back to square one

Just this morning, I was chatting with a friend of mine in the United States (whom I’ve never actually met, but we’ve been friends for over two years now just through e-mail and chatting on FB) and he asked how I was and instead of my usual evasion — making light of things and turning my issues into punchlines — I ended up saying things I haven’t said to anyone; not even my closest friends or my family.

It just came pouring out.

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It’s my pity party and I’ll cry if I want to; and you’re not invited (Photography by Cecile Golez)

I don’t know. Maybe it’s because we haven’t met yet that it became easy to just unload all of that on him. Or maybe it’s also because most of our friendship has been me cheering him up when he’s down. He’d be the first to admit that it isn’t his specialty, cheering people up. He never seems to find the right words to say to comfort someone, whereas I seem to always have the right words to help him see his problems/issues as challenges that he can overcome. He’s always admired my ability to make him feel good about himself.

This morning, he felt very inadequate to deal with the enormity of my emotions. The most important thing that he did, though, was that he told me that he believes in me and that he knows what I’m going through is tough (and even he can’t imagine fully what I must be going through) but he knows that if I just soldier on, I’ll get through it.

I don’t know why but it made me feel better. I thanked for it and apologised profusely for inviting him into my pity party but he dismissed any need for apologies. I’ve always been there for him and he sort of validated that what I’m going through is a lot.

I just don’t know about that, though. There are people out there who are really suffering — starving, dying of heatstroke from this most cruel of summers, bombings, and so many more — and here I am suffering because my life has all of a sudden been put on pause and I’ve been uncomfortable for the past four months because of a catheter.

Most people with complications due to HIV are suffering from so much worse and they don’t even have the support system that I have. I feel like a spoiled brat.

And while my suffering and pain is so small in the grand scheme of things, in the bigger picture, it is also preventing me from doing my share in trying to fix the problems that lay on the bigger picture. This is all I have and all I can experience from my home and it’s selfish and self-absorbed but it’s my burden and right now it’s just more than I can handle.

Talking with my friend, I don’t know, it sort of validated somehow that I could feel bad/sorry for myself despite everything else that’s happening in the world, and just in my backyard for that matter. That maybe, for the first time, I felt like it was okay to accept that I’m in a rotten place in my life and that I can be unhappy. I was finally able to say it out loud (figuratively speaking) to someone that I blame myself for all of this because if I was just less reckless and less stupid in my youth that this could have been avoided.

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Found this old photo from the blog and I’m using it. It’s how I am feeling right now…

I finally told someone that I deeply regret having been so dumb and so careless and I regret getting HIV. Even though HIV changed my life for the better, in the sense that it was the wake up call I needed to do something meaningful and important in my life and to take my life more seriously, right now, with all these expensive complications and the limits and restrictions I have because of my health, I feel that the balance between the good and the bad has tilted the other way.

I want to be healthy again. I want to travel without even thinking about the possibilities of healthcare or worry about it. I want to work again and not to be so worried and anxious about getting stressed because I could handle it. I want to jump into the sea and be enveloped by the cool embrace of the salt water. I want to be able to look someone that I like straight in the eye and not have to feel like I’m bringing extra baggage unto the table should I feel brave enough to say how I feel.

I want a lot of things that I don’t know if I deserve.

And this is why I don’t like inviting anyone into my pity parties because I don’t think I deserve anybody’s sympathy. When I’ve lived such a charmed existence and all the bad stuff in my life were the products of my own bad decisions, what right do I have to ask people for their sympathy when I can’t even be forgiving of my own trespasses.

And that’s the real killer here. Because as much as I go out there and tell everyone to forgive themselves as the first step in healing yourself and getting better, I’m really just a hypocrite because I’m back to square one again.

I’ve already forgiven myself before for what I’ve done to myself.

It looks like I’ve somehow lost that. I’m blaming myself again for what has happened to me and for losing everything that I’ve wanted.

Back to square one. I have to find it in my heart to forgive myself. Or I’m never going to get out of this fucking rut that I’ve found myself in.

It never ends. It’s a constant battle. It’s never a permanent solution. It’s constant.

I’m so tired.

 

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