Most of the people who are going to be reading this will be in the morning when it glides across their timelines on various social media websites. To have the most minimal control over what people read over their morning coffee is the sole reason I write. Not actually, but could you imagine the power trip that someone gets from writing daily editorials that are skimmed over ritually every day of the week? I would not be the least bit surprised if someone out there found it intoxicatingly addicting.
I have written about Death on this website several times before. I’m also using a big “D” because personification of the unknowable is an easy way to combat fear of it. That is why I refer to the amalgamation of my depression, bipolar disorder, and anxiety as “The Enemy”. Unfortunately, The Enemy is the thing I hate most in the world and it is wholly and completely a part of me.
I have barely glided through these past few days without a singular thought that everyone that even barely knows me is afraid of. Unfortunately for, well, everyone, the best way I can pull this thought’s greasy fangs off of me is to write candidly about it. It is a compound thought that has been haunting me for years and has been the reason for many a departure in my life. Purely and simply, Nobody loves me and I want to die.
‘But Jeffrey!,’ scream the not-so hoi polloi, “After the last scare where everyone freaked the fuck out, you swore you would talk to someone about it.”
Yes, dear masses, and that I did. I reached out every single time there was even an inkling of pain. Even the smallest detection of The Enemy set off every alarm bell. The size did not matter, I was to totally exterminate every single trace of it. Not only for the comfort and ease of my loved ones, but for my own happiness. I started being frank with people. I started doing things that I wanted to do. I was even half attempting to dress myself nicely.
I allowed conversation to flow freely and continually asked everyone I associated with the same question. What do you see when you look at me? I finally had my weapons to fight The Enemy. There was only one thing I needed to do. Regenerate.
When I use the word ‘regenerate’ I refer to its meaning in the show Doctor Who. In the show, The Doctor, an alien, can prevent death by total cellular regeneration. Unfortunately, it changes his face and personality. So, in an essence, The Doctor ‘dies’, but continues on as a different person. Same memories and beliefs for the most part, just different.
The trigger of a regeneration is often time traumatic. For example, the first time I consider myself to have regenerated was the first time I had sex. For most of my life I believed in abstinence, but when it came down to the wire I went ahead with it anyway and it changed me. My outlook on everything skewed. It was not a bad thing by any means, but it changed things. The second time I regenerated was the first time I ever thought about killing myself. I sat alone in a cold bathtub and considered ending my life. Once more, it changed me permanently.
I foresaw the third and most recent regeneration and ran from it. I refused to accept it as fact and tried to ignore it. In my ignoring it, The Enemy built up a massive offensive against me and I began to lose my grip on juts about everything. School and work crashed and burned. My social life stagnated. I gained far more weight than I would like to admit.
I will not go into the specifics of what happened, but I will give you the simplified version. I said goodbye to someone I loved more than anyone I had ever met. It was not a nice sendoff nor was this a sudden occurrence. It just so happened that the second person I put my full trust and faith into, for there own reasons, no longer was a part of my life. My acceptance of that regenerated me.
So, what has changed? My outlook on trust, happiness, friendship and love have all altered. Not for the worse mind you. I would sooner die (Ha) than become a cynic. Life is a grand and beautiful exploration of each other and I believe that trust, happiness, friendship, and love are the inseparable pillars that hold the whole damn thing together.
Where does Death play into this? Well, Death and The Enemy are two wholly and separate entities. Death is not inherently vengeful. Death is natural and should only be feared as it is a total unknown. The Enemy knows my weaknesses. The Enemy knows my vices. The Enemy knows my anger and uses it against me to drive me into the always welcoming arms of Death. Unfortunately, The Enemy is a part of me and often time that part of me can become so overwhelming that Death seems easier than ever.
But the regeneration helped me combat The Enemy. I had more tools in my arsenal. I could weaponize my anger and siphon it into creativity. I could blog and vlog and write and run. How did I get to where I am now though? Well, maybe I should be more specific as to where I am at.
A few weeks ago I was in Nashville with my brother and two of my greatest friends in the world. Two loyal and trustworthy companions whom I love to such an extent that I have immortalized both of them in my private journals. I was saying the word “bro” over and over. Ad nauseum does not even scratch the surface. In the span of ten minutes, I must have said it out loud closer to 500 times. I then realized how annoying I was and become despondent (on the inside, I only showed a mild perturbation against myself outwardly) over the fact that I was being a jerk and not the Better Man I swore to be.
Over the following weeks I noticed more and more things I hated about myself in the company of others and would often compensate for my inner turmoil by being far more needy and dramatic outwardly. I continually messaged people I barely talked to. I referred to long past events as if they were still relevant. I stoked not the fires of revolution and love, but the blaze of compassionless vitriol.
Very few moments of fun and clarity have marked my waking hours these past few weeks. They included watching two sub-par animated movies with my brother, making friends with a black cat, and listening to ten different versions of Carol of the Bells sitting in a car. The fear of people leaving my life kept creeping in so I foolishly tried to hold onto every tighter.
All of this was new to me though, I was acting far more paradoxical than ever. I was being needy but reclusive. I was being loud with a short fuse. I was creating insurmountable evidence in the case against me. The past few weeks I have put myself on trial for crimes against my very nature. The verdict was guilty. What happened though?
I fell right into The Enemy’s trap. The bevy of mental health issues had done something that my years of therapy (which I have avoided like the plague for over a month now because of the overwhelming desire for death) did not prepare me for. It evolved. It changed its plan of attack. Simply: It regenerated. Right alongside me.
Suddenly people I trusted became pariahs. Suddenly loneliness with a blade was an open invitation for a slit wrist. I went from annoying prep and backflipped into greaser lightning fast. I wanted to fight. I wanted to spark conflict.
Worst of all, I stayed angry. I began to dwell on those that I believed wronged me. I began to despise the very thought of the people I loved the most. The Enemy was revoking my trust, dissolving my happiness, burning my friendships, and souring my love.
Subconsciously, I noticed this and did the only thing I have ever done in situations of severe crisis. I cried out for help. Not in the usual video or blog format however. One night. One terrible awful night, of the few people that I had decided could still stand my presence. I contacted each and every one of them for company. I needed someone, anyone to just come and distract me through the night. I KNEW that something terrible was going to happen.
No one came.
My greatest fear in regard to my friendships and relationships with other people is misjudging where I stand with them. Hell, for all I know, this misjudgment was the impetus for my last regeneration. I feared that I was about to live my last night on Earth until my brother relented from his routine and stayed up to watch a few movies with me.
Unfortunately, the ever present desire to welcome Death has not gone away. The lack of love for myself is almost palpable. It seems that all my progress has reversed and I am further behind in emotional maturity and intelligence than I was when I had that first suicidal thought. I feel that I have retrogressed.
My best friend, my favorite coworker, and practically any theater friend I made last semester are no longer players on the overly long board game that is my life. I miss them all dearly, but how can I ask someone to return if I want to leave myself?
I welcome any and all discussion.