I haven’t been well. I’m still not. I’ve withered in these last couple of years, letting my inherent skepticism congeal into an unhealthy and unsustainable cynicism and inertia. I’ve stopped believing in myself and to some extent, humanity, and I’ve lost sight of my purpose. Maybe there are a million reasons why, and maybe there are none. One thing I can say for certain is that it’s confusing, and I’ve had nights so full of despair that it’s felt like a black hole was forming in the very center of my being, methodically consuming my vitals into it’s inky belly and sucking them out into who knows where, never to be seen again. Perhaps it’s connected to a parallel universe of me, and what is taken from the Brendan here is deposited into a Brendan there. That's a real thought that I’ve had, as my brain futilely attempted to reason with an emotion. I took some comfort in it, too. A very fleeting comfort.
A very few close friends and loved ones have known about my condition, as I have attempted to right the ship privately. I’m immensely thankful for their wisdom, patience, and love. Without it, I may well be completely lost at sea today. I’ve been well frightened to show any weakness, to share my struggle, with so many others in need.
"We need kindness, we need inspiration, not another woe is me story, especially not from a relatively young, healthy, white male. You've got it so easy!” - my silent belief of what everyone will say or think when I share this. I mean, it's true. I've been dealt a strong card in life, and I'm not unaware of that fact. I certainly don't find my current position unfair by any means. This isn't an issue of comparison or envy or unjustness. My inner cynic is just always so hard at work, keeping me from doing just that. “Why Try?” it says on that fucker’s shirt in neon letters.
The thing is, I keep agreeing, and I think that’s part of the problem. I’m trying so incredibly hard to be strong, but I need to break down. I need to crumble old stiff rotted walls, and build a new, pliable foundation. I know that I need it, but I haven’t been able to accept it. I need to let go. There’s a Tetris game of fear in me that I’ve lost. The blocks got to the top for the first time in my life, and instead of starting a new game, I’ve just sat and stared at the screen, petrified at the thought of beating the high score I’ve achieved. It’s probably too simple an analogy, but I’ve used it for so many things in life, so it seems fitting here as well. Or maybe it’s just comforting to be able to explain something so complex with a simple puzzle game.
I feel the world spinning, and instead of adjusting my speed and balance, I’ve grabbed on to the nearest branch and held on for dear life. Well you can only grip for so long, right? Eventually, either my grip will slip and I’ll float off into space, or I’ll make the necessary adjustments and walk on. That decision has always been an easy one, and I’ve never been this close to losing that grip… but I’m thinking that maybe it’s exactly what I need to do. Let go. I can’t control the spinning of the earth. I can’t control what you think of this, or me. I can’t control what comes through my feed every day, or the incessant arguing about almost everything. To be honest, I can’t really control anything at all right now. Yet, I still try. My arms are tired. My legs burn. My eyes are heavy. My stomach is knotted. My throat is dry. My bones ache. My heart is idle. My soul is starved.
I doubt that many of you know this about me, and I’m pretty sure that I’m not alone in it either. I’m making this public because I need you. I don’t want to continue to harden and wither, alone. I need to fundamentally change the core of my being to heal and to be the human I know that I can be, and I’m just not strong enough to do it alone. I want to believe again that what I have to offer to the world while I’m here is real, and strong, and purposeful.
My little brother David took this shot of me over the holidays. We were out shooting together, which was a first as he’s recently taken up photography too, though you wouldn’t know by his work that he hasn’t been shooting since birth. It’s interesting to see yourself through the eyes of someone that loves you. It’s not often that it’s possible to truly catch a glimpse of ourselves exactly as we hope we are seen by others. I wonder. I observe. I stand at the edge. I’m always searching. I want and need to remember why I do those things, so I’m going to start little by little, here, today, now.