Something fishy

It started out as an orchid. In my favourite Australian TV show, ‘Please Like Me’, Hannah Gadsby’s character, who suffers from depression, is given an orchid by her doctor. The idea is that if she can keep the orchid alive, she can learn to trust herself. I liked that idea and I considered getting an orchid.

My train of thought went like this. If I can learn to commit to an orchid and care for it and keep it alive, then maybe I can commit to a man and care for a boyfriend and let another human into my house and my life.

As this idea sat with me, the orchid didn’t seem like a big enough commitment. I needed to prove to myself that I was open to another living creature.

Should Connor get a pet? If only I didn’t find animals both terrifying and revolting. I know rabbits are cute but they want to bite me and they shit everywhere. Multiply those sentiments for cats and multiply them even more for dogs. I do not want to be responsible for picking up another being’s poop. I’m putting it out there now. When I’m eventually ready for a boyfriend, he has to (at least at first) be able to take care of his own poo without my assistance.

No. I would not get a dog. I would get some fish.

I must have mentioned this fish plan jokingly about a hundred times since the idea first came to me when I was living in my cottage in Longford. And one day, about three weeks ago in the canteen at work, I said it again. I would get some goldfish.

And London Connor, though he still has all pre-London-Connor’s faults, is more likely to actually do what he says rather than idly dreaming of it.

Before I knew it, I was researching fish. To be honest, I was over-researching fish. I must have watched over 100 hours of youtube videos about fish care. I hadn’t even bought any fish and I had nightmares on three successive nights about dead fish. Ammonia will kill your fish! The wrong temperature in the water will kill your fish! The wrong pH in the water will kill your fish! Overfeeding will kill your fish! Your fish will kill your fish! Putting your hand in the water while you have moisturiser on your skin will kill your fish! Nitrates will kill your fish! Your fish’s urine will kill your fish! You might never know what killed your fish!

First, I bought a fish tank in an amazing fish shop that just happens to be in my neighbourhood. The fates must truly have wanted this. The biggest fish shop in London is on my doorstep! I was advised by a nerdy shop assistant who couldn’t make eye contact, and who didn’t know how to talk to humans, but he had a lot of fish-related facts and I trusted him.

I went on Amazon and bought: neon gravel for the bottom of the tank, neon fake plants for my fish to hide in, a princess castle for the centre piece of the tank, an air pump/bubble maker, water conditioner, live underwater moss balls, a gravel vacuum/water siphon, bacteria to quick start a tank’s nitrogen cycle, a gravel rake, a net, a water quality test kit.

I had spent almost £250 and still not bought any fish.

Eventually, the day came. It was time. England were playing Croatia in the World Cup and the streets were deserted as I made my way to the Aquatic Design Centre to but three platies, a species recommended for beginners and, hopefully, hard to kill.

It’s only a half hour walk home from the fish shop, but I got an Uber, nervous I would accidentally drop/puncture/kill my fish.

My fish are beautiful and are still alive and active 5 days later.

The largest, most active fish is bright orange and is called Niall Horanfish. While Niall Horan may not be my favourite member of One Direction, he is certainly the most comforting, dependable member. He’s the one who will populate your twitter feed with dull tweets about how much he loves golf or how well he slept last night. Niall will always be there.

The next most active one has tiger stripes and I’ve named her Joslyn Foxfish. Joslyn Fox probably isn’t even in my top 5 favourite drag queens from RuPaul’s Drag Race, but I think she might be the kindest, sweetest queen ever to have been on the show. And that’s what I want from my fish.

The shyest, most reclusive fish is blue with an orange tail. I’ve named her Jessica Fletcherfish. There are some voices I love and Jessica Fletcher has the kind of voice you want reading a bedtime story to you. She’s also lively and solves murders but in a comforting way that suggests she likes a nice cup of tea.

I love my fish. I had started talking to my tank before I put any fish there at all. But now I find myself sitting and chatting with them whenever I have a spare moment. I worry about them too. When I come home late at night and turn on the lights and they sluggishly hide in a dark area of the tank, I suddenly worry that they’re drowning in their own pee. And I think Niall Horanfish is a pregnant female and Joslyn Foxfish is a randy male who won’t leave her alone. (I think Jessica Fletcherfish is a male too, but he’s kind of aloof and not into girl fish.) And apparently female platies can be sexually harassed to death and apparently newborn platies are almost always eaten by adult platies and the circle of life is cruel.

And I know I’m worrying far too much about them but I do love them. I’m already planning my next fish purchase and I’m vaguely hoping my next house will be big enough for a fish room with multiple large tanks.

Do they make me feel readier for a boyfriend? I’m not sure. I’ll let you know another day.

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I lift, bro

Ugga Rarr Grrh Hnng Ugga Rrrr!

Me Connor. Me man. Me lift like a bro. Rarr.

I must have been in my big, friendly, gay-friendly London gym about 100 times. But I’d never been in the weights room until today. It’s an actual room. Like there’s the gym and then you have to go through a door to the weights room. It’s like they want you to be intimidated by all the sweaty muscly men in sleeveless tops grunting under barbells.

Back in 2008 I had a personal trainer. I paid a fortune to go to a one-to-one gym. And there was a muscular young straight trainer there who used to flirt outrageously with me. Sometimes, I’m not sure if people are flirting; but when a man is standing between your legs, holding your feet down while you do crunches and he looks up your shorts and says “Cool jocks, man” when he sees your colorful underpants, then that is definitively flirting.

I loved the one-to-one gym. Loved it. It wasn’t just having muscular men stand between my legs, helping me stretch my things and squeezing my biceps that I liked. It was partly the luxury. The giant fluffy towels, the expensive shower gels and body lotions, the fact you had a whole gym to yourself. But also, it was that I was good at it.

I was good at weightlifting and strength training. OK. That’s an exaggeration. I wasn’t good. But I wasn’t terrible. They told me I was strong. And maybe they were just telling me that in the interests of good customer relations, in the same way they only complimented my underwear in the interests of customer satisfaction but I chose to believe them. And it was funny seeing myself being good at something so masculine.

I am stupidly emotional about sports. Even now, at the age of almost 37 and a half, I’m still terrified of football. I was walking through a park the other day and the noise of teenage boys kicking a football set my heart racing and I could feel my chest tightening and I had to fight the urge to just leave the park. I have no rational reason to fear boys kicking a football, but I fear it nonetheless. But while I hate sports at a deep and emotional level, I find myself loving exercise at a deep and emotional level too. Long-term readers of this blog will remember various breakthroughs I’ve had while running or swimming or boxing. Weightlifting doesn’t bring me to that place but it brings me somewhere emotional too.

Today, I went to the gym and started out with a twenty-minute warm-up on an elliptical trainer. For all my enthusiasm for running, my joints just can’t face it right now. Then, I went through the intimidating door into the intimidating weights room.

One of the things I like about weightlifting is that there’s lots to learn. And I do like a project. I do like researching something to death. (My next blogpost is likely to be about me buying my first goldfish and no one has ever researched fish as much as I have in the last two weeks.)

Anyway, I love swotting up and learning different lifts and moves and all that. Strength training is kind of like dancing in that respect.

I started with a shoulder press and picked weights that were way too heavy. I managed 12 reps but did nearly topple backwards. I did some back rows. Then I lay on a bench and did some a set of chest reps. The next bit was the most embarrassing bit. I couldn’t stand back up. A weights bench is super narrow and I don’t have the core strength to go from lying on my back to sitting up. I can only get out of bed in the mornings by levering myself up to a sitting position with my hands. I lay stranded on the weights bench. I vaguely considered calling for help but felt too silly. In the end, I rolled off, I deliberately fell on the floor and was then able to lever myself back up to a standing position using the bench.

Did that stop me? No! Rarrr! I did another set of shoulders, backs and chests. But for the second set of chest presses I raised the bench so I wasn’t lying completely flat. It worked out fine. I didn’t have to roll off onto the floor again.

Once I was done with my chest, back and shoulders, I proved that I have an inner Popeye by doing some bicep curls and some tricep exercises that I can’t remember the name of.

Feeling ridiculously proud of myself, I showered and then sat in the shallow end of the swimming pool to bring my temperature back down to normal.

I love new exercise endorphins. That feeling of being surprised by happiness and of just having little thrills and jolts of pleasure shooting through your body. I haven’t felt that in a while.

I was actually stupidly happy. As I walked up the hill home from the bus, I found myself crying. Crying because I felt in control of my life at last. Everything’s been such a fight for the last few months. And suddenly everything felt right and it felt easy and I felt in charge of myself again. And feeling in control of your own life is empowering.

I cry easily. I cry from being happy as much as from being sad, but tonight was my first time happy-crying since my dad died. It’s all been sad-crying for the last eight months. But not tonight. And I know all I did was lift something over my head 36 times. But sometimes that’s all it takes to come back to yourself and to feel right and tonight, I felt right.

Let’s keep this feeling.

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That old familiar song

Let’s start with two separate messages from God that I shouldn’t go to Gregg’s any more. When I’m not eating well, my default breakfast is in Gregg’s, which is grimly predictable and stereotypical of me. There is no Gregg’s in Ireland, but in the UK, Gregg’s is basically just a codeword for ‘fat men eating pies’. “My” Gregg’s is the Brixton branch, small and poky, but friendly.

On Wednesday, I got my regular breakfast order there (two sausage rolls, a steak bake and a Coke Zero). I tried to pay but my card was declined. Luckily for me, I’m quite used to my card being declined, given my inability to budget well. I was surprised, but after two attempts, I handed back the sausage rolls to the cashier and carried on to work. (As it turns out, it was a card fault and not a lack of money, but that hardly mattered to the nice people in Gregg’s).

You might think the embarrassment of this incident might have given me pause before venturing back to Gregg’s, but I was back in the queue on Friday morning. I ordered my regular meal and my card worked this time. I stood outside Iceland, ate my sausage rolls and then bit into my steak bake. It exploded. I was wearing a strikingly bright yellow tie and a pale checked shirt. And it was all covered in steak and gravy. I tried to clean it with a tissue from my pocket and it just looked worse. My lovely bright yellow tie looked like someone had had diarrhoea on it. And some of the diarrhoea had congealed on my lovely silver tie clip. This was the worst possible start to the day. I went into Boots and bought a pack of baby wipes. I managed to get my tie, tie clip and shirt clean.

***

As you’ll have gathered, my diet isn’t going well. The last attempt lasted approximately 8 days and now I’m eating worse than ever and feeling less in control of my bingeing than usual.

I eat a lot on the go. I was using a budgeting app on my phone for the month of June and I discovered that I spent £478.10 on eating out in June, in comparison to £87.88 on groceries. Not a great ratio.

I read “Brain Over Binge” last week. It’s basically the Allen Carr of bingeing. I liked Allen Carr’s theory of smoking. If you don’t know it, he basically argues that stopping smoking is easy, that the only pleasure we derive from smoking a cigarette is the relief of the need to have a cigarette and the main effect of having a cigarette is creating a need for another one, and that we don’t “need” or “depend on” or derive pleasure or relaxation from cigarettes. Brain Over Binge is written by a recovered bulimic, who argues similarly that bingeing isn’t caused by deep childhood emotional traumas and that people who binge aren’t actually eating to heal emotional scars or to satisfy a deep need, but that each binge causes a need for the next one and the way to stop the need to binge is to stop bingeing, in much the same way Allen Carr claims that the way to not need the next cigarette is not to smoke this one.

This is an attractive solution. Maybe I’m not fat because I’m a damaged and ineffective human being, who has no self control and issues that I’m unable to process like a normal person. Maybe I’m just someone who got into a self-perpetuating trap.

***

I’ve certainly been suffering from the renewed weight gain. My brother came to visit me for five days a few weeks ago and I nearly died from being a tourist. It’s not as if he’s super fit or very active, but it wouldn’t be hard to be more active than me. On the first day, we got up late, then went for brunch in Clapham and then got the Tube and spent a few hours looking at the second hand book shops on Charing Cross Road. We went to a play that night. This might seem like a light day, but I collapsed into bed that night, dropping from exhaustion.

The second day was the one that killed me. We went to Camden Market  and after an hour and a half walking around, I needed to sit down. NEEDED. I told my brother this and he didn’t quite get it. We queued up to buy food at a stall and we ate it standing up. I was in so much pain I couldn’t speak to my brother and I couldn’t taste the food.

After standing or walking for any length of time, my ankles begin to protest. This has been a problem for me since at least 2006. And it’s got a lot worse over the years. The pain in my ankles was blinding after a day and a half of being a tourist. In the last few years, my knees and hips have joined my ankles in being portals of pain.

When the pain in my joints is bad, I understand why they were such big fans of bleeding in medicine the olden times. When I’m in pain, I fantasise about bloodletting. I visualise myself with a sharp dagger, leaning over and piercing my ankles and then my knees and then my hips and the blood flowing out and with it the pain. It’s a very vivid fantasy, but it only comes on when the pain is very bad, which is more often than it used to be.

Eventually, I snapped at my brother and told him that I had to sit down. (My brother and I don’t have the kind of relationship where I snap at him. He moved to America when I was nine, so I don’t have childhood memories of arguing with him, unlike my other two siblings. So he would have been surprised at my snapping.) He agreed and we sat in a hipster cafe for the next hour or so and the pain began to dissipate.

I worry that I’m becoming someone who can’t hold a job down as I become less mobile. I recently added an element to my job that will mean going upstairs more often and also bending down to access a safe from time to time, and if there are two things the obese are bad at, it’s going up stairs and bending over to reach something at ground level.

But I can’t let myself turn into someone who can’t have a job.

People ask what you’re doing for the weekend, or what you’ve done. I can’t really tell the truth when I answer. I have to spend either Saturday or Sunday in bed, to recover from the week. If I have to leave the house both days, I can’t cope with the week after. If I want to clean the house and do some grocery shopping and laundry on a Sunday, it means I have to stay home in bed on a Saturday. That’s not a full life.

I’m starting a new diet tomorrow. And consciously setting bingeing aside. The hypnosis was good last time, so I’ve booked a new session with a hypnotherapist for Thursday. With a new therapist – hopefully someone who isn’t as intimidated by me as the last guy was. And I’m going to stop staying at work till late in the evening and I’m going to actually make time for me and for exercise.  And I’ll keep on pushing on.  And climbing. In the immortal words of Our Lady Miley Cyrus, “There’s always gonna be another mountain/I’m always gonna wanna make it move/Always gonna be an uphill battle/Sometimes I’m gonna have to lose/Ain’t about how fast I get there/Ain’t about what’s waiting on the other side/It’s the climb”

Keep your fingers crossed for your Connor.

 

 

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We get rights for this?

[Yay! An NSFW post that is full of TMI! Not for tender eyes. You have been warned.]

I was chatting to a boy on one of my apps on Monday night. He seemed sweet. He liked my profile because I’d described myself as “teacher/writer” (Remember those halcyon early days in London when I was going to stay in youth hostels forever, until I became a famous writer? Those were good times.) Anyway, this boy (he’s 22) writes Pokémon fan fic and so, as well as my picture, he liked that I described myself a writer.

His messages were shy, full of those pointy-eared cat-like emoticons that Japanese people use and I don’t understand. He told me he was nervous. I was to be his first. He’d arranged to meet a man before but chickened out. He’d literally never even kissed anyone. I said lots of supportive things and we arranged to meet at mine this evening.

I let him in and invited him to sit on my sofa. He didn’t know where to put his bag and we had a whole little awkward moment. I don’t think I’ve ever been less nervous about a hook-up. It’s weird being the more experienced one.

He started looking around my living room, noticing all my colours and ridiculous decorations, photos of Zayn and the heap of teddy bears in front of the fireplace. “I didn’t know you had children.” LOL. I guess other 37-year-olds choose not to live like this.

I offered him a glass of water. He didn’t want one. So I told him I was going to kiss him. He couldn’t do it. His face twisted fast and my lips landed on his cheek. I patted him on the back, wondering if the rendezvous was going to end there.

It didn’t. He asked me to take off my top. He was aghast that I didn’t shut the curtains before doing so. There’s a giant bush in front of the window and a net curtain up too and the lights weren’t even on. I don’t know what he thought anyone could see.

Luckily, he was delighted with my body and very happy to move things into the bedroom.

Things went well. I certainly enjoyed our shenanigans. He was very eager to do things right and he asked for permission at every stage, which I loved. “Should I take my socks off now?” “Where should I be for this bit?” “Should I put a third finger in now?” etc.

It was as he inserted that third finger that the thought overtook me. This was a very gay thing to be doing. In fact, it was possibly the gayest thing you could do. This was super gay. I always find the concept of gay rights amusing. (I know I shouldn’t, but in situations like this, it’s hard not to.) I wanted to twist around as he got that third finger in and say to him, “Isn’t it hilarious that we get rights…for this?” But I figured that would put him off so I didn’t.

Anyway, it was lovely. He’s told me he’s going to come back to do it “better” next time. And I’m fully in favour of that idea.

I love this post-man feeling. *Happy sighs*

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I ❤️ earnest lesbians

So, in my latest bout of self-improvement, I’ve been trying to “put myself out there” a bit more and not be quite such a Stay-home Sally.

I’d previously joined a Queer Book Club and never gone. (Well actually I had gone, but had been overcome by mild diarrhoea and extreme shyness and had observed the book club for ten minutes from the other side of the pub before running away and going home.)

This time, I was feeling braver and, having read almost all of the book for this month, I actually went to the meeting.

From spying on the meeting before, I knew that it would be mainly lesbians, which is a comfort. I like lesbians, and have always found it easier to relax around them than it is around gay men.

I remember when I first came out to someone other than a priest when I was 16, and it was my supervisor at the restaurant where I worked at weekends and she set me up for coffee with a lesbian who used to also work at the restaurant and it was my first time talking to someone who was gay about being gay and although she didn’t really know what to say, she was exactly as kind as she should have been and she pointed me to a gay youth group, where I did meet an actual male gay my own age, but he didn’t matter as much as the lesbian group leader with whom I watched Beautiful Thing for the first time. I remember being totally overwhelmed by the movie and its depiction of a mother accepting her son’s homosexuality in a way I knew mine never could. And the lesbian youth group leader could see I needed a hug and she gave me an excellent one.

And then I went to university and didn’t succeed in making any gay male friends, but one of my best friends was a lesbian, someone I still think of as a good friend even if I rarely see her. She is one of my more successful friends and when I was first living in Dublin around 2007, I remember going to barbecues at her large, expensive, South County Dublin home, and later, her large North County Wicklow home. On at least one occasion, I was the only non-lesbian at one of her barbecues and it was wonderful. It was at one of these barbecues that I learned that it was my fate in life to always say the Wrong Thing to lesbians. As I walked along the beach near the house with a group of five or six lesbians and they all told me about their jobs (politics, child abuse prevention, human rights law, that kind of thing) and asked me what I did. I said “I teach English to foreigners”. There was a Literal Collective Gasp. One of the lesbians told me that we don’t say that word and I should say “I teach English to the New Irish” or “I teach English to foreign nationals”. I don’t think it even occurred to them that I was doing something as base and grubby as teaching in a private institution where all the students were rich and would be going home after their little language holiday in Dublin. They presumed I was working with asylum seekers or refugees. I didn’t enlighten them.

So back to my Queer Book Club. I was seven minutes late. In Ireland, that would be on time. Something like a book club wouldn’t start at the advertised time. But the English, much as I love them, are monstrous and intolerant when it comes to punctuality and so even informal get-togethers start on time.

There were about 20 people there, about 14 women and 6 men and I loved it. Talking about books is great.

Friends of mine often seem to get excited at the thought of me doing things like going to gay book clubs or joining gay choirs. I think they think that I might meet someone better than my Creepy Online Men. It’s not worth explaining that (a) the men in the choir/book club/gardening society are also Creepy Online Men when they’re not at the choir/book club/knitting group and (b) it just seems like a devastatingly unsexy place to meet a man.

Anyway, as is usual at any gay event, I gravitated towards the lesbians. Almost everything interesting said at the meeting was said by a woman anyway. The men seemed perfectly nice, but it’s just not a flirty place. It’s a bit like a church group.

Anyway, we discussed the book for an hour, and then there was a break and then a vote for the book we’d read two months from now. Next month’s book had already been chosen. I was chatting a bit to the woman beside me during this break, someone who’d made lots of funny and interesting contributions during the meeting. She was telling me I should propose a book to read. That was when I said the Wrong Thing. I had noticed that the book chosen for this month was one that focused on lesbians and the one for next month focused on gay men and I wondered was it considered bad form to have two men-focused novels two months in a row. I asked the woman next to me “Do we go boy-girl-boy-girl?” She asked me what I meant but it was immediately clear that I’d said completely the wrong thing. I was told that this was a queer group and men and women did not take turns and that the feminists wouldn’t tolerate it. She was very nice but very firm. And I was terrified. But in a nice way. Sometimes, it’s really good to be around people who believe in things.

In the vote for the next book, I didn’t vote for either a book focused specifically on gay men or on lesbians, but one on a trans woman instead.

Anyway, I didn’t stay for drinks after the meeting, but I’ll go again. It was fun.

In other “Connor puts himself out there” news, I almost went to an improv class on Thursday, but ended up being locked out because I was ten minutes late and this is England.

Anyway, I can’t have something on every night of the week, so it’s ok. I have to have time to do my online job and to go to the gym and go to the pub and write my next book and start making videos and blogs again.

And in other news, I lost six pounds this week, so I’m back. (In fact, don’t tell anyone, but I think this might have been my favourite week of 2018 so far.) 🙂

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Hypnotised

I was supposed to go to Stockholm this weekend. In a flurry of determination to make life better the week after my dad died, I had registered for the Stockholm marathon this weekend and booked Ryanair tickets.

Even though I decided in February not to do the marathon, I still planned to go and have a nice little weekend break in Stockholm.

But I decided not to go in the end. I was tired and broken and had just had stress levels go up after a visit home and I needed to get my life together and I didn’t need to spend money I didn’t have on Swedish hotels and meatballs.

I don’t think I’ve ever been as tired as I’d been in the last week or so. I needed to stop and regroup and actually try to make things better.

Lots of things have been going on, but let’s focus on weight. I’ve got very heavy again, not quite to my maximum ever, but to what feels like my maximum. I’m the kind of size where putting on one sock in the morning is just such a mammoth task and takes my breath away that I sit there on my bed, looking at my second sock and trying not to cry at the thought of having to get that on too. I’m the kind of weight where I wake up in the middle of the night with pains all over because my joints just can’t bear the pressure my weight puts on them. And the hot weather just makes everything harder. I’m one of those fat people now who pants for no reason. Like I’m just sitting down and I haven’t exerted myself at all, and I can hear myself panting. My body needs a change.

And I hadn’t managed to stop the bingeing.

So instead of going to Stockholm, I had four days to work on me.

And the number one thing I did was to go to a hypnotist. I’d bought a hypnotherapy session on Groupon months ago and it was soon to run out. I slept and ate most of Thursday and I made my appointment with the hypnotist for Friday morning.

Of course I was late. I scrambled around trying to get out of the house on time but a bus just wouldn’t get me there on time and I ended up getting an Uber for the price of a hotel room in Stockholm. I wasn’t going to waste this long weekend and not do anything to help myself. I had to get to the hypnotist!

The hypnotist was a Groupon hypnotist so my expectations were low. And I wasn’t going to some swanky city centre office. I was going to his home, an ordinary-looking semi-detached house in the suburbs of South London.

He greeted me kindly and brought me into his office, which had a slightly funny smell. As soon as I sat down, the chair began to give under my weight and it started rolling backwards. I quickly anchored myself by holding onto the desk, spreading my weight carefully. (Thin people will never know what it is to as afraid of chairs and their potential to suddenly break as I am.)

Anyway, he was a very nice middle-aged man. But I guess I’m middle-aged. Sigh. Let’s say he was about fifty. He seemed kind. While I filled in the form about my medical history, he asked me about my broadband provider as he was having problems with Virgin Media.

Then the counselling started. He was nice, but of course it’s always difficult with a new person to say “ta-dah! — here is a list of all my issues!” I told him stuff related to eating and food and weight because that’s what I wanted to work on. I couldn’t tell him I was gay. I still work from the assumption that any man older than me is homophobic. Maybe I shouldn’t, but I do. And so later in the session, when he started talking about a future where I get a girlfriend, I just smiled and nodded.

He started asking about childhood memories and we did some exercises where I closed my eyes and he led me through relaxation exercises as he had me visualising good and bad childhood and teenage memories. It was surprisingly effective.

I didn’t think it would work at all. He had a relatively heavy Indian-English accent, so when he said my name and the names of the people and places I was visualising, they didn’t sound at all like anyone would have said them in my childhood so that jolted me out of it, as well as the fact that he kept mixing up my memories and so a story I told him about something that happened in the kitchen was transported to the garden when he described the memory and asked me to visualise it. But I kept the faith, I visualised the memories. I felt the feelings. And after a few of these exercises, it was definitely true that the painful memories were less painful.

I had renewed faith in his methods as I opened my eyes and we talked some more. That said, I did have moments of doubt. He told me that I should lose weight slowly so I wouldn’t have a loose skin problem. LOL. I could lose the weight over five years and there would still be loose skin. No one who hasn’t lost over a hundred pounds should ever give weight loss advice.

When I told him I had a PhD, he looked physically shocked. He said, “you are more qualified than me!” He seemed to take my problems less seriously after that. That should have annoyed me. But it didn’t. I think his attitude was something along the lines of “well this guy can achieve difficult things so he doesn’t really need all that much help” and it kind of persuaded me that that should be my attitude too.

Anyway, after this chat, it was time for me to get hypnotised.

I moved into a reclining leather seat and he had me lie back. It was very comfy and it was the first time I really felt like this was actually hypnosis, although the noise of his washing machine spinning next door did keep me tied to the reality of the situation too.

We started with some simple relaxation and more visualisation. Again, as he spoke, he kept getting the details of my life slightly wrong, but it didn’t matter. At one stage, he made my arm move up (seemingly involuntarily) while I thought of a list of things and later it moved down while I thought about something resolving itself. It’s not that I felt I couldn’t control my arm if I chose to, but I certainly felt I wasn’t controlling it at that moment. I’m not questioning why it worked, but it did.

I left his office feeling buoyant and with a sense of self belief I often lack. I’m still feeling some left over glitter in my soul from it three days later.

I weighed myself at Boots an hour or so later. I’ve gained 10 pounds since I last weighed myself. Considering just how much I’ve binged in the last month, that’s not as bad as I expected. And I’ve been in control ever since. Three days without bingeing. Three days of feeling so much more peaceful than I have in weeks. (In another unexpected benefit, I have now gone since Friday morning without checking my work email once. That’s the first time since starting this job over a year ago that I’ve gone more than a day without checking my work email and it’s lovely.)

I’m feeling hopeful. I will go back for more hypnotherapy. I don’t know if it will be to the same hypnotist, but I do like it a lot.

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Dentist

There’ll be a longer blogpost tomorrow. This one is just a silly thought that came into my brain last week when I was at the dentist.

I don’t go to the dentist a lot – only three times in my adult life, which dentists tell me off for, but I’ve never had a filling or an extraction or any other dental procedures, so I guess I’m not doing too badly.

Last week, my dentist was trying to put an instrument in my mouth, which my tongue instinctively pushed away and she commented “You have a large and muscular tongue”. This blatantly sexual statement got me thinking…

Why getting your teeth polished is a lot like giving a blow job

  • Keeping your mouth open for a sustained period of time never seems like a challenge in theory, but when you actually have to do it, it’s pretty uncomfortable.
  • You’re never fully sure where your tongue should be.
  • Your jaw aches.
  • You know that you could ask the dentist/penis-owner for a break when it’s getting uncomfortable, but you know that in both cases they’d prefer to just get on with it.
  • The dentist/penis-owner says things to you even though they know you can’t answer.
  • Saliva pools in weird parts of your mouth and other bits of your mouth go weirdly dry
  • Spitting afterwards doesn’t really clear out all the gunk
  • No matter what you eat for the next few hours, your mouth still tastes of “it”
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