My Freshly-Sewn Stitches
People cope in different ways.
You and I.
We all are copers.
Some of us turn into dopers.
We all have our little ways, some of them secret, to cope with hurt and pain when reality does not conform to our wishes and desires.
Some of us are better at hiding them than others.
The better we hide, the worse it is for us, as well as for the people in our lives.
That’s one of the reasons that AA (Alcoholics Anonymous) is so successful: They out themselves. They tell other people about what they’re dealing with.
I am an alcoholic,
And it works. It means that all the lies and the bullshit layers can come down so that people can be with you in a real way.
Why do I bring this up tonight?
Because I’m having a hard time coping, and none of my normal doping is working.
So, here we are.
Writing is not doping because it’s real; it confronts the issue at hand instead of hiding or running from it.
When I write, I open myself up and stand naked (relatively speaking) before anOther. At least, in theory. Sometimes, I don’t get to the place of true vulnerability; in which case, my words are meaningless.
It’s hard so late at night to just pick up the phone and wake someone up to tell them what’s wrong. So, I’ll tell you. (This is definitely one of those times when I don’t want to tell you what I’m about to tell you.)
I feel a great sadness within me at this moment. It’s already getting better now that I’m writing, but it’s a heaviness in my chest. A sadness…
It has to do with a girl that I had a major crush on a long, long time ago. (And, yes, it does feel a bit like a galaxy far, far away…)
The long story is too long, so I’ll tell the abridged version. We met online, and I fell hard for this girl. Phone calls, picture exchanges and even a “cam-date.”
I may have just made that one up. She was not in a space of being ready to meet up, so we met online–live–with our cams on. Yes, this is about 7 years ago when that kinda stuff was more prevalent. Think Myspace days.
Anyway, and this may sound strange, it was one of the best “dates” of my life. We did silly stuff together–like drinking wine, making each other a light show with our cams, etc. I just remember smiling and laughing a ton. And falling hard.
Then, she disappeared.
Without a trace.
Until one day… lo and behold, I am shopping at a natural food store and whom do I see?!!!
From about 60 feet away, I see a woman and immediately know it’s her. We haven’t spoken for probably six months. She sees me and smiles. I notice that there is another man with her.
Anyways, it was long enough that I can’t remember her name. I am sitting and eating in the dining section by the front door, and I see her checking out and leaving. They are talking, and she doesn’t even look at me.
THERE IS NO WAY that I am just going to sit and let her walk out–again–without saying at least something to her in person.
So, I summon the totality of my courage (which is a major feat in itself), and I march outside, and as I do, I recall her name. And I yell it–loudly!
Stunned, she turns around. I had wanted to see this woman for a long time, and I wasn’t going to do this thing sheepishly.
Go BIG or go home, right?
She stands there as I walk toward her in the parking lot. It was one of those surreal moments of life. Said guy is standing not far away, giving me some leeway (probably scared that I am some kind of crazy person).
The conversation is awkward at best.
I don’t remember much of it. I just soon realize that she was with him and there wasn’t really much to talk about. I take in this moment, with her, that I had waited so long for and then say goodbye.
I feel like a mothafucking JEDI!
Sometimes, it’s not the outcome that’s important; it’s the very principle of the thing. It’s doing something. Saying something.
I felt at peace because I stood my ground and took my shot.
Now, it’s 5 or 6 years later. I’m on an online dating site, and her profile shows up. The moment I see the picture and her handle, I knew it’s her.
Obviously, I’m excited. We ended up sending some messages back and forth, but it’s quickly apparent that we are in different places in our lives. Me: just getting out of a serious relationship and not wanting back in real soon. She: interested in getting into a serious, committed relationship.
But we had a connection again. In the past couple of days, we even started texting. She was actually trying to hook me up with one of her girlfriends.
Then comes today.
Without sharing too many private details, let’s just say that our timing was off again; however, it looked like a window of opportunity was about to open up.
She texts me late in the evening, and we start exchanging text messages and then move to instant voice messages.
This goes on for about an hour. We’re laughing, and it’s really great. I am really feeling our vibe again–kinda like old times.
Let me not get too dramatic here. I didn’t hear back from her for 15 minutes. I know that’s not a long time, but when you’re non-stop exchanging messages for over an hour… yeah.
She eventually responds and tells me someone had called.
And that’s it.
I am second fiddle to some other guy. (And, yes, I know it was a guy.)
And I feel devastated on the inside.
Ok, not devastated. Devastated is a story.
I feel like my chest has been ripped open, a certain vital organ has been removed and set upon the table in front of me.
Yeah. Loads of fun.
The older, newer me would have texted her–and I almost did–just sharing my experience of what happened and how it made me feel to be discarded. (Not that I actually was discarded; it’s just how I felt.)
But the newer, newer me paused and realized: No, I don’t have to text her. She’s just in her excited world with someone else, and I don’t need to plop my crap on her doorstep.
So, tonight I cope by writing.
By outing myself.
This is the work–my work.
It’s good, hard work, but it’s the opposite of fun.
I’m sitting in a place of non-attachment but holding onto my desires. And I’m not repressing the hurt.
This is my therapy, but I also share because I believe that my sharing can give others permission to do the same; not necessarily in a blog (though it can be quite cathartic), but in some way–your way.
I hope you will pass this on so that the right people can read it. I honestly believe that it can save lives. People do crazy shit every day and every night because they are hurt.
And because they don’t know how to be with it.
They cope (i.e., dope) in unhealthy ways.
It’s truly hard to even begin to look at this stuff; to see your heart on the table in front of you and not run in horror or pretend or…
I applaud those of you who are even willing to look.
It takes a lot of courage.
Wow… I’m feeling so much better now.
Side note: It’s 2:30am, and I am just about to publish this thing when I hear a text coming in. I first finish tagging my post with keywords, and then I take a look. Of course, it’s her. The text reads: I’m sorry, Alex! We talked for 2 hours! I’m going to sleep now.
And my freshly-sewn stitches get ripped open.