Reflection from March 17th, 2008 @ Age 26
RE: THE BEAUTY OF BEING INCOMPLETE ALONE, BUT COMPLETE TOGETHER.
I had a dream last night that Courtney Howard and I shared a bathroom, and that I was immensely irritated with her because she had hung her razor on the bathroom wall just so, such that my razor would now not fit hanging on the wall like it did before she hung hers up in the goddamn first place. Then I woke up and I was thinking of how damn jealous I could have been of this girl, of how jealous I still could be of this girl who always participated in every activity in high school, who received perfect grades in all the honors classes, who went god knows where for college and law school and who is now working in New York City as an attorney. I could be so envious of her, but I’m not. I’m not jealous of her because I love my life far more than I could ever love hers. For instance, Courtney will never be beautiful like I am, no matter if she bought all the goddamn hair, clothes and makeup stylists and supplies in the world. Courtney will never have dated Dave, and Courtney will not possess in a lifetime the amount of passion and undying soulfulness I possess in any given moment. You see I very likely could be envious of this girl from my past, and in a lot of ways on paper she has been much more successful than I, but she can never be me and that, in and of itself, will always forbade her from my book of hearts.
I was thinking yesterday on the drive home from North Canton of a few things that I think I’ll record now (since I have the time before work and all!). Every time I go down to Stacey and Brian’s I feel ashamed of showing off this Star of David. I almost feel ashamed to expose this level of intensity, this incredible strength of feeling and conviction that I possess. I think I feel most ashamed too, in this particular incident, because I bear the star of a boy who never treated me as I deserved to be treated. He was never the kind of boyfriend I ought to have had. So it makes me embarrassed to show how disproportionately I loved him, how disproportionately I do love him still. That’s always been the dilemma though…my having to hide from others the disproportionality of my feelings from the concrete “truth” of reality. The issue never lied in a disconnect between my emotions and literal circumstance, but rather lied in this disproportioned apportionment of feeling in relation to the reality of circumstance. This is what has made me feel crazy all these years. That my feelings are, most of the time, imbalanced to the “reality” of circumstance. This is the dilemma that bipolars face, and this is the quality that drives others to think of bipolars as crazy. But the really crazy part about it all is this: that this characteristic from which I most want to run and hide is exactly the characteristic which I must stand up to stand by, to shout from the rooftops my understanding such that others have even the possibility of understanding what it means to be bipolar. I must expose my innermost vulnerability to shed light on this matter. This is the key to my freedom at long last, I have found the key to my freedom. In exposing that which I fear most to expose, I will set myself upon a glorious fire for all the world to see.
I look at my foot, at this beautiful Star of David, and in fact, I see imperfection. There are ink splotches in some lines, some lines are not exactly parallel, some triangles are larger than others. But I look at this Star of David and while it may hold imperfections in fact, this Star is absolutely, positively perfection in beauty. Much like myself, I am full of imperfections. My boobs could be bigger, my thighs and waist smaller, my eyes could be more green, my hair could be longer, my fingers could be more narrow; I could be smarter and more eloquently spoken, I could have a better memory and I could be more agile and pleasant in social situations. But all that aside, nothing even really matters because my perfection lies not in circumstance, but in beauty alone. Much like human beings in general, really.
I’ve been having some trouble with anxiety lately and as I remember from therapy, they had told me that really other people couldn’t care less what you’re doing. I think this might be true for most, and I think it is true for myself most of the time, but I cannot rid myself of the nagging feeling that it is less true for myself than for others.
I was speaking with Andy, Stacey’s brother-in-law, the other day at the shower. He asked me how I was doing and I said I was doing alright, and I told him about work and the bar and he asked where I lived and I said where I live and he said “huh, I would have pegged you for a city girl.” Well I said, “I would’ve too, and probably will be once I’ve got some of this damn student debt paid off!” It’s always funny though, to learn of the impressions that other people glean from you. I asked Andy how he was doing and he said alright. He said his two kids were a bit more than he and Amy would like sometimes, but that they were making it and doing alright. Which reminded me of the immense responsibility being a really great parent imposes.
I believe that when I become a parent, the time I now have to discover myself will be erased and rather reallocated to helping my children find their selves. Unless of course I can make a living off of writing fulltime. I cannot think of a job more flexible than that of a writer’s without any immediately reoccurring deadlines. Just another reason why I want so badly for to be a writer. But anyhow, Andy I know loves his kids in one day more than most parents love their children in a lifetime, and he shows his love for his kids as well, most notably through his exemplified patience and understanding, but it just reminded me that now is the time for to explore and figure out who it is that I am, because this time will not last forever, and if I don’t find that out now, it will only become more difficult to do so later. I cherish this time because I’m getting closer and closer to defining exactly who it is that I am. I’m taking my beautiful self and I am discovering her through thought and word. I am discovering myself now, for I don’t want to be one of those people who grow up and realize they’ve lost themselves far back along the winding way.
Well, my mom just came in to my room to talk and she was telling me how she’s having the cable people take two of our boxes back and cutting our cell phone back from 1400 to 700 minutes a month. Then I asked her if they were going to have to take money out of their retirement to pay for the bills while she’s unemployed and she said yes, but they have a few thousand left, enough to keep them out of retirement and whatnot. And I said a few as in three thousand and she said no, she said about $12,000. Then I went and bonehead said, “that’s it?” And then she started to cry and left the room and said she’d talk with me more later. And I can’t blame her for being absolutely terrified not knowing what she’s going to do, knowing she’s almost 60 and has almost no retirement left. I don’t know what to say except maybe not what I said above, but more importantly I don’t really know what to do. I can’t help them out financially except for the little I give them a month, usually $100 for food and $100 for loan money repayment.
Anyways, I don’t think it’s curious why I’ve felt so very insecure and unsafe all my life in this world surrounding me. I think for a long time my parents were providing a false financial front, and now it’s been swept away from them at perhaps the most critical time in their lives. It’s just funny to think how we struggled financially all those years, only to come out on the other end financially with nothing. All for nothing, ain’t that the story.
I forgot to mention the other day, but when I was at the beauty salon talking with Alicia, my wonderful hair stylist, I was telling her a little bit about my family and I ended up telling her about my brother Rob who is no longer talking with the family and all. Well then she started to share a little with me about her family, and she told me that her only sibling, her older brother, had been missing now for years. I thought she was kidding me and I told her as much and she said “no, no, honest to god not.” And I was shocked. I later asked her what she thought about the whole Health Ledger being found dead in his apartment and all, and she said her dad went on a drinking binge for a week because it reminded him of his son, her brother, such tragedy for such young souls. I really don’t know what to say more than I was really shocked that that’d happened to her and I feel so bad about it, and I wish there were something I could do, some way I could help. But I don’t know what to do and I don’t know how to help. It feels really good though that she at least thought that she could tell me something like that, that she could share it with me, and really she was showing me that I was not alone. That her brother had quite literally gone missing too. My heart breaks when such beauty lies deep within such hideous tragedy.
It seems more and more that beauty is what’s given to those who belong here, by those who do not, before they’re early departure’s taken flight. I am a medical miracle. Without drugs, I would not still be alive. If we simply allowed evolution to chart its own course, I would be long gone from this world. Sometimes I’m really not sure which is the better of both ailments.
I type up my old journals and I miss Dave and I feel so broken. I feel hopelessly and forever broken into pieces. I can be conjured and manipulated and glued back into place, but never again will I fit as I should. Never again will I be what I once was before. Never again will I hold him in my arms.
They say AA is a simple program for simple people and you know, they’re absolutely right, but god forbid you’re a complex person. If you are a complex person, not only do you not fit in, they further refuse to let you even think you don’t fit in, circumstances which inevitably breed contempt and closed-mindedness. I am not an alcoholic, I am not a drug addict, but I have most certainly struggled for almost a decade with substance abuse issues. My substance abuse is not innate in the most direct sense, my substance abuse is a physical manifestation of a much deeper, much more fundamental mental illness. I am different, and yet I am the same. Together we share, and together we part.