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Showing posts with label Rant. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Rant. Show all posts

Tuesday, 9 April 2019

Narcissism

Narcissism

In my experience, most people misunderstand what narcissism actually is, as did I for a large portion of my life. Usually, we tend to regard the archetypal narcissist as someone who carries an unreasonable gigantic sense of self-worth, probably to the point of delusion, demanding adoration due to some belief of entitlement, aggressively boasting about their achievements, dominant in conversation, ruthlessly chasing recognition, if you disagree, you are wrong, they are right, end of fucking story. Does this definition sound accurate to you? It should. Because it is. What we are looking at here is known as the “grandiose narcissist”, a behavioural trait which can often be somewhat of a blessing, successfully utilised by many celebrities, politicians, and other high profile figures to demand what they want until they get it. Donald Trump has become the quintessential example of this subcategory of narcissism, and for very good reason. His fantastical ego is so loud that it even managed to convince other people around him of its self-proclaimed value, and then the guy proceeded to rise up the ladder until he became the President of the United States of America. Regardless of your opinion, that’s an impressive feat. I have never met anyone who has become the president of a country before.

Due to this general preconception of what narcissism is, it has become quite an ugly term, synonymous with arrogance and an aura of superiority, which certainly is true. But what people always forget is that this is a legitimate mental illness, diagnosable and destructive, on par with other such cerebral disturbances to the likes of schizotypal PD, OCD, and paranoid personality disorder. And yet, we are much more likely to dissociate this particular disorder from its darker counterparts, which truthfully, is somewhat understandable. It's because narcissists are selfish assholes, and for the most part, they don’t seem to think they have anything wrong with them. On the contrary, they think they have everything right with them, as is the very core of the problem.

Of course, it is human nature to label things to the deepest of levels, and with a small amount of research, you’ll soon discover that grandiose narcissism is just a box within a box within a box, and there are other boxes which may not be as colourful or noticeable than this example, but they deserve to be observed all the same. And with that, may I introduce to you the box which I am going to be focusing upon today, which is known as “vulnerable narcissism”. The reason as to why I am going to concentrate on this particular box, is because I, myself, am a vulnerable narcissist, hello.

These two specific forms of narcissism are often lumped into the same category because they have many similar manifestations. With both, you are looking at a morally questionable individual with a high level of arrogance, so much so that they will feel superior to anyone they meet whilst lacking a significant amount empathy towards anyone else’s troubles unless they somehow benefit the narcissist's own journey. It’s terrible when you break it down like that, but what’s even worse is, as a narcissist, you can’t believe that other people don’t see these things from your exact perspective. Why aren't they completely agreeing with everything I say? It’s madness.

Narcissism

However, as subtle as it may seem at first, there are various approaches you can use to tell these two subcategories apart, the most obvious of which would be self-esteem. Grandiose narcissists have all of the self-esteem in the world. Vulnerable narcissists have none of it. Challenge a narcissist’s achievements and if they get angry and possibly attack you with belittlements, then they are probably dealing with the grandiose nature. Meanwhile, challenge a vulnerable, and we will just about have an emotional meltdown. We can’t face criticism, we live in permanent fear of rejection, and we require a constant flow of external validation simply to feel like a normal human being, a justification we simply cannot create ourselves. This whole mess stems from a timid place of inadequacy which we overcompensate for by puffing out our ego chests and hoping someone will notice our brilliance. Attention, recognition, and reassurances are the fuel for our lives, and if we don’t get it, we melt into a bowl of depression and do not possess the tools needed to pull ourselves together again. Not quite the shouty narcissist you had in mind, right?

The good news is that the vulnerables are far easier to get along with than the grandioses, because we’re more modest, more introverted, and more likely to believe that we’re better than you in silence. The bad news is that our little mental issues frequently hold us back, unlike our grandiose narcissistic box partners, who are propelled forward by their “ailment”. I definitely feel like I got the short end of the narcissi-stick here, but nobody chooses to have problems. It’s always your parents’ fault anyway, isn’t it?

Speaking of which, it was since forever that I knew something was fundamentally wrong with me, but I was always so proficient at blaming other things. Without delving too much into my personal background, the most immediate indicators of my troubles came from two very predictable sources: social media and romantic relationships. As far as my online presence is concerned, my every move is in some way designed to encourage validation from my followers, which was fine, because I usually get it. Furthermore, I hear millennials have a similar validation problem, but they call it “simply using Instagram”. Regardless, there have been occasions when I don't receive the validation I requested. I post something which nobody responds to, and my reaction to this tragedy may be a little too dramatic for a 34-year-old male, some might say. Time slows down and I’d immediately equate my entire self worth to be measurable by this one single post, forgetting everything else in my life that I have ever done, the past was irrelevant, I am now this post, nothing but this post, and this post is nothing. There were times that half an hour would slide on by without a single Like and my world would have already crumbled. My anxiety would choke my breath, I’d curse my lack of personality, I'd realise that I was never funny to begin with, people were finally catching on that I had never said anything funny ever before, my friends were sick of me, they all hated me, it was inevitable anyway, I had a good run, my day had come. My finger then hovers over the delete button, it is time to quit social media for good. And then, for whatever reason, the Likes would eventually dribble in, potentially even just a delay on the server side, and suddenly my self-perception would shift and the sun would shine again, evaporating whatever that silly doubtful hiccup was only seconds ago. Actually, come to think of it, I knew that post was really funny!

With all that said, social media is easy come, easy go. If a post fails, you can always post another one, keep on batting until you hit a home run, it only takes one to tango. But relationships with other individuals? That’s a much more complicated game. Especially in regards to an intimate romantic partnership between two people, because that's where you are looking at a breed of validation so all-encompassing and intense that it is impossible to recreate using any other form. Here is a human being (usually an attractive human being, because I’m shallow and I have taste) who has publicly announced that you are worthy of their love. They have taken a moment to turn and face you and dedicate their time and mind and body to you, agreeing that you are so cool that a fixed agreement is in their benefit. They want to share their foreseeable future with you, granting you the honour of being the first person they speak to when they have news, as well as awarding your genitals with the exclusive access to their corresponding genitals. And by allowing them the same, then there is this magical love thing which grows, which is, without a doubt, the best way to verify every corner of your existence. Because if this perfect specimen, chiselled by the hands of God himself, has approved your being here, then who gives a rat’s fuck what anyone else thinks, right?

Narcissism

The ugliness comes when these relationships end. And in my case, this always happens, point proven that I am currently single as I type this, and I am also in the middle of destroying any chances of ever finding love again by using this very blog you read now. Like everyone, I’ve had varying degrees of breakups in my life. Some were a flaming aeroplane nosediving into concrete, while some were pathetic fizzles like coughing on a candle. But there was always one similar pattern which has festered throughout each and every one of these upsets: I’ve struggled to let them go, which is a polite way of saying that I have never let any of them go, not one of them, ever. With each dissolution, there was a vacuum which opened up inside of me and licked my ego down to the wooden centre stick, completely discrediting my worth as a person to such an nth degree that no amount of social media reactions could even begin to stitch my former me together. I’ve spent so many years attempting to fill that hole much the same way any crack addict would: with more crack. What's worse is that my self-esteem is so forever crippled by the narcissism infection, that my confidence falls down in turn, meaning that I lack the courage to ever hunt a new vagina, because why would anyone hook up with someone so unvalidated as myself? Hence why I’d so often spend those darker times spinning on my heels and then moving backwards, chasing former lovers with the foam of desperation drooling from my mouth. And I don’t just mean, like, the immediately previous ex-girlfriend either. I mean all of them, even the ones I broke up with over a decade ago. At times I would catch myself texting two or three exes the exact same hopeless message in the space of 10 minutes, a mournful cry for reconciliation with someone, anyone, anything (which, by the way, has never worked). Stranger still is that I can easily step out of myself and rationalise that my reasons for doing this are not because I actually want to be with these people. It didn't work before, it won't work again, I know this. Rather, it’s because I am weak and I know these girls were happy to fuck me once upon a time, so surely I’m closer to the finish line with them than any others? I've obviously already fucked every girl who would ever fuck me, I’m useless, people are figuring it out, I’m full of shit, they are seeing through me, I fucked up, I should have married her when I had the chance and now I am going to die alone in some embarrassing masturbatory position.

As it is with everyone, the initial raw wounds do crust and scab and get better over time, but until I get into another full-fledged relationship, there is this perpetual blistering agony within my life which will remain open and sore. It’s officially known as “relationship-contingent self-esteem” and if films are anything to go by, it’s a fairly common human condition. Curiously, none of my ex-girlfriends seem to have this problem, but that's probably because they can't stand me. Regardless, if this is something you relate to you, I want to give you some advice and warn you to not do what I'm about to tell you, no matter how positive it may initially seem.

In my experience, it only takes roughly a million crazy thoughts before your brain automatically goes into defence mode and starts to reprimand you, shoving an endless strew of evidence into your face, illustrating how senseless you’ve become followed by an urgent request that you develop a plan to sort this mental mess out. And so here’s the story of how I attempted to do just that. I went online and compiled a list of all the personality and mood disorders I could find, and then I proceeded to complete online quizzes after online quizzes of each of these examples, using them to evaluate just what I might be dealing with here. Guaranteed accurate results, right? Actually, you’d be surprised, as many disorders quickly fell off of the list as I laughed at how far away I was from their tormenting claws, haha, sorry for you! Meanwhile, certain tests did blast big red flares into the air and then I’d explore those issues further, using other test sources as well as reading online medical journals to uncover their trademark symptoms, locating deeper and deeper boxes within each box, endless fun really. Some factors rang true, some rang sort of true, and some did not ring at all, but pretty soon it became undeniably clear that I was suffering from a vulnerable narcissistic personality disorder, which I think is something I may have mentioned before, spoiler alert hindsight oops.

I confided in one very clever friend about this discovery and she was quick to brush it off, using a smart analogy to the effect of, “Look, Jared, there are alcoholics in this world, and then there are people with drinking problems. Alcoholics have a disease. Narcissistic personality disorder is an illness. You're certainly a narcissist, but your narcissism is just the equivalent of drinking too much. It’s probably not an illness”. She definitely had a point. For here I am, shouting out that I have this debilitating mental issue like it was a doctor who told me, whereas truthfully, it has been self-diagnosed. No medical professional has legitimately stamped my forehead with the term. However, you must believe me when I tell you that I have read extensively on the topic. I have studied it using papers which these very medical professionals would have used. I may not have a degree in psychology but that's because I don’t have any interest in studying every brain complication known to man. I’m only interested in my own brain complications. Sure, I can understand why this lack of professional evaluation may damage my case, but allow me to guarantee you right now that I could walk into any therapist's office, lie down on that hypothetical couch, and get this official diagnoses within one single session. I have done the investigation and this is what came out. I did not go seeking this particular ailment, it found me, and I was legitimately surprised by the result (even though it makes so much sense when I reflect upon my entire life). But fuck me and fuck you, take my word for it or don’t, it's not actually that important. Because whether you think I have this disorder, or whether you think I do not, or even if you couldn't care less, there is more to this story anyway. I've only just started.

Narcissism

What it came down to, was this: once I had concluded that vulnerable narcissism was my enemy, I skipped on my merry way with a cartoon-sized magnifying glass, determined to locate clues, unearth footprints, accuse the potential causes, and then defeat these engrams by using Wikipedia’s Treatment section. This is a rare pathway of recovery for any narcissist to pursue because, usually, narcissists don’t pursue any path of recovery whatsoever. They don’t think they have a problem, they just think they’re the greatest. But me, I was greater than that. I was the greatest narcissist ever! That was a joke. What wasn’t a joke, however, was that I slowly but surely began to successfully unravel bits of this jumble, and when I did, all hell broke loose.

Here’s another fun fact! Almost every narcissistic personality has actually been developed by the mind as a defence mechanism, and reportedly 25% - 40% of these cases are due to a much darker underlying issue known as borderline personality disorder. There are plenty of similarities between these two troubled nuisances (the insecurities, the abandonment issues, the destructive relationships etc) hence why they often get confused with one another. But, there are several exciting highlights specific to borderline that you should know about, and here are just a few of my favourites: feelings of emptiness; feelings of being unlovable; major anxiety and depression; flipping between intense love and intense hatred for another individual; self-destructive behaviour like drugs or promiscuity or self-harming; bouts of extreme paranoia; and a general sense of suicidal everything. Hmmm, those do sound familiar. It’s no wonder, then, that so many borderlines sharpen their inner turmoil towards a place where they are the King of the Universe, otherwise, how else were they supposed to function with that many painful worlds inside of their heads?

Just for the record, I’m not saying that I’ve diagnosed myself with borderline personality disorder as well. I feel like such a claim may be acting out of my jurisdiction. I might as well diagnose myself with PTSD while I’m out giving free mental illnesses here, because then at least I could prescribe myself diazepam. But what I’m getting at is that there was definitely something lying beneath my narcissism, something I had never seen before, and it wasn’t friendly. For as I began to erode away at this defence mechanism, a crack of my deeper self was exposed, and then there I was, staring into the eye of one of the most disheartening discoveries about myself that I had ever met. It was that I most likely suck.

My whole life has been mobilised by an inner voice, an inkling of sorts, assuring me that I was something special, something great, destined for an eventual position on the highest of podiums. And while a predominant characteristic of narcissistic behaviour is that we tend to exaggerate our accomplishments to make them seem bigger to other people, I truly believe that I have never done that. Although, that’s what a narcissist would say, right? Regardless, my CV speaks for itself and if anyone has cared to follow my artistic journey, they would have to admit that I’m not all talk and I do work really hard. Please forgive me as I spend the next while boasting about these achievements, as it is important for the paragraph after the next. Bear with me, we’re nearly at the punchline. But the truth is that lots of people talk about starting bands and recording albums and playing shows, and yet some of them never do. I’ve written and recorded hundreds upon hundreds of songs by now (solo and with bands) and played many shows (solo and with bands) even once at the O2 (mumble Academy2 Islington mumble mumble). Other people have a life ambition to one day author a book. I’ve written two, one of which has already been self-published, the next one coming soon (I hope). On that note, any writer would be happy if millions of people read their work. I’ve written single articles that have surpassed the million mark, and my own personal blog (this one!) has hit over a million eyes on its own. Not to mention that I write scripts for a cartoon company, each episode hitting at least 3 million views (otherwise something is very wrong) with my current single script high score sitting at 80 million. Moving on, I know friends who have been talking about creating a movie for a decade, whereas I am already a quarter way through a full-length film of my own creation, done completely by myself. And, I mean, how many people dream about travelling the world while they work? Everyone? I’m currently sitting in my 8th country since December 2018. Plus, I draw one-panel comics for Instagram every working day, I sell digital artwork on shirts, and I have been known paint acrylic pieces on the regular (some of which were even featured in an exhibition once upon a time). Great! So what’s my point? My point is that to someone who believes creativity is life (I do), there is a certain amount of action-oriented evidence that I’m not trying to convince anyone of my abilities using words. I am doing so using numbers.

Narcissism

Sorry but there's one more paragraph worth of arrogance onslaught coming your way. Deep breath, because this one is even worse: I honestly do believe I am God’s gift to women. I know this sounds ridiculous, but it’s not my fault, it’s your fault. I paid attention to what girls claim they are looking for in a romantic partner, I uncovered the buzzwords, and then I strived to tick every single one of those boxes. Let me know if you’ve heard any of these before: I, {enter female name}, am seeking a male who is ambitious (see previous paragraph above), has dreams and follows them (see previous paragraph above), is financially independent (see previous paragraph above), is well-traveled (see previous paragraph above), has a sense of humour (I have been told that I have this), is intelligent (I have been told I am this too, oh, if only they knew...), focuses on their health (exercise and nutrition are my only prozac), has a decent body (contact for photos), is relatively tall (I am nearly 6 foot, but FYI, girls who put 'tall guys only' in their Tinder bios cannot complain about dudes who refuse to swipe right on fat chicks), who knows how to fuck well, who knows how to go down on a girl, and has an amazing dick (I have multiple A-grade report cards on these very specifications), is open to talk about his feelings (ref: this blog), is open to people of all backgrounds (without exception!), has their own style (this might actually be to my detriment), writes and speaks good, is compassionate (I don’t eat meat anyway), has good friends, is on good terms with all of his exes after a breakup, will shower his girlfriend with affection (I will spend all of my money on you and make art about you), and, most importantly of all, is modest (I am more modest than anyone, I'm the most modest of them all). Based on this information alone, if I am not 100% exactly what you are looking for, then this is because you are not being specific enough. I AM ALL OF THE THINGS. I learned what the things were and then I worked fucking hard to become those things. And now here I am, perfection personified. You are welcome.

Yeaaaah, so here’s the thing... once you realise that you are a narcissist... you suddenly start to recognise that the voice in your head was your own all along. It’s not Jesus whispering encouragements into your ear. It’s your own brain basically wanking off inside of itself. And that’s when all of those awesome achievements and personal features suddenly don’t seem all that awesome anymore. Hang on, if it’s me telling me how great I am, then where is the actual proof of anything? I am making this up, citation needed. Actually, come to think of it, the evidence is piling against me instead, I was just too blinded by my own sequins to notice. I am 34 years old, and despite having all of those elaborate creative projects under my name, and despite checking every box in the Man of Your Dreams cookbook, here I sit. Still not rich. Still not famous. Still not discovered. Still not in love. Single. Alone. My God, those previous self-appointed praises weren’t proof that I was great! On the contrary, they were undeniable proof that I suck! If I was even remotely good at art, statistically speaking, then something surely would have broken by now. And if I really was the romantic catch I seem to think I am, I wouldn’t have this empty feeling of loneliness where I perpetually crawl back to my ex-girlfriends, only to have them pat me upon the head with sympathy, they’ve moved on because I wasn’t what they wanted. I'm not what anybody wants. Because here I sit. Still not rich. Still not famous. Still not discovered. Still not in love. Single. Alone.

Following this grand “awakening” of my shitness, the inevitable followed. Art and love are my life, and so if I was neither a talented creative nor a desirable gentleman, then I was reduced to absolutely nothing. As a response to that, I fell deep inside of myself where the inescapable duvet of depression consumed me and I decided to quit. Not, like, suicide or anything, even if that did cross my mind (although, when doesn’t suicide cross my mind? I’m so complex and dark in that way). Rather, I decided to quit art and give up on everything, stop trying, it’s not working, let go of the dream, maybe start watching TV, eat the food I want to eat, start smoking again, lower my standards, marry a 6, have a baby or two, find fulfilment in some religious movement, die at 53, my wife weeps at my funeral, my close friends agree that I was ok, someone mentions Lily Allen in my eulogy, they cheers my life over a pint, my name is never spoken again within five years of my burial. Believe it or not, there was a genuine vibe of relief in these thoughts. No more self-imposed deadlines. No more stressful nights where I develop marbles of muscle tension in my shoulders trying to finish a project that only nine people will look at. No more need for validation because there would be nothing left to validate. Excellent. So I started to take the necessary steps towards the shedding. I hastily and dramatically cancelled the crowdfunding campaign for my up-and-coming book which I was working on. I decided that my film would be shelved indefinitely. I even announced my departure with this vague #legobiscuit. I was throwing it all away. I would finally be free to live a normal life, accepting myself for what I guess I always was: a normal person. No more deluded sense of self-worth. No more superiority complex. No more unwarranted belief in my capacity whatsoever. Time to see what it was that other people actually did with their lives.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, this brief period of resignation did not work. The days following my big decision felt way worse than whatever had spurred it on. My depression grew stronger and those skull voices shouted even louder about my uselessness because now they had proper ammunition. Without art, I was nothing. I served no purpose to the Universe or to myself. Everything I had ever valued had now been discarded and that hollowed me out like a crayfish, unable to see the beauty in life anymore which was something I was always able to do no matter how bad things had sunk. If there was a permanent off-switch, I would have pressed it. If it didn’t hurt, I would have pulled the wires right out from my wrist. I didn’t want to die, I wanted to dissolve, no mess, no fuss. I Googled how to disappear completely and only found a Radiohead song, which didn’t help in the slightest.

A few of these miserable emo days passed, and as it so often happens, I started to become used to my bleakness and my brain nestled into some reasonable level of comfort, a certain desensitised groove of despair, allowing my mind a moment to think. And what it told me was very interesting. It explained to me that the meaning of life differs from person to person, but the end goal is always the same: to find happiness and satisfaction in the days of which you are here. An argument could be made that art is what makes me happy, but on an even more fundamental level, what I truly enjoyed was the potential that each art piece came with. Was this drawing going to be the one that finally went viral? Could this particular song turn out to be my legacy? Was this book destined to be a bestseller? Whether they did or not wasn’t the primary importance. What was important is that it was like playing the lotto, and each and every day, no matter how unlikely, I opened up the gate of possibility and met the Universe halfway. Regardless of eventual outcomes, it was so much fun to imagine the happy ending, and that was when I clicked back into place. Why was I even trying to get rid of my narcissism? Maybe I was living in a fantasy world, true, but it was my fantasy world, and I loved every fucking second of it. Furthermore, if I didn’t believe that I had some future possibility of becoming recognised for my creations, no matter how unrealistic that may seem, then life truly was an empty place void of any reason to be here. So the choices were that I simply had to end it all, or I needed to retreat back into my world where I am fucking awesome and godlike and everyone else is stupid because they just don’t get me yet. Is it real? I have no choice but to believe that one day it could be. But does it make me happy? In some unhealthy way, yes, it does. Hence why surrendering to my self-admiration seems like the very best solution. Alright. Here I go again, covering my eyes with narcissistic hands, shoving my ears full of cotton wool soaked in compliments, nananana, I'm the best, I can't hear you. Except, this time, there is one vital difference... I am going to push it harder. I am going to try and become even more of an egomaniac.

My plan is to change tracks like a train, shifting from the vulnerable narcissist I have established myself to be, and aiming towards the grandiose narcissist we discussed in the first paragraph. How hard could it be? The leap can’t be too drastic if they’re both touching shoulders beneath the same narcissism umbrella, right? And the key in doing so, I imagine, is to learn how to validate myself, outside approval no longer needed. I read a few articles about how to achieve such a feat, and it looks like it can be done with a careful mix of focusing on short-to-mid term goals (granting a steady stream of personal accomplishments coming in), being brutally honest to a fault, welcoming conflict as a chance to grow, saying “no” as often as possible, never saying “sorry” ever again, and essentially not giving a fuck about anything. I also believe that this can be achieved with an element of humour, ensuring that my own self-love can at least offer the benefit of entertainment to others. Furthermore, it is my full intention to, at very least, feign a sense of interest in other people's lives, refusing to use my self-appointed self-importance as an excuse to be an asshole. I think it can be done! I THINK I CAN DO ANYTHING! I VALIDATE THIS MESSAGE WITHOUT YOU! Please bear with me as I calculate how to do this, I really do feel like it will work out better in the long run. Anyway, so that's my news, how about you?


Tuesday, 21 August 2018

Big Fat Commercial Writing Dump (part ii)

Big Fat Commercial Writing Dump (part ii)

"And he said, 'Truly, I say to you, no prophet is acceptable in his hometown.'" - Luke 4:24

If you hold out the human race in your extended arms and look at it from this distance, it's interesting how many of life's decisions revolve around comfort. Certainly, you can ridicule the lazy man who uses his toe to change the television channel as a negative example of this pursuit, but "comfort" is not necessarily synonymous with "laziness" alone. In fact, those who work hard and strive for a better future are doing so for reasons of comfort, whether they realise it or not. More money, a nice place to call home, a job you excel at, a loving partner who cradles your crumbled body to sleep... all of these goals could easily be argued as pleasures based on comfort. For what is an uncomfortable pleasure anyway? Anal sex? I wouldn't know.

This observation seems less than simple when it comes to my own experiences. I've started to recognise personal comfort as somewhat of an enemy. When I'm comfortable in my life, that's when I begin to think, and if history has taught me anything, thought is not a safe environment for me to be in. Hey, remember that time I quit my job at the end of 2017? To become a full-time writer? Which I detailed in Big Fat Commercial Writing Dump (part i)? Totally abandoning my safety net and scrubbing my work history clean? That was a period of pure terror, man! I was barely scraping rent money together and there was no CV boat coming to my rescue and my girlfriend has just left me! And yet, when I look back on these events, there are heart shapes in my pupils. I was in full survival mode. I had to eat bugs and build a shelter out of empty baked bean tins. I was forced to see what I was made of, and as it turns out, I am made of fear. Fear of failure. It's a substance of much buoyancy.

After a while, I found a place to stand, my head was above water, the money began to collect beneath my feet, and following shortly afterward, I was standing in the sun, arms stretched upward, drying out. So nice and warm! But if this was indeed the goal, then why was I so confused? The UV light was cripsing my eyelids and then microwaving my mental health. The Beatles song Here, There and Everywhere became the theme to my general stability. I had manifested a big blob of clay and then modeled it into the perfect shape, one which I had always dreamed I would one day model, but my inside world refused to collaborate. Despite taking complete control of my life (as far as any third-party could see), I was still the same old bleak ghost within, a monotone moan of misery like a warped vinyl with lock groove. There goes that self-help book idea I had FUCK.

And it was around this point when I started to ask questions.
The real questions, such as, "Why am I here?".
And I don't mean, like, in some existential fashion.
I mean more like, "Why am I here?? Why am I in London?".

I don’t have a job which requires anything but wifi.
I don’t have a girlfriend, gross lol.
I don’t have a baby as fas as I know.
I don’t have a mortgage.
I don’t have any debt.
I don’t even have a fucking Oyster card.
And I'm pretty sure all of my friends hate me anyway.

Couple this with the Brexit Monster looming above our dark skies, salivating to take a bite out of my long-earned passport, and the illuminated arrows were clear. I see you.

It's also worth mentioning that 08/08/18 marked my 10th year anniversary in London to the day, and 10 is my lucky number, so... Omen? Omg? Oh, man! Amen.

And with that, I decided it was time. It was time to try and outrun my depression once for all. So let's go. Go where? Nobody’s business. But I assure you it’s not one place. It’s gonna be many, many places. And I will not rest until I find a reason to live, or at least a pretty place to die.

What's important to note above all else is that I love London, you hear me? I LOVE IT. Never has any region in the whole wide world wide web felt so much like a home to me, and I only got here when I was 23 years old, so that's saying a lot. When I picture London as a personified figure, my heart yelps legit physical pain in regards to my decision. It feels like I'm cheating on the love of my life. But then I have to remind myself that London is not a person, it's a city. She'll be here when I need her, and I'll probably need her next summer. In the meantime, I've got to take this chance while I have it, because who knows when I'll get such an opportunity again? All it takes is one pregnancy or a bad Brexit deal to fuck everything up.

That said, maybe I'll come back running after one long month of panic attacks. And if that's the case, I ask you to please forget everything I just said. Thanks!

This lengthy speech is slightly premature, as I will only be leaving in December due to a pesky little lease I signed my name on a while ago. But I wanted to make this announcement now to address the future of Juice Nothing with time to spare. Regrettably, I imagine this blog's content is going to be reduced substantially over the course of 2019. I imagine this because I've never tried writing on the road before, and if anything is going to get throttled, it would be the shit that doesn't pay me. Furthermore, I am currently in the process of authoring three books, and I really need to dedicate some more resources to that. Because I'm not a kid anymore and a blog is not a particularly good use of energy. That said, maybe we could try a new piece every two months instead of one? Or maybe I'll be really bored and lonely, and I'll end up writing much more? Or perhaps I'll compose a world-famous guide called "How I Travelled to 10 Different Countries in Six Months and Saved Money" because that's my actual plan.

Ok, so exciting times ahead then! To close things off, I'd like to spit out a list of all the many many writing bits I have sprinkled throughout the web since we last spoke in March. Look, you see? I've been a busy boi. Here is the Jared fix you never asked for. I hope you're well though.

Pencilmation Scripts

Note: Pencilmation itself has surpassed 4.8 million subscribers, and someone I don't know put together an IMDB profile for me! So that's one dream done then.

No Pain, No Game
Button Rouge
Easter Egg-scapade
Couch Surfing
Haunted Mouse
Caught off Cards
One Man's Trash Is Another Man
The Tell Tale Art
Hole in None
Bedtime Blues
Well Off
Nutty by Nature
Lord of the Fries
Panic! At the Window
In a Pickle
Love Burps
Rocks, Paper, Scissors, Oh My!
Climb and Punishment
A Knight to Remember Part 1
A Knight to Remember Part 2
All That Litters Is Not Gold
Alarmed and Dangerous
Ufo...Uh-oh!
Mathterpiece Theatre
Heap of Trouble
For Crying out Cloud
Children of the Popcorn
Belly Idol
Lump in the Night
Keep Clam and Carry on Part 1
Keep Clam and Carry on Part 2
Pain in the Mutt
Pasta Point of No Return
Fall by Myself Part 1
Fall by Myself Part 2
All Helium Breaks Loose
Page Fright
Shoe La La
Click Flick
Nib and Tuck
Sir Dance-a-lot
Icing on the Skate
Darkside of the Balloon
What Lurks in the Shadow Puppets

Bolde Articles

Things Guys Want From You More Than Sex
9 Questions You’ve Always Had About Penises Answered By A Guy
9 Things Guys Would Kill For A Woman To Do For Us—Would You?
First Date Conversations Us Guys Secretly Hate
The 9 Most Common Sexual Fetishes & Why Guys Want Them
The First 10 Things Guys Notice About You, According to A Guy
10 Signs He’s Lost Interest In You, According To A Guy

Tips for Dave Articles

Sex Positions To Help You Last Longer
10 Steps to Snapping that Perfect Abs Selfie
10 Warning Signs That You May Be A Workaholic
10 Questions About Vaginas You’re Too Afraid to Ask

Millions of Miscellaneous Ghostwritten Health Articles

10 Warning Signs That You’re Running Too Much
10 Ways to Encourage Creativity in Your Kids
10 Helpful Ways to Live with an Injury
10 Common Health Mistakes People Make Every Day
10 Ways to Help Someone with Alzheimer's Disease
10 Simple Swaps to Improve Your Health
10 Easy Ways to Prevent Heartburn
The Essential Guide for Seniors Who Live Alone
10 Simple Steps to Get That Summer-Ready Stomach
5 Painful Conditions Caused by Bad Footwear
10 Steps to Make Your Face Look Younger Without Surgery
10 Tips for a Healthier Sleep When Traveling
10 Warning Signs That Your Diet Has Gone Too Far
10 Winning Tips for Running in the Rain
10 Troubling Ways That Stress Affects the Body
Five Simple Ways to Reduce Stress in Under 5 Minutes
Sports Injuries: Your 10 Most Vulnerable Body Parts
10 Health Warnings Your Mom Was Right About
10 Lesser-Known Causes of Depression
10 Simple Ways to Get Ready Faster in the Morning
The 10 Laziest Ways to Exercise
10 Important Reasons Why You Should Not Exercise Today
10 Ways Your Office Job Is Harming You (and What to Do About It)
10 Lesser-Known Things You Should Avoid During Pregnancy
10 Steps to Help Someone Who is Having a Panic Attack
10 Tips for When Your Belly Fat Won't Go Away
How Flat Feet Can Negatively Affect the Body (and What to Do about It)
10 Ways to Help You Overcome Emotional Eating
Running for Beginners: 10 Tricks to Motivate Yourself
5 Essential Ways to Support Your Ankles During Training
10 Ways That Showering Can Be Bad For You
10 Tips on How to Best Train for a Marathon
10 Ways to Best Enjoy Your Retirement Years
How a Bad Night’s Sleep Can Affect Sports Performance
10 Ways to Stop Your Wrists From Hurting While You Type
10 Essential Safety Tips for Senior Travel
10 Lesser-Known Ways That Smoking Affects Your Health
10 Essential Health Tips to Help You Live Longer
10 Simple Tips to Looking Younger at 60
The 10 Most Common Pains and Discomforts During Pregnancy
10 Lesser-Known Reasons Why Headaches Occur
10 Warning Signs of What Dementia Looks Like
10 Common Running Mistakes to Avoid
10 Quick Tricks to Help Seniors with Depression
10 Lesser-Known Reasons Why Running Is Good for You
10 Steps in Coping with the Death of a Loved One
10 Ways to Exercise at Home Without Gym Equipment
10 Best Sports for Seniors to Play
10 Bathroom Safety Ideas for the Elderly
10 Reasons Why Pets Are Good for Seniors
Senior Travel: How to Pack Light
10 Lesser-Known Ways That Water Can Be Good for You
Senior Life: 10 Ways to Feel Young Again
10 Common Reasons Why Your Hands May Be Swollen
The 10 Most Common Boxing Injuries
10 Simple Ways to Deal with Urinary Incontinence
10 Steps to Motivate Senior Fitness
Underweight? Here Are 10 Steps to Healthy Weight Gain
10 Warning Signs of Elderly Depression
10 Ways That Sunlight Is Important for Your Health
10 Common Exercise Mistakes to Avoid
10 Ways Flexibility Can Be Improved
10 Ways to Deal with Depression During Injury Recovery
10 Fun Ways That Seniors Can Stay Active
Do’s and Don’ts: Scratching Under an Itchy Cast
10 Lesser-Known Senior Safety Tips
10 Senior Health Issues That You May Not Notice
10 Tips to Increase Your Push-Up Performance
10 Tips to Help a Child Who Can't Fall Asleep
10 Small Changes to Improve Your Diet
10 Common Mistakes Marathon Runners Need to Avoid
10 Health Reasons to Eat Less Meat
10 Lesser-Known Vitamins and Minerals (and Where to Find Them)
10 Simple Tricks to Improve Your Training
10 Flu Prevention Tips When Your Partner Is Sick
Mood Food: Eating for Happiness
10 Tips for Proper Spinal Care
10 Healthy Activities for the Whole Family
5 Simple Habits for Youthful Looking Skin
10 Ways to Help a Senior with a Drinking Problem
10 Fitness Tips for Traveling
10 Flat Feet Solutions for Military Training
When Depression Hits: 10 Simple Ways to Get Through the Day