Today, I finally recovered my Big Idea Thinking. Yea, right?
On the weekend of the Univ. of TN/Georgia football game last year, I thought I had lost your friendship (I don’t recall the details right now), which triggered a series of mental conditions which correlated to a sudden loss of hearing in my left ear nervous system.
All friendships are important but my friendship with you includes the thought trails associated with my latent bisexuality, which I somehow knew I needed to get out but only with your support, which I had not yet been able to identify.
I also knew it was going to be a long, arduous process because it involved deprogramming myself, which meant more than just typing/speaking a few words and a magic miracle would occur.
During the deprogramming period, I was going to be vulnerable, confused, needy, insecure…all while trying to keep myself together at a low-skilled post-retirement job and maintaining my old self at the same time.
Staying true to my closest friends, including you, was going to be the most challenging.
In the middle of it, you had your medical procedure and all the problems you deal with that I didn’t want to make worse but I also felt something between us that would get me through this and hopefully help you in ways I could not imagine.
I split myself apart so that part of me could be madly in love with you, part of me could despise what I was feeling for you, part of me could simply be your genderless friend and part of me could fluctuate between whatever I needed/wanted on a whim. Somewhere in all that is our real friendship, clearly undefined! 😉
I had no idea how long this would last.
I knew what I had to feel, say and write down might ruin my whole life, including friendships, but I had to try or else going on living was worthless.
I had to trust myself.
I also had to trust you more than anyone else, ever, as I peeled away the proverbial layers of onion that defined the masks I had created to protect myself through the years, layers that included false depression triggers and tangential shallow thoughts that diverted me easily from going deeper.
There were many setbacks.
There was much pain.
The suicidal thoughts were stronger than I thought I could handle but I did (and still do in a tiny voice, even now, while typing this).
I turned “you are my friend” into a mantra I mumbled to myself to keep me focused when I was out in public and thought people could read my thoughts as I struggled with my gender identity. I knew I had to turn that mantra off eventually, and I did.
Did I get confused sometimes? Oh yeah. There were days when I thought I couldn’t live a single second without you. There were days when I didn’t want to see or speak to you.
Bottom line: the new and improved me is in full form, rescuing the best bits and pieces of the old me, including the Big Idea Thinker I needed to get back.
Thanks for everything. Now I can get back to being your regular friend again, zany and creative, fun on the dance floor, ready to explore Mars.
These past few months have been a wild ride, that’s for sure, and I won’t trade them for anything.
I kept it to myself mostly, sharing what I needed to get through the process. That’s why I asked a few times if you minded whether I leaned on you some. Your recovery was too important for your friends to share much of my mental processing.
As you know, with depression is a whole set of other mental processes that we can choose to turn toward positive, life-affirming actions. I always choose the positive no matter how much the depression drags me down. Anyway, the episode seems to be behind me so I am relaxing this weekend.