When I Need A Pick Me Up, by my friend Ryan King

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

When Reasons Start To Sound Like Excuses

Actually, all reasons sound like excuses, and people hate to hear excuses. And I hate trying to make them. More often than not, I find myself in the role of The Fixer. It's something I like to give my energy to. I like how it feels to watch something knit together and then step back from the result and admire the finished project. Call it the Man Gene--I quite like thinking of myself that way.

But myself, ah, well...that's another story. Can I fix myself? What I hate is making progress and then sliding backwards from the progress. I hate thinking that I'm stringing people along with all my planning and good intentions, only to flop onto my face and let everyone down.

Because here's the deal, I feel more relief than sadness that Match Girl (I) has dropped off the radar (or dropped me off her radar). I wouldn't be surprised if the self-proective little gnome that lives in my subconscious didn't dump my geekiness on her to chase her away.

If I really ... and I mean REALLY wanted to be with someone, wouldn't I already be with someone? I mean, you guys are not stupid or blind--you see qualities in me that I can believe I do have. Some think I'm handsome, and I think that may be true. Others think I have a good career and a good mind, and again, I have to admit that I feel grateful for both. My life could have been so much worse, given the mess that it came from.

So why am I not turning this fantastic little man that I am into someone's fantastic little boyufriend?

What excuse can I offer? None. But there are reasons.

I'm not going to list those reasons, however, and I've done so numerous times anyway. But I just want to blog out this process as its happening--the ins and outs of my Becoming Another Somebody.

Thinking about taking on the interpersonal challenges of another human is scary, and has, to date, pushed me out of the running. I get waves of energy to try again--I get them from you guys, and I get them from society. And if there was a way to exist on the same planet you guys do, and remain free from the need to fit onto it--I would do what I want to do, and not what I feel like I should do.

Which leads me to think again about the possibility that something's not quite cricket in my head. I've toyed with the idea that I have autism. I've also played with the idea of having bipolar disorder. Then I've also told myself that I'm a normal guy who got handed a sh!t sandwich way way ago which derailed my chances for a normal life. All those might but true, or any calculaic combination of the three.

But the facts remain as they are right now. I'm not dating. It feels better not to than to. I feel safer without it. Safety is more important to me than love. Sucks that my mind frames it that way, but that's the equipment I'm working with. For some, love equals safety. Not for me. For me it equals risk and vulnerability and fear. Horrible ways to live.

So I'd rather not, thank you all the same.

That's not the end of the story. I have two friends, one very close in geography and one far away, who have shared with me the efficacy of anxiety medication. These medications I am very familiar with, since in my career I assist people with getting hold of these meds and I have seen what happens when they went off them. I believe in meds.

So why have I never tried to take some for myself? Stigma! Do I want to be a therapist who is on psych meds?

Please. Get over yourself, Alan.

What looks worse, crawling around on the ground ignoring the cane, or walking around using the cane? Either way, my leg's still broken. Gotta do something about it.

Whew.

This ain't easy.

6 comments:

fringes said...

Check your email...

Coaster Punchman said...

I told a single friend of mine who really wants a relationship but always strikes out that he might not actually want it as much as he thinks he does. Funny that you mention it about yourself.

But this: "So why have I never tried to take some for myself? Stigma! Do I want to be a therapist who is on psych meds?"

I totally don't get this. Surely you don't attach a stigma to your clients and friends who take meds, do you? So why would you do that to yourself?

Wellbutrin has made such a huge difference that I can't imagine living without it. While it's nothing I would write to the New York Times about or put on my resume, it's certainly nothing I'm ashamed of.

If you were talking about anti-psychotics, maybe I could see where that would raise a concern, but not anti-depressants or anti-anxiety meds.

Alan said...

Fringes, I got the e-mail. I couldn't read it more than once. I was at work, and I couldn't afford to burst out there in the office.

Tom, you're absolutely right. Why did I do it to myself? I seem to have so much compassion for other people's needs--yet I don't want to have any needs of my own. Wait, that made it sound more noble than it is. I think my problem is that I see it as a weakness. I want to be a man who doesn't need meds. I'm very sorry I feel that way and I think it makes me an asshole. Maybe not an asshole. Just -- I don't know. My worldview is skewed. I'm going to make an appointment and try some meds and see what happens. I'm sorry Tom.

Lara Croft said...

I hear you Alan, when it comes down to it our inner needs end up making the decison for us ,even if our otter needs to scream louder from time to time..

The Neighbor said...

You use the cane until the bone heals, but only just, Alan. They do help, but they don't do anything for you - they allow you to do it for yourself. Some of them.

Anyhow, my .02 is that you should not make any decision based on fear, and that includes whether or not to date. I'm not saying you need to be sending out ten emails a day to random matches; I'm just saying don't be closed to the idea, . You are very right that part of love is risk, but it's counterpart is reward. There is vulnerability, which leads to real emotional intimimacy and trust, and then there's fear, and yeah, there's fear - this isn't supposed to something you get used to, Alan. It's supposed to make your heart pound.

It ain't easy. I agree.

Scott said...

I had the same reaction as Coaster. If my mind lacked a nutrient, where's the stigma in taking a vitamin? You know this. I'm surprised you would think that way.

I'm reading A New Earth by Echkhardt Tolle (check the spelling, it's not in front of me). You should give it a once through and see how you react. Everybody should read this book actually. It's an eye opener.

I'm not sure how to react to this post. At first glance it seems that you are being honest with yourself and thus your readers, but something doesn't ring true. It sounds good to say you are sabotaging your relationships. I think perhaps that you are just putting stock in the wrong types of people. Your last girl, the one before match, was a reach anyway, and the Match girl was literally a random find, a total unknown quantity. You want so much to relate to a girl that one comes along you burst like a dam with all that you want to say to her.

I know; I've done it.

Neighbor makes a great point. You're afraid of not being accepted for who you are, and any animal down to a single-celled organism can smell fear from thirty paces. What you are calling sabotage is probably nothing more than your fear of eventual rejection, so instead of waiting, you put your cards on the table before she's even looked at her hand. You need to hang back a little. You'd be surprised at what can happen. I'm thinking of that scene in Forty Year Old Virgin when Steve Carrol only answers questions with more questions, and how hot and bothered the girl got. There are things about us all that may or may not look good on the resume, depending on the reader, but in an interview we stick to our strengths and let them figure out the rest once we've got the job.

You are on the right track with knowing that you are handsome and have something to offer. No doubt about it. Think about that. Feel it. Know it. Check in on me when I finish by post on the book I'm reading.