I’ve put off writing this one because it feels too real and too personal. It’s easy to share about myself and the shit I deal with in my own mind. It’s a lot harder to share when it’s about someone I love.
You see. It’s been a really draining and rough week. I’ve grown so accustomed to being alone that when I spend a solid week in offices and with people I struggle to find space for myself. And that struggle is like a breeding ground for the monster to jump in and taunt away. It sucks because much like someone who struggles with an addiction, the addiction often creates the need for more, and the need for more creates a greater addiction. It’s the proverbial downward spiral.
The general feeling of emptiness is exacerbated by health issues that make me that much more tired. Yet again another area the monster does so well in. And with two young energetic boys being tired doesn’t work too well. Anyone with kids knows the ability they have to push when things get harder.
One of the days this week it came to a crescendo with my youngest running back into the house covered in tears. I stood there just looking at his older brother with a sense of hopelessness. I just wanted them to play kindly. But, I knew I needed to go sit with my youngest regardless of how tired I was.
In his room he was weeping and sat there next to me lamenting how much of a failure he was. He covered his face and said, “daddy, I’m just a loser”.
My heart felt shattered.
He has dealt with so many things already in his life. It’s manifested in ways that are truly heartbreaking. But out if it has grown this amazingly kind and accepting little boy. He loves people and will talk to everyone. Especially if they have a puppy.
Doing my best not to break down in front him I told him all of what I saw in him. Where he was an amazing and loving person. How he is so good at so many things. How there is nothing wrong with him. How he is perfect the way he is. And how I am proud of him. I am lucky to be his daddy. I just held him and assured him he was loved and will always be.
My son is 8. Yet he knows the desperation of feeling like a failure. He’s struggled with depression and anxiety. My plea to the universe is that the monster is never an audible voice in his heart.
I know that I can’t stop every moment of sadness or feeling of failure in his life. I can simply keep reminding him of each obstacle I’ve seen him conquer.
I can tell him I love him. I WILL tell him every day. He will know that I love him simply because of who he is.
And my friends. This brings me to someone I’ve never loved: me.
You see. I would never let someone be as fucked up to another person as I so willingly am to myself. And I don’t recall a time I didn’t feel this way.
I was 12 when I first gave into the monsters voice . Today my wandering led me back to the spot I first tried to kill myself. I sat there and recounted the moments that brought me to that darkness. I know I would have given anything to have someone sit with me and just tell me their love was simply because I was me. That the demons and hell I’d been through didn’t define me.
That I wasn’t the sum of my scars.
That my scars meant I had survived. That I was bigger than they were. That I still had anything valuable in me.
And the truth is; 25 years later I still don’t truly believe in the value of me. I see a reflection in a mirror I wish was someone else. I see a broken heart rather than a mosaic that has a beauty all its own. And riding around other spots from my childhood I wondered if I’d ever really understand.
Eventually I hope I’ll be able to understand that the worth I see in my son is true in me too. That I have value because I’m a human. I truly believe there is worth in every person. That every person deserves to be loved.
And some day maybe I’ll understand that means me too.
So my friends I would ask you to tell someone you love them. Tell someone they’re worth it. Simply share some goodness with each other.