I haven't felt the urge to write a blog in quite some time, mainly because I’ve been feeling more content in myself recently. I'd noticed that my blogs had served as a place to vent. Even though this can be a good release on occasion; it was developing into something unhelpful in my opinion. A regular blog felt like it was enabling a form of wallowing in my own self-pity and dedicating too much time to voicing negative thoughts and reactions.
I'm spending a lot less time on this site. I feel as if the closure I had felt when I first joined has been reinforced by books about the spectrum. The main reason I returned to the site in recent months was to keep a regular blog going, but now I’ve seen this was turning into something that might have started to hinder rather than help.
Since smoking again, I've felt less stressed. I'm more caught up at work than I have ever been before. Each week my manager has ended on a Friday by singing my praises. Mistakes have plummeted – my usual 3+ a day has turned into 3 or less in a week. I’ve also been putting in 6+ hours overtime a week. My mind has been racing less at work, and in general I'm feeling a bit happier. It's no miracle cure, but when I get home I have one small, pin skin joint and the work day is let go. The amount used is tiny – probably less than what someone would normally put in a bowl. The initial effect can feel a little too intense at times, but I’m better at handling that sensation, and ensuring it doesn’t spill over into bodily discomfort. It’s after that initial moment that I enjoy the most – being able to full de-stress and put the working day behind me. It takes my enjoyment of the evening staffing, music, dinner and gaming to a whole new level.
Staffing has always felt meditative – but after a smoke I’m on a whole new level. I can staff for hours and I feel so in tune with what I’m doing that I’ve been pulling off new tricks, new variants and finally that feeling of stagnation around staffing has been lifted. This idea of “oneness” or a “shamanic experience” rings true when I’m staffing after a smoke. Also, when I’m staffing in the evenings, I get to witness some truly beautiful sunsets. The colours, the clouds, the birds – it’s felt so beautiful that it’s actually moved me to tears a couple of times. The appreciation I have at the moment is utterly profound, and humbling.
I continue to staff right next to footpaths in parks. I've been going to the main park in town more often. I've been making an effort now to make eye contact with almost every passer-by. When they see me, we tend to smile and nod at each other, or say hello. It’s another simple change, but it has made me feel good. Certainly beats staring at the floor, or deliberately avoiding eye contact – behaviours which seemed to amplify how awkward I felt. A smile and a nod – so simple, but it makes me feel good, and energised.
I might not be able to staff at the party or wedding now. Truth be told, it’s not a huge loss – as I know other opportunities will arise. In fact, I ran under the assumption they might not happen, what with cases going up again in the UK – the final lockdowns restrictions might be delayed. The press dubbed it "freedom day" when in reality most of restrictions have already been lifted. People can eat and drink indoors now. I'd have assumed that'd be of biggest benefit to most people who enjoy such socialising venues. Personally, I think there’s plenty of freedoms as of right now, and I know the government in the UK doesn’t want to backtrack and force lockdowns again. But the media has been relentless – never satisfied, always nit-picking. Truly tedious behaviour, and yet, they’ve not been held accountable for the constant scare mongering they’ve overindulged in since COVID was first reported back in 2019.
On Sunday I met up with a guy I got chatting to many years ago at a Halloween house party we held. We only had a brief chat during the party, but I noticed a bond there straight away. Haven't spoken to him since that party several years ago, but I decided to drop him a message on FB a week ago and we arranged to meet up. He smokes too, that right there, as we’d discussed is something you can pick up on quite quickly with people. Of course, it probably comes from the stigma attached to the past time, so it helps when you can determine whether or not a person might be that way inclined, as it’s not something you digress with everyone. We met up in the park I was staffing in, and then headed out for a coffee on Sunday in a local pub. We spent a couple of hours chatting, it was really nice and we had some great laughs. I’m glad I decided to drop him a message, as it quickly became clear we have a lot of similar thoughts, ideas and interests. In fact, we started brand new topics and ideas just as the other person was thinking them. It’s a great sign when you sync up with someone so well. It was a very nice morning.
My self-care regime continues to improve. With that, I feel better. The skin on my face is cleared up, and I've even got a bit of a tan. I'm feeling good about myself, calmer and fitter too. I'm staffing over 10 hours a week now. The smoothness of my staffing has improved too, which means the knuckle injury has disappeared.
Feeling happier in myself, and staffing next to footpaths I'm noticing one thing - a lot of women see me and they smile, or stare. It reminds me of the time I got conned when buying weed, in fact it was a story I shared with Kieran when we met on Sunday. I told him, I bore this guy no hatred – in fact, I was astounded by how well he played the game. Sharply dressed business suit, approaches me staffing in a park. Asked if I smoked weed, showed me a couple of sample bags. Said he had a few ounces left to sell from a shipment from Holland. Give me a good price etc etc. Walk through town to get money out, go to where he’ll pick up. Give him the cash – “I’ll be back in 5” and he was gone. Clever scheme. But back to people staring – one thing the guy noticed as we walked through town and chatted was how I always stared at the floor whilst walking, he pointed out several times how groups of women noticed me, and would point or smile, or stare. He asked me if I realised how much I stand out, how much of an impression I leave on people. It’s strange really, as for a long time I’d assumed I’d peaked in my 20’s – when I had dreads, lots of relationships, friends, going out all the time etc. Before anxiety and depression hit home hard etc. In reality, I look to how I was then, and how I am now – and I feel more content here and now. Older, wiser and more content in myself. Now I see people admiring me, and I meet their gaze, and reply with a smile or a nod. Sure, it’s not the charisma of someone who’d approach strangers and strike up interesting conversations etc, but it's a step in the right direction, and to see that I stand out feels nice.
Money is a little tight until August. So I'm probably going to make Wednesdays therapy session my 2nd to last one. Right now I'm feeling better in myself. Whilst I know self-medicating is a bit of a false economy - I know that it's working for me at the moment, and throughout my 15+ years on and off with cannabis, it was always lack of moderation which drove me to points of lethargy, indifference and emotional issues.
As of right now, it's working for me. Should that change I will look to sobriety again. But for the time being, I'm seeing marked improvements in various areas, and so I'm happy to continue.
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