I’m a Hairy, Emotional Mess of a Man

My back is fookin’ killing me right now. Lower back. No other symptoms. I went to bed on Sunday night and woke up lying on my back, took a breath and boom, back pain city. Ever since, it’s been fairly consistent. Not severe (except for when I woke up at 5am and took a breath). It’s a dull ache. It radiates around my lower back from the middle to the sides/flank. No other symptoms (again).

My girlfriend bought us a brand new mattress on Thursday evening. Didn’t sleep good on Friday night, because she worked third shift (I never sleep good while she does those shifts; sleeping without her sucks). Didn’t sleep good on Saturday night, and I have no idea why, because we were out and about all day in 97 degree weather and I was pretty tired, but I struggled to fall asleep. Sunday night… went to bed but woke up with the aforementioned back pain, and it just hasn’t gone away.

I mowed the yard yesterday, and that always gives me back pain. While I don’t think I’m very tall (6’2″; average), mowing the yard always hurts my back because I have to bend forward a little bit to push the lawnmower. Probably didn’t help. Going to bed last night was a motherfucker.

Anyway, maybe it’s all due to stress?

How I feel at the moment.

I’m so scared of the future. I’m 26 years old. I just, for the first time ever, accepted my student loans. They are pending. I’m taking online classes, and one physical in person face to face class locally, at a university. The in person class will be local, at the community college I just finished up at. I have a hold on my student account that’s been troubling my mind lately. Anxiety city. Damn. Wish I had another month before classes start, so I can get my shit together, or at least pretend to.

One of my former high school teachers died last Friday. He was my geometry teacher during my junior year of high school in 2007-2008. I didn’t really think he was that great of a teacher — and I did poorly in his class, as a perennial bad math student until lately — but he was a hell of a person. Truly one of a kind. A lifelong heavy metal, all-things-WVU loving headbanger unafraid to say anything, unabashedly himself.

He retired last year. He was diagnosed with cancer in February or March… brain and lung (longtime smoker)… died last Friday.

He posted his phone number on Facebook asking for anybody to call him.

A few times, he asked people to visit him anytime.

He was sent home with hospice on July 5th.

I kept telling myself I was going to call and visit him.

I never did. I feel like a piece of shit for not doing so. I’m going to regret this forever, I feel. A lot of my fears was that, maybe he wouldn’t remember me? I don’t know. I can’t stop thinking about how he passed away. He was always so healthy and active and growing his garden and going to heavy metal (Doro) concerts. And now he’s gone.

I get it. People died. I’ve lost more people in my 26 years than most have. All my grandparents, my dad, an uncle who was like a second dad to me, a great friend in 2010, my uncle in January…. it’s rough. But damn, the regret of never going to see him has been hurting my soul deeply.

Even though I eat a diet that — by all accounts, through scientific peer reviewed studies and research — is optimal for testosterone production…. I’ve been an emotional fucking mess.

For example, my girlfriend came home last night after working a 3-11 shift, and she said she heard some crazy noise outside, like footsteps, and she hurried and got in her car. She then said, “I thought I was a goner! And that I’d be dead, and wouldn’t get to see you again” …. and I don’t know fucking why, but replaying what she said a few times made me bawl like a little baby.

I love her so much.

But this depression/emotional state is killing me.

Usually, I love the summertime. Even if it’s hotter than hell and damn near impossible to deal with, it’s usually the happiest time of the year for me, but this has been one of the most stressful, emotionally taxing summers of my life. And I don’t know why.

I’ll never tell her this, but I feel like a burden to my girlfriend. She loves me so much, and I feel like I constantly disappoint her. She’s never expressed, implied or displayed feelings that implicate that, but I feel like I could be doing so much better. I probably kept her up way too late last night with my back pain. So full of guilty feelings today. Holy shit. Just had to get this all written down.

Suicide? Selfish?

Chester Bennington of Linkin Park committed suicide yesterday by hanging himself.

This death hit home for me, because I was a huge Linkin Park guy in the early to mid 2000s during my preteen and teen years. Hybryd Theory and Meteora were albums I listened to often. My best friend, who resembled Chester (skinny, glasses, buzz cut/nearly bald), and I would play Madden ’05 online with the Linkin Park/Jay-z collaboration “Numb/Encore” on repeat. Those were the days.

I used to think suicide was a selfish act. And, in a way, I still think that way, but not like I used to. If you tell a suicide person they are selfish for feeling suicidal, that only pushes them further to do so. Not a good mix.

The act of committing suicide is an unstable one. To want to do so, you are mentally unstable, because biologically we are programmed to take the path of survival.

I changed my views over the years, because over the past six or so years I secretly (in my real life) have suicidal thoughts on occasion. Nothing in particular triggers them. I’ve just gone through bouts of depression where I can’t pinpoint what I’m feeling. I think it’s possible to be depressed without knowing it. Recently in my life, I’ve felt almost no zest for anything at all…

Because of that, I’ve felt unfair to my girlfriend, friends and family. In that way, I do feel like a burden to them, because I feel like being around them has the possibility of causing them to be unhappy. I don’t voice the way I feel, because I don’t want to be a Debbie downer.

Regardless, I recognize these occasional feelings of suicide are irrational. Still, the thought of going to sleep and never waking up is something that comforts me, in a way. I’m not going to commit suicide, or at least I don’t plan to, but often the thought stays in the back of my head.

Selfishness be damned, when you feel like you are worthless and your value to others is at an all-time low, wielding the mindset that you belong, that you matter, that you are needed is difficult.

The worst part about suicide, however, is if you take your life when you have children that depend on you. Bennington has six kids, and I feel for each of them. If you have kids who need you and you commit suicide, I can’t help but think it’s selfish. But again, mental clarity is blurred in moments like these.

I hope we will find out what was troubling Chester Bennington. Maybe we never will. Depression isn’t easy to understand. It’s difficult to write about. We all have our own struggles and personal battles that often remain unbeknown to everybody. In fact, each person you meet in this world will have something going on in their lives that is affecting them in some kind of negative way, but 98% of the time you’ll never know it. We’ll never know it.

The thought of killing myself and leaving my girlfriend behind breaks my heart. I can’t imagine doing it to her. Even though I do often feel like a burden to her given that sometimes my passion for things is lost, I know she thinks the world of me and would be crushed if I did something like that. At the same rate, there are moments where I believe she’d be better off in the long run.

I’m also scared about the future prospect of possibly fathering a child. Even though I had an amazing father and mother, I feel like I won’t be as good as my dad.

I try to embrace and compound these feelings and sublimate them into positive pursuits, but when you have zero desire to do something and the discipline/habit to do it is lacking, life is hard.

Fuck yeah, life is supposed to be hard. But man. It’s just, I don’t fucking know.

Just talk to somebody. Anybody. When you are feeling like you want to end your life. Maybe I’m not the best to recommend that, but I’m here trying to put it into words.

Much love to anybody reading this. You do matter. Maybe you can’t see or understand it, but you do. You do make a difference.