Escape into Reality

Chewing on my weight watchers friendly homemade smoked ham sandwich and listening to Radio 1 I have decided to update my blog.

The theme of my blog and indeed its very purpose has never been made clear to the cyber sphere or even me. The main aim was to provide me with an outlet to express my pent up thoughts and feelings. This would help clear my head and aid the process of clarifying my increasingly hazy, frazzled thoughts, tangled up in the complex web of lies, facades, masks and inner conflicts swirling within my unstable psyche. That is not a clear aim. It does, however, make for interesting reading, if the author is entirely honest and open with his audience about the experiences he has undergone. Having been transported to the edge of my own precarious sanity and staring down into the deep, spiralling vortex of self destruction, I find it hard to be honest and open without fear of sending myself and my readers into a fit of horror.

I want to be honest. I need to be honest. However, it is not that easy. My current myriad of problems, both physical and psychological, can all be attributed to years of hiding my inner truth behind thickets of masks and facades, acts that i put on to tell people what they want to hear and what I think the world wants me to be like. I only ever wanted to fit in. The irony is that the more I lied to those around me, the deeper the masks penetrated into my soul, the more I alienated myself form, well, myself. Cutting through the jungle of half truths and cloaks with the scythe of self awareness and new found insight has been a painful process, and I am not ready to tell the tales that have scared me to the point I find myself in today.

I need to get a job. Yes, you heard it here first. Although I am struggling to battle ill health, debilitating Irritable Bowel syndrome diarrhoea, chronic fatigue syndrome, yo-yo weight loss and gain, and depression, making it hard to have the energy and motivation for even the most basic tasks, I am so close to the edge, and so lonely, that even me, the king of isolated contemplation, wants to get back into the real world and connect with other people and feel that I have some useful purpose in life, other than watching documentaries about World War 2 or Hunter S. Thompson.

I have read one too many psychologically complex short story and need to escape into conversation with characters less troubled and scarred than the cast of a Dostoevsky novel. Yes, the real world can be dull, it can be mind numbing and soul destroying, but at least it is real. Too much time spent in virtual online worlds like Second Life, or in the lives of emotionally inept protagonists form a William Boyd short story, is not good for the soul either.

I love to write, and I will still write, but I need to go out there and earn some real money. I need to reconnect with the everyday rat race of suburban London life. It will not be fun and I won’t like it, but i am starting to feel that I need it. If I sit in this claustrophobic, dusty study surrounded by the mess of a failed business enterprise and unfiled receipts, trying to spend 8 hours a day working on my novel, all I will end up doing is going even more insane and producing nothing but an incoherent diatribe of angst ridden prose. Reality stimulates me, even dull reality, on the subconscious level, and I need that stimulation. I also need to talk to someone, anyone. Even if it is about a Dan Brown novel. (OK maybe I don’t need to go that far).

I like my alone time, and I thrive on it, but not this much alone time. Everyone else is out there doing things. I am stuck here in a self absorbed daze relating to Hemingway and Hunter S. Thompson and analysing why they pulled the trigger and killed themselves. That fascinates me. It is a dangerous fascination.

So what’s the plan? How can I pull myself out of this self absorbed physical and psychological mire? I plan to try and find a local part time job in finance, to give some structure and routine to my life. Then I plan to teach myself wed design and go on web development courses. I may even resurrect my once famed website form the early noughties, Razweb.com, which has disappeared so far into the cyber ether that even Google cannot find it anymore. If i can re-train as a web designer then at least I can have a career that is creative, interesting and stimulating, I can then be energised enough by my work to come home and sit at my desk in a disciplined fashion and devote at least 2 hours a day to writing. I have already typed up the synopsis of the 2 novels that make up my first work of fiction. All the characters are there, living, breathing, talking, going through life changing conflicts and resolutions. I just need to bring all the pieces together. To do that I need a clear mind and a stable heart. No more panic attacks and rapid heartbeats and insomnia ridden nights of breathlessness and wheezing.

I have no idea if any of the new treatments I am undergoing to battle my Chronic Fatigue will work but I will try anything. Optimism and hope are the best weapons I can bring to the battle.

I am starting to feel like my life is beginning to find its feet once again. Any new found stability and certainty will greatly lessen the burden on my increasingly nervous and anxious wife, who has her own pressures, and will mean I can spend less time lying to my family and putting on a brave face and assortment of masks to cover up why I am at hope all day too tired to even go for a walk round the block.

On that note all I have left to say is that I am thoroughly enjoying reading “The Woman in the Case” a collection of short stories by Anton Chekhov, the king of short stories. He can transmit an entire philosophy and range of human feelings in just one line, and is a true literary genius. I am also planning to meet up with my wife’s cousin, who is himself a published fiction author, and I have started reading his first novel, “The Bus Stopped” by Tabish Khair. It has already caught me in it’s magical grip and transported me back to the exotic and contradictory land of my forefathers. I can’t wait to delve deeper into it once I push myself and make that walk round the block.

No more running away from life. I need to jump into the sea of reality and swim with the tide, no longer against it. Maybe this way I will finally realise my goals and get to the shore I so desperately seek.

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Medium Blogging

It has been a tough week. The week before was tough, but every week gets harder, and the number of outlets to sink my throbbing head into are diminishing as each day passes. I need more positive influences in my life, less stress and responsibility, and more channels for all my pent up anxiety, stress, frustration and disillusionment. Yes, all the madness within me is a great well for creativity and my story ideas and fictitious ramblings have been flowing like the Colorado Rapids but I also need some sanity and order in my life. Order, that is, that leaves me feeling fulfilled and content, not empty, lost and in a psychological state of mind so scary I won’t recount it here in cyberspace. Suffice to say I have hit some very dark places deep within me and had a few chilling experiences.

Composing a new blog entry is not one of the 42 items on my to do list that I need to complete by close of play this week in addition to normal household chores and routine stuff like shaving, eating and sleeping. The fact that I have struggled to complete even 10 tasks is more reason not to waste what little precious time and energy is have typing up a concise, relaxed, non-confrontational account of my current thoughts. So I will do it anyway.

I do, however, feel that I need a medium of expression on the web that is somewhere between Twitter and the micro blogging limit of 140 words, the limitless cyber sheath of electronic viewing that encourages me to babble on incoherently for eternity. I need more than micro blogging, and less than blogging, I need Medium Blogging. Surely I must be able to conjure up a better description than that. My mind is elsewhere. I am in the middle of a blood soaked muddy field under a smoke filled black red sky with a raging inferno that I was the cause of crackling before my eyes. At least the protagonist in mew short story is. He has some issues. He also has a lot on his mind. I won’t explain any further as the more time I spend on this blog the less i spend on the actually story. Even though this blog will get published in a few minuet sand that short story may never see the light of day as anything other than binary codes etched into the memory of my temperamental overpriced computer.

Back to reality.

The plus side of this week is that I finally managed to sit down and read a few short stories. I joined the local library last week and took out 2 short story collections. One is by Anton Chekhov, the king of short stories and the other is a collection called Fascination by William Boyd, which I started sifting through early this week, in an attempt to gain control over my increasingly erratic and anxiety ridden mind. I was glad I too k the first steps on the journey into the world of reading and writing short stories, the first steps being the hardest to take in many cases, mine being a prime example. Just as I cannot justify wasting tie blogging I also cannot justify wasting time reading short stories or trying to write them. However, after reading through 3 William Boyd Short Stories, I was so impressed by them, and the way he managed to develop and project rounded, 3 dimensional complex characters in just 13 pages, that I immediately slumbered upstairs to my pseudo-study and composed my own short story, actually finishing a work of prose that I had started. Yes, that was the great achievement of the week. I actually finished a story I was working on, I never finish my stories, Once I start them, they develop a life of their own and decide to take over and become more complex and run off on their own self created arcs, ignoring my signals to slow down and fit into a small, easy to read and understand box of a plot, so that I will actually be able to hand in a completed manuscript to someone, somewhere and at least pretend I may have a chance of becoming a published fiction author one day. The book demons usually never let this happen. On Monday night they must have been sleeping. I rarely even finish the blog posts I start composing; I am trying desperately to keep this one short to ensure it actually gets posted. Half my problem is my typing is so atrocious I spend needless hours correcting it. I need an assistant, or a typist, someone I can dictate my thoughts to and let them do the hard work. Then I would not be a writer, I would just be a professional rantmeister of wacky ideas. I like the sound of that. Suffice to say I am thoroughly enjoying my trip into the world of short stories and will blog more about it when I actually invent a device to increase the amount if time and energy I have.