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Lost In The Shadow Of Starbucks.


This time last year, I wasn’t a nice person to be around. This is an understatement. In truth, I was an arrogant, self-absorbed dick-head; lost in a delusional notion that who I was, and what I did, was in some way more important than the day to day lives of any other soul I came across. It wasn't, of course, and is laughable now to see how I viewed myself in such a ridiculous light. But from March to September of 2011, this was my reality; the guy eternally lost in a dark corner of a coffee shop – brooding, mysterious, and quietly sinking into a living nightmare of overworking and under-appreciating life's simple beauty – too ignorant to know when to simply pause, get back to the light, and step outside from the shadow of Starbucks.

Reflecting on the darkness of this period in my life, which both enforced and pre-empted the ensuing six months brutality in fighting a stress related clinical-depression, even Rocky Balboa wouldn't wish to face. I can only assume the unhealthy ascension of my ego - which led me down the highway to hell, initially began as a defence mechanism against a feeling of both losing someone I wanted, and being invaded by somebody I never needed - two separate issues I still don't fully understand, yet exposed my severe lack of emotional maturity. It was all one sour tasting concoction; and yet, a cocktail created entirely by myself - even if at the time, my ego refused to accept it was human enough to make mistakes.
 
It was a time in which I hid from humanity, whilst conversely engaging in it; needing someone to love, yet pushing away anyone who wanted to - afraid rejection would arrive once again, should I choose to open the doors. A time when my relationship was tested to the bare threads of its core, yet survived through love and sheer will of knowing it was always meant to. When I viewed every last experience as being all about me, as belonging to the centre of an entire universe, and thinking I carried some kind of destiny beyond any mere mortals - all the while trying to complete a book I refused to give up on - and thankfully never did. But geez, looking back, no wonder I pissed so many people off - I was a real miserable bastard. The ego has always remained a part of my psyche I am in control of; we agree to help one another, for the benefit of ourselves. But it went too far, and the more unhappy I grew, the more impulsive, reckless, wayward, and ultimately, very depressed, I became. 

Time slowly passes, and 2011 becomes a more distant memory as it does. But I still feel a level of disappointment in how I acted during this period. So to the friends I acted like a wanker to and neglected, yet still called me their friend. The associates who opened their hearts and minds, at a time where I didn’t know where my own really were. And - more than anybody else, the girlfriend I pushed to her limits – yet stayed by my side, no matter how close to breaking point either one of us became. I both apologize, and say thank you. The truth is, none of this was ever about any of you – the stuff I never dealt with in the past simply caught up with me, and you got caught in the crossfire. The experience is one I will in the long run be grateful for, and the thought of where I would have ended up - had I remained lost in that mode of distorted psychological burn out, scares the shit out of me. But it is over now, and the beauty of today, is it allows us the opportunity to view yesterday with hindsight - and hopefully use it to our positive advantage.

More than anything, this period has taught me three very important facts about myself, and the human race in general;
1. Everybody hurts.
2. Everybody cries.
3. Very few people in coffee shops wash their hands.
  
I must go for now, my future needs me…

Lee.

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