i used to write a lot. daily, even. nothing of major consequence, just an expression of thoughts on what was then my day-to-day life. it didn’t precede blogs, but nearly so. sporadic at first, and again at last, this writing jag lasted three solid years; totaling five. i stopped, by and large, because i could no longer discern between thoughts i should share and thoughts i should not.
there was a break-up. because of my daily posts … (which i should mention, were distributed to a list of willing ‘subscribers’, rather than simply posted. rss before rss) … because of my daily posts, the break-up was very public. they knew me, many knew her. it was new to the time but today it’d be called ‘over-sharing’, and brother, did i over-share the shit out of that break-up. i don’t recall a more pathetic display — and i have had my share of pathetic public displays. when i finally realized that expressing myself so freely to so many people — many of whom i’d never met (hello facebook), i was not only cheapening my own emotions, but i was hurting my ex. we were never perfect, and she was a liar and a cheat, but that didn’t mean i needed to punish her repeatedly. pain is a bitch. i was guilty of much, too. so i quit, essentially. i quit writing. i’d send a few posts here or there when something fairly large happened, but for the most part, i went from writing every day - sometimes twice - to three or four times a year, to not at all.
all this mess aside, when i stopped writing - whether due to over-share, or guilt, or embarrassment at my lack of tact/conscience - i lost the one mental stress-relieving outlet i had. my circle of friends, as they often do when you turn 30, dwindled. people got married, had children, moved away. writing this daily poop was all i had to connect to people. i say again, this was a time before facebook, myspace even. direct e-mails were it, man. and sure, i know that is infinitely more immediate and convenient than, say, what john adams had, but just try thinking back eight years in tech terms.
i had no idea just how much losing, or rather dropping, that outlet would mean. post break-up i was a mess. for three years. the relationship lasted four. for three solid years i was miserable. not because of the person, not because of what i’d lost … the reality was, the relationship had shielded me from recognizing my depression. in 1995 my grandfather died; immediately after, the family began to see the signs of dementia my grandmother had, more than likely, been exhibiting for years. in five years more she would be gone from alzheimer’s. we never knew because they had each other to rely on, to cover for them. the same was true for my failed relationship. it was co-dependence in every sense.
so three years of being angry that i woke up alive in the morning has turned into nearly 8 years of fighting depression. it may have been there before, during my time with her, but i had her to take care of … and that made a huge difference. i don’t take care of myself. my efforts for others always outweighs my efforts for myself tenfold. worse, those tenfold efforts have largely gone to those who never deserved my effort to begin with. and those that have deserved it, get pushed aside. there is a safety in that. a cheap, worthless safety.
in december of 2008, one of my oldest and best friends killed himself. for two decades we’d been friends. for 15 years we’d struggled with the depression and alcohol dependency issues of a third friend. we relied so much on one another to help get us through those times. every night for four years we each feared we’d get the call telling us our friend had finally done it. it’s a terrible way to end your day. then, on december 17th, 2008, i got a call from that third friend…
now i am floating. on my best days i am level. on my worst, like last friday, it’s all i can do to keep from finding a high bridge. i don’t mean to sound glib about it. it’s a motherfucker.
what i miss are the high notes. i told my best friend jodi the other night that if i was bi-polar, at least i’d see the other pole. i miss having those moments when you can lose yourself to happiness. since may of 2003 i have had one of those moments; september 23rd, 2005. i need more. part of that is up to me. and part of that is looking back and enjoying the fortunes i’ve had, so that when new high points come, i can hold on to them a little longer and be thankful for them in the moment. 2010, for all it’s lows (and brother, there were lows — but only one of those lows existed outside of my own head, and that was losing my job in february) … had what should have been some pretty spectacular highs; had i been able to feel them.
so i wrote this to belch out a lot of what i hadn’t. a lot of what i needed to. looking ahead, i’d like to write more. i need to write more. i will write more. i don’t need to remind myself to be thankful. i am. i do need to do a lot of things, though. remember the good. let more good in. search for more good. love harder. love more. i’ve never been one to keep resolutions, so i’ll keep mine for 2011 as simple as i can:
-make it to 2012