Phase 1: Who the Hell Am I?

Phase 1: Who the hell am I?

What kind of man am I? I’m complex, smart, funny, and easy to get along with, I genuinely want other people to feel good and to like me. My name is Adam. I’ve made mistakes.

I’m married to a beautiful woman named Carrie. I’ve had a crush on her since we were 15 and the day we got married it seemed like a literal dream come true. This is not one of my mistakes.

My most recent mistake?

I’ve cheated on my wife. My partner of almost 10 years, my best friend, my favorite human being. I got drunk about 2 months ago in July and I ended up messing around with an old co-worker. Eventually she got guilty and told her husband. He flipped out and started threatening me. Eventually threats weren’t enough and he told my wife everything.

*Boom* My whole life went away. Carrie left and she left swiftly and decisively. I could almost admire it, for all that it hurt. Suddenly all the air had been sucked out of my lungs, the room, the universe. I was in a state of panic. I frantically texted my closest friends – practically screaming “911 Emergency – need help now.”

The worst part was even when they arrived, there was nothing they could do. Eventually Sean came over, one of my closest friends, my best man, and let’s face it – someone who’s done way worse than I have and seemingly survived. We talked and talked, I blathered, asked him why I’m so stupid. I asked him why we both do self-destructive things. He told me that we’re complicated and we are too smart for our own good. So when things won’t change we knock them over and force them to. It got me thinking and starting to process. After he left I was alone and in-between huge crying fits I started looking inward.

Throughout that weekend everyone that came over had the same story, the same look – you poor bastard, but you did this to yourself – there was no escaping it. My own mother told me this is my fault, my friends told me they understood, but that there’s no way to spin this. You fucked up. I did. I fucked up. I couldn’t get away from it. For a little while I blamed booze, I blamed the girl, I blamed Carrie, I fired off in all directions. Everything I threw up at the walls of my mind, wouldn’t stick.

Surprisingly quickly I had my filter ripped away, my safety net gone. I had to look at life RIGHT NOW and see what’s wrong and how to fix it. The simple truth reared its ugly head.

This isn’t a simple problem.

This isn’t JUST a girl and a one-time thing. This is years of problems, of depression, of unhappiness, and of being unhealthy. I’ve been petulant, muley, uncommunicative and a variety of terms that might require a thesaurus to sort out. There was SO much to atone for, so much to fix. It was gazing into despair.