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Hitaru

Captain Taru's Log: 20000 Withdrawals above the Sea

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THINGS:

- This morning someone was pretty rude with me in a very hypocritical way. Previously I would have been really angry and victimised. In this case I was so sure of myself even arguing with them would have been stepping low. I simply shrugged it off with half-contained contempt. I could almost breath in the arrogant superiority I was exuding. It's not the ideal, but at least is the current best alternative to be a little frightened man-child. I could say I'm reaching my 'natural' state of self-steem (first years of life self-esteem, the way I and my family remember it). Then I'll have to polish my repressed tendency in the right direction, not to avoid conflict as I've been so far but to benefit from the absence (or calculated presence) of it, if that makes sense. In my own terms.

- Existentialism and death anxiety are hitting me pretty hard lately. Yesterday I was feeling depressed as I haven't been in a really long time, and pulled off for the first time the most-clichéd-old-man-antic-ever: Listen music while drinking some wine alone, late in the night. It was surprisingly therapeutic, despite the feeling of somehow being making some inner joke to myself and how getting older and more physically similar to my father is turning the idea of drinking alcohol increasingly unpleasant. I may just have to accept it and embrace my future alcoholism enjoy being destined to be a clichéd old man.

- I finished my first translating job AND got paid for it! I almost died in the process but learnt some very, very useful skills and tricks, both about the trade and soft skills. IF I can learn to manage myself and my time like a real adult, I will be able to get things done. Real things. In the real world. Sounds obvious right? But I was a video game addict and 'worthless' shut-in not even one thousand days ago.

By the way, today is day 665 without games Steam. Don't cheat, there was a relapse. 

But given how things have changed, it now looks like it was a whole life ago. It now looks that it's not even about crossing out days in a calendar. I could go and play games as well as I could go to sleep or watch series or porn or simply laze around in order to not face life.

Games are just an aspect of it, but how many people is actually doing this? How, in doing something I believed was putting me 'on par' with the rest like getting out, have friends, study, work, could I completely miss the point that the mindset I'm making the effort to develop along with the habits is extra-ordinary? I AM living my life to an aceptable level of fullest-ness right now, all considered. Who actually does that? I'm so used to roam this (overwhelmingly online rather than physical) atmosphere of people who are challenging themselves that in my usual self-deprecation it even began to look familiar and unimpressive. This is not either normal nor the standard. Not even taking into account that the statistical standard is being a chinese or indian slave. Working is the standard, but what is it like: the job (dis)satisfaction, the ditched ambitions, talents and goals? Being in a relationship for the inertia of it is still the standard, even more so being divorced. Being mortgaged is the 'civilised' standard. Feeling angry, defeated and bitter is the standard. 

It's a psychological barrier. No one had paid me for anything before. I will remember this sensation. The previous desolation of feeling useless. How fast the realization of being just a normal being with individual skills, marketable skills (as every other) settled. How despite being fed up with the whole process (on an internal level, the client was blissfully friendly), I can't help to look at the future with an endless, childish and I guess passionate ambition. They say you begin your life full of dreams and learn to settle with time. That this -mid-twenties, ideally after college or first work or any other adult world experiences- should be the first stop in the journey, the first reassessment of 'maturity'. How strange, unironically, that I'm finding myself with not greater dreams, but greater conviction that they can be done. People say so many things.

Or maybe I am "extraordinary" in the sense of being pathologically unable to settle for the standard I was shown. Stubborn like that.

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Lots of small victories and day-to-day happenings that I haven't been able to put together in a whole, comprehensive piece of text. The good: I'm learning, learning, learning, lots of useful shit like I wouldn't believe, exactly what I wanted even if I'm sometimes sorely lacking some empathy from the people expected to provide it, the organizers. (thankfully the relation with the mates is perfect). The better: Tomorrow Today I'm taking a week and half break to travel around Italy with my boyfriend. The bad: Time management is becoming a never-ending nightmare. The more I do, the more I want to do, the less I feel finished in the end. It just can't be. The worse: Existentialism still running wild, causing great amounts of stress (and distress). Tonight and today I'm sick partly because of it. Fingers crossed for tomorrow. Feeling a bit better, thankfully.

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I'm back, just in time for the official publication of the WHO with gaming disorder in it!

I feel full of energy and ready to make some real noise about this stuff. It's our time, folks! Been writing for two days straight and the amount of work is really frightening, but I'm trying to focus on small bits; so far it's working and got everything covered.

Travel was unspeakably blissful. No nonsense. My relationship is about to enter a longer distance than before and that may or may not be a game-breaker. But the rest is simply perfect. Everything has been talked, confidence in each other and our mutual feelings is unbreakable, and we've reached a misterious state in which I feel as if he was there all my life, and would remain in it no matter what or when: a deeply comforting feeling of absolute rapport. If we break up because of this distance, for sure it would hurt, a lot. But I'm confident about the future, and most of all, I feel at peace in any and every case. If only everything else felt that easy and natural. This way of talking about it seems to me a bit broken, but I'm still shy about being open and "simple-worded" with my feelings. Sorry about that.

Again I've entered in a phase of not participating that much in the forums, seems to be cyclical. I'll try to get over it soon and take it back into my usual activities. It's really meaningful for me.

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WHO gaming disorder publication is our success! We're getting heard and recognized, it's really pleasing to see that.

Don't really bother about distance breaking up your relationship. I've been in same situation where distance rose, but when it came back to normal all this showed to me that this bond is really strong. I know that relationship requires presence, but if it can't survive distance, what about tougher situations?

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(Friday?) entry:

Having a clearer idea (and emotion) about what I want to do made everything easier, but there's still a lot to improve from within. Usual problem (time management), but better attitude to face it.

I'm reaching a point in which I can see when others are having a tough time for the same reasons as me, and this has allowed me to "demystify" other people. 

Here's my reasoning: Since I can't see the inner turmoil of others, what I see appears to me as the optimal version of their current selves. Everything they say and do makes sense as a whole somehow, because I can't fathom what it 'could be' or better, what 'it could have been' (what they think and feel) from their perspective, but only observe, assume and react to what it 'is' (what happens in the end). 

But do I feel I'm at my optimal current self in the same way I feel it for others? Certainly not. That's the root of insecurity. I'm biased to feel I'm doing worse than everyone else in any and every case, since I'm pretty much aware in my head of what 'it could be' (or what I'd like it to be) and I act as if others could see it as well. After listening more to others and working on myself I'm starting to get past this. I still have my moments tho. 

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Saturday + Sunday extra notes:

Two tasks in mind:

1. Record myself. There's been (a lot of) times when I had some insightful reflection but wasn't able to write it, or forgot everything while trying to squeeze it into words. I need to throw away prejudices against listening to my own voice and settle for practicality. Focus on what works. 

2. Review the whole journal. It will be an horrendously long and tiresome task, but I can't help to think about how I have started to repeat myself. I need to make a summary every single goal I wrote anytime, make a list and start doing. And delete everything bad I've ever said about my mother. Even if I thought/felt it in the past and regardless if I had good reason or not (spoiler: mostly not) I don't want others to ever call on me for this. Everyone loses their temper with their loved ones sometimes, why mine have to be public? Makes me look a way worse person that I actually am, in all honesty. AND it would hurt her to read it and there's absolutely no need. 

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I've been having a tough time lately and escaping more into mindless browsing, so the day has finally arrived. I've started to put boundaries to my devices usage. It worries me it will impact my commitment with all the stuff I want to do, but I know it's an excuse. By the rule of 80/20, I could work 4 hours a day divided in periods of 2 and 2 and still be a lot of time in the computer (and get most of the shit done). I know I can. I just need to put my heart into it.

Today I cooked and it didn't go as expected. I took the responsibility of feeding 10 people way too personally and got really pissed. I'm still not used to handle these sudden bursts of anger and frustration, but somehow I'm glad they happen. It means I care.

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On 7/3/2018 at 3:00 PM, Hitaru said:

Today I cooked and it didn't go as expected. I took the responsibility of feeding 10 people way too personally and got really pissed. I'm still not used to handle these sudden bursts of anger and frustration, but somehow I'm glad they happen. It means I care.

So much this.
I absolutely adore the idea of seeing frustration as proof of caring and growth.
Thanks for the perspective.

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After a workshop week in Rome with international mates doing similar projects as mine in which we could exchange ideas and experiences, I've begun to stand little by little for what I believe is the best course of action instead of saying "Well, whatever". It feels great to think you're taking care of things and that you care. Not so much seeing the disappointment in the faces of others when they disagree with you and that's it, there's nothing much to do about it. But that's life, right? It doesn't feel well, but I have to go through it. Otherwise I'll live full of insecurity and regret. Who am I trying to fool? When I truly care about something and there's not a specific authority to either follow or decide to reject, when I have the window to choose, I sometimes have a clear idea of what I want and how, and when that happens I can be really obstinate about it. I just need to make sure I always try to be the gentlest as possible when elaborating it, but then, if that's how I think no one's at fault for that. Let that be my first lesson for my professional life. Always cool but clear. Nothing wrong in having convictions. And I'm the kind of person who can have convictions about how rocks should fall one on top of the other.

Actually, why have I been ignoring it so much and so hard? The fear of conflict was really strong. I didn't want to be considered an asshole. But I've known people who I would call assholes that simply have a very clear idea of what they want and don't want and oh boy, they don't give a single damn if they feel they need to make it understood in the most expressive way possible. So again, it's about my mindset. 

I don't want to upset people. I sometimes disagree with people I truly love or respect. But if I don't say it, if I don't stand for myself, I will live feeling it's their fault. 

I need to accept this truth about myself: "Thank goodness, what I want is most of the time aligned with the greater good, because I have both an altruistic and selfish desire to help others (doing good for the sake of good and then ideally be recognized for it). It's perfectly convenient". And so, there's no need to ever feel bad to express what I believe. It wouldn't be bad or evil even if I just desired to do whatever the fuck I wanted and be left alone. Every life, as long as doesn't harm others, is legit to be lived in the way it's lived. So my way is no more and less as any other. So now I must go there and say it. "I don't feel this is right. I feel this is the proper way. This is bullshit. This I like it and that's it, period". Come on, me. I can do it.

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It's happening. Every time I do something to the point I'm satisfied with it, I do it at the expense of becoming very ill-tempered, complaining and bossying everyone around me. I've been saying for 3 years (at least here) this was a family trait I didn't want to develop, so kudos to me for actually knowing myself.

Now as a reminder for myself: I need to learn to stay calm. Stay. Calm. Things can get done anyway. Just let them flow (into completion). People can be absurd at times, or not behave as expected, but stay calm anyway. The best way to respect your process is respecting theirs. Seek the agreement.

And all those buddhist things. But really, I need to chill. These 3 first months were about learning. Now I can begin to learn how do things in a merry, polite way. Of course it's hard. It may seem pointless at times. But it's important. For me and for others. Makes all the difference.

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2 years since I used Steam for the last time!

 

Or in other words, since I commited to quit videogames seriously. A giga-post would be in order, don't ya think! My entries in this journal have become less frequent and myself a little bit scattered all over the place, but that doesn't mean I'm still not here, or things are not happening, or I've stopped learning. Actually I feel a little bad for not being able to organize my thoughts so I can come back to them or give advice to others. But they are in my head somehow. Probably I feel like this because it's a process that has not settled yet, and I'll be ready in a future time. Maybe I'll never feel ready and just do my best to understand what is going on with my life/journey at every moment. So hard to grasp man. No complains tho.

Overall: I'm happy. I enjoy the little things more. Just being able to enjoy that I'm here, alive. My little, kid self would say: "That's "adult" thinking. You're resigning yourself to die", and sometimes bothers me. But it's not like he offered a better alternative. Actually I'm not falling for the adult meme yet. I feel my age now. Doing things my age. Being social. Choosing to the best of my ability and empathy how, when, why do things. Don't smoke anything and barely drink with 23, so I don't think I'll be starting seriously anytime soon. And I don't feel more adult or boring for that; if anything, I feel more myself. So probably I'm probably doing this me thing the right way. The example is silly but it talks about the way I'm feeling it.

If anything, I have FOMO about what will become of me when I start studying. I want to take it very, very seriously. I don't want to miss out being a normal youth now that I've started to get the hang of it, or get isolated in a library for the next five years at least. I know I can't go back in time, I know that until I don't feel I'm at the same level I won't see the others as equals or my time as right, and for that I need (and want) to study, for emotional and cultural reasons. And perhaps because I have my bit of ego and learning without being called "laureate", or "doctor" would cut half of the fun. That's also part of me and hell if I care. Took my time to gladly accept it. 

Italian project is coming to an end in two months, one of them holiday, that will pass flying. I have plans for then. If anything, the eternal doubt is which one launch first. But having clear-ish options gives me confidence. I can do this. Even if it's hard.

I'll update again soon with other things I want to share. See you!

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It has been a while.

 

I'll be short now, since I expect to update at lenght at some point in the near future (my eternal struggle, is it not). There goes:

Since the last entry and this one it has been almost 10 months, which is an incredible amount of time considering this journal has a current lifespan of 3 and a half years.

 

I have bad news, and good news.

 

Bad news is, since I wrote that last entry, my emotional state plummeted. The last months of the exchange in Italy were really fun and I did a fair amount of traveling, but the daily life was steadily deteriorating. Habits, people, routines. Routines are the fucking deal in the recovery process, it doesn't matter if you have 2000+ days of not playing games if you don't have consistent routines. I keep downplaying that and it keeps coming back to bite me in the balls.

This eventually led to a hard relapse. I didn't play when I was in Italy, but I was dragging myself through the days and it had to collapse at some point. After I arrived home, I felt alone and directionless. My partner began a year long exchange in Romania a couple of days before my arrival and I still had to figure out what I would be doing for a living, what to do with my education and specially, coming to terms with my two great and conflicting life passions: Politics/Public service and dressing weirdly coming to terms with my non-binary gender identity. Yeah, I know. More of that at another time, I suppose.

Spoiler

One of my stupidest fears is, we had another veteran user who struggled with her gender (as far as I'm aware of), if you've been here for long enough you may know who I am referring to, and probably remember why she's not with us anymore. Call me an idiot but I was afraid to talk about this here and make some eyebrows rise in disbelief or suspicion.

Then, the good news.

After what felt like an eternity of relapsing, I was able to drop it again, began therapy (with a middle-aged woman, how about that for foreshadowing) and recently applied to University.

The process goes like this: In Spain, if you turn 25 (or in my case still 24 since I'll have them the same year the exam took place) and you don't have a high-school degree, you can go to a "free" exam to "rejoin" the system. There is a special quota for this kind of people so I'm not in the same boat as the freshly graduated high-schoolers. My possible score goes from 0-10 and I'm competing with other applicants of this exam.

Well I took the damn thing and got a 6 after a lot of struggle. Considering the demand of my desired career (Political Sciences) and the fact that in any case even if I couldn't find a spot I still can study at the public distance learning university, without requirements, at any point in time, this means I'm officially discharged from my status as high-school dropout.

This is a huge psychological milestone for me. Sure, university is an industrially-designed, late capitalist complex for directed thought and consumerist elitism. But it is also my opportunity to pursue higher learning, have access to a lot of cool shit, meet a lot of people and have a life experience that, half because of social expectations and half because ego, I was craving and missing in my life. I don't even know if I'll finish a whole degree in the end or not. I just needed to stop feeling like a failure, like a wrecked train left behind at an old, abandoned soviet mining village.

After the initial euphoria, or rather, deep relief, I'm currently feeling overwhelmed by everything I've been putting aside and neglecting not only these months, but these eight years of my life as well. My relationship with myself, my loved ones, this community, hopes and dreams... the usual stuff. In any case, first things first, I'm considering how to make a glorious comeback to you amazing people who had my back all this time, in the most efficient (at least anxiety cost efficient) way possible. No promises until I do the thing. I just have to organize myself and do it. I'm on it.

 

Now, the less light-hearted thoughts. You know, this shit is going to keep happening every time. It was great when I finished the 90 days, until it wasn't anymore. It was great when I was abroad, until it wasn't anymore. It will be great when I begin to go to uni, until it won't anymore. Then, what? A relapse again? Dropping out again?

Every time I do something relevant or fun, eventually I'm going to feel burnout and relapse, isolate myself, go through a low period. And if I expect to do something with my life, something worthwhile, I can't let this cycle to keep dominating my life. I will enter Uni, crack under the pressure and screw things up shortly after IF I don't get serious no; if I don't make peace with myself and handle things differently.

I need a level of consistency that I can manage. The 5 year old me was terrified about the whole idea of "toning down the expectations until I become a soulless ''adult'". 'Adult' was a word full of meaning. It meant death. Either real death (children didn't die, at least no one near me did) or metaphorical (living death, crushed under responsibility, chores and emotional self-sabotage). I'm currently facing this in my therapy and my new life of probably employable young adult (I was this before for the better or worse, I just had to believe it). I'm afraid it will be a lifelong process, but everyone has their own demons, right? I'm looking forward to achieve more victories, and to bring them here for gregarious, jolly merriment. To celebrate!

I owe everything to this community, I haven't forgot about you guys. Thank you for your support during this journey. Expect more journey coming your way.

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I'll be traveling for the next month (meeting with bf plus staying at a friend's place, pretty awesome) and I hope it will give me much needed perspective for the challenges ahead. I'll try to update from time to time.

Things are getting pretty real from this point on. Or rather, I feel a quiet recognition of myself feeling it's time to make them so. It had to happen. Kind of wish it happened 10 years ago, but I guess I must remind myself that it's not like I'm actually racing anyone. It's just me against life. Someday I hope to feel it's me and life, or me in life and make everything much less confrontational. It's best for my emotional stability. Baby steps, isn't it.

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Would I still want to help the community if I was completely anonymous and never, ever be praised or recognized for it?

 

This is the question I should always keep in mind to keep my ego from hurting. And not just this community; my calling is "to help", but my need for validation and recognition keeps getting in the way, making me feel overwhelmed and eventually stuck. I should give up any expectation to be recognized for whatever I do in my life, mentally prepare for an eternity in the dark, but welcome any good vibe or thankfulness when, or if they arrive. That's how I guess I could handle a life in politics as well. 

It has its context, this reflection. Lately I've been browsing Twitter and its toxic atmosphere is getting to me. I can't help to think there are really very few people in the "work to change things for real" camp. Complaining and trolling has even crystallized in the form of journalism and is now another lobby. On the other trench, the people who will try to hurt me on a personal level if I ever dare to really question their views. Feels lonely man. 

- That is, if I really do have something interesting and useful to say or share with the world, and I'm not just making it up in a lame attempt to cover up that I'm just a loser former gifted kid with no actual talent or utility whatsoever.

 

Gotta try at least, since the alternative is holing up at moms house and play video games until I'm old and burst from regret.

 

Trip is going great, but the heat is unbearable. And I have only the cellphone with me, so my connection with the virtual world is limited. I could however fill applications to several universities all around Spain, therefore the most important task is done. I could meet with my bf, spent quality time together and that made wonders to my emotional state in general.

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I'm still trying to review and complete the empty spaces I've been leaving throughout my journal. All of 2016 is finished but 2017 is a complete mess. Funny and maybe fitting since I can't remember doing anything of note during that year. Perhaps I should delete the whole thing? (?)

Kidding and anyway, a lot of new stuff has been going on in my life to be able to confidently update without that nagging feeling that I'm repeating myself or actually saying nothing at all.

 

TO SUMMARIZE:

(And perhaps I'll mention twice things I've already talked about, but you know I also can't imagine you guys scrolling through pages and pages of three year long ramblings to check, so...)

 

1. I'm studying! In University! Like a grown-up! (?) 

I can feel it man. I'm not exactly 18, even though they're still not that far away. Some of my classmates look like kids to me. A minority still behaves like one. But I'm also not an obvious part of the small gang of "old ones". It's some kind of curious limbo, and I hope the people who have been tirelessly telling me are right and approaching uni some years later gives me a different, better perspective. So far I'm excited yet overwhelmed. There's so freaking much to do and learn and I don't mean it as a cliché. Like literally hundreds of things, life suddenly became so 'short' (I'm starting to understand just how I will so not be able to learn not even a fraction of what I'm being taught) and I didn't like that one bit. But I'm in the right place. Or a place that so far I'm liking very much, so it balances out. Guess a good life does that. Balances out.

There's something that has been making all the difference. I've left the computer at home. 

It wasn't easy, not gonna lie. It's not being easy now. Before moving and beginning this whole new stage, I was still in the middle of a very deep relapse, so technically (and practically) I'm in detox right now. I'm having cravings, doubts, anxiety, chronic fatigue, same old. I must handle this on top of all the new things I'm trying to adapt to. But I'm doing it, somehow, anyhow, only because I cannot retreat back into video games. Realizing the line is so thin (No Computer = Doing / Computer = Not Doing), makes me feel very angry and powerless, but there's nothing I can do about it right now, other than keep going. Even napping is a better solution than playing, at least I wake up fresh and still deal with the stuff, just later (and with a shorter deadline at times).

Speaking about managing things:

2. I've begun to live by myself! The process to find a rented apartment was an absolute nightmare and I have wholeheartedly embraced extremist and radical anti-property (private) views. Jesus Christ you may not agree but if only you were there with me at the time, it was ludicrous. There were some people who did their best to help me and I'm truly grateful (let's not forget about them) but hot damn, not behaving like a fucking sociopath should not be left to personal, arbitrary choice. 

In the end I was able to crash at a neat place (and the landlords behave like human beings). The location is great, if gentrified. The biggest issue is supermarkets and basic day-to-day services are relatively far and dispersed (and are moderately more expensive). It is not a big city tho, and I'm not one of 'them old folks' yet, so it hasn't been that much of a deal. Also I like the variety of peoples in the streets, I find it inspiring and amusing, just like I've always thought it was great to have members of every country in the forums, etc. 

Doing chores, as expected, triggers my existential dread. It does something to the human spirit I cannot fully grasp, it's like a black fog, but it's also satisfying in a weird way. Action and movement of menial tasks puts you in some kind of trance. This is not fully positive, I freak out when I feel I don't have the "control" and time is just passing around and in front of me. It's bullshit because that's what already happens with time no matter my emotions or focus, it is what 'time' is about. If only, I can only control if I'm doing the thing I want (or should do in order to get the one I want) and try to not obsess too much about it. Perspective takes time. It's an investment, should be.

My flatmates are a really funny bunch and together it almost feels we're some kind of troupe. A gipsy fellow who's impossible not to laugh with when he's around and his good friend, death metal musician and enthusiastic recreational botanist, if you catch my meaning; both aspiring Art Historians. Then there's also this Biology freshman that sometimes triggers me with his sheer youth, but a good kid jokes aside. He's trying to get into veganism and the stuff, gotta ask him for some recipes.

And then there's of course me, the reluctant political scientist student and aspiring... 

...girl. 

Wait, what.

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It is time I talk about it. It was time a while ago. Yep, the girl thing.

But not THAT much "while ago" to be honest, even if it makes it less spectacular. Here's some backstory (brief summary of my journal so far):

Spoiler

When I arrived to the forums in December 2015, I was completely broken. I was socially isolated, seriously considering suicide as an honorable way out and, judging from what I wrote back then, a bit delusional and not completely ok in the right places.

Trying to quit video games and most of all, figuring out what to do AFTER quitting games was very hard. I had dropped out high school and several attempts to pick up a trade. I briefly tried writing, acting, amateur video game developing, I even applied and did the required tests for the Spanish Navy. 

However my daily routine was shit, so eventually I failed (failed means quit) all those things I was doing to distract myself. Time passed and there was some progress, but I lacked vision; I didn't really know what to do with my time, and I didn't feel I wanted to do anything with my life anyway either. I relapsed several times. 

I traveled a bit doing youth exchanges, they were really fun and I had the opportunity to meet some really inspiring people, but something was... missing. I couldn't take off my mind that I was uneducated, that my chances of finding a (safe, meaningful, likeable) job were almost zero.

So, I did that. Eventually I began studying to be able to apply to university and I made it! That happened around 4-5 months ago.

After passing the tests to be able to apply to Uni, I almost felt physically lighter. I still had to actually go and study a career (my current business) but at least now I knew I could always choose to take that path, instead of a perpetually uncertain future of, best case scenario, infuriatingly underpaid intermittent manual labor.

Spoiler

I'm from Spain so that means being a waiter, then unemployed, then a waiter again.

My mind was much, much clearer even if for me it still was this disgusting sensation of dullness and imposter syndrome, as if I was cleaning up my life like I clean my dirty dishes. Something changed however, because that same night and the day after, the thought returned. Or rather the realization of "how not a phase it was". It was strange but not really scary. At first. 

"What about my gender identity now?", and that was it; if it enters my mind, I have to deal with it.

You know it wasn't this thing in which I am 4 years old and put on my mother's dresses while playing and all of a sudden I start to cry because I know and everything becomes so clear. Nah man, not that way. Not the Eddie Redmayne way though I could relate to try on dresses and crying later on

More like always being uncomfortable showing skin at the beach or feeling awful at P. E. class. Girls scared the crap out of me (still do) but it was weird and awkward being put with the boys. Always feeling my body was weird or mismatched. Something not right with what was expected from me because of being born inside it, that went beyond being thin, weak or looking like a nerd (even though those were problems on their own right). Beyond failing to fit in the masculine norm; I didn't want to have anything to do with it at all. Puberty arrived and I assumed it was just me coping badly with being ignored by girls. A sore loser at being a guy. Then boys arrived. 

Entering a relationship with another man, even if he wasn't the average, normative, masculine man, put a lot of perspective on things. Of course I wasn't doing 'gay things' because gay equalled feminine, or because I sucked at being dominant therefore 'masculine'. I couldn't care less about what is supposed to mean being masculine or feminine. One of the upsides of being an outcast during your teen years is, there's a point when you don't play the social norms/expectations game anymore. You just don't care. I never really cared, even before puberty. And my boyfriend seemed to approve and appreciate my slightly masculine body so, what was to complain about?

Also, after this exam there wasn't anymore this big reason (being a NEET) to serve as background excuse to justify my life being completely fucked over. And after finding genuine love and respect at the hands of a man I couldn't really say or think I was unlovable or my body some kind of aberration. The thing is, I don't. I don't intrinsically hate my body. Or my life (and I thought I had to in order to consider transition). I was born a "very smart white european man", I can stick to that role and basically remain at the very top of the human pyramid until I die. It only gets more and more convenient, like an investment. 

But being afraid to die and your life being pointless makes you do strange things man. Things like considering I should strive for what I genuinely feel is my best self, go all in instead of just drift around in this weird universe I found myself in, with no deeper perspective, no explanation and no real hope. Getting rid of the dysphoria is also a plus. I'm still dying, if I'm unlucky I might die sooner but, trying. Trying is always worth it. The memes (mostly Reddit) put everything in place. If I wasn't already questioning I wouldn't have found the memes, but they helped. All of a sudden it wasn't a weird thought, or collection of thoughts. Other real people felt like I did. There were two big groups of them: the ones who did something about it and the ones who only felt bad. 

Trying is always worth it. I work like that, it's the constant of my life, no matter how lost or depressed I've been at times. When I think about something I cannot drop it. I pretend to drop it but it's bullshit, I hurt myself by pretending. I liked Politics, I am studying Politics, even if it took years, even if my life takes another turn into stupid and I drop it. I like acting, I will go back to do acting someday, I'm sure.

And I always felt having this body, the idea of this body was a mistake, so here we are. Girl? Boy? Doesn't really matter, I'm more of a non binary sort. But I still have my preferences. Not purely aesthetic, or frivolous. It's not about the rest of the world, if it was, refining my already owned (like an object) white masculine identity would be my best (and also easier) option, right? Nothing wrong with that. Except that I close my eyes and I look completely different. And if I don't let that person out and try, I'll not be able to cope with it 20 years from now. This person looks quite feminine so there's a bit of work ahead. 

Same as with video games. I don't know what or, to be completely honest why the hell I'm doing this effort to not play and perform like a functional human, and it's been 4 years already. And so, my effort is weak, and I fail a lot. I'm not a good example for the community I'm afraid! But I keep going, sometimes even without realizing. Probably because, even if I'm currently unable to see the good and the positive in living life to the fullest, I can still see the bad, the consequences of giving up:

Quote

"Waking up with no skills, no studies, no job one afternoon with 40 years old, find my mother dead in the living room couch, bam. No more maintenance, no more "I'll start tomorrow". No more delusions of grandeur. No more future".

That's my freaking mantra. 

I 'can' reach that point, I 'can' kill myself if I reach that point. Knowing myself it will take an almost unbearable effort (unbearable for me) to keep myself from arriving to that point. From a practical standpoint the ultimate result of suicide from shame would be the same as dying old, rich and happy. I die. So it's not only a question of avoiding this stupid phobia of mine (or existential dread, angst, whatever). I can't do that, I'll probably only be able to manage it, 'hold the gates' could say. So the real point is, I don't want to be that pathetic. I don't want the misery of my life, no matter the amount, to be my fault. I cannot die thinking "I didn't try". I don't. I don't do that shit. I do quit sometimes so fuck you Elon Musk (?) but ultimately I don't give up. I... can't. I don't do that, if I did the regret would solidify and rot inside me like poison. That would be worse than death and God I hate death. 

Also I can't wait to be able to wear skirts and dresses without looking like a weirdo so everything else can go to hell. Not that wearing skirts makes you a weirdo, I look like a weirdo, even without the skirts, so yeah. Work to do. 

(I'm considering name and pronouns, but I feel I'm still on early stages so that can wait. I'll talk more about this in the future and it's not like there's some kind of exposition schedule. I write stuff when it comes to my head.) That said there's been a lot in my head lately so I should write a lot more. I miss the people I used to talk with here too. I wonder where they are now...? 

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Speaking about more general things, it's been 26 DAYS that I don't use the computer at all. The phone has become my main (and only) device and I still check it too much (with the excuse of needing it to check university stuff, which is not exactly false either), but the limited capacity makes it impossible to play games or getting too distracted and that translates into me almost being able to reach the standards of a functional person. Still lagging a bit behind in the consistency of meals and showers but getting there slowly.

Downside is, I haven't learned to properly relax. At the end of the day, specially when I'm most productive, all the bottled up anxiety comes out and troubles my nights, and this is a real problem. It may have something to do with my mentality. I can't properly lay out activities for fun yet, and the few ones I do still look like chores or at least tasks. And the tasks never end so there's no satisfaction. I finished a work that had me worried for a week, I should be happy about it, damn it. Yet no, eyes focused on the next target. That burns out anyone in days. I need to take resting and recognizing myself seriously. 

Today I woke up, had breakfast (kudos me), went to class on time, everything went fine, was social, had lunch, then studied and finished this work, then returned some clothes I previously bought and got a refund (plus, I didn't panic since they were girl clothes and I still present male), had a coffee and went to my first Spanish fencing lesson (which puts me one little step closer to my lifelong goal of becoming a Spanish stereotype). Then had dinner (that makes 3 meals and a coffee in the day, for me that's still overwhelming most of the time), went home, took a shower before bed, was social again with flatmates, then went to bed.

I performed perfectly! What was I doing 30 days ago? Playing video games all day. It should feel exhilarating, I'm doing the thing. Yet it doesn't and I'm sure it's "my fault". Recent issues with my boyfriend don't help either. Dunno man. I know it's a funk, I know I'm adapting (and probably still in withdrawal from the last relapse), I know it will pass but right now, i feel like shit. 

And even with that, I think I'm now closer to "happiness" than I've ever been in years. Life is fucking crazy.

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Heaven knows I don't want to jinx it but I freaking love what I'm studying. So apparently this is what vocation is, something that you like so much that you invest time on it, despite other things that you also like. 

Yesterday was a bad day and I stayed in bed, and yet here I am today. I stumbled across a short scribble (artist's pen name is Optipess) in which he mentions death. There's a trend with other artists works that I casually follow: sharing the same worries as them makes me feel comforted in the sense that my existentialism is, even if mismanaged, at least "common" or even "valid" (it would still be valid if I was the only one thinking about it but you get how the feeling works). On the other hand it triggers me in the sense that they are unsolvable issues and we're all equally "screwed" (the emotional implication is of course subjective).

I mention this because, in the same way, yesterday I was feeling bad, today I'm feeling good, and there's no overly dramatic consequence aside from making my student life a bit harder if I skip a lesson, or making my health a bit weaker if I skip a meal. They are important but my point is, a lot of people deal with this shit. And I don't judge them when they talk about it, or even when it affects me (eg. someone cancelling a plan).

And yet, why am I so harsh with myself when I'm feeling bad? What if it works like the periodic stage of an illness? Like an allergic crisis or something of the sort. I've considered this several times already, also in this journal, but I'm talking about really grasping and embodying the mindset. What if I could talk normally about it? "Sorry teach, I was having a crisis the other day, but I'm good now, where were we?", or "Yeah last week I had to stay at home for several days but I'm great now". Maybe feeling that I'm not "doing what I should be doing" when I'm feeling down is hurting me more than those periods of irrational desperation. Maybe I should put a stop to that, and to anyone who implies that "I should strive to be ok". Maybe I am OK, and this is my ok. I get physically sick less than the average person, maybe it's just fair (?). In any case, maybe assuming that this is my current and best possible "normal" is actually the first step towards trying (not sacrificing myself) to reach a new, improved normal. Or maybe this is the best normal I'll ever have and I should look backwards, towards everything I do have and take for granted. Or a combination of the two. 

That said I'm still struggling in the "cutting myself some slack" department. Wish me luck with that.

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@giblets Man, the feeling is mutual! So long since we last talked, hope you've been doing amazing.

I was able to do a decent amount of studying yesterday and I treated myself to some chai tea (for reference, I love the stuff), then went to a promotional conference for a sci-fi publishing house focused on women writers (apparently they write sci-fi too!). The books are hard to find and I want to support the initiative (and read them too, obviously) so I bought a bunch of the stuff with no regrets. I'll go through them and recommend the ones I like.

After that I received some very emotional audio messages from a friend I had not talked with for a while. She was using female pronouns by her own volition (I came out to her the last time we met) and it felt mysteriously comforting, so I shared with her the name I have in mind for myself, pronounced it for the first time out loud (in another audio), my voice was shaking... that sort of moment. She's an unusual and special person and talking with her gave it some sort of feeling of interesting adventure. Which is much better than the current reluctant unavoidable drama mood I'm currently sitting at (thanks LGTB media average representation of transitions, AND society), so I'll try to stick to this new one instead...!

Finally I went out with some friends after what felt like years without doing it. They're also very aligned with me, so we had a great time. Wishing for more days like this. 

[Update with "today's" developments later] 

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