Let’s Begin

I’m currently at a point in my life where I’ve never been more unhappy. I’ve been in a state of doing noting for several years now which stems largely from the fact that I focus so much on things that happen to me rather than what I can do about them. I started this blog for two reasons: I need to be honest about the fact that most of the bad things that have happened to me are a result of my own actions and that I’ll never get rid of my ego fully so why not make this public. Some of these will undoubtedly be painfully long and be me just rambling about myself but hopefully for at least a sentence or two in each I’ll have some moments of clarity. Welcome to my quest to become less of an asshole.

Night Eight

Yesterday was pretty rough so I skipped posting. The two of them came in together for the night shift while I was on a double and he had hickies on both sides of his neck. It definitely bothered me but I had been preparing all day and just reminding myself that I’m being crazy, co-dependent and possessive all at the same time so after a few minutes I was good. After that though I went to quickly drive a morning shift employee home and on the drive I had to pull over suddenly because I felt like I was going to be sick and I threw up a good amount of blood. I drove him home and went back to the store and made a joke about what just happened but nobody thought it was funny (cause it wasn’t). She looked at me horrified and I remembered that jokes about death after you’ve just done something concerning to people who say they love you don’t tend to go over well. I still felt a little nauseous which I thought was just left over from before but I started to get worse so I decided to go home but before I even got to my car I felt it coming again so I ran back inside to hit the bathroom. I yakked again but this time no blood. I chilled for a bit to get my bearings and when she was next to me I could tell she was on the verge of tears which made me regret the joke even more. It was something along the lines of, “I just threw up blood, fuck I hope it’s a tumor.” Just poor taste all around. She told me I needed to go to the hospital and I told her I would but I had no intention of doing so.

When I left I drove for a bit and started to feel like I was going to faint so I went to my friends house who lived closer. I told him what happened and after a bit of back and forth he drove me to the ER. I made him go home and said I’d call him with updates. Guard down now I found a way to hate everyone who came in after me but got to go in before me. Never mind the fact that they were more urgent or that there’s different care needed so some people go in if what they need is available. Anyway after about three hours and some tests they figured out that on my last bender I likely tore some lining in my esophagus that caused blood to build up in my stomach over the past week or so and this was me finally getting it all out. They also said that while my liver appears to be funtioning normally it shows signs that if i were to keep going at this rate in about ten years I would develop cirrhosis. It’s inoperable so I’d either need a liver transplant or I’d be in for a very slow and painful death. Also they assured me that with a history of alcoholism my chances of getting a transplant would be next to none. I’ve never been so glad that I decided to stop drinking, I just have to make sure it lasts this time.

They wrote me some prescriptions to help the healing of the lining which I just realized I forgot to pick up today cause why not. I’m also supposed to go see a specialist to confirm that what they think is true but I honestly have no plans to do that. I will schedule an appointment with my primary care doctor though. It’s been a long time though and I don’t know what his name is. I’m glad my friends made me go. God damn it’s a full time job caring about me. Now I really don’t blame my old friends for leaving.

At this point I knew they’d be closing down the store and after I called her to tell her I was okay Iasked if I could come by. When I got there she came out looking very concerned. I didn’t even get out of the car can you believe that? She messed with my hair and went back inside, she was the only one there. I wanted so bad to jump out give her a hug and thank her for being so stubborn with me but I didn’t. I definitely would’ve shed a few tears. In case it wasn’t obvious I was actually really scared for a minute yesterday. I thought that my liver might finally give up on me.

Seriousness aside one of the tests I needed was a rectal exam to make sure there wasn’t any blood in my stool and she got in there deep for about thirty seconds getting as far back as she could and then poking around corners. I don’t think I’ll ever be the same again.

Night Six

Today was interesting. I did make it through last night sober. Hallelujah. Was up until about four in the morning but hey, it’s the little wins. I stayed positive all through my work out and when my mind started to drift I reeled it back in. I was really nervous for my shift tonight with all three of us (plus two more). With my reaction last night I just knew it had the potential to go awry. Surprisingly though aside from about one or two times I didn’t think about it at all. I definitely noticed how flirtatious he was being but it honestly didn’t really bother me. Every time I had to go run a shipment from the warehouse I made sure I had calm music playing. Usually songs that I know all the words to so that I could distract myself by singing along. The couple of times that it did get to me a bit I just had to verbally say that I’m fine along with my mantra a couple of times, a few deep breaths and my heartbeat was back to normal.

Even though I had that part in check for some reason I just felt like their was a shade over me the whole time. I’m not even sure if I felt sad, just hollow. However I felt, it must’ve been obvious because she asked me if I was okay. I said that I was but I guess she knows me better than that. I obviously couldn’t say that any part of it had anything to do with her and him but honestly I don’t think it did. She knows part of my mental struggles. Later on she pulled me aside, gave me a hug, and told me that she loved me. I was pretty taken aback. I feel love from my two other friends but it’s never been explicitly stated. She’s the first one who’s not my family to say that to me in a long time. She could tell I was struggling with it a bit so she said, “sorry if that’s too much right now. I love her too. I said it back. And now that it’s been said I know that it’s a friendship kind of love, and it makes me happy. I think I might’ve just been skating around trying to figure out my feelings towards her for too long. I overanalyzed it all and got myself tied up in a knot. She really is amazing, I’m lucky she’s in my life.

It makes yesterday seem even more stupid. I’m not saying that I still won’t get a little jealous from time to time but at least now I have definitive proof how crazy I’m being here. I still have so long to go, but I think it’s all going to be okay.

Night Five

This will be long.

Today was a rough one. The day itself went fine but shit hit the fan at the end of work. I was closing with my manager and we had had a great shift. Talked like usual, laughed and business went great. She had told me that she was going out with friends tonight so I knew that she probably had a ride but I asked anyway and she confirmed. I finished my stuff and came up front and when I turned the corner the other employee was standing right there hanging out. He was off today. She said earlier this week that she didn’t really have time to hang out which I understood but I guess it just hurt that it was because she wanted to hang out with him instead. I knew this going in. She told me that we weren’t going to end up being more. I guess deep down, after all the time we’ve spent together having fun I wanted it to be different. I’m being unfair again. She doesn’t know that I haven’t had a real relationship in seven years. She doesn’t know how much of a mess I am inside. I haven’t told her at all.

I think that I’ve completely forgot what it’s like to be in a relationship. For a minute I thought that I felt that here but maybe I’ve just chased so many people away I forgot what it’s like to be with friends on a regular basis. That’s my own fault I’m not trying to get sympathy there it’s just a fact. I also have to remember that even though I see her all the time and it feels like something more, most of the time we’re just at work. I drive her home a lot, well I guess I used to, but even that was me asking if she needed a ride. She never once asked me for one.

Anyway, I left the two of them at the store saying that I’ll see them tomorrow. Oh fuck. It’s all three of us working tomorrow. I have no idea how the hell I’m going to get through that. Especially knowing that she has him closing not me. Problem for tomorrow. Back to tonight. I left quick because truth be told if I had to talk anymore than answering him when he asked me how I was doing I might’ve been reduced to a puddle right then and there. Instead I sped off and let some tears out on the drive home. I wanted nothing more than to go to the liquor store. I tried calling two of my friends but they didn’t answer. I went to the park to walk around the lake a few times. When I first pulled up I felt the same way I felt the second time that I tried to kill myself. And that was the time that I really tried tried. I know it’s stupid that I got this low over something that I knew could happen eventually. She’s told me about other guys but this is the first one that also worked with us. I sometimes lie to her about going on a date with another girl so it doesn’t seem like she’s the only one. I really need to stop that.

So I just started walking. For about ten minutes I didn’t know what I wanted more, a bottle or a gun. Luckily I had neither close by. But I started talking to myself. At first I was saying the mantra, “you’re just using her as a tool to validate yourself, you care about her and you value her opinion but that isn’t why you’re feeling this way, you want her to stroke your ego.” I must’ve been a sight to behold. 6’4″ chunky dude crying and screaming into his hands about why his boss who has a boyfriend of five years and is in an open relationship hitting up another employee that isn’t me isn’t a reason for me to go on a bender and kill myself. Yes that was a horrendous sentence but just let me have this one.

I eventually reached diminishing returns with the mantra so I kept reminding myself that drinking tonight, especially in the condition I was in was a terrible idea. About two miles in I reminded myself that I’m only five days in to this whole trying to be a better person thing. I know that this was a really small thing that set me off but relative to my current mindset I told myself that this was a test. One of the worst possible things that could happen (in my mind) happened less than a week in. If I can make it tomorrow without a hangover and have at least a few moments where I recognize how absurd I’m being then I can really make some progress. The second lap most of what I said was, “I’ll be okay,” or, “I’m going to beat this(me).” I got myself to the point where I knew I wasn’t going to the liquor store and suicide was off the table. Admittedly though I got off the suicide bandwagon after the first fifteen. Had I drank though it probably would’ve been back on tomorrow when I woke up and saw the calls that I made to her.

I talked to myself the whole ride home and even though I’m still sad I got through a chat with my parents know suspicion raised. My friend texted me though seeing if everything is okay and even though I told him I was fine he all but made me call him. Minus the suicide stuff I told him everything I just wrote and after about the third, “I’m sorry” he told me to stop and that he always wants to help when I get to this point, even before. He knows that I’ve tried to get sober but just like myself, he trusted me too much. I’ll go on some bender, get sober for a while and then slowly start to think that I can have one or two beers with friends and the next thing I know I’m in a different state with meth and heroin in my system having spent all of the money that I was saving to get my own apartment. Yes that was last week.

He knows all of that about me and still wants to be my friend. We only met three years ago. My college roommate invited him and another friend up for one of our parties. He must be the bravest dude I know. I was with my old best friends for over ten years and even they decided that they had had enough. I don’t blame them of course. But they decided they were done with me after just one night when they saw what I had become and that was it.

I’ve put him and his girlfriend through fucking hell. So many nights where I woke up the next morning preparing myself to be alone again. We don’t see each other all the time because of our schedules but they keep coming back. They’re both really good people but I used to think they were stupid. I thought they were seeing something in me that wasn’t there. I think they’re just so much kinder than me I can’t comprehend. I’m ashamed to say that I’m not sure I’d have stuck around if the roles were reversed. I like to think I would have but I’ve abandoned people for less. If those two still see a part of me worth befriending, and I can make it to tomorrow sober, maybe I’m not all that bad. I just have to keep working at it, and stop blaming people for things I know are my fault. I probably won’t get much sleep tonight but I’ll take it over being drunk and passed out. I’m still sad but it’s going to be okay.

Night Four

Not too much to report today in terms of good or bad for how I reacted to things. I did get stung by a wasp on my way to the other store though which really pissed me off. If there’s anyone out there whose immediate reaction to being stung isn’t thinking about how much it hurt them than please send them my way (as if anyone’s reading this).

I did think a lot about why I my thoughts spiral so often. I know that the spiral is always somehow related to how things are affecting me specifically but I want to get to the source of why I do that in the first place. I did come up with one pretty solid answer but I’ll need to collect some more data the next time I go down this path.

While I openly admit to how ignorant I am about so many things, because of my educational background there’s a huge part of me that wants to think that I’m way smarter than I really am. I was always told I was on the “gifted” path in elementary school, mostly just because I could read well. In middle school I was a grade ahead in math. This wasn’t anything special though there were more than 10 classes dedicated to those ahead in math. It was about a 60-40 split between those in normal to those ahead. I started high school in the IB program taking all honors classes but stopped after one year because fuck that. Afterwards though I usually did well in my honors classes and most of my teachers were shocked if I got below a B on an assignment let alone a whole class.

I think it’s hard for teachers to separate truly gifted kids from ones who can just read and write well. In my honors classes I met the kids who were truly gifted and they made me feel like a monkey. There was an ease to which they understood subjects like chemistry and calculus that was very awe inspiring. Don’t get me wrong they worked extremely hard too but the difference in what we could finish in the same amount of time was substantial.

So I always knew that I was just someone who could read/write well but this didn’t make a difference for me until I got to college. Suddenly I couldn’t get by anymore with fancy sentence structure. I knew it wasn’t true but I was told I was “gifted” for so many years that I really wanted to believe it, and a part of me still does.

I think how that manifests itself currently is that when small things happen to me I think I’m smart enough to take other small things and piece together the only logical conclusion. I’ve been wrong so many times that I’ve proven beyond a doubt that I’m not one of those gifted kids. I’ve thought that my best friend wanted nothing to do with me and that the really pretty friend of a friend was in to me. Again this is just my current leading theory but I think at my core I so want to be one of those kids that I’m deploying that fraudulent part of myself into trying to read between the lines of a text message or interpreting someone’s body language. Great.

Night Three

There were two moments today that I really want to focus on. They both revolve around my manager again which is another thing that I really want to work on. She has become a significant part in my life but the amount that I put on her in my own head is super unfair and I’m sure she’d be mortified if she found out. Again that’s the whole point of starting this though. Hopefully the more I talk about how absurd it is I’ll finally really take it to heart and have some normal feelings.

The first is related to her but involves only something that I did. She has today off and I was talking with one of the newer employees. He asked me about different stuff about the store and he eventually asked me how she compares to past managers. I didn’t hesitate to sing her praises but for some god damn reason when I was done I felt the need to add that I’m very glad I said no when I was asked to be the manager. I am very glad that I said know. It seemed like more stress than I wanted, I don’t enjoy being too involved with the next higher up and if I had said yes I never would’ve been able to develop whatever you call what’s going on between me and the new manager. However, none of those are the reasons why I said that. I said so because I wanted to establish that I could very well be in her position and to make myself feel more important during a slow night. Without thinking I completely undermined and minimized someone that I really care about. She’s also one of three that I can truly say it’s a mutual relationship. When I realized what I did I decided to bury myself in a book for the rest of the night.

The second is something that made me feel good but I still think is problematic in the long run. We were texting back and forth last night and then I made a joke and she never replied. After about an hour passed I could feel myself falling right back into the whole dependence thing and wondering why she couldn’t see how hilarious I was. About mid day today she replied in a way that indicated she found it very amusing and said that she fell asleep last night. It lit up my day. Right now though this is me deciding my entire mood based on other people confirming what I think about myself.

And it just so happens that as I write this I’m trying very hard to fight off a few thoughts. The first is that she’s told me that she almost never goes to bed that early and that the reason I was working last night (I’m usually off) was to cover for the other guy at work she’s friends. He took a trip to the mountains and now I’m wondering if she went with him. Once again I have absolutely nothing to base this on and if anything I should be encouraging her to go after someone way more attractive and sane than I am. Also I hardly know the guy except for how nice he’s been to me and he could be going through something way worse than the bullshit I started in my own head. I’ve decided that whenever I go down this rabbit whole I need to say the words “You are using her as a tool to validate you, you care about her and you value her opinion but you are using her to make you feel good,” out loud.

Night Two

Work was very slow today. When work gets slow I tend to either day dream about the way certain scenarios would have played out if I had changed my actions at the time. As this happens I usually end up furious at myself for being such an idiot (which is true) but that’s not a feeling that needs to be intensified right now. This inevitably leads me to the other option which is that I just get extremely cranky. I’m conscious enough to not express that visually or verbally to any coworkers or customers but I definitely give off a bit of an aura where it’s painfully obvious how hollow my politeness and courtesies are.

I had a feeling that it would be slow tonight so I brought a book to distract me from going down those paths. Well I guess it’s really only one destination but I get there different ways. I actually finished the book and absolutely loved it. It’s called The War of Art by Steven Pressfield. I bought it because it’s always been a secret dream of mine to become a writer but I’ve never been able to pull the trigger and start to write various ideas that I’ve had. The book got me to start writing today and it also gave me a lot of insight to thoughts that come into my head, be them negative or positive. I’ve been in this place before though and stopped after less than a week so I’m going to try to read a chapter or so a day to really hammer home the point.

There was one customer who came in that absolutely infuriated me for a time. He came in on a speaker phone conversation and walked right up to the counter and didn’t even make eye contact when I said hello. He stood there for a few minutes in the way of other customers until he finished his call. After he was helped and was going through his stuff he would yell out every time he wanted something else from across the store and made no effort to get up. I imagined putting his head through the window every time I heard his voice. He was in and out in about fifteen minutes and after a while I realized how funny his behavior was. I need to be able to recognize that in the moment.

When I was playing basketball I caught myself hustling for a missed shot and standing in place then walking over after a made one. It happened maybe two more times in an hour and I’ll have to see where else I’m doing that in my life. The big part of the workout though was that in the distance I saw a kid that used to be my best friend until about sophomore year of high school. I don’t think he saw me though. He’s always lived in this neighborhood and my parents just moved here. I ditched him to be more full time (not sure what else to call it) with friends that I thought I had more in common with. He’d actually been ditched by the same group before but that’s for a different time. He was never once mean to me and is still great and friendly whenever I’ve seen him since.

I know why my friends left me. They saw how toxic I was before I did. And it still sucks and makes me cry if I think about it too long. I still have this feeling of hate towards them but I at least know that I’m wrong to feel that way. I ditched this kid for no other reason than to be with other people and never even made up an excuse as to why we weren’t hanging out anymore, I just left. When I see those kids at a bar or somewhere I avoid them as best I can. And here’s this kid who by all accounts should hate me even more and he’s never once hesitated to come up and say hi even with his new group of friends that he made later on in school, and he’s always offered for me to join them. I need to apologize at some point but right now I think I’d just be trying to make myself feel better.

Morning thoughts

Last night as I was falling asleep I did my usual fantasizing. I went on various tangents creating a perfect life for myself. These usually involve things that I think I’ve always wanted to do. Whether it be a professional writer, star athlete or just imagining how things might’ve been different had I not messed things up so badly with a girl from college. Most of my late night thoughts or day dreaming involve things that at one point in my life may have been relatively attainable. I never would’ve been a star basketball player but being a starter on my high school team was at least within reach had I put more effort in.

I seem to create all these scenarios in my head and think that they’ll just magically appear without me putting in any real work. As if the right person will come along and finally recognize how amazing I am. I don’t think I’ve ever accomplished something that didn’t come natural to me and when those things stopped coming so easy, I always got worse.

I think a lot about how I haven’t been in a real relationship since I was sixteen and even that only lasted a couple of months. Knowing what I know about myself is the kind of person that would be attracted to all of this really someone that I want to be involved with? The agenda for today is to go make a fool of myself on my neighborhood basketball court, do some more job hunting, and then try hard at work not to think of every customer as either a dollar sign or someone I’d send to hell if I had the ability to. We’ll see how it goes tonight.

Night One

Night one: I spent hours today thinking about the schedule that my boss sent me. I went to go see a movie with my dad, made a good meal with food that I didn’t pay for, woke up and went to bed in a big house in which I don’t pay rent, and I let that schedule ruin my day. I had multiple thoughts about wanting to burn the whole world to the ground, thought about how much I hated all the friends who have left me, and admitted to myself that despite all the advantages that my parents have provided for me, for the majority of the time I don’t enjoy being around them. I also thought about the times that I feel genuine love for my family and couldn’t recall the feeling.

This is because although I believe I am a good friend now in the sense that I try to be there whenever I can and I do genuinely want the people around me to feel good, I expect them to know everything about me that I don’t tell them. When I am ever minorly inconvenienced by someone close to me or feel anything short of perfection from that relationship, my first instinct is to imagine what they’re doing to spite me and put motives on people that I have no right to. It has never been my first thought to give anyone the benefit of the doubt. It takes me hours of thinking about how a person might be wronging me before I can even begin to think about what might be going on in their lives at the time or even to recognize the simple fact that I’m probably misinterpreting things. I’m finally coming to terms that I’m almost the perfect definition of a narcissist, and that not acknowledging this fact is certainly the source of my current state of depression, obesity and alcoholism (yes I’m a triple threat). In this I’m hoping that by being honest about the core of my actions being selfish, I can slowly start to put that part of myself aside. And as a side note while I might go back to fix something here and there, I want to edit this as little as possible just to get my raw thoughts out. Right now I have no idea if I’ll ever put this somewhere for other people to see, I’d for sure have to do it anonymously and creating a platform whereby I start to monitor how many views this gets seems a little counterproductive to the point of why I’m still typing.

My boss and I are the same age and she’s currently in an open relationship. We started out on the same level and I was always attracted to her, but never did anything about it because I was nervous about the workplace dynamic. Some time after she was promoted, she told me that she wanted to pursue a relationship outside of work but that she has a primary partner and that while our relationship could be more than just physical, she had no intentions of leaving her primary partner. Instead of being thrilled that this super cool and beautiful woman somehow saw something in me, I immediately created scenarios in my head about how if I could be good enough that I could push the primary partner out and that it could just be the two of us.

A few weeks ago, she hired a new employee who is definitely way more attractive than me. He’s my same height with no blemishes and that dude’s in shape. To top it off he’s super nice and even covered for me when I went on a two-day bender of drugs and alcohol. I told them I was having car trouble. Anyway, last Saturday night I was coming back to work to give her a ride home when I saw them hanging out (he closed) and he left by saying that they should hang out and she said that she’d probably see him tomorrow at the thing. After that she and I went to hang out at a bar for about an hour before I took her home. She doesn’t know that I’m back to going on benders, as far as I know she thinks I have one or two beers twice a week. We had a great time together. We laughed, and she asked me questions that no one’s asked me in a long time. All I could think about on my ride home was where were they possibly going to see each other tomorrow. Anyway, cut to today (and this whole weekend). Friday the three of us were hanging out at the end of work and she got a call, so she went back inside. She walked out quick to give him a hug while she was talking and my blood boiled when it wasn’t also extended to me. Now, he was leaving, she knew that I still had more work to do and that I wasn’t leaving yet. After I finished, she was still on the call and I wasn’t given the same “treatment” and it kept me up until about four in the morning. She and I are not dating, we have not had sex and she owes me absolutely nothing. If anything, I’m still deeply in her debt from the fact that she still talks to me after the times when we first knew each other, and she was given a show on how horrible my drinking habit can get. To make things even worse, I know who she was on the phone with and that it was important to her and that she was taking this call while still trying to complete the most math centered and careful portion of her job. But I didn’t get a hug goodbye so poor me.

Today (Sunday) when she sent out the schedule, I noticed that I won’t see her until Thursday and that on the days we work together she has him closing with her instead of me. She knows that I don’t enjoy closing, she gave me double his hours, and she also knows that I’m picking up extra time at another store because I’m trying to move out. And perhaps most importantly, it doesn’t matter if none of those reasons mattered and that she made the schedule that way so that she could spend more time with him instead of me. I wanted to make myself seem like the shit in my head so bad that I forgot her primary partner, WHO SHE LIVES WITH, knows about me and the new guy, knows about other guys that we don’t, and that she knows about all the girls that he’s hitting up as well. In case you were wondering I just found my ego pretty far up my own ass.

I hope that all these “entries” or whatever they’re called aren’t this long every time, but I have a lot of self-importance disguised as self-loathing to work through, so we’ll see what happens.

Introduce Yourself (Example Post)

This is an example post, originally published as part of Blogging University. Enroll in one of our ten programs, and start your blog right.

You’re going to publish a post today. Don’t worry about how your blog looks. Don’t worry if you haven’t given it a name yet, or you’re feeling overwhelmed. Just click the “New Post” button, and tell us why you’re here.

Why do this?

  • Because it gives new readers context. What are you about? Why should they read your blog?
  • Because it will help you focus you own ideas about your blog and what you’d like to do with it.

The post can be short or long, a personal intro to your life or a bloggy mission statement, a manifesto for the future or a simple outline of your the types of things you hope to publish.

To help you get started, here are a few questions:

  • Why are you blogging publicly, rather than keeping a personal journal?
  • What topics do you think you’ll write about?
  • Who would you love to connect with via your blog?
  • If you blog successfully throughout the next year, what would you hope to have accomplished?

You’re not locked into any of this; one of the wonderful things about blogs is how they constantly evolve as we learn, grow, and interact with one another — but it’s good to know where and why you started, and articulating your goals may just give you a few other post ideas.

Can’t think how to get started? Just write the first thing that pops into your head. Anne Lamott, author of a book on writing we love, says that you need to give yourself permission to write a “crappy first draft”. Anne makes a great point — just start writing, and worry about editing it later.

When you’re ready to publish, give your post three to five tags that describe your blog’s focus — writing, photography, fiction, parenting, food, cars, movies, sports, whatever. These tags will help others who care about your topics find you in the Reader. Make sure one of the tags is “zerotohero,” so other new bloggers can find you, too.