It kind of feels redundant to say, but I hate death. It rips me apart. I haven't
experienced the death of a loved one - yet - but having seen the impact of that
loss on others around me, those I love and respect, I definitely do not relish
Instead, I experience that loss vicariously. I see the emptiness in them, that
sudden void that once was filled with someone important to them opening up and
sucking in their happiness, their hopes, their safety. A black hole, yawning
and destroying them from the inside.
And that breaks me. As a Rescuer
I see their pain and I can't fix it. As an empath, the sudden darkness in
someone's eyes flashes through me and overwhelms me. There is absolutely
nothing I can do about it - no filling in the hole, no telling a joke to cheer
someone up, no promises about the future that don't feel vacuous in the moment.
So that pain transfers to me - and because of my own relationship with sadness
I reject it totally and bottle it up. Tears leak out, but ultimately I swallow
up that sadness and it eats away inside me. It feels like there's a big dam
inside, holding back a flood of sadness, and this just adds to it.
Having struggled at times over the past couple of years with considering my own
mortality, the one thing that kept me going was thinking about the horror of
such a loss being visited upon those who love and care for me - the fact that
there are such people is something I've had to drill into me due to my low self
esteem. And so I carry on.
Part of my work on self care is to try to cook for myself - from scratch - at
least one evening per week. I'm always really happy to cook for others, but I
find it hard to cook for myself - there's probably something in there about not
considering myself worth cooking for. So here is the first in a series of
recipes (I hope) that I use to treat myself.
I've recently been playing with risottos - I've got a couple of friends with
vegan or FODMAP dietary needs who I
like to cook for. Risottos are excellent in that they're really easy to prepare
and make tasty, and the rice provides a great base for all sorts of flavours.
Here's a recent recipe I've been using - like a lot of my cooking, it's formed
from an understanding of how something is prepared, not necessarily from a
formalized recipe from another source. I'm sure I do something wrong, or miss a
trick with it - but this one works for me!
Today marks two years since I wrote to a counsellor and said
"I'm not happy." Since then, I've seen Jo pretty much once a week for fifty
minutes at a time.
I'm not going to lie. It's not been easy. As someone who spent 33 years of his
life not talking about myself - not really anyway - I almost resented it. I
dodged some appointments, dreading it. I was combative with her; closed. I
wanted her to drive the conversation and ask all the questions - I had to plan
what I was going to say on the car drive over, panicking that I had nothing.
But the fact remained that on some level I knew I was hurting, that something
was pretty wrong - that for some unknown or specious reason, I was unhappy, and
had no way of identifying or fixing it on my own. I knew I'd be resistant to
the experience, so I set up an obligation. I'd go and see her, because
otherwise I'd disappoint her.
As time went by, this experience didn't change - I'd be stand-offish, double-
guessing every suggestion of hers, trying to out-silence her. No progress, no
openness, nothing. Sure, I shared some big news pieces with her, frustrations
etc. but it was all just something to get done and get over with.
So, in the past couple of days, a well-meaning friend posted the following
image into a chat channel populated 50% by software engineers:
What they assumed was a nice nod to the coders soon became something of a
nightmare as we all just... code reviewed the mug.
I'm sure if you've worked in software development for a while, you've seen this
kind of effect before - someone publishes code or pseudo-code on a promotional
item or in marketing material as a way to establish geek cred, or perhaps to
attract talent for a hiring campaign. If you've worked with teams actively
hiring, you might even have seen your own employers attempting this - and are
probably aware that the exact same reaction to my friend's mug shot is bound
to happen both internally and externally around such efforts.
Well, in the pursuit of purity - and perhaps as a way for me to explore my own
thinking about how code should be reasoned about - here is a brief attempt at
code reviewing the mug; in future posts I hope to refactor it...
I started this blog hoping to be a lot more profilic than I actually have
been. I have quite a few topics to cover. But my lack of motivation has
stymied that, although I take some slight comfort in this blog fulfilling
the fate of numerous others. My piece of writing On Hills
has been quite important to me, so here's another very personal piece.
I have had, for me, a rough couple of years. I've been through redundancy,
death, breakup and more. All have taken their toll on me enough that, at the
beginning of last year, I started counselling.
This was not easy for me. I am quite a closed person, emotionally; I rarely
share and I always concentrate on how the listener will receive my words rather
than on the expressing of them. As such, I hold things in. And they eat away at