riding4acause.org – my story

29 11 2009

since i embraced Twitter in the last month or two, it’s helped this process of opening up my world and re-engaging with life, primarily in the form of staying informed on stuff that interests me, but also bringing me into contact with people from various walks of life.

i can’t even remember now how/who/when i first became aware of riding4acause.org and the guys behind it (other than via someone i follow on Twitter re-tweeting), but i was so impressed by what these guys are doing:

a small bunch of straight men, all motorcycle enthusiasts (and fathers, & i’m guessing husbands) and who’ve each had their own struggle with depression, are forming a possy (always wanted to use that word – & i mean it in the John Wayne sense) to go ride across America to raise funds & awareness for male depression in just under a year from now.

isn’t that freakin awesome!??

last week Raz Chorev called on his Twitter followers to submit their stories of depression, to be posted on the site.  for some reason, i felt compelled to submit mine.  i’d never put my story into a single canned message before/yet, so figured this might be a decent opportunity, and also help spread the word.

so for the time being (while mine is the first), here’s my sorry story of depression:


if it helps just one guy realise that he’s not alone feeling the way he does, and to get some help & get back on track, i’ll be a happy boy.

& maybe some people might question why i’m being so open about my story, here on my blog, in person amongst my friends, & even on a “stranger’s website”?  aside from the above reason, i also think it imposes some small degree of accountability on myself.  whether that’s good motivation or bad, i’m not sure, but by putting my story out in the open (instead of hiding it from almost everyone for the last 5 years), i feel it gives me even more reason to do whatever i have to do to never find myself back in that dark place.



does everything that goes up…

20 11 2009

…have to come down?

i’ve no idea what’s going on today, or why, but it’s the worst day of the week (several weeks in fact), despite decent sleep.  grumpy and angry (and expressing it), low self-esteem & unhelpful internal dialogue.

was it yesterday’s lunch – a diverse bowl of half-cooked vegetables with peanut sauce, aka Gado Gado @ Vegebar?  some chemical trip, like i recall happened with Folic Acid many years ago?

just got back from the gym, but it didn’t have anywhere near the zing of monday or wednesday, despite the music.

we’re at the end of 2 weeks of heatwave (with rollercoaster temps predicted for next week) – in November. contrast this to my first Melbourne Spring (2000), where we had the central heating on until a week before Christmas.  in fact it’s in stark contrast to any Melbourne November i recall in the last decade.  i’m the first person to call bullshit when people sprout glib global warming references – hot weather does not equal global warming, but rather extremes of weather in either/both directions.  but this is southern Australia in the grip of a decade-long drought, 2 weeks of heatwave and *record* highs in November?  that seems like a new extreme to me.  meanwhile the talking heads are – at the eleventh hour – talking down what can be achieved at Copenhagen.  they say what happens at meetings is decided well before the meeting.  bear witness.

somehow i don’t think i’ll be up to facing a room full of strangers tonight for ‘Friday Club’ drinks (run by J’s ex); nor to the awkwardness of a possible first-real-conversation with him.  times like these i usually need to avoid human contact altogether :(

and as for the whole J thing – hard to say.  in the absence of communication / quality time for nearly 2 weeks now (other than a few group meets with a friend), i find my head fills in the vacuum with negative thoughts.  not fun.

for the first time in my life i feel like getting pissed and drowning my sorrows.  is this some new manifestation of my tendency to self-medicate?

(edit1 – Fri night: but i didn’t)

(edit2 – Sat night: back to normal. how bizarre…  met J in the city for drinks.  good talking. nice.  drove him home – kissed.  even nicer… :) )

simple pleasures

18 11 2009

i’ve discovered two things during my last two gym/cardio workouts this week:

  • the well-known benefits (and pain!) of working out to up-beat music that pushes your heart-rate.  listening to some old Ruby CDs at typically 125-130bpm has taken my workouts to a new level of ouch!
  • rediscovering my old passion for music, especially euphoric trance.  music is one of the things that fell by the way-side over these past few years, and god how i’ve missed it!

today while i was rocking away on the x-trainer, i was *almost* but not quite overcome with tears, both bitter and sweet – sweet with the fondest memories of times past, dancing away with friends into the wee hours on a sweaty dance floor to some of the most extraordinary euphoric trance music grounded in thumping, grumbling, growling bass lines that play on the brain’s sensitivity to that awesome combination of frequency, bpm, and tribal connection with like-minded people;  and bitterness (well, more like sadness and loss) at having denied myself / missed out on such simple pleasures for so many years now.

i don’t want to go back to the past, but i *do* want to find a new place for music going forward.

i have but one person to thank for initiating me into the simple pleasures and joys of euphoric trance – Gordon Richmond (DJ Ruby), a friend who’s stood by me throughout these last few years of wilderness, ever willing to “drag me kicking and screaming” back into his whirlwind world of musical pleasures :).

from a chance meeting on the dance floor of one of Sydney’s legendary Frisky dance parties while chasing some cute blond Melbourne friend of his around the dance floor (hi Brett!), it was his passion and initiative that launched our musical partnership that produced a dozen CDs of the most amazing collection of late-90s/early2000’s euphoric trance that never fails to get me going even now, nearly a decade on.  love you, G.

he walks among us, but he is not one of us.

14 11 2009

had my first psych session today.  attempted to sum up my situation in 50 minutes. #fail

but at least it was a start.  despite my world opening back up to something approximating normality in the last month or two, i’ve been at this precarious stage a couple of times before, and am determined not to fall back into old habits this time.  so in the spirit of “for things to change, first i must change” (and “a useful definition of stupidity is always doing the same thing, but expecting a different result”), i’ve decided to re-engage professional services.  a qualified psychologist this time.

i saw a ‘counsellor’ for 9 months in 07.  although that was useful, the gentle approach of Narrative Therapy ultimately didn’t help me get to the jugular of this one.  time for a bigger knife…

this lady apparently does CBT – Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, though i always thought CBT stood for something quite different :p

thank the lords of kobol, the Oz govt is now subsidising qualified psych therapy, so this should only cost me about $30/session, hopefully for at least 12 sessions, which should provide a few months of solid engagement (plus 4 weeks while she’s on holidays in january :( ).

just from the background questions she asked me, a quote from LOST (tv show – Jack’s arm tattoo) that’s always stuck in my mind, and which also came to my consciousness recently when i noticed a tattoo on @richokinetic’s arm, came up today: “He walks among us, but he is not one of us” (which has nothing at all to do with Richo).  kinda sums up alot of my life’s story.  maybe it’s time to work through that one…

but now having waited 2.5 weeks for my 1st appointment, i have to wait for another 2.5 weeks to the next one :( but then 3 weeks in a row up to xmas.  looking forward to it…

p.s. it’s come to my attention that this “he walks among us, but is not one of us” expression has biblical heritage.  suffice to say, i was both unaware of this, and not wishing to make any religious references by using it.  my take on the expression is somewhat more practical, in a sociological sense :)

first kiss

9 11 2009

i reckon you can tell a lot about a guy from the way he kisses.

how loose are his lips and mouth?  how much does he use his tongue and what does he do with it?  is it a two-way-street?  does he close his eyes, or – *creepy – leave them open too much? what’s he doing with his hands?  does he moan or make any sound while kissing or being kissed?  does he kiss only on the lips, or venture to other places?  does the rest of his body speak the same language as his kissing, & what does he touch while kissing ?  in short,  does a guy kiss mostly because it’s a formal prelude to the ‘main event’, or as a thoroughly absorbing and enjoyable activity purely by itself?

last week as i said goodbye to J, i stole a second goodbye kiss.  he has beautiful soft lips, and i was immediately hooked and aching for a LOT more!

so we caught up last weekend; a repeat of the friday-night-out & saturday-night-in double-deal of the weekend before :).  had a great time both nights, despite only 4hours sleep the night before both. (Restavit has since come to the rescue there thank god).

so as Saturday night moved along, assisted by some “organic” imagery in a weird computer game we were playing, followed by what i considered to be rather suggestive imagery in one of iTunes 9s latest visualisations, i leaned in for our first kiss…

what followed was probably a couple of hours of blissful, entwined kissing on the couch :)  not only is J an awesome kisser, he said he thought the same of me.  double awesome :D

i learned quite a few more things about J last weekend, some of them purely from the way he kisses – and it’s all good.  happy boy…

so what floats your boat when it comes to kissing?

* i should clarify at this point that there’s probably one exception (for me) to the eyes-open-while-kissing thing: and that’s if you’re falling for them… :p

…and now for something completely different…

2 11 2009

this blog’s been a vent. a pretty pointless vent i’ll admit, at least from an outsider’s perspective. but it has helped me formulate ideas/arguments/opinions about stuff over the last 2.5 years, so no regrets. i’ve never done, nor had any desire to do what’s needed to attract a readership. (having said that i just checked my stats and am surprised to see hundreds of hits on the Optus contract-cancellation post! maybe that’s not so surprising…)

but i reckon its time to add a new dimension – the personal. so to all you peeps who haven’t been reading my blog, sorry, but things are about to change. i’ll probably still rant from time to time, but…

things seem to be changing. and i feel the urge to output.

i’ve alluded in older posts to the depression that’s gripped my life these past few years. it’s been a bit of a roller-coaster – and that was without meds! in fact i read a blog a week ago by a guy who gave Prozac a try, & hated it, cuz “everything was ‘nice’, which kinda sux”, which i’ve heard many times before. then when its effects tapered off he was faced with the decision to try a different AD which needed a more serious commitment (long-ish ramp-up & ramp-down – no sudden dose changes, potentially more serious side-effects) & decided against it. confirmed my gut instinct.

anyway, back to me. the depression reached an all-time low this year, insidiously infecting more and more of my life, including work. it’d never seriously impacted work all that much before, except for a bit last year. but the situation almost reached breaking point before *somehow* i managed to pull it back from the brink of disaster not much more than a month ago.

i knew then it was time to ditch the self-medication. FUUUUUUUCK! what’m i sposed to do now? LIVE?!?

that’s the fraked up thing about depression & “self-medication”. it’s isolated me from the world, which has been “nice” in its usual fraked up way, and yet somehow i still have the power to put it aside and “open the window to life” again, simply because right now i *need* to to avoid serious shit from hitting the fan.

i’ve been at this stage twice before – giving up smoking, and having to go through the withdrawal & detox, and have my mind come back to life, start looking outward, and rediscovering the world. and the impact that has on sleep (one of my favourite topics!). so that’s why i’m writing this shit at 3:44am on a monday morning. great… it’s been like this for a month. and somehow i let the Doc talk me out of “proper” sleeping pills (Stillnox) last week in preference to herbal shit, which has done SFA.

since i buggered my shoulder in Byron last Feb from what seemed like a minor fall off my skateboard, the Doc said no more gym or skating till its healed, which i think’s also been a big contributor to my low mood this year. it’s taken 6+ months to heal. i’ve only felt ready to put pressure on it this past 2 or so months. but it’s been a challenge just to get out of bed in the morning, forget the treadmill. & now even though my security blanket is gone, the fraked up sleep means exercise is the last thing i feel like doing when i wake up. catch fuckin 22 again… :(

but the most unexpected impact of this slow turning of the oil-tanker that is my life, has been the realisation that i have “significant feelings” for someone i’ll call J. a situation (whose details are now unimportant) evoked a physical stomach-turning dose of jealousy. yes, jealousy! i’d never considered myself the jealous type before. where the hell did this come from!?? we’ve been friends for 6+ months, online chatting nearly 12!

but there it is. the more time i spend with J the more we seem to have in common, the more i like his outlook on life, the more i feel a kindred spirit. and, well, i’ve always had a hard spot for cute asian guys ;) i tortured him with some cryptic facebook posts last week (not really expecting him to even see them), which he saw & replied to. i was so stupidly cryptic he got the completely wrong idea, thought i’d “found someone else”. no babe, it’s you. i couldn’t even bring myself to confess my fledgeling feelings for him when we went out on friday night – no, i had to do it via SMS when i got home (isn’t that what GenY do?!?). such is the impact this ‘black dog’ has had on what used to be my very healthy dose of self-confidence. that, and also not wanting to fuck up what’s turning out to be a great friendship.

anyway, the SMS conversation was, well, kinda nice! at least, not the usual “dear john, you’re a great friend.” so we caught up again the next night. 2 nights in a row, ooher, people will talk! another great night, watched star trek 11. and this time we got to cuddle a bit on the couch – that was nice :) i can’t remember how long since that happened… went for a walk up to the nearby lookout that overlooks the city. nice. talked lots.

not sure where he’s at. possibly still in shock? :) and also has a slightly complicated domestic situation with his ex, and his little brother coming to live with both of them early next year. but he didn’t seem too averse to the idea of taking things slow & seeing where it goes. so, there it is.

this is all pretty surreal for me. that side of life has been off limits for years now, thanks to dysthymia. it’s forcing me to deal with my low self-esteem & body image, and get back into exercise & back on my board.

4:30am. think i’m ready for sleep now. stay tuned…