Today’s bout of anger and rage is brought to you by my recent recovery from the flu, which took just on two weeks to get over. Why should recovering from the flu make me angry, you might ask? Because I don’t really recover; I just go back to the usual yuppie flu symptoms. So I’m still coughing away and generally feeling run down. And that makes me angry. And anxious.
This morning I had a loud screaming match with myself in the car on the way to see if there was anything worth seeing at Burnham Heads. There isn’t. Nevertheless, I felt anxious yet again, and very very cranky about that. A good yelling session and a hoarse voice later, I felt somewhat calmer. Spent the day playing guitar by the river inlet, in lieu of anything more exciting to do at the place.
I’ve spent the last 2 weeks staying in a very quiet youth hostel at Hervey Bay, on the beautiful Queensland coast. It’s about 1213.8 km drive from where I live in Sydney. I got here in smallish chunks of up to 500 km per day. First stop was Newcastle, where I met some lovely ladies in the youth hostel. Then I headed for Port Macquarie, where I spent 3 days totally failing to meet up with a female friend from my old acting class. I left in a huff, and drove to Byron Bay. Stayed there for a week of torrential rain, followed by a week doing The Hoffman Process in the hope of quelling some of my anxiety. Oh, all the while still attempting to be aware of what emotions/symptoms my body is sending me ala Mickel Therapy. Then another week in Byron Bay winding down after being hit by the Hoffman truck.
And then I headed north in search of adventure, partying and women.
I was hoping that The Hoffman Process would turn me into a completely different person: someone comfortable in his own skin, who loved to party like crazy. A magnet for the ladies. In my dreams, the whole thing was destined to be a debauched affiar, with lots of great stories to tell my mates later.
Sadly, I’m still the same person I was before doing Hoffman. Goddam it! I’m still overwhelmed at parties. I ended up spending a few days on the Gold Coast in a youth hostel, which was kinda fun. There was one cute girl there who I teased and joked around with so much that she was almost asphyxiating and had to leave the room. Sadly, much of the teasing was about the fact that she had a crush on this Japanese guy who was also staying at the hostel, and wasn’t me. I also failed to hook up with a cute Russian woman who was in a state of trauma when I first met her because she’d lost her dogs. I showed her some emergency empathy just when she needed it, but wasn’t much help at locating the dogs, which she found the next day, just as I left town. I told her she would. Damn; had her number and everything.
Then I headed to Brisbane, where I hung out with some friends and some relatives on my father’s side of the family. Hanging out with my father’s relatives always gives me fresh insights into why I’m so neurotic. It’s not much fun though.
After that I went to Noosa to visit my aunty. Her daughter has anorexia and we had a great discussion on why anxiety runs in our family. At least I hope it was helpful to her. I feel for her since the screwed up behaviour/genes in the family appear to have trickled in her direction and that’s really not her fault. I blame grandpa personally, but this isn’t a family history lesson.
Ok, after that things really heated up as I headed to Rockhampton, where it rained for a whole week. In the dry season. The hostel manager just laughed about it, while the overseas backpackers who had come half way around the world to see the place all fumed, and then got together and we all went bowling. Fuck all else to do in Rocky, to be honest if you’re a backpacker; although I did go to my first rodeo where I managed to push in on the food queue and then pretend that I hadn’t, much to the chagrin of one of the local ladies. My goddam conscience means I still feel bad when I’m breaking rules. Will I ever outgrow that?
A guy named Olly who I met at Rockhampton had primed me to go to Airlie Beach: the backpacker party capital of the world. He described it like some sort of shag fest, which I’m sure it is if you’re comfortable in loud, alcohol-fueled environments. Which I’m not. I spent 4 sleepless nights in Beaches hostel, where the bar plays live and loud music every night until midnight, right outside my dorm room balcony. Thanks Olly, you bastard. It was a mixed dorm with guys coming in and going out at all hours, girls coming in and going out, guys with girls coming in, and going out. All except for me, it seemed. I did befriend a few people, and went on a day trip to Whitehaven beach which is just amazingly beautiful. As happens in backpacker land, all my new befriends left after a while although one of them was kind enough to give me a copy of The Hunger Games which I was interested in reading. Another girl asked for a lift north, where I was planning to go next. It’s never the cute ones though, is it? I gave up trying to meet people in the loud nightclubs, and decided to try during the day instead. Then anxiety got the better of me, even though a few women I approached around the lagoon were happy to talk to me. It’s always the ones that don’t want to talk to me that trigger my inner critic to put that old dagger into my self-esteem, and I just feel like a stalker walking up to a stranger and saying high anyway. Fucking goddam negative beliefs. The Japanese girl really liked me, and the two French girls were really friendly. But still, four days of this and my head was about to melt down with anxiety so I decided to hotfoot it back to Sydney to the comfort of friends who love me. If I still have any left…
On the way down the Bruce highway, I decided to break the boredom and drive through one of the stupid little rest stop lanes they have by the side of the road. I wondered whether the car in the distance behind me would follow, completely failing to realize that it was a police car. What are the chances of that??? He pulled me over and threatened to charge me with dangerous driving. Gave me the spiel about how I was doing stupid things on the most dangerous stretch of road in Queensland. I had to use my full powers of grovelling to get out of it. “I feel like a complete idiot”, “I’ve done the wrong thing officer”, “I think I’ve learned my lesson sir”. Bloody authority figures make me anxious too. “Did you even bother to look in your mirror to see if there was anything behind you?” he asked. “Yes, I did… ” I pleaded lamely. “Well didn’t you see the big blue POLICE car behind you???” he asked, still stiff lipped and cranky. “Yes, but it was so far back I didn’t see the police sign… I’m an idiot”. He let me off, after pointing out that it would be a long way to come for my court appearance. Thanks officer.
I got as far as Hervey Bay after a nightstop in Rockhampton to meet up with Olly and tell him what a dickhead he is. Turns out he was a decent bloke, and has since been giving me updates on the goings on at the hostel there. (I knew that German guy selling the used computer equipment was gonna get kicked out). Having arrived in Hervey Bay, it occurred to me that being away from loud drunk backpackers could be a good thing, and since it’s off-season here I decided to stay for a while. Then I immediately came down with the flu, and have spent the two weeks since then taking mega-doses of vitamin C, playing guitar, reading The Hunger Games and Dead Famous by Ben Elton.
Now I seem to be over the flu, I’m back to exercising a bit more. That makes me feel less nervous, and I like the feeling of putting a bit of muscle on again. I’ll probably visit Fraser Island (the world’s largest sand island, thanks Bruce Highway trivia) before I leave. Not real keen to head south given that it’s cold down there. Not real keen to stay here given it’s not my home.
My head is still filled with the usual worries about how to get well, what to do with the rest of my life (which depends a lot on the outcome of worry #1), and how to meet up with a bevy of gorgeous women who all think I’m awesome. Or even just the one special one for that matter.
I sent an angry email to my Mickel Therapist yesterday, so although I’m still focused on that, I wonder if he’s still talking to me. Pretty sure another friend of mine who I had a ridiculous argument with on Facebook the other day isn’t. Nor my hot friend in the U.S. whose relationship status has just changed to “In a relationship”. Hi all if you’re reading. Ok, that’s enough for now. I’m off to bed.