Since September, I’ve organised a training session involving people from around the country, then a national conference, then promoted and performed in a Debby Doesn’t Do It For Free show, as well as sex working and getting out and about, socialising and participating in community like never before.
In the past if I’d attempted half of this workload, I’d have had to pull out, probably had a nervous breakdown and retired to a darkened room for 6 months.
Right now I’m utterly exhausted, pretty damn broke as even though I’ve been sex working regularly, it’s been hard to focus and have the right energy to get much work, and have had a persistent flu for three weeks. The effects of Kenn’s passing are still quite present for me. Almost every day I’ll get a little teary without even knowing why at the time. The pressure build up from a huge workload has left me a wee bit wobbly and effected my decision making in some areas. I’ve gotten myself involved in weird random flirtations, when I don’t really have the time, energy or inclination for sex. I haven’t always been considerate of or communicated well with women around this stuff.
But this is where the paradox lies – I’m feeling both really drained, but also giddy with joy. I’m so fucking proud of myself for what I have achieved in this time. I’m so pleased that even with my wobbliness and occasional lack of strictly ethical treatment of flirtations and sexual partners; I’ve behaved more ethically towards myself than in recent history. I’ve maintained my single status – I’ve avoided getting involved in doomed relationships with women who are needy but unable to reciprocate my love and support. I’ve proven to myself I’m able to meet huge personal goals. I think this increased strength and independence – along with the ever-present femme nurturing energy (hello June Cleaver) has been part of my increased appeal. My busyness has meant through-the-roof stress levels, skipping meals, sleep deprivation and smoking like a steam train yet in some ways I’m taking better care of myself than ever. My self-valuing continues to skyrocket – so I’m nobody’s doormat.
Losing a friend, colleague and community member has left and aching sadness, coming closely after another personal disappointment – yet I also feel outrageously happy – with myself and my life. Broke, in debt and unable to indulge my shoe habit, yet so very wealthy with my years harvest.
I guess that I’ve always know that life is really hard stuff, and that most of the really worthwhile things are really hard fought for. My self awareness and mental health have been things I’ve pursued with utter single-mindedness and discipline. It really has been like stripping skin away from bones, then regrowing new layers to get here. If I was less prepared for ruthless honesty, really taking a harsh look at bad patterns and sitting with my own shame at some of my behaviour, I never would have come through to this place.
I’ve been accused of thinking too much, pursuing complexity for the sake of it, of being too much of a busy brained analytical nerd. But let me state categorically that the self awareness and resulting psychological/ behavioural shifts have been worth it. Of course, the alternative could be continuing to beat my head against the same brick wall, and then turning around to blame the wall.
I’m feeling like I’m entering the next phase of my life and I’m tingling with excitement at the prospect of brand new adventures. I can guarantee that there will be new battles and stresses and hangovers from old challenges. But there is also so much confidence in my skills and strength to tackle whatever comes my way.