Hey all. I missed you all. Yes you. Really. <3
I’ve been through a lot this last month. Well, this year in general, really. I came to terms with my depression and let a CLINICAL doctor prescribe proper medication. I also realized that I still had a complex for living my life for others in that I was going to college merely because I didn’t want people to say anything. Despite being told over and over not to do that (and telling myself and others over and over I was doing it for otherwise.) And I finally accepted my transgender identity as something I could no longer deny simply for the sake of life being easier otherwise. (Hint: it isn’t) And more so, I’ve let go of the guilt and anger at myself for starting transition “later than I should have”, which was something I didn’t expect to hit me as it did. I realized this thought is really unfounded in that it was something I didn’t start four years ago simply because it was something that I wasn’t ready to do. That’s pretty much fact of the matter. My denial ran deep and my understanding of the issue ran through lots of other childhood issues and the likes. Guilt and shame and self-loathing and the likes.
Also, I finally admitted to myself that I had a severe substance abuse problem.
--With of course the firm nudging and support of a few knowing individuals <3 ) I got into a ‘treatment center’ (fancy talk for rehab) and really sat myself down in an environment where I was forced to finally face the thoughts that I’d run from for so long.
I had a choice to start living my life for myself long ago. This much is clear to me in the sense of NOW being able to see that. I settled into a life I did not want simply because I wasn’t in the mind set of truly saying to myself, “Okay… what do I WANT with my life?” I took to school with the possible disappointment of others constantly in the back of my mind and drugs and alcohol was a quick and easy way to quell those voices in favor of lying to myself when I said, “Yeah, I totally want, uh, that degree!” [rolls another joint]
And when it came to harder issues such as, “I’m totally not depressed or suicidal!” [drinks another forty], or “I’m totally not living in a mindset of guilt and shame I’ve carried through childhood!” [snorts another line]. It really became a shitty cycle where any time I wanted to sober up and get my head clear I was assaulted by thoughts and fears and emotions I had no skills or learned ability to deal with and process.
It was about… two months ago that I came to this realization that I could have started living the life I wanted to lead at any point. This was another truth I ran away from because to see THAT as an irrevocable fact would have been admitting that I’ve been in a four year pity-party/binge for no reason other than I was kidding myself into believing I had no control over what was happening in my life via laziness and self-pity. My greatest fear, in essence, was that I was strong enough. And that it was only ME who wasted that time. Not my parents, not shitty roommates and shitty living situations, and not some vague sense of cosmic-karmic balance that was refusing to pay me off for all the pain I was put through by myself and others.
And that is a damn hard fact to face. And to realize, well, that I was the shitty roommate. That I was the bum-loser. That I was the person blaming everyone else for everything. That I was the person letting people walk all over me, crying about it, and then wondering why people got so damn hurt when I walked all over THEM. I had to get real with myself.
That’s not to say I didn’t have inherent issues holding me back. Self-esteem and anger issues stemming from childhood trauma. Namely, well, being molested as a five year old. The later shame and guilt came in from when I repeatedly acted out in a manner somewhat (not always) typical of such victimized children. Not understanding those urges and all messed me up, because on one level I'd repressed what had happened and didn't make that particular connection. My parents, who are human and make mistakes, set hard boundaries and the likes, but never worked the issue through with me. Instead it was physical punishments both harsh and bizarre. In particular the religion we followed really set the guilt-thought process into motion. But they were young parents, and even they today realize that it wasn’t the best way of going about it. My initial anger at realizing this and having them admit it was what really led into the last big binge that left me homeless and without friends that would even tell me the time of day.
But this isn’t another boo-hoo fest.
It was my choices and denial of feelings and emotions that led me into making choices that I thought were the only ones I could make. A good dose of my own stubbornness kept me from accepting the small bits of help that would have allowed me to finally move past them. And I also ignored advice of others who saw the situation, an offer to take me to a treatment and counseling center to move past the addictions and buried issues, and a home to stay in. Lots of pride.
So is everything back to peachy? Hardly. I’m still occasionally dealing with the disgruntled feelings towards myself for wasting so much time, money, and my health and bodily well-being for the sake of refusing to change my outlook on life. I can honestly say it’s no longer a full blown RESENTMENT of myself for the choices I’ve made. I did what I did because I thought they were the right choices at the time. No one knows, truly, why we take the roads to get where we are today, but we do. And it’s a learning process of life and self that’s going to take years. I’m just getting started. I have a lot to look forward to.
It’s kind of funny, to me at least, how much of a 180 this attitude change is, and how I’m letting it kick me in the ass to move forward instead of kicking me down. I’m determined to face my challenges head on. I have looming school debt. I have a life I’d like to rebuild with my family (I recognize that is still something that can go either way in terms of success or not, but am I neither daunted by the idea of failure in that endeavor. I can be happy with or without them, just as who I am). I need to get a vehicle. Focus on keeping my head clear and above chemicals. And I need to continue kick-starting my writing career. And so on. There’s probably a few I forgot and few more that will pop up.
In the end it’s simply this: I’m going to live my life how I want to from now on. And honest truth? I don’t want to be messed up on drugs, because I simply can’t write when I am. I don’t want to be held back by my refusal to work through my feelings and emotions towards the happiness of others. I’m looking for MY TRUE HAPPINESS and no one else’s.
For once, I’m being a little bit selfish about what I want. To clarify, I cannot be a decent human being unless I see and treat myself as the most important person in my life. So not an ego-trip, but rather the active act of keeping first and foremost MY mind, body, and soul clear and healthy so I can make the choices that truly make ME happy. I have wants. I can have those things that I want and continue to treat people with respect and love that I always have.
What hasn’t worked was pretending to live selflessly in an attempt to justify my lethargic and, quite frankly, parasitic way of living. I used people and told myself the entire time that I wasn’t because I let other people do the same. I was a parasite with parasites, and it’s probably ruined a decent amount of opportunities for love, better friendships, money and things, and interesting life experiences.
[sighs and takes a breath]
But I can’t take it back. I can’t dwell on it. And to be honest I had my ‘fun’ at one point. I’m not stupid. I didn’t start drugging to cop out. And I learned some things while on drugs. I had some crazy and exciting (and dangerous) experiences I’ll carry forever, but quite simply that’s not doing anything for me anymore. I need a bigger mental challenge than how much coke I can snort. I need a bigger life challenge than making enough money to cover next month’s rent and last week’s fronts. So no--I didn’t waste the last four years. I went down a hard and difficult path to get where I am, and now I simply wanting more than what the second half of that path has to offer. It was looking bleak, in all honesty.
The darkest underwater cavern probably has some of the most incredible tunnels and sights to see and explore, but one can only go so long without air.
In the end I remind myself that I’m only twenty-two. (Well… almost twenty-three, but whatever). I’ve learned these things sooner than later. It won’t be easy. I’m definitely not on a pink cloud where I think that a simple change in thought is going to MAGICALLY make everything better and that somehow my suffering will be balanced out by some cosmic scale that’s going to suddenly swing the other way. It’s going to take time for this new life of mine. I may have doubts about it now and then, but the one thing I won’t doubt is that the last four years simply didn’t work the way I wanted it. So here’s to a real change. I’m looking forward to learning more about myself and living for myself, and I’m looking forward instead of back from here on out. (Aha--wordplay. Cute, ain’t it?)
So yadda yadda,
It’s good to be back.
I’ll update occasionally with some of the things that went down while I was in
AND STORIES. Yes, stories. I have some more written. So it's good to know this is all going in the right direction.