This Was a Surreal Friday

I’ve never yet posted anything about my personal life on this blog. It was always my intention to make it a bit of a personal blog as well as one that focused on tech, gaming and whatever else but that never materialised. I plan to change that over the coming months but for now, I thought I’d start by just sharing the rather surreal day I had. Some of what happened today had been planned for a long time but a lot of it happened out of the blue but it was all connected in a weird way and that it all came together today is amazing and kind of creepy.

I’ve been fighting off some kind of weird bug that I can only describe as “flu but not really” for most of the week. It’s largely passed now but I always end these things with major pain and discomfort in my neck which has chronic stiffness from a bike accident when I was young. I woke up with it basically seized and in agony so I told my boss I’d be working from home today and loaded up on Advil, Tylenol and coffee. This also worked out because today was my first of what will be many but infrequent appointments with a Psychologist and his office is much closer to here than where I work.

I’ll talk about this more at some future point but I’ve been dealing with many emotional challenges for some time now, not the least of which was what I had recently realised was a severe depression that lasted for several years and which I’ve only managed to start climbing out of on my own in the last year or so. Thanks to a realisation I needed some professional assistance to complete that journey and a positive change in my work’s benefits, I am able to see a Psychologist and actually afford it so I finally took that step. I won’t detail the session for obvious reasons but suffice it to say, I went into it nervous and unsure what to expect but it was very positive, productive and I came out knowing I’d made the right decision and that this will ultimately be a great thing for me.

So that was good but it’s the other stuff that happened around it which was weird.

I was thinking about a lot of elements of my past this morning in advance of this appointment because I knew that would have to be discussed. I also have several emotionally challenging things ahead of me these days, most involving former close friends that I’ve purposefully distanced myself from. While doing this, I also spent a lot of the day talking about and hotly debating the unfolding disaster that is the 38 Studios collapse on my desktop computer in between answering support tickets and talking to my boss over IM on my laptop. It’s a subject I’m passionate about both as an avid follow of gaming and the industry and as someone who has been repeatedly screwed by employers and gets emotionally invested in seeing that happen to others as it did in this case. It was probably not a head space I should have been hanging around in so close to seeing a shrink for the first time but I was there anyway. One of the aforementioned friends and I had recently talked and decided to meet up and have a frank conversation about what was going on with us and if it would be possible for us to mend fences and have a friendship again. We hadn’t set a hard time to do this yet. While I was just thinking about what happened between him and I in a way I could explain to the Psychologist, he e-mailed me and asked if we could do it tonight. I found that coincidence to be rather stunning but I’d seen such things before and we set it up. We also had that conversation and it went well but the gist of that is for some other post.

Then something really amazing happened. I have an ex-girlfriend from well over a decade ago that has me on IM but who I never talk to. She and I had a pretty bad breakup back in the day and though we have talked and seen each other on rare occasion since, we aren’t close and I assumed we were rather indifferent to each other. Out of the blue, knowing nothing of my current situation or the other two big emotional steps I was due to take today, she messaged me to ask how I was. We made some small talk and whatnot but then I had to go to my appointment so I said I’d talk to her later. When I returned, we got to chatting again and I eventually found out that she messaged me because she was in a reflective mood of her own and wanted to discuss some of the past baggage and emotional ambiguity that was still between us. She was someone who had an often very troubled life, both before and after she met me. What followed was a conversation that lasted a very long time and ended up with us discovering that a lot of the reasons we got mad at each other and eventually broke up were due to severe miscommunication and things that she needed my help with but couldn’t bring forward at the time because she didn’t know how I would react to them. She revealed those things to me and many of them were very shocking to hear. She told me that I was an emotional pillar to her at a time in his life that was otherwise book ended by sometimes horrible things and she felt that despite us agreeing that the past was the past, she needed to thank me for the support I gave her and tell me how much that meant and helped her live get to the relatively happy and stable place it is now.

That all of these events took place on the same day, completely unplanned and out of sheer coincidence is amazing to me and I still kind of shake my head in disbelief when I think about it. The last element detailed above is mind blowing to have happened today of all days. That relationship happened so long ago and we are both so far removed from having romantic feeling for each other that it wasn’t something I would have even brought up to my Psychologist as impacting my life now. Yet the discussion we had and the subsequent revelations were as big an emotional leap forward for me as anything else that happened today, and I wasn’t even really thinking about it. I don’t believe in god or fate and yet it’s hard to look at the circumstances of this day and not think even just a little bit that someone planned it to go like this. It makes me incredibly happy to know I had such a positive and meaningful long-term impact on someone’s life and finding that out the exact day I’ve finally decided to commit to fully righting my emotional ship made it have an even greater impact.

As the day ended, I was listening to the radio and heard the single from the new The Offspring album, a song called Days Go By. This is not a very good song and compared to what The Offspring used to be, it’s kind of a sign they’ve been turned into another crappy mainstream pop-rock act but the lyrics ended up fitting into my experiences today surprisingly well and as I wrote this, I ended up looping the song several times on Rdio. I’ll probably be happy to never hear it again after today but it’s weird and wonderful that a song I normally wouldn’t care for and would change the channel away from could have content within it that actually made me reflect more on the singular experiences I had today.

I’m sure this post looks really weird against anything else I’ve written but despite being exhausted and it now being 2:00am, I was compelled to put this out there. This was an incredibly surreal Friday.

“All your anger all your hurt
Doesn’t matter in the end
Those days go by
And we all start again.
What you had and what you lost
They’re all memories in the wind
Those days go by
And we all start again.”

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