Failing At Life, First World Style


It’s hard to point to a precise point in time and say ‘that is the point when my life began to go up in flames.’ You might argue it was the first time I did crystal meth in an attempt to get a boy to like me, and proceeded to spend two and half grand in four days, in an attempt to prevent the inevitable comedown. Some would say it was when I went home in a drunken stupor with a 50 year old amorphous blob of a man (when I was 24), then when I decided “no I didn’t actually want him penetrating me,” he proceeded to do it anyway, giving me HIV in the process. Or maybe it was the first time I went at my wrists with a stanley knife, not doing any real damage because I’m clearly too gutless for that, but just slashing and slashing in an attempt to numb the internal pain.

But it doesn’t really matter when it started. I guess part of what actually matters is the moment you realize that your life is an uncontrollable mess, and for me, that was when the police turned up on my doorstep to do a welfare check. They had found me naked on some guy’s doorstep with a tie wrapped around my neck. Listening to the officers explain the state in which they had found me was fairly effective in bringing home a few self-truths. Especially since I have no recollection of the incident at all – the what, when, where, why and how are a total mystery.

??I told them that there was no problem with my mental health or my welfare, and that there was no way the incident could have occurred. And on the surface, that hopefully seems true. I hold down a white-collar job, I have a downtown apartment that overlooks the river. Although I’m drowning in debt from all the things I buy to make myself feel better, I look the part of someone who has their shit together – not someone who contemplates suicide on a daily basis, or someone who abuses any vice available.

??What makes this situation difficult (and thank you for putting up with the pity-party I’m throwing myself right now), is that I physically cannot bring myself to tell anyone any of these things. It’s fine typing it out like this and sending it away anonymously – I don’t need to deal with the humiliation of exposing myself as such a failure in person. For someone who has it ingrained in his DNA that it doesn’t matter what the reality is, and that it only matters what others perceive, telling anyone what I really am is completely unacceptable. My entire life has been built around a house of lies – lies about my parents occupations, my family’s background, and the minutae of my life. Everything is engineered to create an image of someone who is successful, independent, optimistic and always happy. Someone who never has problems; who actually doesn’t want a meaningful relationship because that would be hell itself (and sleeping with random men is so much more liberating); someone who should be lauded for their overall fabulousness?.

Clearly it’s crap. And the cracks are starting to show… keeping up a facade like this from the time you were sixteen is hard work – and people are beginning to notice. The increased absences from work as I recover from another trip. The slash marks on my arms that I swear were put there by a cat that are usually hidden by a jumper that’s worn even in thirty degree celsius heat.

The fact, of course, is that I’m sick of maintaining this persona 24/7, and I just want to have a breakdown and have someone Make It All Better. But I just fucking can’t. I cannot discuss what is wrong because it means admitting the myriad of sins I’ve committed in the process, and that I basically fail at life. So I’m stuck posting this here, where it’s doubtful anyone I actually know will ever see it and help me do something about it. Which has actually kind of made me feel a little better. And after reading this, I know you probably feel great, too.

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