Dead Man Walking

Today marks 2 months from the day my life was pulled out from under me. I expected to be somewhere else by now. I feel I’ve put in the requisite effort. But I am still running on the same treadmill and I am going nowhere.

Loneliness has set in. And it is a loneliness that words fail to describe. There are people around me but I don’t really feel like I belong anywhere anymore. I feel disjointed and out of place. I’ve told others as much. I referred to it as feeling like an appendage to other people’s lives. Beau and I had a life of our own. We had each other and to me that was what I owned, my personal treasure. I’ve written about the guilt that I feel about what my presence reminds people of.  My presence prevents people from moving on with their lives, his family especially, because my holding on to them for support inadvertently pulls them down to where I am — frozen in place, frozen in time, frozen in pain. I don’t say anything new. My loss of belonging heightens my guilt at being a burden to others. Beau was the only one who vowed before God to care for me and now he has left me in the middle of nowhere, forcing others who come along to let me hitchhike on their lives.

Beau abandons me repeatedly. I do not mean only that the event of his suicide repeats itself in my mind daily but that even his memory has begun to fade from my consciousness. The image in my mind, even aided by hundreds of photos of him, does not come close to the reality of him. Others may say this is actually a good thing, that it is a sign that I am letting go. But it is not. Thinking of him, in a twisted way, allows me to escape my own pain. The first few weeks after his passing I was saved from thinking of myself by all the activity I put into understanding what happened to Beau. Now I am faced with the task of understanding myself and I’ve begun to feel that this is the real tragedy here. I am in the now. I live, if breathing and eating alone constitutes living. I have become a living, breathing nightmare.

I’ve seem to have lost all sense of hope. I’ve heard it all of course and I know them to be true; all the loving reminders to look at the glass half full rather than empty, to count my blessings, to learn from the suffering of others. I have no defense and I will not even try to explain why I am unable to do all that. My reality is simply different and my looking glass is stained. Maybe I am not even trying hard enough, after all, I am my own responsibility. Perhaps I do not even want to get better.

I’ve begun to feel cursed instead of gifted. I should be thanking God for the ability to process and analyze and understand, but my truth is that is burdens me. To know what I should do, what is right for survival, to see where I am at and why I am there, it provides little comfort. My intellect pushes me to search incessantly for answers that are not there. It drives me the way a cruel rider whips a horse to run faster. I wish I could stop but I gallop at ever increasing speed. Stubborness is the psychedelic drug that feeds the intellectual frenzy. I have been given expert advice that my writing is counter productive to my healing. But it relieves the pressure in my brain that threatens my sanity. When I write and read what I write it gives me the assurance of rationality. And in that, I see a small glimmer of hope for self preservation. I only hope I don’t manage to create a rational excuse for self destruction. Otherwise I would whip myself until I am foaming in the mouth and drop dead from pure exhaustion.

The loss of belonging has made me double in on myself and what a powerful other curse it is. I feel overly self centered and it shames me.

Even writing is so self-indulgent isn’t it? To write and expect to be read, to impose my thoughts and feelings and publish it for the world to see is such an egotistic exercise. I write on this blog to feel connected without having to actually be with people. The keyboard shields me from my shame. It also shields me from rejection. It keeps me from sending messages to individual people who may feel obliged to answer, and it shields me from the sensitivity and pain that I feel when those I do reach out to do not reply.

I feel I am not even uniquely special to my therapists. No matter that I actually pay them to pay attention to me. If I feel like others perceive me to be egregious and notoriously flagrant in my grief, to them I am nothing exceptional. I am a commonplace specimen that falls into one of many neatly labeled sterile boxes. To them I am a statistic, and nobody really cares about individual numbers. It is only taken as a whole that such numbers have significance. Alone I am insignificant.

Those of you who read this may at this point begin to judge me. You may wish to shake me to my senses and tell me to look up and smell the roses. I am my own worst critic. I fear judgment so much I sentence myself even before anyone has actually said anything. And each time I do that I know I doom myself to my own squalid prison. How ironic that I write and share making myself vulnerable to the world. It is me saying with certainty that I know you judge me and I write to defend myself. The truth is I judge myself. Judgment is a vile, maleficent thing, especially when coupled with paranoia. And what escape is there from ourselves? Aye, a question again without a palatable answer.

I do not like myself very much. I’ve always known that about myself. Even when I impudently announce it to the world, in the hopes that someone would give me a palliative from the pain of self loathing, it is hidden by the “gifts” that were given to me by some power that strangely disappears during moments when the shade of ugliness overshadows all beauty. Not that anybody really cares. The world does not revolve around me. Everything is just insecurity, and arrogance, and vanity. Oh, the list of noxious adjectives goes on. The stench of my self-pity is nauseating. It is a slick, black, sticky tar that transfers like a virus to anyone who dares to get too near. Beau washed me clean and now he has gone and I am back swimming in it.

I’ve been told to learn how to let go. I’ve told them I do not know what that means. I do not know how to do it. But this bare-faced nakedness my writing expresses, this is as raw as it gets. It is despair. It is hopelessness. It is terror. I fear.

I seem to have started walking on my own green mile. I am a dead man walking.