Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Ill At Ease II cover

It’s happened. I’ve something in print! Proper print. On Amazon and everything! It’s the first time in ages – for one reason or another that I am not going to go into – but the writing career has finally jump-started after the battery had gone flat.

The collection is called ILL AT EASE II. It’s made up of seven stories by seven different authors. As well as myself, there’s the amazing talent of:

Mark West – I’ve interviewed him so nip across to the INTERVIEWS section to see what he’s like – bloody marvellous is you’re wondering

Stephen Bacon – the next big thing

Val Walmsley – a genuine talent from my Conrad Williams’ Writing Group days

Neil Williams – Conrad’s cousin and proof that the talent gene runs through the Williams’ clan

Sheri White – who was also part of the writing group and at times issued forth work that had you checking your underwear to make sure there hadn’t been an accident

and

Robert Mammone – catching Steve Bacon up with that ‘big thing’ fish

My own story THE SHUTTLE is the most private, autobiographical story I believe I’ve ever written. It’s not about back pain, depression, architecture or abuse. It’s about a young couple’s desire and desperation to have a baby. You only have to look through this blog’s history to know what that means to me.

I’ve read a couple of reviews, both of which say it’s well written but the subject matter isn’t for them; that the story has two halves and that because it involves kids, then perhaps I’m trying too hard to shock. Well, there is no trying too hard to shock. In fact, there’s no desire to shock. This story is a bastardisation of my life and my nightmares. I had to get it down; get it out. Simple as that. The dreams were making me ill. Yes the story is purposely set up to have two different entities, one written in great depth; the other short, sharp and to the point. But no, this isn’t me trying too hard to shock. If I were doing that, I’d have swapped the writing styles round and put all of the description into the nightmare.

So please, go out and buy it. Find out what I mean by the story being written as two separate narratives. Discover why I believe my fellow writers are the dogs’ bollocks. Read about desperation, loss, hope, laughter, sex and despair. You’ll only regret it if you don’t because the whole book is amazing – and yes, I know I’m not one for self-praise but when you’re writing something personal it has to be brilliant in your own eyes or there’s no point in writing it.

Until next time (whenever the hell that’ll be…). Links are as follows…

Print Version (the perfect Christmas stocking filler and a snip at only £4.99):

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Ill-At-Ease-Tales-Macabre/dp/1493514326/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1386019749&sr=8-1&keywords=ill+at+ease+2

Kindle Version (good luck with wrapping this – but as it’s only £1.02, why bother)

http://www.amazon.co.uk/ill-at-ease-Stephen-Bacon-ebook/dp/B00GQW8LE8/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1386019749&sr=8-2&keywords=ill+at+ease+2

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Working with the ridiculous

Posted: February 6, 2013 in Uncategorized

Today is a totally “I don’t believe what I’m hearing’ day. After having an argument with one my bosses who believes gay marriage is the same as incest, I just cannot be arsed anymore.

 

 

2012 – A Review

Posted: January 1, 2013 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , , ,

So 2012 is over. It wasn’t a bad year, here in the Hamilton household. Yes there were tears and tantrums but we’ve definitely experienced worse.

On the positive side, new friends have been made; my publication success percentage has increased; I have an editor willing to carry out her promises; I’ve had a battery inserted into my backside and wires lodged against my spine; my painkiller numbers are down (by 4 tablets per day); yet more tests have been carried out on my soldiers and now I’ve been the all clear (until next time).

On the negative side, I’ve discovered some people’s true colours; I’ve been left infuriated by the lack of manners and high number of broken promises; my short story collection got put back again; I missed by first F’con for a few years; we suffered two failed attempts at egg donation.

On the whole, good and bad balanced each other out. Yin and yang in perfect matrimony. However it would be nice if this year there were a few more positives: a healthy baby and a publishing deal would make 2013 as near as perfect as possible.

But we’ll see.

Anyway, here’s a list of my favourites over the last 12 months:

Best movies:

1. House of Tolerance (a French film about a Parisian brothel during the late 18th century / early 19th. Remarkable film making)

2. The Dark Knight Rises (some people have claimed it a let down – get a grip! At the risk of being controversial, I thought it the best of the 3. Why? Because it was less Frank Millar, more Grant Morrison, whose Batman of recent years have been little short of phenomenal. Millar’s work over recent years has been abysmal. Don’t believe me? Read All Star Batman & Robin. there is no way an artist like Jim Lee should ever be associated with such atrocious writing).

3. Sleeping Beauty (just beautiful – with an amazing performance by Emily Browning)

Best novels:

1. Silent Voices by Gary McMahon (Concrete Grove shows no sign of mellowing)

2. Silence of the Grave by Arnaldur Indridason (bleak, disturbing visions of Reykjavik)

3. Bravo Jubilee by Charlie Owen (simply hilarious)

Best graphic novels:

1. Batman & Robin – Batman Reborn; Batman Vs Robin; Batman & Robin Must Die by Grant Morrison (all 3 are masterpieces in depravity, action, dialogue, characterisation and hope)

2. Kiki De Montparnasse by Catel & Bocquet (the moving and inspirational story of Alice Prin, aka Kiki, the French model most famous for working with photographer Man Ray)

3. Batwoman: Elegy by Greg Rucka & J.H. Williams (the newest member of the bat family is one of the most intriguing for a generation – and the artwork is simply outstanding

Best reference reads:

1. Erotic Comics volumes 1 & 2 (a history of every *important* erotic comic strip and artist over the last 100+ years)

2. X-Rated: Adventures of an Exploitation Filmmaker by Stanley Long (the autobiography of the man behind the ‘Adventures’ movies)

3. Behind the Scene at the BBFC (a fascinating look at Britain’s infamous cinema censors)

Best photography collection:

1. Suicide Girls: Beauty Redefined by Missy Suicide and Various (and when it says beauty redefined, what it actually means is beauty ignorant of standard conventions – and is all the better for it)

2. Le Petite Mort by Santillo (the confidence the women subjects exude in this collection is infectious)

3. Naked Ambition by Michael Grecco (photographs of quotes from some of America’s most famous – or infamous – porn stars. Fascinating)

Biggest pile of excrement:

1. ITV2

2. The rising cost of graphic novels

3. The Dandy going out of print

Future plans:

1. Finish writing my latest attempt towards a publishing deal

2. Reading some of those books I claim to have read but haven’t really

3. More on this blog

Obviously there are more to add to this list – in fact, to all the lists – but I figure that’s enough for now. If you’re not already bored then you soon will be if I carry on.

Here’s to 2013, people. May it bring you the joys you long for and banish the horrors you dread. Stay young. Stay healthy. Don’t hurt each other. And if you see me walking down the street, remember this: I’m a miserable sod so don’t be offended if I don’t see you (and at the same time, don’t be offended if I do see you and strike up a conversation).

Sweet dreams.

 

The response to my last blog was bewildering. So much so, it’s difficult to put into words exactly how I feel (as if that’ll stop me!). For a start, I heard from people I never in my wildest dreams ever expected to pop up. People I hadn’t necessarily forgotten but simply never considered as someone willing to help. There is little more humbling for a man who has a potent disliking for the human race (and I do I really, really do) to discover there are so many folks out there with decent hearts encased in their rib cages. Whether it was because our story touched a nerve, people recongised something of us in themselves, they love Steph or – god forbid – they have a fondness for yours truly, I don’t really know or wish to guess. There are occasions when trying to be logical about things just doesn’t feel appropriate and this is one of those times. So I don’t know if they will ever read this (even with all of my advertising of this blasted blog) but I want to take a moment to personally thank a few people. In no particular order, they are:

Mark West – cheers for your good words and constant advertising of my blog on your own FB profile

Val Walmsley – thank you for your “if I were younger” comment and your continuous plugging of our plight

Georgi Billington – when you told me you wanted to do this for us I was so rocked I thought I had to be standing on an earthquake! Both Steph and I will always be grateful for someone so young even considering such a massive decision. And despite it not being possible yet, we will both be there for you should the situation change – even if it is on our behalf or not (as I know you have considered making a donation in the past)

Pat Baniowska – woman, you’re a star. I don’t understand how a 37 year-old-mother is less acceptable than a 20 year-old mother of none but rules are rules. Thank you for spreading our begging letter to your circle and your heartbeat comment – lovely! (and you’ll always be Fone to me!)

Kerry Morris-Thuriot – sorry for scaring you into thinking I wanted my ex-girlfriend to be the donor. Far from it. It was more a case of asking you to spread the news. But thank you for being so repulsed 😉

Liz McQuinn – I’ve never been called an inspiration before. Not sure it sits well on my shoulders but thank you for it.

Alun Aindow – Another man full of support for everything Steph and I are going through. Cheers, Bud.

But beyond these folks there is one special person I need to thank. One person who not only went the extra mile, but went the extra 500 miles – driving from Paderborn, Germany to our home in North Wales: Leanne Hamilton; sister-in-law; my brother’s wife and mother of my two nieces and nephew.

Back at the start of August, she drove across the countries to pay a visit to Liverpool Women’s Hospital where she partook in various tests and sat through numerous discussions, all with the intention of letting the hospital take stock of some of her eggs. It had been discussed for a while and after our plea, Leanne took it upon herself to get the ball rolling. She called the hospital, made a date and packed herself and the kids in the car. Three days later and she was back in Paderborn, shopping completed and blood removed.

While nothing in life is certain, it seems we might be inching our way towards success. Next week Leanne is back in the hospital, collecting results, exchanging information and possibly arranging a time for the collection. I don’t know if the hospital’s sudden willingness to call on Leanne’s services is because of her own eagerness or because of the publicity this situation is generating in the press at the moment we can’t be sure, but why question it? Take the good with the bad and move on.

(we saw the report on The One Show on Monday and it has to be said the woman who told reporters she wanted her own children to have a bond with the donor child carrying some of her DNA has got what we believe to be totally the wrong attitude. There should be a complete break in relations. Has to be. Otherwise, what is to stop that woman from trying to enforce her own parenting on the couple using her egg? Surely this woman is volunteering to be a donor to make herself feel good rather than helping the childless couple? Doing something as massive as donating eggs has to be a completely selfless act. If it isn’t, if the donor wants to be a ‘third parent’ to the child or insists on what should happen during its upbringing, there is always the threat of ‘if it weren’t for me you wouldn’t have any children…’)

So despite Steph and I telling her – and everyone else – how much her sacrifice means to us, it will be impossible for Leanne to truly understand because it’s impossible for us to truly convey. This isn’t like saything ‘thank you for that cup of sugar you lent me’ or ‘ta for that DVD of the two women doing that thing with their mug’ and yet the same phrase is used in all three situations. So they might only be two words which seem desperately inefficient but they hold so much and mean even more.

Normal hateful service will soon resume

WARNING: This blog will be different from my normal ramblings and is therefore suggested for mature readers only (by that I mean those who don’t titter at the thought of the male and female reproductive system).

 

This is less of a blog and more of a plea. An asking of a favour. It’s not an easy thing to ask and I do so with extreme trepidation but time and events move at an ever swifter pace and we – Steph and I – are tired of waiting for the former to run out and the latter to take over. Official channels are doing their best by us and we’re extremely grateful for how gracious we’ve been treated but their wheels move painfully slowly and if we don’t take the initiative while we can, it might be too late. So this is aimed directly at all of you ladies aged between 18 and 35, whether that be you or someone you know (or someone your someone might know etc).

 

What am I talking about? The problems with getting pregnant.

 

It’s plain and it’s simple. We’re desperate to have a baby. We want to start our own family but we can’t. After years of trying, copious amounts of tests on both of our bodies and failed IVF treatment, we have been told there is only one option left for us to have our own child: egg donation. You see, it turns out my soldiers are plentiful but lazy and, tragically, Steph has been told she isn’t able to conceive. She can carry full term but her body just will not let her mature the eggs required.

 

Admittedly we didn’t find this out until after the failed IVF treatment that almost killed Steph. Certain doctors tried to blame the failure on her lifestyle but it wasn’t until further tests were carried out that it was discovered the daily hormone injections I was told to give her were actually poisoning her liver. The fact she has recovered from a 90% failed liver to a 90+% healed and she is strong enough to go through with this after a doctor told me I should start organizing her funeral is something I am completely in awe of – and hence I’m immensely proud of her. This was the point when we were told the IVF was never going to work because certain hormones that cannot be given artificially were too low and always had been. This has been the only time we felt we had been failed by those in charge but there’s no point in using it as a stick to beat them with. We have to move on.

 

Right then. To avoid any confusion, I am not asking for all ladies to volunteer their eggs for us. That would be wrong for all parties on so many levels – especially emotionally and psychologically. But what I am asking is this: that you consider donating eggs to the Liverpool Women’s Hospital (or any other fertility hospital I suppose), saying you’re doing it to help us. This doesn’t mean we would be given your eggs specifically. In basic terms, they would be put in a pot and we would be given an anonymous egg.

 

I feel I’m not explaining myself too well, so bare with me. As I said, this isn’t an easy thing for us to do. And over editing might steal some of the emotion I need to get across.

 

The way the system has been explained to us is like this: We have been placed on an egg donation list. This was done 18 months ago. We were told we would move further up the list at a quicker rate if we were able to convince/ask/beg people to donate their eggs to the hospital on our behalf. It’s a point system, you see, and the more points you have, the shorter the waiting time, which at the moment, in the UK, is up to 6 years! We were 53rd six months ago, and we’re still 53rd today because there have been no donations of any kind in that time. Obviously the whole waiting scenario would be eradicated if the donor wished to give us the eggs directly but the emotional attachments and headfucks this could cause mean that we feel it’s better for all concerned that this is a no-no. Apparently the waiting list’s length isn’t because of the numbers on it but because of the lack of UK-donated eggs. It turns out that if we were in mainland Europe we would get an egg sorted straight away because they pay to all those willing to donate, which isn’t the case in the UK. We can go abroad for the procedure (we’ve been told by the hospital that they deal with Spain and Cypress and would act as the go-between on our behalf) and it would cost approximately £8000 whereas in the UK it’s going to cost half that much – which would mean we can afford more goes should the first attempt fail. But we would rather not go abroad. It has taken a long time for us to build up trust levels with the hospital and these would not be there anywhere else.

 

So what we’re asking is this: if you, or someone you know, or the friend of a friend of a friend, feel like you/they can help us with this, please contact us via reply or, if preferred, contact the hospital directly on our behalf. If you wish to do this, you need to speak to either Gill Hathaway or Maureen Richards at the Liverpool Women’s Hospital on 0151 702 4212 and mention our name.

 

As I’ve said, this is a really difficult thing we are asking of people. We do not expect anything. If no one replies, then no one replies. We will persevere as we always have. My brother’s wife and a friend of Steph’s have both kindly agreed to contact the hospital to discuss things and for this we are and forever will be grateful. We appreciate how big a deal it is. So there will be no animosity from us if people say no or don’t reply. Just understanding because it’s difficult to know how we would feel if being asked ourselves.

 

Cheers for your time. If you wish to discuss things in more detail, then contact me by reply and we can go talk on a one-to-one basis. If not, then enjoy your day.

 

Shaun and Steph

Well, the end of the year is nigh so I suppose I should jump on the band wagon and pass on my thoughts for a year that is, was and for ever will be 2010.

I guess I should have had a fair idea of how the twelve months were going to pan out back in January after my car suffered an uncalled for assault from the winter ice in a Travel Lodge car park. Not an atrocious matter in itself, but the plastic box lid I was given when requesting the use of a spade and the collecting of salt sachets in a glass because no-one could give me access to a decent amount of the stuff required to melt the glaciers entrapping my tyres was pretty demeaning – not to say, pathetic.

The following month, my dad died. He was 58.

After that, a combination of body and mind problems (oh woe is me) that included some rather intense therapy and the threat of being sectioned (twice, the cheeky fucker!), redundancy (one for me, one for my wife) and the desperation nurtured when trying to sell a house no one is interested in have all ensured the year hasn’t been one of total glory.

But on the other hand:

I’ve seen my distant – and much missed – family much more than I normally would
I’ve made a great friend in a man who was my boss for six months of the year before the economy decided we had do a Red Sea and part
My wife has found herself in a job she loves with people she could happily spend the rest of her life with
We’re currently going through the whole selling / buying process (purposely written in that order) and hope to be in our new home in our new country (Wales – not quite Passport country but a place which demands so much respect for its own language its happy to write its road signs in both English and Welsh) by February 2011.

So it could have been better, it could have been worse. I’ve missed things out for various reasons, but this is, what I hope, a brief outlay of my 2010.

On a separate note, I’ve made some great friends over the last 300-odd days. Admittedly, some were made under the guise of wanting their knowledge, their association, their name or even just their breath if it meant forwarding my writing career (yes, I can be cynical, so sue me!) but am now eager to ensure they remain my friends from here until my dying day. I’m not going to list them all, but I intend to give a few of them some air time, given that they might get to read this and deserve to a have a ‘chest swell’ moment.

Back in February, when attending the World Horror Convention in Brighton (where I met the late, great Ingrid Pitt and was able to achieve my own moment of greatness by being the first person to buy James Herbert a drink before he was dragged away by all and sundry) I was introduced to a great man by Adam Nevill. Mathew F Riley is a fantastic creature who shared a drink, a meal and many a conversation with me and left me wondering if we shared more than just a love of facial hair. The man gave me one of the greatest compliments I have ever received when introducing me to others a few months later and I am so glad he still wishes to converse with me. I cannot praise this person too much – but that doesn’t mean he’s not a cunt! There are limits!

During those few days in Brighton, when the snow was little more than a distant memory or a bad forewarning from a cheap, seaside fortune teller, I dined with the amazingly cool and despairingly intelligent Adam Nevill, talked continuously (and abused emphatically) with Gary and Emily McMahon, both of whom have entered the constrictive confines of my ‘close friends’ circle rather easier than expected but shall never leave (ha!) and hugged outside a toilet the wonderful Sharon Ring whom I had never physically met before but new rather well in digital terms. Since then, I have met, chatted with and laughed along to the jokes of Joseph D’Lacey, shared chips with Adam Nevill’s father, drank yet more ales with F Riley, sipped latte foam with Sharon Ring and have felt a lump in my throat, put there by the wonderful Graham Joyce. This isn’t name dropping. If you don’t wander around in my circle or prefer to stay away from my literary influences, then this is will mean nothing to you. And that ain’t a criticism. Your circles and mine might be a world apart yet we share the same breath and means of telling the time.
I don’t criticise, and i don’t name-drop. I acknowledge.

That’s why I want to say thank you to Kerry Morris-Thuriot, a woman who broke my heart at 16 but apologised and became my best female friend (apart from my wife) when I was 35. I also have to thank Blaize, Eagles, Davies, Turner and Wilsh, all of whom make me chuckle like I’ve joined my nieces and nephew (hey Ben, Jessie and Jodie! Love you!). Most of all, I have to thank Steph, without whom, instead of ending on a potential high, I might not be writing this message (As long as Dai is around, a solitary dance with the razor’s blade is always possible – and could the god of house sales please ensure our sale and buy goes through exactly as we hope and we start a new life next year because we’re both rather tired of the Warrington existence). Cheers, Dearest. You’re the best.

Given I’m wanting to be a writer and I’m a definite reader, here’s a list of books for those who might be interested.

Top Reads of 2010 (in no particular order):
Apartment 16 – Adam Nevill
Pretty Little Dead Thing – Gary McMahon
Magic – William Goldman
The Millennium Trilogy – Stieg Larsson
Skin – Mo Hayder
The Silent Land – Graham Joyce
Horses’ arse – Charlie Owen
In Praise of Older Women – Stephen Vizinczey
Hush – Jeph Loeb; Jim Lee
The X-Factory
The Little Stranger – Sarah Waters

It’s been a while.

My original intention of keeping this blog up-to-date with ‘my life bulletins’ took a pretty serious knock when I heard someone I respect moaning about the number of people of no particular importance forcing their opinions onto the world via blogs and social networks (ironically, this was said in a blog!). My friend believed – and still does as far as I know – the world doesn’t need to know about a person’s aches and pains unless said person has done something of interest to introduce themselves to the world. In other words, they have to have an element of fame attached to their name for people to be interested. Unsurprisingly I took this to heart and brought my short blogging career to an end, but as you can tell by my writing these words, something has changed. It turns out I need the therapy. I need to moan. And as an email from a stranger proved to me, people are interested in hearing about my aches and pains because my aches and pains are more severe than the average person’s. I’m handicapped. I might not look it but believe me, I am. There are those who presume handicapped individuals need something to prove the existence of their disability: a wheelchair or walking sticks or a body cast. And if it’s not an accessory, they need a physical exclamation mark: a missing limb; a distorted face; a crumbled body like a ball of paper. Apart from the occasional use of the walking sticks, I don’t carry these signatures, but that doesn’t mean I’m no less handicapped. I live with a condition I’m sure my friend would agree with as being a disability. And others in my situation want to hear what I say. They want to hear because, like me, they need to know they’re not alone. And they’re not.

So I’m back. And I will now say what I came here to say

I’ve been asked to change.

“You’re too angry. You get wound up too easily. You’re too self-critical. You need to deal with your lack of self-confidence. You’re depression is ruining your life. You have no patience. You snap too quickly. You’re scaring people. You’re humour is too sick. You take things too far. You need to calm down!”

It’s no secret that I hate the world. Don’t get me wrong, I love and like a number of individuals who walk its crumbling crust, but as a whole, I hate this place; hate this world; hate this fucking existence. I happily do what I can for those I can – ironically enough, even if I don’t know them! – but my loathing for fucking people – simply fills me with fury. I have a number of reasons for feeling like this, but what it basically means is that I take things to heart far too easily and end up hating people for the most innocuous reasons. Whereas others would shrug such minor incidents off – incidents including a promise being broken or someone whom I thought had my interests at heart proving they did anything but – I take it too personally. I let it fester and fill my blood with snapping dragons. I bark for no reason. Yell for no reason. Punch the wall, stick pins in my arm of take a razor to my legs for no reason. I have no outlet so the anger is always there. And I’ll be honest, this notion of the world being filled with people out to fuck me over is getting me – and my loved one – down.

I’ve tried ways and means of ridding myself of this anger, but it simply makes things worse. I don’t like computer games, so they’re out. My disability prevents me from doing anything strenuous so previous interests such as squash are out. I’ve tried Pilates and Yoga and hated both. I enjoyed Tai chi but it did nothing for my frustrations. Sex used to be a wonderful experience but nowadays it’s either painful or maddening because of the pills and their side effects. Reading is dictated by my head’s state and if I’m angry, it’s impossible (I haven’t completed a novel in over six weeks – there was a time when I could get through three a week). I watch films as and when I can, but watching one all the way through is impossible because I either find it too uncomfortable or don’t have the attention span I used to. I barely look at my erotica (not porn) and Batman (not a comic) in comparison to years gone by for exactly the same reason as my film watching and when I get interested in a television series, I can’t handle anything over half-an-hour and quickly lose interest after a few episodes even if it’s fantastic. So the options are few and far between and as a result, my urges to hurt all and sundry for the slightest reason (being interrupted whilst I’m concentrating on this, for example) are intensified by sheer frustration.

I thought writing would do it for me but I was deluded – or too desperate. I thought I could write down everything and it all would be okay. But it’s not worked out like that. I’m angry when I write, which is shown in the type of things I write – the type of thing that more than one person claims to have made them feel ill – but I’m worse if I don’t write. Why? Because I beat myself up about it – as all wannabe writers do, only I seem to take it overboard. For me, not writing means I’m bone idle. I ignore the real reason and blame my inadequacies. If I want a career switch from architecture to writing, then surely I should be writing as much as possible? If I want to write instead of draw, then why am I pacing the room? (because I want the burning to stop in my legs) Why am I not dictating or making notes? (Because I’m an idiot.) Then I lay a massive guilt trip on my shoulders, savour my depression and get angry. If I don’t write, I beat myself up inside my head and as a consequence I make people’s lives miserable, I give them cause for concern and I take myself off to bed. So why don’t I write? Believe it or not, it’s not because I’m too idle, and it isn’t because I believe I’m crap or I have nothing to say.

It’s because of my pain.

It’s too simple to say my pain is the sole cause of all of my anger, but it’s certainly not helping. My demons are too big, too deeply embedded in my psyche for my pain to be the sole (soul?) cause. This isn’t the time or place to talk about those demons, but they’re the reason why I am adamant the world is made up with bastards who wear different masks to hide the same bullshit! The pain simply builds on this, feeding my insecurities and nurturing my frustration. I’ve had 13 procedures, countless consultations, false promises, shite treatment and terrible lies and what’s the outcome?

Good question.

My pills no longer work. My operations failed in their purpose. I now suffer from a constant burning in my legs that stop me from living. The pain in my back is such that I can no longer sleep on my side and as a consequence, when lying on my back, I upset my wife with my snoring. So I either sleep in the spare room or don’t sleep at all. My sleep, when I get it, isn’t the greatest because of the pain and the pill-induced dreams I have so I tend to lie in bed and consider worst case scenarios. And the problem with this? More and more of them are becoming true case scenarios and I’m scared these will follow suit. Such as my ability to walk becoming so painful that one day, I won’t be able to do it anymore without the aid of the sticks or the chair. And then perhaps people will realise I really am disabled and not looking for an easy way out. Or the fear I have of never being able to write again because the pills and pain have taken away the little talent I might have once possessed. These thoughts are there in my head and they feel very real.

I am now back in work. The financial situation has forced me back into the office. There was a time when I had hoped my work could remain home-based, given that I have to sit at a desk and draw all day, but sadly this hasn’t been the case. So if I couldn’t do that, then I wanted to go back part time. Impossible. The nature of the game demands full time. The place I work is 40 miles away from where I live and the driving is excruciating. I then sit at a desk for 9 hours a day, staring at a screen that is slowly trying to swallow me. And this isn’t a ‘oh god, he’s just pissed off at his job’ blog because I’m not. I might hate architecture but I enjoy my place of work because I work with some decent people who fall into the ‘I like’ category. But why should I sit there all day in agony, taking dangerously addictive pills and making mistakes because I cannot concentrate on anything properly for a decent amount of time? Others don’t have to do this but I do. Alright, my boss is sympathetic to my condition and helps best as he can but ultimately he’s there to make money and if I don’t make him money, he’ll fuck me off. I’ve already been in and been told my work standards are slipping. And it’s because of the pain; and because of the frustration and the blinding rage which accompanies this. True concentration is a thing of the past and I’m letting people down. And when I get home, when I want to do the one thing I love, I can’t because it hurts. So I take the pills and I sit and I drool and I feel my brain turning into the same stuff I fill my toilet bowl with after a successful colonic irrigation session. And when the weekend comes around, I try to go out and do the normal thing but the streets are full of people and all I want to do is rip the face off the person in front of me because of who they are: a stranger for whom I feel nothing other than loathing. And when the walking around the streets is over, I’m forced to spend the rest of the weekend in bed because I can’t move and the reason I cannot move is because the painkillers failed in their purpose. I then get angry at myself, at the pain, at the people in the street, at the whole fuckin world etc. etc.

This is why people are telling me to change.

So I am.

Shaun has taken a beating. For the last however many years, through one form or another, he has taken a beating and his response has been to lash out with angry comments, spiteful looks and disgusting remarks. Well, I’m going to do something other people I admire have done.
I’m splitting myself up.

Shaun Hamilton will be the caring person. The one willing to help all and sundry. The one in pain but able to deal with it. The one working as an architect who does what he can for his clients and tries to satisfy the needs of his boss.

Dai Zsasz isn’t that person. Dai is the hateful person. The spiteful person. He swears a lot. He’s perverted. He speaks his mind and doesn’t give a fuck. He hates you because you hate him. He talks about hurting because it’s all he wants to do. He screams abuse because you have what he wants. He is in agony and wants you to feel it.

Two entities. One body.

I’ll answer to both names. There are times when I’ll be both personalities but there are going to be times when only one of them will be in control. Shaun or Dai, I don’t who or when. But I feel this gives me some control. This gives me some freedom to express my frustrations instead of getting pissed off for no reason. If Shaun gets hurt, Dai can protect him. If Dai gets offended, he’ll offend you back, only more so.

There are reasons for the name and if anyone is actually reading this and wants to know what they are, ask away. Otherwise, they will stay with me. It’s not going to be an easy transition and no doubt there will be some who see this as confirmation of my impending insanity, but I’ll say this as Dai: if this is your opinion, fuck you and fuck off.

I don’t make this decision lightly. It’s something my therapist and I have discussed on a number of occasions and we’ve agreed it might be the best way to keep me from being sectioned (something she thought she might have to do if I did not get my anger in check). It might not even work but I have to give it a go. The urge to make others understand my pain just lately has been getting out of control and I need to get it under control before it goes too far.

If people have any suggestions for helping me ease my frustrations, whether they be hobbies, therapies, jokes or insults then please fire them my way. It would be good for Shaun if he heard from you but please remember his invisible disability. As for Dai, he doesn’t really know what he thinks yet. He’s only a few hours old.