That Letter We Never Send

So here I am, getting ready for work, work for which I’ll actually get paid for.  I can still hardly believe it.  I really felt that, somehow, I was fated never to get my life back in any sort of order again, that I will slowly drift before dying of a broken heart, most probably suicide.  I won’t though.  I’m going to be someone.

Yet it still tinged with sadness.  I cannot share my moment of joy with the one person who I shared my most joyous of times with.  She’s on my mind every day, still, too.

So what to do?  It’s pretty clear to me.  I’ve just written up that letter we never send someone, saying exactly what we feel.  Here’s mine, to my beloved ex.  No alterations, no stopping for pauses.  This is exactly how it came out of me, word for word.


Not that I’ve been keeping record recently.  But it’s been 7 months, 1 week and 6 days since you drove out of my life.

Do you remember it?  I do.  Vividly.  After going so long without seeing me, looking out across the sea, together in each other’s arms, you whispered to me “I’ll never leave you.”

Physically, of course, we know that to be wildly untrue.  In my mind, my heart, and my soul, you have never uttered a truer word in your life.  Two hundred and twenty five days since you whispered those words so tenderly in my ears.  On two hundred and twenty five of those mornings, afternoons, evenings, and late at night, I have thought of you, loved you, and needed you more than ever.

It matters not one bit though.  I know I’ll never see you again, nor feel the warmth of your soul and closeness of our minds ever.  It’s something I have to deal with and move on.  Cold hard logic says forget the past, live in the present, and prepare for the future.

Life, as we know, though, isn’t just made up of doing the right thing.  What makes it a life, rather than an existence, are irrational, impulsive reactions, decisions based on instinct, and living by those decisions whatever the outcome.

Since that fateful day in February I’ve been through the hellish side of making a life changing decision based on heart and soul.  My head told me not to, but something inside me couldn’t help but fall in love with you, completely, and utterly, knowing full well what might happen.

Depression Holding Hands

It did, of course, and the hurt I’ve felt was unimaginable to me.  I’m not talking about tears, or pining for you, like any other heartbreak in the past.  No, this was on another level altogether.  The pain was so acute it was physical – and still is.  I can feel the discomfort in me even now.

It was nothing compared to the long, long days, nights, weeks and months of torment my mind has put me through.  Suicidal thoughts have been an obligatory constant, making plans to end it all always lurking, reduced to howling uncontrollably while the Samaritans tried to talk me away from the brink.

Yet, you know something?  It was worth it.  Every moment of excruciating mental and physical agony I’ve endured since.  Why?  For a fleeting time in my life, I knew what it felt like to love someone so completely, in mind, body and spirit, that I would have done anything, absolutely anything, for you.  Wow, is it intoxicating.  You gave me meaning, purpose, self belief, and you loved me perhaps even more intensely than I did you.

Slowly, but surely, life without you is getting into some order.  I know you will be so, so proud of me.  For I write this on the eve of my new paid job.  The ultimate irony, isn’t it?  All those years job searching so we could have enough money to move in together, and now the day is almost upon us, you’re not here to make the journey, and our lives, complete.

No matter, I know you will feel the same sort of anticipation as I do this very moment.  In a few short hours will be that giant leap forward in my life.  Paying my way.  Other than you, it’s all I ever wanted.  Just you see, my life will become better and better.

It will never be the same, of course.  I’m resigned to feeling that little lump in me.  That feeling of a part of me having died.  It will stay with me until the rest of my body catches up.  You will forever be an integral part of my mind, soul and spirit and even though you’re not here, you really are here.

It’s that which is driving on.  The thought of seeing your face break into that achingly beautiful smile, hearing and seeing of how I’m getting on with my life, is what drives me on.  I’m still doing it for you.  Mostly, though, I’m getting with my life for my sake.  I deserve a little inner happiness and, at this moment, the eve before getting back into work, I’m feeling just a little of it.

Wherever you are, whoever you are with, whatever you are doing, I hope you are happy.  Despite the turmoil of this year, you made me as happy as I never thought possible.  I truly love you still so very, very deeply.  But it’s a different love.  A love of someone I used to be with.

You’re in my past.  Tomorrow begins my future.  Which leaves me living in the moment.  And right now, in spite of everything these past 7 months, 1 week and 6 days, it somehow feels good.  Funny how life works out.

Thank you.


















(PS – I love you)


Woken Up Before September Ends

Another breakthrough.  After weeks and months of not going out to enjoy myself – well, being unable to, straitjacketed by my mind to not go – last night I attended a social event on my own.  For the first time in goodness knows how long.

Of course, I’ve managed to get out and be sociable when it comes to everyday things like job searching, shopping, and even the odd walk in the park.  Organised events, however, have been a different kettle of fish until now.  Social agoraphobia is what Lesley called it.  I just described it as not wanting to go.

This was different though.  A meeting of like minded people from the world of literary and poetic licence were in attendance a short walk from me, in that park I so loved walking though when Lesley was getting to grips with my depression.  Even if I said nothing to anyone the whole night, they were at least appreciating the same things I was.  Kindred spirits without even having to utter a single word.

Of course, as the time came nearer, the social anxiety grew and grew.  My mind began the familiar route of looking for reasons not to go.  There were none.  The event was free.  The weather was mild.  It didn’t start too early or end too late.  There was nothing unmissable on tv or anywhere else.  Joy.  The negative side of me had drawn a blank.

To make sure I went, I unplugged everything from home, including internet access.  I know my inertia of doing simple household tasks would mean I’d sit and get frustrated with myself for a couple of hours before bothering to re-plug everything – and then tell myself off for getting into that state.  So the choice was either go or stay at home feeling rotten about everything.  My mind, knowing the game was up, acquiesced.  I was on my way.

The wander through leafy lanes and into the dusky park was uneventfully nice but I could feel that knot well up inside of me.  Still my subconscious was looking for excuses not to go.  On one side of the venue were people taking part in some sort of training exercise.  Fleetingly, I thought I’d had the wrong place and wondered about returning home.

Then logic got a good hold of me.  Don’t be stupid.  Try the other side.  Which I did, up an unlit pathway.  When I arrived, there was clearly something going on, but the tall, black door was firmly closed.  I stood outside.  At that point there was no way I was going to knock.  Hang around for a few minutes, while my anxiety grew, then simply leave if nobody came out.  At least I tried to fight my mind, even if in defeat tonight.

Depression Poetry

Except that right behind me were a couple.  Who of course knocked on the door, to be greeted with a warm welcome.  I gratefully stepped inside with them, not giving my subconscious the chance to back out now.  I was in.  A small step into the porch but a massive stride forward in overcoming a mind that’s had me in such a tight social grip.

Of course, the first thing I did was look for a seat, away from the main hubbub of activity, remaining in the background, unnoticed.  Just how I like it, uncomfortably comfortable in that situation.  I found a group of three of four unclaimed chairs as far away as the main group of tables and bar it was to get.  I sat quietly.

For all of a few seconds.  A voice from the Emerald Isle began talking with me, asking if I was going to give a reading.  At that point I noticed the mic a few feet in front of me.  Oops.  Is this where everyone’s going to line up to speak to entire gathering?  What a mistake to make.  Hello edginess my old friend.

As I tried to keep my anxiety at bay, I was engaged more and more in conversation with who had welcomed me.  Maybe it was karma, as some sort of reward for walking through that door, but she knew what I was going through even at that moment.  She took my mind off things with conversation about herself, her poetry, even about the world at large.

When the time came for everyone to give their readings, I was there and in a different place mentally, less anxious, more chilled.  There were a variety of readings from sci-fi books, anecdotes about Turkish hospitality, right through to feminist poetry.  One woman in particular, Rachel, touched my soul with the power of her words.  If there’s any justice, Rachel’s voice will one day be heard above the billions for at least one shining moment.

In the end, although I still felt tense to a small extent all the way through, I was so glad I turned up.  Not only for defeating my mind, and another step to getting better.  But to listen for an evening to the words coming from the hearts and souls of people’s beings.  Wonderful.

I left quickly after the last reading, back into the mild autumnal evening, not wanting anxiety to build up and spoil what I’d done.  Turning up and staying may not sound the height of achievement.  Yet, to me, waking up my social side, before September ended, is a million miles from that February afternoon, when it seemed for all the world I’d be better off dead.  There’s still a way to go, of course.

But I’m well and truly on my way.

Independently Relieved But Sad

A little milestone.  Over two weeks without a suicidal thought.  It goes to show I’m doing something right at long, long last – as well as getting that one lucky break.

It doesn’t need an Einstein, though, to work out what’s been going right.  My mind has been filled up with preparing for the new job, getting things done.  Buying work clothes, and a bike to get there, as well as – oh joy of joys – tearing up my job search book in front an amused adviser in the local jobcentre when I signed off.  My, that felt good.

One thing I’m acutely aware of now, though, is that I need to get a lot fitter in body as well as mind.  The couple of bike rides I’ve had to get myself used to saddle sores and uphill gears has ended with me flat out on the bed, doing nothing except gasping for breath for a few minutes.  The bike won’t be used for the work journey until my legs stop turning to jelly and heart no longer feels like it’s about to burst through my body.

Having said that, I’ve loved the exercise itself, and exploring the local cycle paths, especially those by the seafront.  Any therapist will tell you that exercise is a great way to combat depression and, despite my physical agonies when finished, the feeling of the heart pumping, legs rotating, and wind flowing against my body in the late summer sun has felt so, so good.

If it seems to be all going swimmingly, hmmm, well, not quite.  I’ve been troubled by some bad dreams in the past week.  The most vivid of them was seeing a plane crash.  It’s one I’ve encountered often before and it always betrays a lack of confidence in me over a current issue.  It has to be, this time around, self doubts that I can do the job I’ve fought and battled so hard to get.  This time though – no, mind, you’re not going to destroy me, no matter what you make me dream.

Another dream involved a dog talking to me, which I remember I found quite disturbing at the time.  Not as disturbed, though, as being punched, as I was in another.  They’ve been deeply unpleasant, and when I’ve woken up have felt more tired than when I went to sleep, as well as anxious and a little down.  The reason why they’ve appeared in my dreams I have no idea, other than my subconscious worrying about something.

The main thing, though, is that I didn’t dwell on them, and spent the days getting myself ready for a new career.  Which is perhaps something I share with Alex Salmond now.

For the uninitiated, he is Scotland’s First Minister (Prime Minister or President in everyday English) and was at the forefront of the campaign to make Scotland a sovereign, independent state and break away from the United Kingdom.  His campaign fell short, and within 12 hours, he had resigned.

Depression Referendum

It’s something that’s affected everyone’s mental wellbeing, the referendum.  The full circle of emotions have been felt by everyone.  From those campaigning to keep Scotland part of the UK, for long spells there was complacency, assuming victory without lifting a finger.  That soon turned to panic when those in favour of independence whittled down a 20% lead in the opinion polls until, with a fortnight to go, the Yes vote took a small lead.

As for those wanting Scotland to break away and stand on its own two feet, there was determination, and then excitement as the effectiveness of their campaign began to reap its rewards.  It almost turned to triumphalism when that rogue opinion poll had them as the majority just days away from voting, after years of struggling way behind.

In both camps, the mood became progressively more negative as 18th September grew ever nearer.  The exchange of views between politicians and activists became intransigent arguing, with a hint of menace occasionally rearing its ugly head.  People went beyond animated, and became angry when discussing independence, whichever side of the vote was supported.  Despite what the media may tell you about the exhilaration of political debate, Scotland was a depressing place to be the past few weeks.

In the end, rather surprisingly, it was a comfortable victory for those wishing to stay British.  55% to 45% may sound close, but 25% more people voted no than the 1.6m who voted yes.  28 out of the 32 Scottish districts, regions and cities also voted to stay in the UK, indicating that 25% extra was spread over the whole of Scotland, and not reliant on one or two areas.

I felt for Alex Salmond.  He’d spent his entire political life for this moment and, despite what was acknowledged to be a superb campaign at grassroots level, despite all his achievements, his vision fell much further short than the opinion polls had indicated.

His eyes were raw from crying, clearly, when he made his resignation speech.  His face looked red and puffy, and his whole demeanour was someone who’s just had his heart ripped from him.  I still am nowhere getting over that with my ex, so I really felt for him.  I hope he gets help because he really did look on the verge of depression.

The vote itself has left me relieved.  Not that is in any way related to the result, just that it’s all over now, and we can get on with life.  The sadness, with the continuing undercurrent of bitching in some quarters at how it turned out, is that Scotland is a fractured nation at the moment.  At least that’s how it feels. Which is something nobody wanted or campaigned for.  Still, what’s done is done.  We’ll get over it and get on with it.

Preferably with a new job and a pain free bike ride.

A Thousand Rejections But One Lucky Break

It’s funny how life throws things up that are less probable than Simon Cowell having trousers that don’t rise above his nipples.  Sometimes good, sometimes bad, but always leaving with a thought of how and why it happened.

Of course, this is leading up to something, definitely life changing.  After all the angst and unhappiness being spilled last week about the callous way in which yet another job interview went up the swanee, all of a sudden I’ve joined the ranks of the paid employed.  For the first time in half a dozen years I’ll be getting a fair day’s pay for a fair day’s work.

Why they’ve chosen me I have no idea.  Imbued with cynicism from last week’s rejection, I turned up for an interview expecting nothing.  My attitude wasn’t surly, but pretty much defeatist.  I had no expectations, so instead of giving carefully rehearsed answers to their bog standard questions, I gave them a piece of my mind.

Of how people can see through anyone deceiving them eventually, that the worst sort of person for the job is someone so smart they think everyone else can be fooled by them, and that extends to management and the corporate world too.

Of course I could do the job, I said, I could do it standing on my head, but that I wouldn’t be at all surprised if they found someone younger, that they can pay a lower wage to.  Even if it meant for them it’d be a false economy, because that’s how the world works.  Balance sheets and cynicism.

I wasn’t in the best frame of mind, obviously, to see someone for the off-chance of being gainfully employed.  Too much consciousness came out of my mind and into the small, dull interview room.  The manager and HR person looked and sounded distinctly unimpressed and underwhelmed, even though I was given a mini-tour of the place.

I’d know by the end of the day or, at the latest, the next afternoon.  When that came and went, I thought nothing of it.  A call the following morning came from the HR person.  She asked me how I think it went.  I stifled a giggle as I said I wasn’t confident.

Which made it all the more of a shock when she said the feedback was they wanted to offer me the job as soon as the interview finished but had to go through the process of seeing others.  I was absolutely baffled.  How could they have chosen someone so clearly not expecting or too bothered about being offered the vacancy?

Depression Overcome

She explained that they were instantly impressed by how my answers came from me rather than from a scripted, downloaded guide they normally get from candidates.  She also said I demonstrated not only that I could do the job, but that I could read and see right through people straight away, which was an asset any company would want.

I found it all the more surreal as I’ve struggled year in year out, decade in decade out, to understand myself and how my mind works.  I’m still none the wiser after all these years, too.  Who cares how perplexed I am though.  A job is a job.  I accepted straight away.  Two months training will be given, too, so this firm are serious about me.

You would have thought I would be dancing for joy, overcome with happiness, at achieving something I thought I’d never do again.  Yet the overriding emotion was relief.  Part of the nightmare would soon be over and I could move on with my life.

There was also a real sense of sadness too.  I know my ex would have been extremely proud at that moment.  She wasn’t there to share it though.  It hurt.  A lot.  I wished and wished there would be a knock on the door and she would walk in.  I guess wanting to share times of happiness with someone you still love is natural, though, and if they’re not there, is bound to take the edge off it a wee bit.

Nonetheless many people were delighted.  I was amazed by how many people seemed thrilled.  Not just family, but even my local MP.  And a message from someone well known to millions of people.  She said to me simply “Grab it with both hands.”  Grab it?  I’ll squeeze this opportunity for dear life.

Since then, I’ve had offers of help from various people and organisations to make sure I start work smartly dressed and able to afford things in the first month without pay.  It’s pretty sobering to know how much people from all walks of life care and what they are prepared to do.

There’s still that anxiety, though, and that bleak little voice in my mind telling me “You’re not good enough and you know it.”  I’m ignoring it though.  After six years without a pay packet, I don’t care what anyone says (especially me), I’m going to earn that wage, achieve, and be who I know I can be.

And all it took was one lucky break.

Therapy Log: Tuesday 9th September 2014 – Basically Instinctive

Another moment, another day, another week.  I’m getting through them.  Small steps, as someone keeps reminding me, and to stay strong.  It sounds cliched but it feels right an awful lot of the time.

The steps seem to go backwards at times, though, which is why, yet again, I’m sat in an uncomfortable, gloomy, grimy reception area, the low ceiling blocking out natural light.  Perhaps there’s a subconscious contrast at work.  After sitting in here, in a run down part of town with a high crime rate, any time spent with a therapist seems to improve the mind and soul, whatever is said and done.

As it turns out, Anne knows her stuff, so here we go.  Warm smile as we make our way to a tiny, impersonal room.  Then the small talk as I fill in that scores on the doors form.  Pretty much the same levels of depression, stress, anxiety and suicidal thoughts.

It would have been so much better up until the weekend.  Anne looks at me with those big eyes inquisitively, yet with a slight hint of bewilderment, it seemed.  I mention that Sunday was spent pining for my ex, missing her terribly.  I didn’t mention the thoughts of suicide.  I guess I thought it was implied that I would think these things in that state of mind.

Anne asks why.  For a while I’m lost for an answer.  I grope unconvincingly that maybe walking past where she used to live on the way to and from voluntary work may have seeped in.  I consciously stopped myself from specifically looking for her again, though.

There was also someone I thought was a friend had something revealed about her which was a little unsavoury and duplicitous, affecting the entire friendship.  Again, though, consciously at least, my mind was decisive.  She’s gone, from my considerations, and in future my thoughts.  The cut was fairly painless.

Still, however, it doesn’t explain Sunday’s actions.  Perhaps the latest rejection of paid work, however, was the tipping point.  After going through the hoop jumping of two interviews, and demonstrating how I have not only the brains but the experience for the job, I was brushed off.  I had the experience they wanted.  It was deemed ‘not recent enough’ though.

Depression Sharon Stone

I was, and still am when thinking about it, infuriated.  I’m not sure how much more recent I can get than 2014.  If they don’t want me because they thought I wouldn’t fit in, or they could get in someone younger and cheaper, tell me.  Don’t instead fob me off by making up flimsy excuses, insulting mine and theirs intelligence.  No wonder they cost the taxpayer billions in the recession if this is how they make decisions.

With that off my chest, we actually got on with the problem at hand, why I have such a lasting, ongoing problem with penetrative sex.  Questions, of course, were varied, and went from how I felt looking for certain things online right back to my childhood, searching for some sort of recurring cycle of behaviour.  At least that’s how I saw it.  There was never anything as a child that would have me needing or wanting to call Childline so behaviourial patterns it has to be in my eyes.

The long term relationship I had, way back in the 90’s, we talked through as well.  For the first time I talked about it with emotional honesty.  We may have loved each other for a while, but for the most part the relationship was built more on our good points outweighing our bad points, and getting on.  Settling for something instead of waiting for that truly loving relationship.

Anne asked if there was something in my head telling me that it was all I deserved.  I thought back to my ex-partner’s father one night.  Maybe it was the denial from his own life, or disappointment of how her daughter turned out, but he said “You couldn’t have done better than her.  But she could’ve done better than you.”  Maybe that had more effect than I realised.

After all, while with her, I had that ‘thunderbolt’ moment, when eyes met with another across a bar.  But I gazing at someone else.  Every sinew in my heart and soul wanted to be with that woman.  I never said a word though.  Nor did I ever react to increasingly unsubtle come-ons from one of her friends.

Perhaps I felt I didn’t deserve to chase love, desire and happiness, and settling for okay was the safest way to be.  If I did feel that, maybe that Dad saw the signals and was trying to break things up sooner, without her little girl being hurt, rather than the later when it inevitably finished.

After these uncomfortable questions and equally awkward thoughts and answers, Anne unpeeled something.  From a young age, I’ve somehow got it into my head that acts of love and affection towards me are to be viewed suspiciously, despite me being an openly loving soul, and being deeply, deeply in love until early this year.  And, if truth be told, still in love, despite her absence.

Kay Burley Make Up

We move onto cheerier things.  The physical exercises to enhance my levels of intimacy and comfort are going well.  I find that I can feel aroused to a very deep level yet still able to hold off climaxing.  Anne asks what I was thinking of at the time, really pleased with my progress.  My immediate answer is Sharon Stone, answered firmly.

The fantasy itself isn’t quite as steamy as it seems though.  It’s from her at the time of Basic Instinct.  Yet it’s none of the leg crossing shenanigans or other sex acts that I think of.  All we are doing is walking down a street, hand in hand, and occasionally we glance at each other, our eyes smiling, feeling that closeness and intimacy.  It makes my breathing quicker to even type that.  Which is probably symptomatic of why I have such a mental block sexually.

We also touch upon the woman with whom I have what seems an irrational attraction for, but which in reality is perfectly reasonable.  I talk about Kay Burley, coming across, to me at least, as sharp and incisive on tv, with a touch of wit in her twitter feed.  She’s also carries on being herself, despite the dim view certain section of the media, the public and my friends have of her, a really admirable mental toughness.

I belied all that plausible reasoning, though, in the end, by blurting out “She’s lovely!”.  Anne smiled warmly at my slight humiliation, a rare moment of unadulterated emotional honesty coming out.  It’s not something I could ever say to Kay either.  If we ever met, I’d probably have my eyes looking towards the floor, mumble a little.  And probably curtsey, embarrassing us all.

On that slightly uncomfortable note, the early afternoon sun lifted the gloom and grime.  How do I feel?  Mixed up, uncertain, and unsure.  Yet, in spite of that, I feel Anne is getting somewhere with me.  Finding the crux of the matter.  On a base level, Anne is in touch with my instincts.  If she can see them, she can also see where I’m going wrong, and where the road to recovery lies.

Until then, though, the sunshine, and Sharon Stone’s hand in mine, will do for me.

Addicted To Talk

It’s been the same mix this past week or so.  Getting out, into a regular work routine, slowly feeling better, but still the odd suicidal thoughts creeping in, and acute loss of my ex.  Still, one step forward is better than the dozens backwards I was taking a few months ago.

One noticeable side effect of this all has been a vast reduction in the time I spend online.  Cutting back further, too, has been activity in social media.  Facebook hasn’t been looked at  for a few days and Twitter for almost a week.  Somehow the need to let others know what I had for my tea or how outraged I am by a news headline has dissipated.  It feels good.

I still have a guilty pleasure.  Hmmm, maybe I need to rephrase that.  A guilty habit.  Something which really can cause negative feelings, and affect how I actually live.  Every day there is still some sort of need to log onto message boards and chat rooms.

It’s a lovely idea.  Lots of like minded people, sharing a common interest, getting together to have a gossip and a laugh or two.  Occasionally it even works that way as well.  After a short while, though, a kind of spell comes over me.  Within a few minutes of inactivity on a message board, I hit the refresh button.  Then again.  And again.

Instead of accepting that conversation, at least for a while, has been exhausted, I sit, waiting, not daring to go anywhere, lest I miss out on something interesting.  Meanwhile, hours of my day have drifted by, for the sake of feeling worse and worse.

Not only that, there’s often an opposing, negative, provocative, or downright rude response.  I become filled with anger and resentment, so instead of ignoring it, have to respond, which inevitably escalates.  Hours wasted once again, with anger now mixed into the negative feelings already engendered.  I wonder why I do it.

There is also an exponentially expanding form of online media, though, that can match such negativity.  To my shame, I’m also addicted to that in a small way.  Welcome to the world of chatrooms, a place where you can be, say, perhaps even do, anything you like.

Again, the idea is great, getting in touch with like minded people.  With chatrooms it seems there’s limitless places to log into for infinite pleasures and interests to be discussed.  From sport to sex, and everything in between, nothing is taboo in this world.

A big plus is that I’ve become friends with really decent people, folk who are genuine, and although may not feel or believe the same things I do, have the same sense of what I believe is humanity.  It’s a pleasure to chat with them and to share a small part of my life.

Depression Chatroom

That’s accentuating the good.  On the flip side, again, there is that addiction that sucks you in.  The amount of time I’ve lost just staring at a screen waiting for someone, anyone to say something, without typing a word to start conversation, is on a par with nurse’s working week in all probability.

There’s also the slightly sinister side of not actually knowing who you are speaking to.  Perhaps it’s part of a naive charm, but when asked for a username, I tend to put in my actual name.  Of course, that’s leaving me open for all kinds of identity searching if there’s unscrupulous people around, but I’d feel somehow like a fraud talking to people in a room hiding behind a pseudonym.

(I do realise the irony, maybe hypocrisy, of not revealing my name on here, of course, but then my aim is not to address anyone in particular, but to just let everyone and anyone benefit from what I have to say rather than who I am.  I’m a complicated wee soul).

On the flip side of identity, are the people who are somewhat economical with the truth about their age, where they are from, and on an alarmingly regular basis, their sex.  Often someone will claim to be a 30 year old male, then on the same internet address, later on become a 21 year old woman.

The reasons why, I really do not know.  I can only guess low self esteem as a reason for leading a secret life.  If they want to do that, though, there’s plenty of secret life websites where you can be anything.  Logging into a chatroom to talk with me, a man pretending to be a woman really does make my flesh creep.

There is a similarity with message boards for me as well.  I waste hours staying logged in, unable to break away from it, even though I really do want to do something else.  It induces a self loathing in me, my self confidence drops, and so the vicious circle starts.  It’s crazy to think I do that to myself.

What to do?  Well, I never carry any phone or gadget with me outside any more.  If anyone wants to contact me they have to wait until I get home.  Likewise for me, if the craving to log on hits me, tough, it isn’t going to happen until I’ve finished what I’m doing outdoors.

At home, it’s improving.  I stay logged into just one message board and one chat room, and don’t keep a constant eye on it.  If it becomes disconnected I no longer instantly reconnect.  Slowly but surely, my self loathing at home, my feeling of dependency, is lessening.  You never know, one day, I might even enjoy this interweb chat message thing, and use it sparingly.  It’s a very big ‘might’ though.

Until then, must dash, an empty chatroom awaits …..