I have had some things going round in my head for quite some time, heavy, personal stuff, self defining type things that I never have really been able to deal with before. As a result, those thoughts continue to haunt me and yea, trouble me to this day. I am tired of being defined by who I was or I thought I was. Jesus, all I want to be....in the end is me. The real me (sorry borrowed that from Quadrophenia). But it does matter, I don't like pretending to be something I'm not. Problem was that for years I didn't have a clue who I was or what I wanted to be as a person.
For a long time I tried to please people at the expense of myself. I couldn't even begin to explain all the details of what I am referring to here, let's just say that I obviously did not have a positive feeling about who or what I was. I always remember, even as a young boy feeling inadequate, somehow I just didn't measure up. No one told me these things...but the little birdie in my head did, repeatedly. Even when I was successful at something, I felt like a failure.
This low self opinion filtered into every bit of my being and certainly influenced how I related with others and with life in general. I lived a lie. I hated who I was and what I felt I represented.Yet it was impossible for me to just be myself, too risky I suppose to let that guard down. I thought others must have known how I felt but as time has passed I have realized that most of this stuff played out in between my own ears.
I many ways my life spun out of control fueled by alcoholism/addiction....a lot of the things that I had come to rely on for stability were lost. Relationships being the most important. Material things can be replaced...it is much harder to rebuild destroyed relationships, to re-build trust. I realize now that no matter what my intentions were, I could not show love, compassion, understanding and affection to another if I could not have those feelings for myself. It 'tis a cliche about not being able to love another if you can't love yourself but I found that to be quite accurate in my own life.
I have joked for as long as I can remeber about being the type of person that always had to learn lessons the hard way...it wasn't really a joke. In the end, my life was stripped to to the bare essentials....I had only myself, the man staring me back in the mirror. I started from there, looking at myself with no filter at all, I learned for the first time about who I really was and that believe it or not, I was a good guy, a decent, caring loving human being. I did not need to pretend to be anything other then what I was. The real me....
I built a new life (still building it actually, that process will end at the precise moment I die) on that foundation of honesty and trust in the belief that it is never too late to begin living again or start over. I'm enjoying the journey now, each and every day. Life? No, it's not a box of fucking chocolates, not by a long shot. It can really, really, hurt sometimes but there is a joy in being present in my own life for a change. That is a hard concept to explain to others who haven't experienced it...how you can go through life and feel as if you are not participating in your own day to day existence. I was just surviving, day after bloody day.
I spent so much energy building walls around myself, to try and "protect" myself, never for a moment realizing that I was missing out on one of life's greatest gifts...relationships with others. So it is a new day, everyday to build something real, to be a part of the planet, a part of the race....the human race.