Sunday, January 15, 2017

I Need a Map

"It's not down on any map.  True places never are."  

I'm easily confused.  I'll admit this.  I'm an emotional guy and I live inside my head way too much.  Sometimes I can get out of my head when I do things like make ice cream.  This weekend I've made six batches of ice cream and I shudder to think how messed up I'd be without having that as a diversion.

I never claimed mental stability.  You read enough of these blog posts and you'll see that right away.  But I'm working on it.

I'll admit I went off the rails this last week.  It was ugly.  I'd like to say I'm all better but I'm far from it.  Many of you have reached out to me to check on me and I appreciate it.  I'm sorry I worried you guys.  I didn't mean to.

In my defense, I screwed up a lot in recent days, and that was just one of many screw-ups.

Earlier today, I met up with a friend of mine to exchange some goodies, and we had a chance to talk.  He's had a rough road in the last few years.  It's a road I'd never want to walk myself and I don't know where he finds the courage and strength to keep his feet moving like that.  He is an inspiration.
If it were me, I wouldn't even come close to being able to fight like him, and I'd just be done.  It would be the perfect excuse for me to give up.

But he hasn't.  He's fought.

I told him what happened and what I did.  I told him how badly I screwed up.  He said something to me.

"We're all broken in some way.  More than some, less than others.  But we're all broken."

Back in September, I began to make changes in my life.  I started the process of confronting the more painful things from my past.  I began addressing and letting go of my guilt and anguish over losing my daughter.  Plus, I began opening up about something dark that happened to me as a child. In discussing this with a family member, I received validation I never knew I craved and needed.  Simply being told, "I believe you," was light a bolt of hot lightning that chased away a lot of darkness inside of my soul.

By November, I was feeling a happiness I'd never thought possible.  Guilt and shame, so destructive to a soul, began to fade away.  I stopped feeling dirty and undeserving of happiness.  I didn't beat myself up nearly as much.

And then my friends stepped in.  They convinced me to start a Go Fund Me project so I could get a decent camera for my Youtube channel, Ice Cream Every Day.  Within six days, all of the money was raised.  I was humble and grateful.   I never knew so many people cared about me.  I never realized how many people saw me as human being and noticed how badly I had been struggling just to stay alive.  And I never knew how many people saw I was on the edge and worried about me.

I began to feel horrible I caused so many people to worry about me.

And then I destroyed a wonderful relationship with a friend because of a hundred reasons that boil down to me being in far worse shape than I was willing to admit.  I feel like a damaged aircraft that just can't keep in the air.  I feel like I've taken so many shots I now have structural damage and I'm not airworthy.

About 8 or 9 years ago, I had to made a choice.  I stopped caring about a lot of things because caring hurt too much.  I was alone and it was killing me.  So I gave up.  Up until that point, every choice I'd made was wrong.  Everything I tried failed.  Ever path led me to nowhere.  People close to me wondered what I did to piss off the gods so badly to carry such a powerful curse.

I decided that it wasn't worth the effort of trying to improve things because I would have it blocked or taken away from me.  Again.  I made the choice to hang around until I died.

For years, I never had a reason to want to change that.  I accepted an early out.  I ate whatever I wanted, was lazy, and I indulged in bad habits without worry.  I did things I had never done before because I no longer cared about the consequences.

And I waited for death.

I had simply figured that everything would keep failing and I deserved it for what I had done.  I thought it was all my fault.

And then a series of events took place.  Something from my childhood I buried deep suddenly was in my face and I had to deal with it.  It was so bad, I thought I was losing my mind.

I worked on the bare minimum and gave the least amount of effort I could get away with.  I was going to die soon and it didn't matter.  My blood pressure was dangerously high and strokes run in my family.  I began eating more fried foods and drinking more Mt. Dew.  And drinking.  And drugs.

One night I had terrible chest pains.  I smiled and looked up at the ceiling.  It was finally done.

But that passed.  I'm still here.  And the improvements I've made in my life make me wonder about things.  Is it worth it to be here?  Is it worth it to even try?  I've lost so much already.  And I'm so broken, even when something good comes, and has my name written all over it, there's a very good chance I'll just fuck it up like I do everything else.

If you've read my posts here, you'll know I often put my life in the perspective of a mythological story to be told to around a campfire.  When I do that, it's shameful and embarrassing.  Failure and failure, poor choices, and giving up.  How could any woman love a man like that?

My friends practically scream at me to get up and be me, because Ted is awesome, and Ted can do anything.  And I let them down every day.

I wish I saw myself the way others did.  I wish I had the faith in me everybody else has.

The very fact that I'm at this crossroad is an improvement and the whole reason I'm here is because somebody gave me a sliver of hope.  Somebody gave me something I hadn't had in a decade.  And the brightness of that hope sent me into a fit.  I had no idea how to react.  All I knew was I wanted more so I lost my shit, freaked out, and did everything possible to influence things to go my way.  In doing so, I destroyed a great relationship, and shined a spotlight on just how bad of shape I'm in.  

So now I need to make a choice.  Hope is an incredibly painful thing.  And nothing has ever worked out for me in the past.  I have no faith in things changing.  I can change all I want.  I can drop weight, get healthy, kick the bad habits, write the best I'm capable of, and there is little chance I will be anything more than what I am now.

That might work for others, but it has never worked for me.  Ever.  And I could put in thousands of hours of hard work only to still be the same unloveable loner nobody wants who dies alone.  The futility of that is heartbreaking.

I'm going to end this here.  It's not a question mark.  It's not up in the air.  I'm gong to move forward.  I'm going to edit my novella so I can submit it by the end of January.  And I'm going to deal with the various issues that need attention.  But I have no faith or hope that it will pay off.  I'm doing it because so many people say I should.  History says it's a stupid idea but my friends aren't stupid.  My friends are smart and they know me.

I have no idea what I'm doing, but I'm doing it.  Let the consequences come.

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