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

Monday, January 04, 2016

New Year

So it's 2016 and I start the year with a PhD to complete, a new job lecturing at UEL four days a week and a more positive mindset. For many reasons, I decided to start taking citalopram again in November. I came off it in late February and while things were going well towards September, I crashed majorly at the beginning of October and starting getting anxiety symptoms so bad I was having crippling stomach pains and exhausted from worrying.

I also quit my job at Immediate Media. There was a time over the summer where my boss had a very indiscreet conversation with me and said the perception on the floor of me was very negative and I wasn't doing a good job. This was a lie: I was doing a good job – in fact I had been doing her job as well as my job and I was only in 3 days a week. But because there had been some office gossip and 'perceptions are reality', the tide had turned against me. This happened in July and I laboured on until November, but then my boss brought it up again and I decided that I couldn't fight it anymore.

Deciding to let go was so difficult. I had been working at a so-called 'career' for over a decade and to admit that it wasn't working out that well was hard. I had gone to other interviews, but there was always a niggling, chewing doubt at the back of my mind that if I committed to it, then I would be setting the course for my life and I would be leaving my PhD unfinished, which I wasn't prepared to do.

Over Christmas, I had to keep on 'letting go' although at no point did I really think that leaving Immediate was the wrong decision. I might be making a tough move right now, but my main hopes are that it will allow me the room to finish my PhD and that it will allow me the space to take the final step in self-actualising. I remember listening to 'Wicked Little Town' from the Hedwig and the Angry Inch soundtrack shortly after I decided to leave my job and the lyric goes something like, "But with all the changes you've been through, it seems the strange one's always you." And I thought... It actually doesn't matter where I go, I'll probably always stick out so why not be the person you originally set out to be?

When I was a teenager, I think perhaps I may have done some things out of pain or angst, but as an adult I want to take those things back and do them through celebration and love. To celebrate my queerness – and by queer I mean a gender strangeness ratheer than a reference to my sexuality.

I've also tried to stop being so damn awkward in front of adults: when I was younger I was always told to be polite and shut up. But now I just think, I don't care – hate me, but I have an opinion and it is equally valid and justified. I have as much right to exist as anybody else.

Last time I went to my GP, I asked if I could stay on citalopram indefinitely. I feel like it clears all the doubts and worries in my mind and allows me to function as a normal human being. I don't think it's cheating or wrong... I think anxiety is actually a horrible illness that has crippled me for my whole life. Maybe one day I will reach a point where I can function without it, but if I could make someone feel what it's like to think and think without being able to get rid of the worry and stress, be hurt easily by things people say and second guess what they mean, to sometimes not be able to sleep, or to have a mind so clouded with thoughts it's hard to think through the simplest problem, then they might think differently about it too.

I'm very positive about 2016. I can feel myself emerging in a new and beautiful way. And I don't know how long this incarnation of Allan will exist – whether it's a short stint or a permanent metamorphosis – but I sense that the change is something so strong, that not even I can control or stop it and that things will be so wildly different afterwards.

So here we go – into the mysteries together!

Labels: , ,


Post a Comment

<< Home