World Pride has come and gone, and what a truly spectacular event it was. The roads were closed off, the music blared and people partied at all hours of the night.  The event was attended by visitors from all over the world and it really showed how accepting, diverse and cosmopolitan the city of Toronto really is. I suppose I should feel satisfied to have participated in such a worldwide experience and yet, I feel somewhat empty.

Having obsessive thought and spending so much time inside my head makes it difficult to experience pleasure from such celebratory events because of the massive amount of pressure I put on myself. Will I finally meet someone special?  Will there be a lot of sex? Obviously these are thoughts no one should consciously worry about at such a time, but they seemed relentless in my thinking. The reality was, I barely made any connections of any kind, either romantic or platonic. I didn’t build any new friendships that would flourish. This again came back to feeling more comfortable on Grindr rather than talking to people in my immediate social setting. When I did actually build up the courage to speak to someone, I just didn’t know what to say and the conversations felt awkward and forced.  Casual social interaction and making new friends did not seem to be working, so once again I ended up at the bathhouse, which only made me feel more depressed and ashamed. Why was I was wasting my time here? Shouldn’t I have more options than this? I felt so desperate and creepy, prowling around for ‘easy’ sex.

What made the whole scenario harder was a sense of obligation that I SHOULD be participating  in Pride rather than actually wanting to. For me, the whole idea of Pride is like this fantasy where everything is ‘gay’ and I need to quickly experience it before the bubble bursts and reality returns. It is a strange feeling, spending most of the time in a predominantly heterosexual world, with the occasional weekend or Pride event where everything becomes ‘queer’.

When it comes to relationships, I know I want so much to find the right person but considering how much gay men pigeonhole each other, the dating pool gets even smaller.  If only ten percent of men are gay, and of that ten per cent only a small number are attracted to the attributes which I possess, the odds of developing a meaningful relationship seem slim.  Thinking about these facts and figures probably doesn’t do much good for me.

I know some of my blogs appear more optimistic than others, but having a mental illness is a constant roller coaster – even when things appear to be on the right track one moment, the next everything becomes blurry and it’s hard to find a sense of purpose or direction.  However, when the road becomes tough there always needs to be one thing to look forward to in order to keep things moving, so I am heading to sunny Florida for the next couple of days for some rest and relaxation before I return to work next week. Let’s hope I don’t get too burned.

About Mark Rob

Mark Fraser is a 30 year old man who has lived with depression, anxiety and obsessive thought for much of his adult life. Since coming out as gay in high school he's had difficulty relating to others in his community and has experienced self-doubt and a pensive outlook for his future. Mark moved to Toronto in 2012 and has become involved in Second City Improvisation classes as well as personal training in order to maintain his physical and mental health. He has expressed interest in blogging with Healthy Minds as a means of reaching out to others who feel isolated and as a way to express himself in a positive space. You can connect with Mark on Twitter or Facebook.

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