Let’s be honest for now

Be warned… INTENSE NAVEL-GAZING IS FORTHCOMING

There are approximately seventeen reasons I haven’t been making with the blogging, and all of them would be fair – I’ve been working obscene amounts, haven’t had a Saturday off in six weeks, haven’t been sleeping, am stressed as hell, and the depression that I live with has made a renewed showing in my life.

But no. The reason I have been eschewing blog posts to play hand after hand of Cards Against Humanity is because I don’t want to write about refereeing. Because the truth is – I’m not enjoying it.

That’s the first, unwritten rule of reffing. Enjoy Yourself. And I’m not.

All of the above reasons hold for why what is usually an excellent diversion from reality is turning in to something which is draining me. There are others – I’m carrying a couple of injuries, my washing machine has been broken for almost two months and nothing has been done about it, which makes washing my kit something of a mission. And I can’t handle any more abuse.

Yeah, I know, softcock, get over it, it’s just words. But it’s not. It’s anger which feeds into the knot in your stomach that has tied itself up knowing you’re going to cop more abuse this game. Self-perpetuating cycle.

I have depression. It’s been a particularly shitty time to have depression of late (if you want you can read why here) and so the parts of my personality that hate me have been particularly loud. I go into games beating myself up – and I’m less able to block out all that reinforcement.

I wonder if parents and coaches ever think about that. The idea that your referee might not just have his own shit going on, but have enough abuse going through his head that you’re actually doing damage.

I’ve apparently still been refereeing well – which is great. I can’t tell at the moment, because the depression is getting to my judgement first and filling it with crap.

Part of me wants to quit. I’m not moving up the grades, not being assigned to club matches, not getting any better. So if it’s all going to be more of the same why am I doing this?

I love the game. But I can’t keep battling this ball of stress and anger and hate that builds up in my stomach before and during games.

I leave for the Bingham Cup next Tuesday. I’m stressed out trying to work out all the details, trying to get enough kit together, trying to talk down my stupid brain which keeps telling me it’s all going to go badly and no one will like me and it’ll be just like fourth form camp. I’m not exactly in the ideal mood to referee at what will be a huge, and probably awesome event.

After that? Well, we’ll see. I’m getting my weekends back, I might get my Saturday morning mojo back too.

And just to prove I did try and blog, here’s a half finished blog post from three weeks ago.

My Hips Don’t Lie

But since they hurt really bad, I kinda wish they would.

What have I been doing to prompt this hip related pain? Well, refereeing. And work. I’ve not actually had the energy to do anything other than that. And not even as much refereeing as I would usually.

As I said last entry, I was off to referee sevens – a team of schoolgirls from Japan, at the conclusion of a month-long trip where they came specifically to play rugby and learn English.

They were up against teams from Aorere and Takanini Colleges. On first impression, the odds were stacked towards the local teams, all of whom were much bigger than the Japanese. However, it was quickly showed that the Kiwis had been playing 15s since May and had probably received less than a month’s focused coaching in their entire lives. It rained, and was cold and wet and horrible, and only the visitors enjoyed it. I expect to see some of them in Rio in two years time.

The weekend saw a swift mission from work to Otahuhu College to AR their 1st XV versus Grammar. I rather like ARing, and with a new job soon (spoilers!) I might be able to do more.

Midweek and I made the spectacularly poor decision to go from 7 straight days starting work at 5am, and then referee Kings vs Wesley U15.

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