Dutch Steak
9 min readOct 8, 2022

Good morning. Welcome to the mad house. The slaughterhouse, the beach house. Call it what you will, but you’ll be greeted with both fine wine, cigars, and over in the corner you’ll find a pool table.

Today wasn’t enormously interesting. Therapy has been okay. I nearly wrote about how I was ending it, but now, since actually I’m getting help to pay for it, the opportunity to express myself as me and all of the inner depths of my mind, I’m finding it valuable. Where else in the world could you do that?

Also. I don’t know if I’m paranoid but I’m a bit worried I’m getting people down. My relationships online are, well, online, but with real friends. Not as disposable as those with people you’ve never met if I am to think in the terms of a parasite. Of course I could be paranoid, this isn’t aimed at the reader but towards others who cannot see. Although take on board this as well if it seems relevant.

I went through three months of not constant hell, but it had its moments where I was exhausted but couldn’t sleep and when I could sleep I’d wake up exhausted. It changed me. It didn’t improve my personality and dare I say with many moments of feeling ineffectual because I couldn’t do anything I scratched a little in conversation just to have an effect. It’s what I do. I’m worse with people I don’t actually like because then I’ll just outright argue. It’s not intentional it just seems to come naturally. And, again, although that period had an end I seem to have found myself in a position not quite as hellish, but all the same not particularly nice around sleep and energy.

I know very well of the positive energy from all of the people I communicate with online. Sure I know they’re not perfect, but the chances are that when one isn’t oneself, but one is lost and actually getting close to emotional and desperate for energy, no, actually emotional and desperate for energy, there’s no real way to be happy. So grumpy and scratchy. Anyway. To those who shall never read this; I apologise. I try my best. And yes you annoy me with your telling me to exercise when all I want to be able to do is to be able to exercise, it’s the last thing I want to hear, and I still think you should have listened to me when I told you I can’t, but I apologise. Because I’m the better man. I’m only saying that to you because you can’t read this. And, again, no, this is not aimed at you. It’s my outlet and I’ll aim it whomever I wish.

I had a drink last weekend. That always annoys people too. The problem is, if somebody invites me out, I’m possibly going to say no. I am extremely honest and I’ll tell them it’s because I can’t always control my drink intake. So people then get annoyed with you when you decide to throw yourself into a position where you drink as much as you can and get extremely drunk. I have to do it that way. That’s where the control is. If you are annoyed because I shouldn’t be drinking, then join the club, but if I could always control it it wouldn’t be a problem. Don’t tell me to stop, sure tell me not to talk to you, but don’t tell me to stop. I’ll drink in my own space, and should I be in the mood, I’ll drink in yours too if you’re up for it during a moment of insanity which I will share with you, but we must be fortuitous enough to coincide. It doesn’t mean I’ve made it up. I still like you. I just have to control my intake of things.

Then we have the virus. This covid virus. I didn’t get into an argument with a random on Twitter, but I did disagree with him. He noted that masks were ineffective. This did annoy me a little because if you spend much time online looking at some reputable websites you’ll see that medical grade masks are indeed very effective. Which I pointed out. He responded with an image of people wearing very large masks in an effort to make me look foolish. Of course not only do I not care, but it also didn’t work unless the ready of this tweet was also as ignorant as this guy because the fact is you medical grade masks are actually quite small if you look in the right places. Go into your own GP and you’ll see that they’re actually smaller than the one I wear, the ineffective one I wear, just to make myself feel better. Then he began asking me how long I’ll do this for, and how this current “wave” isn’t a wave and I forget. I think he ended up telling me that the people I knew to have got extremely ill, genuinely people that were worried for their life, I couldn’t possibly have known multiple people to have got that ill. At this point I decided to stop replying because he doesn’t know who I know, he doesn’t know where I work and he looked very much like someone who wasn’t willing to look at what I see as the best information we have. I think he thought that the government were somehow double-agents trying to control him; they weren’t imposing restrictions but they were behind the scientists telling him to wear a mask. It really didn’t add up to me and in the end, when I wear a mask, I do it as nothing more than respect for the more vulnerable people on public transport even if every other selfish mother fucker on that thing refuses to wear one. Plus it makes me feel awkward, which I like, because it’s good to feel things. I got quite anxious waiting for this guy to respond to me, though I’m unsure why. He’s a stranger. I got anxious when I said something to a leader who’s taking us towards World War 3 as well, but that’s only because he has a history of poisoning people and I’m anxious and mad.

Some good things have happened of late. My support worker pushed me into claiming PIP. It stands for personal independence payment and is just a little extra money for those struggling with such things as fatigue. I just don’t want to do an in-person assessment. Either I’ll be too tired to get there or I’ll be absolutely fine and they’ll send me away. That said, I have also been found unfit to work based on the given evidence from my GP and from my support worker which I am very grateful for. It might take six months but at that point I’ll get a much needed back payment and my benefits will rise. I am anxious and exhausted a lot of the time so I’ll take it without feeling any shadow of guilt.

Something else too; I’ve been referred to the chronic fatigue experts. I am so grateful for this because one of two things may happen. Either they’ll tell me I’m fine and to shut up and eat more carrots, or they’ll tell me, yes this is chronic fatigue, here’s how you can manage it. My fear of managing it is that it involves pacing yourself in a way that nobody could manage to do whilst holding down a full time job, but it would be excellent to just get whatever it is sorted.

So some positivity. I’ve also been working on a client website and given out a quote. I desperately need to be able to give out more quotes because my contract just has no more work to it. There might be the odd fifty quid here and there, thank you, but it seems that’s it. So in a way, financially I may well be completely screwed, but maybe my health is on the way up. Well. Maybe once I quit smoking but you know what I mean. God that’s so hard. Especially if you have an addictive personality — a theory — and you’re tired and anxious a lot of the time. Who can think clearly enough to remind yourself of why and the benefits, which I think is really important.

Not a lot else has happened. Last weekend I got blind drunk and started playing with chat roulette. I guess I’m a childish idiot. I wouldn’t mind but I worry I’ll get heard. I do need to move. But I need an income for that. I’ve also bought some CBD stuff to vape. I’ve heard bad things, such as it killing people, but I’ve also read it can be very good for people with such fatigue issues so I thought I’d have a go at that tonight. It was expensive so I hope I’m not disappointed.

Also, in talking to my therapist, I’ve been putting more thought into going out. I am careful when it comes to Covid, but I need to go out to get my jab anyway as they’ve given me the opportunity to book it. I want to go to a drawing club if I can ever wake up. And, money is an issue. But I do want to go out.

Two things have become apparent to me about myself during therapy. Actually maybe three. The first is that I’m special. There’s no escaping that. The second thing is that words people give me have an effect. Maybe this is why I’m so terrible at learning from other people’s words. Usually they don’t. But my therapist told me I need to learn to trust myself. My short term memory is such that cooker knobs…I can’t remember if they’re off even if I’m looking them and the same with washing machine settings so if I ever look switched off during conversation, it’s because I am. But I am now telling myself to trust myself when I walk away from the cooker. Trust myself. It may in the end result in a fire, but I felt it was useful.

The other thing I’ve been noticing is my sense of self is off. To me it feels off. I’m not conscious of having an ego. I know I do, otherwise I’d never feel embarrassed, but I’m not conscious of it. People annoy me with their vanity. Really nice people can say things in ways they think makes them sound big or clever, and it just winds me up like crazy. I suppose I do it a little bit — anyone who knows me reading this may “Ash. You are the most egotistical human being I know, for some reason, though, I don’t dislike you.” I added that last bit in for me. But I don’t feel like I have an ego. I feel…almost like a lifeforce looking out of a shell. I feel disconnected from myself. When I was younger my hair was really long, it looked weird, but I couldn’t see me. I have no sense of style. Or, I do on others, but on me…I can’t see anything. I can like my hair if it chooses to behave, even these days during the balding years, but really I cannot see me.

Something I think is probably true of everyone, but I’m not sure, is that to me, the person I do see, is the person other people see. Which is why I feel nothing most of the time because I’m on my own. But that, I think might be partly empathy. I see what they see. Or what I think they’d see. I try to get in their heads.

Something else I’ve noticed without the aid of therapy is how the tiniest bit of stress can send me to bed. Yes, yes, fruit and walking. But I have noticed that after a good night’s sleep, if something is there, minor stress like a phone call needing to be made, I’ll either end up knocked out when I wake up or end up needing my bed before eleven o clock. So my theory is that it’s diet, and it’s lacking exercise, but I still think it’s more. Either way, hopefully someone will help me soon. I mean, whatever your opinion, if you choose to have one, something is causing it and I don’t do it on purpose. Maybe I’m just stupid. Or can’t change habits. The sad thing is, though, that if you don’t have any energy, you don’t have the energy to cook or eat so you sleep which feeds this cycle of madness.

I suppose I should go. I think I’ve just finished — I say finished, I nicked it — a hamburger menu. I may need to show the site around to some people to see if they like how it looks, the client lastly of course, but then next week I’ll start to make it responsive if it goes down nicely.

I think I’d like a phone app to work on though. Anyone got a modern iMac they’d give me?




Dutch Steak

A coder, a rambler...and now wondering if maybe design and actual art, very different, should form my future...