Why do I write here now? Perhaps because it is both public but greatly less followed than many of my other social network outlets. Because I both do and don't want people to see, I suppose. But right now, it can't really hurt, I don't think. There's little more that I can say to be any more hurtful than I have been.
A few days back, I was hitting a good stride. I was feeling really good about where things in life were heading. I'd been doing a lot of the work that really made me happy, and while things aren't perfect, I had a fantastically rosy outlook. Driving around town made me happy, as it often does. I'd recently returned from filming a movie with friends outside of Minneapolis, MN. That was an amazing experience. I'm glad I did it. I was greatly looking forward to doing more things just like it.
And then two nights ago, I had a dream.
And suddenly my whole world was ripped out from under my feet. I felt the crushing weight both of all the horrible things I've ever done to people in my past, as well as all of my crushing missed opportunities. I woke up remembering every small detail, which is rare in a dream of mine, and it haunted me the entirety of the day. I still had to do a live stream that day, and I had to be jovial and interact with the audience. I did so, but I limited my stream to only a single hour, when typically I would just keep going. It didn't help that the game I was streaming was attached to some of my crushing past. And when I was done streaming, all I could do was lie down and cry. All day long, all I could think about was, "Why did I do that? Why DIDN'T I do that? I had a wide open opportunity back at THIS moment, and I didn't take it, and now there's no getting that opportunity back ever again. How do I live with that?" Mind you, these are all things that are years and years past, and there most definitely is no resetting or changing anything now.
Two days have passed, and now I'm not nearly as much of a crumpled mess as I was then. But I don't think I've fully healed back to where I was. I think it's perhaps fairly common to think that somebody like me with 10,000 or more people who regularly follow them somewhere doesn't necessarily suffer the struggles of the average person, or perhaps it's really easy to ignore. You become something of a beacon to some people, whether that was ever your intention or not. But so often I just want to say, "Please don't make me your beacon or your hope. Please don't rely on me. Because I'm just as flawed as you are. I'm not as strong as you think I am. None of us are."
I may have been made to be hyper-sensitive to a depression mentality after my friend Justin's suicide. Spending a year making a movie for him after his death really prolonged my mourning of him, and it made me focus on better interacting with those in poor mental health, and even made me recognize qualities within myself that I didn't realize were there. For that reason, perhaps I'm just noticing my intense focus on my past more than I would like. I think everyone gets those moments. But I wonder, why does it take such a long time for both my guilt and my regret to dissipate? Why is it that it's allowed to show up again years and years later, and still affect me as if it just happened yesterday? Why, then, does it also get to hang around me so intensely for such a long period of time, like it just barely happened? Why do I have to get over it all over again?
I've been a horrible person in my past. I believe strongly in reform, forgiveness, and grace. These are all things that I have so graciously been granted, and I am thankful for that all the time. So many people I've wronged, I've actually been able to address, not looking for forgiveness, and yet it was given to me anyway. Forgiveness is absolutely not deserved. Something has to earn it. All too often, my brain will tell me that I've never earned that forgiveness. From what I understand, that can sometimes be a description for depression. I don't want to die, but dwelling on my undeserved forgiveness has sometimes taken me to a point where I don't function like a normal person. It distracts me from my day, and sometimes knocks me out and leaves me in bed for extra hours in a day when I know there are other things I wanted to do. And this is what happened to me two days ago.
I so, so, so very much regret not just my behavior, but my missed opportunities. There's one gap in time where my whole life could have been different if I'd chosen to go left when instead I chose to go right. Where a hand was held out to me, and I was too scared. It was perhaps this thing that I'm beginning to realize is some level of depression. It held me back. It kept me from being able to make a decision, and instead I stood there frozen and watched an opportunity pass me by. And now I am at a place in my life (and they in theirs) where it would be literally impossible to go back and do it again.
"What if I had?", I think to myself. "What if I took the leap, even though I was terrified? Would I be happier there? What would happen to the life I have now? Wouldn't it cease to exist, or more accurately, never have been given the chance to exist? Would that have really made me happy? Aren't I happy now?" But that's the insane thing. I never even questioned any of that for so long since before the dream. I really was okay. I really wasn't focused on the past like that. And now I am all over again. And it's like the worst torment, thinking something was within reach and now it never will be ever again.
I'd once been told something so hard to swallow. I was told, "Some
of the best dreams that I have had are with you, but also some of my
worst nightmares." To think that you are capable of creating such an emotional dichotomy inside of another human being is something I dwell on so much. I hate that this was ever something I was capable of. I hate that I could not make the decision within myself to make this lean more toward a positive than a negative. There was once the opportunity to do so. And it's long since over, years and years over.
I imagine that given a little more time, I will shake my dream and my past that have been hanging over me like a cloud. But right now, I don't know how to stop. I don't know how to stop thinking about it, wishing there was something I could do now, but nothing short of rewriting space and time could possibly change that, and even if I could I think I would be too scared to try, because where things are right now really isn't bad at all.
So how do I tell my brain that? I'm sick of crying like my missed opportunities were only yesterday.