Sunday, September 25, 2011

Back Where I Belong

Hey folks. I'm sure those of you who have heard about my meltdown have also heard that I've gotten over it. That said, I still haven't really gone into much depth on it, so I will try to explain things. I was mainly gearing up to start a "mass apology tour", but a little time has me leaning in another direction.

I'm sure most of you don't care about being apologized to in this case. If you feel otherwise, then maybe (I'm hoping) this will help start a path to forgiveness.

So, I'm doing much better now. I'm not sure what happened to me -- I woke up fine one day, and by the time I decided to go to bed, I felt my life simply wasn't worth living. I have this sort of thing happen to me every year or two, but not quite to the extreme that it came out to this time. I'm on a good bit of medication, and have always had mental issues, and with stressors from... well, a mountain of things, I tend to break down on occasion.

But enough of that. I just want the people who care about me to know that I'm not going anywhere. Everything I said and did was stupid. I let my emotions take control, when I should have been thinking through things, and asking for your help. Thankfully I was able to reach the point where I could let my emotions take a back seat to reason, thanks in part to people who are almost complete strangers. It just took some (gentle) provocation to make me too furious to ignore it. Once I got talking, I finally started thinking, and I finally started to let my brain begin to take apart the muddled flurry of emotions.

Truth is, I was wrong to think you'd be willing to let go of me that easily. I mean, you all handled things differently -- some of you decided to give me space, others rushed to encourage. Some of you offered me a place to stay, others offered to come visit me from other regions of the world. Some of you called me on the phone, some of you wrote me letters through the post office.

All of you had your different approaches to the problem. Just as true, is that all of you are irreplaceable to me.

I think a week ago, I had heard some form of the phrase "best friend" directed at me so many times that one would think I would have eventually said to myself, "what am I DOING?"... I know a lot of you have told me as much already, and some of you even explained to me *why* that was the case. It didn't really hit me though -- I was too hung-up over my failures, weaknesses, and shortcomings.

What I neglected to see was that if I have so many best friends, there must be *something* in my life that is right.

A friend of mine said it very well. I won't quote him directly, but the basic idea is that a human being's worth is NOT measured by things like status, wealth, or accomplishment -- it's measured by how you treat those around you... your "humanity"...

I've struggled all my life, wrestling with demons, always seeing myself as inferior to everyone around me. Everyone else has had a life -- they have had jobs, they have had children, they have had some degree of success in the world -- maybe not financial success, or relational success, or whatever you want to call it... and maybe some of them were struggling... but it seemed as though everyone around me was doing *something* with their lives, while I've been sitting in idle my entire life.

When I first read your responses, I wasn't paying attention. Now that things have blown over for me, and I've had a chance to re-evaluate things...

... I have come to the conclusion that while I may be going nowhere fast in the world, I have a place. It's not a place of wealth, fame, or fortune. It is a place at which I've wanted to be, for all my life, but was a little too dumb to realize it. My place in life is with you.

It's easy to call someone your "best friend", but when you explain to someone EXACTLY why they hold such a coveted title, and you look at it and cannot refute the reasons, it makes it *really* difficult to want to continue to exile yourself. Maybe I don't have a high esteem or degree of respect for myself, but I can say the opposite for my friends. My friends mean the world to me -- yet I was so blind with rage at myself that I tried to cast you all aside.

Thank God that real friends don't go away so easily.

I feel really dumb... but I'm not going to let self-directed anger control me... not this time. Anger never really has suited me very well, and I think all of you know that. This whole experience has been humbling... yet, at the same time, it has made me stronger. I've let myself see what love is like. Love can be beaten down, it can be abused, called names, cast aside, and broken in half. Yet love -- real love -- never truly ends. I received a lot of love -- whether expressed through actions, or perhaps silence -- and that's where my place lies. My life cannot be ruled by anger, as long as you are there to remind me what love is. It is far too alluring. It is far too powerful.

So, while there may always be a seed of anger in my heart at my perceived weakness, there is another seed there that will melt away the hardness in my heart. I spent a lot of my life in a shell, hiding myself from people because I was afraid of the pain they cause. But when I first got a taste of what love is like, I have developed a ravenous craving for it. Love has become my source of wealth.

When I put that into perspective, money... stature... the things of this world... none of that can equate to having love in your life. I don't know how I came to take love for granted -- especially over such petty things as "making it" in the world. But I did... and I fell far, very fast.

If nothing else, I've learned that without love, one's life is utterly meaningless. I won't lie by saying that it isn't nice to be well-off with worldly ideals, but I will say with confidence that if one does not give love, or receive it, that I truly pity them -- regardless of how "far" they've come in life.

Thank you all for your love. I owe you my life. As long as that is the case, it's not really my place to do anything to rob you of me.

I have a request of all of you. My request is that you try and show the love you have shown me to all of those around you. There are people all around you, hurting -- suffering in silence. Too many to count. You may not know they are hurting, or feel unloved. So do something about it. Your love has proven to be invaluable to me. Just imagine what all of you could do if you shared it.

Go out there, and hug your loved ones. Get in touch with someone you haven't talked to in a while and see how they are. Be quick to offer help to those in need. Do not allow anyone to sit there and suffer. We are all human beings, and without the ability to give or take that love, we are without humanity itself. And if your love can do a fraction of what it has for me... then this world had better watch out.

I don't consider myself as having best friends. I'm not saying that I'm not closer to some of you than others, just that when you come into my life, and I have a good feeling about you, and you become my friend... you become an extremely special person. If you are a part of my life, then I will treat you as such. Once you've stepped over that threshold, then I hold you in high esteem -- I love you. It's that simple. Love is not something to take lightly -- but it *is* something to be given freely. Thank you to my friends for giving back to me the ability to return to this place...

... because, although I'm not really "going" anywhere in the world, I have arrived at a pretty good place. As long as I can keep you in my sight, as long as love cannot be bound by distance, as long as I am alive, I am at the place where I belong...

... with you.

It's good to be back.

2 comments:

  1. Clint, I don't know you, but I've struggled with problems similiar to yours. After reading this I feel I need to give some friendly advice.

    If you haven't realized it yet, medication isn't going to help you. The longer you keep taking head pills the less effective they become, and the sooner you get off them the less painful the withdrawal symptoms become. The pills aren't there to fix your problems, they're a temporary fix for the symptoms. If you really want to get to the bottom of things, a clear mind will be invaluable.

    It's nice and dandy that you've realized the importance of friendship, but the Power of Love (tm) won't carry you above your problems.

    I get a bad vibe from your self deprecating tone. Failure is not a sign that something is wrong with you, it merely means you're human. You have needs and preferences, like all of us.

    While you may have recovered from your latest episode, I fear you will relapse. The vicious circle will keep going until you begin changing your mindset radically.

    Your sentiments about accomplishment also give me the sense that you're going in the wrong direction. A sense of accomplishment is key to living a great life. Accomplishment is not about your contribution to society or whatever, so much as it is a measurement of your sense of self worth. A feeling of accomplishment boosts your confidence immensely. Don't undervalue it.

    If you lack a sense of accomplishment despite your hardest efforts, you might need to reevaluate your goals and priorities. For instance, do you live your life to please others, or yourself?

    I forgot where I'm going with this... But I hope you take my points into consideration. Also, feel free to contact me anytime. I love me a good chat. Talking about these things helps put my mind to work.

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  2. ^Boy, did that turn out long, heh :-P

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