Thursday, August 26, 2010

Here we go again

In the past, I’ve used writing as a form of “therapy” for myself. Just as people say that talking things out helps you to feel better about them, I feel the same way about writing. I think of myself as an open and honest person, but some of the fears and concerns I have I know are baseless, and therefore I feel stupid bringing them up out loud. I don’t like to worry or bother people with my worries. I’m a noted worrier about all things, especially interpersonal relationships, and to bring it up every time would be to create a “boy who cried ‘poor me’” persona for myself. Nobody likes to listen to me whine, and I’m so terrified it will push people away that I just swallow everything. Yes, I’m aware that’s not particularly healthy, but that’s how I’ve been for years now, and I can’t seem to shake it.

So what am I whining writing about today? Despite what is probably the truth, I feel like everything good in my life is fading away. I was recently promoted at work, which is awesome and frankly a long time coming, but even that has a tinge of pointlessness to it. The additional money it brings is already accounted for since my car has decided that it hates me and two major systems went kaput within a two week span, necessitating $1900 in repairs. Not to mention the additional stress the new responsibilities bring. Don’t get me wrong; I’m very grateful to have a job in the current climate, much less one where I’m advancing. I only mention it as part of the pile of shit under which I feel buried. It’s really part of a larger issue I have with money management (i.e. I’m really bad at it).

My mother and I are polar opposites in terms of beliefs and opinions (be they political, religious, or what have you). I love her with every fiber of my being, and I know she returns that love, but it’s very alienating feeling as though I have to constantly defend my “hippie liberal” beliefs against a family of conservatives. And defend myself I do. I make every effort to avoid these hot topics (and the store Hot Topic), and yet I still get drawn into conversations that make me internally cringe the entire time. I know I’m not alone in this. We all grow up, start thinking about this world we’re living in, and distance ourselves, in same way or other, from the beliefs we held as children. Parents often don’t understand this change. My mother in particular views it as a rejection of the VALUES she and my dad instilled in me, though that’s completely not the case. What does this have to do with why I’m writing? It’s because family is supposed to be a source of support when you’re feeling low, and while my mother supports me in the best way she can, she’s never been someone I’ve felt comfortable turning to with my crazy issues. We’re actually a lot alike in that regard.

Really when you get right down to it, my largest problem is how I feel rooted in place, unchanging and stifled. Most of that is my own doing. I have a hard time talking to or opening up to new people, and often change terrifies me. I worry constantly about pushing away the friends that are most important in my life with my neuroses. Knowing that some of my worries are shared by these people alleviates nothing. I watch my nearest and dearest as they live full lives, having loving relationships and healthy families, being active parts of the human race. I watch as they gravitate toward newer and more interesting people whose lives are in turn full of other interesting people and events. A large part of me rejoices for them that life is so meaningful, that they are doing things that leave lasting impressions on the world around them, that they can so clearly connect to life. And then I see myself, standing still and unchanging because of cowardice or sadness or whatever you have. I add nothing of significance to my world, and I can’t help but extrapolate that to mean I add nothing of significance to the lives of the people I love.

I’m a big ball of neuroses: jealousy when my closest friends become closer to others (which is pure selfishness and neediness, I’m aware, and nothing I would EVER IN A MILLION YEARS act on), sadness at my own cowardice, anger at myself for mistakes of the past, and fear of mistakes yet to be made. And when I compare all of that against the things I DO contribute both to the world and my loved ones, it becomes worse than a zero sum game. I sometimes feel like I’m actually subtracting from life, making things harder for the people I love, and as a result I wonder why they love me, and how long it will be before they realize how little I bring to the table and decide it’s not worth it. And then I feel terrible for those thoughts because all that displays is a lack of faith in them. The cycle turns ever onward, and here I sit, unchanging, not growing, feeling as though I’m holding those that I love back.

“So move! Make things better!” you might say. And I know I need to do that. But every time I feel ready to start, to make myself better, to make myself worthy of the love people continue to show me, the other thoughts take over and once again I’m lost in my own head. Which, if you haven’t guessed, is a dark and twisty place. So I guess this is just a venting session. Who knows if it will help me in any real way? If you’ve made it through to the end, I thank you for reading. And if you’re a close friend, know that despite my darkness I’m so grateful to know you and be a part of your life. I might not feel worthy of it, but that doesn’t mean I don’t recognize and appreciate it, and I will continue to strive to make myself worthy of your love and respect.


Blogger Shannon said...

It's good to hear (read?) from you man.

Feeling paralyzed sucks! but doing something manageable like talking about (or blogging) seems like it could be something, right?

4:43 PM  
Blogger The Bagboy said...

That is definitely the hope. And it's good to hear from you as well. How are things with you guys?

4:45 PM  
Blogger Shannon said...

things are good 'up north' ;)

you will be surprised to learn it is just as hot north of 635 as it is south.

4:50 PM  
Blogger Crystal Arcand (3Stairs) said...

Bless, dear Bill. I've been in that slump many times - it sucks. I wish I could tell you a cure-all, but I haven't found one either. It may not help, but I commiserate completely.

8:47 AM  
Blogger Gin said...

As per usual, you undervalue yourself to the Nth degree, my friend. "Subtracting from life?" Hardly. Do you have any idea how fun and sparkling you made my college (and slightly pre-college) years? Repeated calls from a pay phone to the RC Cola recordings-of-quirky-randomness will never be forgotten (or topped). Smoky evenings trading "Deep Thoughts" and sharing a pack of cloves are treasured memories that may seem insignificant, but are, in fact, priceless. Your wit, your loyalty, the unfettered abandon with which you love your friends...all reasons you add to this life, Billy. You are one-of-a-kind and'd do well to embrace that fact :). Love you much - Gin

P.S. - Jesus wasn't a conservative.

2:23 PM  

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