Monday, October 16, 2017

Options: Pick One

When I was a Senior in high school, we were constantly told how those were going to be the best years of our lives.  I was miserable.  I was horrifically depressed and had no tools whatsoever to deal with any of it.

One day I was walking down the hallway wondering just why in the hell I was putting up with this and if I should just walk in front of a train to be done with it all before it got worse.  I must have had that look on my face because our Principal, Mr. King, saw me.

"What's wrong, Ted?"

"I just can't believe these are the best years of my life."  It was hard for me to speak.  I was that depressed.

"They're not," he said.  "These are the worst.  It gets better."

He slapped me on my back and sent me on my way.

I never forgot that.  I carried it with me for a long time.  Things will get better.  They just have to because they can't get any worse, right?

In a couple of weeks, I'm going to turn 46 years old.  And I feel like I'm hurling towards some kind of terminal crossroads.  I'm going to have to make a choice.

I'm going to be honest and say this life has never really been that good.  I've never really enjoyed myself much.  I tried, too.  I really did.  But it just never panned out for me.  I've had far more miserable moments than I've had good ones.

If given the option to do it all over again, I wouldn't.  Given the option at age 18, knowing what this life would become up to this point, I'd have walked in front of that train.  I really would have.

Tonight I went for a walk after work.  I walked down to the creek and back.  Last month I would have never been able to have done that.  The pain in my hips would have been too much and my knees would have just screamed at me.

I was able to go down and back without hip pain or knee issues tonight.  I was winded as fuck, but I wasn't in pain.  It's improvement.  A very small one, though.  Not enough to really do much with.

I keep going over and over again in my head the balance of this life.  Is this shit worth it?  I'm kicking an addiction, losing weight, facing my demons (literally and figuratively) while trying to keep sane enough to function.

What could I possibly hope for?  I know the odds are not in my favor.  In truth, this doesn't look good.  I don't see a happy ending here.  And I just can't dream of one.  I can write fiction all day and all night.  Right now, I'm world-building.  My WIP is fantasy/sci-fi.  I can create all of these races and religions but I can't picture in my head a better future for me.

Tonight, a friend I've been unloading upon sent this to me:

Losing weight isn’t some magic pill.. Nothing is. Life has good and bad regardless of where you’re at. The key is to find the good wherever you are. It’s a skill. And a habit. You have a different habit that sees the grim parts because we keep getting blind sided by life. It takes time to retrain the mind. Just like losing weight. The mind is a muscle too. It needs strengthening, consistency and nourishment. Some days are harder than others. But keep training it toward gratitude and slowly you’ll start to lose a different kind of weight. One that’s weighing down your soul 

It's the first thing to make sense to me in a long time.

In a lot of ways, all I can see are the gaping wounds and the damage that's been done.  I don't see the healing.  I don't see a way out of the wreckage, just the wreckage.

So I have to wonder how to fix that.  How does one change their perspective?  How does one fix their way of seeing things?

Because right now, I don't see a happy ending here.  I see a number of reasons to just be done and check out early because I know how this movie ends.

Here's my logic in all of this:  Let's say I bust my ass and do everything perfectly for two years.  If I'm lucky, with my age and metabolism, I'll be lucky to lose maybe 150 lbs in that two-year period.  Fine.  So, I'll be functionally fat. I'll look like a shar-pei puppy with all of the loose skin dangling, and it'll smell like shit until I cough up $50K for the surgery.  Or, if I'm lucky, it'll be so infected that it's life-threatening, and my insurance will cover it.

But that's not the big issue.  The big issue is just how my mind is so fragmented.  I gained this weight so I would have a defense against women anyways.  This way, I could be safe from all of the shit I've been terrified of but couldn't put into words.  I have legit reasons.  I'm not going to spell it out of you, figure it out.

So I have a host of issues between my ears to fix.

And that's just so I can be moderately functional.

Then, let's add a student loan that continues to grow exponentially that I'll never be able to pay off because I can't even begin to make the bare minimum payments on, along with medical bills, and how does that picture develop for you?

This is what I see.  And I know it sucks because I can't stand it.  But it's honest.   It's a massive mountain of crap that just can't be fixed in a couple of years.  So by the time it even begins to improve, I'll be so fucking old it just won't matter.

So tell me it's worth it.  Tell me there's a reason for me to still be here or to even try to fix it.  Because I don't see one.  I don't see a single reason for me to fix anything but for that one hope, a wish, really, that somehow something magical will happen.

There are no magic beans in this world.  There is no magic.  There is nothing.  And I just can't see a happy ending here.  I see more of the same shit I've been dealing with.  To me, that's not going to be an option.  I refuse.

But that's bullshit, too.  I don't have to fix everything.  I just have to improve things, really. 

So what do I want?

I'd like to go to bed with a smile knowing I had a good day.
I'd like to have a string of days worth reliving.
I'd like to be able to wake up without feeling depression and loathing.
I'd like to feel human again.
I just want to enjoy being alive.  That's all.  Really.

Life isn't supposed to be like this.  I'm sure of it.  I've seen other people and they're much happier than I am.  Nobody else is on the edge like this.  If so, they certainly haven't been there for as long as I have.

So what am I going to do?

I once told a woman I cared about deeply, and still do, "I'm a morbidly obese drug addict.  You should run."  I really thought I was protecting her.  I wanted her to be happy and I knew I'd just fuck it all up.  It killed me to say it but I knew I had to.  I wasn't enough for her and I knew it.  I cannot bear to repeat that time in my life.  I cannot and I will not.

I recently told a woman I'm sick from withdrawals.  I didn't want anything to go anywhere between us because I cannot bear to get close only to have it fall apart again because of how I am.  It's better to end it now and protect her from me.  It's a shame, too.  I really liked her. 

I am shackled to a past I cannot run away from or ignore.  I am haunted by things that were out of my control.  And I cannot help but think this past is just going to keep repeating itself over and over again because no matter what I've done I cannot break the cycle.

It's 4am and I cannot sleep.  Again.  Always again.  I'm sick of the night.  I'm had it with the night.  I want to be a daytime person again.  I want to be with the living.  I want to be a regular guy again with a regular job in a regular boring fucking office surrounded by people I silently judge for their mediocrity.

I used to care.  That's the problem.  I used to care and that part of me still cares a bit but I've killed off so much of it with the drugs that it no longer even knows if it's alive or dead anymore.

Caring sucks.  Caring is being open to losing and I've always lost.  Caring means you allow yourself to risk getting skullfucked by fate again and again and again just like it's always been and you just can't see a way out of it because somehow you pissed off the gods and they made you their favorite chew toy.

For the past few months I have been very much aware of how everybody in my life has move on beyond where I knew them but me.  I have gone down.  They have gone up.  They have found happiness and joy and I have not.  I have been in a downward spiral I cannot seem to break out of nor do I seem to really want to because I kept one foot in the grave and the other in trying to fix things.

Always keep my options open, right?  Caring hurts.  Working hard towards something only to have it taken from you hurts.  So why care at all?  Because we have to care.  Caring is life.

But I'm not really living, am I?  Not really.  This isn't living.  My heart beats but that's about it.  It's not living.  I'm not even really alive.

This morning.  Or yesterday. I can't keep track of this shit anymore.  A friend reached her goal.  Two years ago, she began a rigid course of diet and exercise.  She was just like me.  Only without the booze, drugs, psychosis, and a few other fun things.  And this morning she told me she slept with her crush.  A major lifetime goal was achieved.  A milestone.  She did it.

And it kicked me in the head because yet another one moved on into happiness.  I knew it was coming.  I saw all the signs.  I was waiting.  Holding my breathe for that moment and sure enough there was the message waiting for me when I got online.

And I was sitting there, my heart fluttering and doing all kinds of crazy shit because I was in withdrawals.  Sweating, puking, twitching.  My head was spinning so badly I had a hard time reading much but I certainly read that message. 

I hate seeing happy people because it reminds me of what I don't have and cannot find, and what has been denied to me for many, many years.  Petty, I know, but it's honest.  Misery loves company.

I feel like I've been screaming for days.  Screaming until my lungs hurt and my voice is gone.  Screaming at the ghosts in my head that won't leave me alone and the demons I want to come back just one more time.  Lie to me, it's ok.  I'll buy into it 100% and tell myself it's all real and you really do care.  Just as long as when you're gnawing on my soul let me tell myself that I'm happy because right now I'd rather hang out with you than sit here in this empty fucking apartment another day.

I gave up years ago because I got hurt so badly I didn't think I could survive it again.  I ran away.  After college, I thought I'd cleaned up my life and did what I needed to do so this shit wouldn't happen again and it did.  It fucking did.  I lost everything again and again so I kept one eye on oblivion and waited for The End to come.  But now that I'm just a few miles from the destination people are coming out of the woodwork to tell me not to do it.

"No, Ted!  You have so much to offer and so much to give!  Life isn't like this!  Don't do it!"

Where in the fuck were those people when....

I can't see the Happy Ending everybody else does.  I just can't.  And I don't believe in fairy tales anymore.  I've seen too many of them proven to be nothing but lies and bait.  All I see around me is how happiness is for those other people and it's just too late for me.

I wonder how far gone I really am and if I can get back to any kind of life that's worth living.  I don't see it but people tell me they do.  I have to wonder if they're telling me this because they just don't know what else to say.

I have to make a choice soon because I can't keep doing this.  I can't.  My head is unraveling and there's not much left of me.  I feel like a different person than I was a year ago.  I changed.

I'm going to see my medical person on my birthday.   There's a certain symmetry to that.  We're going to do a blood workup and check things out.  My legs are far less swollen than they were a month ago and the ulcers that were oozing puss on them have all healed.  My pants are looser around my midsection when I'm not bloated and constipated from the drugs.  I can walk further than before.  I can walk longer than before.  I can do things I couldn't do 7 weeks ago.  It means nothing to me.  Nothing.

That bothers me.  An achievement I can quantify easily and it means nothing to me.  Why not?  Why is it so meaningless?  Because I know that it's just window dressing for the real problems and I just don't know how to fix those.

This plane is running out of fuel.  I need to make a choice.  Do I glide or eject?

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