Friday, October 10, 2014

Reverse frying pan

For most of my life I've felt pretty shit about myself. This low appraisal of self made possible with the additional support of parents, peers and prick-arsed teachers—the shit ones who enjoyed inflicting pain because it gave them the jollies and some perverted sense of self for calling me out as an example of a not-man. 

I shed that feeling of shitness when I healed from my severe nervous breakdown of '13, having been able for the first time to look back on my en-rule thus far, the dash between dates of years of birth and eventual death, and realise I'd actually won. I'd won my life. And that my abilities and the circumstances that led me to do awesome work for the people of the fine land of Oz were forged in the crucible of crap, that all that fucked-up shit I copped as a kid paid off in the end because it led me to what I did and led me to survive what then happened to me. 

Being short, fat and afflicted with pain gave me a razor-sharp mind and a keen understanding of suffering. I could see pain because I lived in pain. And that made me better able to help others.

My fibromyalgia is almost background, though the odd flare still happens. My IBS is bad at the moment but I know that's cyclical and already the peak is tapering away. I know that newwork values my skill-set and that my co-workers, many I'd used to work with years before, like me and appreciate what I do.

I no longer work for people who don't believe in what they do. And I know my organisation is healing from years of illness and sads and I am part of the extra healing that's about to commence.

So I won. I won in the end over all of them. Over the shitty people who did shitty shit to me at school through to horrible people doing horrible things to me as an adult.

Fuck me it is true—the best revenge is doing well.

Wellness for the win.

Go, C—!

Go my friend C— who got her book published. 

It's a cracking read and at the end I wanted to read more. 

Now that's a life win. 

Hat (equals sign) doffed

Monday, August 25, 2014

And they shall be known as Barrington-Smythe

With thanks to Dune.

 I have this endearingly irritating habit of giving names to clothes, in the manner of Jerry from Seinfeld, who named his favourite tee as Golden Boy! (1) Of my own wardrobe there’s “Stainy McStain” a three-tree-rings ago somewhat tightish green and white t-shirt I wear as a PJ top during a typical wash-cycle. So named because on the white part there’s a brownish stain that’s never shifted despite repeated attempts, thus, a stain. A kind of living Mikey “shroud of Turin” imprint that is perhaps from a fluid from me or, more likely, from a meal of a long-time ago. When I wear it I yell in a sing-song voice “I’m wearing Stainy McStain!”, like anyone within distance gives a shit. 

That’s okay for me to do that, the naming of clothes, but my habit then inflicted on loved ones around me. theWife had a top in her rotation once, a blue affair with some gold embroidery. I immediately and enthusiastically labelled it “Sergeant Pepper!” because it was so wonderfully reminiscent of the clobber as worn by The Beatles on the album as known by that abbreviated name. 

Then she stopped wearing the shirt. And, when I asked why she didn’t wear it any more, she labelled me as the cause.

“You ruined it,” she said, her finger pointing in accusation, “ruiner.”

And so I had. 

The other night theBoy was wearing a UFO-themed onsie. Without knowing why I declared the pyjamas had a name. “Barrington-Smythe!” I said. And that this was its name from henceforth. 

I then immediately lied that theBoy had told me that’s what its name was earlier, all while he was in earshot, which elicited a wail at the accusation.

“HE LIES!” he almost certainly said.

For the rest of the night I called them “Barrington-Smythe”whenever possible and continued to do so upon next morn until he shed them as he dressed for the day.

Barrington-Smythe; UFO pyjamas.

What’s not to love about that?

(1) Which tragically did not survive a wash-cycle, its place taken by Baby Blue. 

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Furtling along...

theBoy and I share a word—furtle, or furtling—which means to swivel your eyeballs in a suspicious manner. It now has a larger meaning of tucking your head down to just eyeballs above the rim level and sneakily zooming along. 

I am officially in a new position and oldwork has forever lost their hold. My newwork is awesome and I get to do fun things as I furtle along, tweaking things here, suggesting things there. An insidious influence by sheer dint of competence. 

Yes, my self-esteem is still that high. As I scored in black pen on the bookshelf hutch in the shed a year ago—I will never feel shit about myself again.

I am still sore. My stomach still suffers the occasional IBS yuckfest, but it's nowhere near as often. The old ladies, my fibromyalgia, still flare now and then, but it's not at five minute intervals of my body self destructing as it was in the days leading up to my collapse. I still suffer occasional anxiety flares, and a loud or sudden noise can send me screaming into fight (slash) flight, but that reaction happens less, and the aftermath is not as bad—and I have a six-year-old!

I used to have a mantra of self-dislike, critiquing flaws such as my body or a wincing recall of a past regret. That's forever gone, replaced with words of courage and defiance: "I cannot be hurt", "I cannot be harmed", "I cannot be beaten" or "I cannot be defeated". 

Even as pain fires as I walk, in my head I'm okay. It's the burden I bear to be awesome.

Wellness for the win.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

I did not blow goats; have no proof

Just over a year ago I tried something I've always wanted to try. It was a public performance piece. It ... did not go well. No, no it did not.

But tonight I gave it another go and this time it went well and I did not blow goats. In fact, I fucking rocked it out.

Alas, I didn't record the event, so I do not have proof of non-Goat blowing. But a friend was there and he saw it; he did! So it fucking happened!

This time last year I was deep in the throes of recovery from having gone insane. My breakdown then emergency separation from oldwork was a catalyst for change and resulted in me not only healing but shedding 30 years of sadness as I rose from the floor. 

Tonight I got back up and gave public performance another go and I fucking nailed it. 

They say the best revenge is success. 

So take that, oldwork, I win.

UPDATE: It's July. I've done it twice more; once well and once meh. Mikey for the win!

Monday, May 19, 2014

It's the third act and Ricky Bobby is back on the track!

With thanks to Talladega Nights.

It's now been a couple of weeks since I joined the new team and I am humming along. The workload is thus far bearable and there's kewl things I get to do like go into the field to talk to people and even take photos. I, like Ricky, was knocked out of the workplace and it took the entire second act to get me back to the track. But back on the track I am and I am zooming along.

And my track is an magnificent one. My workplace is in a well-appointed building, I only have to take one bus and I get on with my team. We have enjoyable chats and, thus far, no one has has presented as a psycho—an important quality not to have in any team member. 

I have not heard about my success (slash) fail for the job I recently interviewed for. Today in the mail were returned the work samples I provided at interview, without even a note of thanks—not a good sign. Nor is several emails from me which have gone unanswered.

But that's okay. That's okay because where I have landed in is awesomesauce and I get to do useful, valuable and interesting work.

And you can't get better than that as a public servant.

Wellness for the win.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Seat seep and evil people

It happened again the other day, seat seep. It happens when there's a perfect storm of runny butt and thin-weaved PJ pants sans undies. It squished through the pants and as I got off the bike seat I could see the runny smear left in my wake. 

Fortunately I have discovered the perfect cleanser for seat seep; human sweat. All I had to do was take a tissue, run it over my sweat-stained balding noggin then carefully daub up the stain. Another tissue soaked in sweat followed to ensure maximum cleansing. 

I like the symmetry of that; one secretion cleans away another. 

And from one unpleasant encounter to another; evil people. The building I now work in is a central hub for my org. It means people from outlying buildings come to mine for meetings. As I came in from a work outing I saw an evil person by the ground floor lift foyer and stairs talking with one of my new colleagues. It was the evil person from oldwork who was most-singuarly responsible for my epic collapse. 

I turned away, intent on using the lifts on the other side of the building but I stopped and went back. I walked with purpose to the lift foyer where she was, though without looking at her, summoned a lift, and stood with my back to her just three feet away. I didn't look her in the eyes once in the entire exchange. She ignored me and I her. I spent half a minute waiting, got in the arrived lift car, and stabbed the door close button. By the time I exited the lift on my floor above I just had a touch of heart hammer and it quickly ebbed. I didn't even have time to reflect on what had happened because a work friend in distress came to me to ask me to be a support person in a supervisor meeting. Her pain was overwhelming and her distress acute. And in that moment I threw myself into helping her through her immediate crisis—another fuck you to oldwork where I could put aside their evil to help someone I love.

I've come a long way. In January the mere sight of that evil person with an equally evil other oldwork person at the Australia Day Awards at 40 metres distance was enough to send me fleeing to my then building to gulp-cry with bitter hurt and anger at my desk. Now, four months later, I can stand right next to the worst of them with my back turned. She has no power over me and there is nothing she can do. Furthermore, I know that I am well-liked by my colleagues and they value what I do. So even if she slanders me, and I have no doubt that she has and will continue to do so, her slander mists away because it is by my actions I am known as an awesome public servant who cares deeply for his work and for his clients, customers and colleagues.

Wellness for the win.

Monday, May 12, 2014

I had an interview!

I had a job interview recently. It was the fourth interview I've had since I was officially dropped into the APS redeployment register.

The interview was fine. It was almost intimate, four people in a small office and clustered around a small round table. 

Since I have lost the fear of lacking worth then the interview was enjoyable. I talked at length about how awesome I am and how awesome the job was that I did. I even brought samples to show them my awesome work in action.

Alas I think I fucked the two-part written component of the interview process. Part one was okay. Part two was not. I ran out of time and had half-formed ideas on the page. 

Still, success or fail the interview and the written exercise were good experiences and the process was not scary. And if this potential new workplace decide against taking me on then I won't hold a grudge. I come with freely admitted baggage, after-all.

Today, I waited for my bus at the stop in the cooling dim of late afternoon. I could see two contrails scrawled in the sky staggered either side of Telstra tower, a spray of golden cloud against the darkening blue.

It was a nice moment.

Wellness for the win. 


... I am tracking along with some good and some bad. 

Some bad is putting weight back on. I ride an hour a day on the exercise bike but it seems to do fuck all. That or what I am doing is just retarding some of the gain. I have eaten heavier lunches that's for sure, and I've dabbled of late in pies of the fruity kind. But, since A2 cream, came out I can't but help sup from my pasty mistress.

Anyway being just a little bit fatter sucks the wang. It especially sucked when I discovered my shirt had gotten a little tight when I was in a meeting room designed for four people with 12 at the table and one on speaker phone and my middle button was straining and exposing my navel. I was at the fucking chair next to the one networked PC at a small desk at the back of the room which meant I was just far enough from the main table to be in everyone's eye-line. I had to stay facing side-on so as not to expose the hair-rimmed unblinking eye. The meeting was, whilst stressful, awesome though in that everyone there believed in the purpose we were meeting about and we felt institutional pride in what we're doing (1). It makes a hell of a difference to work with people that believe in what they do.

New work is stressful. I have to learn new things and I have to use the phone more. I hate using the phone. Email is the tool of government and email is preferred! I live in fear of my phone ringing and having to talk to people. So far each time the phone has rung that it has been some fucking coffee company that's trying to send a fax. If I transfer the call the fax machine then it spits out a one page flyer promoting a clearly over-priced coffee pod machine. Fuckers.

I am back in the building I've worked in for the vast bulk of my career. It's the building I was in before I was transferred out by an SES who was irritated by my presence (2). I keep running into people I know from when I was last here, and even fellow refugees from oldwork. I never know what to say about why I am back. Sometimes I will say it's because I went insane and had to flee oldwork like a thief in the night. Sometimes I don't even mention it and just say where I am working now.

A compounding stress is my newwork has dealings with oldwork. I hear the names of the people who hurt me said in a work context. I may even have to take a call from one of those people. If an accidental face-to-face or voice-to-voice contact happens I plan to take their details then pass whatever they need onto a colleague to sort out. Then to go for a calming walk to remind myself I am forever free of them and their horrors. 

Wellness for the win.

(1) Unbelievably fucking Man Hands was there! A former supervisor who once maliciously jiggled my tummy in, I presume, a lame way to say he wanted to show me he thought I was sexy. We did not talk about the incident. 
(2) I had a somewhat voluminous disagreement with that SES about her crass interference in my job when she had no expertise whatsoever in my field and refused to listen to me as the subject fucking expert (2a). I was transferred away to another part of the org, along with my job, with two months. She would also say moronic things in staff meetings like "I can just change you around at will and get you doing whatever job I need you to" only for me to pipe up cheerfully "no you can't; we're specialists" and for her to ignore that I said anything at all. Mikey don't suffer fools no gladly! 
(2a) It should be noted I later literally went insane when I failed to convince management what they were doing, and not doing in the case of health and safety, was fucked and unethical.