This interview has been in the works for a while, and I introduce you to the sensitive side of Colin the Crypto Ocelot aka “A lost prince from a faraway Kingdom”!!
Colin and I started conversation after we connected on Twitter. During a video chat, the conversation turned to “The Mind, Untangled.”, and so I asked him, “Would you be interested in an interview, to untangle your mind?!”
His response was, “I’m coming out the other side of a very protracted rough patch which isn’t always easy to talk about. It’s part of what drove me to start writing.”
I didn’t want to pressure him, since my interviews are only if the other person feels comfortable with sharing their story, which yes, means exposing some of their personal life.
Colin: What you are doing is an interesting one – I don’t really go into great detail about what happened to me along the way. I spent a long time in a room under a blanket on anti-depressants telling myself this was my lot in life.
I got acid attacked in 2010 after years of nightmare neighbors and a never-ending drug fueled party. We had about 6 months peace before it started with a load of foreign guys who turned it into a party house again. It’s a long story, and a lot more stressful and nastier than I’ve made it sound.
I finally pulled my head out of my arse about a year ago. It’s knackered work, it’s destroyed any career in financial services and it’s changed me. I’m crawling out the other side, slowly but I’m getting there.
It’s VERY rare I mention this to anyone on social media. Most know me as the funny, gruff bloke who knows some stuff and doesn’t put up with much bullshit. I’m not 100% sure I want to spill the beans on me. I wasn’t prepared to sit about feeling sorry for myself wishing I wasn’t around anymore taking 4 pills a day.
Sandra: Wow, thank you for opening up to me, and I would never share any of your life story unless you gave me permission! It wasn’t easy for me to start sharing my story and I’m not nearly done; but, so many people go through it. They go through life feeling helpless and hopeless. I’m not implying you’re going through that, I’m just saying that I’ve been there, and, I’ve seen it elsewhere … You’re strong for being able to stand today and keep pushing through!!!
C: Like I said, it’s deliberately not the impression I give people. I’m ex-rugby and Muay Thai too, so couple that physical size with my glibness and no one notices. Fairly easy to hide it if you know how. Unfortunately, that doesn’t last. As we know. I found myself comparing other peoples’ problems to mine as being much worse, so mine were negligible. That’s still the case today, but I’m more at peace with it than I was even last year.
I don’t talk about the vulnerable bits often. Those two sports are not vulnerability sharers. To add to that, I don’t have any family, so the usual support networks you might expect aren’t there. I’m very used to dealing with stuff on my own without help and without sharing any of my problems. I hit a point where I got really f^*ked off with it all and had to change.
S: Out of the blue question – are you married? I understand when you say it’s easy to hide, and I agree also that it doesn’t last. As I mentioned when we were chatting, it’s like a mask that we wear…
C: Not married but we’ve been together 15 years with the missus. We’ve both had some shit. She’s a lot more resilient than I am. Yeah, she’s a goodie. Anyway, that’s why I don’t really talk about me as me. I don’t like to be thought of as weak and that’s how I was for a long time.
This is how Colin and I left things for about a week. I wanted to share this piece of conversation though, because it shows vulnerability. It shows that even though we can “wear a mask” and hide our true feelings at times helping us to believe we are strong, we really do have our moments where we cannot deal with our emotions, our tangled minds, and/or even society.
This is not a sign of weakness; rather, it is a sign of inner strength, courage, and belief.
Some time after that, Colin reached out to me…
C: Hi Sandra, I hope you’re good. I’ve been having a think about The Mind, Untangled., and I wanted to know a little bit more about it. I was thinking about our conversation last week over the weekend. At some point I have to get over myself and accept certain frailties that exist – however much they suck. No point being embarrassed about my history for the rest of my natural life. Anyway, if you want to mind untangle me, you’re welcome to try.
S: 😂 OMG! I thought you were mad at me for talking to you!!
C: No – don’t be daft. I would have said if you had!
S: 😂 Okay!
C: Like I said, no point me being embarrassed about any of it. It happened and it f^*king sucks but there is dick all I can do about it. The flip side to feeling like a worthless POS is that it took upwards of three people and two flasks of acid to lay me low. Then more years and years of shit and lost sleep to finally break me.
It takes a while to dig yourself out of that and make sense of it all if you’re on your own for a lot of it. You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink.
S: And Like I said before, you are so strong to be able to share it today and keep pushing through!!
After some more chatting back and forth, I asked my starting point question, “Can you tell me a bit about yourself? Who you are, what you do, your passions, family background.”
C: I am not your average escaped mental patient. I am taller for starters. My real name isn’t Colin and I’m not an Ocelot. I started this account up to learn a bit more about what Crypto I had invested in.
At the moment, writing is what I do full time and I’m finding my feet with it although I have a couple of other Crypto themed projects I am working on. I used to play rugby and took up Muay Thai after I had to retire through injury. I still play StarCraft 2, which has been a 20 year love affair for me and is what my tattoo sleeve is made up of.
I don’t have any family that I’m in contact with although as I mentioned, I’ve been with my fiancée for 15 years, and I have a dog (Lenny) and 2 kittens (Mac and Gus).
My work history is very mixed. I started off working in the late 90s for recruitment agencies and major financial institutions in London – a few of the names that get thrown around on Crypto Twitter. I’ve sat around a few tables most don’t get to.
I lived in New Zealand for a year playing rugby out there in 2003, and I’ve done just about everything from banking to bar work.I was diagnosed with PTSD and Anxiety after an acid attack on my front doorstep in 2010. I’ve struggled since then, but it really came to a head in 2014 when I almost took my own life. I’ve spent the last 6 years fighting my way back from that point.
I’m by no means out the other side but I’m more at peace with how I am. It’s difficult as my intellect works against me – think of it like white blood cells getting too enthusiastic and attacking the body – so I found myself believing my worst thoughts for too long. That still happens, but I’m a bit better at managing the worst days than I was. It’s a slow and frustrating process.
S: ☹️ Did the acid leave permanent damage? Mentally and emotionally, yes, but physically?
C: I have a couple of scars but nothing critical. I’m First Aid trained and was close to my shower, so the worst didn’t happen. Nowhere near as bad as some people have it, but I got a few small burns.
S: And how did that happen? Or why did it happen? Are you okay talking about it?
C:I’m not, but I’m getting better at talking about it. Life isn’t all roses and there is no point pretending to be something I’m not for this talk.
How did it happen – Years and years of teenage parties which got out of control. It was a 24/7 party house. We had that for almost three and a half years and Police and Local Authority still weren’t doing anything about it until the attack. The real f^*ker was the constant parties and there are only so many times you lose a night sleep before you finally crack. Nine months after that, we got further problems from the same place with a load of guys – women beaters, drunks, addicts – they used to throw puke and shit at our place. It did, though, turn into an adult party house rather than drugged up teenagers.
That’s what finally broke me. Constant intimidation, never ending loss of sleep and nothing being done. I couldn’t face standing up to 30 or 40 drunk guys down on my own again. So yeah – it’s a sunny tale filled with rainbows and unicorns and stuff.
S: And you’re still standing! And, you have your fiancée there with you!
C: Yup – I’m lucky in a lot of ways. I just needed to wake up to that.
S: You mentioned that you almost took your own life in 2014. What was going through your mind at that time? How did you avoid that situation and what would you suggest to others?
C: 2014 – What was going through my mind. I had no other choice. I couldn’t bear how things were for a moment longer. I wasn’t working so I was at home all the time and had no money. I wasn’t sleeping or eating, and I didn’t want to be indoors any longer with music pounding through the walls. I got told it didn’t matter to anyone one too many times by the local Council who still refused to act after almost four years when I rang them for the daily report.
I took the dog out with me and walked for miles, no real direction or destination in mind. My dog was by my side for all the worst times and he went everywhere with me. But even he wasn’t helping me keep it together anymore. I took him home and went out again.
I walked past a few bridges and some other prospective points. I thought about train tracks or getting some drugs and OD’ing. I still don’t know what stopped me, truthfully it felt like cowardice and that I might even f^*k up my own death. That’s how low you can sink, when you can’t even do that.
My advice is ALWAYS to talk to someone before you get to the point that I reached. If no one knows how you’re feeling, they can’t help you as you need. The perception of me is that I am a big, tough bloke so I’m always fine no matter what. I NEVER talked about how I was with anyone…I was too ashamed of being thought of as weak or letting people down.
S: I’m so glad you’re here today to share your story, and you didn’t go down the wrong path…
C: It still comes close very often. I’m a bit better at learning to shut out the worst of it. Thank you.
S: So now you are where you are – you blog on Coil…and Patreon. How has this improved your life? What do you hope for? How much are you interacted with the Coil and XRP Community?
Also, what are your hobbies (besides Rugby)? Do you find that your dog and kittens help with your anxiety?
C: I am where I am. Blogging on Coil and writing a book. It’s improved my life because it’s given me an outlet. I get to write and publish the nonsense that is in my head. And there is a lot of nonsense. I spent a very long time with no hope for the future, feeling like dirt.
2019 was the year that I started to make a change. I am a bit of a black sheep when it comes to the XRP Community. It’s a very divisive subject but I am a big believer that you find your tribe in life. My work history means that I don’t subscribe to some of the wildest theories about the price.
My time in competitive sports is done and has been for some time. This has meant that I’ve had to find alternative outlets. Dog walking is a lot more sedentary. There was a point in time when I wouldn’t leave the house without the dog or someone with me. It was a huge help to have a companion with me.
When you don’t want to tell anybody as to why you have missed an event, a birthday, or just a night out, it becomes easier over time to shut the world out. I spent a long time isolated and on my own because I shut the world out. The dog that I relied on for this sadly died in October, 2018. The new dog helps although he doesn’t know it. The cats are currently causing anxiety rather than helping it!
S: Yes, it’s easy to get into a dark spot, and yes, also to find reasons to avoid society. Blogging definitely does help with “letting go” of the thoughts that tangle the mind!
Thank you so much for your time, Colin. I hope that I haven’t caused too much stress talking about this and sharing your story, but I believe that what you have been through, others may be able to relate to it as well.
You are definitely not alone! You have shared a vulnerable side of you, yet you show us that you are not weak, by speaking out and also offering valuable advice! I appreciate you for being so open and honest. ❤️
Stay strong, even through the dark times, and “let’s untangle our mind, and set it free…”