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Bridging The Gap

April 13, 2016

For a long time–really, longer than I would have thought–it felt like there was two separate identities for me. Or two distinct people. There was me, the man everyone knows as John who’s this quiet, passive, easy going guy. Then there’s FIDo, my online persona, he’s more outgoing, more adventurous, more flirtatious, he knows how to be social. He was sort of a release for me for when the pressures of the day got to me. He never backed down from conflict, either.

I think I’ve finally bridged that gap and am becoming a whole person now. I feel more confident and more outgoing and more like myself. Like the person I want to be. Why yes, the relationship has helped me to bridge this gap and it’s a good thing. I like knowing that I’ve incorporated some of the FIDo stuff into me now and I feel more confident. I feel like standing up for myself some more. I’m always going to have the anxiety, but I can control it so much better now.

There’s just one last hurdle to get over: driving alone. Really…that’s it. I’ve made peace with myself, I can stay home for long, long periods alone, I’m getting better at dealing with unexpected things popping up, and I’m going back to class in the fall. So the driving is it. And I’m getting used to that now, too. The driving thing has been difficult for me because I just can’t seem to shut off my thoughts. If I act on instinct alone I’m usually better at doing it, however, the moment instinct stops and I become self-aware…’ehh…then the anxiety starts. It’s fucking ridiculous.

But I’m doing this. I love driving, too. I loved playing taxi for my friend when I used to do it. I love just being able to go places. To me, driving was never about a utility. For me driving always meant my freedom. It meant I didn’t have to play by someone else’s rules. I could see the world! Or at least my limited section of it. But if I ever say….wanted to take a road trip…I could do it whenever I wanted. That was empowering.

And consequently that’s why this anxiety sucks so, so much. It kept me in a box and a prison of my own making. Well…no more. I’m not having it limit me ever again. I look at job postings and I see ‘Columbia’ written on the location and it just crushes me because that theoretically shouldn’t limit me, but it does because of my current issue. So! Little by little I’m hobbling back to where I want to be and I will succeed. I’ve succeeded every other time. I can succeed this time and more. I mean, I drove to Canada fer cryin’ out loud. I can surely do this.

So, I’m going to work my ass off doing this like I’ve done with everything else and hopefully I’ll become a real boy again. That’s the shitty thing about anxiety for me: I feel like something broke and I’m left sweeping up the pieces of it and thanks to my girlfriend pushing me to succeed just by being there for me…I want to. And I’ve been mostly successful at picking up the pieces and it’s getting better now.

The year long away from H-bomb taught me to not depend on someone for my happiness or to cure my anxiety. I learned I was stronger than I thought and it gave me a big chance to start cleaning up the mess that my life had become. I started thinking about the things that needed to be fixed: school, weight, getting steady work, gaining confidence in myself. All of the hits. And outside of the steady employment–which I’m currently working on as well, I’ve succeeded. I have lost a good chunk of my weight, I’ve become more confident in myself, and I’m learning to control my anxiety.

I actually feel guilty for going to therapy now because I haven’t had anything too disastrous to talk about for a long time now. He asks me how things are going and I say, “Great,” and I almost think, “Time to go.” But there are little issues here or there that do need work. The driving for one. And the weight. I haven’t lost as much weight as I’ve wanted since last summer, but I’m working on it again. So there is some stuff to talk about. Yesterday I just laid out the reasons with him for why I decided to just up and no longer talk to the H and complained about her.

I really can’t complain about anything else but my sagging friendship with someone I thought was so important to my life, but whom I learned I really do not need in my life. I already have enough depressed friends and I have a lot of people that care about me. It still bugs me that I let this go on for as long as I did and I was stubborn about it, too. I think I’ll be facepalming about that until I’m 60 or so. I think 60 will be a good year to stop kicking myself over it, finally. Also consequently it’s bleeding over into this entry.

I would argue, though, that as a big chunk of my life for 9 years that I have reason to still be annoyed with myself over it. But! Today’s a new day. Completely wiped clean from that ugliness and I’m going to thoroughly enjoy it and enjoy my life from now on. For once, I can finally say that I’m happy with where I’m at and what I’m doing.

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