episode 9: does this make me selfish?

a few weeks back during an out-of-town trip, i had an epiphany – that no matter how much i wanted it, i can never be someone i’m not.

more suicide, more social isolation, more realizations.

i’ve been working on this episode for a while because i’ve been going through the motions again.

i intended to make this a round up episode, but right now i’m sitting in a room, trying to make sense of myself, counting the minutes until i can go back to sleep.

i have the slight urge to drink, but i already did last night, and i know it’s not good for me right now. it screws with my rational thinking.

i have been thinking a lot about suicide. not killing myself, just in general.

i read a study that talked about how suicides sometimes occur in clusters and can be contagious.

the research also zoned in on the impact of media reporting, social and mainstream, as well as the impact on young people and their exposure to suicidal friends.

i can absolutely… see and have experienced how devastating it is when someone close to you commits suicide, especially because it’s a deliberate act, and you feel it could have been avoided.

and i’ve been on the side of, “i can never do to my family; i can never hurt them like this” and then switched over to, “there’s no reason to ever leave this room.”

so a few famous people have been committing suicide by hanging lately, and it’s so bizarre to me because when robin williams did it, i remember talking to someone and saying, “it’s crazy because when is the last time anyone this famous has ever intentionally killed themselves? not an accidental overdose, but straight up murked themselves?”

then it happens to chris cornell, and to chester, and i start to think, “wow. so it’s possible that you may never grow out of having these suicidal ideations.”

and that scares the fuck out of me because out of 365 days, i probably have about 20-30 bad days. and i figured that as i got older, it would be less frequent, but the last couple of years have had some intense days for me.

and then i think, “what if one day when i’m 40, i have one really bad day i can’t be talked out of?” because, like a tornado, you can’t really predict what day these things will pop up. i’ve had the best day of my life on one day, and the next i was wrapping a dress around my neck and hoping that i had the courage to just do it already.

there’s something to be said about having a very strong support system, especially when a suicide has happened either in your family or group of friends. because even when people say they’re fine, they’re sometimes not. sometimes they just need to be asked. everybody needs to look out for each other.

it’s disheartening to see people shame others for being what you perceive as overemotional. maybe they’ve already recognized their feelings are overreactions, but some people can’t control their reactions 100% of the time.

the best you can do is say, “i’m here to listen if you need to talk.”

the times i felt it the worst was when i was the most socially isolated. i was in a relationship where i’d given up all of my friends, and then when this person didn’t want to be around me either, it wrecked me because i couldn’t go to my family, i had zero friends to lean on. i was embarrassed and ashamed that i let myself fail this badly.

all i had was my alcohol, my piano, and a plan to give up once enough time had passed after my cousin’s own suicide. that’s how sick i felt.

what helped was finding a better job, getting out of an expensive lease, and being around my family.

i started writing music, creating something positive instead of being destructive to myself.

i figured out that time plus a creative outlet was therapeutic and helped me sort through the hangups i had with my ego.

because my energy manifests itself from me being alone 75% of the time, the best way i know how to relate to others is to make music that i think others can relate to.

because outside of any type of artistic expression, whether through my own crappy bedroom music or even when i watch a movie and i realize that hey, i am capable of laughing and crying and feeling empathy

other than that, i feel very detached from people.

not like a dennis reynolds sociopathic type, but more like travis bickle pre-shootout at the end of taxi driver.

and goddammit nobody better complain about a spoiler alert and ooooh i ruined the movie. taxi driver was released over 40 years ago. i think you’ve had a little bit of time to catch up.

but what i mean by detached like travis is more about going through the motions of a repetitive, lonely life, where most of your social interaction is from afar, and once you’re in, you’re clinging like gum.

in taxi driver, new york city is a scummy place. travis witnesses prostitution, drugs, lust, sex, infidelity, but mostly as an outside observer – he’s just the cab driver to most of the people he’s in close proximity with.

and to travis, new york is representative of all people because of his environment. it’s all he sees. travis progressively sees the world in black and white, right and wrong.

and when he thinks he sees beauty in all the madness within betsy – which, i mean, do you blame him? Cybill Shepherd was freakin gorgeous in that film – she just rejects him because, lets be honest, who takes a woman to watch a porn flick on the first date?

this only pushes travis into the category of “the world is a disgusting cesspool.”

now i don’t think the world is ugly. i think some people are capable of making it an ugly place. i think, as humans, we should be ashamed that we can tell the difference between right and wrong, and still choose wrong, even at the expense of others.

i think it’s gross that money, power, status and whatever else makes the world economy run trumps others’ rights to live peacefully, that a group of people can look at you and say, “you don’t deserve to be as happy as i am” and effectively ruin your day just because they can.

for whatever reason, you can cut someone off on the highway and possibly be gunned down. you can walk into a grocery store and come back with your windows busted out. you can come home to a letter saying your food stamps have been cut in half. all so someone else can profit off of you, because they’re entitled.

so i try not to put a lot of weight into humans on a personal level. this is because i am an emotional person.

you probably wouldn’t think that based on the fact i just said that i dislike the state of humanity. you’d think i’m the daria of boring podcasts and that i’m pretty apathetic to things, very MEH. and that i don’t care about people either way, but i think it may be the exact opposite.

here are some patterns i’ve noticed about myself.

i mostly stay away from beginning new relationships. i do this because i value being alone, setting goals for myself to complete, and having the time to be able to do that.

but i recognize that it’s not good to be alone 100% of the time, so i may open up some kind of dating profile and swipe a few pictures left or right. oh cool, i got a match. do i want to send this person a message? eh, maybe later.

ten years ago when i was trying desperately to get laid as much as possible, i did put effort into sending people the first message, but now that i give a shit less, i expect anyone who wants to talk to me will send me a message first. mostly because i’m an acquired taste. and not everyone i think is cute is going to think the same of me.

and then when i finally make any kind of connection with someone, bam, i’m in love. i done goofed. i enjoy your laugh, your skin, your fingers, what you know that i can’t ever know. i romanticize this person, even when this person is telling me, “please don’t do this to yourself.”

finally, another bam. this person did something beneath your high standards of other people. this person didn’t coddle you when you thought you needed it, they didn’t respond to your text as quickly as you see them respond to others. this person doublebooked their time, and sorry, you’ve been disqualified.

well, now i hate this person. sometimes i lash out… okay, mostly i lash out. but for a couple of hours to a couple of days, this person went from being a martyr to being despicable.

then two days later, i’m apologizing for my overreaction, whether it was a true overreaction or not.

and recently, i’ve tried to control it. i’ve tried to let things sit instead of immediately trying to fix them out of fear of being abandoned. of being rejected.

i turn the tables on myself. i hear that inner voice telling me, “you’re so stupid. why can’t you get your emotions in check? if you could be normal, people would like you more.”

i know this is true, which is why i will always simultaneously be my own biggest fan, and also my worst enemy, my own arch nemesis.

when i like myself, i really like myself. i know what i’m capable of, and i’m happy to be able to build up that energy when i’m alone because socializing, to me, is draining. i can be in stimulating settings, if i’m allowed to be a wallflower and observe people without needing to draw conversation.

it’s not that i dont WANT to socialize – it just takes me longer to verbalize my thoughts and becomes frustrating and overwhelming to me.

it’s a process for me, and i don’t enjoy it. and even with practice, i still am rough around the edges when it comes to new people.

i’ve learned that maybe i’m not built for close, long-term interpersonal relationships. i enjoy people, then i get too attached, or clingy as my brother calls me, and when it doesn’t live up to what i want, i burn every bridge.

and it’s not fair to other people to allow them to get that close to me in the first place, especially when it’s clear we don’t mesh at all.

do i wish i could find someone who understood how to work with me? sure. but i know it’s not going to happen. i’m the only person who will be there from this second to the moment i get hit by another car and finally die.

and that’s fine. i can still allow myself to have fairweather friends, people i keep far enough away to hit up every 6-7 months before i finally ask myself, “why am i even trying anymore?”

i feel like this whole thing comes off as a pity party, but it really isn’t.

i’ve been my own most long term roommate and can say with great certainty that this kid right here? the last thing she needs is a close friend. i prosper alone and wreck anything meaningful because i sway so frequently between hating myself and hating other people.

and the only times i feel that way is when i let other people get close to me, especially those who don’t share the same values.

i’m still working toward learning to let go of those patterns, but they creep up on me, even when i tell myself i’m being irrational.

like, i KNOW i’m not thinking rationally. but inside my gut, inside my head, inside my chest and throughout my body, i’m just so…. angry.

so we’ll see. i’ve been talking to someone about yoga and i think it’s finally time to get serial about it.

i’m thinking of doubling up my meditation time, but that would mean waking up ANOTHER twenty minutes early to make sure i still have enough time to get that high intensity interval training in.

why do i do it in the morning? why do anything in the morning? to get it out of the way and enjoy the rest of your day without thinking, “i still have to do x, y, and z.”

why do i do it at all?

because i wanna work these gunz up to actually be able to beat my boss at arm wrestling. i should not have to be shamed by a 60-something year old woman.

next episode: is blue ageist? nah.

oh yeah, headspace is now mainstream, guys. i just saw andy on jimmy fallon. so all you folks who care about what other people think, “oh i liked headspace befooooore it sold out.” get out of here.

ps i just watched the 1967 version of bedazzled, and wow, i didn’t expect to laugh as much as i did, but isn’t it funny how things are never as they appear?

pps you should also try getting into audiobooks. if you have a library card, you can probably get free access through hoopla or overdrive. look into it.

oh oh and ugly god just dropped the booty tape, so… thanks ugly god.


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