Posted in Comics n Stuff, Mental Health Struggles, Miscellaneous

Finding My 5, when I need them the most

Feeling it at the moment internet people. It’s a busy time of year. I work in payroll (not the greatest job ever, but it has its moments) and like many jobs, it has a ‘time of year’. Y’know like Christmas for shops, February for florists and January for other accountants here and for me, it’s April and I’ll be honest, it’s been one of worst Aprils in years hence my shocking tardiness with Trivial Calender posts. I have been trying to work out why it’s been so bad. Is it the legislation changes? The workplace pension stuff that’s encroaching upon my job, or the fifty of so shitty clients I have recently inherited from a colleague? It could be any of those things as well as the one other thing that I knew. This is the first year I can actually feel it. I spent the first 35 years of my life repressing a lot of my feelings, leaving me unable to fully experience and express how I feel. Then came my breakdown, then I spent 4.5 years on medication that at best locked my worst feelings away, or at worst stopped me feeling anything. Over the last year I have started waking up more and on the positive side that’s happier times with SuperSam, Wilma the WFT dog and the MIGHTY Rosie, on the less positive side, well it was a rough April and it’s bleeding into May. Now as I am in May, I realise the main difference is not how I feel about work, it’s what I do afterward. I am more vocal about how I feel and more away that no matter how bad work is, it’s one part of my day and it’s a part that I can handle. I am OK, work not being good isn’t some great personal failing. I know this because it’s what I teach my son.

“When is the only time we fail?” I ask him.

“When we give up.” he answers, I have taught him never to give up and in return, that wonderful little boy is teaching me that. So yes, work is making me it’s bitch in the early rounds, but I am not out and will not give in, or give up.

Well, that got a little deep, didn’t it?

Soon fix that.

Since work has been less than stellar, the need to distract myself has been a bit greater, so have been reading and watching more stuff that has been good, so in the interest of being positive, am finding my 5

5 Things I have enjoyed in April.

Saga:


A mate of mine was laid up before Christmas with his leg and to keep him entertained, lent him a whole bunch of trades. A month or so ago, he gave them back and so I recently re-read the first 7 trades of Saga. Saga is the work of writer Brian K Vaughn and penciller Fiona Staples in an epic sci-fi tale about the life of a little girl, born in war to two parents, each from an opposing side in the conflict that seems to span known space. It is full of amazing characters, epic visuals, and twists, and turns, many hope that their beloved stories hit the screen, me I don’t know how they could get this right. Although I would love to see lying cat on TV or film.

Cougar Town:

I have started a new writing project. (More on that story later) It required me to watch an episode of this less regarded sitcom and once I watch that episode, me and the MIGHTY Rosie started watching it again have been enjoying it more than ever. I may write more about it, but like I said, more on that story later.

Jessica Jones Season 2:

Some Spoilers

After Daredevil hit Netflix for the first time, Marvel had an unexpected hit on their hands, well written, well acted and with a tone that differed so much from the Cinematic Universe as for both to completely ignore one another. Their second attempt was a more recent creation and a bit of a risk, but with an excellent cast and a solid story well told season 1 was a success. Once Defenders was done, the second wave started and with that came season 2 of Jessica Jones.

I will be honest with its themes of post-traumatic stress, unethical medicine, addiction and it’s uncompromising use of violence, it’s a hard sit. But over a couple of weekends, I watched the difficult second story and it worked really well. Rather than pad out Jessica story to fit the 13 episodes, it went into more detail with Jeri Hogarth’s medical issues, Malcolm’s search for belonging and Patsy Walker’s descent from likable supporting character to an almost completely unrecognisable person. The idea of the series seems to be a family is whatever you make it, wherever you find it, but not much can fuck you up like family. They were even able to pull off the returning villain Killgrave (David Tennant clearly having fun once again) and the flashback episode without cliche being poured all over it. The cast did really well and the story ends up with everyone’s life very different, but room to either flesh it all out for another series or call it a day without leaving too much undone, the best way to end it that I can think of.

Action Comics 1000:

Superman hits 4 figures, weird to think it, but there it is. Action Comics 1 was on the stands 80 years ago. That is mental when you think about it. The superhero has been with us 80 years. This overpriced comic (I’m sorry, it was overpriced, but I wasn’t going to miss it.) wasn’t part of some great story, or the start of a brand new era it was simply a love letter to the comic that started it all. We had stories from the current rebirth era, the crisis to crisis era, some Golden Age stuff, some Silver Age stuff and other bits and pieces besides and felt like a goodbye to the Superman we have at the moment, the ones he’s been before and a sneak preview of the new start being written by Brian Michael Bendis. I re-read it a couple of times and really did enjoy it. It made me want to give Bendis a try on this series, even though I have been burned before. But, not going to stop being an addict today am I?

Avengers: Infinity War

The 19th Marvel Movie in 10 years and the 18th that I watched in the cinema. With our boy at his grandmother’s the MIGHTY Rosie and I had a Sunday morning to ourselves and we decided to go to the pictures. I am not going to put any spoilers, but I can tell you one thing, it’s very good.

The entire main cast of the MCU is there with the exception of Ant-Man and Hawkeye and no one feels extraneous, everyone gets a little moment here, some get several. The performances are solid and Josh Brolin gives Thanos a degree of depth and pathos that really fleshed out the character and his motives make sense, he truly is the hero of this story from his point of view.

I could go on and on, but to be honest, I would like people to see it for themselves. It’s an old-school crossover event, a story told in several places that link up, heroes working together and the stakes as high as they can be. I watched a huge comics event on screen, on a couch, next to the love of my life, who enjoyed it too. Dreams can come true people, even the smaller ones.

 

The point of this post internet people (if there is one, to be honest, I just wanted to have something written down, I feel I haven’t written in too long) is that I am not having a great time of it in general, but that is in no way an excuse to wallow. Work is a pain in the arse, but there’s good stuff to watch and read and god people in my life to share this stuff with. Yesterday was horrible until 5, but ate tea with my family and ended up on the couch with the MIGHTY Rosie at the end of the day. Today can be as bad as it likes, if that’s how I end it.

I’ve been gone too long, but I am back.

Take care of yourselves internet people, then you can take care of eachother.

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Posted in Mental Health Struggles, The MIGHTY Rosie

Anxiety

I’ve been anxious today.

Well that could be any day of the week really can’t it? I’ve taken it easy on the mental health stuff recently, focusing more on the calendar and other geeky stuff. Partly because it’s not something I want to constantly talk or think about, partly because it’s better to concentrate on more positive things isn’t it? But it’s not really something that has gone.

I will never say I am no longer depressed, I have good days and bad days and for the last 6 months, there’s more more of the good, so that’s a positive. But my anxiety is still very much there. I over think, worry about nearly everything and when I have nothing to be anxious about, I am convinced that I am missing something. How fucked up is that? My subconscious mind looks for things to be stressed about. I worry about getting older, about work, about the welfare of my loved ones and my relatives and all the while, my brain kicks me for being so anxious, as if it’s a personal failing or something. When work is busier than usual (with the financial year ending this week) it’s worse, so I am as  the say goes ‘feeling it’ at the moment.

Yeah, I know, heavier than usual right?

So how do you battle this fresh hell? Well first I have to remember that it’s not fresh. This is no different from any other time when anxiety grabs at me. I am no stranger to this shit. So whenever I have been this way before, I have got through it. Experience, mistakes and disaster are often the best teachers, so I can use techniques that have worked before to ground me, or refocus my thinking. Another way is expression, hence this post. Speaking to someone about being anxious and knowing other people suffer anxiety conditions is a great way to remember that what you’re feeling is not an uncommon experience. Another technique, which is how I got through March is the ‘brass ring’ approach. Find something to look forward to and put your focus there. I had a fantastic weekend away not too long ago. (I think I will post about that sometime soon) and having that at the end of the tunnel really helped when things weren’t so good. So maybe I should be planning the next thing to do.

But in all fairness, the best way to battle the multitude of demons has been Super Sam and the MIGHTY Rosie, whose introduction to my life remain the best things that have ever (or will ever) happen to me. Last night me and the MIGHTY Rosie were laughing our arses off at a TV show that she had never seen before (more on that story another time) and just prior to writing this, I was using a stress ball my son made out of beads that absorb water. Stress ball wasn’t his intended use for it I am sure, but his wonder and excitement persist in my memory whenever I hold it.

Whenever you feel low remember this, you have survived. Whatever has tried to break you, kill you or ruin you, it hasn’t. You are still here, mightier than whatever befalls you. I am going to keep going, because I have too much to do, too much to look forward to and too much to live for.

I feel better after writing that.

Posted in Mental Health Struggles

There’s a place beyond this…

I am not good at being a person. A life spent repressing, avoiding and  the like and I end up in my 40’s being a few life skills shy of an actual person. I have spent many years trying to work that out and the last one trying to own it and this year is where I start trying to fix that. One of the ways I have done that is by ending my therapy.

I know what you are thinking (and you’re probably right) that how was that a good idea? Here’s how.

Nearly 5 years ago I had a breakdown, I was diagnosed with depression and a general anxiety disorder. I spent a long time being misprescribed medicine and not really doing much to help myself (either through not knowing how, or not being able to in other ways) and about 2 years ago I met with the NHS’s mental health crisis team who put me on the road to getting the help I needed and not just the limited shit that they give you when you go though a GP. Seriously though, the state of mental health care in this country can shock you. I got on better tablets (which I have since come off) found a therapist whom I trusted and worked with me to put a lot of the shit that I carried with me to one side and then to leave behind. The truth is that I had been suffering depression for a lot longer than 5 years ago and my coping mechanisms were woefully inadequate for the task and so my breakdown was kind of inevitable. It has been a long and winding road, but with the help of the MIGHTY Rosie, my therapist Paula and several excellent members of NHS staff, I am in a place where I am moving forward in my life. I’ll get to that in a bit, but along the way, I have learned some shit that might come in handy if you are going through something, or wouldn’t mind learning the perspective of someone who has.

Depression is a liar.

It is a real thing, it has real and damaging effects and can follow you through your life. I still battle it myself and have low days, much like today, so I am in no way discounting how people feel while battling this illness and that is what it is. What I mean to say is, that depression tells us lies, in particular it tells 3 big lies.

Lie #1:

You are worthless. Your mind plays tricks on you and tells you that you are value-less are worthless or deserve the shitty hand that you’ve been dealt. I see it with people I know and see wonderful people feeling that are less than worthwhile. It hurts seeing that, because I know that I have felt that. The MIGHTY Rosie has little time for fools and wastes of space, but has stuck with me for 5 of the worst years of my life. So maybe I have more value that I give myself credit for. We’ll get back to the worst years of my life comment later. But often, that lie, that internal betrayal, makes you feel you are not worth helping, not worth saving and that is blatantly not true.

Lie#2: 

You are alone: This is one of the biggest lies and it is as always the hardest one to get past. Mental illnesses are by their nature internal and invisible things. No one can see how you feel, nor be aware how much help you may or may not need. You end up walking the battlefield with invisible scars and unidentified wounds and you feel like you are the only one. Again, not true. Millions of people face their demons like this, some face worse, but that’s a context thing. Your pain is just that, your’s and no one can tell you it isn’t. This is a singular battle, but no one we always face alone. It could be a friend who you can talk about nothing with, someone who has been in these bad places. There are professionals out there who specialise in this and there are friends and family. They don’t have to get it to help, they don’t have to be a veteran of that internal war to help you wage it. The hardest thing to do when you are in need is to ask for help, because that links to lie #1 as well. We feel alone and that we don’t deserve help. But we do need it and that asking for it, well that’s the first step along the path.

Lie#3:

You are always going to feel this way: This is the lie we think of the least, but at times feel the most. I heard it described recently as being underwater, the pressure pushing against you and weighing you down. Depression is initially like being in a steel drum and dropped in the sea. There is only darkness and you see no way out. But realising you are worth saving, that you are not alone, that makes a difference. For me now, it’s like being in a submarine. You are still underwater, you are still feeling that pressure, but now there’s a periscope, you can see the sky, see the lands in the distance and that horizon to move towards. Sometimes you need help to use that periscope, to look for that horizon, but that doesn’t stop the horizon being there and in the distance, you can surface and find that new place.

Beyond: 

It’s that new place that we are searching for. When I was at a low point, I was asked what being ‘well’ looked like. I couldn’t imagine that. I have many times stated the goal of a better version of me. I have no idea what that looks like either. But what do I know? That I have seen the lies that depression has told me as what they are lies. I have seen better and worse versions of myself and the impact the good and the bad have on those who love you. I am in NO WAY ‘well’ as I would have once understood it, but I am better than I was. Maybe that is the real goal, not some great far off El Dorado of mental well being, but an ever moving horizon of better mental health. So, using the periscope I have set off for that horizon, that far off land, fully aware that I may never get to the promised land, but I am forever heading towards that better place. The place beyond this.

Worst 5 Years:

Told you I’d get back to that comment. Life is not TV, it doesn’t come in series or arcs and things don’t tie up quite as neatly as that. The worst 5 years have also been some of my best as well, these things are not mutually exclusive. Yes, these were the years I suffered the worst my mind had to offer, but it was also the time were I fought harder against it all. Yes, this was the time that strained my family, but it is also the time that I learned who really cared and how much. I have seen my illusions shattered and my life re-examined, but I have watch my son grow and the MIGHTY Rosie battle her demons too. (Obviously that’s as specific as I’ll get there). This was the time, I lost my joy, buy found my love of the gym, a desire to lose weight and feel more positive. I lost my nostalgic view of myself and gained podcasts, through that I got into social media, then writing and then also here. To you all. To whomever reads this, you have been a part of this recovery. Your words, your likes, your views have given me a connection to the world that I didn’t have before, I write now, because it’s a part of the person I am and being more healthy, more active and more positive has made that a person that I like being. (Though I clearly still need a lot of work.) I have faced fears beyond what I thought I could and I am still doing that now (a future post perhaps?) and the best part of it all? We all can do that. We all have the capacity to fight these battles, to win against the forces that beset us. I am in a more positive place that I have been in a long time and I still have bad days, but they are just days. They are not us, what is us, is what we do about it.

So do I have a point here? We were all wondering, weren’t we? There are three lies at the start, so lets have 3 truths to balance that out.

1: You matter.

Your perspective, your pain, your life itself all has value, beyond that which you expect. Your story belongs here as  much as mine and anyone else’s and I suggest you share it.

 

2: You are not alone.

The Spartans of ancient Greece did a lot of things wrong, (seriously, not pleasant people when you look at them) but consider the phalanx, their basic battle strategy, which was that your shield isn’t there to protect all of you, you share that with the guy next to you, who shares half with the guy next to him. We don’t have to suffer this alone, we never did.

3: There is always a place beyond this..

You will fall, you will always fall and that is just the way life is. When you suffer, you feel fragile, like glass or porcelain, so any fall can break you. I have felt that way, for a long time. But what if you are not a porcelain doll, but a ball? You are going to fall, but you can also bounce. You can do whatever it takes to get past the place you are in. Those who care for you, will understand, those who don’t understand? They can take what the MIGHTY Rosie and I call the vegetarian option and F**k off! The only thing you can’t do, is give up.

When my little boy struggles, he often says he’s failed, I won’t stand for that, so I tell him “The ONLY time we fail is when we give up. Anything else is a setback.”

So don’t give up, you’re too important. There are 7.5 billion people on this planet. But only one YOU.

Keep going, who knows where you will be down the road?

 

Posted in Mental Health Struggles, Miscellaneous, The MIGHTY Rosie

For Me, 2017 was Actually Pretty Good

2017 Was not the smoothest of years. There’s been upset, sadness, more than a few tears and the odd unpleasant truth here and there. But I don’t want to say that 2017 was a bad year, it wasn’t, at least personally. There are many reasons why:-

Getting my shit together

When I started this year, I weighed 18.5 st (259lbs in old money), was on anti-depressants and was completely devoid of anything resembling motivation. Of those three statuses, none are currently true.

18.5 st

At the suggestion of the MIGHTY Rosie, I joined Slimming World and started going to group on a Saturday morning. (For much of the year I blogged this journey under the banner of Slimming World Saturday) some days I found soul crushingly boring, but more often than not, I found it inspirational and it helped changed the way I looked at food. I am not more than 3st lighter than that now and in this new year am once again committed to it.

Anti-Depressants

In early 2013 I suffered a depression related breakdown. It’s hard to write that down sometimes. The events that followed that day revealed that I had suffered depression much of my life and changed the way I looked at both my past and my present. I am not going to tell you that it’s been easy internet people, nor that I’ve dealt with it in the best way. Through the support of work, some friends and relatives and mostly the love and care of the Awesome Sammy and the MIGHTY Rosie, I have been on the road to better mental health. But I have needed help from others getting there too. One was a therapist and the other was the pharmacological arm of the NHS. From January 2016 I have been on Sertraline to treat my depression. Once I needed it, afterwards, it helped still, but somewhere along the way it stopped either being helpful, or being necessary and I was not really experiencing the full range of human experience and emotion, so after seeking medical advice on the safest way to do it (telling the Drs what I wanted, not asking them what to do) I reduced and them came off my tablets. Finally free of them, I realise that they were not really doing too much this last year and as of early October, I am medicine free. I am more engaged with the world, more emotional and I hope to think a better version of myself than I had been for the 3 previous years. I also decided to take a break from therapy for the Christmas period. Been not having sessions for 4 or 5 weeks now and to be honest, I don’t think I will be going back. Like the tablets, I needed it, then it helped me, but I don’t think over analysing my moods and my past is going to help me do the things I really want to do, I want to move forward, be a better me and that is not what I was getting from therapy towards the end.

A lack of Motivation

I am almost pathologically lazy. I am like a rug on valium. I have reasons, explanations, but not really excuses, so that I have had to change that. The tablets and the weight loss things are signs that I do possess a small amount of drive and my writing does hint at it too, I have posted daily since December 1st and with the exception Sunday, feel no reason to stop. So it exists within me to better my particular lot in life and so have started to do that. As part of my overall wellness kick of 2017 I followed my excellent trainer Ali to a new company https://instagram.com/absolutebodysolutions and enjoy weekly sessions to increase fitness, strength and reduce stress ( a better option than a tablet I think we can all agree) and they have started a sort of life coaching/planning company called ABS Life and it’s done what therapy hasn’t, it’s helped me with tools to be a person. I am planning for the future and am setting goals and challenges and things are looking brighter. I am still lazy, but I have motivation and for the first time in years am investing in what I want.

Adventures

It’s been a bit of year here at the munky house, log cabin days away, walks in the woods and more than a few zoo trips and we have got away here and there several times. It’s been quite a year. For years, I have avoided conventions and things like that, suffering anxiety kind of puts a dampener on that experience, but this year after mix up and stupid mistakes the Munky family went to For the Love of Sci-Fi in Manchester. If you follow me on Instagram or Facebook, you can see some of the pictures of the Cosplayers who were amazing and so friendly to my 7 year old boy, including a scottish medieval Batman and the Dutch Daywalker (a Blade lookalike) as well as people from Dredd, Star Wars and Battlestar Galactica and I will be glad of all that.

But, it was badly organised, badly signposted and the reputed shitty behaviour of one William Shatner was very much confirmed when I posed for a picture I paid for. It would have been a complete waste except that we got a fantastic present for my mad sister in law and I met the Hoff. I posed for a pic with David Hasselhoff and the Knight Rider Trans-am and he was a delight, friendly and approachable and he even serenaded the MIGHTY Rosie. I couldn’t have asked for a nicer guy to have my photo taken with.

I want to do another convention, but I will be more selective, more organised and more prepared, but that’s another story.

Happiness

My goal when I started this year, in a broad term was a better version of me. I am closer to that than I once was and am moving forward every single day. So I will take much of this year as a success, a qualified success, but a success nonetheless. But happiness isn’t a goal, it may be a direction, but it’s also moments, moments like walking in the park on New Years Day, enjoying all of it and being sad not about going back to work, but not being with your loved ones for another day like this. Like making your wife laugh, for no other reason that she needs it and seeing her smile is one of life’s great joys. It’s singing along to Queen on a car ride, all three of us and enjoying each second, I had moments like that in 2017 and it’s made me greedy, I want more. And that’s what I’m going to do.

2017 is one, bring it on 2018, I will not back down.

That’s enough looking backwards, time to turn my view to the horizon and all the steps in front of me towards it.

 

 

 

Posted in Feelings on a Friday, Mental Health Struggles, The MIGHTY Rosie

Feelings on a Friday “37”: Oh Look, a Clerks reference.

Hello internet people, long time no see.

I want to tell you all how well things are going and I want to be honest, can’t do both. It’s been a bit of a ropey few weeks and the need or desire to write had been almost nonexistent.

I don’t know whether or not it’s because I didn’t having anything to say, or just got out of the habit of putting words down, but I stopped doing this. The truth is, I have struggled a bit the last few weeks. Concerns over the MIGHTY Rosie (which I am not going to mention, it not being my tale to tell) and other stuff and it has left me fraught. Added to that Christmas is coming and I have SOOO far from ready for it. Plus there is the thing with the Sci-Fi convention.

<Deep Breath> On the 2nd am off to For the Love of Sci-Fi, a fan convention in Manchester. I am going with my awesome boy and the MIGHTY Rosie on one day and the plan was for a mate of mine to go the second. So then he busted his ankle. He was on the mend and the plan was on track, then a week or so ago, told me that he wasn’t going to be mobile and wouldn’t be able to go for the second day and in my own imitable style made some decisions based on the last minute panic and ended up with a hotel room that cost far too much and a lack of any real organisation over the whole thing has left it a bit of a fiasco. This I’d why by the way the MIGHTY Rosie has done most of our trip planning in the past.

Had it downgraded from a fiasco until the question was asked, what about the dog? So let’s just say I have not been at my best recently. It’s all been sorted and we are about to go to the convention, but my confidence and self esteem have taken a bit of a kicking.

I ended up getting some advice from my personal hero, the aforementioned MIGHTY Rosie. 

No one said it would be easy

There is no written word to say that life in any way shape or form would be easy. No promise of fairness and no reason to expect a smooth ride. I found that both reassuring and motivating. I find it so difficult being just a person in the world, never got the knack of it. I am riddled with doubts and anxieties. But here’s the thing, it’s OK.

It’s going to be okay. The weekend is more of a debacle than fiasco and we are better at plan b than ever with plan a. It’s going to be an adventure and something I wouldn’t have done a year ago. Everyone is looking forward to it, the dog is being looked after and I genuinely think that weekend is going to be fun.
Expect more posts, pictures from the con and at least one embarrassing story. I have weathered many storms before this and Christmas is coming. People tend to just feel a touch happier this time of year and a bit of happy is always welcome.

I’ll be back internet people, because things are about to turn around for me, mostly because I intend to make that happen. 2017 may have been a tumultuous year, but it’s going to have a triumphant December!

Posted in Comics n Stuff, Mental Health Struggles

5 Comic characters I identify with

All of my heroes have been fictional. Religion has no value for me, institutions are often more corrupt and people in the real world will always let you down. For me the ideals and insights in fiction have offered me ideas, rather than things to believe in. Knowing that they are fiction was in reality comforting, you take your meaning as you want to. A book can’t let you down, a comic or a tv program can’t cause you to be disillusioned. I believe in the people around me and on the good days, myself, haven’t really needed anything more than that. Being able to be moved by music and identify with characters on the screen and page has been enough, beyond my loved ones that is.

As I have spent the last four or so years trying to understand the bats**t crazy elements of my personality, I have been looking at why I identify with certain characters, what that means about me and well hence this article. Now by this I mean specific characters, relating to specific personality traits/issues, so I don’t need to mention always identifying with the outsider/inhuman character. My status as a bit of a misfit is not really much of a mystery, nor in geekdom that unique a thing. But I found this thought interesting, so wanted to explore it.

Vance Astro: Finding purpose

Appearing in Marvel comics, including Guardians of the Galaxy, Vance Astro was an astronaut who sacrificed his entire life to visit another star system and further the human adventure by travelling to Alpha Centauri in a thousand year one way trip. Only to find out that 800 years before he arrived, Harkovian physics rendered his entire trip obsolete and humanity was already waiting for him. The image he had of himself and the purpose that he lived for were pointless. His entire life seemingly a waste. So he did, what any person would need to do, he started again. He found a purpose in freeing the worlds of the Sol system from the Badoon. It wasn’t quick, easy or all at once, but he began to live again. I find that aspirational, the idea of starting again and changing who you are to yourself and becoming something greater than who you were before. If it can be imagined, then it can be done, if it can be done, maybe I can do it?

Henry ‘Beast’ McCoy : Bad judgement and deflection.

Here one character meets two different thoughts. Dr Henry McCoy first appeared in X-Men 1 and was one of the original class of students of Charles Xavier. He is also the person who has made some fantastic blunders over the years. He quit the X-Men to become a professional wrestler, we were all young once, has been the victim of femme fatales so many times and in order to deal with some corporate espionage, actually mutated himself into some kind of were ape creature. Yeah, that wasn’t do to him, he did that to himself. When anti-mutant bigotry cost him a job opportunity, did he sue? No he stripped down to his undies and jumped out of the window like an azure gorilla. He then tried to be somewhat smarter for a long time and then because of an off-hand comment by his friend, decided to steal a time machine and bring his younger self and his classmates into their future/his present to PREVENT disaster. Yup that’s right, for what seemed to be laudable reasons, he tore open time and stole 5 people from the past, including himself to prove a point to one of his oldest friends. Now, who here can’t relate to making a few stupid decisions? He’s also good at deflecting, the affected intellectualism, where he’d use many long words, play up how smart he is, to keep people at arms length, or his constant light-hearted jokey replies to everyone, to make sure they don’t keep things too real. Even during his time on the Avengers and his ladies man antics are just more deflection from his problems. I also do that, preventing people from seeing who I really am.

Hank Pym: Self Esteem

I have, for as long as I can remember, suffered from low self esteem. I don’t think I would as far as calling it an inferiority complex, but I know full well that feeling of being less than. I did a long piece called In Defense of Hank Pym, here so will be brief about the specifics, but no matter how smart he was, or how hard he worked, in the original team of Avengers, he was the little guy. Think about it, the god of thunder, the human tank, the flying woman and a guy who’s power is to be small. Who’d want to be that one? There’s a reason that he was left out of the Avengers movie.

Cyclops: Repression

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Probably the first comic character I identified with, Cyclops was introverted, quiet and kept his feelings very much to himself. He was in love with a girl, but could never tell her how he felt. He was also skinny (as was I when younger) and wore glasses. As I got older and new writers took over, Cyclops was seen as more of a repressed character, who not only kept his feelings from other people, but also from himself. He closed himself off from the world and whenever he didn’t, it didn’t go well for him. A man who never really learned how to ‘people’, this is a feeling that I can understand completely and I was never brainwashed into a cult. Fortunately his being at times a shockingly bad human being and making at best questionable life choices keeps me from identifying too much.

The Thing: Depression 

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Ben Grimm is my spirit animal. In fact recently I considered him as part of my left arm cover tattoo. Like Vance Astro, my identification with him is aspirational. In mind’s eye, he is the battle with depression. Happy for a lot of his life, despite a harsh upbringing, Ben became the Thing, not through fault of his own, but as part of an accident partially caused by his best friend. None of this is his fault, but he bears the burden for it nonetheless. He still has his own voice, his own wants and needs, but is almost perpetually cut off from the world. He can’t feel things like he used to, feels at times like a monster and there is always this tinge of bitterness and melancholy. And yet, he battles for others, has the biggest of hearts and a stubborn refusal to surrender to either his own problems, or any opposing force.

5 ways to explain some of the s**t in my head, there you go, till next time internet people.