Man up, James!
It is 50 minutes into the last day of my least favorite month. This January was no exception to the rule; pretty bad January. A lot to be thankful for? Sure. A lot to look forward to? Somewhat. A lot of emptiness and uncertainty? Of course.
The past two days were the weakest I’ve felt since before I started my final semester in August. I hate how I can hardly remember most of those days. I compare it to something like Mario Kart, you know, like those boost arrows on the track that warp you up real fast? That is what those first few weeks of August were. I was mad depressed, still, though had been scaling upward and out of the crevice I had violently tumbled so deeply down; slow progress, and many days where I slipped and ended up back down days, weeks back.
Then it was like the movie trope you see, where my foot somehow got tied around some rope attached to a pulley, such as the one you see in a bucket, and this massive counterweight yanked me up, upside down, toward the surface. Of course this wasn’t entirely beneficial, as I was dragged across the crag like a match being lit on a coarse, flint-like rock. Either way, it started up again. Life. It took me a month or two to get out of the shell shock of being back in school after my massive breakdown and fleeing. Desperate prayers were answered as I recall showing up at a fairly well-sized baptist church one afternoon in the first half-week of school. My friend said I had the job if I wanted it. I walked around the facility and heard my responsibilities and was basically said the job was mine if I wanted it. Not that I didn’t listen, but I didn’t really listen so much, because I could have been told that I was going to be wrestling lions and I would have said yes. A couple days later I was both working and attending school every weekday.
I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to hack it anymore. Atrophy is an incredible thing. Social atrophy is even worse when you have dealt with varying degrees of social anxiety and fluctuating self-image your entire life. Those first few weeks were entirely distorted, blurry, rushed. For any of you who ever played sports, it was like getting out in your first high school varsity game, somehow mistakenly sent in by your coach, or perhaps as part of a message being delivered to older, leather skinned and composed upperclassman teammates. And the sweat, the pressure, the accelerating heart beat, the shortened breathing patterns and the motion– game back on. If you know those moments, you know what those weeks felt like. I merely just kept my body moving. I made sure I was in each place I needed to be when I was supposed to be there, then like that moment the roller coaster drifts into momentum, I went along for the ride, terrified and helpless.
Over time, I finally earned back fragments of confidence, normalcy, and the sure-footed feeling that I can do this living stuff again. By the time that period ended, I had my best, closest friend in the world living 2 minutes away, I had earned back the respect of instructors I look up to who were there when I fell the first time, I felt like I belonged on campus, I felt good about my ability to contribute with my job, and so on. I was not only back on the surface, but I had healed up quite a but, stiffened up my body a bit and was feeling the best I had felt in a couple years.
Maybe I got a big head, maybe I forgot that it isn’t me who is in control of these things, maybe I just was near-sighted, or maybe I am just overdramatic, but I never knew it’d only take a month to uncoil most of that.
December 16th was the night I graduated. I was hyped up. I even saw some old faces who had been through journeys as long, and I am sure as arduous as mine. I was totally inspired, and I felt fulfilled. I was surrounded by so many of my best friends and family that night. Heck, I even let one of my closest girl friends come, you know, that one who I had been saying was dead to me for the past year– not the on that I had been dead to the past year. In fact, it was nice to have that dichotomy between oldest closest girl friend and newest closest girl friend both there, with the one in the middle obviously gone. It showed that I could find that type of connection still, in places I never looked.
The very next day, the coils had already started revolving the other direction. It was likely from coming from such a sky searing high from the night before and having to plummet down to the ground the next day. Oh, and waking up too early. I never got weaker, even as the immediate future dwindled into an outlook that was not as clear cut and optimistic as the one I endured between August and December. I knew, or so I thought, what was coming, and I was ready to take that transition head on; much like we take on waves, running straight at them and diving under to avoid the blows and their opposing force. I am clumsy, and I got hit by a few.
I expected some, and wasn’t prepared for others. I knew my best friend was leaving, but I couldn’t process it until it happened. I didn’t know I would find myself attached to a girl, but almost involuntarily it happened. I knew that I’d be in this weird transition period with my job and finding something more permanent, and hopefully meaningful (to myself), but I didn’t expect it to have such a sapping effect. I knew that my family was going through a lot of things, but I once again underestimated how deeply the stress of it would start to hollow me out again.
And now where am I exactly?
Lost, I guess.
I am holding myself up with everything I have. I am not refusing help; I am quite active in asking for it, in fact. Yet, I’m still lost and that wanes my strength extensively. My biggest short-term fear is that I run out of strength, give up on finding my direction and fall back into depression, but I will fight with everything I have to avoid that; and I will fight dirty.
I’ve already considered a lot of changes I can try to make, or at least look into to help. I have to sit kicking myself every moment of the day, the only girl that has ever had any meaning to me since my breakup has seemingly gone to a close friend to a non-existent one. I even had to bring to the table that I can’t support a one-sided friendship. I think I forgot to say that I didn’t want it to have to be that way, and I think I came off lacking understanding of that person, but on the other hand that part of me that is still blackened and dead from all my time wants to be bitter from feeling like I haven’t been respected; like I am not trusted, or heck, like I haven’t even been given a chance to be trusted. Within me, I know that I am worthy of those things and more, yet within the other person, they can’t easily resign themselves to that. I have to remember other people have those blackened, dead parts, and I try to at least take the fact that it is hard to be given someone’s trust as something, because at least that is on the table? Either way, it is a terrible place to be, because it just feels like I keep giving up more and more.
Lost another friend to a similar typhoon in their life, and only recently have they resurfaced. I’ve had a couple more move, or they travel a lot. She, well, her and I probably both finally accept that we ended up on different sides of a bridge that has been completely destroyed, with myself finishing last in that race, of course. The only real female touch I have in my life are from one or two people, depending on how you look at it. I never get to see any of those kind of friends in anything outside of a group setting, and even then it is usually brief. I deeply yearn for that kind of connection again, there is just something about the gentleness of that heart and that different way of looking at things that I can’t get otherwise, heck, that’s why I would sacrifice any deeper feelings I got for any girl at this point just because I need that close connection as a friend I can trust and vice versa. I only get that with people who are in other states right now.
It makes me very sad.
Then there is the fact that nearly all of my active close friends live ~40 minutes away, at least. That might not sound like much in the grand scheme of things, but when you have to drive that much to and fro to go anywhere, it drains you. I either have to plan well ahead and pack for the end of the world to be efficient, or I have to make many drives. I hate it, and I think it has ground me to the point that half the time I can hang out with any of them, I have to fight an equal half that doesn’t feel up to it, because it’d feel better to have to expend less of myself and be down about my situation instead.
That is exactly the kind of danger I fear. Do you see how easy it is for me to systematically break down my current setting and subsequently have endless ammunition to fire at my morale?
It is scaring the crap out of me. I feel 15,19 and 24 all over again. Those were all very low points and very foolish times. I won’t say I thought I grew, because I knew I grew. I have the measurements on the wall, but why am I feeling like I am inflicted by all the things in the past that cut me so far down, plus new ones?
As a whole, I am still far better off right now than I was 1 or 2 years ago. I think I have less intimacy and close contact to lean on, but other than that caveat, I should like these odds.
I honestly just think that I must have thought I fully recovered from injury too quick, tried to run too far, jump too high, and play too hard. I’m playing that patience game again and I just don’t like it.
I guess that is why I am just doing everything I can to keep things moving, changing, and trying to procure advantages in anyway I can. If you can’t try to be self-reliant then how do you expect to rely on anyone else?
I know I just painted a very bleak picture, and I know I am going to come across as very down. Like I said, I’ve just felt especially weak the past two days, but you know what?
Even if it’s the last thing I do, I’m manning up. I will out exist this lull, no prob.
Skimming through this again, I do realize I forgot to highlight one thing: I have more self-assurance now than ever. I am just not getting a chance to exhibit that self-assurance. That is why I am impatient through my transition, like I am cuffed and these weakly dudes are trying to get their licks in now before they let me loose to unleash on the world like a rapid fire cannon.