It's a little like dying, I think

When I was 27 years old, an infection of some sort changed my life. As my head began to get fuzzy and I developed perceptual changes, I slowly began to realize over the next few months I'm never going to get that smart sarcastic lad back. I had to let him go. Doctors had no answers. He was gone for good.

In a way, it's a little like dying. I had to learn to let go.

That boy, he was comfortable and relaxed under any circumstances. He could go anywhere in the world and feel himself inside his skin, as a sentient and steadfast presence, who was always going to be there to comfort himself. Life smoldered within him no matter how broke he was or how uncertain he was about the future.

But that week, he suddenly died without warning. And all that was left is his shadow within this body that felt strange, and this meek shadow no longer knew how to feel comforted or at ease, have any thought flow, or even feel many of the emotions he used to feel. Or even keep its bloody eyes focused.

As I adapted over the next few years to this new me, like a Frankenstein propped up by an SSRI and what I sort of remembered as gumption, I still remembered that boy once in a while, but he slowly started getting fuzzy, like he was someone from another life. As if he never even existed at all. I slowly forgot about him.

This new man took a year off on social assistance, gradually got back on his feet, learned how to semi think again, slowly started working again, and went back to college, got a great career, and got married.

But his head never felt the same. This condition had damaged him too much for good personal relationships. His temper would protect him where his intellect used to come to rescue when he was pressed. It made him a terrible partner.

And relationship after relationship, he had to learn to let go. He lost so many wonderful people in his life because his new low functioning head did not allow him the luxury of proper statesmanliness and patience necessary for long lasting relationships.

And so his marriage ended 2.5 years ago. He got a lovely 3 year old boy out of it, who is the love of his life. But everyday he flips the middle finger up at the sky, angry that his condition is not letting him be the best father that he can.

And this week, his 2 year relationship with a wonderful woman ended.

She is tired of the musty smell my numerous shirts that I have to change all night because of night sweats are leaving in my apartment.

She is tired of the fact that I can't shower everyday, because showering in the morning before work makes my limbs feel weak and me sluggish.

She's tired of the fact that sometimes she shows up and I can't interact with her because my anxiety is causing me to dissociate to the point of inability to interact.

She's tired of the fact that I have to have 3/4 of a bottle of wine to get my anxiety down to a level that allows me to interact with her.

She's tired of the fact that I can't just get up and go to Hawaii with her for 3 days when winters are so cold up here in Canada, because often times I'm too anxious to even talk to people at work due to the sensory rape it inflicts on my head, let alone go to Hawaii.

She's tired of the fact that I start feeling better at night, right around the time she's ready for bed.

She's tired of the fact that I've picked up smoking to help with my cognitive issues.

And I can't say I blame her.

All I've been learning for the past 21 years is learning to let go.

And so I'm letting her go too. But at night crawling against her in bed gave me comfort and let me meld into the background, cut out the noise.

But when it's all said and done, it's not her I miss.

I miss myself.


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