Another week, another brace of nothings. Well, some somethings which I guess we’ll have to see if they turn into anythings.
You don’t realise how much you rely on having a meaningful full-time role until you don’t. And I don’t just mean the money, there’s a sense of shame in not having one. It’s as if the world seems out to shame you by making all whom you come into contact with discuss nothing but work and success, as though that is all that defines them. And in some cases, I think that it is. How sad.
I decided to take the afternoon off today, after missing a gym class in the morning in order to comfort my housemate, who was reeling from one of those awful “work chats” which involve colleagues, managers and an HR representative. Yes, those. The ones that leave a poisonous feeling in their wake where you know that you can’t really stay in your current role much longer. And to tell the truth, I really on’t think that she can. It’s going to be too difficult. Too unpleasant.
And yet at least she has a full-time job to leave.
But the gaming event this afternoon was fun; a chance to step away from the brewing cauldron and let some things stew by themselves without me stirring them. A chance to escape into a fantasy place with new people and a new environment. It was the first time that I’d ever been to Draughts, London’s new “board game cafe” near Haggerston. It’s quite an interesting place, situated in the old stone arches of what I can only assume was once a train station. It’s sort of a shrine to inclusive geekdom, with guys and girls just enjoying some board gaming and RPG time. Quite a liberating place really.
But it gave my mind a break from the juggle of freelance work and the constant unspoken pressure which will forever squat upon my mind until I have another full-time role, after which it will no doubt be replaced by the stress of working. The only thing more stressful than working is not working.
Oh, why couldn’t things just work out with the big agency that I was contracting with up until a month ago? Everything was so good there. I really felt that I belonged. Can lightning really strike twice and I find somewhere that interesting again?
Had to stop typing as Tom arrived. We went for a drink. Which turned into two, which turned into meeting his boyfriend Jim at All Bar One in Liverpool Street, which turned into stumbling home drunk with a bag of McDonald’s.
It’s the first time in a long time that I’ve actually had enough to drink that my head has felt like strips of solid pain the following day. I confessed to Tom all the things that are playing havoc on my mind.
1. The job search.
2. My Grandparents dying and how, even in death, they’ve decided to spread as much poison and vitriol as possible.
3. Comforting my mother as she cries about the above.
4. Charlie, and the whole long distance thing.
5. Fighting off the depression on points 1-4.
I suppose that there’s nothing to be done except to soldier on, even though at the start of each day it seems to be getting harder and harder to get myself out of bed. Sometimes I just lay there and stay in a semi-conscious state, wondering what it would be like to comatose the day away in blissful ignorance.
I worry that I can see myself slipping into bad habits; seeking solace in food or drink or sex. Or fantasy gaming, a place where I can be someone else. I know it’s not healthy but sometimes you just reach for whatever will give you precious respite from the inner torrent of thoughts, even for a second.
I feel like I’m standing alone looking into a long tunnel and I don’t know how to get out. I run away from the voices which call to me; of friends or housemates who want to talk about work or relationships. I don’t have room in my mind at the moment for anything other than my own shit.
And I don’t know how much longer I can do this. No wonder I’d rather escape into another place.