I’m Willing

You know, it’s been sort of a rough day. And not necessarily “depressing,” because I have this other way of invalidating myself, where I can convince myself that all the negative suggestions I’m giving myself are actually positive. And then I can sort of chip away at a lot of the things that make me happy and then act as if it’s okay to have this paltry amount of happiness left over.

It’s hard to describe.

Of course it stems from my friend’s extremely serious illness (posted below, a couple days ago), which then throws me into the memories of the deaths of so many of my friends — most of the friends I’ve had in my life are now dead. And I’m not even that old (AIDS took a whole lot of them in one fell swoop, though: 13 of my friends died from AIDS).

It’s sort of like a defense mechanism takes over my brain or something — it sends these walls down to maybe protect me from any more unhappiness. I don’t really know. But it starts blocking out everything that could maybe make me happy or could maybe make me believe that there is some sort of “future.” I don’t know how to describe any of this.

But even as it’s been happening, over the past couple days, I could see that it was happening and I was in some ways content to do nothing about it. Just sort of deconstruct myself and float away. Act happy, but just sort of vacate myself. And in this much smaller way, I’m still trying to fight it. Because before I talked to my friend on Thursday night and found out how sick he was, I was pretty much the happiest I’ve ever been in my life.

So it’s just rough. I’m trying, though. You know — always trying to survive myself.

I was with Kara earlier and she said, as I was getting ready to go home — I had eaten a ton of chocolate; just a ton of it and I was a little wired. And she said, “You’ll probably go home now and just write like crazy! You won’t be able to sleep.”

And I said, “No, I don’t think I’m going to write.”

And she stared at me and said, “You’re not going to write?”

Like it was the first time she’d ever heard me say that — that I wasn’t going to go home and write. And it probably was the first time she’s ever heard me say that. And I actually heard myself saying, “No, there’s nothing I need to write.”

And she just looked at me like I was out of my mind. And very confidentially, so that no one around us would overhear, she said, “But what about the porn thing — you still need to work on that. It’s good money.”

And I was, like: oh yeah; that’s right. And only at that point, as I was leaving, did I tell her about how sick my friend is and about how upset I am — and she’s met him before, because he’s come to visit me out here in the Hinterlands a few times already.

Then I got in my car, and as I was driving back out to the middle of nowhere in the darkness of Muskingum County, I realized that I was trying to make myself disappear again. Emotionally. And I just really know that I shouldn’t do this, but I’m not 100% sure how to stop it. But by the time I got home, I realized that I was at least willing to stop it. And so maybe that is going to help.

To be at least willing to stop and to believe. So I’m going with that idea for now.

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