Everyone Leaves.

Posted: September 7, 2018 in Feature Blogs

Everyone leaves.

Last week, I wrote a blog about love not being our enemy and that we should NOT hold back in the face of it, as too many of us often do. It’s a great, if not terribly original, ideology to promote but looking back, mine is a very flawed narrative.

Everyone leaves.

Exactly once in my life have I been able to ignore my instincts to hold back. And it involved a two-year old undeniable force of a child.

Everyone leaves.

When your inspiration is as strong as mine was in that case, it’s easy to love with reckless abandon. So for me to pretend that my bond with her occurred because I stubbornly defied my defensive nature is misleading at best and dishonest at worst.

It’s like me winning the lottery and in turn lecturing you on your financial woes.

Everyone leaves.

While my “Love Is Not Your Enemy” piece was not my most read, it was by far my most engaging. Complete strangers were contacting me asking me to elaborate on certain things I wrote, some even calling me a “voice” for them.

Everyone leaves.

I’ve written about being Bipolar and the discourse I would have with readers was always pretty smooth. I had honest answers for their questions and they all made sense. My mania and depression I have always had a pretty good handle on (again, due to lack of severity, not because I’m special). But when readers of my “love” blog asked me why I think I hold back…I had no clue how to reply.

Everyone leaves.

I’m a karma guy. Not in the “eye for an eye” punishment sense but in a “we attract what we deserve” sense. I have been blessed beyond measure that anyone sees me as an advocate and advisor. I am humbled that people would come to ME regarding matters that can have seismic effects on their lives. Like, I don’t know how it has gotten to this point, but they’re roles that I take very seriously. And with the same humility you reading this might have come to me and said “I just don’t know why I _______”, well, this is me admitting to you:

I don’t know why I hold back.

Everyone leaves.

SOOOOOOO I said all that to say that I am going to my first counseling session today at 2pm EST.

Everyone leaves.

If you aren’t tired of seeing “Everyone leaves.” yet, well, you should be. Because I know I am. But it’s there because that is a glimpse into my reality. Pretty much any idle break in my mind, “Everyone leaves.” is right there like a NASCAR pit crew.

Up until a few days ago, I didn’t realize just how irrational my fear of abandonment is. I guess it wasn’t until I started embracing emotion. We are talking a literal 15-16 year gap between now and the one time I ever said “I don’t care how this ends, I’m doing it.” So I’ve done a masterful job of shirking any real emotional stimulation! And during that time, many of my traits that I chalked up as my “quirks” are probably symptoms of irrational fear that I have allowed to dominate my entire life. Mainly:

I go inexplicably cold.

Sometimes the writing on the wall becomes apparent and I cut ‘em out. Sometimes there is no writing on the wall but I’m convinced that there will be soon and I cut ‘em out. Or I go the other direction and lose them anyway because I convinced myself that they needed space. And then I ignore their attempts to reach out due to shame and guilt that I ever manufactured an issue to begin with.

Anyone who knows me knows that my biggest fear in life (well, maybe 2nd biggest after this week) is wasting people’s time. Because of this, I don’t involve myself in much of anything that requires others and it’s seldom that I issue invitations. I often find solace in getting people to WANT to do things with me only to immediately withdraw from them so that I can’t disappoint them.

Brilliant, huh.

When I disappoint (or simply feel that I have disappointed) people that matter to me, I get extreme nausea and abdominal cramps; even long after I’ve been forgiven.

We joke about it now, but one year my entire department was having a work party the day before Thanksgiving break. My coworkers were requesting that I do my impressions of different people in the room and I would oblige.

Then, people requested I do an impression of my boss, herself included.

She is someone who has and always will run through brick walls for me and I knew she would hate the impression, so I kept declining. But as the party was finishing up, without prompt or solicitation, I launched into it. Some people knew right away who I was doing and she was completely oblivious. When I had confirmed that it was her that I was doing an impression of, I’ll never forget the look of that, like…sad anger that hit her face.

I knewwwww I fucked up.

I went to her office to try to smooth things over. She gave me the angriest look I had ever seen and said “oh yeah, its soooo funny that everyone thinks I’m a BITCH” and stormed out.

Thanksgiving weekend, folks. Zero appetite.

I had a wonderful four days to stew over that one. And it killed me to know that I upset her. We reconvened the following Monday and everything was fine on her end. But I had trouble facing her for probably a solid week.

Usually, things work out like that and are fine but too many times I’ve lost people not because they realized they were dealing with a psycho but because I just couldn’t bear to disappoint them a second time…so I left them first.

And that is probably the major catalyst to me seeking help.

Yeah, everyone leaves. When people would talk about not wanting to be alone and sharing life with someone, I used to laugh at them because unless they and their partner die simultaneously, one of them is going to be alone and they will have made it to whatever age with no coping skills.

But I never bothered to stop and think about how much better they handle losing their partner of decades than I do of “losing” people whom I hadn’t even lost, who are still here in front of me.

My solution has been to be numb for all of these years; to be callous. And I was great at it. The emotionless existence people dream of in these facebook memes about being able to cut people off and treat people as if they never existed, I LIVED it to perfection. I used to take pride in it. I’d counsel people who came to me with broken hearts and laugh maniacally on the inside at how dumb someone would have to be to attach themselves to anyone in a world that everyone leaves.

But this is no superpower, this is a defense mechanism. And defense mechanisms are little more than the subconscious mind’s way of babysitting an immature conscious mind.

I saw a quote the other day that I’ve heard a million times: “Relax, nothing is under control” and it hit home with me after all this time. Control is the ultimate illusion. We waste so much time futilely trying to harness and preserve blessings when we should just be enjoying them.

I mentioned karma earlier. I believe that if I want karma to keep blessing me, then I MUST keep evolving with each personal discovery.

So this essay is to formally announce that I have enrolled in counseling. I am making this announcement because I owe it to anyone I have ever told to seek help when things got too big for them. I am also making the announcement for the people who know they need to seek professional help but are shaken by the stigma surrounding it. If I’m honest, yeah, I do feel weak for doing so.

But that’s because I am weak right now.

This is me pulling myself off of the ground. If this is what weakness looks like, fuck it, I’ll wear it. But my days of being governed by FEAR of loss rather than loss itself are done.

Inherent to any art form is the need for validation. We ALL display this stuff for validation from others on some level. It might not necessarily be to entertain the masses but we all hope we touch lives with our expressions. As writers, there is temptation to revisit and recycle subjects that we know are home runs, me included. I could come up with a hundred ways to retell and reconfirm the same pain we all already know exists. But I don’t want my work to be defined by the trauma anymore but rather the recovery.

Through a program with my employer, I have eight free sessions for the rest of the year, which means about two sessions per month…

…and I will be journaling all eight sessions and posting them right here.

My goal is to educate people on what the counseling process really is; what the HEALING process really is. I will document how I felt going in, I will document macro-contents of the discussion and how I felt immediately after each session. If I don’t vibe with the counselor, I will write about why not and the process of finding someone else until I do vibe with someone.

So even if you can’t get past the stigma for your own sake, at least I will arm you with some tools for personal empowerment, should you care to follow along.

For those of you whom I’ve been a voice to, I’m flattered, and this is me giving back to you.

The last time I was in the office of a psychotherapist was over 20 years ago when I received my Bipolar diagnosis. I swore I would never go back. But time has a funny way of changing things.

I won’t be doing much promotion for the journals so be sure to subscribe to my blog or if you want me to email you personally, I will do that.

Email: bbqx@live.com

Twitter: @BBQx_

Instagram: @bbqx

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