Back At It.
As I wait to board my flight back to San Francisco I got the itch. The itch to jot something down. To jump back into telling a story, the story of me. The story of who I want to be, and who I feel like I am.
I stopped writing at the end of last year because of many reasons, but aside from not having time around travel, work, and losing my mind then regaining it, there were two main reasons. One, the pressure of putting so much of my personal life out there was getting to me. Two, I wasn’t being totally honest with everyone.
I didn’t want people to worry about me, and I didn’t want family and friends to know that things were really fucking depressing at times, or that I was doing wreckless shit to avoid worrying about it all the time. Or that I made a huge mistake staying in SF for the holidays and was on the brink of losing my mind at all times.
I didn’t want to tell anyone about it, and I was hating myself for pandering to make people feel better when I wrote the few times I did in the end of last year.
In the summer of 2014, it was easy to write. It wasn’t easy to live, but it was easy to write, because I was doing everything I can to go over the top to be healthier, and to beat back MS and all my other demons every day.
You want the honest part? I hated it. I hated not doing things that I wanted to do, when I had free time to do it. I hated living every day in my own head, and I hated using every waking moment to walk, or write to just quiet the screaming inside my brain.
It’s a weird feeling to explain; when you actively wonder to yourself if you are insane. When you take apart every idea that is thrown at you, because you have taught yourself to apply critical thinking, but it ends up with you wondering if anyone else lives inside his or her head like you do. I’m sure some of you will understand, and it may be more than I know, but after my last 3 years of life and self exploration, I ‘m not sure whether I’m just like everyone else, or completely different when it comes down to the things I internalize. I basically don’t know if most people have the internal conflicts and communications, as I do constantly.
I know I’m sane, I know that I care, deeply, about others at times, and that I sort of hate that moving to SF has killed a little of that part of me off, and that I’ve become a more selfish person from my diagnoses and from shooting for the stars with my goals in my career and seeing that pay off. I know that I never want to hurt others and I know that I want other people to like me, to a fault.
I also know that I have it in me to hurt the ones that care about me most, through my own actions that I see only as affecting me. I know that I don’t think about circumstances in the moment and love to just live life on a whim. I know that I think different and don’t usually take hard sides on an argument, leaving room to be convinced of something I haven’t thought of. Well, unless it’s something huge like LeBron vs Kobe (Witness, baby).
I know that I don’t care about the things that I used to care deepy about. I still love watching sports, and I still love arguing politics but I’m more about picking apart daily life and arguing over ways that we could be better as a society and as a people.
I don’t intend this blog post to be all about me, so this seems like a good time to talk about something I’ve noticed in myself and in friends and acquaintances. We’ve lost the ability to truly care about others to a small extent. Now, to be clear, I feel like society is fine, better than ever even. We are kinder to each other and more and more of the world is at peace as time moves on. News travels fast, so we see all the horrible things that happen quicker, but in reality the % of problems is getting lower and lower.
But, how about just being nice to each other, and caring for the ones that need it. My big realization came to me while venting about friends that I have and about colleagues and people that I meet at work.
Even though these instances are about people that I care about, and actually like, I was still complaining a bit to make myself feel better about me. When I have a weekend bender I look at my friend that’s still partying on Sunday and talk about them like I’m doing better. When I see someone miss something at work or leave out details I bitch about it to someone to make me feel better for my own laziness at work.
Why do we do this? Why do we feign care, and sling judgment to others when we really should do the uncomfortable thing, reach out, and try to make those that know us better?
Probably, because life is fucking hard. It’s not easy to go through death, heartbreak, sickness, and failures without looking around to realize that you’re still ok. It’s not easy to care about people that are not in the interest of helping themselves without judging them. It’s not easy to live life in the moment without judging every situation so that we can make better informed decisions. While that seems like a productive strategy, I’ve found that it can make you cold and overly critical.
I’m going to try and apply this all to my life starting now. I’m about as happy as I’ve ever been, and I know I’ve said this before, and I usually meant it, only to find out wasn’t totally true when one thing turned. To guard against this I’ve thought about things like “what if I lost my job” or “what if I went through another breakup with someone I really like?”
Gasp, even the big one: “What if my health took a turn?” “What if I woke up and couldn’t see or walk the same one day this year?”
How in the hell would I deal with this? I don’t know. I don’t truly know if I’m dealing with anything in my life. I know I’m trying. I’m trying to figure out what I want in my life for future goals. I’m coming to grip with the idea that I’m actually as successful as I imagined back in high school, when I was a cocky kid that could test well, never had to try, thought life was magical and easy to figure out; but really didn’t know shit. I know what I want in dating, and in relationships.
I know what I want from my friends, and that I what I want in my health is something I can control. I don’t want to never drink any alcohol, but I do want to never smoke cigarettes or do any drugs. I want to cut back and to be honest, I don’t even enjoy drinking for the sake of it, I enjoy having fun. This winter was a lot of weekends just spent doing dumb shit, and not being social, I know that I don’t want that.
I know that I want to exercise again. Until I hurt my back and the ankle got sore, I was hitting the bike at the gym and just that felt good. I want to get back to golfing once or twice a week, and to eating healthier.
Fuck kale, and you all can stop lying to yourself by saying it’s good. Lettuce is better. But I don’t want to eat bar food and fast food ever. You just feel like shit the next day and it’s not worth it. I can cook like a champ and I hadn’t made myself a meal in 2015 until about a month ago. Animals taste delicious, so I’m never going to be a vegan or anything like that, but fried crap and non-lean meats need to go.
I want to write more again. This helps. This is entertaining for me, and it’s a way for me to get my message out there. When I started writing I loved hearing that it helped people going through other diseases that read it. Then I started to pander and use this to make myself feel better. I don’t want that. I want to get back to just telling my story. Because I do like the idea of someone coming across this after being diagnosed and realizing that they aren’t alone. That they aren’t the only one that has a little part of them that hates people for being healthy. That they aren’t the only ones to actively think to themselves and ask, “Could you kill yourself if this gets worse?” That they aren’t insane to think, “no, too many people care about me, and I’m too big of a pansy to do it.” That they will have times when they don’t care about their health because who cares, MS will start to affect me later. EVEN THOUGH MEDICAL SCIENCE IS SCREAMING at them to be healthy because a cure is on the way.
I don’t usually name people on here, but a good friend of mine had a health scare last week. He was told he could have leukemia. At my age we’re starting to see more and more people that have had to hear that horrible news. You know what I’m talking about. A scare for you, a death for a friend, or family member, a sickness in someone you love. Once, you’ve truly dealt with that pain, and that fear, you get a bit better at being there for friends in the same situation. In an instant you have talks that people that don’t know, don’t have.
After the tests came back he didn’t have anything too serious, and I internally went from “worried out of my mind and empathetic” to “jealous and alone again as the one that has something wrong with them.”
I told him instantly and we laughed because we have horrible senses of humor, but then I started to feel really bad about it.
This prompted me to start to think about writing again. To start to deal with my health again, so the people I love and want to be with all my life, don’t have to worry and don’t get hurt 20 years down the line when I keep doing harm to my body. This thought prompted me to plead on here for people to stop arguing over everything all the time, and find common ground on issues so that we can learn and care for each other. It prompted me to just want to ask others to be kind, and to strive to make others around you better, because one day, you will need someone there to help you do the same, and hopefully you will have been great enough to have a few people there to pick up the slack for you.