A letter to myself

The first thing you need to know is that I love you.

Truly. Deeply. Madly. Badly, even. I know I have been very hard on you in the past and that was wrong, and I am sorry.

I won’t even try to defend it. It was wrong, period.

And, well, I respe ct you too much to lie and say that from this point on, it will never happen again. We both know that change is not that easy and that you can’t just wave your magic wand and become a totally different person overnight.

But please, please know that no matter what happens in the future, I do love you and want the very best for you.

I just learned a lot of bad habits growing up and it will take me a while to unlearn them.

The last person you expect to be the victim (and perpetrator) of a cycle of abuse is yourself, I guess. You’re too close to the problem. You think there always has to be one villain and one victim and they can’t be the same person.

And yet here we are.

And I want to do better. I really do. But that means you and I have to work together on changing things. I can’t do it on my own.

If that makes sense in this situation.

I guess that means that villain (me) has to work with victim (you. who is also me), and that might not seem fair. Why should the victim have to have anything to do with the villain, let alone work with him? Why should the villain get away with all that abuse instead of having to suffer like his victim did?

And all I can say to that is that, fair or not, that’s the only way this will work. We are stuck with one another and so we have to learn to live in harmony with one another or this depression shit will keep us locked in this here cage till the day we die.

And that starts with confession. I’ll start.

Son, I have been just plain rotten to you. The absolute worst. Worse than our actual dad ever was. Where he left off, we picked up the ball and ran with it. Larry Donald Bertrand, our father, could not have judged you more harshly even at his angriest.

And I am truly sorry for that. I guess when you have a lot of bottled up anger and bitterness with no way out, you take it out on yourself, and that only makes it worse.

Again, not an excuse, just an explanation.

I have judged you by unhumanly harsh and utterly arbitrary standards and then punished you for failing to meet them. I have persecuted you unrelentingly and unfairly to the point where the only way to escape my judgment was to stay home and do nothing that had any impact on the world.

Only meaningless actions could escape my wrath. And then I got mad at you for not doing anything with your life

And that only made things worse as well.

So from now on (more or less), we are starting over. Pretend you’ve just been born. No past, no history, no context. It’s a new year and you are a new you.

And despite the dire comndition of the world these days,  you have the whole wide world of possibilities just waiting for you to go grab them. You are old by the clock but young at heart, and the world needs people like you to get things done.

You know how they say youth is wasted on the young? Not so with you!

And you are absolutely loaded with talent. There are people in the world who would give an arm and a leg and half their genitals to have even one tenth of what you have.

All that, plus you’re crazy smart and one heck of a nice guy. That is one heck of a package. That is way more than enough to get your life started in a positive way.

So what if you are not that good at life’s little details? Fuck that. You’re a genius, you don’t have to be good at life. Find a home for your talents and the rest will take care of itself. The world has support systems in place for the fragile geniuses of the world.

You just need to prove yourself to be the useful kind of genius first. And you are a brilliant and hilarious writer. Everyone says so.

So what are you waiting for? G out and meet that wonderful world out there! Notg because you are supposed to or because you are a loser if you don’t or any of that counterproductive judging crap I have laid on you before.

But because you want to do it. You deserve to do it. When it comes to personal assets, you are Fort Knox, and it’s time to go spend that gold and have some fun.

And who knows, somewhere along the way, you might even get that normal life you have wanted for so long. I know you and I have seen you looking in the toy shop window at that big shiny merry go round called everyday life, where people have jobs and lives and social circles and co-workers and relationships and sex and all the other good things normal people take for granted.

It’s all out there waiting for you to claim it. The only thing stopping you is yourself.

Meaning me, really. And I promise to do better. To stay out of the way, to support you without hesitation or judgment, to stop nipping your self confidence in the bud before it has a chance to grow and blossom, like a killing frost.

Fuck that, You are hot and incandescent and alive, and it’s high time you felt that way. To hell with rational restraint and sickly safety.


So go out there and show the world what we already know : that you are straight up phenomenal and a wonder to behold.

We’re all pulling for you to go out there and shine. Shine so bright that people a million miles away are warmed by it.

And who knows…. maybe even you.

I will talk to you nice people again tomorrow.


Where do I begin

Wow. That opening. To me, it seems like a parody of romance movies. It’s too self-consciously pretentious to be real, right?

Not only is it real, the movie was a huge hit. So what do I know?

Got my ass to my MD today, and I am proud of that. I ran out of my diabetes meds ages ago and lacked the gumption and wherewithal to make the appointment to get more.

And then, of course, the issue became how embarrassed I was to have let things go like that and that pushed me even further from doing it.

That’s the depression talking, of course. Doing its thing where it compels me to further and further self-neglect by having one mistake create another, and so on.

But it’s a new year, and I am determined to get my life back on track, and the first stage of that is getting healthy again.

Or at least as healthy as I was three months ago.

The appointment took longer than usual because most of it wqas conducted by a very sweet but not at all ready for prime time medical student.. A round-faced Asian girl named Laura, who I am sure will make an excellent MD some day.

After all, some things you can’t learn any other way than to do it badly for long enough to get better at it.

Roller skating springs to mind.

So Laura was a tad lost at sea. Luckily, she had a  benevolent and patient person to practice on, namely me.

I admit, I was getting a little bored and twitchy by the end of our 45 minute appointment, though. Even I have my limits. Another half hour, I might even have gotten cranky.

Or maybe not. I am still testing my testiness. I know that learning to be cranky or at least snarky now and then is a vital part of my recovery because it means I am developing the ability to protect myself emotionally and express my true emotions.

But it’s rough going. I am so terrified of hurting people. My therapist has repeatedly told me that people are a lot less fragile than I think and that they can handle me being less than perfectly pleasant now and then.

And I know he’s right. It’s not natural or healthy for someone to have no capacity for grumpiness. To hold myself to this extremely high standard of behaviour is lunacy. Most people are irritable some of the time.

And this exaggerated sense I have on the power I have to inflict harm on others with my words and how I express them is probably just my depression in disguise, right?

Yeah,. Probably. I guess.

But I can’t shake the image of myself as some combination of Sam Kinison and Dennis, the fat kid from Head of the Class, lashing out at people with all the power of my psychological insight and withering wit like I am Hannibal Lecter as an insult comic.

it could be pretty brutal. I am a very unbalanced person and that kind of thing can lead to horrifying consequences when it finally rights itself.

And all that suppressed rage comes exploding out of me like canon fire and I end up hurting a lot of people with my id driven verbal attacks.

It’s just plausible enough to be crippling.

That’s why I want to find a safe release for all of that ire. Some way it can express itself without harming undeserving others.

So I need to find deserving others, I guess.

That’s not who I want to be, though. I don’t want to be another angry screaming fat guy who can’t take it any more. I don’t want to lash out blindly. I don’t want to be the sort of guy that everyone avoids at parties.

Might be too late on that last one, actually. My social damage makes it hard for me to mingle. In fact, just typing the word mingle made me anxious.

That’s one of the worst words in the English language to a social phobic like myself.

Back to the point. So I don’t want to be The Angry Guy.

But it’s who I am right now, and I would be better off if I expressed it and got it off of my chest instead of letting it dester and rot inside me, poisoning me from within.

What I really need is a lngthy course of emotional dialysis. Clear out the toxin in my psyche. Filter out the bad stuff and replace it with good, clean blood.

Anything to make this feeling of deadly dirty decay go away.

I could turn my rage into political commentary, I suppose. It’s certainly the right age for it. But becoming a professional ranter has always seemed like a dark path to me. One that leads to heart attacks and income tax and turning into a jaded and bitter hack.

And it’s so limiting! What if I am feeling positive and happy and want to put out a feel-good message that will make people feel better about themselves? What then?

And why the fuck am I having a serious anxiety attack right now? It hurts so bad, like I am haunted by my very own personal banshee is screaming and wailing and scratchings its claws along the cliffside inside me.

Perhaps blogging and caffiene don’t go together as well as I thought they did.

I know! I will magically transform the anxiety into excitment!

Yeah, I don’t think so.

Instead, once I am finished my words, I am going to do what I always do in response to negative emotions : I am going to lie down until they go away.

And go away they will, because you can only remain adrenalized for so long without reinforcement before your body scrubs that shit out of your blood and returns you to whatever state youi consider normal.

Am I normal? Not often and never on purpose.

Hopefully, after some lights-out time, I will be able to relax and the mean ol anxiety attack will lose focus and wander away.

Because this shit fucking hurts.

I will talk to you nice people again tomorrow.