Jia

Jia wanders into your life as a mysterious lover. You see her pictures, read her bio and think you know about her, and yet you know nothing. When you meet her she will seduce you and, without you knowing, bring out in you something you have hidden deep down. I cannot tell you when I first met Jia. It seems she has always been there, hidden in the back of my mind waiting to come to the surface and show me what passions are in me and lead me on a journey of exploration and discovery.

I have been blessed to have seen Jia a number of times and each time is as exciting as the first time. I get excitedly nervous and before this most recent tryst found myself trembling slightly with anticipation. We met at my hotel in Melbourne and talked over cheese, pate and prosecco. We talked small talk, about life and also deep, meaningful, personal topics. I always feel quite at ease when talking with Jia knowing that anything we talk about will go no further.

Before long we were touching, kissing and moving towards the bed. As we undressed Jia’s corset revealed itself, with little else. My heart skipped a beat as I realised that Jia has remembered how much I adore corsets. As evening lengthens into night we explore and discover more about each other; always feeling, always touching, always caring, always talking. Jia has taught me many things about myself and many things about loving a woman. I always cherish these times together. I hope to be able to see Jia many more times.

My lack of communication

Recently I have been watching Twitter and not interacting much. This post has been inspired by someone I follow on Twitter who tweets like I used to. This person sometimes struggles to do the task they know will help them feel better. I see the tweets and wish there was something I could do to help them understand.

I watch without tweetting for various reasons

  • I do not feel like I can contribute anything useful
  • Sometimes I just don’t want to have a conversation
  • I am scared of saying the wrong thing and making people upset
  • I am scared of being judged

I am 55. Am I “to old for this shit”? Let’s take each of the above in turn.

“I do not feel I can contribute anything useful.”

Some of you reading this know me better than others. You see me hanging around the edge of conversations and DM me to find out why I do not join in. See below lol.

There is a sex worker I see whenever I am able. We seem to click and we are able to talk openly about anything. Recently, however, I do not feel that I can carry on a useful conversation with her. So what do I do? I do not email or DM her. This is the worst thing I can do for our relationship. I know from experience the joy I feel when my friends DM or email me and just say hello. Why don’t I do the same? There is that deep dark voice inside my head that tells me that I am not a good friend and that thought is what stops me from engaging. I know this thought is wrong, but I find it had to ignore.

I will be contacting my friend after I finish this post.

“Sometimes I just don’t want to have a conversation”

I know there are others who feel this way. You just want to see what is going on, how your friends are doing, read the news, learn useful things, but don’t really have the emotional energy to engage. And this is perfectly fine. So why do I feel guilty when I do this?

“I am scared of saying the wrong thing and making people upset”

I am not good with conflict, especially with those I consider friends. There is a situation on Twitter at the moment that I do not want to talk about for this exact reason. I believe I will upset people I follow. However, here I go talking about it even though I fear there may be a backlash. There is a very robust discussion going on between some people. I follow all the people involved, but I do not think they follow each other. In fact, I know some block the others from time to time. I have not got involved in the discussion on Twitter and will not get involved. I only mention it here as an example of how things can go wrong because sometimes we can say the wrong thing or we say something that can be misinterpreted. This is something I fear greatly.

“I am scared of being judged.”

I find there are very few places in this world today where you are not judged. I am lucky in my work. I enjoy my work and I am very good at it. My speciality is being brought onto a project that has fallen off the rails technically and bringing it back on track. However, work has become an environment in he last few years where you are not allowed to make mistakes. Make a mistake and you are judged, and people remember.

Families judge. I didn’t think my family judged. How naive I am. Since my brother divorced a number of years ago and has recently married again the judgement has been thick and full on. I was one who believed that a family was a place where you could feel safe and loved. I no longer tell my siblings much of what is going on in my life. They know about my depression, anxiety and suicide attempts but I no longer talk to them about that, especially the times I tried to kill myself. Most of the family belong to Christian churches and I now know that they do not look on my previous actions in a favourable light.

Twitter. Twitter is an interesting environment. Things I post are public, I have chosen this to be so. I will not change this until there is a very good reason to do so. I, probably naively, think I am fairly anonymous on Twitter. Being public poses an interesting problem for me. I run the risk of upsetting people I do not follow (and people I do follow). And this has happened. I follow a myriad of people; scientists, sex workers, sex worker clients, writers, poets, artists, football players, religious folk, non-religious folk, skeptics, joke tellers, tattoo artists, PhD academics, and the list goes on. What I do see in all these people is…they are all people who have their own beliefs and feelings. I try my hardest to understand every person I meet. But sometimes that is not enough. And it hurts me deeply when I find that we are unable to communicate in a civil and restectful manner.

Someone, thanks @xxxescortamber, recently posted this on Twitter, Mute, my babes. I can’t agree with Amber enough. Sometimes muting keeps me sane.

Eccles/Barliman
A man who struggles to communicate

Here I am

Morning coffeeIt has been a while since I have published a post. Why so long? I am okay, in fact I am doing really well and have been for a while now. Yes I have down days but on the whole I have been enjoying life. So why haven’t I published a post? I have sat down many times and started but found myself staring at the keyboard and couldn’t get any inspiration to finish a post. Now that the warmer weather is here I am down at my favourite cafe writing again.

So what’s been happening? I’m back at work full time and loving it. The work is just the right amount and the hours at the moment are normal. I wake up and enjoy going to work as I know I will be challenged, but I know I will also be able to solve the problems presented to me. I am starting to get to the gym (semi) regularly. I booked a session with a personal trainer and he has drawn up a plan for me that I am able to follow on my own. That is happening 3 times a week at the moment. And by the way, I hate squats. Have been to see my endocrinologist and everything is going well with my diabetes. Apparently I should be having eye problems by now having been a diabetic for 39 years but my eyes are still fine (yay).

My psychologist and I are trying something a bit different with me at the moment. We are concentrating on my social phobia at the moment (only because I haven’t told her about my secret life).This is what I struggle with the most on a daily basis. So, w are trying a plan to get me out on my own, without family or friends to hide behind. It has been very rare in my life that I have been on my own in social situations. I started this experiment by venturing into the Canberra night life one night.went to a club that is also a whisky bar. it is amazing how little I actually know about whisky. Anyway after a few hours I found myself in Fyshwick at a new establishment there called Red Door Canberra. This massage parlour is a fabulous place to find relaxation and to unwind. I have been twice now and the ladies have made me feel welcome and totally relaxed.

I am planning my next solo adventure. Another trip to Melbourne. I am planning to stay for 3 nights this time starting Sun 8 Nov. If I fly up early enough I might spend the day at Sexpo (Sunday is the last day). (Oh look, I’ve turned into an advertising site.) Anyone in Melbourne want to join me for the day? I am also hoping to catch up with friends while I am there, some I have met before, some I haven’t. I do so hope the planning comes off and I can get to Melbourne. I am doing some adjusting of finances to see if I can pull this off.

Well look at that; 500+ words. I think that is all for this post, will post again soon. I am excited for the next two weeks (hehe, and that will stay just as it is) and am excited hoping I can manage to get to Melbourne.

An excited man,

Eccles

Be happy

Meeting new people

Someone I admire greatly, and hope to one day call a friend, has recently been tweeting about meeting new people in social environments. Like me she is extremely introverted and has asked for people to share strategies for

making new friends / meeting new people in your personal lives. Particularly those of you who are huge introverts (like me) trying to be quiet & observant in this loud and overwhelming extroverted world!

First up, I think her description of the world is exactly right for those of us who are introverted. We get intimidated by the “noise” of what appears to be an extremely extroverted world. Everything we see nowadays tells us that the world is “all about me” and that I need to look after me first. This does not always fit in with the thinking of an introvert. We want to just to wander through the world, and for the most part, not being noticed. However, everybody needs friendship. We are beings that require relationships with others. So how do we achieve this.

I too, like my friend find it extremely hard to meet new people. Those of you who know me will understand that I will think the worst is going to happen in any given situation, especially social ones. I am petrified of looking like a fool. However, when I actually get around to meeting new people nothing bad really happens. I do sometimes say absolutely stupid things and yes, sometimes people do laugh. But I have come to realise that they are not laughing at me, but are trying to ease the situation.

I have been visiting a psychologist (again) for many months now and for me with my extreme social phobia there is no magic cure for meeting new people. There are some strategies to make it a little bit easier, but really the best strategy is practice. So what have I been doing? I have been deliberately putting myself into situations where I have to interact with new people. Scariest thing ever for me. But after the initial few minutes and introduction I tend to settle down and the interaction gets easier. I still have to excuse myself after about half an hour to calm down a bit. But its the knowing that these people are mostly just like me, sometimes scared as well, that helps to continue to meet new people.

I hope this little bit of personal experience helps others who are finding it tough. It is not easy, it is tough, but it is short term. And it is far better than not meeting other people.

A scared man,

Eccles

Oh my God

I have two posts to blog. I thought I would start with the dark post first and then the lighter post. I have released them at the same time as they are related. These posts will show just how quickly moods can change in someone suffering depression, and at the end you will see why I think this happened to me. There will be no background for what I am saying here, if you need some background for this see the next post.

This afternoon I found myself at the “David Bowie Is” exhibition at Federation Square in Melbourne. All of a sudden I was crying. Not just crying, sobbing. Sobbing uncontrollably with my whole body and mind. As far as I can remember this had happened only once before when a very good friend had died when we were 28. I had a reason to cry then, but why was I sobbing now.

My depression had caused me to cry before but nothing like this. The tears were streaming down my face and falling to the floor. I couldn’t breath and my body was trembling. This was scaring me, but what came next was worse.

If you have been following my blog posts you will know I have two lives, one I have been living for the past 30 years, the other, which only you guys know about, started at the beginning of this year (although my other life has been around for years just inactive). I realised during this episode that the last 30 years of my life have been a lie and if I leave Melbourne I will be returning to that lie.

“I don’t want to do this. But what can I do? I have to go back to my lie, to my family, friends and job in Canberra. I have to, don’t I?”

Is there an alternative? Could I stay in Melbourne? It seems to be a nice city and I “know” some great people there. But how would I do that? Quick get outside and think properly.

Outside the sun was shining, it was raining when I went indoors. This is good, this will help me feel better. I looked around and saw Melbourne again, It still beckoned me to stay, it still said I shouldn’t go back to Canberra. If I stayed what would that do to the people I cared about in Canberra. Would I survive a change like that. Okay, I can’t stay and I don’t want to go back, what to do. Only one thing left for me. Time to stop this life, but how? Oh shit, the scary monster is back.

Put my action plan into action. Find a friend and talk. I got on a tram and sent a message to my Melbourne friend who had helped me out before. But he was getting ready for a night out and I didn’t want to bring him down. So the conversation was just a brief chit-chat. I didn’t tell him what was happening. I think he knew. Just having the chat with him was enough to distract me.

How quick did it take me to get into the scary state, about 10 minutes. How long till the end of the episode, 90 minutes.

Epilogue: I now know why my doctor keeps emphasising that I should not miss taking my medication. I was sitting at the airport later and opened my blood test kit so I could check my blood sugars. There, in my kit so I wouldn’t forget to take them, were all my medications for the last two days. I am hoping that forgetting my medication for two days was the reason for the episode. I will be visiting my doctor to find out.

Eccles

Watching life

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Its been a pretty good week this week. There have been good times, bad times, a time of reflection, a time of embarrassment, a time to seek help, times to just sit and chat with friends, and times to just sit and watch. Like now.

I have a coffee and I am sitting in the middle of the shopping centre watching people go to and fro, watching expressions on faces, looking at fashions and catching snippets of conversations.

The nerds wander past, long hair, jeans, jackets, talking of their latest victories in their games.

Two friends wave at each other across the food hall. They brighten with happiness as smiles engulf their faces. They hug, kiss on the cheeks and head to one of the coffee shops.

A family of six wander past, grocery shopping done. Three young kids have light up shoes, Mum has a baby on her hip. Dad is not smiling, he does not look like he is enjoying himself.

A smartly dressed 30 year old lady walks by. All in black, except for her camel coloured ankle boots. Black slim handbag with gold trim. She is very elegantly dressed for the shopping centre at midday on a Saturday. I wonder where she is going, who she might be meeting.

An older couple shuffle past. Quiet, hunched, arm in arm. A smile crosses my face. How long have they been together? What could they tell me about life? Are they still enjoying life?

Ah, there’s the young couple in love. Fairly well dressed, smart casuals, they obviously don’t live together and are spending some time together. Walking along hand in hand, they stop, share a hug and a kiss and continue on their way.

I love watching life happen around me, watching people go about every day activities. I like to wonder about who they are, what is their life like, do they to have secret lives. The meaning of the name I was given at birth is “watchful”. I like to watch.

A watching man,

Eccles

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The last 24 hours

Time to write about happier things. But what? Let’s go through how the last 24 hours has changed my plans for August.

Exactly 24 hours ago I get a twitter DM from a gorgeous lady who I have met once before but hope I can meet regularly. We were hopefully planning to meet in three weeks in Canberra. However, due to circumstances the trip was not going to happen as planned. My friend (can I call her my friend? I will for the purpose of this blog post) apologised sincerely and suggested other dates that she might be able to make it to Canberra. We had chatted on other days about a David Bowie exhibition happening in Melbourne so she offhandedly suggested I should visit Melbourne to see the exhibition.

Well, I have never been spontaneous in my life but the idea kind of excited me. Get out of cold, windy, frosty, wet Canberra for a couple of days to the slightly warmer climes of Melbourne. There was also the added benefit of spending some time with my friend. I decided to do some research.

While I was doing some research my beautiful friend sent me a photo of a hotel that she thought I might like. I think she cunningly picked a photo that included a glass of champagne. She knows what I like. Then a single word from her “Haighs”. I’m almost convinced. Another message “Might be good for you to get away. You can see your mate”. She was of course referring to my good twitter friend in Melbourne that I am yet to meet. All these benefits of visiting Melbourne. My friend really knew which buttons to press.

I was needing a break from work so I had already applied for leave the week of my friend’s planned Canberra trip. The leave was approved two days ago. So I had a week off work, I wasn’t planning to do anything that week. What the heck, I’m convinced.

Do you know how many hotels there are in Melbourne??? So let’s filter the list, 4 and 5 stars only. So that got rid of about three hotels. Which to choose, which to choose. Anyway by 11:30 this morning I had booked flights and a room at a rather nice hotel. One night and two full days in Melbourne. Get to go to the David Bowie exhibition, try and catch up with my twitter friend, shop at Haigh’s. But the best part of the trip spending an evening with an intelligent, beautiful, gorgeous lady. How exciting. Needless to say that it was hard to concentrate on my work for the rest of the day.

I am looking forward to the poetry (my friend will understand).

An excited man,

Eccles