My Own Worst Enemy

“Courage is grace under pressure.”
“Life isn’t so hard to manage when you’ve got nothing to lose.”

Both of those are Ernest Hemingway quotes and that man shot himself in the head. Granted he was 61 and an influential, inspiring writer. I have very strong feelings about suicide, but Hemingway was always a guy who believed the legacy of a man was determined entirely by how he lived his life. Our journeys are our own to dictate and much like Hunter S Thompson after,  he determined that ending that journey on his own terms was ideal when compared to anything else.

I’m not saying I’m suicidal. I’m not. I’ve long ago spun out of that phase and found a way to revel in misery instead. I’ve just found myself analyzing my own life and wondering what I’m doing, because “succeeding” is not a qualifying word.

I owe tens of thousands of dollars to three (four?) hospitals. I owe thousands of dollars to a credit card company. I owe $800 to friends and another $200 to the government. I have the potential to make a lot of money with the job I’m at, but I dont save it and I’m growing to hate everything about it. I’m creatively in the best place for opportunities that I’ve ever been and I don’t pick up the pen.

Instead, I’m jumping from drink to drink and from woman to woman. It’s striking me that I’m really the reason I’m lonely. Ever since graduating high school, during which I gracelessly flitted around without direction, I’ve never had a problem finding companionship. But I look to settle down with the unattainable or the uninterested and then I let my emotions fuck it all up. I end friendships and potential relationships because I feel like I’m not good enough or I perceive the other person as feeling that way.

Sex is sex. Rarely have I slept with a woman I didn’t have at least a friendship with, some sort of affection that added that extra care and passion to it, but at the end of the day (or night, whatever), we both know that it was just a release. It’s fun. It’s nice to be in someone else’s arms for a little while. The last woman I had sex with that I loved ended things in the most emotionally devastating possible way for me, though, and I still haven’t completely recovered from it.

I have confidence issues, and I shouldn’t. Not to toot my own horn, but I’m moderately intelligent, I have a talent and though I’m not conventionally attractive, I’m certainly not unappealing. I could lose 20 pounds, but unfortunately in America, that’s not as uncommon an issue as to make a huge deal. On the other hand, I cling to people I like. I feel sparks or I get inspired and this ideal of romance, this possibility that I – like so many of my friends – may finally have found someone perfect for me, that I can be perfect for and I become too much. I lose patience and caution and I do everything I can to let that person know they’re special and I end up coming off psycho.

Alternately, I do absolutely nothing because I know I’ll come off psycho, and I smile and nod and turn away and kick myself in the ass for years wondering if maybe that was the one time it would have worked.

I can write and I can fuck, but I can’t take the introspectiveness and empathy that I put into the page and apply it to my own life and relationships. And I recognize that so why can’t I fucking fix it?

I have abandonment issues, too, and I’m partly to blame for that as well. I’ve become this wreck, this shell of a man, and I’ve taken all the hurt and insecurity that comes from deadbeat parents and break-ups and I’ve channeled it into angst-ridden rants stemmed from overthinking. I’ve lost most of my best friends because of it and I’m positive it’s because I just asked for too much from them and so often. I get so desperate to have someone be a support, to tell me they’re proud of me or tell me they love me, to tell me that they will be there…I get so frantic that they’re going to leave that I engineer the reasons for them to do so.

My friend told me this morning that weaknesses are strengths because then you know what to work on. I do, I guess, but I don’t know how. In the meantime, I’m just driving more people away in really petty ways.

So why write this? To get it out. Because if I didn’t have writing, I wouldn’t have anything.

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