Twitter Policy

Twitter has a history of banning people for stupid reasons whilst letting other people get away with whatever they want. Well, this came up on my timeline earlier:Banningreason

Yes, somebody got their account temporarily limited for saying the phrase “kill me now”.

I’m not sure how much of a secret it is considering the kind of things that Twitter actually lets you get away with, but it’s true, in the terms and conditions you’re not allowed to post anything suicidal.

Let’s first address why this is.

A few months back I read an article where somebody had been murdering teenagers he met on social media platforms. The way he gained his victims trust was through “mutual understanding of suicidal tendencies”. Whether he did or did not have suicidal tendencies is not the issue, the issue is that this person used social media to seek out, manipulate and ultimately murder those in need of serious help. So it’s sort of understandable, knowing that there are people out there like this, that you wouldn’t be allowed to talk about suicide on social media. Not to mention, as I’ve been told many times before, talk of suicide is a buzzkill and people don’t really want to hear about it. For some it’s too raw, for some it’s too real and for some it’s just simply something they want to ignore.

I do suppose the smallest amount of kudos in the world goes to Twitter for at least putting “Please know that there are people out there who care about you, and you are not alone”. I say this because it’s really not that comforting if you are experiencing suicidal thoughts and when you see this treatment happen to somebody using “kill me now” in a rhetorical way, it sort of undermines everything because you know it’s not coming from a place of care, it’s just coming from a computer whose algorithm has picked up on the words “kill me”.

So if somebody is legitimately saying they want to commit suicide and you temporarily limit their account, what does this mean? Well, as seen above it means you can only send Direct Messages to people who follow you. This seriously cuts down the social interaction portion of the social media platform. So if, like me, you don’t have a lot of “real life friends” and a lot of your interaction is online, then you are essentially isolating somebody who is already feeling isolated. You’re not helping them down off of the ledge, you’re simply moving the crowd away and then pushing them closer to the edge. It’s possibly the worst way that you could deal with somebody who is actually going through a suicidal time.

And what you’re actually doing is adding to the stigma of suicide. Instead of getting in touch with the individual with some links to suicide hotlines in their country or groups that could help, you’re just putting a finger over their mouth and whispering “Shhh, nobody wants to talk about that” which just makes them feel even more marginalised and abnormal. You’re stopping people asking for help because you’re telling them it’s something to be ashamed of or afraid of when in reality it’s just something that you need to work through with help. The key point here is “with help” because I don’t know of anybody who got through suicidal tendencies alone and so if you take away their social interaction then they’ve suddenly got less people to help them.

Let’s also touch briefly on the idea of why people have suicidal tendencies. There are hundreds, if not thousands of reasons, but I’ll tell you one of mine; loss of control. When I feel my life isn’t mine to live then sometimes I consider whether it’s worth living any longer. So on Twitter I have a space that is mine, that I can say what I want and if people want to listen they can and if they don’t then they don’t, up to them. But you’re taking away my space with this policy and enforcing the idea that it’s only borrowed or rented space because ultimately it belongs to you and you control everything. If you think that’s an exaggeration then you’re very lucky to have never had mental health problems.

I do understand that you can’t personally reach out to every single person who shows up on your algorithm but one of the major problems with this message is that it stinks of corporate crap. Any personal touch you tried for at the beginning is washed away completely by the end.


What Are You Worth?

Having binge-watched it almost obsessively and eagerly anticipating a series two, I never thought I’d comment on how the new series of Queer Eye has affected my mental health in a negative way. But, sadly, this is going to be that post.

There are two episodes of Queer Eye that I struggle to watch; “To Gay or Not Too Gay” and “Hose Before Bros”.

To Gay or Not Too Gay is an episode where the Fab 5 makeover the “straightest gay guy in Atlanta” in an attempt to help him come out to his step-mother. I actually very much appreciated this episode because I realised they had dropped the “for the straight guy” schtick but it quickly turned into difficulty for me to watch. That’s because this episode reinforced the stereotype that I really hate about gay men, that apparently all gay men are fit, toned, tanned, slim, slender, etc. The guy they made-over dressed a little bit preppy but was still successful, fit and had a boyfriend. He even felt comfortable enough in his own skin to go shirtless and/or to wear a harness and go to various gay events. Sure, he hadn’t come out to his step-mother and so they sort of framed it around that, but it felt hollow for me because we weren’t seeing a gay man in desperate need of a make-over.

Queer Eye itself isn’t exactly an easy thing for me to watch anyway, what with the Fab 5 being made up of successful, good looking gay guys which I become slightly envious of. Most notably Antoni Porowski has received a lot of publicity because of his dashing looks, with few people actually concentrating on what else he brings to the table.

The other episode’s struggle can be summed up in one word; Superman. Since the show aired the firefighter who Karamo Brown nicknamed Superman has been quite the object of thirst. Even on the show they capitalised on any and every moment to get those shirtless or sexy shots of him, and he wasn’t even the one getting the make-over. People lust over him like crazy. Now I’m not saying he’s not hot, because he is, but somebody even posted on Twitter about “Superman” saying; “good morning to fireman Micah from episode 8 of the Queer Eye reboot and no one else”. It’s this attitude that just because he’s attractive he is more worthy of your attention than others. This really makes me feel worthless because I’m not as attractive as him.

Now I know a lot of this comes down to my own body image issues but being bombarded with attractive people, and sidelining those that aren’t as attractive, really reinforces the idea of worth and value and that unless you look good you aren’t worth as much focus. This is how I feel whenever I see a picture or a gif of “Superman”. It makes me realise I’m probably never going to look like that and so what is the point of even trying? It’s this sort of thinking that leads me to extreme views of self-harm because I hate how I look compared to this god-like person. But this isn’t just Queer Eye that does it. Attractive people are pushed to the forefront in everything we do and given accolades and opportunities that wouldn’t be available to people who look like…well…me. The media really does reinforce this idea that the world is cast like a movie and if you’re not attractive then you’re not the main character. At times I feel like I’m an extra, and the director is trying to lose me at the back somewhere so nobody can see the ugly person in the show.

And let’s revert back to the episode where they dropped the “for the straight guy”. Because this is what, being a member of the LGBT+ community, I struggle with the most. The LGBT+ community does a lot to put its best foot forward but sadly sometimes that comes at the expense of pretending some of us don’t exist. Look at dating apps or websites and you’ll notice that almost all of the men on there are fit, toned, tanned, slim, slender. They basically fit any category that can be considered “above average” for a positive body image. You very rarely see normal gay couples, or diverse gay couples, featured on these adverts.

Beauty is something we are supposed to enjoy, but I find myself enjoying beauty less and less as time goes on. We’re talking primarily about physical beauty here but I find myself struggling to enjoy works of art because of their beauty and the unrealistic expectations it puts on people.

Now let’s get a little bit personal.

There’s a guy who comes into my work called Charley. I’ve mentioned him in a previous post. He is gorgeous (personal opinion, yes, but it’s also widely acknowledged by people I have spoken to). Now when he first came into my workplace I used to love it because, obviously, the eye candy factor. But slowly over time I’ve grown to hate him coming into my work, his appearance has a dramatically negative affect on my mental health. That’s because I can’t appreciate how good looking he is without realising everything I’m not. I can’t see him as good looking without also seeing myself as unworthy, overweight, too tall, stupid hair, stupid glasses, awkward smile, half-arsed shave, etc. I still see him as beautiful but all of these things come up with it too. And this is why I struggle with those episodes of Queer Eye and with the media in general sometimes. It’s because I can’t separate their beauty from my faults. The two are linked in my mind and so when somebody mentions how good looking Antoni is or Superman is or when I’m forced to see the guy in the harness with rippling abs, well then that is just like telling me I’m too ugly to be worth your time.

This could also be more personal than I even thought. Going back, I don’t get attention from people who look like that. It’s not a pity party, it’s just a fact. I’ve met some drop-dead gorgeous guys and ninety percent of the times they don’t even know I’m there. The other ten percent of the time they know I’m there but I’m not worth giving the time of day to. So maybe it’s my warped mind believing that good looking and beautiful people will always be selfish, stuck-up, conceited, self involved arseholes towards me because I’m not as attractive.

Gun Control

So there’s obviously been a lot of debate over the last few days about the issue of Gun Control.

I grew up and still live in the UK in which we have strict gun control laws. To this day I don’t even know how I would go about getting a gun. I don’t know who I’d have to ask, what permits to have, what checks would be needed, etc. I don’t know anything about owning a gun because it’s so damn difficult to get one. I’m talking about basic guns too, we’re not even talking about Assault Rifles (which are the ones used in school shootings), which are totally illegal in this country because, as is common sense, no civilian needs an assault rifle. There’s just no need for it. Yet I know for a fact you can walk into most places in America and purchase a gun, and not even just a basic one, a semi-automatic weapon.

There’s been some rather horrific points made in opposition to upping gun control in the US. The first one I want to address comes from Tomi Lahren who tweeted “Can the Left let the families grieve for even 24 hours before they push their anti-gun and anti-gunowner agenda? My goodness. This isn’t about a gun it’s about another lunatic. ” So I understand there’s a grieving progress and you do have to respect it, but grief doesn’t get in the way of law. Just because somebody is grieving, doesn’t mean you can’t debate the issue (as you clearly don’t mind doing). Also, there are kids that were in the classrooms, that lost their friends and families, who have taken to Twitter to tell you to reconsider your gun laws. This could have been such a nice sentiment too, you could have come across as a real caring person, had you not used words such as “push their…agenda” which just makes your statement inflammatory and undermines your “care” for the families.

Senator Marco Rubio said “I’m trying to be clear and honest here, someone who has decided to commit this crime, they will find a way to get the gun to do it.” This takes me back to something my dad said to me when I was growing up. My dad used to say that if you’re going to be burgled then they’ll find a way inside the house. This doesn’t mean we left the doors and windows open for them to make it easier though. Without gun control your idea of buying firearms is like leaving a door open for a burglar to break in.

I want to step into something personal here because I wouldn’t be alive today if the UK didn’t have such strict gun laws. In my suicidal times I have thought about how I’d end my life and the easiest way for me to do it would be taking a gun to my head. It’s not a nice thought but we have to admit these things before we can get over them. But yes, if I were an American citizen then in my darkest hours I would have gone out, bought a gun and ended everything. The fact of the matter is that you can’t do it over here. If you’re having a dark time then you can’t wander out and get a gun within the hour, you’d have to wait weeks or even months, by which time the feelings you were having have had a chance to pass. And so no, if people do want to do things like this, it doesn’t mean they will definitely find a way to get a gun.

Tomi Lahren believes “This isn’t about a gun it’s about another lunatic.” You’re half right. It’s about both. But let’s look at the “lunatic”, which then enters us into a mental health discussion. If we want to help people like this, trying to help them not commit these crimes, then we have to address the issues as to why this happens. We can look at things like bullying, mental illness, drugs, alcohol, etc because yes, all of these things can play a part in why a person does something. But there’s one factor that every school shooting has in common; it’s done because these people can EASILY get guns. Helping the mentally ill would be increasing checks and restricting the ability to own guns. Even if we just cut out the assault rifles (so I’m not taking away precious gun ownership entirely), you would see a decrease in the number of school shootings and the number of fatalities in these incidents.

I also don’t get the Right Wing desire towards owning a gun. If you ask them why they need to own a gun they usually say protection, although that doesn’t really cover it (there’s plenty of other forms of protection you can have legally). What it really boils down to is the idea that you want to be in control. You want to have that gun because it makes you feel good and it gives you that rush because you control whether somebody else lives or dies. It is, in essence, the real reason people own high powered and military grade weaponry, it makes them feel bigger than they are.

Valentines Day


I have posted this gif three times to my Twitter already; twice in updates and then once in a reply comment to somebody. Now I began to wonder if I was posting it a bit too much but then I realised that three times is nothing compared to how many times this feeling hits me, especially over the Valentines Day period.

Valentines Day has me confused a lot of the time because it’s not the single day in the year where I feel the most alone. That award probably goes to Christmas Day or New Years Eve just because the concentration of feelings are limited to one single day and that’s usually when we’re all gathered as a family and I feel completely single (true fact, I’m the only single person in my family over the age of 5). Valentines Day doesn’t do that, it doesn’t congregate a family together and make you concentrate all of those feelings into one single day. No, instead you get to feel miserable and single over a couple of days when you see people buying flowers and chocolates and updating their Facebook and Twitter Status’s and the like, it’s less like Christmas where you feel you’re fighting one battle and instead you feel like you’re fighting a war everyday.

But don’t get me wrong. I’m not going to hate on Valentines Day because I know that if I had a boyfriend I’d do something sweet for Valentines Day and I’d actually buy into the commercial stuff, just because I’m a bit of a hopeless romantic at heart. So I won’t slate it for being commercialised and overpriced (despite the fact that it completely is).

I found myself this morning wishing that Valentines Day was a holiday because I didn’t want to have to get out of bed and go into work. I don’t want to hear about other people’s plans for Valentines Day and I certainly don’t want other people pitying me for having to work on Valentines Day evening. Yeah, I have the evening shift so I’m expecting a lot of patronising “Valentines Day is overrated anyway” or “It’s sad they make you work tonight of all nights”. I struggle as well because I don’t really know what I want somebody to say to me either, I can’t think of a lot of things that would make it easier.

My relationship with Valentines Day, as most things do, stems back to when I was a kid. A big deal isn’t really made of the day when you’re in junior school or below, it’s only when you hit Secondary school (High School) that it suddenly becomes a thing. Before that you’re expected to make cards for your mum and obviously it’s close to Mother’s Day so sometimes schools choose that instead. But I remember quite vividly having to go to school one Valentines Day when everybody was walking around with single red roses or bouquets of flowers and chocolates and just all the usual stuff. And now yes, that’s a nice gesture, but it also compounds the fact that I’m single.

Valentines Day provides a boat-load of depression gunpowder stored up inside my head all primed and ready to be lit. That’s a dangerous situation to be in because I don’t know what the spark will be that will inevitably set me exploding. Some days it’s a simple red rose that I don’t get, sometimes it’s seeing happy couples on Facebook, who the hell knows? But I do know what somebody else will consider a nice gesture will seem to me like the end of the world at some point today. And I don’t know how to not feel like that, this is a feeling that’s been instilled in me every year since I was born and so it’s not like I can just go “oh, that’s nice” and brush it aside like I could most days of the year. Valentines Day (and the lead up to it) is a constant barrage of reminders that you’re alone. Just imagine every time somebody bought flowers or chocolates for Valentines Day that you are slapped around the face. A couple of times you could probably brush off and forget about but when you feel like you’ve been slapped a couple of hundred times then it becomes difficult to stomach anything more than crawling into bed and crying until the day is over.

I also struggle with Valentines Day because it’s supposed to be the day that you can tell people you love them without any sort of judgement or repercussions. Well, if you’ve read my previous post then you know nothing goes without repercussions. As such there are guys I really want to confess my feelings for but I’m scared. I’m scared because history has shown me I’ll either be greeted with disdain, ignored or deemed “psycho” (all of which has happened). So Valentines Day to me is another day when I have so much emotion inside of me, so many feelings I want to tell people, but can’t out of complete and utter fear.

My Queer Eye Profile

I have spent the last two days binge watching the newest season of Queer Eye. One of the things I love is that since the original they have dropped the “For The Straight Guy” from the title because now it’s about makeovers and not about the gay/straight divide. There’s still some issues to be explored but it doesn’t primarily focus on that anymore, it’s now about helping people more than anything.

The main thing I like is how they break a life down into five categories and a specialist comes in to help you fix that aspect of your life, or at least teaches you how to maintain it.

In this post I am going to try and construct a Queer Eye Profile for myself.


Age – 27

Height – 6’2

Weight – 216 lbs


I still live with my parents where I have a single room that has never been decorated since I moved in. It has beige walls with a beige carpet and the only thing design aspect I put my opinion into are the numerous black cabinets stocked full of movies and books. I spend 90% of my time in one single corner of my room where the computer is and it’s only two foot away from where my bed is, making it easy to roll out of bed and just sit on the computer all day. It’s not a bachelor pad, it’s not an elegantly designed room, it always just feels like it’s unfinished and in the middle of change. I also have my own bathroom, although the bath doesn’t work and it doesn’t have a shower so I have to use the one over my parents side of the house which is rather inconvenient at times.


I can’t remember a time when I have actually cooked a meal. My parents prepare dinner for me all the time and when I’m going to be at work in the evening then I just usually have a bowl of cereal for dinner. Even at University I lived on SuperNoodles and pasta but nothing fancy, just pasta in a bowl with some barbecue sauce and cheese. I’m very fussy when it comes to food and textures so my diet fluctuates between diet shakes and porridge to pizza and chips. The food is usually beige and has often been described as “kids food” because it’s processed and unhealthy. Don’t even get me started on vegetables. Yuck. I eat a lot of sweets as well, because I have a huge sweet-tooth. So on the times when I’m not trying to diet and lose weight I can munch through dozens of packets of sweets without even noticing I’m doing it.


By far probably the easiest to describe because it’s virtually non-existent. I spend less than a minute on my appearance when I’m going out and if I’m not leaving the house then all I do is brush my hair and not care how awful it looks. My hair regime consists of sticking my head under some water and then brushing it across so I have the hairstyle of a 1920s gangster, or Hitler. I lock it in place with a huge amount of hairspray so it doesn’t move. I’ve been at a loss with what to do with my hair since I cut it short (having used to have shoulder length hair which everybody hated) and I’m still undecided as to whether I want it long or short. I shave once a week and only because I have to go to work, if I have time off work then I just don’t shave until I have to go back and I end up looking homeless.


At this moment, typing this, I do not currently own a wardrobe. I own a sort of display stand with sections for different types of clothes although I pretty much wear the same things day-in and day-out. I’ve only ever bought a handful of my clothes with 99% of my stuff having been bought by my mother or being gifts for Christmas or Birthdays. A lot of my clothes are black and I’m not a huge lover of colour just because I feel it draws attention to me and I’m not prepared for that. I hate shopping for clothes because I hate being on the larger side of things and it always makes me depressed, plus my mother has instilled the idea that spending more than £3 on a t-shirt is a horrific waste of money.

I have basically no self-style. And I live in tracksuit bottoms when I’m at home or my one pair of jeans when I leave the house.


I’ve never been in a relationship. I’m on numerous dating websites and stuff but I lack the self-confidence to send any messages to guys I match with or like. I have a slight distrust of the LGBT community because I had a drastically bad experience with the society at University and since then I’ve distanced myself from the crowd. I also consider myself “too old” for the whole “gay scene” and don’t know where else to find love.

I also suffer with depression and anxiety (stemming from a lot of things such as body image issues and bullying) and so I work a dead-end job in retail, fifteen hours a week, four days a week, and end up hating myself because I’m not following my dream of journalism. I enjoy raising awareness of mental health issues and mental health is a huge part of my life because it’s affected me so much, I just haven’t found a platform for myself yet. I tried YouTube but my self-confidence doesn’t always get on well with YouTube, especially when I don’t get the view count I want. As such I sort of stick to just this blog.

The anxiety and depression also leads me to practically never leaving the house. I go to work and the gym once a week (sometimes) but apart from that I basically never go outside. I have practically zero friends (I have colleagues and acquaintances, but nobody I know socially on a regular basis).

It’s Not What You Know

Donald Trump set up his “empire” starting with just a “small loan of one million dollars” from his father. If this isn’t just the pinnacle of nepotism then I don’t know what is. Firstly, if you think one million dollars is a small loan then you’re jaded and misguided and you have no right to talk about money as if you’re self-made. Secondly, if your family can afford to lend you one million dollars then you’re not exactly going to struggle in life as it is.

It’s this idea of nepotism that, on occasions, really has me exceptionally depressed.

The problem I have with nepotism is that it affords luxuries and experiences that other people can only dream of. If my father were CEO of a company then I’d be able to learn on the job when he ultimately appointed me a position within said company. It’s not a privilege that people like me get, we don’t get that sort of experience.

My first example, because she’s been all over my newsfeed recently, is Stephanie McMahon. Her grandfather passed the business down to her father and now ultimately it’s being passed down to her. I’m not saying she hasn’t worked for her position because I know some of her history, where she started off working in the lower ranks and stuff modelling t-shirts as a child and working the lower rungs of the ladder. But this is still an experience most people wouldn’t get. Some days I simply dream of being backstage at a WWE event, let alone working at one with the intention of working my way up. She was also afforded WWE training (as all children of WWE superstars are), which is an experience I would have loved but my parents were never into it.

Now I’m not blaming her for where she is today. She wouldn’t have got where she is by just sitting back and letting daddy do all the work for her. But while people are desperately trying to build ladders made of twigs to higher platforms, her father have her a solid steel ladder and all she had to do was not fall off.

The Yogscast. I’ve mentioned these a couple of times before in previous articles but this is ultimately what nepotism is. The YOGS in Yogscast stands for Ye Old Goon Squad which was the name of a party in WOW (don’t ask the specifics, I’m not a WOW guy). You can often hear of them talking about how they used to do things together in WOW and so it’s no wonder they got the jobs as content creators. Lewis and Simon would have had the initial success but everybody else was allowed the opportunity that others don’t have. People don’t go into YouTube with a pre-set audience but being friends with Lewis and Simon allowed some of these people to begin a channel with a successful channel already willing to promote them and back their audience. It’s not the same as starting out with zero viewers and absolutely no successful channel endorsements.

Let’s stick with the topic of YouTubers and take a look at Shane Dawson. Now Shane Dawson is another self-made YouTuber in that he was there at the beginning and took advantage of the timing and opportunity given to him. But, can we say the same for the other people who have garnered a large following off of his back? But who are these people? Shanna Malcolm, Drew Monson, Ryland Adams, Bobby Burns and a number of other people. Now I’m not saying, once again, that these people don’t work for what they’ve got, but Shane Dawson featuring them in videos and promoting them gives them that ladder they need to get to the next level. They don’t need to do the difficult task of gaining viewers, simply keeping them and as long as they’re friends with Shane then that won’t be difficult. It is the equivalent of being allowed a billboard in Times Square just because of who you’re friends with. Not saying you didn’t work hard in making that billboard, but people wouldn’t see it if it wasn’t for your friend.

And finally, where would ASMR be without collaboration videos. The good ol’ “look at who I can get to feature in my videos” video. Most of the time this doesn’t improve sound quality, some people can do better on their own, but it’s shameless self-promotion using others to gain their audience. It’s not a bad thing, it’s how promoting your channel works, but it’s just that being friends with these people allows you the opportunity to create that channel with an already existing fanbase.

What I’m saying is that if I were friends with Shane Dawson, Simon and/or Lewis of the Yogscast or any ASMRtist with a significant audience then it wouldn’t be starting from square one for me. It would be like starting on square four or five from which it’s almost impossible to not garner the audience.

Oh and let’s not mention the added bonuses of better cameras, better microphones, better video editing software and editing techniques from professionals. All of these are things that square one starters don’t have. We have basic editing packages that we barely know how to use and basic cameras that we are learning with but we don’t get the view count for trying, we just get criticised that our cameras aren’t good enough or our video editing isn’t good enough.

I think this is one of the reasons I get uptight with YouTube a lot more than anything else, it’s that people complain and don’t realise the opportunities that they have been given, and it annoys me even more when these opportunities have been given through nepotism more than talent or interest.

This is also why I get uptight when people criticise me for asking for help. I’m asking for help to improve my situation, not just because I’m attention seeking (which some people have accused me of).

(As always, no offence is meant to anybody, I’m simply stating what I see from an outsiders point of view).

Lonely This Christmas

“Christmas has the ability to surround you with people, and still make you feel super alone.”

These aren’t actually my words but they’ve been ringing around in my head for the last thirteen hours, ever since Mr Meridian posted them on his Twitter.

I can’t talk much about Christmas growing up because I grew up in a house of Jehovah’s Witnesses and so we didn’t really have Christmas. We weren’t as strict as other households but we didn’t have all the decorations and the festivities and such, it was more just a time to be with family. So that was eight years of my life (between the ages of eight and sixteen) when, as a minor, I was forced to follow along with the religion of my parents choosing.

The funny thing is that I actually love Christmas. I love the excitement people get when they open presents I have bought them. I actually like shopping for presents and spending time to think what other people might like. Even if they don’t like it, I like to think I’ve put some effort into it. Some people say it’s the thought that counts but I feel it’s the effort, that you can really tell somebody has been thinking about you by the presents they get you. It’s a lot more than “here’s some socks and you should be thankful you got anything because it’s the thought that counts”.

Christmas is also a time when I get to play board games. I’ve not found anybody who can match me in a game of Monopoly (everybody usually gives up and I win by default) so we don’t get to play that, but I love all board games and so I just love the idea of turning the television off and playing them rather than sitting silently in a room staring at a box. It’s also the only time of year that my family really indulges me in this, all the other times they’re too busy or have other things to do. Only at Christmas do we sit down as a family and play them.

But, even with all this and the included festivities that my work puts on, I still feel a little bit empty around Christmas. This year has been particularly hard. I have three brothers, all older, who all have either moved or will be moving into new houses in the next month or two. Add onto this the fact that my brother’s are all in long-term relationships and two out of the three of them have children. Me? Where am I? Well, I’m in the same place I’ve always been. Single. Always and forever single.

This is a tough point most of the year but at Christmas it’s very much emphasised because you’re surrounded by people. Even when playing board games, I make the numbers uneven and the teams uneven because I’m single and so the choice is don’t play or remember that you’re single. And when it comes to going to bed, after all of the festivities and holiday stuff, I’m just going to go to my room on my own and feel inevitably single when I’m alone in my bed.

Now I’m not saying I dislike Christmas, I’m just saying I’d like somebody to spend it with. But then this isn’t just Christmas. I want somebody to spend every day with. I want somebody to talk to about things and somebody who actually wants to spend time with me, not because they’re related or we work together. I just want to feel wanted. But, as I’ve said, this isn’t only Christmas, Christmas is just a time when everything is magnified and you’re forced to take stock of where everybody is in their life in regards to relationships and family and it just emphasises the idea of being alone.

It’s even difficult after Christmas, as I found when returning to work. You get asked the question “did you have a good Christmas?” or “what did you do for Christmas?” and the fact of the matter is that for me it’s just another day of the year. It’s another day when I feel alone and want somebody but you can’t say that because you’re not allowed to be miserable at Christmas, you have to say “yeah, it was good”. It’s also a day where nothing else changes. I can’t say “Well, on Christmas day we went to visit my partner’s parents and then on boxing day we visited my parents” etc. It’s just “I woke up, opened some presents, played some games, went back to sleep”.

Oh and don’t even get me started on how vivid and romance based my dreams have been recently that make you wake up, realise it was a dream and feel bad about how you now have to go back to real life which isn’t anywhere near as nice.

There’s a few more factors to Christmas that I have a hard time with (people not putting  a lot of thought into presents and/or not wanting to do anything but watch television) but I won’t go into those because they make me sound ungrateful, plus the biggest hardship I  have is being alone.

But, as I found this year when I discovered Sarah Millican’s #JoinIn on Twitter. I’m alone but I feel my loneliness is superficial when compared to other people’s and so I feel bad for complaining about it when other people have it worse than I do.

Also Christmas finishing brings up some new problems for singletons like myself, mainly New Year. New Year’s Eve is a time when, at midnight, everybody celebrates the New Year and kisses are shared. Even for me and my group of friends who never really put much stock into the whole New Year tradition stuff, even at midnight we would stop what we were doing and they would all share kisses with their partners to celebrate the New Year. It’s little things like that, like being the only person with nobody, that make you wonder about the point of everything.

It Gets Better?

“Stay strong, Keaton. Don’t let them make you turn cold. I promise it gets better. While those punks at your school are deciding what kind of people they want to be in this world, how would you and your mom like to come to the Avengers premiere in LA next year?”

So these words were tweeted by Captain America himself, Chris Evans. A great gesture from a character whose sole purpose in creation was to help boost morale with the suggestion that anything is possible. Captain America itself is about a bullied and unfairly treated youth who gets genetically experimented on with the results being that he comes out buff, chiselled and awesome. The origin story itself is the embodiment of the phrase “It Gets Better”.

I get that we have to be supportive and understanding. These are kids we are dealing with, the people that are told they are “too young to be depressed” because they haven’t reached that stagnant point in their life yet. As a child or teenager your everyday should be filled with possibilities and the future should be unknown to anyone and everyone. You haven’t reached your full potential, you’re still growing and you’re still coming to terms with everything. Both biologically and socially you still haven’t reached a stable point in your life and so there is forever the idea that it gets better. Don’t get me wrong, I completely agree with telling this mantra to children because in a sense it’s true.

There is something bleak about life after your teenage years. This is because your transitional period stops. You are expected to get a job, to find a partner, to settle down, to have a family or to focus on your career. The whole idea of being an adult and living is rooted in the idea of stability, you need a stable job and life in order to earn the money to live. The first question people ask you when they meet you is “so, what do you do?” because everybody is supposed to be at least partially on their way to this long-term ambition.

The part I take exception with in the mantra “It Gets Better” is that it doesn’t address those of us for whom it didn’t get better. It doesn’t account for those us in a dead-end job with no future or career prospects who struggle to leave the house when they relive bullying from years ago in their minds every single day. It doesn’t understand that as a child you are encouraged to be your best and reach your pinnacle but as you grow up you’re expected to settle more and more with each passing year.

My job wasn’t supposed to be long-term. It was supposed to get me away from the job centre whilst also giving me time to focus on writing. As it happens I am coming up for three years at the job with a future that doesn’t seem to change. Why? It can get better, get another job. As a teenager I would have no problems with leaving the job in hopes of a better one, as an adult I know the realism. I know that I’ve spent three years unemployed before this job and who knows how long I’ll spend after it. I know I’m pushing thirty and still living with my parents with absolutely no financial future of moving out. In this instance it doesn’t get better. It either stays the same or it gets worse.

I also know I’m crippled mentally from school. The bullying I experienced didn’t go the way that they tell you in the story. Bullies are alone in dead-end jobs with dull and miserable lives while you skyrocket and become yourself to the fullest potential, surrounded by the best people life can give you. That’s not how it worked. That’s not how it works for ninety-nine percent of the people who experience bullying either. Instead I can’t form a relationship because I’m so paranoid about the way the other person perceives and treats me that it leaves me barely able to leave the house while one of my bullies just has to take his shirt off to make friends.

So what is in store for people like myself? For those that are old enough to understand how life works and know that life doesn’t always get better? Those of us that are realistic enough to know that the good-guy doesn’t always win and the bad-guy doesn’t always lose. Those of us for whom bullying has forced us into a corner and we’re being held there by societies expectations and the threat of joblessness, homelessness, bankruptcy, or a future forever alone. What pearl of wisdom do we get that encourages us to put down the knife or the bottle of pills and actually continue on with life?

In Regards To Keaton Jones

If for one moment you believe I advocate the bullying or belittling of Keaton Jones, or anybody else in the world, then you have failed to receive the message portrayed through most of these posts. With that in mind please keep in consideration that I am firmly on the side of Keaton Jones and do not wish to diminish his bullying because bullying is what it is, it’s poisonous and horrific.

Read the article here.

Now I want to address the fact that this has escalated to physical levels. Nobody gets milk poured over them and school just “doesn’t notice”. I haven’t found any evidence to suggest that the school has acted on this incident but likewise I haven’t found anything to suggest they haven’t and so I can’t judge them on that. What I can say is that Keaton Jones still seems terrified to go back to school. He still doesn’t understand how or why people do what they do and it’s that suggestion that leads me to the belief that the school hasn’t been hard enough. You want ways to run your school, check out my post “If I Ran The School” and you’ll find guidelines for dealing with bullying in there.

So I can’t really say anything more about the actual bullying that hasn’t already been said all over social media. I will, before I proceed any further, commend everybody on their support and outpouring of emotion in a time where this kid probably feels so alone. It’s not often I see so many people agreeing unanimously that something is abhorrent and shouldn’t be tolerated. It should be known that people do stand with Keaton Jones.

But – yes, you knew there would probably be a but – this isn’t a special occasion. This isn’t a rare one-off occurrence and it’s certainly not a new development in the school/education system. Bullying has been around for as long as you can imagine. Sometimes it’s not always as severe as in this case, but any incident where somebody feels unsafe to go somewhere should be treated seriously. Thousands of people are bullied everyday and it’s okay to say it’s not acceptable but to let it get to extreme numbers is just negligence in the system. I know from experience that my school did not take bullying seriously, it just viewed it as a right of passage for kids to go through. Unacceptable.

We shouldn’t look at Keaton Jones’ situation and say “this kid needs help”, we should look at it and say “things need to change”. Not just for Keaton but for everybody else who has ever felt that way. Not everybody has the courage or support system to talk about it so candidly and not every parent would share it on social media. It took me until I was in my mid-twenties to finally talk openly and candidly about the bullying I experienced. Whilst we know I commend the support that this kid has received, let’s not let it just be for those with a voice, let’s give the voiceless the help they need as well.


I almost didn’t write this bit last bit because it felt odd to say it but the more I thought about it the more I realised how much it was eating away at me on the inside. I’ve always said that I’ll write about things that make me suicidal and affect my mental health, and this is one of them. Not only in the ways listed above, but also in a lot more of a personal way.

As a nearly-thirty-year-old man I mostly get the response of “you should have gotten over it by now” or “don’t let it ruin your life” whenever I talk about my bullying. I have a post on here and a video on YouTube titled “A Message To My Bullies” which was one of the most raw things I have ever written. That video has received 2 views and I fear at least one of those was me re-listening to it. Sometimes I feel like I’m shouting into a void and my words just disappear once they leave my mouth. Sometimes I wonder if what I’ve written is open and available to other people. You know that feeling where you don’t know if a text has been sent or not? And when you realise it has been sent and nobody replied then you have to face the fact that nobody cares.

Do you know how hard it is to spend your entire life feeling worthless and awful only to find that once you share your stories nobody actually cares? That’s sort of what I’m feeling right now. But maybe I should expect it, a cute crying child will always be more marketable and pleasing to the masses than a mentally unhealthy/unstable twenty-eight-year-old.


This one is actually quite difficult for me to talk about and should definitely come with a warning that it is in regards to some serious mental health issues and any thoughts of this nature should be discussed with a professional.

So I’ve never really talked about self-harm before. That’s because I didn’t do it until I was about 25. I was never a teenager who cut themselves with razor blades and has the scars to prove it. My way of coping, because self-harming is some people’s way of coping with things, was to get lost in fictional worlds of computer games and books. It wasn’t until I was put into a situation where my stress and anxiety levels were through the roof and I had no escape that I did it for the first time.

My first time was at work. Having been unemployed for three years I was having a difficult time adjusting to working and not having as much free time as before. This was compounded by the feeling of insignificance that I felt doing the job and the fact that the overtime felt pressured rather than offered. So, being at work and having to work with customers all of the time, you don’t have half an hour to disappear somewhere for a sleep, video game session or to get lost in a book. You’re stuck. So I started scratching. We’re not talking just a little scratch here and there, I would scratch until my arms bled and there would be friction burns up most of my forearm.

The reasons for this are many-fold and I don’t think self-harming can be specifically boiled down to one particular reason, I think it’s a culmination of a lot of things.

Firstly I felt insignificant and so I sort of felt like I deserved the pain that came with it. I felt like the lowest of the low, with no friends, no future job progression and basically like my life had come to a standstill. For a twenty-something year old I felt like I was a failure because I wasn’t successful (you can see this in other posts about YouTube and Celebrities that I have written).

The second reason was that I was doing it for attention. Not in a “look at me” kind of way, just in a way where I wished somebody would notice and stop me, or take me to one side and talk to me about it. Nobody ever did though. But that was what ran through my head sometimes, that I wished people would pay more attention to me and notice how much pain I’m in.

Another reason was that I felt helpless. With overtime feeling forced it no longer felt like my time was my own. I was permanently paranoid that I’d be called into work and it nagged at my mind. Even when I was at work, the idea that they would approach me and ask me to work overtime felt like they were taking away my free time. My way to respond to this, to have control over something, was to scratch my arm until it bled. It was a strange feeling because it was something I could control, nobody else could make me start or stop, that choice was down to me. It reclaimed a little bit of the freedom that I felt like I had lost.

I must tell you to prepare because this is where my mind gets a little bit warped.

When I was unemployed I would look for ways to be more selective in the kind of jobs I could take. I still wanted a job, I just didn’t want them to be able to send me to work nine-to-five at a dump for zero pay (which is something they actually threatened). And so, along the lines of self-harm, I did consider something more serious than just scratching; I actively considered physically hurting myself until my life became confined to a wheelchair.

Now, this is where it gets warped because I know being in a wheelchair isn’t something to aspire to, but in my head it was. It got me sympathy and the attention that I craved but it also meant my options for work were limited. I could still do stuff I wanted to do, like writing and journalism and stuff, but it meant my range was restricted down a bit more. It was, in a sense, a control issue. If I put myself into a wheelchair then it meant I could control where and when I got a job, and I could make sure I took a job I was happy with, I had legitimate reasons to turn down certain jobs.

It also comes with a little bit of self-pity. If we circle back to my romantic life for just a moment, the idea of being in a wheelchair gave me a reason (in my head, remember) for why I would be eternally single. It would be my excuse for why nobody found me attractive, I had something I could blame rather than the current confusion of not understanding what people don’t like about me.

To show you how fucked up my mind is sometimes, I also considered self-blinding. Yes, a small part of me hoped that like Daredevil I would be great at martial arts with massively enhanced senses, but that’s sort of the child in me still wanting to believe in everything being possible. But no, it gave me a talking point. I’ve spoken before how, outside of being “The Intelligent One”, I don’t know where I fit in, but this gave me a place to fit in. I didn’t have to fit into that box because the blindness would give me that box.

Also, both of these things would give me the ability to provide my mind with the excuses for why I wasn’t rich and successful. It wouldn’t nag on me any longer because it would understand that opportunities are restricted and the chances for blind and/or wheelchair bound people are lesser than an able-bodied person.

I don’t mean to make light of any disabilities, that never was or is my intention, but in my messed up head sometimes I don’t always clearly see the negatives. This is the truth about what went through my head on the occasions I considered it and shockingly enough the negatives were never something I thought about until my mind was in a more sane and healthy place.