Sunday, 26 December 2010

The Dark Place That Is My Mind

I've had a bit of a rubbish month since my last post. I'm struggling with so many things in my mind that I find it so easy to fall into a really dark place and get stuck there. I can get myself worked up over the smallest of things and soon it feels like the whole world is against me and all I want to do is disappear. It gets so bad sometimes that I often just lie in bed thinking about what would happen if I did just run away or worse, kill myself. Yeah, I really do feel that bad sometimes!

When I think through things rationally I feel ridiculous because for the most part I have a great life. I mean I'm not starving, homeless, disabled or terminally ill and I've never suffered abuse or anything that bad really. Thinking of people like that reminds me how petty and stupid I'm being and that just makes me feel worse. But at the same time I can't really help the way I feel. As much as I would like it to, thinking about people around the world in far worse situations than I am doesn't make me feel better about my own issues. I guess that's just because my issues are exactly that. Mine. And in the context of my life they're pretty serious.

The thing I struggle a lot with is anger. I am SO ANGRY about so many things. It's not violent sort of anger but rather the type of anger that can send me into a long and deep depression.

Where do I begin...

I'm basically just angry about how so many things in my life haven't gone right so far when they really should have. I've had countless opportunities handed to me in terms of the school and university I went to that should have set me up in terms of confidence and friends and I feel like I've wasted them all just because I've been struggling with the fact that I'm gay as well as other stupid insecurities. Pretty much everybody I know seems to be happy and successful with their lives or at least getting there, which I find so frustrating because I feel like I should be like them. I get really jealous really easily. My brother is a prime example. He's a bit older than me, has had a successful job, is coming to the end of his MBA at a top American university and has an amazing job lined up in New York for when he finishes. He's full of confidence, has hundreds of friends and doesn't struggle too much with the ladies either. Compare this with me - I have very few friends, I'm not sure what I want to do career wise, I'm not comfortable with being gay and I'm still a virgin at 24 and I have very little confidence or idea of how to change things - am I justified in being just a little bit pissed off? The same goes with so many people I know from school and university. And what's even worse is that there are even a couple of guys who have come out as gay and are doing great - what the hell is wrong with me then?!

I'm really angry with how 2010 has gone for me as well. I decided at university that when I finished I would go travelling around the world on my own. I spent the whole of university either studying really hard so that I could get a good degree or working really hard as a waiter so that I could afford to do the trip. Both helped me keep busy, which helped keep my mind off my problems while at university. I convinced myself that it didn't matter that I had close to no life at university because everything would be fine when I finished and was out in the world. That thought alone was what kept me going. 

And then the time finally came and I feel like I messed it up completely. Sure I was away for 7 months and saw some amazing places in the world but in terms of "finding myself" and getting comfortable in my skin I failed completely. If anything I've become worse! The whole trip I was stressed out about what was going to happen when I got home. How was I going to tell people I was gay? What was I going to do career wise? I was quite successful in telling some people I met on the trip that I was gay but at the same time I was really unsuccessful because there were still so many people who I didn't tell because I was scared to do so or didn't know how to. And apart from my experience in Bangkok, which I wrote about in an earlier post, I met no gay guys and got nowhere in terms of feeling comfortable as a masculine gay guy. This is despite me visiting places like LA, San Francisco and New York!! I really struggled with my insecurities while I was away, possibly because I had so much time on my own to dwell on them. I'm not unattractive, in fact many people say the opposite, but I struggle to see what they see. Instead I see so many flaws, which absolutely cripple me. 

In the end I completely unraveled and fell apart on the trip. I spent a lot of time on my own and didn't meet many people at all - I think I've become quite cynical when it comes to meeting people to a point where I judge them before even getting a chance to know them. I was supposed to stay away for a whole year but came home after 7 months. I actually came back full of optimism though because I felt it was the right thing to do. It felt very much like a case of going travelling to find something only to find that what you're looking for is actually at home. I felt like I wasn't going to make any progress while away but instead had to be at home to do so. And to an extent that has been true. I mean as soon as I got home I emailed all of my closest friends to tell them I was gay and that went well. But apart from that the last few months since I got home have been pretty awful. I've made little to no progress on the gay front and in making friends in general. A recent development was that I signed up to gaydar.co.uk - however I've yet to get into it fully and am still quite hesitant to meet guys possibly because I feel so inexperienced. I've struggled massively with getting my career off the ground mainly because of the issues I mentioned in my previous post but also because there are just very few good opportunites out there at the moment. I have started working in the past month though. I got offered an internship doing PR for a very innovative and entrepreneurial company that has quite a cool and global concept. It seems to tick a lot of boxes for me but for some reason I'm still not happy. I'm not sure if PR is what I want to do and I'm not sure if this job is really going to lead to anything better. And I've struggled with the whole gay thing at work. We're a very young team with most of my colleagues being recent university graduates like myself. This has been frustrating because it feels like I am actually back at university in that everyone is confident, has lots of friends and amazing social lives while I don't. I feel inadequate and jealous just like I did at university. And this all makes me feel nervous about the whole gay thing coming up in conversation. I want to tell them but there hasn't been a right moment so far and I'm not sure if there will ever be the right moment. And if I do tell them I hate how I don't have anything else to say about it. I mean it's not like I have a boyfriend of anything. And that's all stopping me from telling them in the first place! 

It's all a vicious cycle and I know I sound a bit crazy but that is basically what is going around me head all the time. I know I'm being stupid and I know I'm my own worst enemy but it's really hard to change. I think only people in a similar situation will appreciate that. I can honestly say that I've never been as unhappy as I am at the moment. At least in the past I always felt like there was some glimmer of hope, something to work towards (like my trip) but now I just feel lost. I'm not happy with how my career is going, I'm nowhere near happy with how my personal life is going and I have little idea how to change things for the better. I'm not even happy with where I live. It's the middle of winter here in London and it is GRIM. I'm not from England originally and I really miss living somewhere warm and sunny. The weather in London makes me feel miserable and unmotivated to do anything. It sounds like a stupid thing to get upset about (a trend is developing I think!) but it really does make a huge difference just having a blue sky to wake up to in the morning. I'm also not happy with living back at home in general. My parents are great in many ways and are cool with me being gay but I miss my independence. They've also adopted an approach that my being gay isn't an issue and so they're not going to talk about it because they don't want to make a big deal out of it. That's fine to a certain extent but there are so many times where I really do want to talk about it so that I can get all of this stuff off my chest and hopefully not descend into depression. But I find it hard to bring things up and talk to them because they just seem to have a 'get on with it' sort of attitude, which is really not helpful even if it is well intended.

I do want to change. I had dinner a couple of weeks ago with my uncle who is a really cool guy and he said something that hit home in a big way. BE YOU. It's exactly what I need to do but exactly what I'm struggling with the most because I don't even know who ME is. My biggest challenges are to stop comparing myself to others, to stop getting jealous of them and to stop being so hard on myself about what's happened in the past. I need to move on, learn from my mistakes and figure out what it is that makes me truly happy and then embrace it.

It's easier said than done but I'm really hoping that 2011 will be the year that I finally get there.

3 comments:

  1. Hey GayTraveler
    I've enjoyed reading your blog.
    You write well and describe a lot of dilemmas which I faced when I was your age.
    It's really tough being gay especially when you have the ability to 'pass' for straight.
    Overcoming the challenges you face will make you stronger and more interesting so there is no need to envy those who seem to be doing better than you right now.
    I think your Uncle's advice is spot-on. If you can continue to try to uncover who the real you is and be brave enough to be that person-all will be well!
    Good Luck!
    And keep blogging. I'll follow your story with interest.
    :-)
    GS

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  2. Thanks GaySocrates! Glad you're enjoying it. Woohoo you're my first comment as well! Well done :-) Sorry about the lack of posting lately - life has been really busy at work but hopefully i'll put an update soon.

    All the best

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