Dear Diary: I have to hang up my keyboard …​

Apologies, I am a fan of the UFC, 4 years ago Welterweight great Giles St Pierre said, “I have to hang up my gloves for a little while ….” on Saturday he returned, won the middleweight title, the weight class heavier than one where he had been the unbeatable champion. He put his legacy on the line and rolled the dice one more time and won.

I may not have won 12 Welterweight UFC title fights, with 9 successive defences, nor have I secured myself a spot in any Hall of Fame, but, in 2017, I am very much my own champion, literally, I have a British Title to my name, and in overcoming the struggles of my medical condition, and being honest and open about my depression and battle with suicidal thoughts – not here I am sorry, but in my real life, where, it was important that while people saw me lift a trophy and some almost Rocky-like comeback they realised there was a very dark side and I was paying a very high price for that success.

I hope the battle was evident here, there have been many days where breathing only happened because it was a reflex, because had it relied on will, I would have stopped. The strain became too much; I withdrew from the Worlds, turning out to be a dodged bullet, and I withdrew into a dark place. The reality of life and future lack of change became far to much to handle, and even now, is not something I entirely want to contemplate. With more potentially bad medical news on the way and even a possible recurrence of cellulitis, I am, in truthfulness, out of fight.

I am therefore a little jealous of Giles, I wish that because of what is happening in my life I too could hang up my gloves or a little while. However, I am hanging up my gloves, competitively I have no plans to compete in 18, and in fact, my return to competition is entirely dependent on my training performance reaching a standard I have set, if I do not reach that standard, I do not return.

Professionally, I am retired from work for the foreseeable future, my medical condition is not under control to the extent that any employer could be expected to handle the amount of time off I would take, nor is it actually fair to expect work colleagues or an employer to deal with what happens during a severe hemiplegic migraine attack, and self-employment is beyond my work capacity at this time. That pressure is off, and I have had to accept that this is just the situation, I may have been working 2 jobs at 13, but that is perhaps why I am working no jobs at 45, who knows. I have to deal with it, and be thankful I am in a position where this is possible however tight and uncomfortable it makes the financial reality.

And I am not without a future, I had moved on, and while one project has to be dropped, I had other things that while I will have to do slowly I can do, and my wife’s career is going well with her working somewhere that values her and wants to invest in her development, so I can support her and do what I can to facilitate her success, this man is most definitely not an island.

So in the style of Giles St Pierre ” I have some thing in my life going on, and I have to hang up my keyboard for a while” …. dont use the R word ….

Advertisements

Dear Diary: Someone Said So

Someone treats you like someone you used to be a long time ago

Someone you haven’t been for a long time

Someone you changed from being and have no shown no signs of being, haven’t acted like or even been close to for a long time

You are upset that they have assumed that you are that person from the past.

You get upset that they treated you like a person you are not

You are bad person for being upset by them

You are wrong to say, hey you treated me on an assumption taking no account of the years where my actions prove I am not longer that person and I no longer act that way.

They are upset because you have said they did something they shouldn’t.

You are a bad person

That person cared, that person only wanted the best for you when they ignored all the work and years of effort, the actions upon actions that demonstrated the change from who you were to who you had become

That person meant nothing bad when they took away from you any notion that people can change or perhaps their actions should be allowed to speak.

You shouldn’t be surprised.

Your mum assumed you were, the doctors and schools too, they treated you like the person they said you were and nothing you did changed a thing.

The applied the labels that defined you, nothing you did mattered, you were broken, bad.

You never deserved a second chance, you actions were always silent, you were always what someone else said you were

The Court dubbed you a monster on the word of your ex-wife when even the Police found evidence to the reverse.

You, your actions make no difference, the world it has never cared, your legacy will never be what you did or said, your legacy was dead before your first breath when someone said.

Poetry Corner: Only Torment Can Fly

No demon today, the well is dry

Nothing but the anguish of an empty cry

Barren where only torment can fly

 

The angels they left, the devil cares no more

Death stares you down, the coward evermore

Only fear and terror take flight to soar

 

No shelter, no warm place of comfort and rest

No warrior, you failed life’s simplest test

Look closely at the misery of your very best

 

No place at Valhalla’s table, no ride in Elysium’s fields

There is no room for me in my Fathers’ house,

No echo in eternity, no final journey fallen on my shield

Dear Diary: Monday Recognition

I am up, out of bed, my wife gets me up and makes me breakfast bless her.

I guess forgetting to eat for three days may have given the game away?

I am here, doing that thing I do, except. previously in my life, I had stuff I just had to or my life would have collapsed. You know, no house, nothing collapsed. Now the problem is, if I do nothing, nothing collapses.

Nothing would change if I did nothing, the bills paid, my wife would get the shopping and pick up every bit of slack, and wouldn’t hate me for it. In fact, the more I deteriorated, she would worry and look to get me help, and do more to help me get better, being left to rot, would be the very last thing that would happen.

So how do I cope, I have nothing to do, no job left, everyone survives well without me, but I know I am not causing anything to miss a beat either.

The world really wouldn’t change, it wouldn’t miss me because it already doesn’t.

Dear Diary: Dreams are like Stars

They are dead when you look at them too.

It’s true, the light from a star takes so long to reach us that when we see it the star has probably died.

When our dreams die, they die inside of us before people see that they have.

They only mattered to us, and their death only matters to us because we let it matter.

Ultimately it was all meaningless and worthless from the start.

Dear Diary: Administrative Error

They happen.

You don’t get sent what you should. Nothing personal.

In that moment, that space between what should be and what is not, in the gap comes the realisation that what is coming, what you are waiting for, that thing those other people have, that you crave to be just like them, to wear, just like them, that you earned, and worked for that is justifiably yours and is your reward, that has been denied you by a simple mistake and is now one more hurdle away.

The fact that it can be denied in a moment by a simple administrative error shows that your loyalty has been wasted, that those that grant you what you thought was great reward and honour, hold you in no esteem at all.

You are not valued, they do not think of you at all, they forgot you. Your work, sacrifice, dedication, consistency, all that it took to get you to the point where you could be great for them, they forgot, and instead you had to go back and say, excuse me you forgot that I earned that too. They forgot about you even before you were done.

The truth of your value, if you let it, starkly strikes you.  What did you earn, what was its value, if you continue, what will the value of that really be, if only you care and you don’t then why take another step at all?

The game is done, over, played. The delusion ended, you are worthless, empty, discarded, yesterday’s news and never was.

Dear Diary: Social Media and Me

Ever ask yourself “what was I thinking?”

A while ago I made a promise to myself that I would disengage significantly with Facebook and use it as more a group update and keep in touch tool, with opportunity for contribution.

That hasn’t always worked out quite the way I planned but more and more I was starting to get the formula into a good balance.

Well, so I thought. You do that, you think things are going in the right direction. I do that, I think things are going in the right direction, or even, more disastrously, I think they are going well.

I am re-evaluating my contribution, after a couple of weeks where I have had the realisation that my contribution is not appreciated, or to quote “adds nothing of value” and that my “essays” are not as appreciated as I had thought.

It is easy to believe you are encouraging, maybe informing, sharing knowledge, even, dread the thought, lifting someone up.

I guess I should have known, delusions are only ever allowed to last so long.

Thinking Out Loud: I used to try really hard

It seems a very long time ago that I downloaded a blog planner and I was reading pages and pages on how to create content that would engage readers and grow an audience.

I would be carefully timetabling days so I could create content, especially my Monday Night Reflection, which was so very dear to me, that would be valuable and well thought out. Monday Night Reflections were particularly special because I was letting the blogosphere into my thoughts and sharing genuinely hoping that I was helping create something that would be of value to someone.

I knew that staying anonymous would limit way in which I could grow, but I tried my best to use strategies that would create an audience and some organic traction because I wanted engagement, my heartfelt wish was that someone wouldn’t hurt like I did, or would see that, hurting was okay, and that there was through it to get to.

Thing’s changed, and I thought perhaps I could document overcoming the attacks of what are most likely hemiplegic migraine, perhaps documenting survival in a different way, the challenge of having my creative ability taken, robbed even and learning, relearning, sometime learning daily to do something that had been a joy and such a big part of my day would be something I could share.

I found sharing impossible, there was nothing to share, it was blank, you just write rubbish and bin it, till its not rubbish and you feel comfortable sharing what you have. My failed attempts are not something I keep, like falling of a cycle, not something you really need to post for the world to see, failed is failed.

Thing is, you have stats, good old Word Press, and there they are not changing, there I was dedicated as an author to my craft planning and working to create, and there I was dead in the water, lost at sea, struggling to express myself at all.

I care, of course I do, every one who creates cares, I want people to engage, everyone with a blog is really saying look at me, I am no exception, what I mean to say is, I am here creating, I hope you like it, I am sorry if its haphazard, random, without focus or purpose, that’s my life right now, that’s is me, that is my blog and my creativity, I gave the structure thing a go, I couldn’t hack it, it didn’t fit, I am too old, and just a little bit too grumpy to wear things I don’t like.

Poetry Corner: Migraine

Tears escape, torn up inside

Nothing right, scared to die

 

Too much everything becomes the pain I feel

The light, the sound they hurt so very much

Like a sledge hammer even the lightest touch

 

No such thing as silence, there is no rest

I hear in colour, the sheets like sandpaper at best

I want to sleep, the shadows terrify heart

My days and nights, my conscious drifting apart

 

The sea and darkness surround my art and thought

I would drift or drown, I have forgotten how to even fail

I have no idea about what it is that will prevail

It is dark, I’m lost, drifting to who knows where

Don’t destroy those who dare to be close and care

Poetry Corner: Monday Does Not Care

The morning our beautiful mistress, our most heartless master,

Beckons us to our dream,

Cares not of triumph nor disaster.

 

The sun rises and sets indifferent to them all,

The dust it gathers before even the first night has come to fall.

Agony and joy, the cheers, imposters call.

 

It never cared about the journey,

Time never cared about the battle,

Time has on carried regardless, it never cared at all.