Silly Anniversaries

I’ve pointed out before about how I don’t really keep track of dates, those little anniversaries of events from our past that trigger an emotional response, like the death of a loved one or the night you first kissed someone. It’s never been something I wanted to fill my brain with because, over time, your calendar just gets more and more full with those dates. Some dates, though, just stick. Today was one of them.

Seven years ago, on 12/13/14, Rachel drove to my house for the very first time. It was the first time we’d met in person. I think it was easy for me to remember the date because of the numbers, honestly, that sequence just fell into my brain somehow and lodged itself there.

I’ve thought about her a few times today, and about that time in my life where I was still thinking “If this doesn’t work out, I can always just kill myself on my birthday.” Think about that for a moment. I met her for the first time, hugged her, kissed her for the first time, all while thinking “I’ll probably kill myself in a week” somewhere in my head. It wasn’t fair to her. The deck was already stacked against her. I already had one foot out the door, and I’m so very sorry for that.

Here I am, seven years later, having been completely broken (through my own actions) and rebuilding myself into a man that I should’ve been long before now. Is it awful to think that I’m already a better person now that I’ve hurt her so badly, betrayed her so carelessly? That isn’t a fair thing to say. I wasn’t careless. I still care about her very much, and I hate that I broke a part of her. I may have been reckless, may have been thoughtless, but I certainly cared (and still do).

She never replied to my apology. The only communication we’ve had since then has been about logistics, moving stuff out and such. I’ve accepted that there will be no reconciliation, and probably no friendship at the end of this road. I’ve accepted that I made mistakes, that I’ve made them long before I even met her, and I’m working very hard to overcome the thought patterns and habits that led to those mistakes.

I have embraced my capacity to experience emotions, and it hurts so much sometimes. But it also feels so good others. I’ve never before experienced pain or joy the way I’m experiencing them now, and it’s amazing to me how different my life feels because of it. I was afraid that, as someone who has planned out their suicide on more than one occasion, the lower lows and deeper sadness would drive me right over the edge, but it’s actually had the opposite effect. In those dark moments now (yes, I still have those dark moments) I think about the new heights of joy that I can experience. Just recently when a dark mood overtook me, I thought about how fucking happy I was when my dad and I were openly talking Thanksgiving night. How fucking loved I felt, and how much I loved him in return. How could I even consider removing myself from his life, from the lives of all my friends who I also love so much stronger now? It’s not an option. I know I’ve said that a few times over the years, even over the course of this journal. I believe that this is the first time I’ve ever REALLY felt it was true. Suicide is not an option anymore.

To celebrate this newfound openness, this desire to experience emotions as they are meant to be felt, I’m taking a trip for my birthday to meet a friend that I’ve wanted to meet for awhile, to hang out and be open and honest and accepting. To be this new person I’m becoming in full, and to hug them with arms that refuse to hold anything back. Some of my friends may read this and think they know what’s going on, and I’m telling you that you’re wrong. We’re not going to have sex. We’re not going to get naked. We’re just going to hug and talk and feel whatever feelings happen. Sex can be fun, but I’ve had plenty of sex in my life.

It’s time I actually had feelings.

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