This week’s blog title is a compilation of the top four song titles on the current Billboard Hot 100. It also sums up how I feel about myself right now. In the last 36 hours, a momentum has swept over me that has erased so many of my fears which once paralyzed me. I was still scared I was making a mistake, but I knew it was now or never insofar as my sanity and sobriety were concerned. For that, I’m proud of myself and really have been patting myself on the back. Here’s the status I posted on Facebook 36 hours ago:
This morning my best friend and the love of my life flew to Mexico for an undisclosed period of time. It was all very undramatic; no tearful goodbyes or even a phone call, for that matter. Just a goodbye card mailed and a brief Facebook message exchange, which was all that was necessary after all the over-the-top drama of the last several months. Letting go of all that drama–and of him–is one of the most freeing things I’ve ever experienced. (And perhaps one of the most adult things, as I was still semi-planning a Brody/Kristin-esque send-off from ‘The Hills’ finale…I’mjokingnoI’mnotatall.)
Now it’s time to work on myself–to get to more AA meetings, to be happy to be single, and to finally, fully, truly accept myself as a gay man. It’s way too early Pacific time for cliche quotes, but to quote Dr. Seuss: “Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter, and those who matter don’t mind.” #byebyebob #puertovallarta #thishasbeenalongtimecomingout #itdidnotstick10yearsago #free
This isn’t something I take lightly; having spent much of my life in the Southern Baptist Church and sitting in the pew hearing Sunday after Sunday how I’m going to hell for being gay, it’s been a godsend–or should I say a God-send–to have a loving, caring Methodist pastor counsel me for the last year who has told me time and time again that that’s not the case. I have a friend who went through the now-defunct Exodus program and needless to say they’ve closed their doors and apologized for their entire mission. All the anti-depressants, all the drinking, all the times I wanted to just die because I felt like such a failure and a disappointment–hopefully that’s all behind me now. Certainly that doesn’t mean the urge to drink is totally gone, as I’m an alcoholic, but hiding who I am was one of the main reasons I was self-medicating so heavily. In the end, I was trying to please everyone else and the weight of lying about the drinking and being gay was what nearly drove me off the edge. I’m not sure now how it didn’t; by the grace of God, I suppose.
The bottom line is that I’m the same person I’ve always been. I actually came out to my immediate family 10 years ago and it was a very private, emotional trainwreck that I grossly mishandled and we didn’t speak of much again. 10 years is a long, long time, especially with all that’s happened in the world in the last 10 years. Realizing that Bob was about to get on that plane yesterday made me personally realize I have nothing left to lose; I’m 33 and I have no clue why I care what people think of me so much at this stage of my life. (The fact is, I bet people think very little of me; the inflated, alcoholic ego convinces me otherwise.) I’m literally a grown man and as much as I respect people’s opinions, I have to be happy with myself. If I’m not, this vicious cycle continues. Even just recently I’ve been spending money like it’s going out of style. I finally recognized that all the retail therapy was substituting for the drinking and the drama I was missing and I cancelled some trip plans I’d made and a couple of things I’d ordered. Money can’t buy happiness. I knew that, but I had to figure it out again.
I could tell more of my story, but I think that’s enough for this week. I’m actually done convincing anyone of my decision to come out, but I did want to share my experience of the last 36 hours of my life. It’s been very freeing, and hopefully getting this out in the open will be productive in assisting with my sanity and sobriety. Speaking of which, I wanted to dedicate this blog entry to Bob. He saw me at my worst over the last several months on an almost daily basis, bless his heart. I’m sure if he never saw me cry again, that wouldn’t be soon enough. I wish him well during his sojourn in Puerto Vallarta, and he knows how grateful I am to him for being a good friend to me. It’s funny how God puts people in your life when you need them the most–pun intended, because Bob’s one of the funniest people with one of the biggest hearts I’ve ever known.
Happy Labour Day to everyone!