“I talk to you every now and then, I never felt so alone again;
I stop to think at a wishing well, my thoughts send me on a carousel…”
“Carousel” – blink-182
As I may have mentioned once or twice, August is a tough month, given the anniversary of both my parent’s deaths. I’ve said a lot about both of their untimely demises in the past, and at this moment, I don’t really have much more to say, about that. But I’ve been thinking a lot lately about a particularly unpleasant memory that I believe only my deceased parents were aware of (I could be wrong, and people might already know this). And since it revolves around death, in a way, it’s an appropriate time to purge this memory and these rancid emotions.
When I was in the 7th grade, I wrote a suicide note during school and left it for a classmate to find. They found it, told the teacher, and I was quietly whisked away to the guidance counselor’s office. My parents were called in, we met about the incident and, somehow, I returned to class that day. No crisis team was alerted or called in, and it was, in all honesty, swept under the rug rather swiftly. I don’t believe anyone from my school remembers this, though I do recall a pair of students, later that same day, asking when I was going to actually kill myself because I “still should.”
I don’t remember my father’s reaction, and only vaguely recall my mother, out of fear I was unduly influenced, banning me (briefly) from listening to Nirvana. It wasn’t a real suicide threat, in the sense that I don’t believe I had any intention of doing any physical harm to myself. But it was a cry for help from a brutally lonely, sad 13-year old boy, and something that I always carried with me through my adolescence.
This memory isn’t receiving prominence just because I’ve been listening to a ton of Blink-182 lately (as I develop and write a new novel set in 2003). It isn’t just the reminder of my younger self– listening to Enema of the State on a loop, hearing “Adam’s Song” while reading Chicken Soup for the Teenage Soul— that’s jogged this specific run down memory lane. It’s the reminder that this unrelenting unhappiness isn’t a recent phenomenon, but something I’ve dragged around like a dead carcass for my entire life.
As anyone who has ever read anything I’ve written before knows, I hate myself. I hate that I’m so weird and awkward and uncomfortable (and make people so uncomfortable), because it’s gotten me nowhere in life. I’ve spoken about my lack of friends before, and how I monumentally struggle not to be cold and push people away on arrival. I inherently assume people don’t like me, and react accordingly, because what other explanation is there? Nothing else makes any sense other than I’m genuinely unlikable over the long term.
Or maybe the fact that I’m so goddamn shy– a facet of my personality that I always rejected by reframing the issue as simply being quiet– has something to do with my crippling loneliness and lack of social circle. I don’t know how to talk to people without constantly second guessing everything I say or do, nor do I have any clue of how to feel anything but discomfort when around people I don’t know very well (or, frankly, even the ones I do know well). I want to be outgoing, energetic and full of life out in the world, but that ever present nagging pushes me back down into a little ball, and I always retreat back to my safe little bubble.
I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the time I wrote that suicide note because I still feel the same way I did then. Not that I’m considering ending my life (I’m not, FYI; I like life), but that I’m so unliked, and feel so alone, that it makes me question why I am who I am, and why I act like I do. I was going to write how I have zero ideas on how to change things, but that’s a lie. I know I need to prod myself into social situations, whether I feel engulfed by an unbearably itchy sweater or not. I know I just need to put myself out there, to allow my brain to be vulnerable, because you can’t move forward without risking your personal sense of security.
And, in all honesty, I need to go to therapy, and talk to someone about all the fucked up things rattling around my psyche. Because I don’t, and I haven’t in almost a decade. It’s no mystery why I’ve refused to seek any counseling since I was 24, given how little I care to engage with anyone in any manner, but I clearly have too many mental health issues to resolve entirely on my own. Could that be the answer to this query? No, it’s not the answer, but it’s certainly part of the long term solution. There is no one, single answer to solve the riddle of “why is Adam the messed up blob that he is;” because nothing in life is that simple. Life is messy and complicated, just like mental illness.