So I've been meeting with a close friend who you might call a "spiritual director," and she gave me a gift on Tuesday. She asked me to reach my hand into a bucket and pick out a "Livestrong" type bracelet, all of which have a different saying on them. We both gave each other a strange look when the blue one I pulled out had the word "toxic," written on it.
"I didn't even know that one was in there," she said, "if I did, I would have taken it out."
"Everything has a reason, Judy," I responded.
This bracelet does have a meaning to me, it reminds me I am toxic and so are my behaviors.
I got back from my annual Tour de Wisconsin with my best friends in the end of August and had been having an extremely difficult time dealing with my PTSD. It was so bad that I was having trouble recognizing the difference between what was real and what was paranoia. I was grading every person I passed on the street or met with an A through F grade based on their perceived threat level to me. I was thinking people were plotting against me, unfortunately the only plot I was missing was the one taking place in the heart of the woman I love.
As Kurt Cobain so eloquently put it, "Just because you're paranoid don't mean they're not after you." That was me to a "T." So I guess that's where the story takes its turn, something I need to write out and get off my chest.
The story begins years back, but the real course of events began on September 11th, ironically enough. My fiancee and I went out to her parents house for her Grandpa's 90th birthday party and she made a simple request while we were driving out there, one that should have been easy to respect. Don't drink.
I bet you can see where this is going. I got frustrated and was having a panic attack and wanted to leave after about five hours of being there, she said no. So what did I do? Drink. Well let's just say that alcohol doesn't exactly interact with my new prescription medicine so well and I ended up having it out with her parents. I said more than I should have and got into an argument with her drunk dad, needless to say it did not end up well.
We left a few hours later and did not talk on the ride home and then proceeded to argue all night long. Her dad made it clear that he did not want us getting married (we had been planning on a civil ceremony so I could go on her insurance in order to get myself into better treatment) until I fixed my head. So I'm thinking to myself, "this fucking guy doesn't give a shit about me or my recovery," and I proceeded to emotionally nail myself to the cross over the next two days. Which brings me to the 13th.
On the 13th I left work early, I was suicidal. I had a note and a plan. Park on the George Washington Bridge and leap to freedom from the mess in my head, but something stopped me, the thought of her crying over my casket, something I could never do to her. So I called her and we decided that I needed to be hospitalized. I was checked into my mental ward at about 0030 on the 13th and spent the next 6 days locked in that hell. I had never felt so alone in my life until she came to visit me that night. I cried on her shoulder and she told me everything would be alright. That, unfortunately, was a bold faced lie because when I called her the next day she informed me that we were done and I was to go home with my parents who were flying in for what was supposed to be our engagement party. It was the last time I heard her voice.
So now I was sitting in a fucking locked mental ward with schizos and other non-functioning people all alone and more depressed than I had ever been in my life. Long story short, my parents came in Friday, packed my apartment on Saturday and when I was discharged on Sunday we hit the road for Wisconsin. All I could think was that I failed. She told me she was leaving because I was not 100% behind my recovery, which was totally true. I was too afraid to admit to my doctors what was wrong with me because I did not want to hear what they had to say. I was too afraid of the diagnoses that they would lay on my shoulders. She said I was only dedicated to getting my head right for her and not for myself and that she could not take it any longer. I guess I can't blame her for that, but it doesn't stop the tears one bit.
When it rains, it fucking pours.
I spent the next two days in the car with my parents telling them everything I had written in this stupid blog and coming to terms with the fact that I was truly alone and more lonely than I had felt in my entire life. We talked about a lot of things, but most of all how my number one job would be to get my head back together, for me this time. Unfortunately it took me losing the love of my life, the woman I moved to fucking New York for, to realize that fact.
So here I sit, at my parent's kitchen table crying and writing the most painful thing I have ever had to write. I am in treatment Monday through Friday from nine til three trying to figure out how to let go of the massive amount of shame and guilt I feel for destroying my life in New York. Or more accurately, letting my illness destroy my relationship and my life in New York.
I guess I don't know what to say about this. I don't know how to be single, I don't know how to not be in love with her and I don't fucking know what I did to deserve this mountain of shit that has rained down on me. I imagine it is going to be a long time before I can come to terms with it, but until then all I can do is live. I don't know what else to do. I cry every night, I want to drink and smoke but I can't and I am feeling even more lost than I ever have before. I know I've said I don't know who I am anymore, but now I really have no fucking clue. For so long my life revolved around her and now she is gone and here I am, broken and emotionally destroyed.
But at least I am alive.
The only thing I can hope to accomplish is to make sure that I don't make this mistake again and break another two hearts, but let me tell you I'm sure mine will take much longer to heal than hers. Where do I go from here? Why am I here? What did I do to deserve this? The doctors tell me it isn't my fault but I just don't fucking believe them. I guess I just have to wait and see. I guess I just have to figure out how to heal, but I have no idea how to do so. I feel in one sense that my life is meaningless, but in another sense I feel that I have nowhere to go but up from here. I don't know which one I believe more. All I do know for sure is that I am alone and I need to heal. I just don't know how.
"Inch by inch, row by row,
Gonna make this garden grow,
All it takes is a rake and a hoe,
And a piece of fertile ground.
Inch by inch, row by row,
Someone bless these seeds I sow,
Someone warm them from below,
'Till the rain comes tumblin' down"
The Garden Song