A week or so ago, I decided to ignore the girl I developed a crush on at school. I’m not speaking to her, smiling at her, looking at her. I’m moving on because she’s only 18, and I’m a full ten years older than her. The age difference doesn’t bother me; it’s the fact that she’s 18 that bothers me. She hasn’t lived yet. She doesn’t know what life has to offer her yet. I’m trying to reserve one day a month to being social. That means going out somewhere and meeting people. Novel idea, right?
A few entries ago, I somewhat committed myself to meeting one new person a day. I haven’t started that yet, but I did put it in my OmniFocus app and am awaiting the time when I muster up the courage to actually try to do it. Don’t know when that’ll be, and I know for sure I’m holding off on it because it makes me uncomfortable. I’m an introvert, and I just finished this book about introversion that is really, really good. Every aspect of introversion that Susan Cain, the author, described rang true to me so much that it hurt and felt good at the same time. I think I can attribute most, if not all, of my depression when I was younger to my introversion. I believed that something was wrong with me because I wasn’t more social or that I didn’t have many friends. I would try very hard to be more extroverted, but I almost always failed, and I was aggrieved by that failure.
Failure is one of those things that depends completely on the person going through it. As a younger man, failure paralyzed me. I would hate myself every time I failed, and my subconscious would berate me constantly, telling me I didn’t deserve to live, that I should just end it because I’m just a waste of oxygen. This happened every day, from morning to night. It happened so much that I became numb to it all, even though it kept happening. I had zero confidence in myself, and I always felt defeated. Like nothing I did mattered. Which is why suicide felt like the most natural thing to do. What’s the point? Nobody cared about me and I didn’t care about me so who would miss me if I was gone?
The man I am today thrives on failure. I expect failure to teach me where I went wrong so I can refine and improve myself so I won’t fail next time. I’m able to do so much today because I’ve committed to this dance for six years. It took me years before I realized how to develop habits, more years after that to string together a series of different habits that stuck, and about 191 days to choose the right habits, string them together with other right habits, and live as fulfilling and productive a life I’ve ever have before.
Sometimes I wish I could go back in time and talk to my old self. I will tell him that things will get better. If I had someone back then to tell me that, then I think I wouldn’t have attempted suicide the one and only time I ever tried. But at the same time, I wouldn’t be the man I am right now if I didn’t go through all that. Maybe all I needed was a friend. I had friends, but not many who wanted to listen to my problems. I still don’t really have that person in my life, except anyone who reads this. This blog is my friend, my sounding board, my therapist, and I’m grateful for all of it.