The Second Time ‘Round

I’ve got no witty reference for 28. Twentysix and Full of Plans is the title of one of my fav tracks from a very obscure Swedish ambient-post rock-screamo outfit. The 27 Club is too obvious a grim-humoured opportunity to pass up (although that’s not what I called the post). 28 is hard. I’ve got nothing witty for 28.

The last time I wrote a birthday post, it was to announce a happy continuation, or so went the plan. This time it’s in the wake of an unpleasant recurrence, states that haven’t occurred in years, that represent the most fractured and terrifying parts of my life. One can look at the situation, and see that as horrible.

On the other hand, the last time I wrote a birthday post, I thought I was ascending to joy; as it turned out, I descended on a spiral of disquiet, fingertip-gripped sanity that I held on to for a long year before things fell apart. This time, I am acknowledging that I’m struggling, that the space I inhabit in my head has become overly cruel again; but, but great good goddammit, maybe that’s going to work out. Years ago, I felt I had nothing and no-one. I thought the world was ending. I remember it better now than I have many times since.

Fuck that noise. I have tattoos proclaiming to not lose the self, to not lose hope, to not lose sight of what makes a person, and to never forget the unlikely accomplishments. They make a very peacocky-counterpoint to the patches on my arms that are smooth, never regrow hair, don’t feel touch. They’re a nice reminder of the things I’ve built. Maybe it’s a wakeup call to start acting on those things again.

Over and above whatever self-conjured metaphors I can find to fall back on, this time I have support, and I’m trying to engage with it. Birthdays are good for a bit of good ol’ self-absorbent reflection, but in an effort to appease the Georgemas spirit, I feel compelled to offer a few thanks to people. If I can’t be trusted to be nice to myself right now, then I will have to try extra hard to appreciate those that are doing the job for me, in absence of my own-self worth.

Paul Bown, one of the Kalmar 5, who dropped everything to help me when I was in a right proper state last Friday, and has been in touch to check up on since a few times. I’m sure there were others but my memories don’t add up.

Lucy Jeczalik (I had to look that up), who by her own admission didn’t know me that well, but still came and retrieved me from the bus stop that I was morosely freezing in and gave me a place to crash. We’ve had some chats since, it’s been good. It’s nice to talk to someone that doesn’t already have a strong image of me that I feel like I have to conform to.

John Hunter, another one who’s taken the time of his day to just sit and chat. Valuable stuff was learned. Maybe I didn’t agree with all of it, but sometimes you have to challenge your own perspective, and that’s just as valuable as anything else.

Lambeth Splinter Group – are we still calling ourselves that? – who have been awesome in their offers of support. Would that there was enough time in the world. Maybe I should make enough time in the world.

The next one’s a bit of a doozy; maybe a cop-out, on the face of it, but if I went through each and every one we’d be sat here until it’s actually 2018 (and not just George’s weird perception of training years 2018). Literally everyone that has been awesome over the last few days. I think I’ve had more messages and notifications popping through on my phone since I got back to the hotel after IM Sweden, all of them kind, wise, or kindwise.

Stable, no longer circling the drain, but there’s still a long way to climb out of the sink. Cue the Gloria muthufuckin’ Gaynor.

Listening: Blade Runner 2049 OST – Sea Wall; I have new headphones (cheers Mum) and have been testing them out with some grand throaty synths
Reading: The translated lyrics to every track by Suffocate For Fuck Sake (yes they spell it like that), which I can’t link because they only exist on the inserts of records I paid way too much for

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