Friday, April 15, 2022

Misplaced Monologues: "Bad Day"

There are two basic reasons we feel guilt when hurting someone's feelings:

1) We care. Ya know. Decent human being shit.

2) Their rejection reflects poorly upon us—i.e. our ego becomes so mortally wounded, we reject them first. This is grade A bitch baby behavior, and I check myself for it constantly.

I become absorbed in the emotions of others. Not much a busybody (I'll leave that to my mother) more of an empath. I hear someone speak, listen to their feelings, and it's as if I can feel them. Afterward, I carry a piece of them with me. This can be a purely magical, connected human experience.

But, if I get caught in anothers mental illness loop, it can be unnerving as hell.

Not because I don't care. Never because I don't care. And not because I care "too much"  either. That's a bullshit concept for those obsessed with altruism. It's because—while I barely understand my brand of Crazy™—I'll attempt to take on theirs like it's mine. I understand through identification. But through that identification, I risk losing pieces of my own.

Because who am I without other people, really? If a bitch falls in the woods with no one around to pick her ass up, did she ever really fall at all?

Yes. Doubtlessly. Now, she's alone on a forest trail with a snapped ankle, waiting for death or rescue—whichever comes first.

Metaphors aside, navigating the feelings of others while considering mine is the toughest high-wire act. I don't want anyone to slip, but I'm not here to break their fall. These words feel fundamentally wrong as I type them, but standing up for myself commonly does.

I know who I am. My sense of self is iron clad. Who I am is someone who comprehends the world through compassion. Someone who doesn't believe in giving too many fucks, but occasionally runs out. I only love at one speed, at one volume, and I'm never more out of my element than when it becomes evident I should set boundaries.

Because boundaries are meant to keep people apart, when all I want is to be closer to everyone. To understand fucking everyone. To be one with the damned universe.

That isn't "too much," right?

In the end, it boils down to this: I can't be everyone's best friend, but I want to be. Or, bare minimum? I want to want to be. Maybe I am one of those assholes obsessed with altruism? Maybe I'm bullet point number two on my own damn list?

Or maybe—I just don't want anyone to have a bad day.

Love Always,

Thursday, April 7, 2022

Misplaced Monologues: "I Hate Journaling"

The title says it all, doesn’t it? I can’t stand this shit. It feels moronic, self-gratifying — an utter waste of time. I’ve never been able to hold to it with any consistency, because I’ve never seen a point. Until now.

Before we get there, let’s begin at a rudimentary locale: my name is Haley, I’m a writer, and a recovered alcoholic. An ex-drunk is not the only thing I am or have been, but my addiction played a major part in my downfall and lack of memory, so it’s relevant. My ex-best friend has a starring role, too, but I’ll talk about her too much, so we’ll save her for later.

My writing is what brought me here, quite literally. To this line on this screen, but also to an unexpected place where I’m trying to be a semi-successful fiction author. Why? I have no fucking idea. Nothing else feels right. In the same respect, even writing barely feels like mine anymore. That lack of ownership pertains to the ex-best friend, but — again — saving her for later.

This effort. This new foray into an old habit that didn’t rob me of copious braincells is a last ditch attempt to retain any semblance of a day-to-day memory recall. Honestly? I struggle hour to hour; occasionally moment to moment, but it’s no one’s fault but my own. This is not a request for pity or penance, but a place to document these thoughts — the shit I simply won’t remember. I’m not ready to say can’t yet, because I’ve made no attempt to hone my memory, memory is a skill, and any skill requires practice.

I can say I will journal. I might hate it. Ugh, I definitely do hate it. But it’s not because I don’t want to explore my feelings, failures, or fuck-ups. Indeed, that’s all I want to do. All I’ve ever wanted to do.

Issue is who I want to do it with, and that who refuses to speak to me, or acknowledge my existence. I can’t say I don’t deserve it, but have to believe I don’t, or I wouldn’t even try to remember shit. If I was out of hope, I’d still be drinking, and if I didn’t quit drinking? I’d be dead. Not in a dramatic literary sense. I was in the hospital for a month when I quit, because my body was already giving up the fucking ghost. I’d be dead, assuredly. And I deserve a lot, little of it good, but I don’t deserve death.

What do I deserve? I have no fucking clue, but don’t believe life gives a shit about that. Life is blissfully neutral, cruel and unfeeling, because life goes on. It moves on, unlike me. My terrible therapist, who gave the repeated cross-stitch level advice ‘Be Nicer to Yourself’ diagnosed me with prolonged grief over losing my best friend who isn’t dead. I’m just dead to her, but apparently that’s enough. Prolonged grief is so fucking relevant because it’s the same affliction that my main character suffers in my first book: the book I finished for that ex-best friend. Because of her. Fucking hell, I wrote it for her. I started it for myself — sure — but she asked me to read to her, and as a writer; that’s the best gift one could hope for.

And it fucking was. I’ve never felt so loved, supported, built-up, and vital. Needed. Relevant. I was the keeper of a tale, and had a captive audience. I’ve never experienced better in my life. I hope I can get back there again, one day. I believe it can’t just be a singular experience in my hellish, relatively short but often brutally long existence.

I’ll experience that momentary magic again, with her, or someone else. Because I’m not giving up, and I’m not going to sit idly by while I forget everything I’ve done. The good, bad, and Quasimodo. Because if I forget, I’ll never fucking learn.

Pushing away someone you love without intention is one of the most painful experiences to survive. When it’s the person who you feel understands you the most, and they still are able to discard you like trash? You must be trash, or you must have been wrong about them all along, right?

No. My name is Haley, I’m a writer, an ex-drunk; and I’m going to remember everything I’ve done so I don’t destroy my life again. I’ll learn the difference between selfish and self-preservation. I don’t have a choice. I won’t be getting another shot at this shit.

Love. Always.