Dear Gay Uncle: I’m so busy, I’ve forgotten how to relax

Q Dear Gay Uncle,

I feel so exhausted, I’ve had one high pressure work project after another one. They’ve all been successfully delivered and I’ve been well rewarded for the work. I’ve no social life, I chat occasionally with old friends on line in snap shot moments. I’ve been living in hotels for nearly three years, zig zagging across the country. I counted I’d spent a total of twenty days in the last year staying in my actual home. I’ve built up enough air miles and hotel points to travel around the globe four times and stay in hotels full time for nearly four months!

I’ve paid off my student loan and my mortgage, my salary has built up in the bank that I’ve got over a year’s income that is sitting unspent and I’m due a massive bonus this month.

I’m good at my job and enjoy it, but all I’ve dreamt of is getting a dog and taking time off. But I took off a long weekend recently and I didn’t know what to do with myself. I’ve lost the skills to just relax. After going shopping and buying clothes I didn’t need, I ended up working. I’ve not taken any time off in five years. My boss has recognised this and has told me to take a month off in December. I’m petrified on what I’ll do. I can’t sleep with just thinking of having no purpose.

What can I do?

William B

A William,

You sound as though you need to starting talking with a therapist, just to work through your feelings, aspirations and finding coping mechanisms. Therapists offer face to face services and online Skype style therapy, this may be something that’ll dovetail with your work routine.

There are activities that can help you focus mind and body, mindfulness training, yoga and exercise can help to remove the tension and exhaust your body.

However, the first stop I would suggest is speak and engage the services of a therapist. Having a touchstone of regular contact where it’s all about you and your needs is the main priority you should focus on.

Q Dear Gay Uncle,

So my story is a bit complicated but here we go. I am a gay guy who lives in the middle east. I am from a Muslim family and my family is religious.

Recently, my parents were pushing me toward marriage.  I thought maybe I could change, since being gay in my society is impossible.  I got engaged to a good woman, arranged by my mother. She’s kind and everything, but I just can’t marry her.  Running away or seeking help is impossible too. Any suggestions?

Khalid S

A Khalid,

This is very challenging, due to your your country and homeland views there is state-sponsored repression and social stigma towards those within the LGBT society.

Many gay people are reaching out across country borders to assist and offer support.

I appreciate there is a so much pressure on you to marry. However, please try to stop this marriage happening. You will not be just ruining your life, but also that of the woman that is to be your wife. Do you have other gay friends in your area who are in a similar situation? Being able to discuss your problem safely with people you trust can help bring you clarity to what you should do. Also, it will relieve some of the pressure of dealing with this by yourself.

Is there any way to distance yourself from the situation and family unit for a while, ideally near a more gay friendly society?  Other areas in your region may may offer more tolerant attitudes.

It will also be helpful to seek resources and a community of like-minded people who have been through similar situations.  A resource that could help you is

There is no easy or simple solution to this problem, and we wish you the best of luck.

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