I hate shots.
I’ve hated them since I was little, and I still hate them now.
I can recall a moment, mostly in fragments, when I was little. I remember me screaming, running from a couple of nurses in the doctor’s office. One of the nurses had the dreaded needle and syringe, intending on puncturing my arm and injecting me with what could’ve been some kiddie version of the truth serum so I could no longer get away with lying to my mom.
I remember they had to tackle me down and pin down my arms so they could fit the needle in. I screamed the loudest I’ve ever screamed, no doubt probably scarring for life the other kids in the waiting room probably waiting for the same shots.
Nowadays, my blood pressure still rises every time I’m faced with that dreaded needle and syringe.
Why am I telling you this obviously embarrassing and amusing anecdote? Because lately I’ve been faced with a situation much like the evil nurses with the needle that makes me want to run away in terror.
For the past few months, I’ve really been enjoying a depression and anxiety-free me. After dealing with some pretty scary days, not knowing if I was actually losing my mind, it’s been a huge breath of fresh air to feel so easy-going. Seeing my friends and supportive community has been helping, as well as getting back into one of my favorite hobbies: Martial arts. I can’t tell you how freeing it is to step out on the mat with boxing gloves ready to face off with an opponent. The unpredictable movements combined with the broken rhythm of a fight really gets the endorphins going. I feel like a new man after every session.
Recently, though, I had a moment that triggered something deep inside me that I didn’t know was not dealt with. I was at an indie rock show, of all places, and just remembered feeling very alone in a crowded room of people. For some reason, that uninvited feeling of loneliness wouldn’t leave. It followed me in the car on the way out. It laid in bed with me as I tried to get myself to sleep so I could make my next training session. In fact, I felt so bothered by it, that I stayed up too late and ended up sleeping through my training.
I missed the one thing that helped me feel centered and ready to tackle the rest of the day. Without that, everything seems off-balance. And it showed. When I got to work, I sat in my cubicle answering emails, and getting ready to take calls, when I felt a swell of emotion start to overcome me, and I almost erupted into tears. I excused myself and found my supervisor, and we found a quiet room to sit and talk.
My mind was all jumbled. I told him that I couldn’t pinpoint why I was feeling the way I was, but I gave him some reasons what may have triggered it. Then, he said something that I have dreaded ever since I first heard it suggested to me about 6 years ago: “Have you ever thought about counseling?”
That word is like a cuss word to me. Like the most offensive thing you can say. If it’s one word that would seriously make my heart skip a beat, it’s that one.
To me, counseling is reserved for the crazies, for the people who are one step away from heading to that really nice white building with the padded walls. I’m not crazy. I don’t have a screwed up past. I was never beaten or molested as a child. I’ve just been bullied, and have suffered heartbreak. That’s it. So, why on earth would I need a counselor?
I grew up in a family where if something was wrong on the inside, you got over it, sucked it up, got yourself up and got your stuff done. There wasn’t much emphasis on talking it out, and even when I tried, I felt misunderstood. When I would bring up that I may have a problem with anxiety, I would be met with a stare and a lecture about how I am much to young to be experiencing those feelings.
The thing is, I agree with them. But the fact of the matter is, it’s still happening, no matter how many times I try to side-step it.
Lately, I’ve been hearing a lot of reports of divorce among my friends. These all stemmed from unresolved issues, mostly from the men’s side, about past issues, secret addictions, etc. This seriously scared me. After hearing some of the pain it was bringing those couples, it made me A) never want to get married, and B) never want to put my future wife through the same thing.
As much as I entertained option A, I discovered that I was made to be partnered with someone special to share the most intimate parts of me, so option A was not an option for me.
After having some encouraging conversations with friends whom I look up to, and who have seen counselors themselves, the thought of seeing a counselor became a little less scary, and a little more logical and inviting.
It’s not that it’s completely removed the fear, because I’m still very much afraid. I do not like the idea of exposing the deep parts of me to a stranger, not knowing how he will judge me, what he will say, what medications he’ll try to prescribe me. But what gives me comfort is the fact that I have the opportunity, right here, right now, to make the step towards giving me a chance to have a very healthy marriage in the future. Do I take it, or do I pass it up again and leave it buried until it comes up again when I’m married, or even when I have kids?
When I was a freshman in high school, I had to go back into the doctor’s office to get another shot. Needless to say, I was nearly having a heart attack as I sat up on the examination table as the nurse prepared the syringe. The nurse, a sweet elderly woman, noticed how I was acting, and very calmly told me, “You’re worrying too much over nothing.”
I took a deep breath, looked away, and felt a slight pitch with a tiny discomfort. When I turned my head back around, she was already putting the needle away. “That was it?” I told myself, “That wasn’t so bad.”
@4 months ago
Any time bare skin is exposed and it’s necessary to go beneath it to heal the problem or prevent a future infection, there will be some pain. But a little pain, I figure, would probably be worth the years of healing it will bring me.
Right now, as I’m writing this, I’m staring at the pamphlet I was given at work with a counseling hotline on it. I haven’t called yet. I’m contemplating it. I hope that if I do finally take a deep breath and decide that it’s not going to be so bad, that it will be just like that last moment in the doctor’s office. I will be all worried over nothing.
Be right back. I have to make a phone call…
I just had to get this one out there since it just happened to me not 40 minutes ago.
@6 months ago with 1 note
Women, I have a piece of advice to give you when you see that a guy is interested in you: Let your yes be yes, and your no be no. Not only that, but follow through with it!
Now, it could be that I’m just the type of guy that needs a woman to be more specific with me so that I know what they want. So, in that case, I would take the blame for some of that. But here’s the thing, if you find that a guy is interested in you and you do not feel the same way back, let them know and remember to be as gracious as possible while still standing your ground. The stereotype that men aren’t sensitive beings is a complete lie. Despite our rugged appearances, and our love for beer, rock n’ roll, and movies that show Denzel Washington blowing something up, we do still have feelings, and they can get hurt pretty easily. Let us know what you need (or don’t need) from us, and if you’re not interested in any sort of friendship after that, then cut all ties immediately.
This means no Tumblr, no Twitter, no Facebook, no Instagram, etc. Do not give the man the slightest indication that you are still willing to maintain a connection when that is NOT what you want. Because we will take it that way. That means no “liking” posts or commenting on anything. Just don’t do it, because we will take that as an indication that you’re still wanting to be friends and we will return the “likes” and comments. If this is not what you want, this will most likely lead to you having to put on a mean face and make us feel sorry that we ever set eyes on you by being blunt and a bit rude to get your point across, and nobody wants to get to that point.
Now, I can see in some cases where it calls for that when a persistent dude just doesn’t want to take no for an answer, regardless of how many times you have tried to be abundantly clear. But this is why I make the suggestion to avoid that by being straight up honest (and remember, gracious) and cut ties from the get-go. Trust me, us men (the genuine ones, at least) will be eternally grateful for it.
This comes from an experience where I was emailing a girl back and forth on a dating site, and all seemed to be going well until she emailed back saying that she wasn’t interested in pursuing anything romantic and asked for forgiveness if she felt like she led me on. Totally understandable, and I really appreciated her candor and her graciousness in handling the situation. I emailed her back thanking her for being honest, and even offered to still be friends.
Since she didn’t say “no” to the friendship offering, and she was still following my posts on Instagram, still “liking” the pictures and everything, I took it as a sign that a friendship was possible. So, I sent her one of those nifty Direct Instagrams that you can send to specific followers of a vinyl record that I had picked up of one of the bands I remembered her saying she liked. I didn’t mean anything flirtatious by it, just thought it was cool and that she would get a kick out of it.
Turns out my assumptions were wrong when she wrote back saying “I guess I wasn’t clear in my last message…”
Seriously, if there were anyway to introduce a message to a person to make them think they were an overbearing creeper and send them crying like an insecure 14 year-old who wondered why no girl wanted to dance with him at the post-football game high school dances, that was it.
Now, listen. I get it. There are definitely guys out there that just don’t take the hint. I guess I was one of them, I don’t know. But am I in the wrong here by requesting that when a woman says “No”, she really makes it clear that it means “No”? It’s the least they can do to save us the pain of rejection that will come later when they have to be blunt and rude to get their point across. And I know you women do not enjoy giving that kind of message as much as us men don’t enjoy receiving them.
So, why not just take care of business right from the get-go and cut the cord immediately? It will save a sensitive guy like me the heartache and feeling like I had just achieved creeper status in the long run.
Ever feel like your partners from past relationships haunt you like a ghost sometimes? It sounds like a bad plot to a Matthew McConaughey movie, but I’m being serious here. You can “hide” their feed on Facebook, and heck, even delete them from your page, but all the “deleting” and “hiding” you can do on social networking will never keep them from popping up in your dreams, or your thoughts. Someone will say something that will instantly remind you of something they said that you found endearing when you were together. Or you’ll see someone from a distance from behind and swear to God that it’s them and your heart drops into your stomach, only to be met with heartbreaking disappointment when they turn around and it’s someone else.
I have a ghost following me around. One that seems to be stalking me in my dreams and my thoughts because there is unfinished business.
@7 months ago
I can only imagine the kind of damage that happens within divorced couples. It’s one thing to date and break up, it’s quite another to have a life together, with a house, two kids, and a dog, with a mortgage and shared car payments, and all of the sudden, it’s over.
The biggest pain I feel comes from desperately wanting to save a friendship. There’s a part of me that, despite what the media or other people have told me about how broken-up couples can never be friends again, I want to believe that is false. That, although I have to say goodbye to the possibility of intimately knowing that person as I once did, I still have love in my heart for them as a friend. I want to see them grow, thrive, succeed in the areas they couldn’t when we were paired up. But it requires a response from that person. I’ve done plenty of pushing, but no response.
I’ve heard great friends of mine say, “You’ve done your part already. Just be happy and move on, and at the same time, open yourself up to the possibility of her entering your life again.” I want to keep hoping, and yet I want to cry in defeat at the same time, because right now in this situation as it stands, the latter seems like an impossibility. Opening myself up to the possibility of that person entering my life again would mean never really moving on. I would always keep a sense of hope alive, and for that reason, it keeps the ghost alive.
I want to move on and find the next classy, shy, dress-wearing, short brunette girl to come into my life again that I can smother with affection in hopes that that will finally get myself to move on. But another part of me asks, even if another one did show up, would I want her?
I have to be honest, relationships scare me right now. It’s the thought of having another person in my life that I share myself intimately with, with all my faults and quirks, and making mistakes and hurting them that has me keeping my distance. I know I can’t be governed by fear if I want to be successful in this area. And I know that fear is irrational and will ultimately keep me from experiencing any kind of intimate relationship, and I don’t want to shut myself off. But right now… boy, that pain and fear are strong. And I just want to move forward.
God, show me what I need to do.
One of the best Superman moments never appeared in a Superman comic. A 2008 issue of Nightwing included a scene of Superman and Nightwing talking in a dark, after hours Central Park. A security guard, flashlight in hand, tells them to scatter before he realises whom he’s addressing. ‘Oh, hey, jeez, Superman, Nightwing, my bad,’ he stammers, mortified by his own mistake. ‘The park can’t get any safer having you guy guys patrolling it, can it?’
Superman doesn’t miss a beat. ‘You mean having the three of us patrolling it,’ he answers. That’s it. That’s Superman. And he doesn’t deliver the line with a sarcastic eye roll or a sly ‘can-you-believe-this-guy?’ wink in Nightwing’s direction. Superman is just stating the facts. When he looks at this man, he doesn’t see an interloper or a pretender. He sees a peer.
That’s life in Superman’s world, here the most powerful being on the planet is glad to call you a friend as long as you work hard and help others. The ability to leap tall buildings in a single bound has nothing to do with it. Born on Krypton but raised in Kansas, Superman is a small-town boy who never developed a shell of big-city cynicism.
Critics sometimes throw jabs at the character, saying that Superman’s off-the-scale power makes him hard to relate to. Not true. Superman is just Clark Kent from Smallville at heart and he’d happily munch on a burger chatting with you about football prospects.
Superman’s humble roots enable him to empathize with all people from the mighty to the meek. He’s not Superman because he has the power to take over the world, He’s Superman because he wont.
The very first super hero is the one with the biggest heart. After 75 years we’re all still looking up in the sky.
@7 months ago with 13959 notes