Anger & Depression ... And Affairs

This post was originally written a few year's ago - the ending has changed and so I have updated it, but the rest of this article stays even though I am a lot different to the person writing back in 2016.

Even when it's broken it's beautiful
End of the year [Mike: 2016]. Traditionally it's a time of reflection, contemplation and rest from the year's hard activities - bollocks if you ask me but here I go anyway.

Whilst this year has certainly my brought a lot of change to my life it's fairly well known that I thrive in change, I love working out the future, planning for the differences and never standing still (ish).

When I had my crash in March I made the promise to, “Never do that again!”, and the only way I could even attempt to keep that promise was to demand that I STOP!

"Never do THAT again", it's a small word,”that”, but it covers a lifetime of anger, pain, confusion as well as feelings of worthlessness, being lost and lone and unlovable.

Don't get me wrong, I wasn't 100℅ these feelings by any measurement, I'm not a robot! There were many times when these feelings were as far away from the surface and consciousness as could be possible - “Hey”, I thought,”Maybe I am fixed” … tee hee, I can laugh now.

Over the years I was, what I am calling and have no idea if it's an actual thing, a functioning depressive, or a peaceful angry person. The depression would drive me down, sometimes close to the edge of the cliff, but I always seemed to hide it, manage it or simply brush it off with statements of,”That's just me!”. To my friends that stuck with me during those times, thank you. I can only imagine how difficult it would be to be around me, I am sad when I think on those times … but eternally grateful.

The peaceful anger monster would flare, would explode in a finger wagging,”I fucking know best”, STAY AWAY FROM ME YOU BASTARDS! The anger monster could only speak in sweary capitals and in short bursts, and it was exhausting. Exhausting for me, for everyone that was within hearing range and always for my family.

Beer. That was / is my numbing medication of choice, and what a time to have such an item in my life as craft beer explodes in popularity. Craft beer allowed me to be both medicated and hide out with the cool kids - hide being the operative word. I loved to hide away, force my internal turmoil away … never worked, despite the glorious flavours of craft beer.

There was one final behaviour I would use to “give myself a shot of adrenaline”, to cover the inner churn. I would flirt, outrageously. I would flirt with men or women, but mostly women. I would flirt to gain a spark of worth, I could push a friendship to the next level (whatever that may mean). Again, this wasn't constantly nor every waking moment and by all means not with everyone that walked past my eyeline - I'm not a robot! However, whenever it did happen I was flirting without thought of consequences nothing ever happened.

However, twice it did.

I had a brief affair a number of years ago.

And late last year [Mike: 2015] I had a more devastating affair much closer to the community I am a part of.

Before I go, there is no value in me exposing details or names. I have no desire to cause any more pain to parties involved be they the two separate people, their friends or family. This is a blog post about me, where my behaviours have led and how the affairs has affected the last few years of my life.

I have nothing but respect for all those hurt and have acted in exemplary ways. As for the parties directly involved in the affairs I acknowledge the hurt, anger, but mostly the resolve to move on. I too am trying not to be defined by those events and by those past behaviours.

Having said that, Liz.
Yes, of course she knows. I confessed to my stupid and devastating actions a number of months ago. It was like watching a friend get shot, in slow motion and I will never be able to lessen the impact that it has had upon her and I will forever be beholden to the pain I directly caused.

“No more!” The feelings inside, the anger, the unworthiness, these feelings I was numbing through beer, wine, flirtations, affairs or any other way of avoidance - no more. And that means standing and listening to the direct and horrible effects of having an affair, answering all the questions, not running away and remembering, "This is fucking hard and that's because it's worth it - stay right here!!"

Sorting my immediate self out, taking the drugs, getting counselling and working out that I had to change, HAD TO, was the start, the base upon which I had to be sure would hold me. I have also made another promise, one that is bloody hard to keep,”If it feels easy, it's most likely wrong. Don't do it!”. The brain is electricity and chemicals which love the big fat roadways to cruise along, the habits in our life, and so I will no longer allow them to be used - it if feels easy it is wrong!

My change, it is ever evolving.

Our change, Liz and I, is the same.

Liz has decided she wants us to work.
You have no idea how that has affected me. I am amazed every time I think of it and there are no words I can express my love for her. All this against a background of friends support for her decisions but also a lot of suspicion and equal amounts of derision - people like to judge and cast stones eh, even without any real understanding otr knowledge. Having said that, “This has been a wake-up call for ... “, is quite a common phrase heard over the last few months.

And by the gods I want us to work!
We are, when we truly connect and drop the walls an amazing, loving, soft, powerful and nurturing team ... I have never experienced anything like it before and will be content to be wrapped up in it for the rest of my days. All it takes it constant watchfulness and being vulnerable to each other 100% of the time. Hard, but totally do-able. And once the brain is rewired, just the way it'll be ... yay!

And so the journey continues.
The anger still flares, but is more easily recognised and managed. The depression cones but is now mostly a “grey puppy" and not the debilitating “black dog” it once was.

Liz and I have started afresh. I am in love with a woman I was only able to glimpse before but is now shining forth as she too changes and I drop my turmoil and see her for herself.

Our new journey is only just beginning, I'm sure here will be some rocky shit to get through (life eh) but I think we have tools, techniques and a solid base to face then together. And always love.

[2018 Mike]
Of course this didn't work out as both Liz and I at the time had hoped and both, in all good faith, wanted. Liz and I separated a number of months ago to which there are two phrases I use when people find out, "It was both mutual and is amicable but ongoing", and "I am sad for the relationship, but happy for you both" which was a response from a mate that I think sums it up quite beautifully.

Take the road less travelled, and if it feels uncomfortably easy know that it's (highly likely) to be wrong.

And as always, have a laugh!

And aaaaalll of these, "100 Tweets That Made British People Piss Themselves In 2016" ...

And finally, the greatest sitcom scene this side of 2010!


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