask of aggression disguised as false honesty. It is about quietly listening and making conscious choices about how I choose to inwardly perceive the outer world.
Equally, I think that it is important to take the time to write positive reviews.
It has been a long, tough pandemic and there are many shops and small businesses out there struggling to make ends meet. It is important for me to praise and commend everyday, honest and hardworking people for their efforts. It is vital for their dedication to the trade to be recognised, even in the smallest of ways, regardless of how much time has elapsed since I made a purchase.
Men Casual Elastic Waist Harem Pants
At some point, I will sit down and go through all of my Amazon purchases and write positive reviews. If I can spare 5 minutes of my day, why not use those 5 minutes to help someone else? Otherwise, it is a pocket of wasted time and energy. I have time on my hands to give. Kindness does not cost anything, it is free. I know that there are potentially greater things that I can do to help others. But there is always a starting point. And maybe, if I start small, with one small act of kindness, it might lead onto bigger and better acts of kindness. It is as much about increasing my capacity and potential to give as much as it is increasing what it is that I give.
What is manifestation? It is about raising your vibration to be in sync with what you want. In practical terms, this can mean changing your language. Or expressing something in a certain way so that it becomes believable. And becomes a reality.
Back in March, I said that I am not ready to date. But I realised that the reason that I was not ready to date was because I was telling myself that I was not ready to date. I was limiting myself through my own perception of myself. All that I needed to do was make a subtle shift in my self-perception. In practical terms, this meant asking myself the question. Well, when AM I ready? Why not start now? What have I got to lose when I can choose to make the rest of my life the best of my life?
How have I changed my language? I am replacing the word "be" with the word "act". Both verbally and literally. It is not easy, especially verbally. On many occasions, I have felt the need to outwardly correct myself while speaking to other people. But it has transformed the way in which I perceive others. I am not name calling as much as I used to. Instead, I am focusing on behaviours as aspects (rather than as inherent qualities) of people. In doing so, I am learning to practise empathy by understanding behaviours within the context of experiences. Ultimately, it is helping me to feel more at peace and connected with others
Today, I had my meeting with my MH Champion. I wanted to have this meeting before allowing myself to go back on Tinder.
I seem to be in control of how I am thinking and feeling and what I am doing. The main thing to be aware of is to not let that "control cycle" control me. This means that I am constantly overthinking, overanalysing, monitoring and judging myself for thinking and feeling a particular way. The danger of this is that it might make me less susceptible and open to new experiences.
I am constantly judging myself for saying and doing certain things. I am often quick to ascribe emotional meaning to those things without needing to. An example is of those times when I was out in Soho with the M&M people. I judged myself for talking about my ex because it might come across as "negative". It is a positive process to confront these things and be able to talk about them openly. But I was blaming myself for talking about them too much and spreading negative energy. Worse still, I was seeing myself as manifesting those things happening again simply by talking about them. This was a distinction that I needed to learn. The distinction between thought and actuality.
My MH Champion tells me that we all talk about our ex's. To some degree, each and every one of us has pain attached to us. When we talk about our pain, it gets our pain out in the open, which makes it easier to move on. I should not feel bad for saying my ex's name in public or talking about him if it helps me to move on. I related to her about my most recent journal entry in which I said his name. How Dumbledore got it right "fear of the name increases fear of the thing itself". And how the process of saying his name helps draw power out of him and trivialises him so that he becomes less frightening. I felt like I had acted aggressively by saying his name to people in public. My MH Champion affirmed that there is nothing negative or aggressive about saying my ex's name to people in public if it helps me to "move on". Eventually, I will have said his name enough times that one morning, I might wake up and realise that I have not thought about him once for 6 months. I told my MH Champion about the dreams that I was having about Avi Taler. In the act of telling her, I realised that I have not had a dream about him for over a month. It shows that I have made progress.
For the record, the above is not necessarily all about Avi Taler. It is about anyone who I have come across in that way. And the fact that I had spent my entire life preventing myself from saying someone's name in public, which is what ultimately hurt me (not the qualifiers themselves). Social pressure, norms and expectations. 🙅♂️
This expands into the wider question of Tinder (and other dating apps). My boycotting of Tinder arose out of my fear to swim in an ocean where I might be bitten by a shark (= my ex). It was driven my motivation to get back on the dating apps if / when I feel "ready", i.e., if I can find a healthy and positive way of doing it. One that is serviceable to my needs.
Between November - March, I was convincing myself that I am not "ready". Because of what happened with HZ on Halloween. I invited him out to see a show. I sold him his ticket as a little test to see if he were true to his intention of attending. He purchased the ticket, but he did not turn up. I was with 2 other friends anyway so it was not like a "date" setup. But I did wait and wonder for 3 hours and send him several messages without hearing anything back. At the time, I responded negatively (Read More: 01/11/2020). I thought "OMG, I have been stood up!" I might have played the Love Fool / Eternal Victim by reporting it to the WhatsApp group of 200+ people. In my journal, I wrote "how perfect and ironic - ghosted on Halloween". The following morning, HZ messaged me immediately to tell me that his phone had died. I was left thinking "what was all that about, was it necessary to put myself (or others) through that thought process?" This formed the basis of my rationale that I was not "ready" to date. The premise that I have all of this pain inside me waiting to tap into. Just because someone does not message me or show up, I immediately think the worst of them. Or blame them. I felt scared and shocked about how much I seemed to be blaming other people for something else that someone else had done in the past. Afterwards, HZ & I exchanged a few flirtatious messages but they did not lead to anything. I felt too anxious and nervous about messaging him back. I realised that this was not a healthy situation for me to be in. And that if I felt this way, he was probably not the right guy for me. Again, that is a judgement in itself. On the one hand, I might be protecting myself through making those judgements. On the other hand, I might be restricting myself. Yes, the fact that I felt too anxious about messaging HZ might be an indicator that he is not the right guy for me. It should feel natural. By the same token, the right guy will understand my restraint and make an effort with me.
Back in 2016, a mental health practitioner at the Lambeth Living Well Network observed that I have all of these layers. Every time someone penetrates those layers and hurts me in some way, I tweak my armour and add another layer. I have been through that whole process of telling myself "I am not ready to date because I have all of this unresolved pain that is waiting for someone to tap into". Actually, that is not such a bad thing. To some degree, each and every person has pain. It is all part of the package. By talking about it openly, am I not purging myself of that pain? Am I judging myself for doing so? I came to the realisation that I might not be ready to date because I am telling myself that I am not ready to date. I am limiting and restricting myself through my own negative judgements and preconceptions of myself. But if I tell myself otherwise, the act of telling might make me "ready".
My MH Champion says that it is good to have layers. I could practise messaging and interacting with people without caring so much. She observes that I have such a high degree of control over myself that I (and others) struggle to move forwards. A super control cycle. If I can practise messaging and interacting with people whilst not ruminating on my messages and actions so much, I might open myself up to new experiences. Meanwhile, my barriers will kick in naturally if / when they need to, whenever I find myself in a situation in which I feel compromised. Like they did on March 28th, 2019 (which is in itself not a bad thing as long as I do not beat myself up about it). So I do not need to worry about having layers.
She says that the fact that I have these layers is a positive. They protect me. They weed out those guys who will not attempt to penetrate those layers and get to the soft, squidgy centre of me. Eventually, one guy will. I will know that he is the right guy for me because he has invested on getting to that centre of me. Like a hot knife through butter. A nice analogy.
She says that I hurt hard and I love hard. She observes that this is a nice quality about me. She also realises that this makes life hard for me. I experience emotions intensely. The pain is much harder whenever I experience a breakup. Most people can move on quite easily. I cannot. I hurt deeply. This is not a bad thing. But it does mean that these layers are necessary to have in the first place. She says that there is a reason for saying and doing everything that I say and do. A higher purpose. And that I must believe in that reason. Not judge myself or do myself down for feeling a certain way about someone.
I have been on Facebook Dating and Hinge to ease myself back into dating. Strangely enough, I seem to have allowed myself to do that before consciously thinking that I had found a "healthy" way of using dating apps. I recounted my experience of:
Subconsciously, I might have realised that the screenshotting is precisely that mechanism that enables me to use dating apps in a healthy mindset. I self-subjugated to my MH Champion by saying: "I know that this is super weird but I have trained myself to take a screen shot of anyone who I come across on a dating app who I know". She was completely understanding and even mentioned that she does a similar thing. She observed that if this is what works for me, I should do it. If it enables me to feel more in control and more comfortable. She advises me to try a few conversations without the screenshotting to see how comfortable I feel about letting things go. But definitely, as a "stabilisers on a bike"-style mechanism, to practise putting myself through that mindset of not caring. Screenshotting is a good thing to do if it helps me to feel more comfortable when I am on a dating app. And yes, I should try dating even if I do not feel 100% "ready". I might surprise myself. Go on a few dates and enjoy them. This is the most important thing. Try not to judge situations too much but enjoy them in the moment without ascribing emotional meaning to them where emotional meaning is not necessary. She says that I am a fun guy and I deserve to get myself out in the world again.
Last Friday, I went on a date with MK. I suppose that you could call it a "date". We met on Facebook Dating. At first, it was going well. We were messaging over 2-3 days. We talked about teddy bears and cats and other cute things. Until he casually dropped in that he lives with his boyfriend. My first question was "may I ask you what you are looking for on here [a dating app]?" His response: "I do not know, friendships, something casual. What about you?" My response was "I am looking to love and be loved in return." He said that he could offer friendly love if that is any good? I said that this is fine. I encouraged him to give me a shout next time that he is in Vauxhall as a way of "signing out" nicely - sending the Last Message. At which point, he instigated a meeting. We met. The date was short and sweet. It lasted the best part of 2 hours. He said that he would like to meet me again. I agreed. I walked away thinking that the date was nice. I was not overly enraptured. Since then, he has not messaged me. I am OK with this. What is the point of messaging someone unless there is something to talk about? A basis for the conversation to happen? It is true that some people might not know what they want. To justify them existing on a dating app in the first place. But that does not need to be my problem. My job is to separate the wheat from the chaff.
I have some little tools and techniques to help me remain in control:
Ultimately, these tools help me to protect myself. I might have felt deflated because nothing much came out of our date. Maybe that in itself is a form of prophecising. I do not know yet. But the act of resolving each and every account within myself enables me to draw closure (albeit temporary) and focus on other experiences and people.
At a wider level, this has resulted in me developing an Abundance Mentality. Not seeing each and every guy as "the one". Instead, keeping my options option. Believing in myself to know that "the one" is the right guy who is out there who will make an effort with me. And that I have equipped myself with the right tools and techniques to vet them. It was not something that happened overnight. Sonia explained to me the concept of Abundance Mentality back on 01/05/2019, before messaging Avi Taler to wish him luck in his concert. But I did not believe in it. How could I? I was hurting. I was blinded by my pain. I was suffering from cognitive dissonance along with trauma bonding. I was fixated on Avi Taler being the answer to everything. When he was in fact the door that needed to open in order for me to arrive at this realisation.
So, MK has a boyfriend. That is his business. He has acted honestly and transparently enough with me to make this fact known to me from the outset. The difference between MK and Lalo is that MK has not led me on by saying that he likes me and that we have time. I have manifested MK's honesty by asking an honest, open question. This is what I did not do with Lalo. And what I learned to do with Ron and subsequently ML. Law of Attraction.
I do not need to worry about the fact that MK might have a boyfriend. I am free to meet, mingle, hug and kiss whoever I like. I am not the one in a relationship. That is his lookout. Which begs the question of whether MK is getting enough from his existing relationship to be on a dating app in the first place? But that does not need to be my question to ask. I do not know enough about him or what has happened in his life. There is nothing that I need to do or speculate. I am comfortable enough in myself to know that we enjoyed a nice evening together. I am OK with the possibility that I might never hear from him again. I might! Whatever happens, I must ensure that I am happy and comfortable with both outcomes. That is life. People disappear. I used to try and do things to change that in other people. Like the AGA (Anti-Ghosting Agreement). But I realised that there is nothing that I can say or do to prevent people from disappearing. What I can change is how I respond to it. Time again, I come back to this principle. This does not stop me from asking the question if I think that something has gone amiss. But it is my choice of whether or not I wish to ask that question. And I must feel confident enough in myself to ask it, regardless of the answer. To not put all of my eggs in the basket of the person who I perceive to be determining my "destiny". This is why I am holding off explicitly asking Rob if he would like to attend my birthday until I am beyond caring about the possibility that he might decline.
I told my MH Champion about how I continue attending the Meetup events every week to remain "part of the crowd". She observes that I do not seem like the type of person who would disappear or drop off the radar. I am ubiquitous. Forming platonic friendships with other members of the LGBTQ+ community is important. It enriches my life. It strengthens me. I know that it is not a process that can happen overnight. I cannot expect to attend a few Meetup events and instantly make friends. It is a process. It takes time. This is why I am trying (not forcing myself) to go regularly. Even if I do not have a great time every weekend, or have a mediocre time. Sometimes, I meet new people and never see or hear of them ever again (despite whatever was discussed). Other times, I catch up with people who I know. Occasionally, I meet someone who I have not met in a long time. This is all part of life. I begin to realise that the true friends are those who do stick around. My MH Champion says that it is the same in my workplace. Although we have not met live (only virtually), she has the impression that people think of me as a nice, fun guy. I should be proud of that. She reminds me that I am regulating myself and ruminating over conversations and situations with other people more than I need to. This is something that I can work on. My conscientiousness is a nice quality to have, but it might make life difficult and more painful for me. She says that I am kind enough and that I do not need to regulate myself as much. If I ask someone if something came across as negative, they might question themselves and how they responded to what I said or did. Which would increase a cycle of self-doubt. In most cases, what I said and did might not have come across as negative. And if it did, other people might have their own reasons why they responded to it in such a way. Reasons that have nothing to do with me.
My MH Champion encourages me to not hide myself away. Find a dating app, whether it be Tinder or another app that I feel comfortable with. Go on dates. Enjoy them. Keep her in the loop with what is going on. If I ever feel under pressure or compromised in any way, she can interpret what is going on. Just like she did with Rob. I had not heard from Rob in over a month. But I was OK with it. Perhaps there was simply not much to say. Rather than anything that I said or did. It is a natural process. I have invited him to my birthday party. This time (in contrast to the Halloween scenario), I am not planning on asking anyone else or giving him 24 hours to respond. I am prepared for the possibility that he might not want to come and that there will be 5 (not 6) of us. Accepting that as a possibility is a positive state of being. Ensuring that I am happy whichever way the wind blows. It is nice of me to invite him. He has been my friend, my foundation. An important influence in my life over the past 1.5 years. I would stick by him in anything. Perhaps our friendship is not "carnal" like it was before. But maybe it is something more than that. It is a nice gesture to show him that whatever happens, I care about him. Even though he has only said "looks cool" and not stipulated whether or not he intends to attend. I might message him a week before and clarify that. For now, I feel satisfied in myself to know that I have done enough by inviting him.
I told my MH Champion that I unlocked my journal on March 23. Last September, I was going through a difficult phase. My parents found out about my journal (via my brother). I think that their concern was not about anything that I had said in it (I had said nothing bad or wrong). But more about how others might interpret it. I highlighted that the way in which I see myself is more important than the way in which others see me. Nevertheless, I abided by their concerns and password-protected my journal. Over the winter months, I felt disempowered by a feeling of not being able to act openly or transparently about what has happened in my life. I actually felt more comfortable about my life being out in the open. Not in an "airing dirty linen" sense. More from the perspective that people had access to my thoughts and could read me like an open book and see where I am coming from. Without me feeling the need to justify or explain my existence in the world. The other motivation for having my online journal is because it helps me to draw a separation between myself and what is happening to me (what I am experiencing). Anything negative > goes straight into the journal. It becomes trivialised in words. Put to account. Again, I self-subjugated by saying "I know that this is super weird". Straight away, my MH Champion shook her head. She reassured me that this is part of who I am. I am an open book. I should never censor what I say or do. I should remain open in the way in which I talk and act. Some people might shy away from my openness. But the right people for me will appreciate it and be in my life more. She says that I do not need to change myself. My openness is my virtue. What she said reminds me of what Sonia said to me 1.5 years ago. That I have shown honesty and attracted the same back in return. How that honesty manifests in a more open and relaxed conversation.
Read More: 04/09/2019 + 06/11/2020
My MH Champion says that I have a lot of love but also a lot of pain. Sometimes, my pain comes out strong and intense. It scares people away. Occasionally, I might even scare myself with my own pain. This is perfectly natural and healthy. But I should never feel the need to suppress it.
I explained to her that unlocking my journal on March 23 was something that I disciplined myself to do. And to wait for. As a precautionary measure, I went through and re-worded some entries, always considering whether I am happy for someone else to be potentially reading them. I transformed any instances where I might notice myself name-calling. Instead of saying "he was ungrateful", I might say "he acted ungrateful". Moving from "being" to "acting".
The unlocking was something that I did for myself, not for anyone else. I did not "announce" it. I simply put a date in my calendar and went about my business quietly, ensuring that I felt comfortable to do it. This was a positive process in which I acted in sync with myself. Although I had covered my back by "toning it down", my ultimate concern is not with whether or not someone might read it. Simply the fact that my thoughts are out there and accessible (regardless of who reads it) is enough for me.
What about the rest of my life? I am exercising a lot. My MH Champion has seen my Captain Tom 100 Burpee Challenge video. I told her about how my nutritionist at work is meeting with me next week to help me sort out my diet and exercise regime. I am socialising and drinking a lot. Sometimes a bit too much. A couple of times over the past weeks, I have drank a lot, come home and felt ashamed for drinking so much. My MH Champion says that sometimes you need that. To purge emotions and get it out of your system. It can help you feel connected with others. There is nothing wrong with that. Everything in moderation. I mentioned that I am trying to maintain a point of equilibrium. I am going to the gym 3x per week. If I know that I am about to go out on a night out, I will hit the treadmill, cross trainer and bike to kick back at least 500 calories. And I will walk to the event and back again. To keep me accountable to myself (via MyFitnessPal) and within my deficit. I can still make allowances for that. I have started doing a bit of recording. Not too much. But just enough to keep me balanced.
The online shopping has become an addiction. Again, I have developed rules to regulate it.
I think that the same processes and procedures that I go about with my online dating come about in my online shopping. It starts with Mindfulness. Noticing patterns. Being aware of what is going on. I am obsessive. That is not a bad quality to have. There are good things that come out of it. Structure. Discipline. Perseverance. Willpower. Ability to rationalise and not act on impulse. Control. But maybe I could work on is making myself feel better. Ensuring that I feel free, liberated and comfortable. Not beating myself up about life. Enjoying life for the moment rather than ruminating on the past or speculating on the future. Ensuring that I feel happy at any given moment. Going home early for a night cap and treating myself to fresh tortellini pasta if I am not feeling it.
The other day, I bumped into my friend Maria in the post office when I was returning an Amazon item. I told her about my online shopping streak that happens 2x a year (Spring and Autumn). She said that the main thing is that I ENJOY IT.
My conversation with my MH Champion and previous conversations with Maria and Sonia have taught me that I do have the tools to regulate myself. But I do not need to regulate myself to the extent that I am no longer enjoying life. I might become a slave to my own expectations. This is the balance that I am drawing myself closer to. It is OK to feel the need to take screenshots to regulate myself and others if it enables me to feel more in control. It is like having stabilisers on a bike. The key difference is not letting that self-regulation take control over me and my life. Not allowing myself to become a slave to it. Learning how to master it, as and when I need it to. Weighing up the pros and cons at each and every step of the way. Whether it is Tinder or Amazon, this is what making healthy, positive, conscious choices is all about.
Rory spent the first few years of his life in an ice cave, carving out his palace of wonder. He's a bit of a love doll, but he who melts the ice shall have his reward.
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I have been recommended to acknowledge and process all that I have been though, where it all started from how it has affected me.