A gay indie boy living in suburban South West London recounts his trials and tribulations dealing with sex, sexuality, growing up and getting older

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Slow Sunday

I'm having one of those days and I feel I've had it for two weeks running now, two Sundays running. In between feeling exhausted, I've been fulfilling travel obligations and doing things other people have planned for me. Then, in a bid to relax, I've been drinking far too much and waking up tired and fuzzy headed, thus invoking a pattern.

I stopped taking citalopram two months ago, but I started tapering myself off at the start of the year. I think this may have been a bit of a mistake. Since coming off the medication, I can see a very clear difference in my thinking, which has forced me to consider whether I have actually been struggling with a problem my whole life and just masking it or finding coping strategies, or whether I am just 'normal' and overthink things.

I definitely think I am hampered by anxiety. I find it hard to relax and sometimes everyday tasks can seem so daunting that I just avoid them or refuse to do them. Household chores, for example, fall into this category. A whole day can be wasted due to lack of focus and energy, or I can write off a whole day based on a bad hour. And, of course, I have thought very hard about my relationship anxiety. I think it's even possible I've 'talked myself out of' doing anything that would ever lead to a relationship because I'm actually scared to death of what might happen if it worked out. I've painted myself as this lone wolf, an unapproachable character, a hard-to-handle, bitten-off-more-than-you-can-chew meanie. But deep inside, I've somehow subconsciously convinced myself that I shouldn't even date, shouldn't even talk to a guy because it will all go horribly wrong and – even if it doesn't – it's going to end one day anyway. So might as well calculate/predict/force the hand of that ending than actually try and work at a lasting relationship. This has now got to the point where I see little point in sexual interactions as they are short-lived and mostly disappointing.

It was more or less ten years ago this week that I dumped the last person I referred to as my boyfriend – the last person I said 'I love you' to and meant it. And though there have been dalliances in between, there has been nothing that has come close to a 'proper' relationship. A decade without someone is not usual.

I fantasise often, and now I think fantasising is a form of anxiety fulfilment. To try and predict what might happen in the future in order to anticipate it and deal with it. What's more is this occupies most of my time, and it's actually a form of procrastinating, as nothing ever gets done. Then I end up punishing myself for not being able to live up to the ideals of my fantasies, ultimately setting the bar to high and setting myself up for failure.

The past couple of weeks, I've noticed how lonely I really am. I live alone, I eat/sleep/watch TV alone... Sometimes I go to movies alone and I spend most of my days alone. And only today did I realise that I have probably chosen this way of life because I just can't handle the status quo: I am unable to negotiate close human interactions and confrontations, so I just avoid them completely. I don't believe I have social anxiety, I think I've just developed this weird method of working because I am desparately afraid of depending on someone else.

Thinking back and trying to pinpoint when it happened is difficult. It seems it was a series of small decisions that has now culminated into a situation that is way out of hand and beyond my control.

I turn 32 in less than 2 weeks' time and I am somewhat bemused and panicked by the situation I find myself in. On one hand, I seem to be this fully grown man with a job... I pay rent and bills regularly. I am working towards a PhD. Others see me as someone who sets his mind to something and goes for it. 

But on the inside, I am still this silly little boy, dreaming of things that could never happen, wanting a success that could never come, scared to death of failure.

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