Sometimes, people would leap to my defense, saying that I am not an idiot. “Oh, of course I’m not an idiot, I’m awesome,” I would joke right back at them. I always enjoyed transitioning directly from calling myself an idiot to glorifying myself; it, too, always got a laugh. “I love self-defecating jokes, because the only one that gets dumped on is myself.” what you likely saw, but only four people have ever heard is that shitting on myself is fun. I still think that wordplay is clever and fun, and in a sick little way
I’m proud of it, but the honest truth of it is that I’m shitting on myself, and
I’ve been doing it for years.
Merlin’s downfall was that he loved another more than he loved himself, and when shit went down it not only killed him, it was his complete unmaking. I learned the wrong lesson from the story. I glorified myself, but didn’t love myself, didn’t even like myself. In fact, I was the biggest prick imaginable. If one person treated another as I treated myself, that person would have gotten his ass beat, several times. Normal male
relationships are often built on sports, beer, insults, solidarity, or any combination of those factors, but no matter how much beer I’ve drunk, or shit I’ve been through, I’ve thrown some amazing insults my way.
And meant them.
I thought I was kidding, just telling a joke. Don’t get me wrong, I was, but The
Little Train That Could only could because he kept telling himself that. For
over two years I called myself any variation of idiot no less than a dozen
times a day, five days a week, (and those were just the less creative insults)
all while telling people how good I was. The result was a standoffish prick
with a smile glued on his face that no longer cared for himself physically, had
abandoned himself mentally long before, and was emotionally starved for
affection and praise. He wanted others to look at him and care about him, but
refused to do it for himself.
When does enough actually become enough? How does a person pull himself out of a downward spiral? What does it take for a person to say “Ain’t nobody got time for that."
I said it, about a week ago, and I still don’t know what happened to get me there.
This isn’t something that quotes from dead philosophers or posters with cats on them with inspirational sayings can fix. When you’re not seeing the person you want to in the mirror, “Hang in there baby!” doesn’t quite cut it. When you look around your bedroom and realize that the mess outside of you is fairly well the same as that inside, “Try to be like the turtle – at ease in your own shell,” seems to be a cruel mocking of your situation: the problem is the shell, it is what’s inside of the shell.
In my life I have tried to take my experiences and learn from them. I’ve learned from the drugs I’ve done, failed friendships and successful ones, my relationships with women, and sometimes everyday interactions with people I’ll never see again. I learned a whole lot of things from my longest relationship, which lasted just over three years, chief among them that I don’t have to put up with stupid bullshit from people. Ironically, somewhere in the middle of this relationship I started the cycle of deprecation and glorification. Having put thought into this whole line of thought I am very convinced that my growing bitterness and neediness didn’t help things. Lauren,
if you ever read this, I want to apologize to you, I can’t imagine I was easy to
live with as this developed.
Last week, whatever happened, when I said enough, I learned that though I’ve been messing myself up for years I deserve a second chance. I deserve to be happy, to be praised, and that I don’t have to look anywhere other than myself for it. I love my fiancée, Cat, and I want nothing but happiness for her and I separately before I want happiness for us together. I know that for half of that to happen it needs to start with me, and I have the tools to make it happen.
I mentioned earlier that male relationships can be built exclusively with beer. What I haven’t mentioned is how problems in male friendships are solved. This is done in one of, or a combination of two methods. First is with a fistfight, nothing is more manly and liberating than a fistfight; despite that it sounds like it would cause many more problems than it would fix, it fixes most things. Second is with a cold beer. That should be self- explanatory.
If you would excuse me, I am going to crack into a beer and get back in touch with why I should care about myself.