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Updated: Nov 22, 2022

Day 13 on the Hypochondria ward at Watford General. There's nothing wrong with me I lie. Accidentally telling the truth maybe. I think: if only these people knew the pain I wasn't going through. They'll miss me when I'm better - What a load of wanky nonsense. If your brain refuses to follow any of that, don't worry as I'm well ahead of you there. It doesn't make sense to me and I wrote it. I'd be more worried if it did make sense. It's just one of the many incomprehensible notes saved on my phone. It's normal to think these usually private notes are a bit mental but I'm here to encourage you to start taking a deranged pride in them.

Imagine the sort of nonsense I'm not sharing. I'd love to show you but there's there's a paradox -How can I share with you the stuff I don't? The answer comes in the form of my shiny new notebook I've been writing in. Not an app but one of those IRL paper ones. If you're reading this in the future - paper comes from oxygen producing trees our lives depended on - we then blend those life giving trees into pulp and wipe our arses with them. I thought it would be more healthy but reading back, not editing these thoughts for public consumption ultimately led to a well documented breakdown in sense. Out of a genuine fear of intervention, I'll be sharing these selectively.

For the first time ever I have at least some idea what the future of LMI looks like. In a world wide exclusive I can tell you something that my mum said. About a month ago the 61 year old asked me if I would take her backpacking around Thailand this January. My immediate response was an idiomatic "Get to fuck!" but I must be maturing emotionally as I realised something. I thought "this would be a great source of material". So for reasons lovingly mistaken as selfless, I agreed. I don't believe in Buddha but the day after I said yes, Thailand went from the death penalty to completely legalising marijuana over night, take that Jesus!

I'm often so self-deprecating in my writing that I'm a bit worried that if my mum finds out about it she'll be concerned enough to talk. Well, no thank you! My feelings are for me and the strangers who read them. At some point she might ask me what the fucking hell am I documenting her hammock fails for and it is that point I'll have to finally make something up. Despite being 30 if I said homework she wouldn't bat an eye. This is not to say my mum is gullible but that she has built an impenetrable wall of indifference. A direct result of wading through 30 years of the horseshit (motherhood) & raising 3 boys (gobshites). If you'd like to see how our relationship blossoms in the new year, I have another exclusive: I'm dead inside and lack the emotional range. However I will make her eat some magic mushrooms and a baked tarantula, so there's that.

Now let's take a dive into my non-diary. I stopped halfway through June as instead of facetiously describing a breakdown I started demonstrating one. Still, good luck!

Thurs 2nd June

I was struggling to put pen to paper today, I call these my sober days. That is in no way metaphorical. In the spirit of literality I bought myself a new pen in an attempt to improve my writing. I've been writing in a shiny new leather notepad instead of across an array of apps and coffee receipts. This pad is surely more judgemental than your classic A5 ring binder, certain standards must be met.

Sun 5th June

My housemate, brother and I all stood aimlessly baked on the bank of the river Avon in Bristol. We said the clouds in the distance must be pouring as we described the haze beneath them. Also that they were making their way towards us. Them BAM! Out of absolutely nowhere we started to get rained on. We were openly discussing the approaching rain but were so myopically engrossed in the description of the event and not on the consequences or the result. A habit we must have picked up from watching the news.

Thurs 9th June

I felt an overwhelming sense of patriotism today. I was in Cardiff and couldn't help but notice what a massive shithole the Welsh capital is. As a chronic self-deprecator, national pride seems unreasonably counter intuitive. In America they sing the national anthem before they decide which side of bed to get out of. But in England we don't need to have a sing-song to build our self worth. We have Cardiff and Glasgow for that. Their 'we're shitter than you' spirit exposes our false humility. And without us they wouldn't be able to feel humbly superior.

Mon 13th June

Sorry I haven't written this weekend, my anxiety got so bad I felt like I didn't have anything worth boring my own journal with. Here's what I've been up to in descending order. On Sunday I went to the book store and found myself in the self-help section where I thought why do these fuckers all think I want to get better? What I really want is a self-destruct section. On Saturday I went out to my brothers birthday meal. There were 35 people there for me to dissociate with. I walked halfway there, turned back home, panicked for a bit, and left again. 45 minutes late I sat down and stared at my pone, looked up to see the starters taken away then I left before the mains arrived. On Friday my housemate bought a quarter of tainted weed, Paranoia Haze. I knew you could get bad acid but bad weed growing up meant not strong. This was bad in worse ways than that. Back to Monday and I was amazed to discover that dealers now offer refunds. Which sounds like an example of unattainable Utopian standards from an Irvine Welsh novel.

Weds 15th June

My work schedule was changed last night from Watford to Newcastle. I'll get paid the same but the difference in commute is 11 hours. In typical fashion I arrived in Newcastle to find out the job had been cancelled. "Can you make it back down for the Watford job tomorrow?" I thought I must remember to recycle my £90 diesel receipt. I didn't really mind as I was planning on checking in on my pal who lives that way. Me & my housemate were seriously worried about his well-being. He lives on his own and a lad of his maturity can't work an oven. He's only 29.

When I got to his place I could see our concern was not misplaced. Sure, the stacks of empty pot noodles were a work of art. And the sofa constructed entirely of dirty clothes, DVDs and other indecipherable detritus deserved a spot in the Tate Modern. Still, I couldn't help but feel a more astute and caring friend might be worried. In front of the fire place was a large picture frame artfully balanced on some efficient recycling. It was a collage made up of photos of our mates, mostly on nights out. The centre photo caught my eye. It was of our friend group locking shoulders with some stranger. I asked "Who's the cunt in the middle?" True to form, the cunt was me. He could see that I was genuinely disturbed by the fact I couldn't recognise such a recent photo of myself. "I must be losing it, wonder if I should get checked out. You should be the one checking in on me". But like a true friend his response restored my purpose, "Well if I went to the doctors every time I found blood in my stool, they'd think there was something wrong with me."


Sat 30th July

This is very possibly my first Saturday night completely sober in years, when I've not been working at least. Might celebrate with a spliff. The lads are on a 26 stop pub crawl. I didn't have it in me. I told the lads I was at a christening. Can't be telling the lads you've stopped drinking before they bugger off to 26 pubs that's borderline psychotic. Anyway, I haven't stopped drinking. Just 26 pub drinking. Only in the UK would you need to lie your way out of 26 pubs. In fact it's probably more common to lie your way out of a christening to attend 26 pubs.


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