• Ben R

Nothing Really Comes Easy


That's pretty much been the story of my life.


While I know in my heart that I've grown leaps and bounds in the past few years, and especially in the past year plus, things just never are easy for me.


Despite knowing good things lie ahead for me (new job in a month, potential collaboration with local organization on storytelling, in the groove of cycling season), I struggle a lot with inadequacy issues.


A lot!


Last week, I finally took the plunge to find a new therapist. Right now, and not surprisingly, many places and therapists are full or close to it. I'm weighing some options at the moment. I haven't had a therapist 1:1 since September of last year. In reality, she was a counselor, and there's a difference. For those that still follow my journey, I did a three week intensive CBT program through Mayo Clinic in December of last year. So yeah, it's been about five months now with just the tools (when I sometimes use them) and sheer-will power. Oh, and medication, which I think is still working.


But it's not enough.


For the last 14 months, a major part of my life has been Covid and mental health. Not exactly the most exciting things to deal with. Hopefully the damn Covid part will lighten up in the coming months and just be a part of "normal life", whatever that may be like.


Since my last blog post, I've helped get our group road bike rides going since early May. I'm learning, just because I'm on a committee, doesn't mean it's a good thing. The next time someone says, "Oh yeah man, I'm on like seven different committees," you might want to ask them. "But do you actually DO ANYTHING?"


LOL!


That's been my experience with our bike club committee. The amount of ghosting people and laziness is a bit appalling. I've had to basically keep the weekly group rides moving forward each week. The club is a bit toxic, due to past animosity amongst members. In other words, it's not exactly the most inviting organization. I'm trying to stick it out for now, but will likely drop my committee duties after this season. I love riding, but dealing with people who are lazy (when it's not warranted) gets to me. But on a positive note, I have had several long time members thank me for my efforts, so not all is lost!


Another good thing is that I will be going on vacation in early June. I can not tell you how much this is needed after everything! I've often had a huge urge lately just to be completely lazy myself, but I continue to keep fairly busy with projects around the house, dealing with my parents health, others close to me, Hazel, and my cycling.


As I have done throughout the pandemic, I've talked with my partner about friendships. I've had some people reach out to me to get together, but due to either them still doing the vaccine thing, not going to do so, or some other personal issues they are dealing with, I've seriously questioned whether I want to remain friends. Some I've grown out of, some we just are at different stages in life. I've told my partner many times that I do not have a close, male friend at all. Pretty much all my male friendships were based on socializing. Which I mean is normal. If I want a therapist, then that's what that individual would be for, right?



It's hard for me to sometimes figure out in my head. Obviously, I want friendships where I'm not mainly talking about the shit in my head, but it would be nice to just have a male friend who was willing to share crap as well. Because even though I know it's not true, it often feels like men don't want to share their feelings out of fear or shame. Why should we men feel ashamed to do so? Why is it often women that can have an emotional breakdown and everyone comes running to provide some level of comfort, but not men?


It's absolute BS!


And you wonder why the suicide rate in men is much higher than in women? Come on!


My partner said recently, "I don't think you're in a place to make any new friends right now." I appreciate her honesty, because she's likely right. In a month I start a new job in the mental health field. I need to get some of my shit together. Hopefully vacation time will help me settle down and get into a better mindset.


So while I've had more physical energy to put some miles in cycling, I'm still emotionally up and down, left and right, right side up and upside down.


Sometimes I wonder how I can remain quite productive with the emotional rollercoaster of depression and anxiety. It's taxing. It's aggravating.


Then you throw an extremely high level of empathy for others, many, if I'm being bluntly honest, don't deserve more than half of what I output, and it's a recipe for bad mental health.


I often feel like my days are similar; too similar. Lately, they haven't necessarily been so, but it's kind of like the Bill Murray movie, "Groundhog Day". I struggle to build positive momentum for any length of time. Enough time to allow things to move forward it seems. So I end up apparently blurring the line between, Is it me? Is it other people who don't seem to move at the speed I would like? I often feel like I'm back to step 1 or 2 the next day.


Maybe it's because I've been a late bloomer to most of everything in my 40 years of life.


I honestly don't want to be challenged sometimes. I just want some shit to come easy.


Gimme a break! -Kit Kat Bar (I need to buy one now! LoL )




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