How Connor Got His Spunk Back

Boom! I am, once again, human. I’m still Connor – still riddled with frailties and sillinesses – still permanently on the brink of something or other, but today I’m looking forward to tomorrow, which is something I’ve found hard to do recently.

I went swimming today. And yesterday. I’ve forgotten how to swim without a float, but it doesn’t matter. I swam up and down the shallow end with a round Asian woman, clinging to my float, kicking my feet and feeling brave. Brave for not thinking about drowning and brave for not dying of shame about my hairy manbreasts, the stretchmarked folds of my back and the sizeable pale acreage of my white thighs. “Swimming” makes me feel clean and alive and calm and even though I’m the worst swimmer at the pool, I feel an equality with others that I don’t feel when clothed. I stop feeling the self-consciousness I feel for most of my waking hours.

Yay for nearly nakedness!

And I’ve finally booked myself in for the back, sack and crack wax that I promised myself in July. I announced this on Facebook, because I have no boundaries, and one of my friends from secondary school, who I haven’t seen in about seven years said, “The worst part is the sack. They burn for about an hour afterwards.” I’m terrified. But it’s a good fear. I can’t even imagine what having your testicles on fire might even feel like. But, and I don’t mean this in a kinky way, I’m kind of excited at the thought of the burning testicles.

Also, I’ve got new hair. Again. I went to the barber’s today. Where I had one star before, now I have two. And I also have a mohican-type thing. It couldn’t be more amazing. I love the permission I’ve given myself to be a teenager. I never want to stop. Old people don’t have stars in their hair, or mohicans, or burning testicles.

I’ve started eating fruit again. And drinking water. I’m certainly not eating healthily, but it’s a forward step.

I’ve finally got full clearance to work in Hall from the Polish police. And Hall is still going very well. On Tuesday, I spent a few hours with students, just listening to some trad and making handprints to celebrate mental health week, and, as always, being around young people recharged my soul.

And I won’t say I’m exactly back in the PhD groove, but I am excited about it again. I’ve now been in college every day for four days in a row. I’ve had deep thoughts about methodology, and about analysis. I went to the library today and (ashamed face) got out my first books since June. It’s going to be OK.

And so am I.

I went to the doctor on Wednesday. I tried on Monday and Tuesday too, but 40 minutes before the clinic opens is not enough time to queue for the college doctor and I was turned away both days. The doctor was lovely, which I rarely find doctors to be. And as I was talking to her, I realised that I’m going to be alright. I told her I didn’t want medication, I didn’t want a diagnosis, and I didn’t want to take time off college and she was fine with all those things. She is sending me to see loads of other healthcare professionals in the next few days, but she’s alright with me.

And I’m alright with me. Connor is a good person to be. SCHMALTZ ALARM! 🙂

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