Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Peace Out. New blog. Where dis?

It has been increasingly difficult to post to this blog over the past few years.

I think it is because it covers a chapter of my life that I can no longer associate with. I'm no longer that sad young boy trying to understand why depression fucked his life and took away all the light. I haven't found my way through the path of achieving nirvana, nor have I achieved the ultimate enlightenment; but at the same time I am not sick and this blog is a relic from that journey; and after a lot of thought I have decided not to use it anymore.

I was also bigoted, with misogynistic undertones and wrote material that sometimes makes me cringe when I go through them all these years later.

I felt the need to go back and edit some of the material, or out-rightly remove them because we are advancing into an age where social media is filled with "social warriors" armed with the pitch-forks of vitriol and misplaced social championing, and some of the shit I wrote in the past may not fit in with what is considered "right" or "moral". People have the habit of digging up things you said or wrote online in the past with the intent of maligning your character.

Ultimately I chose to retain all the articles unedited, in their original form. I am aware of the personal attacks that may come from any "controversial" material, because at the end of the day I didn't start this blog with the intent to be right, believing that my knowledge was superior and immutable.

It was about me. It was not about attacking anyone, nor was it about hurting or victimizing anyone. It was a journey about Ben trying to understand his thoughts, his life and what everything meant and who he was in all of the chaos that is self-awareness cloaked and suffocated by depression, and sharing his thoughts in case a thought worth adopting was sent back.

You can never grow when your journey involves forgetting from whence you came. The value of life isn't understood looking forward but by looking back at the path taken.

It's time to discover myself anew or continue to.

I have also decided to publish the half done thoughts that will forever remain unfinished after the mind behind them died, or was erased...or whatever.

If you still want to read stuff I write, or spy on me or whatever, I'm now on tumblr here

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Approaching Normal

Nowadays it is like everyone either has a baby, is about to or is having another one...and in some cases more. I'm the last of my kind in my generation and as my next birth anniversary approaches, some questions will be incessant "unakuja na rafiki lini?"

Then I'll go on a rant about how I don't conform to the same societal norms where my life has to be marked by the same distinct stages as other people's: school, graduate, job, marriage, kids, retirement, death(?)....

I don't have to propagate progeny - as people who know bigger words than me would say. Even Jesus didn't have kids. Imagine going up against that in a game of water polo? You're here equalizing the water balance between your lungs and the swimming pool while this other person runs for the ball...

Besides, I'm saving the world from snotty nosed, entitled little bastards wielding unbearable sarcasm and stupid puns. Do you know how annoying that is? Some kid talking back, but to make it worse, showing tell-tale signs that it is smarter than you will ever be, so you start stuttering looking for something to say and finally come up with "ako wapi mama yako?"

So, really, I am excited I have lived this long despite all the setbacks and curve balls life threw my way 7 years ago. But if someone asks me why I don't have a child or when I'm planning to, I'll just refer them to my loin area and give the generic "ask deez nuts!"

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

In all honesty

Recently realized that the biggest reason I stopped writing was because I lost all the honesty I used to be able to express. Most of the articles I write, I end up rewriting, truncating and basically wiping away all evidence of the thought stream that evoked it.

I guess there comes a time in your life when you have to re-evaluate who you are and who you associate with. It was also a realization that everything I write or say will be used against me when it's convenient, which is, to say the least, scary.

Over the past few months I have been going through the entries/posts that I'd written over the last 10 years which cover the period before I was depressed to immediately after it was 'cured'. I used to be poetic and expressive with my words, both verbal and written; back then I still had the naivety and belief in the goodness of people.

As reality sank in I started getting angry and the entries alternated between sadness, anger and a need to understand what was happening to me. At first the depression crept in small waves that were often confused with bipolar disorder and about a year into it, it was more cloudy than sunny...clinical depression.

I have tried about a thousand different ways to write about life after depression but kept getting stuck halfway with all it entries. It drove me crazy having to abandon each article until I asked myself, what was I trying to say? What point were they intended to send across? That I'm no longer classified as bipolar or how my life has become all rosy and everything is making sense?

Yes I am glad I don't have to take the pills ever again because a) there is(was) no physiological or psychological need to after the misdiagnosis was sorted out and depression treated correctly, and b) they used to slow down and fuzzy up my thoughts and I was more a biologically functioning vegetable than a human capable of a spectrum of emotions and thoughts.

The vacuum remaining after the disease left was filled with trust issues and paranoia about everything especially people's intentions. No, it's not exactly trust issues, it is questioning of peoples intentions at every corner, why did they ask that question? Why was it phrased that way?

Was I compensating for self esteem that was so fragile and suppressed during the depressive period that when someone looked your way then you were only too glad to indulge and entertain their bullshit, especially with relationships; and ended up turning the other cheek or blind eye(whichever is the more appropriate expression) more rather than focus on getting what was right and deserved?

I am potentially the worst poster child for people who have gotten over depression. I am happy, but not as happy as I could be if I allowed myself. I have friends but not as friendly as I should be towards them. I have loves but I'm not as expressive or communicative as I should be. I was happier in the first year because ignorance is bliss and what better to enforce that than a broken memory (although that fixed itself completely later).

Most importantly I was am happy my world wasn't isn't obfuscated anymore, not the nonexistence of crisis, but the confidence that I can walk through a crisis without breaking pace, shrinking from it, or losing the ability to think through it.

Monday, March 14, 2016

The Call (repost)

Two days ago I got a really strange call from a guy we (I) shall henceforth refer to as John1. Strange, and I'll explain why.

It was in the middle of the night in a remote old town. Everyone was asleep and not a creature was stirring, except Ben, who was taking another cup of cocoa and had just put in five teaspoons of he was busy...stirring. This part is not relevant to the story, and it wasn't midnight...more like 7pm ish.

Anyway the phone rings from an unidentified number, and since I am not in the drug business I answered.

"Hi, am I talking to Ben?"
"Who's asking?"
"Never mind, are you Ben?"
"Bye bye" and I hung up.

He calls again, this time more polite. He says his name is John and wants to ask me about "something important". Sure, I tell him, ask away. He does this thing that is peculiar to old men in Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe, where they beat around the bush and by the time they get to the point you are at the threshold of telling them where to shove it.

Apparently John is dating this girl, Jane2. They have been dating for the last 8...EIGHT YEARS! I am about to tell him to hold the line as I take listener comments...since the call is starting to sound something akin to Late Night Capital...or nowadays, mid morning radio. So I make a gesture of "go on", though now that I mention it I realize he didn't see it.

So he asks me if I know her, and if I'm dating flo...i mean Jane... Nope, I didn't bother to produce further information because he asked,"Are you dating Jane" instead of a more specific question like, "Have you dated Jane at any time within the last eight years, more specifically when you were 19, and have you ever  had a three way with her and her best friend at one time?"

So the poor soul continues to tell me how he suspects she is cheating and how he is just calling to make sure of that and wants to make a decision... I'm assuming the decision here is whether to kill her then himself, or, torture her, kill her then himself. Because from my point of view, eight years is practically a decade, I've lived for just about two of those, meaning he has been in 1 relationship for just about a third of my head hurts...that's a lot of math.

Pushing the calculation further, I dated her for sometime before I got into campus so if I subtract those years it comes to...cheating bitch! Not on my part though, I was pretty happy enough to get laid those days. I left when the L word was sprung, because that was just scary...then.

Anyway John, soon to be famous on the news, asks if we could meet and discuss it further. But first things first, I had to know how he came about my number. You see, I'm not in the habit of sending out mush texts, and I figure the last time I talked to her was early this year, the last time I sent her a text was over two years ago, so it really doesn't make sense.

Though i guess when he was (secretly) snooping through her phone he was drawn to my name...everything about me screams AWESOMENESS. Serious, even when I litter, the sweeper always finds himself pausing over my garbage for a bit and can't understand why. I ooze awesomeness and can't help it...pity girls don't notice it. I guess it's the geeky Clark Kent effect...that's a mystery for another entry.

Anyway by now I was bored and he'd started bitching about how hard it is when you are dating a hot chick, since everybody also notices and tries to get her... He was close to tears which was pretty awkward for me so I told him shit happens and went to hang up.

He ended by asking me not to tell her because it might screw things between them. I choked on my saliva at that. So I hinted that 2k gives me amnesia...guess he didn't get the hint because by the time of the publishing of this entry, nothing in my mpesa account...yep...bone dry.

Moral of the story: Shit happens, and most men are stingy bastards

*(1) names haven't been changed because the author doesn't really care about John's identity
*(2) names have been changed because she probably knows where the author resides...but it rhymes with "plo"

Repost from 2010