I really have been quite undisciplined about writing and that needs to change. In the meantime, here are a couple of random observations on how not to lead one’s life.
Observation 1. There are those storytelling shows that are en vogue these days and a thought occurred in my head that it would be fun to do something like that. Except, as I came to realise, the way Yours Truly has led his life is by not participating in it. So something would be happening and instead of living it up I would just scamper away sideways, like a frightened crab, and be all “Oh, no! That seems like fun. I’ll be over there. By myself.” Not a proper way to experience life, is all I’m saying.
Let me preface this by saying that this one is being done quite a lot by all kinds of people. There is a large number of individuals who believe that they need to be true to themselves and being true to themselves basically boils down to being an annoying prick. Personally, I would be in a state of preemptive warfare against the society at large and my attitude towards others would be to behave like a sarcastic arsehole, spewing my verbal shit on everyone and everything. I know: a pretty picture it is not. And my thought process would be: “Hey, I’m just going to piss you off before we get close and you hurt me. And also, if you still stick around then you really see me for who I am and that means you are a really special person worth my time if you can see through all the shit I will be pouring down on you for a while.” Again, terribly sorry for the image. But the important thing here is: who in their right mind does this? We certainly do not consider doing this in other situations but when it comes to human relationships that can be a norm. Can you imagine a chef making an exquisite dish with some spectacular ingredients like saffron and other stuff I cannot begin to imagine and then spreading some mixing in some shit (yeah, I might as well stay with that metaphor and ride it all the way), thinking that only the true foodies will appreciate this gem of the dish being able to taste this delight through all the crap. That too is also a horrible way to go through life.
I guess what this post is attempting to convey is do not be afraid to live your life and do not be an arse. Which might sound like a way of saying “Neither a borrower nor a lender be” but while it is important “to thine own self [to] be true” one needs to engage in life and not stay detached from others. Kurt Vonnegut was right about Polonius giving bad advice. Yours Truly, on the other hand, is a fount of encouragement.
P. S. You probably thought it was going to be all poop references but instead I looped it up to Shakespeare. You’re welcome!
The great non-alcoholic experiment continues. While I took a one day break on Saturday due to various celebrations, I am continuing to learn how to deal with social situations without embibing alcohol. It is entirely too weird a feeling. However, if I am to be able to overcome my issues, it is imperative to learn how to deal with my social anxiety.
Ironically enough though, I am about to go buy a bottle of wine. As a gift!
I’ll be processing this for a while… An old friend, who has fallen out of touch, reached out recently to reconnect with me. We chatted for a bit. She told me that she has been going through some really dark time and that she is currently dealing with the filing sexual assault charges against a family member for stuff that happened when she was little. She also asked me how I have been doing. What could I tell her? “Well, there’s this thing that happened earlier this year… I’ve been uhhhh… You know what? I am fine.”
I did tell her in broad strokes about my stuff. If nothing else, she knows she is not alone. Her fiancé is a great guy and he is very supportive but regardless of the nature of the trauma, nobody who has not been there could know what it is like to peer into the black emptiness of rock bottom. One of the things we spoke about is the healing properties of blogging. She has opened an account on a blog platform some time ago but never wrote anything because she has been approaching it from the wrong side. Between getting her to blog and possibly bringing her around to improv, I just might be helpful in getting her back to being her old happy self.
Last night’s dreams were pretty weird. I think I dreamt about every regret in my life. Yes, her included.
I usually enjoy my dreams. Often enough they are like big Hollywood productions. There are exciting storylines, fantastic special effects, surprising twists. It is like watching a movie and being in it at the same time.
But last night’s fare was more of an art house cinema: dark and no happy end in sight. Which is a good reminder that although I am as “over” her as one can be, my underlying problems are still hanging over me like a depressing sword of Damocles. For so long the pain over our breakup hung over Yours Truly’s eyes like a veil of pain and sorrow and obscured the view behind it. Now that this veil has been lifted, the giant snowball of problems accumulated over the last two decades is in plain view: daunting, looming, casting a shadow over everything in my life. Why did I not seek help earlier? Why did I not go see a therapist a year and a half ago when I have originally asked for a referral? Why did I not do it over ten years ago when I was initially diagnosed with ADHD and was strongly encouraged to speak to a professional about my depression issues?
Few days ago, I was chatting with my improv friends. The conversation came to a topic of age (because as it turns out, one in our midst was somewhat of an overachiever and has just completed his post-doc at the tender age of 27). So the psychology grad in the group has mentioned her view of mid-twenties as a time of self-discovery, when one goes down the dark path inside oneself and looks at the dark and horrible figure within, points at it, and asks the eternal question: “Who are you?”. (She may or may not have had a few beers by the time I joined the party. I had a good reason to be late – I was having a slight anxiety attack.) In any case, it seems I’m a decade late to that existential internal trip as well.
It is hard to remember sometimes (most of the time) that there are people in this world that like me and that are happy to see me. There are not a great many of them due to my natural propensity to be a miserable prick but I am working on learning to like myself. (That is something that came up in therapy a couple of sessions ago.) The idea being that being able to like myself will show others that I am a person worth their friendship.
In the meantime, I am practicing being that person, meaning that I am faking it. Regardless of how far I have come, Yours Truly is still mainly the same person. So until I can “know” that I am better than I think I am (that is a lot of “I’s”!), there is this practice period of pretending to know that I am a person I actually am. It is complicated. My mind technician assures me that it makes sense.
That noise – you know the one – the general din of a group of people in a bar, the sound of billiards balls hitting each other, the white noise of a sport event on the big screen. And over it all the inner voice reminding of all the reasons why I should leave and go home. So here I am – procrastinating – instead of going to the birthday party for my friends because social occasions still cause me tremendous anxiety and feeling of pointlessness because the future old me does not believe to be the person worth anyone’s company.
Oh, well. “Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more.”
This post is being published under the category “Road To Recovery.” I am, in fact, actually on the road. This is a long trip and I am super nervous about this holiday and how this is going to unfold.
Last night some stuff went down involving my Ex (we still have not spoken but there was a really intense message exchange) and I am feeling better about myself and about not being with her. For the first time since our breakup I am starting to feel that things are going to be alright. I am feeling free. There is that to be Thankful for. (There will be another post on that in several days when I get back.)
But for now, this is all about this dream challenge of mine coming straight at Yours Truly. I am on my way to go ice climbing on Mt Washington in New Hampshire. This is not my first visit to the Presidential Range but this is my first trip to Mt Washington. I have definitely overpacked and will need to repack once we arrive there. We will be spending three days and two nights on the mountain itself. I got ice tools, walking ice axe, crampons, REALLY warm sleeping bag, and ton of shit that I do not need but that makes me feel better.
I am quiet excited. I have been ice climbing for several years but this is my first mountaneering ascent. And I am starting with Mt Washington. As the saying goes “Go big or go home.” I am going BIG.
I could not have gotten here without the amazing support of the WordPress community. Some of you have chosen to honour me with awards for my blog and I promise to get to writing about that very soon. You guys are my rock and my sun. When I was down, you picked me up and carried me in the palm of your hand even as you all were dealing with your pains and your hurts. Even as you all have been struggling with darkness, you had time and grace to talk to me and care for me. I would love to do more for all of you. I love all of You, my dear readers and I look forward to doing more for You.
It is helpful to be able to express my feelings and share them immediately. This community has been very supportive and inspiring. More so than many realise.
The way I personally chose to go about blogging is to do it as anonymously as possible. It gives me freedom to be as honest and open as possible without fear of judgement spilling into my offline world.
This right here, is – for me – the difference between putting down in writing my inner struggles and being too dead to do so.
My mind technician thinks that the true source of the excruciating pain from my breakup is because of having lived without true emotional intimacy for so very long and then putting all my eggs of emotional connection need into one basket. I do not think that is what the pain is really all about. Sure, that is a part of it but what really hurts beyond hurt is the loss of hope. I would not have admitted it to anyone including myslef but deep down I knew my life was broken and needed to be fixed. So when She came along and made me feel so safe that She could quiet my worried mind with Her mere presence rather than me taking Ritalin, I fell so desperately in love. It felt that with Her in my life everything would be fixed. And the sad, sad trouth is that if She had stuck around long enough to help me open my eyes to the true nature of my issues so that I could get help, my life would have been fixed. The other part of that sad, sad truth is that had I paid more attention to what She was saying, had paid more attention to Her, she would likely still be a part of my life. There is a great deal of blame on me for the breakup.
Having left, She not only took Herself out of my life, She took my hope and my dreams with Her. It feels so empty and so cold now.
And I still love Her.
I must’ve dreamed a thousand dreams
Been haunted by a million screams
When Genesis wrote this song they were not talking about my situation. But in many ways it still applies. I have been living in the Land of Confusion for the past 6? 7? 8 months? Considering how things turned out I have clearly been the one in the dark since before the breakup. Since the breakup though, I have really understood what it means to live through those thousand dreams and million screams. I wake up in the middle of the night sometimes. Other times, it hits me like a tank during the days. I want to scream so hard that my vocal cords are ripped out by the force of the escaping air. There does not seem to be an end to this despair. I know there are others struggling with the same questions but it makes not my burden any less crushing.
And not much love to go round
Can’t you see
This is a land of confusion.
In this case, my problem is quite the opposite: there is way too much love. It fills me to the brink and it has nowhere to go for She is not with me. I think of Her and my eyes fill with tears. Some say it is better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all. Bullshit! How could that possibly be true?! How could that pain be worth anything?! How could running out of the office to escape in the bathroom and collapse on the floor hyperventilating and crying be worth anything?!
The refrain of the song represents which direction I need to choose. Though lacking in ability to see where to go, or the strength to continue for much longer, or the belief that the world without Her is not the one worth living in, let’s hope that one day I will be able to get better.
This is the world we live in
And these are the hands we’re given
Use them and let’s start trying
To make it a place worth living in.
Amen to that.
Forget those of you who are stumbling upon this humble blog for the first time, please allow me to recap the previous posts: depressed for about two decades, got dumped by the love of my life, went into a total meltdown, blogging anonymously as a way of getting my thoughts in order and using this as outlet, getting (A LOT OF) therapy.
Here’s a thing about being depressed for so long without anyone realising the extent of it: this requires not letting anyone in close enough to see what is going on inside me. That in turn means that there is no support, no cheering section wanting me to keep going. I have been trying to be more open with people in my life. Some of them know the extent of my issues but it will take a lot of good will to bring things to where acquaintances can grow into adult and caring friendships. Last night I had the following texting exchange with one of my improv friends:
Friend: Hi, (me).
F: How have you been since we last talked?
Me: Same. Teetering on the edge type of thing.
I had no idea what to say. How do normal adults communicate? What do they say? Where do they learn the right things to say? How do they then parlay that knowledge into forming productive adult relationships?
There are a lot of questions to answer in order for me to grow. My therapist has been advising me to take risks and go to places where people congregate so that I might perchance meet some of them. Except the therapist does not a cheer squad make. There are people who wish me to get better but they are either very busy or do not wish to get involved. I do not blame them. Or perhaps I just do not see them? Yours truly is truly a mess. What I am thankful for is the support of the wonderful WordPress community. You guys and gals have been my cheering section through the most difficult and painful period of my life.
And now I will return my attention to a funky band on stage doing Stevie Wonder’s “Superstition.”