The only source of knowledge is experience

Albert Einstein

A lot has been happening. I had a pretty hefty relapse and spun out of control. Why did this happen?

I didn’t realise it but I was the kind of lonely on the basis that I was thinking about those who I still had romantic feelings for. And I came across both people within days

I’d also reflected in the fact that I hadn’t really had sex in 12 months and felt completely vulnerable to the thought that I could attract anyone sexually anymore.

I’d also quit my job. I looked ahead and I just couldn’t see excitement. All I saw was plans. As my favourite Shakira song says “When did we change our dreams for plans?”

It all seemed orderly. There was not an ounce of impulsiveness in the future. It was grey and I was staring at a monitor at a desk. Stuck.

And then there was money. I have a completely broken relationship with those helping me manage my money. I didn’t have a suit that fitted, I couldn’t even get the bus to work and things all over the place needed replacing. I was rich and broke.

My big pay check would come in and it would go. And all the debt people wanted was more money. They didn’t even stop to acknowledge me as a person, an individual or someone who was having a mental health crisis.

I was ready to hand everythig over in my life and walk away from it all. The money had broken my back. I resigned.

I want dreams not plans. I want people in my life not acquaintances.

I’d been working at improving money; I’d forgotten everything else; and all people could talk to me about was money.

Money Money Money – makes life easier but not happier

Time Out

I’d had a wonderful time away with one of my closest friends at a five star resort during Gran Canaria pride. It was so relaxing and inspiring. And I was remarking a significant HIV anniversary with something fun.

The trouble is I stopped. Relaxed and got some perspective. Who was I really working for? Who was really benefitting from my life?

I then had a second bout of COVID-19 and was told because of the time off I would have to extend my probation. Having put in all the effort to solve my money problems I felt like I was reeling in a never ending string, that was a plan not a dream.

Transition

The trouble is I’m horrific at transitions and between several paranoid episodes hanging out in cupboards, to wondering if I was a space man all alone in the universe

I actually feel like this man sometimes

And this went of for a couple of weeks. And I realised I had to pack up. I had to move home in a couple of days. However I may have developed monkeypox. That froze that plan. I have a feeling my immune system is in shatters. Far from zen me.

But through this crisis I did meet some beautiful people. I learned more about how I would open up to sex and relationships. I learned; don’t let it pent up, release as you go. Including intimacy. Trouble is that’s hard when you’re on the moon.

Productivity

At some point in this episode I did manage to sort a few money things out, apply for a new job and apply for benefits. I also managed to send back my old work stuff.

I also tried make up and my more feminine side. I also discovered that I could only be intimate in a safe known spaces. Everywhere else is unknown and makes be anxious.

And an interview later I have a new job, which will involve extensive travel. I’m methodically cleaning the whole house and doing paperwork in detail.

There’s always a reason to madness

I was actually meant to be transitioning to an orderly end of a chapter in my life. I was ready to let go of what I thought I should be doing and take a risk at doing anything. But the transition was messy and chaotic

Hold up dreams aren’t simple

It’s not quite as simple as a wonderful synchronised dive this transition.

I will be on a third of my previous wage. Which I’m fine with – I get to travel. I get to be free. I get to feed my soul, not my debtors.

But complexity: my new ADHD medication is banned in some countries. My HIV status will ban me from travel to some countries.

I’m also awakening in other ways; I’ve applied for a certain type of state benefit; where I’m talking about all of my vulnerabilities and inadequacies because of the impact of being HIV+, depressed, anxious and hyperactive (ADHD). Whilst also negotiating to gallivant around the world on some hyped up schedule.

I found myself uploading 10 years of medical records to demonstrate how conclusive the ADHD diagnosis was. This did feel like the right place, I finally reached the end of the episode and chapter.

I’m anxious as the medical for the new job will throw up all sorts and create a headache for travel planners. Because I will be honest. There are 48 countries with restrictive travel arrangements for HIV people.

Traffic lights; travel restrictions for HIV+ people

I’m scared that I might not get the job of I have to forgo treatment. Or that I will spend the next two years arranging for import licenses for a restricted substance.

But do I want a pill or a dream? I don’t know. I feel I’ve hit a ceiling a limit

Then I am reminded of myself; if I don’t like the game, change it. Don’t like the limit, challenge it. I don’t know what will happen. All I know is that I’ve safely arrived at the now with energy.

Things will guide me to the right answer; right now I just focus on the next step. Which is to prepare to move home. Read, learn and prepare for new job.

All change please.