Powered by Blogger

Thursday, January 25, 2007

"Dear Me" Project - Anonymous (June 1994)

Dear Me (June 1994),

Hey, congratulations on graduating high school. I suppose there wasn't really any doubt, but it seemed touch and go there for a while in junior high school (Attempted suicide at 14? Ahead of the curve a little, wouldn't you say?). And now it's on to college, or as some call it, "the best five or six years of your life." And after the sounds of the last graduation party have faded, and the spent cups and plates have been dropped into a Hefty cinch sack, the only advice I have to offer you is this: don't go.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not telling you to never go to college; just delay the dive, put it off for a few years. You know why? 'Cause all that anger, fear and depression that you somehow managed to bottle up will come uncorked once you're on campus. And you know the laws of physics: energy compressed will always release with an exponentially greater payload. And my friend, you have kept it all so compressed, you'll be lucky to survive. Of course, after the smoke has cleared, and the rubble has shifted, you'll wish at times that you hadn't. What you should do, instead, is focus on therapy. Yeah, yeah, you've been in therapy since your eighteenth birthday, but your first therapist didn't work out, and you've pretty much been spoon-feeding your second one--nice guy that he is--exactly what he wants to hear. And believe you me, that ain't gonna help a thing. Point of fact, it'll come back to bite you directly in the ass in a few years, right around the time you meet a gorgeous redhead, and you suddenly find yourself in a relationship that actually has the potential for greatness, except for one thing: you're a mess. You're a walking Cubist painting, everything askew. And man, you're gonna wish you'd gotten all your baggage checked and properly stowed by then, 'cause it's gonna make things ten times more complicated than it needs to be. But, to the redhead's credit, she's tough, and she sticks through it, Lord knows how or why. No, my boy, what you need to do right now is knuckle down, go to the therapist, and explore all the messy, ugly corners of your head. You need to be knee-deep in the muck, three or four times a week, not once a week, which is what'll happen once you get to college, with its myriad distractions that come not weekly, but with every passing minute.

And by the way, when you get to college, and someone offers you that first drink, you tell 'em thanks, but no thanks. Alcoholism runs deep on both sides of your family, and let me assure you right now that it's one rip tide you're not going to outswim. And it's going to get ugly, and it's going to strip you down to the barest of bones, leaving you with little dignity, and fewer friends. And the only thing that's going to get you off the sauce will be a three-day bender of vomiting and diarrhea, thanks to the trio of peptic ulcers festering in your stomach. And you and I both know how much you hate vomiting. It'll be ugly, and there will be DTs (that you never mention to your family, 'cause they don't see it as a drinking problem. Everyone in the family drinks; no problem), but you'll come clean, with only one relapse. But that'll be five years of your life where you think you recall what happened, but you'll never be quite sure, though you'll remember acutely the shame and mortification.

So why don't you wait a while? You're young; college will be there when you're ready. Because as much as this is going to chagrin you, you're not ready. Hell, you're barely ready to handle life in its most diluted form, let alone the sudden freedom and directionless existence that collegiate life offers you. Hey, there's no shame in that. Scores of folks take time off to do the proverbial soul-searching. You just need to do a little more maintenance work than most. Because there will be things worth living for, no matter what you may think to yourself when no one is looking. And you're going to want to be as present and accounted for as you can be when you find them, trust me on this one. The older you get, the more your resolve deteriorates, and the harder it is to fight the depression and mania. And before you know it, suddenly, suicide will sound like a mighty tasty selection compared to the agony you wrestle with every moment. You need to get your opening salvos in the air sooner, rather than later, when they can do maximum damage. The enemy is devious, and firmly entrenched, and does not give ground easily. Trust me on this one, too. Just breathe, and take your time.

My best, Anonymous (2007)

Comments on ""Dear Me" Project - Anonymous (June 1994)"


post a comment