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Peruse the cruise ships, jewelry, you gloopy Stewart's welcome for The Blind by podcast. There's a strong chance that you're a brand new listener to this podcast. And because of that, I have I've made this this episode is going to be. Accessible and not too strange, but if you want something. A bit more fragrant, a bit spicier. A little bit more Piqua and. Then go back to an earlier episode. The reason I'm going to have some new listeners this week is because this Sunday on TV one, if you live in Ireland 31 I'm on, there's a program called The Meaning of Life, which is used to be presented by Gay Byrne, who was like this iconic Irish broadcaster who has since passed.


But the meaning of life is it's a TV show about about the meaning of life.


It's about spirituality. It's about religion. And the new presenter is Joe Duffy. And Joe Duffy is an Irish broadcaster or sorry broadcaster who presents the official, which is like. It's what's replaced confession in Catholic Ireland, we all used to go to confession, so instead now we have the Joe Duffy Show, which is a daytime radio show where people ring up and they complain and Joe Dolfi listens. And it's this weird, unique Irish phenomenon. And we all partake in this collective confession.


And that's what the Jodo fisheries, which sort of is now presenting the meaning of life, and me and Joe talk for half an hour about. The type of stuff that I usually speak about on this podcast and the reason I. Agreed to do this TV show is because I've never been given an opportunity on RTG. To speak the way I speak in this podcast, I've been interviewed on R.T., I've been on talk shows, I've been on The Late, Late Show, but you're only given seven minutes.


And it's really you're looking for sound. You can't speak about anything with any level of depth or time or space. So I was given that opportunity and it was really fun. It was a lot of fun. I'm just talking about that. Spirituality, I mean, when I say spirituality. Meaning, talking about meaning and talking about psychology, that's what we did. So I'm looking forward to that going out and I'm looking forward to it. I'm looking forward to.


Me, like the first question he obviously asks me is, why am I wearing a bag on my head? And I will explain this. In very rational terms, I wear a bag in my head because I want privacy, I'd go through it all. And even as I do with all men will get onto Twitter and say, why is this Egypt? We're in a bag on his head. I can't take him seriously with a bag in his head.


And they will say that while I explain why I wear a bag in my head. And I look forward to that. So that's Monday or sorry, no Sunday at ten thirty pm on our one if you want to see me chatting the geography I'm also on. This Thursday. I don't know the exact time, but Uncharted two, there's a documentary called The Origins of Irish Hip Hop, and I'm a part of that documentary. Speaking about the rubber band, it's tough, speaking of rubber bands.


This week we released two fuckin songs on the Internet, songs and videos. If you want to see them, go to the rubber band, its YouTube page. The songs are called Bertie Ahern and Waiting and. For the week over the past two years. We were both taken away. Making two pieces, pieces of pieces of music and video, I was cracking away on the music and Mr. Graham was cracking away on the video and we were both doing it in our spare time because.


It's just, you know, music, the music industry, as I mentioned it many times, you can't earn a living from the music industry. It's a very painful industry because.


To make a song and to make a video. Is is hugely time consuming. It takes a huge amount, it takes a lot of money, takes a lot of time and takes a lot of effort. And then the payback for that is tiny. It might even succeed. So the music industry is forked, so. One thing we always hated about doing the Rubber Bandits was making songs and video videos, but having to need them to succeed because if they don't succeed, you don't make your money back.


You don't earn a living. This time. We didn't do this this time. I've got my podcast, I've got my books, Mr. Krames got a full time job outside of art and we don't need any more to, like, do the rubber band. It's professionally. We don't need that. So we decided, let's make some new songs, no videos, just for the joy of making them. Let's make something because we like it. And if if if it doesn't even get any YouTube views, it doesn't matter.


It doesn't matter because we don't rely upon this as our source of income. So that's what we did. They took two years because we were doing it in our spare time. You know how fucking busy I was the past two years, like. Right in a Fokin book, doing a BBC series, this podcast and touring, so on my downtime. What my friends, that's when I was working away on the music, so we're really we're really proud of the two pieces partyin and waiting, and they're on YouTube, but really proud of I'm really happy with them and they're weird.


And we don't care if people like him or not, that we've made something for for ourselves, for ourselves, and that's how it should be, and it's just shit in 2020 that it's like we have to get to our 30s and to have other streams of income in order to be able to do that.


Because there used to be a time in the music industry when bands would just a record label would fund their shit and a record label would fund an artist not necessarily to succeed, but to have the space to fail. There was artists in the 70s signed to six album deals and the labels knew that album one, two and three might sell. Not them, but they're like, no, no, no, no. We believe in the talent and we're going to allow these artists.


We're going to fund them. To fail, because we understand that failure is an essential part of succeeding. But if you're in a situation where an independent artist and it's like. In order for us to earn money, we have to do a tour next September, so that means all summer we have to work on songs and videos and they must succeed. Show you how to fuck. You can't as soon as you decide to create art. And there's this big pressure.


Goal works like this has to be popular as soon as you engage in that type of creativity, then it's very hard to create good art because you're creating from a place of fear and threat. If the threat is these pieces of work that we make, if they're not good, nobody will come to the gig. Then that's it, your fault, and the thing is to in the 70s, people would buy music. So even if, like Jesus Christ, I think of an album Lou Reed and an album called Metal Machine Music.


Which he literally he was trying to get out of a record contract, I believe he just left his guitar on an amplifier for two hours and printed it to Vinals. And it's sold millions of copies because people didn't know they're just like here's Lou Reed's no double album and their bodies, and it was two hours of of a guitar resting in an amp, which some people say was incredibly unfair to the consumers. And it is to an extent, if you're paying money plus.


If a band now puts releases Fokin songs and videos, you can consume them for free on Spotify or on YouTube, and if they don't work and it doesn't mean that they're bad or if they're good, if people don't. Likeme, then that band isn't going to receive any return on their investment when they embark on a tour and they might end up losing money, and that's the reality of the music industry.


And that's what kind of. That was my 20s, I spent my 20s doing that and. Ended up living on 50 quid a week. And having a few pieces of work that I'm really not happy with because they were created from a place of fear and insecurity rather than created from a place of what's the best piece of work. That's why I enjoyed my fucking book so much. When I wrote my first book in twenty seventeen, I was creatively burnt out.


From Robert Venditte stuff, and the thing with a book is because a book. Is something physical that you purchase? I had the freedom to make what I wanted to make it. It wasn't what a book kind of the cover sells, you know what I mean?


Or a review will sell it. So books are a little bit like the old school record industry.


So these two are no rubber propaganda songs anyway, you see, you'll find them on YouTube waiting in Pakistan, they're both two sides of the same coin.


Bertie Ahern is consciously abrasive and dark and the influence is a bit like postpunk type shit like the fall or does a bit of Pixie's in there, Primus.


Iron is abrasive, it doesn't necessarily want to be liked, if you know what I mean, it's sometimes a piece of art is allowed to be ugly, you know what I mean?


And that doesn't necessarily mean it's bad. Heavy metal music is ugly music which uses. Ugly sounds, sounds that are distorted. Are excessively loud or excessively fast. So that's what that is, and then the other song waiting. That's kind of unapologetic, pop, now, by pop, I mean. There's pop music and there's popular music, popular music is whatever music happens to be popular and whatever music happens to be popular isn't necessarily pop. Pop is a style whereby.


You're you're trying to make the catchiest piece of work possible, you're looking for maximum amount of hoax. It's a kind of a heritage art form in that it abides by good songwriting, but ultimately will pop.


It's like you want to make something that as soon as someone hears it, it's stuck in their head for the rest of the day. And you want to do that across multiple hooks if you can. So where is the song? And the video are one. It's not a it's this is very pretentious, it's not a pop song, but rather it's a piece of art that uses the language of pop in order to achieve its aims as a piece of art.


And that includes the video, which is.


A song that's like. Catchy enough to end up on the radio, but they could never play it on the radio because the video is so disturbing. So that's what that is.


And there are two pieces that we made over the course of two years just to make something that we bought like that is. Nothing else, and if they don't even get any views, it doesn't matter. There's no consequences. There's no consequences.


It doesn't matter because we have other shit going on. I've got my podcast, my twitch. I'm going to start writing another book soon. Krames got a full time job. We do not need these. We don't need this work to succeed. We don't even need anyone to like it. And that feels fucking amazing. And the last time. Last time we had that was before anyone knew who we were when we were 19, making music just for the crack of it and put it up on MySpace for free because we never thought anyone would listen to it.


But then as soon as you start doing gigs and it becomes a career. And the Internet has taken all possible monetization away from music, then you're trapped into that toxic cycle, you have to have a hit. This has to get half a million views. And if it doesn't, then you're not making money and you're actually going to end up paying money for what you invested in the songs and support your favorite fucking musicians. Basically, if you listen to an independent artist, don't just stream them on Spotify.


Do they have a bandcamp? Can you buy the March marching band camp right now is very good for artists because there's no gigs. It's a tough time, so we're quite privileged to be able to make these two things, to have separate incomes, income streams, and to be able to make a pair of videos. We would not have been doing that in our 20s. So for this week's podcast, I.


I wanted to create something a bit more a bit accessible for any newer listeners, so what I did was I went on to Instagram. And I asked people, do you have any questions that are specific to mental health and I got lots and maybe 500. About five or six hundred mostly direct messages, because the people asking the questions wants to remain anonymous and overwhelmingly from women rather than men. Now, I don't know why that is. It's probably the old classic of men not even wanted to speak out, I just yeah, it is it has to be because I've gone to Instagram before and said, do you have questions for the podcast?


And it would be 50/50 and men would ask questions about things. But this time I said, do you have questions for the podcast which relates specifically to your mental health, your emotional state, whatever is going on with you? And then about 90 percent women are where the stuff is coming from.


So what I did is I'm chosen questions that I'm ethically OK with answering. Anything that has to do with, like that's too deep into mental health stuff, that's. Related to medication will say, I'm not going to speak unless that's that would be irresponsible. I'm not a professional, so I'm not going to speak. I'm not going to address any question which.


Should be answered by a fucking professional, because that's irresponsible of me, so instead I'm answering questions that are more existential and something that I can relate back to my experience so that when I speak about mental health, I'm doing it ethically and safely and with the honest understanding of, gee, I'm not qualified.


I did study a little bit of psychotherapy back in the day, but the only qualification I have is.


My own mental health and my own personal journey and how I apply psychology to me and I'm the authority on me and I'm the authority on my journey, and I'm not an authority on anyone else's mental health and certainly not anything to do with medication or clinical psychology. I wouldn't dream of being so irresponsible as to say that. All I'd says is contact the professional. So. I got some kind of fuckin. There's a few few of these questions that I think I don't even know how to how to answer them, but I'm going to read them out.


Just just so we can see what what can I say about him, one that definitely stuck out for me was a message from a woman called Julie. And Jodi says over the years, I've never dealt with my childhood or adolescent years, which caused me to make so many mistakes in relationships and see no self-worth. But I spent the best part of a year in counseling recently to overcome my demons. And I thought I was in the best mental state I ever was.


Alas, that is now being tested. At the greatest possible strength. I'm in a no relationship close to a year, and I thought it was the be all and end all for me. I thought this was this. Wedding bells. He treated me like a queen in every aspect of our relationship. I recently found out he was unfaithful with an ex partner of his. Now, this particular individual is one of the most toxic kind and is a gifted at manipulation.


So I don't have all failed aimed at him. He showed such remorse for his actions, genuine pain for what he had done. I feel stronger because I worked so hard up myself, but I don't know if I'm making the right decision by staying in this relationship.


I love him more than all the stars in the sky. He made me feel as though I was like the rarest of gems pulled from the dirt to be allowed to shine bright in this third world. Not an excuse is what he's done, I know I know this full well, but I don't feel as though I can throw it all away because I put my mind, body and soul into him. He did wrong, but he has made such an effort since this became known.


And I suppose that's something he doesn't have to do either, unless he was truly sorry.


He has told me through endless tears that he loves me and wants not more than to share his life with mine and will do all he can to prove that. I know some listeners and even yourself may say, why stay when you've been struck with the utmost betrayal? But I've never felt a connection so strong with anyone in my life. It sounds crazy, I know, since he managed to chase, but I know he returns those feelings to me. I know this is a bit scattered.


I don't really know what to say at all, but I'd appreciate the advice. Just please help a sister out. If you do decide to read this. I would like to remain anonymous. Please. No one needs to know any of this. So her real name is Julie. I mean. Right, so I can't I can't give any of any advice around this race. I wanted to read it out. Because I get a sense from what Julie is saying, there's just certain words that you're writing down, Judy, that let me.


That let me know. It's like, you know, certain ship, but you won't say it and you're waiting for confirmation, like. All right, first off, Wright was the elephant in the fucking room. He's been unfaithful, right? Now, monogamy, look, monogamy is fucking humans aren't monogamous, humans aren't monogamous, monogamy is really difficult. OK, if you're to have a long term adult relationship with someone. You do have to both people have to observe the rules around monogamy, by which I mean.


An adult relationship has to have a degree of flexibility. It's okay to have take it to CBT, it's OK to have a strong preference, a strong preference that your partner is faithful.


OK, boss, if you create a black and white role right in an adult relationship, if you create a black and white role, if this person cheats on me, they are scum and they don't love me and fuck them if you have that, a really, really rigid rule about faithfulness.


Chances are it's it's you're going to end up incredibly disappointed. So because humans aren't monogamous, humans aren't monogamous, and people who really love each other sometimes cheat on each other. I'm not saying it's good, I'm not saying that it's a good thing to do, but it's a reality. Sometimes it happens. Sometimes people who really love each other, either one person gets fucking drunk or whatever, sometimes that shit happens. And if you if you want to have an adult long term relationship, you have to have the space where they whereby that can be allowed in without the fear of everything breaking apart.


Right. While still.


Maintaining a strong preference for faithfulness, right, you can still have a strong preference to it. It's just I'm bringing CBT into this. Any anytime you have a rigid demand are most and assured then. The level of pain you will experience if it does happen would be quite extreme, and then you'll also create these you set up these fucking rules for yourself where it's like, well, that's it. They were at an office party and they got drunk and they shoot someone.


But I've got a rule that that that that's a line that can't be crossed. And now you're in this position where you can't have dialogue to work through it. You know, like what I have to break open, though. That's not how life works. Life isn't black and white like that. People try their best to be faithful. But sometimes sometimes people fuck up. And I know especially if you've ever been fucking cheated on. We've all been cheated on, it's not fun, very hurtful.


It's a feeling of rejection. It brings up all your insecurities. So you're probably listening.


And some people are thinking, know, people who cheat are the fucking worst.


And it's terrible and it's awful. Well, if that's if that's your belief and that's a rule that you carry with you.


If you try to have a long term adult relationship, you're going to you're going to be really, really heartbroken instead of having instead. You moved instead of being rigid, you moved to a place of flexibility and you're still entitled to not want to be cheated on. You're still entitled to. Request to consentual monogamous relationship. And to have that as a strong preference, but by having a strong, realistic, flexible preference, it means that if it does happen, there's now at least.


A fertile ground to discuss what happens going forward instead of. I really tense. Black and whites, mutually assured destruction. That's what it is if you have a mutually assured destruction means if that person cheats on me with that, it's all over done. How do you do that if you're still in love with the person, even if they did cheat? So you have to move it to an adult position. So that's just a general thing. But want want a few of the words that you're using there, Julie?


Like. One thing that would jump out to me there that I would take a look at if I if I had written this and I was you. He your your father. Gottwald is expectorate. And I quote, He treated me like a queen in every aspect of our relationship, I recently found out he was unfaithful with an ex partner. This particular individual was one of the most toxic kind and is gifted at manipulation. So I don't have all filed aimed at him.


That's the bit now that's. If I found if I caught myself saying that, I would analyze that aspect of my language. All right. He's an adult. Even if you're one is manipulative, even if she's conniving, even if she sought him out. He's an adult, he made a choice. OK, you can't. It's like you're minimizing Hart, you're minimizing Hart and trying to. Yeah, he's an adult, he made a choice. All right, and you have to hold him accountable to that choice if you intend to move forward and have rational dialogue around it.


But I think you wrote this because you know this and there's a few things that you've written in your message to me and I think. You write them because you know them to be true. And one thing in particular. I love him more than all the stars in the sky. He made me feel as though I was like the rarest of gems pulled from the desert to be allowed to shine, shine bright in this Dorward world. I mean, you're referring to yourself, there is as a as a dirty gem, why are you calling yourself a dirty diamond?


A filthy rowby, a badge, jade. You know, you're knowingly and poetically, symbolically referring to yourself as. Something which which. Doesn't have intrinsic value like you're not you're a human being and. We are all shining gems, every one of us. We all have wonderful, beautiful intrinsic value that can be taken away from us, right. That we simply have for being alive. And you can compare yourself to other people. All you can be is the best version of you.


But you can't. We all have intrinsic worth. So there is no such thing as. I mean, if you're referring to yourself, there is as you know, you are you feel like the rarest of gems allowed to shine bright in this third world. Allow yourself to be a gem that shines bright in the world, but no one's pulling you up from the dirt, there's no dirt to begin with. You're not a dirty rowby. You have intrinsic worth and another person and your attachment to another person and your relationship to another person that can't improve your intrinsic value aspects of yourself and you can learn and you can grow with another person, but another person can't improve your intrinsic value.


That's yours. And that can't be diminished by any aspect of your behavior. So there's no such thing as a gem pulled from the dirt. You're just a gem. Where are gems with intrinsic worth? And you can shine bright as you want. Without another person shining a fucking torch behind that, you know what I mean? But again. It's it's elements of your language, it's it's like I can tell, you know, the shit to be true, otherwise you wouldn't fucking write it down.


When you say he makes me feel as though I'm the rarest of gems pulled from the dark to be allowed to shine bright in this world, that tells me that your place and your self-worth in this relationship, that your sense of words is in common from inside, that your sense of feeling good about yourself is dependent upon the love and approval of this other fellow. And we all know from listening to that podcast that, again, that's an unrealistic position, you know, and I know it's hard, I know it's fucking difficult.


I'm not saying it's easy, but. If you place your worth in in a relationship. You can't. It's hard, then to have equal footing. Two people have to exist together as shining diamonds alongside each other on a journey. But if one diamond is dirty and requires the other person to polish it, there's already a weird power dynamic going on in their. Which is. A toxic cycle. So should you stay with him? I'm not going to tell you that.


How the fuck am I supposed to know? I don't know him.


And, you know, did he did he cheat on you once? And that's it. Ethanol. What I'd be looking at there is. If clearly from your language. Right, and this is your own words, if you feel like a dirty game and that your proximity to that, he's somehow he has pulled you from the dart and allowed you to shine that all this language that you're using, which is handing your water and power over to another person.


Right. If that is is your internal feeling OK, then. How do you truly know if what you have then is love or is it merely a feeling of safety and assurance and and external words? To you get me, it's like. The lens. You know what, Stati? Noss. You as a gem, but the lens that you're looking through to assess what is it is a genuine human connection with another person, because that becomes difficult when your self-worth appears to depend upon this person's love and approval, then the lens through which you can assess what an actual loving, long term human connection is.


That lens is now distorted. So. An adult relationship, right, is for two people, an adult relationship is where two people can exist separately. Right, separately, as independent battles with each of you having your own intrinsic worth, you're in each of you having your own internal some sense of self esteem, each of you having the autonomy in a relationship to each have a separate sense, separate identity to be have the confidence to be separate from each other, but at the same time come together fluidly.


But. Like. If things like jealousy, envy, all these things come into a relationship between two people, then that means there's an unequal footing in this weird kind of toxic cycle, you know?


So I don't know what I can I'm not going to tell you what to do. What I can do is I can point out some of your language, which I think you know, where your place in your self worth being in this relationship and in which you've got to do is work on work on your self-worth, intrinsic value, intrinsic value. And sometimes what can happen to. Sometimes there's a pattern sometimes. People can find themselves drawn towards relationships where the where the other partner cheats.


And people some people feel that like, oh, I just got cheated on a lot and they keep sake in these relationships where the partner cheats all the time and are not just cheating. Some people can repeatedly find themselves in relationships with people and the same negative shit happens over and over with different people.


And often what that is, is, is when your self-esteem is is low. You miss the warning signs, you missed the red flags, you missed the warning signs, and you could even be drawn towards the negativity as some weird type of unconscious self flagellation. And the key out of that cycle is genuine self-esteem and self-worth. And when you have genuine self-esteem and self-worth, your capacity and ability to surpass when someone else is on a different journey and when someone else isn't right for you or when someone else might be bad for you, when you have that real, genuine, a grounded sense of self, what it means is that your lens for viewing other people is now healthy and you can spot the person who's going to be manipulative or you can spot the person who might be a cheater does not mean you don't miss the signals and you tend to want to be drawn towards someone.


Who's healthier and that healthiness tends to mean. Two people being able to exist autonomously while also being a couple, you don't have to change any aspect of who you are to keep another person happy. No, you can change aspects of your behavior. All right, that's when people become couples, you learn and grow and your worldview changes, your taste in music can change your learning with another person. But if your change in parts of yourself, because your you want approval are scared of disapproval, then that's a weird imbalance.


So I think you know the answers to the question you fuckin asked me, Julie, I think you know the answers. I know, by the way you wrote it down, but what you want is to have those reflected back at your.


Look at your own fucking question. Look at your own fucking question honestly, all right, because the answers are in there. You've written them down and anyone listening don't be getting pissed off at me saying blind guy is approaching the brain blind. I love cheaters. Know, what I'm saying is that's a. Human existence contains rejection, disappointment, all these things, these are unavoidable tenets of human existence. People are going to lie to you. People are going to cheat on you.


People are going to manipulate you. People who love you are going to do this. And it's all part of the complex tapestry of being a human. And what I'm saying is.


We can't create rigid rules about it because rigid rules aren't realistic. So what you do is you move to. Strong preference is. I have a strong preference that I don't get lied to. I have a strong preference that I don't get manipulated, can you have a strong preference that you don't get rejected?


You can't really have that because people people are entitled to reject your. People aren't entitled to manipulate you, people aren't entitled to lie to you. But people are entitled to reject a. You know what I mean? So there you go. That's nice and cheerful. Time now for the shake up, cause I'm going to shake a little lunch box full of popcorn kernels and you're going to hear an advert for some bullshit. All right, here we go.


Sometimes you might forget, but every one of us is still at risk from covid-19, but every time we do the right thing, we're protecting ourselves and the people around us. So next time you meet up, just take a step back. Let's all keep cleaning those hands and wear a face covering when you're shopping around public transport, if you cough or sneeze covers or have a tissue handy and don't know the cobra up to be one in more than a million because covid-19 is still a problem.


And we're all the answer from the Hajazi come home to ultrafast broadband and Skye's best ever Wi-Fi for our lowest ever price from just 30. Your mom. So you can now play games, stream music and download movies at ultrafast speeds for less than ever before. To switch from just 30 euro month for 12 month search guy 30 availability subject to location set up these terms and conditions applied for more Infosys skydived for its Bede's.


That was the sharecroppers, so you didn't get startled by a digital advert. Sometimes their sponsorship on this podcast, sometimes there isn't, and the podcast is sponsored by you, the Listener, via the Patreon page. Right. This is 100 percent independent podcast. Norman pulls my strings. No one tells me what to do because this podcast is listener funded. I don't have to rely upon advertisers. I can tell advertisers to go fuck themselves if they try and control the content of this or to try and get me to advertise something remarkable.


What advertising? So the way you can support the podcast is Patreon to come forward, slash the blind by podcast. If you're listening to this podcast regularly and are taking something from us, just consider paying me for the work that I'm doing. If you're consuming it. And all I'm looking for is the price of a pint of the price of a cup of coffee once a month. Patreon dot com forward, slash the Blind Buy podcast, sign up and become a patron.


And if you can't afford it, you don't have to. You can listen for free and then someone else pays for you. It's a model based on Sounness. All right. Everyone's fucking happy. It works fantastically. But please do consider becoming a patron because I can't gig during the pandemic. I'm not going to get any television work. My fucking paperback of my book come out and said a lot of those because the fucking shops were closed. It's been a bad year for people in my industry.


And the podcast is my sole source of income. That's what pays all my bills. So when you become a patron, it's. It's a big deal, it's a big deal for me, so if you can afford it, if you're working, if the pandemic has, like, meant that you're not paying petrol to go to work anymore, just give me the price of a pint or a cup of coffee once a month for consumer days and enjoying it.


Right. And chill out if you can't afford that, your grind. And another way you can support my guest is.


Just everyone. Go and leave all of you, leave a comment on whatever fucking podcast arpeggios and if you're using Spotify, like the podcast and fucking follow us if we use an Apple podcasts, leave all of you read the podcast. All that shit is important as well. And of course not. If you'd like to see my livestream and twitch that TV Fiberglas to blame by podcast, a livestream three times a week making music chat with people. It's called crack.


You can come along and you can talk to me in real time on Twitch that TV forward, slash the blame by podcast Wednesday, Thursday, Friday nights, guaranteed and then intermittent at the weekends.


Also, there's a little lottery for patrons. If you if you join up on the Patreon, I pick one person once a month and I draw this person a customized drawing and I send them in the post. Another question that came in tonight. Well, multiple people ask this one question are variations of this. This was by far the most common question. People wanted me to speak about social anxiety and agoraphobia during covid joining what we're living in right now and.


I don't really have an answer to it, because I'm that's what I'm living right now. That is what I'm living. And that is the number one cause of discomfort in my life right now. So what I mean and what people mean when they're asking me this is I've got a history of social anxiety. I once suffered from agoraphobia, which meant that being in public places was terrifying for me. It would trigger anxiety attacks. So I would become a recluse and stay in my house.


I wouldn't leave. To leave meant possibly getting a panic attack. And that was at the time the worst thing that could happen. So I have done huge amounts of personal work on myself. To not live the life of someone with agoraphobia, I still have social anxiety because it's it's it's part of who I am as a person, but.


It's OK to be socially I can be socially anxious while still feeling comfortable in social situations and still enjoying being outside, it's just that's not my energy, it's not my comfort zone. But I can step outside the comfort zone and be perfectly happy, happy, functioning adult. So I've done tons of work on myself over the years with. Being in a crowded restaurant, being in a crowded bar and saying to myself. Even though you feel anxious, even though you feel afraid, there's actually not to be anxious or afraid of this feeling of anxiety is a fabric of your own.


It's part of your imagination. It's irrational. You have the challenges you have to face down. You have to think flexibly and rationally. And also alongside agoraphobia and social anxiety, you become obsessed with germs, not not a given, but I would I used to carry hand sanitizer around it myself. I used to be mindful of touching door handles because for me, it wasn't like I had this terrible fear of of becoming sick. There were safety behaviors.


It was a way to try and control if I'm going to a pub and this pub is terrifying, me being around people makes me feel like I'm going to have an anxiety attack. Then in order to cope, we develop what's known as an anxiety talk. We develop safety behaviors.


So a safety behavior for me was like, I've got asthma, but it's not that bad. All right. I haven't gotten an asthma attack since I was a child. But I know my anxiety is bad if I'm carrying my blue inhaler around with me all the time because I don't need it. All right. I don't need my blue inhaler. I need to take that inhaler once a year and only ever because I fall off the wagon and smoke cigarettes.


But if my anxiety is high, I will carry around me my inhaler. And I have to be mindful of that because the inhaler has nothing to do with my asthma. It has it's a safety behavior to control and manage my anxiety and sometimes that. It's just a distraction, it doesn't deal with the core problem. Hand sanitizer was a way for me to manage anxiety. It was a safety behavior ripping the fucking labels off beers, tearing up beer mats, all safety behaviors.


So I would recognize those signs, I would conquer them, I would change my behavior, I change my thoughts until I became a functioning member of society.


Now, because a fucking coronavirus. All the triggers and red flags that would have been conducive with me being in a state of mental health. Are now a rational part of existence. When I go to a restaurant. I'm. Fearful of people when I'm in a restaurant, I feel anxious and I'm hyper aware of where people are, what they're doing, and I feel unsafe and I feel afraid. The thing is, I can't use CBT on that because I should be afraid and I should be wary.


Because there's a pandemic and I have to maintain social distance and people might be carrying coronavirus, so I it is it is rational for me to be in a restaurant and to be anxious of people. And that's weirdly triggering for me because I've done so much work on myself to challenge exactly that thought, because in a in a non pandemic situation, that would be irrational. In a non pandemic situation, it's like, so what, you're going to catch a cold and you might.


What are you doing? Afraid of people. Why do you care where they are? I would challenge all these thoughts and I've had to rewire my brain, so.


When I'm in a restaurant. The anxiety that I feel, no, it's not anxiety because anxiety is unhealthy, what I feel, I feel a healthy amount of caution and a healthy amount of fear because it's a rational response to human beings in a pandemic. So the negative, unhelpful emotions that come in, I feel a lot of shame. I'm feeling a lot of shame recently. So when I sit in a restaurant. And feel anxiety because of people, I feel shame that.


The feelings that remind me of my social anxiety are coming back, so I now have to be used CBT in the sense of shame, by which I mean. Like, I was in a restaurant the other day because I wanted to have a nice lunch. I wanted to get out of my house. I wanted to sit down. I wanted to have a nice fucking lunch. And I'm sitting there and I'm not enjoying my dinner because I don't think that the man beside me is two meters distance.


And now my dinner is not enjoyable because he's not two meters away.


A year ago, if I would have said that exact sentence to a counselor, there would be very concerned and they would they'd be they'd be investigating that were counseling. I recommend the medication. If outside of a pandemic situation, how was your lunch blown by? I couldn't enjoy my chicken because I was concerned that the man beside me was not within the two limit. Outside of a pandemic that is red flag shit, that's how I used to think at the height of my anxiety, OK, but now it's that's how I have to think and it's how I should think.


Ways that were once dysfunctional ways of thinking and relating to other people that were once dysfunctional are now fully functional. But for me then that brings on shame the shame of regressing, even though I'm not. And that's a red that's that's a tough one. I'm not regressing back to anxiety, what I'm actually doing is behaving appropriately and cautiously for my safety and other people's safety, but my brain doesn't recognize it as that. My brain says that's it. Now, all the hard work you've done on social anxiety, your return and back to a man you're worried about, someone being two metres away from you are.


Find them myself, and this is another one that really fucking pisses me off and makes me feel shame and makes me feel frustration is. Simply given a fuck about what strangers are doing. When I had mental health issues, when I had depression and I had had anxiety. If I went to a pub or I went to a restaurant. I can't exist as as a confident. Being. I like when I had bad anxiety, I'd be sitting in a pub or anywhere public, and you you'd look across at a stranger and you might feel contempt for them.


You might feel angry, you might convince yourself that that person has got opinions about you, all of a sudden you're concerned with strangers, what they're doing, you're you're feeling strong emotions about strangers, your project and thoughts into their head. That person thinks they're fucking great. Look at them with their cool clothes or a bed. They think I'm a piece of shit. Why are they staring at me with no evidence? Because I'm in a state of mental health.


And this is how I used to be when I had bad anxiety, when I had bad depression, OK, concerned and heavily emotionally invested with toxic emotions for fucking strangers. And then when I got to a place of mental health and high self-esteem. Then it becomes all compassion. I stayed in a pub and restaurant and I see someone sitting across the way and I have the self-esteem and personal boundaries to allow that person to exist. I don't give a fuck about their pants.


I don't care about what they're reading. I'm not making assumptions or judgments about their character. I'm not projecting into their heads negative opinions that they have of me. I'm simply I'm here in the restaurant. I'm having a good time. And I'm looking at everybody around me with positivity, and they're allowed to have their boundaries to be separate human beings. I can't do that anymore in the coronavirus pandemic because I'm consistently judging people on whether their behavior is.


Within the best practices of safety, so when I walk down the road, when I'm on my run and my run is for my mental health, I fucking love my run, but I'm running. All right, trying to listen to music, trying to get into that meditative, beautiful fucking state of running the dragon that I'm Jason. And 50 meters ahead of me are two people walking towards me. And they're. They don't look like they're going to get out of the way and give me the two meters that I'm afforded them, so now that 50 meters of running is me in my head, slightly irritated with two fucking strangers, and then I pass them and I say to myself, you fucking pricks, you selfish pricks, are you going to be trying to kill us?


Are what you're coronavirus? Did you not see me coming? You're not so. But you're supposed to get out of the way when I come. We're supposed to give each other social distance. Why didn't you do it? So now that's three minutes of my run. For instead of being mindful of being meditative, enjoying my own, being in the here and now, I'm now. Angry with strangers. And I can't see that away. Because I should be angry with strangers.


It's okay for me to be irritated with people who aren't respect and social distance because they could kill someone. And I don't know how to use. My psychology on that, I don't know how to use my self-help techniques on that, but then. Then I feel shame, I feel shame because I know that outside of a pandemic, no pandemic, if I'm going on a run and I'm worried about where other people are standing on the footpath and I take that to my counselor, that's a red flag.


I'm going back into all patterns of anxiety myself. What that would tell me outside of a pandemic, if I'm feeling angry about strangers, that's my self-esteem. That's me projecting a bunch of shit. But ultimately, it all ends of me being unhappy. So these are the fucking challenges that I'm facing and that a ton of other people are facing regarding mental health and coronavirus. And I know from all the messages I'm getting. I'm. And I don't know what to do with it.


It's definitely it is taking a toll on me. I'm. I'm fit, I'm part of my feet, and right now it's six months into it, let's I'm feeling fed up. OK, now, I'm not not going to come on here and be unnecessarily negative and make things shit, Shitrit. But I'm fed up. All right. That's what I can say, six months, I can say I'm fed up of coronavirus. I want spontaneity. It's making me realize, too, I'm I'm a hugely introverted person, I don't leave my house very much, I don't do a huge amount of socializing, but I suddenly realize I've taken for granted.


The importance that human interaction has had in my life. I can't have meaningful. Spontaneous connections anymore. The closest I had I can't remember if I even mentioned this, I can't remember if I said this on Twitter, if I said it on the podcast, but. I appeared on a guest podcast recently. A friend of mine, Alison Spitler, she's a comedian and she herself and Fern Brady and I did a Zoome call for their podcast. And I ended up feeling.


Sad afterwards, and it's like, why do I feel fuckin what's that about? I just had a lovely chat with Alison and Foreign. And then I realized, oh, fuck. It reminded me of bumping into someone I hadn't seen in a while, having a pint and having a spontaneous conversation, it reminded me of that and that's what's gone. Spontaneity is what I miss. I want to go day and I want to meet someone in a smoking area.


I want to do these days things that I took for granted, and I want little human interaction. I want to meet someone I haven't seen in a while. I want to hug people. I want to do unplanned. Compassion and intimacy, that's what it is, unplanned compassion and fucking intimacy, when you meet someone that you haven't seen in a while, or even if you chat to a stranger in a fucking smoking area, you shake someone's hand.


It's it's unplanned compassion and intimacy. And I've never in my life been in a situation where that's been taken away. Now it's been taken away. And I understand how valuable that is. To my mental health and to how my thought processes work, to my creativity, to everything and all other interactions are planned, I can schedule a zoom car with a friend, I can ring someone up, I can do all this, but it's all planned. And it's cautious and the spontaneity is gone, the humanity of that is gone, so that shit has me fed up, you know?


I'm. How do I deal with this? I mean, I'm Kaup and of course, I'm Copan, I know I'm Copan, because even amongst all that, I do have my mental health. It's OK to be fed up, it's OK to be disappointed, it's OK to be angry. It's when these things become unhealthy and they start to influence into into intervale, into destructive behaviors or destructive emotions.


That's when you've got mental health issues. I don't have that because I'm absolutely Copan. But it's OK for me to acknowledge I'm fed up at the moment. I'm disappointed. I. But I don't need to be feeding a shame. That's irrational, that's dysfunctional, it's not conducive reality, I should not feel shame and. Because fuckin. Being in certain pubs reminded me of what it was like when I had anxiety, that's no cause for shame. So I have to analyze and take responsibility for the part myself that's feeling shame.


And how do you tackle shame, self compassion?


And a good way to access self compassion is is to be compassionate for other people. If our enemies if you are kind and loving to another person, are another animal. That act of of in interpersonal compassion opens you up a little bit to intrapersonal compassion, which is compassion for yourself. And compassion for yourself. Sometimes an easy way and compassion for yourself as well as you think yourself as a little child. You know, you think of yourself as a little toddler and you say nice things to yourself instead of thinking upset of me, thinking of me feeling shame, I imagine myself as three years of age, feeling shame.


And that's easier then for me to what I need to do is that I need to move. I tell myself in my head. There's no reason for you to feel shame you're being too hard on yourself. And allow yourself fallibility, allow yourself love. It's easier to do that when I imagine that I'm a little kid if you get me. So we've got another question here. This is another one where. I don't know, I think the person knows the answer, and it's one that I don't really have the answer to, but I think I'm going to read it out.


And this is from Annette, not not in its real name. My partner had an affair. We broke up, he spent locked down with her, and Carrie came back home to Dublin when it was lifted. He goes down to her every weekend. We still live together. In Dublin in rented accommodation. I can't move out. He can't move out. We're stuck in the same place, right. So that's. You need that, you need to have a contract or something, you need you need a strong agreement there.


That's he's been a bit of a fucking Gauld there, you know what I mean? Like, all right, two things. So. You're in rented accommodation, you people can't move out because it's I understand it's Dublin, it's renting. So now essentially. Against your will, your party are living together in a house, but you've broken up with each other. He's had an affair and now he's gone down to carry tier one and coming back up.


You need to have a fucking contract, man. If you're entitled. If him doing this is really, really hard for. And even though if you're fucking broken up and you're still living together, you're entitled to honestly say to him. This is really hard for you going down each weekend. It's also not safe for coronavirus coronaviruses, Macedonian dobrin to carry every weekend. Come on. We know we can't be doing that shit, everyone knows you can't be doing that shit, that's not safe.


That's. So there's there's that I wouldn't even pull that one out. You need a fork and contract and an agreement. Because you don't here's the thing, you don't have agency if if because of the rent situation, because of accommodation in Dublin, you are living in a house with this person. You now don't you don't have agency, so normally what are you going to do? If the relationship is broken up, all right, you get the fuck away and if he wants to go down to your one, at least you don't know about it.


The relationship is broken up.


That's his business. But if you're living there and this is a repeated thing every weekend and you know, he's gone down to carry and it's. Hartono, you're entitled there to have emotional boundaries and entitled to say, I know we're broken up our right and I know you're free to go down to your fucking to your new girlfriend. I know this stuff, but. It's still really fucking hurtful, and in light of me not having the agency to move out, are you not having the agency to move out?


Do we really need to continue? Do you need to continue operating in this way, which is incredibly hurtful to me? And that will be a conversation that needs to happen there, a contract, because that doesn't sound fair to me. You don't have the option to turn away from that. You don't have the option to turn away from it.


That's that's. That's not nice. That's not nice, and most people. I would say that he's behaving in a way there that's. Selfish and cruel. OK. You need to have a contract and you need to let them know. That's heartful, is Fook. And he shouldn't be doing it anyway with coronavirus, you can't be doing that, he can't be gone on to carry every fucking weekend to meet someone during coronavirus. It's just it's you could be dragging it up and down the country.


No one should be doing that. Really, to be honest, it's not essential. That's a tough one and that's a tough one. Thank you for sharing that one. But that's what I'd say, a sit down in a contract about what's OK and what's not, and your feelings are valid and you're entitled. You're entitled to have that discussion because you can't fucking you don't have agency, so that's what I'd say they're. These new father, Ted Stamps from unposted are fantastic.


You can use them to send anything. I'm going to send for Mr. Benson back his whistle. I know. I just keep. I could send a letter to Father Larry. You can never get him on the phone. No, wait. I've got to attend a Father's Day card to Bishop Brennan. He'd love that. Send laughs and phone send off with Father Ted Stamps from your post office or on Father Ted Unposed for your world.