Archive for the ‘Life experience that I can’t fathom’ Category

I get stuck in these patterns of safe behavior. Loops that feel comfortable and predictable, but that steer me away from making “growth” choices. I’ll poke my head out and bump it on some new experience, and feel and think: “never again.”

I occasionally get faced with the reality of my own mistakes, seeing how peers, friends, coworkers have progressed in their lives while I seem to have frozen in time. A student I graduated high school with is now the Vice President of some large-ish company. Another is a lawyer. A young man I went to elementary school with has a PhD and makes silly money selling e-books and online classes he teaches. I know we’re not supposed to compare ourselves to others, but I still do.

I used to blame my parents, or think I was BORN this way of getting stuck or complacent. There may be a little truth to that thinking, but ultimately no one else but me controls me.

Thinking about my wins feels enormously empty when compared to my previous, grandiose plans. There is some line between self-hating narcissism and holding high expectations for oneself. I do the prior or both while convincing myself my self-talk is essential to push myself forward.

Sometimes, and I am not proud of this, I allow my problems to harm others. This is almost always friends, family members, sometimes a coworker.  Typically I just don’t text, email or call back. An innocuous enough inaction, I convince myself. People ignore my communications all the time. But when I care enough about what that person thinks, it hurts. I expect to be ignored, but that’s not how normal people are. Normal, healthy people don’t expect or want to be ignored. It likely makes them angry or sad.

I can remember several occasions I would be talking with a friend who kept in regular contact with a family member, parent, or all their family members. I kept thinking: “That’s just not how my family is. We talk once in a while, not all the time.” But as I’ve gotten older, I’ve realized that’s how I am. I don’t like receiving criticism, so I don’t share with people what’s going on in my life. Many of my life plans, from teenage-hood up through today, I don’t actually follow through on, and people I would share my plans with would understandably want to know what happened with: “that job” or “I thought you were going to school for an MBA” or “I thought you were moving out finally” or “I thought you said you were going to eat healthy.” This is a way that I have very much not grown up at all.

Most of my problems I feel I know the answer to solving, but struggle to force myself to act towards those answers.

I think I’m finally starting to fall asleep. (3:24 am)

Not everything’s been bad. I didn’t get married and lock myself in a nightmare divorce scenario. I don’t have any terminal illnesses. I’m not dead. I’ve just always thought too much, which has been my safety net and (a) great weakness.

I’ve started to watch myself, almost like in third person. I end up with thoughts like: “Dave needs to have some carbs or he gets REAL hungry.” “If Dave doesn’t go to the gym, he is going to lose it.” I feel this helps me reason or negotiate with my caveman brain, instead of just shouting orders and watching as I ignore them.

I’m signing off. Talk to your friends. Be willing to annoy them. Don’t be like me. They’ll deal with it.

Song of the post – Organs, by Of Monsters and Men

I don’t know what it’s like to be gay nor have I ever tried to kill myself. My stance on human beings is that they should not kill themselves. Most especially if there is a chance they can live a life not filled with suffering.

Ryan O’Callaghan was a millionaire/professional, world-class athlete who started for two NFL teams. He was not afraid of the crushing workload that accompanies being an NFL starter. The thought of openly discussing his sexual orientation with friends or family, however, was too daunting.

After his Football career, O’Callaghan said he was planning to end his life because he could no longer use football to hide his sexual orientation from others.

O’Callaghan eventually met with a specialist who encouraged him to come out to his friends and family.  O’Callaghan has been away from football for many years and has created a life not shaped by hiding his feelings or lifestyle. “I love life now” He said after having told his friends and family about his struggle.

I don’t really know how to help people struggling with suicidal thoughts. The reality of O’Callaghan being as hard working, intelligent and successful as he was, and still had fears he felt he could not navigate is telling of the seriousness of societal rejection from close friends and family. I definitely haven’t been the most accepting of people in my life who’ve chosen not to continue the same course that I have. I think I still don’t entirely understand what it is like to be on the other side of that fence. Listening to Ryan talk about his experience, and others share about their challenges, have helped me to understand a little better the gravity and darkness others may feel.