There is very little in this world that I am quite so good at as being a poor sleeper. I like to think that I can write, and that I take a half-decent photograph. I can cook and it’s not awful, and I love to talk to people; friends, strangers, fellow travellers, people in the checkout queue at the supermarket. The thing is, particularly at times like these, I am better at being a melancholy sod whose head won’t switch off as I examine (endlessly) the bits of my life that are not ‘right’ into the wee small hours of the morning.

I should be happy. I am working at a cool place (even if they are shambolic at paying my invoice(s)), I have my own place, cool toys (cameras, computers) and even more importantly the finest friends and family that anyone could ever hope to have. My social life is busy, busy, busy and I have found treasures like Planet Angel, the local (and to an extent National) goth scene, LRP and the RUCC to name just a few. I have achieved things that I am proud of – my 365 project in particular – and I am still setting myself goals and reaching them. Already the writing I am doing on a daily basis has attracted some really touching and frankly amazing praise from the community (just go look at some of the comments if you don’t believe me – this is a link to my profile), and I really am happy and fulfilled by that and a hundred other things about my life creatively, professionally, socially…

So why is it that I am not happy? It’s not Nadja (in case you were wondering). For all of the hurt and disappointment, she and I are finally in a place where I can honestly say that I regret nothing and I am no longer angry with her. We ‘talk’ on MSN quite often (maybe once a week) and we have had some really great, useful, honest and intimate conversations that I am so pleased we can still have.

No, in the end it is simple; I want to find the strength to really stop smoking cigarettes, instead of stopping for a week, a month, a year. I want to really find the strength to lose weight and get fit. I’m not going to live long enough if I don’t and I reckon the likelihood of getting laid, let alone having a chance at finding and keeping hold of a real relationship is getting slimmer the longer I don’t actually get it done. I’m not saying that being overweight is a barrier in itself to love / sex / intimacy, but more that I lack so much real confidence, despite the public front / mask, that I’m never going to believe that anyone wants me the way I am – after all I don’t want to be this way, just for me, so why would anyone else?

I’m not asking for answers, I’m really not; I know the answer… I have to really engage, to really want it instead of being happier to hide behind my insecurities and my weakness for smoke and food, but that’s not even half the battle. Knowing it is almost unhelpful because every fence I fall at makes me feel all the weaker. After all I know what I need to do, failing to do it just makes me resigned instead of resolved.

So, do me a favour? Don’t humour me if you see me smoking – give me shit, please. If you see me eating between meals, kick my ass. If you see me eating shite, or just too damn much, please, please, please don’t be polite. Until I get the hang of being happy without my drugs I need a little bit of negative reinforcement from the people around me – if you knew I was firing up heroin you wouldn’t just watch and stay silent; well at least I hope you wouldn’t. Food and fags are heroin to me, they are my company, my love, my happiness – particularly when I am down, but to some extent whenever I draw breath. This HAS to change.

OK, thanks for listening, thanks in advance for helping if you do and no hard feelings if you don’t – I know it’s no one’s dream to be the nag / killjoy / buzzkill and I totally understand if you don’t want to do it. Now I go to try and sleep…