Archive for August, 2008

Freaky Friday. Well, Sort Of.

August 29, 2008

Welcome, welcome readers. Welcome to Friday!

 

How are you all?

 

Wonderful news, everyone. The entire reason why this blog was started – set your faces to ‘shock’, because I’m about to reveal it actually has nothing to do with my own vanity or self-indulgence – which was to reach out to those who have either been where I am, or are about to go there, has been realised.

 

Yesterday, I received a comment on one of my earlier blogs from someone who graduated in February, so a big hello to Rob if he’s reading. Thank you for your kind words – it was very moving to know that people can read and understand this blog and understand the finer intricacies of what I’m talking about.

 

You know how I know I’m strong? It’s pretty easy. I leave work smiling. To some, the idea of going to work on a daily basis and doing absolutely nothing would sound like heaven. Believe me, its not. It’s utterly soul destroying in the worst ways imaginable. Every morning, I wake up feeling positive and with a zest for the day, and then I turn up at work, which is like a vacuum of banality. When there are things to do, I actually quite like my job, but sometimes… I want to fling myself out the window just to have something to do.

 

Yesterday, just because I was bored, I decided to research what new phone I wanted as my contract was up for renewal.

 

This is of course utterly uninteresting to everyone, including me, now I’ve written it. But it does lead on to something.

 

I actually spent the entire time on the phone outside a cake shop, where I was going to buy some fruit pastry things for later, as I was going to my friend Gemma’s for dinner later. Half and hour later, and some very strange looks from the people inside, and I bought the cakes, and headed to Trafalgar Square, where I was to meet my friend Rachel, and subsequently, two real blasts from the past in Leon and Belinda, two people I knew from when we all (Rachel included) worked in a Virgin Megastore what seems like a million and one years ago.

 

It was unusually busy in Trafalgar Square, and it turns out there was some weird beach rugby promotion going on. Here, look:

 

 

I had some rather lovely melon and some water with Rachel, went to quickly say hello to Leon and Belinda, and dashed home to have a shower and get to Gemma’s.

 

But something happened in the interim period. On the way to Trafalgar Square, I felt sad. Like really, really down. I couldn’t work out why that was. I’d had an easy day, had bought baked goods – I should have been on top of the world! And so, I stopped, closed my eyes, and searched for the answers. I realised what I felt was guilt – guilt for spending money, and guilt for having it. I was most certainly be exploring this more, because there are a number of correlations with these feelings of hatred and guilt that I have in other aspects of my life. It would explain much, and I am going to explore this more this weekend. I imagine it will be the body of Monday’s blog.

 

Anyway, I got home, and, after getting dressed at 8,000mph, I arrived at Gemma’s just about on time, and had dinner with her and her sister Natalie, accompanied by some rockin’ 80’s music which I made as a CD present for Gemma.

 

A Review of Dinner at Gemma’s, by David James Levy (to be read aloud in the most pompous voice you can muster)

In the circles of food review, the question is never of the return of the lord and messiah Jesus Christ, but more of his first meal.

 

If the ‘last supper’ retains such iconic status for the ages, surely the first dinner should be expected to be one and the same?

 

Perhaps, in a delicious ironic twist (much like saving for cookies by keeping your change in a cookie jar) we could feed Jesus bread, fish and wine, pointing out the overwhelming pictorial evidence that this is what he enjoys.

 

Alternatively, he could find himself in the delightful company of ‘Gemma’s’, a small restaurant in West Hampstead, seating a maximum of 4 people, for a similar culinary experience to the ones I enjoyed last night.

 

Gemma’s is most famous for it’s pasta and sauces, and feeling indulgent, I opted for the pasta twists in a simple pepper and chilli tomato sauce. Each mouthful was like a small garden party in my mouth – a dance on the taste buds choreographed by the almighty himself. (Or herself, feminists)

 

Accompanied by garlic bread (it’s the future, I’ve seen it) and followed by something called a ‘Mini Magnum’, this reviewer left absolutely satisfied and utterly delighted with the service, charm, and simplicity done with spectacular style.

 

Maybe Jesus will return vengeful; maybe he’ll save us all. Maybe the Jews will string him up again. Either way, he’ll do it on a full stomach.

 

I rate it 4 and a half crosses out of 5.

 

Lord be praised.

 

Does that cover it Gems? Did you like how I slipped in my unfunny cookie jar joke?

 

And so, today’s blog begins to draw to a close – but with some rather sad news. Unfortunately, I did not get onto my university course. I was sent a letter of rejection by Birkbeck University yesterday, informing me they couldn’t or wouldn’t take me. In my past life, this would have crushed me. Today it makes me more determined than ever. And that, frankly, is a fucking great feeling.

 

So wishing you a wonderful weekend, fucking great feelings, or feeling great fuckings.

 

Closed Box

 

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Funky Tumbleweed

August 28, 2008

Hello readers!

 

Last night, I did nothing. Nada. Which makes for some tough blogging.

 

I have, though, been thinking about making a CD of 80’s pop songs entirely from movie soundtracks. So far, I have:

 

01.  Back In Time – Huey Lewis and The News (Back To The Future)

02.  The Touch – Stan Bush (Transformers: The Movie) – this was an animated movie in 1986, and was comically covered by a greatly drugged up Mark Whalberg and John C. Reilly in ‘Boogie Nights’.

03.  You’re The Best – Joe Esposito (Karate Kid)

 

And I’m thinking of doing ‘Eye of the Tiger’ from ‘Rocky’ as well – though I’m fairly certain that was from the late 70’s. If you’ve got any suggestions, I’d love to hear them.

 

My brother turns 18 today. That’s not as scary as some make out, but still rather strange. In the eyes of the world, certainly in the UK, he is a man – he can basically do anything legal. What can also happen is he can be tried as an adult.

 

Of course, I would never suggest that my brother is a criminal-in-waiting, but I do worry about some of the things he does seem to do, for which he is now fully accountable. I’m probably being overprotective. But still, it’s a worry.

 

In other news, and I would suggest this is probably only of interest to the people reading this who know what the Hoffman Process is, and what it entails, I am finally making public that I am attending ‘Closure’ as a returning graduate at Florence House on September 18th.

 

I have been keeping this secret for a reason, and it is thus: to be honest, I felt bad.

 

You see, on the whole, I feel bloody fantastic. My life is incomparable to what it once was, as is my mood, my outlook and my general demeanour. In addition, in my opinion, I am doing great post-process work; really keeping in touch with the practices and tools we were armed with, and going to ‘Closure’ was just another step in that direction to keep things ‘topped up’.

 

I felt bad because, as is apparent from emails, etc, and tied into my desire to keep a bit of a healthy distance, (see yesterday’s entry) I didn’t want to be seen to be rubbing it people’s face – saying ‘I’m doing fucking great, and look how much I am keeping in touch with the things and you losers aren’t!’ That’s in no way how I feel at all, but I can understand in the monotone and expressionless world of emails, it could easily be interpreted that way.

 

So, if you are reading this, and you feel in any way ‘put upon’ or similar, my apologies to you. My favourite saying post-process is ‘it’s not about me’ – this one is.

 

Until tomorrow, when I will have plenty to write about for sure.

 

Love and light to you all

 

Closed Box

The Slightly Less Cold War

August 27, 2008

Good morning blog fans – including, hopefully, my friend and last night’s dinner partner, Georgina. Hi George!

 

I am in an exceptionally good mood this morning, which I partly attribute to my daily dose of Journey/Poison/Styx and co.

 

What shall we talk about today? The Presidential elections and possible assassination attempts? A possible new cold war with Russia? (With global warming, would it be called the ‘Slightly Less Cold’ War?) A possible plot to kill Gordon Brown? (Just one, you say?)

 

Actually, apart from the collective work of Journey (click here to begin your musical education) and the theme tune to ‘Diff’rent Strokes’ (this is what i’m talkin’ about, Willis) there has been one small thing on my mind – distance.

 

Now, the world don’t move to the beat of just one drum. What might be right for you, might not be right for some. It really does take Diff’rent Strokes to move the world.

 

Ah… fuck it. I can’t fit the theme tune lyrics into today’s blog. Extra points if you noticed I was trying.

 

I’ve been thinking a lot about distance recently; mostly because it’s something I’ve been deliberately keeping from some people I consider very close to me.

 

Post-process, our group set up a mini-website – a place where all the members could gather to muse, to vent, and to maintain the levels of confidentiality enjoyed at Florence House. At first, there was a very steady stream of outpourings of emotion as we all went through our ups and downs – myself included. The support was invaluable.

 

Things have calmed down, and it looks as though people are adjusting to ‘the real world’, which is of great comfort. Occasionally, someone will post that they’re having a shitter of a day, or that the world around them is crumbling, and people are as ready as ever to offer help, solace and understanding.

 

But I will admit – I have been avoiding it recently. I am still in touch with my group through various means, but there is something inside me which is telling me that, right now, I need to go alone – not BE alone – just learn to deal with the ‘real world’ without the reliance on the others in the group.

 

We are armed with tools – tools to deal with the ‘bigger picture’, and tools to deal with what is sometimes the daunting prospect of just getting up in the morning – and I feel as though I have got to the point where I am sufficiently adjusted, and am happy to just ‘be’.

 

I realise that this goes both ways, and if I am to disengage myself from the site as I have been, I cannot expect to go trumpeting away and expect people to fall over themselves if I have a meltdown, but I am prepared to deal with that. Honestly, I feel as though even if the floor was to disappear and I was to sink into the blackest of holes, that the time has arrived for me to start using this platform I have created, and living in the scary world of consequence.

 

Please do not get me wrong, if there is EVER ANY way I can help my fellow process people, I will always go all out to do so, but, as we adjust and change in our own time, I feel as though my time to let myself free has arrived.

 

In other news, I have made a very important decision. After some deliberation, and a final experiment last night, I have decided to no longer eat Swordfish.

 

Until tomorrow, I wish you all good day.

 

Lots of love,

Closed Box

Money For Nothing, and Your Chicks For Free

August 26, 2008

Good morning blog fans – and a special good morning to my friend Shira, if she’s reading. And a big shout out to R_C, who was kind enough to read and comment on my mammoth entry over the weekend (it should be below this one). I have to say, reading it back, just how proud I am of it and the words and sentiments, not to mention the maturity it contains. Link here: 35 Days On, A 2,868 Word Review

 

I am no doctor of the head (yet) but I do know how to get people out of a funk. 80’s music. 80’s hair rock, power pop, and ridiculous ballads. Today, if you’re in a shitty mood because you’re back at work, or you’re pretty sure you’re in love with your best friends girlfriend, or you just watched Sixteen Candles and want to be 16 again, make yourself these CDs, and the world will seem just fine.

 

(Alternatively, ask me, and I’ll do it for you. I’m good like that)

 

Title: Closed Box’s Guide to Happy Times

 

CD 1: Pretty in Pink

01.  Highway To Hell – AC/DC

02.  Here I Go Again – Whitesnake

03.  Any Way You Want It – Journey

04.  Talk Dirty To Me – Poison

05.  Shout At The Devil – Motley Crue

06.  Pour Some Sugar On Me – Def Leppard

07.  Why Can’t This Be Love – Van Halen

08.  Don’t Stop Believing – Journey

09.  The Best Of Times – Styx

10.  God Gave Rock ‘n’ Roll To You – Kiss

11.  Every Rose Has Its Thorn – Poison

 

CD 2: Some Kind of Wonderful

01.  Jesse’s Girl – Rick Springfield

02.  Somebody’s Baby – Jackson Browne

03.  Little Bitch – The Specials

04.  Pump It Up – Elvis Costello

05.  Dancing In The Dark – Bruce Springsteen

06.  We Got The Beat – Go-Go’s

07.  It’s Different For Girls – Joe Jackson

08.  Edge Of Seventeen – Stevie Nicks

09.  Boys Don’t Cry – The Cure

10.  Ashes To Ashes – David Bowie

11.  Is She Really Going Out With Him? – Joe Jackson

 

If they don’t put you in a good mood, nothing will!

 

How were your collective weekends? Fun? Exciting? Downright depressing? All Of The Above? I think I managed to break a thumb, that’s my big news.

 

I somehow managed to swing a 5 day weekend – taking Thursday and Friday as ‘holiday/vacation time’ and with Monday being a bank holiday here, but I want to start today’s blog with a relaying of what came to be a rather heated conversation on Sunday night, and has sufficiently pissed me off enough that I still feel a need to rant a little about it this Tuesday morning.

 

And it is about this: the correlation between money and happiness.

 

I will begin by making my opinion very clear: Money has NOTHING to do with happiness. It might make life easier on a very superficial level, but make you more happy? Hells no.

 

It all sprung from a conversation I was having with my friend, who I will call Jane (for anonymity purposes) on Sunday night. Jane is yet another episode in my continuing quest for reconnection with old friends, and we were having dinner at ‘Balams’- http://www.balans.co.uk/soho.html,  a 24-hour restaurant (well, virtually) in London’s Old Compton Street.

 

As has become to the usual pattern of play, I explained to Jane that I had undergone a massive period of change, the why, and what the ‘new’ David was all about.

 

The conversation, as it inevitably does, swayed towards people’s own history – it never fails to amaze me just how much people want to ‘talk’ – and then, as it does, the inevitable clashing of what makes a person happy, and my (again) inevitable repeating of what seems to have become my mantra ‘ whatever makes you happy’.

 

Now, Jane is a pretty together person, and a pretty happy one. She has what most would consider a pretty nice life, so there would be no reason for her not to be.

 

However, she made a comment during our evening, which made me wonder actually how happy she really is, and having recently read ‘Affluenza’, I was all too happy to delve as deep as physically and mentally possible.

 

Jane contended that she was happy because she always left the house looking ‘her best’, and was always best representing herself. She did this, so she said, so that she was constantly ‘high’ or thereabouts. I enquired that if she considered this ‘high’, and did it all the time, was it not that her ‘high’ was actually her ‘norm’.

 

I enquired, simply, that if we accept her constantly feeling a need to best represent herself as her ‘norm’, at what point did she actually experience a ‘high’ – that point where, on a Saturday night (for instance) someone will look in a mirror and say to themselves ‘I look good’ – a form of self love.

 

Jane’s reply was that this only happened when she went shopping and bought something fabulous – but with an interesting difference, Jane made clear that this ‘high’ only occurred when she bought something ridiculous, like a Gucci shirt, Armani trousers, or a Prada bag.

 

Jane comes from a relatively affluent background, but by no means is she a ‘Daddy’s Credit Card’ girl, and she explained to me how the high worked. She would save for a month, maybe two, and THEN allow herself the pleasure of the shop. Immediately, I wondered about the need to ‘belong’ – how the Gucci/Prada/etc shopping experience wasn’t necessarily about the quality of garment, but rather the need to feel the high of belonging to an exclusive club, or designs on a lifestyle, or indeed, as she had mentioned the need to always look her best, the projection to the outside world.

 

I asked Jane why it was that rather than go and buy something once a month, she didn’t do what the vast majority of people across the country do, which is economise, or feel the fun of shopping on a more regular basis, and do so in Top Shop or one of its many equivalents – for the pair of £200 Armani trousers she told me she had recently bought, and recalled as her last ‘high’, she could buy any number of trousers, admittedly, they might be a slightly worse cut – but why did she feel the need to deprive herself?

 

She looked at me in disgust. In fairness, she is a self-confessed snob. She explained to me that if she had the money, why shouldn’t she do what she likes? I countered that it was fairly obvious that (a) she didn’t have the money since it took her a month or two to get to the point where she could buy something, and (b) that it was a case of relative values – that a £30 pair of trousers in Top Shop were only a £170 worse off than the Armani ones by the label on the price tag. Sure, maybe the Top Shop ones cost £1 to make, and the Armani £10, but the relative increase was dependant only on the label, and that’s what you were paying for. Jane simply answered that if she shopped in Top Shop or Primark, she would be desperately unhappy, and probably wouldn’t leave the house.

 

By pulling Primark out of thin air, I immediately thought she was making an interesting point without realising it. Primark is generally considered a budget store, but is ridiculously popular due to it place as the ‘disposable fashion house’ on the high street – that you can buy things in there for next to no money, that look ok, but you know you’ll throw it out after a couple of times wearing it. Jane basically believed that it was either designer labels, or she was scraping the barrel, and I wondered if it was the seemingly mental black hole she invented in-between that signalled just how insecure or otherwise she was in the way she looked.

 

In the car on the way home, I argued the case of a person having relative value, while Jane continued to argue her point that to her, it was the luxury that equalled satisfaction, while I argued that satisfaction, and happiness, came from within.

 

Jane posed a question – if I were to become an overnight millionaire, would I want the luxury Mercedes driving in front of me over the Polo I was driving? My answer was simple: No. I said that I understood that the Mercedes was probably a better car, with more features, was more luxurious, and was, in the eyes of others, probably a nicer car, but that I was comfortable in my Polo, and didn’t see the need.

 

Jane really couldn’t understand it. And became quite animated. She then posed another question.

 

She had been desperate to see George Michael in concert, and asked me if, in a hypothetical situation where my favourite band was playing, and it was a once in a lifetime opportunity to see them, that I would pay over the odds to see them. I answered, again, that I wouldn’t – a noted a time when this had actually happened.

 

Last year, Pearl Jam (my favourite band) came to play in London at the Astoria, a significantly smaller and more intimate venue than their usual arena shows. Tickets sold out within minutes, and eBay prices went from £500 to £800 to £1400 in 24 hours. I explained to Jane that, as I believe in relative value, that never, in a million years would I even have thought for one moment of paying £500 for a ticket, let alone what they went for in the end.

 

Jane couldn’t understand – why, she asked, if I had the money, would I not want to see them?

 

This argument went on for quite some time, as this mammoth diatribe can probably attest to, and the fundamental difference in values are probably apparent. But I wonder, and perhaps you can help – is relative value relative to what you have? Or should you follow Jane’s mantra of desiring the best, and using money as power? I know (very firmly) my ideals.

 

That will most certainly do for today. Again, if you are reading, my thanks to you.

 

Keep well, and fill your hearts with love and 80’s Hair Rock, all of you

 

Closed Box

35 Days On: A 2,868 Word Review

August 23, 2008

Good morning/afternoon/evening, readers. This is an entry with a difference.

 

I want to start this entry with a small highlighting, if that makes any sense. I am currently sitting in my parents kitchen, where I am temporarily residing while (a) they are away, and (b) I house-sit.

 

It is currently 8pm on a Saturday night, certainly not a time for a 28 year old single male to be sitting in a kitchen in his boxer shorts and an ‘Animal’ (from ‘The Muppets’) t shirt. I would have been out, but my arrangements got confused – which was totally something I deliberately did, but more on that later.

 

Being that I finally decided to write this blog tonight, I made myself some tea, and sat down at my laptop. I actually began the initial part of this entry a few times, but deleted it, thinking perhaps they didn’t make enough sense, or they weren’t grand enough to introduce something I have decided will be a ‘tent-pole’ entry in this blog: a review of me, 35 days on.

 

My sub-conscious reaction to this was much the same as the ‘old’ David would have felt – which, in this case, was to pack up, go to a Starbucks, and, if I was going to struggle with my writing, at least be ‘seen’ to be attempting to be poetic. Of course, in the constructs of my dark-side, I could struggle with my own artistry in the comfort of a public place, and perhaps people would be attracted to me, or I could revel in my loneliness.

 

You learn quickly once you leave the Hoffman Process that some things don’t change. As I have said many times in these entries, the world keeps turning, and we keep turning with it. The only major differences are within ourselves.

 

I realise the above is a largely pointless story of someone who wants to be recognised. I guess you could level that argument at this entire entry – hell, this entire blog – if you liked, but actually, it does illustrate something very important – at least to me.

 

If I had never attended Hoffman, (and let’s say I was blogging about something else completely, like what a douche I was) right now, I would be in my car driving to the biggest Starbucks I could find, to sit, not write a thing, and generally preen and pose for a couple of hours until I went home, and bear myself up for what a loser I was. Instead, I am in the kitchen. Why? Self awareness, and that’s what it’s all about.

 

It has been thirty five days since I left Florence House and The Hoffman Process. This is my story.

 

I Am Closed Box

I am going to start this bit of the blog entry by making something quite clear: this entry is about me. And as much as I love and adore all the people on my process, I won’t be talking about any of them.

 

I won’t bore you with my back story – that’s in the ‘about me’ tab above – but I will say this: If days are building blocks, from 21st October 1979 to 4th July 2008, a combination of external and internal factors conspired to build and create a person I absolutely hated; myself.

 

I was a liar, a manipulator, a thief, insecure, self conscious, a user, an abuser, (not physically, I hasten to add) an underachiever, lost, depressed, anxious, plagued by negativity and a lack of any sort of emotional relationships with anyone.

 

I myself had created the modern David – a person devoid of any authenticity; whose character was a composite of things I admired in people, or what I thought people wanted me to be, or, worse, things I hated.

 

My life was a succession of lies – some so ingrained they had almost felt like the truth – that I struggled to keep track of, and who I had told what to.

 

The thing is, the above makes me sound like a terrible person, and, as I am typing away furiously and at speed, I have probably left a number of things out. But what I learned was the most important lesson in my life: I was just a product of my past.

 

I learned a number of things in my process, some by realisation, and some by confronting them in the most public ways possible. I learned that I blamed myself for a lot of things – for my father leaving when I was 4, and again when I was 7. For my mother not being able to emotionally relate to me. For my step-father, and the hatred and anxiety I had with him that I came to realise was fear. I blamed myself for these things, and for the mess my life was in.

 

In my more recent therapies, and just prior to entering the Hoffman Process, I had a newly-rehearsed line. (Most of what I said to therapists had either been said to a different one previously, or practiced beforehand) The line was this: ‘I realise now that there are things in my past that have affected me in ways I can’t even begin to realise’. Of course, it may have been a slight variation on this, but you get the drift.

 

I was right, of course, but saying it out loud had made no difference to how I felt. I blamed myself for everything, and because of all this, I felt unloved and unlovable.

 

And I was lost and the dark side had total control.

 

The Box Opens

There can be no denying that The Hoffman Process changed my life. None at all. The person that emerged was so different from that which entered that there can be little argument for overwhelming evidence. But I have and perhaps always will be a little concerned by just how little emotional release I actually went through.

 

Very little of what I went through felt… ‘raw’. Perhaps I don’t even realise the impact, or perhaps, as was suggested, the energy and mindset you find yourself in during those key moments are so ‘other-worldly’ that you don’t realise it’s happening. I saw so much outpouring of emotion, but honestly, part of me wondered why I wasn’t collapsing in floods on uncontrollable tears, or why I wasn’t completely lost in anger or regression. I did wonderful work on my process; life saving work, but quite a lot was done in my conscious mind, and perhaps that is why I am so equally conscious of continuing my work outside of the process.

 

What surprised me was how angry I was. I have always known I was a terribly passive-aggressive person, but when I let go, I really let go – to the point of almost frightening myself – and I learned to combat my crippling self-consciousness.

 

They say the process is a beginning; a platform from which you build. In the 35 days since I have left the process, I have come to realise just how true that actually is. The work we do away from the process is actually just as important as that which we do while we’re there. What I have come to learn is that rather being a ‘fixing-factory’, The Hoffman Process merely cleanses us and sends us home with the detergent – the tools for maintaining a sense of the true, clean, us.

 

I will be honest, there are parts of me which Hoffman did not fix, and some things which still dictate to me, and run my life in certain aspects. But what is important is that I know what they are, and when they are pulling away at me.

 

In these next three sections of this blog, I am going to look at what has changed, and what hasn’t. And then, finally, what the future holds. Get comfy, go make some tea, and I’ll see you all in a moment.

 

The Changes

How’s your tea? Mines just finished. Well, I have been writing this blog for 54 minutes already.

 

I’ll start this part of the entry with a statement I am very proud of: the positives vastly outweigh the negatives. There really have been an insurmountable number of positive changes.

 

The first, the most obvious, and my joint favourite is the lack of lies. Lies were my protection – my embellisher and my favourite means of deception. It didn’t matter whether it was innocuous or whether it was something huge, lies were how I led my life. I suspect there are many who know little or no truths about me at all. And now, whether it puts me in a positive light or not, I cannot help but tell the truth. Sometimes, it has hurt; sometimes, it has hurt me, but I am proud to say that the time of lies and bullshit have long since passed from my life.

 

Coming joint top with that wonderful new part of my life are my relationships. Ironic that I should talk about this having recently broken up with someone I loved, but it is a small price to pay for the ongoing, beautiful, wonderful period of reconnection I am currently enjoying.

 

I never believed, even for a moment, that my relationships with my parents could be so good. In the past, I resented my mother deeply – obviously tied into my childhood experiences – but also because of the ways she had changed from the person I knew, as she grew into a life of increasing affluence and wealth that my parents are lucky enough to enjoy. It ties into something a few paragraphs down, but I came to realise that her emotional distance had nothing to do with her feelings about me, rather it was just the way she was. We will never be the sort of mother and son who share our most intimate of intimates for mutual advice, but our relationship has never been stronger, and it is all because I now see and appreciate that we are who we are, and how to make that fit

 

The greatest change of all has come with my step-father. In the space of two months – from the time I entered the process until now – we have turned 180 degrees, and gone from two strangers who could barely stand the sight of each other to the closest father/son relationship I could ever imagine. In all the years I longed and pined for a father, I would never have believed I could have something as wonderful as this.

 

With my sister, with my brother, with friends, relatives and acquaintances alike, I am reconnecting with everyone, some slowly, and some as though there were floodgates just waiting to be pushed open.

 

This all has come about because, finally, I know myself. Of all the reconnecting I have done, by far the most important has been with myself. I now finally know who I am, and it has allowed me to have, for the first time, focus, direction and a completely unknown sense of determination. I have kicked myself down to the ground for so long, and it is truly an overwhelming pleasure to know I am able to pick myself up. Knowing myself as I do, and being able to see that I am not a terrible, awful person as I thought I was is the most precious of gifts.

 

The Hoffman Process throws a lot of buzzwords at you. So many, in fact, that it is almost impossible to remember or absorb all of them. But if I only remember one for the rest of my life, I hope it’s this:

 

It’s not about me.

 

Let’s say it again. It’s not about me. I fucking love those four words.

 

As I said earlier, self-consciousness crippled me. I would spend my entire life wracked with worry that people were judging me at every turn – that, to them, I was shit until I could prove otherwise. Of course, being that my self esteem was so low, I never could figure out how to prove a thing, which only made it worse.

 

But I learned that if I was a product of my negative patterns, then so are you. And so is him, and him, and her. Perhaps there was a touch of misplaced arrogance there, but I genuinely believed that people were judging me, and that if I got shouted at, or someone didn’t agree with me, or I said a joke and no-one laughed (this happens fairly regularly) that it was because I was a terrible person.

 

But I see now. It’s not. Actually, I really like myself these days, and I recognise that, a couple of flaws aside, I’m actually a pretty fucking fantastic person, and people’s moods, senses of humour, or reactions have absolutely nothing to do with me. I practice self love, and I do love me these days. It’s not about me.

 

Bloody hell, this is a very long entry isn’t it? Ok, so I think I should close this section with something I have learned, and it is this: give yourselves a break. You are not perfect, life is not perfect, and the world most certainly isn’t perfect. I have learned that sometimes, you just have to say ‘it’s not about me’, or accept that you have a flaw or two, and just give yourself the break to say ‘but ultimately, I’m a good person’. Or even allow yourself to get angry. It’s not so bad. I am not so bad. As long as you have more good than bad, you’re doing a pretty fucking good job.

 

The Kinks

Sadly, some things are déjà vu all over again.

 

I emerged from Florence House a pillar of strength and new found adventure; eager to discover the new me.

 

What I found was mostly good, but some negatives remain.

 

But look above – I ain’t beating myself up about it.

 

I still have OCD. The need to have everything in order is long gone, as has my obsessive need to organise and plan in great advance. However, I am still prone to an unstoppable desire.

 

Sometimes, it is just for a ‘thing’ – a new shirt, some sunglasses, a car, a laptop – and nothing will come in-between my desires and realisations. This is not so terrible – not great, but workable.

 

However, one aspect of me, one of my most hated, remains. And it is to do with women.

 

The old David didn’t have girlfriends or girls who were friends, nor did he have objects of desire. He just consumed people. I used to try and explain to therapists how sex addiction worked, how orgasm wasn’t during the act of sex itself; that, in fact, the sex itself was largely joyless and uninteresting, but that the act of orgasm was at the point of someone turning up at the door, or saying ‘I’ll be there in 10 minutes.’ It wasn’t the sex, it was the power. It was knowing you ‘had’ them.

 

Some of that, sadly, has remained. I still feel unwavering desire for some people, and still don’t hear the word ‘no’ very well – though again, this isn’t in a physical way, its just if someone is uninterested, I tend to plough on regardless and pester them to the point of defeat or annoyance.

 

This tells me that there is still some anxiety in me, and still some insecurity, despite how consciously secure I actually feel. I am fortunate that I have the tools at my disposal to work with them, and, if nothing else, I am conscious of this urge; this desire, and that’s the first step to freedom.

 

Conclusion, Future

In conclusion, my life is incomparable to the one I left. Though much is the same – my job, my personal life, etc – so much has changed that sometimes, I struggle to stop myself from climbing a tall building and doing a dance. The Hoffman Process is an absolute gift, and I am forever in the debt of the process and the people I met on the way.

 

What the future holds I do not know, but for the first time, I am genuinely excited, and, if nothing else, I firmly know what I want. I have a few ideas, but I am not going to get obsessive or single minded about them, nor am I going to punish myself if they do not come to fruition. All I know is that I feel overwhelmingly positive; positive for the little changes, for knowing where my faults lie, and for the person I am, and can become.

 

If you have read this entire thing, I would like to offer you my thanks. I am sure it hasn’t made a whole lot of sense at times, and I am going to fight the urge to edit it, as I think I’d like to leave it as it is, raw. Thank you for sharing this with me, the externalisation of 35 of the happiest days of my life. It must have taken tremendous patience to get read this far. Trust me, patience is something I’ve come to learn all too much about.

 

Thank you again for reading this short entry.

 

Until we resume normal service, I’ve been Closed Box.

 

Goodnight world.