An issue & me — somehow it has to be voiced

Having an issue is all well and good as long as you can voice it well enough to make sense. It doesn’t work if the issue trips out of your mouth like nonsense. I get funny looks as I mash how I feel into gloop with my lips, and I end up very quickly giving up. It ultimately begs the question, if I can’t coherently say it then do I even have a problem in the first place? Well, my brain thinks so. On it goes, around and around, begging for my mouth to play ball.

For these nine months of my 35th year, I’ve been working hard on getting the words in my head out through my mouth hole in a coherent and timely fashion. I have good motivation to achieve this because having an issue, mashing it with my lips, and then leaving myself to fester on it, brings about a migraine. I don’t like migraines. I’d much rather clear the air and find a solution than have a screaming headache, a punching nausea, and a vertigo so bad I can’t stand.

The real crux of my every issue is confidence. Historically I’ve not actively sought confrontation, and after my little mental wellbeing situation of 2016 to 2018, I’ve not always necessarily given a measured response, so this adds a delay to proceedings that can mean that whatever my issue it loses its voice. Furthermore, I actively downplay and dismiss my problems by making light — oh well, you’ve got to laugh! 😆 And I do, happily justify why these problems exist. I did this and I did that. I laid that foundation and put up these curtains. I’m imposing my expectations onto somebody else… It’s these points, this confidence in myself, that’s the true crux of the crux of my every issue.

Over January, I was monitoring how an issue I faced, failed to voice, festered on with growing anger, and got a migraine over, resolved things. My question was simple: What am I achieving? The answer, 9 times out of 10, was a migraine. I don’t like migraines. Is this an achievement? No. Then it needs to stop.

Between February and Easter, I would face an issue, fail to voice it, fester on it for half an hour, and then tell myself, Oi! Enough’s enough. Do I want a migraine? No, but I did like to get one to prove it.

After that Easter weekend, when I rolled down that hill and buggered my hand to the point I couldn’t move it, I had a breakthrough. I faced my next issue, failed to voice it, and festered for a moment before realising that I felt addicted. I tested my theory and yes, very much like needing a drug, my feelings of simmering rage were placating and fond of me. This endorphin rush, this continuous circle of the unvoiced issue, the ever-growing anger, was giving me purpose. Like an evil villain, I rubbed my hands together because I now knew how to stop it.

I learnt that I had to acknowledge my issue, accept my right to have that issue, and either deal with it or let it go.

Because I’ve never really been one to complain or express a problem, I’m unpracticed and so not very good at it. To compound my inexperience, I find standing there expressing my issues get my brain arguing with my mouth. My mouth is trying to say something while my brain is both agreeing and correcting at the same time. The podge between my ears sometimes even undermines what my mouth is saying, and if you’re already getting funny looks from this nonsense you’re spitting, it’s best to say ‘never mind’ and give up. I’m not going to get anywhere mangling my issue, now am I? So I walk away.

If you remember, walking away with an unvoiced issue is a route to a migraine. I don’t like migraines…

Didn’t I?

Oh. It’s true. I totally despise them. If they were a person, I’d punch them in the throat.

To get the brain and mouth working united on issues then I need to be confident in myself. I came out of my mental wellbeing situation as my own best friend, so all this year I’ve been building on that. I’ve been loving myself as my best friends love me, accepting me too, and having a laugh. I’ve been throwing myself into deep ends with a course to become an end of life doula, and tomorrow I’m officially starting to get ready for my new job. I’m a little more spontaneous. I speak to strangers. I go up to people, having seen something I like, and compliment them. These compliments don’t always get received well but that’s where my confidence is at.

If the issue is small and simple, or medium and mixed, my mouth and brain work together like a well oiled machine. That adage, ‘teamwork makes the dream work’, is happening. Issue is faced. Issue is voiced. Sorted. What more could I want?

If the issue is big and complicated, with many facets and perceptions, and niggly bits that make you suspect that you’re overreacting, then my brain and mouth can’t keep up with demand and they slip into their old habits. A big issue is a square one problem, and of course, still a route to a migraine.

I find often that if I write down what I am thinking then I know what I want my mouth to say. I need my hands in between my mouth and brain to help me communicate. This raises a new problem, which is the writers’ block I’ve experienced since my mental wellbeing situation, but fear not, I’m not going to bore you with all that today. I can’t, I can’t write it so it makes sense.

So to try and make the best of a rather prickly situation, I now face the big issue, try and voice it, give up to fester but instead of dwelling, I try and continue in either a text or an email. To write those words I physical type what my brain says, which sounds obvious. It initially comes out haphazard, odd, the flow is all wrong and harsh. I sit and edit but there comes a point when all I’m doing is festering but in a different format. I either have to hit send or resign myself to saying nothing.

So far, out of 2, neither email nor text has been received particularly well.

I have a 100% fail rate upon receipt of me voicing my big issue. This is a marked improvement because I’d never had a fail rate on voicing such issues before.

As I’m sat here thinking that I should’ve kept my mouth shut, I’m wondering why I didn’t. I didn’t because I had an issue that needed to be voiced or I’d end up in a migraine. I don’t like migraines. I suppose it’s ironic, then, that I’m feeling one brewing right now…


I would just like to say that contrary to how this post is written, I don’t find issue and problem with every step I take and nor do I dwell on my issues every second of every hour of every day. With this writers’ block, I’ve got to write things as present feelings or they’ll never get written and they’ll never get said. It has to be here, now, and always, or it’s silence. I find silence doesn’t keep a writer writing, it drives them nuts instead.

Tomos James

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