Stranger in my own Shadow

Life is so confusing lately. My friend Haley sat me down yesterday to suddenly go off on me about Carrie. They just moved in together so I assumed they’re hitting it off. But it was odd. She treated me like dynamite, like a volatile substance. She told me to stop taking everything out on Carrie.

I stared at her blank-faced and said “what do you mean?” she acted like I’m screaming in her face or something. I told her I’ve detached because I’m too hurt, that I’ve done everything I can not to unload my anger on her and I’ve made every possible effort to be kind, understanding and civil.

Haley defended her actions, even made a few fair points. I just told her I have a line, a limit. I’m realizing how important it is to have personal boundaries and how much you have to let the world know what works for you and what doesn’t. I told her that I wanted nothing more than to be Carrie’s friend, to see my dogs again, to go forward with sadness in my heart but ultimately caring about carrie being healthy and happy this entire time.

I realized I’m just talking to a drunk wall. Haley was smashed and just kept telling me that people do fucked up things when they’re sad. I told her I understand, but that it’s up to every individual when you put away your problems with other people and act like an adult in your heart and love yourself. To be okay with yourself, to work on yourself. I’ve learned this lesson so hard. I spent ten years doing what I thought was right. Being boring, being routine, being an adult. I thought giving up on chasing my dreams was what it meant to be a grown-up.

Now that I see them again, my dreams, dangling before me. I realize what an idiot I’ve been. How I cast hope aside in order to gain maturity and lost both. I feel like I’m being an adult for the first time in my whole life, and while I’ve always been mature, I realized that I’ve misinterpreted this whole “life” thing.

Carrie always used to ask me where I want to be in 5 years, 10, what my goals were. I never answered because I thought that being a writer, an actor, a creative tech guru, was all just a pipe dream. The kind of thing that people dwell on instead of just going to work. I told myself that I’m married, I have someone to care for forever. That’s my job now, that’s my future. I gave up myself for someone else and it drove me to despair.

I know now I have to love myself first, and fuck everyone, my dreams matter. They’re important and I can see them again and it hurts that I just ignored them for so long, making no progress.

I’m down 41 pounds today. (326 for the record) I feel constantly different. My medication is fucking with my sleep. I sleep 1-3 hours a day at best and I have far too much time to think. I went on a date finally. A girl I met online, who’s possibly a bigger gamer-geek than me. I didn’t know that could exist honestly. We nerded out for hours and I had a great time. I’m wary of dating, I know I’m not over everything but I know that I need to start trying. Meeting new people and starting to feel desirable again.

I think she really likes me, I’m not sure if I’m ready for anything serious. I have 10 years of history turning my thoughts to endless comparisons and doubt. I’m trying though to see what single life is like.

I feel a new confidence, a feeling of having been forged by fire and the small things don’t matter anymore. I wasn’t even nervous. I just dived in and was my funny, charming self.  I felt more comfortable in my own skin than in over a decade.

I try not to think about Carrie. Haley told me she’s suffering, but I’m not around to contribute anymore. I wish over and over again that I could have been the one to comfort her, that we could have pushed this boulder to the side and seen that I care so much about her being happy and how it draws fire in my heart to see her hurting herself, hurting me, just leaning on denial and blaming me and pain for her actions.

You always have a choice, pain defines us. It teaches you who you are underneath. I’m glad that the worst pain I’ve had in my life made me do amazing things. I just wish it worked that way for everyone.

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