I miss myself, too. I miss the fun I used to have, I miss the carefree attitude I once proudly sported. I miss optimism, it was replaced with cautious hope. I miss not being emotionally hurt all the time. I miss not being afraid all the time. I told a friend ten days ago that I was afraid of the next forty days. Well, we're in the heart of it, and that red, beating heart has made itself known as August.
I am not looking forward to moving, to getting readjusted to work, to being constantly busy all the time, to being poked and prodded by a neuropsychologist, to therapy visits with various levels of success, to meager moments, to feeling four feet tall, to *insert your tough yet required moment here*. And it's all happening this month and most of it is just going to be hard. A city full of difficulty. At least I am admitting this... and at least I am ready to take it all on.
There was a time I was not that way and it, unfortunately, consumed a lot of my life. I used to dodge emotional pain by drinking. I drank to avoid circumstances. I drank because I thought it gave me carte blanche to act like a fool. I drank because everyone else was, because it tasted pretty good, because girls talked to me, because I could dance better, because I didn't have to worry about anything, because it regenerated my invincibility, because it was the cool thing to do, because it added a foot to my vertical leap, because it helped me become more creative, because it got me through some shit, because it made me socially acceptable, because it kept me focused, because it put me on an even keel with the people I talked with, because it helped me get closer to girls, because it made the great moments of my life that much better, because sports aren't the same without it, because it was the only way I'd ever get that girl that's obviously hotter than me, because only I could understand my pain, because culture points, because that's how the Seahawks are going to win, because it adds 3-5 inches to my johnson, because it makes me understand more and care about less, because why the hell not.
That list exists because it's a ton of reasons I justified drinking in my life. It's fairly sad, but it is as honest as a small child. Drinking was my escape from reality. Owing to my current circumstance I cannot drink with the same carefree attitude I once did. (I'll still have one or two now and again, but no more sloppy drunk life) Instead I have to go heads up with emotions and try to take them on. How am I taking them on? Mood altering prescriptions. I've talked about them before. I've asked someone who opened up to me about their depression. They said they were prescribed something but never took it because they wanted their emotions to be real. I am desperate enough to feel "normal" that I don't care if it is real or not... I just want to feel good again. Maybe... maybe this will never happen. Maybe I am permanently altered. But I'm not permanently sad, that's something I refuse to be.
So I now take everything on with a realistic, unaltered mind. And that is tough as hell. For one thing, I get much more emotional. It isn't that fun. I hate talking about my problems (still, but now with higher probability of crying) and that's why I don't open up to people about what's wrong or what's really bothering me. I still think those are things I need to tackle, therefore they are things that can be swept under the rug until they're taken care of. Not always true, but, again, I'm not always ready to talk about things. I'm working on it, though.
Another thing I am trying to do is to prioritize everything. This can be taken care of today, this can be taken care of tomorrow, and so on, and so forth. This is a new concept to me, and as such, is really hard for me to grasp. But it's a worthwhile one to pursue. The only downside is I might show some human emotion. Even though it's tough, it's totally necessary. Everyone whom I have talked to has stated they are on my side. It's up to me to convince myself that is true when I'm really going through some bad times. Hard to do that!
One more thing that will get me through the month is the return of a regular paycheck. That is good. Like, really good. Of course it'll all to to future rents this month but at least I'll be getting something. That being said, I am back to work, and work is a tough turkey. Work is too mental sometimes. Like, I'll be doing something, and I'll know how to do it, so all I will do is think of improvements, whether they be to something or someone. That is kind of dangerous because I get into this mode of discontent and you don't want a piece of that. All I have to do as far as work is accept the condition and accept the people and I will be fine. Seems like a long road to that, though. It's worth the effort.
I know that a lot of change is going to take place during August. I'm kind of scared by it, really. I'm trying to find something positive to keep moving forward with but some old emotional hangups are always making themselves known and that isn't that fun to deal with. I stumble and fall sometimes on emotions that other people would have confidence hurdling because it links to some emotion I've had difficulty facing off against for years. I might be looking at myself too critically (again!) but that's how I have been dealing with things for quite some time -- tough love on myself. It sounds goofy and is probably even harder to explain than I am letting on. My therapist has said that I am my harshest critic. This is totally true. This is something it will take a while to change, though. I'm trying to not be so hard on myself but because I am unhappy with where my life is so far... uhm, someone has to be hard on me. Why not me?
That being said... when times are really tough I will look back at everything I have been sent over the past two or so months that has told me to press on, to keep fighting, to hang in there, to go against the angry current, to keep going because there's so much hope, to people that have said "let us know if you ever need anything," to people who never would have guessed that I am going through this type of pain and suffering but have my back. It's been overwhelming, the amount of love, support and care others have given me over the past two and a half months. It's inspired me to go on in spite of the pain, in spite of the fear, and in spite of all the real or perceived nastiness that has flooded my mind since this whole epidemic started. I've never had a chance to say this, but if you've helped at all or in any form or fashion over the past two and a half months, thank you. This month I'm probably going to turn to you for support because there promises to be some ultra lean moments.
That said... August is going to be scary for me. There will be good moments bookended by some really crappy ones. There will be highs and lows -- the highs will be celebrated, the lows will be talked about endlessly. My solution to this task? Keep moving forward. How am I going to do that? Keep getting help wherever it is needed. Try to find a way to keep my mind clear without altering it too much. (Open for suggestion on how to do this, by the way.) Smile and remember the positives, and try to find something positive every day, especially when times are tough. When times are too tough, reach out and say something to someone. (Still working on that, that is part of my struggle and its always going to be. Ah well, shit.) Embrace emotions. Just keep going. Remember there's a certain place in this community for me, even when I don't feel like a part of it.
Get through August. Conquer it. Then the fun begins. Until then it's time to work hard, go out there, and get it all done. One step at a time.