First let me say this post was inspired by another blogger, 28 and counting. The idea for this post never entered my head until reading her post, a letter to me. It’s been a long slow process of truly looking at myself and trying to understand just what it is that has been troubling me for so long. What led me down the road of heavy drug abuse, bad relationships and the feeling of really being the “weird guy with the dog”? What stopped me from becoming the person I could have been vs the person I am now?
Trying to understand human nature is a very complicated thing, especially when trying to understand oneself. Ego and other forces of the mind have a way of concealing the true inner person that you are. Can you say, DENIAL!!! We get so caught up in the “things” that happen to us that are out of our control, we forget that WE have the power to control how we REACT to these problems!
When we are young and inexperienced, we are not mentally equipped to process these issues, and we need a support system to help us understand. If you don’t have that, you can get overwhelmed pretty easy. This, along with a few other things, led to my drug use as a way to cope with not understanding what to do about my feelings. As an adult we have a clearer understanding of our problems, but it still takes force of will to confront and deal with them. If I could go back in time and give myself some advise, it might look something like this…
I thought I might give you a few pieces of advice so you could avoid some of the pitfalls you have coming up.
- Don’t be afraid to kiss that girl in your 5th grade class. She actually likes you!
- Stay in school, focus on math and science, and forget about trying to make friends with any of the other students. They will not remember you anyway.
- Stay away from Brett. He will introduce you to pot, and that will lead to many poor decisions later.
- Don’t let your families religious beliefs interfere with your relationships with them. It’s up to you to understand.
- Don’t become friends with Terry and Shelia. They will use you and leave you emotionally scared for life!
- Don’t go to Phil’s apt on that rainy Friday. You will try mushrooms for the first time and be totally hooked shortly thereafter. This will lead to many other drugs, and to almost dying on Blackcat Mt with 10 of your “friends” standing 30 feet away not paying any attention to you. Let’s not forget the time you woke up in the median of a major highway, missing a shoe and no idea how you got there!
- Stick to your decision you made when you were 19 to never have children. 31 years later, and I still don’t regret it.
- Somehow, come up with the money for that finals makeup in collage. That was your second chance at a good career and you blew it!
- Don’t date April. She is just using you, and will dump you when she senses that you are getting to close. It will break your heart and almost make your cry even 30 years later.
- When you go to Texas to be with your brother, be more understanding. Try harder to make him feel like he is part of YOUR family. If you don’t, you will never see him again.
- Don’t marry Christine. You just cant stand being alone anymore. You don’t really love her, and you will just waste 11+ years of your life trying to please her. NEVER going to happen!
- Don’t invest so much of your time and effort with Jim and his business. You will never get the credit for your work, and never be a friend to him as you don’t fit into his social circle.
- Most of all, understand you father just simply was never able to connect with you due in part to the way he was treated as a child, and the emotional trauma he endured while fighting in Korea. He always loved you, but he just followed the example set forth by his father. He didn’t understand how the little things a father and son do together has a tremendous effect on self esteem, confidence and the ability to confront day to day problems. His angry outbursts were a result of PTSD left untreated. You have to forgive him, before it eats you up.
- Do you see a pattern here? Are you trying to hard to fit in with people or groups that are not really like you, just to not be alone?
- You have to let it all go. Be who you are, to hell with everyone who does not want to be a part of YOUR life. Stop trying to conform to theirs.
PS: It’s ok to where your heart on your sleeve! Just be prepared to shield it when necessary!