Wednesday, January 23, 2008
Old Friends Found . . .
In the last 24 hours I have made contact with two friends from my DC days. They both found out about my surgery through this-here blog and they are both excited for an happy for me. E-mailing with Josh and talking with and e-mailing with Doug got me thinking though . . .
Josh "Nanny" Nanberg and Doug "Doug" Quenqua (great guy but I was never close enough with him to give him an outstandingly cool nickname like Nanny). Josh and Doug, as DC friends, knew me at or around my heaviest.
I've been drunk with Doug a handful of times and dozens of times with Nas-a-fras (another one of my short lived nicknames for Joshy-pants (oh, SO many nicknames)). They were both at my "lovely" apartment in South East DC at least a couple of times each (ghettocues and the like) and they both probably watched me house thousands of calories in random food when "socializing".
Josh and Doug - and the dozens (dare I go HUNDREDS) of other friends I had in my DC days were all good people. They always accepted me despite my size and my attitude and my behavoir and demeanor. We would go out to dinner and bar hopping and to social events and we would laugh and get drunk and act stupid and run around all hours of the day and night.
I had fun but I don't miss my DC days very often. True - I learned a lot in my time there and I became the professional I am today (for better or for worse (smile)) while I was there and I met my wife there and I miss the people and the friendships I formed but I was not very happy with myself during my eight years in DC (I moved to DC, I realized this morning, 10 years and 2 weeks ago today . . . my how time flies some times)).
But, also true - I don't very much like "DC Sean." The Sean that Josh and Doug knew - let's put it that way.
Josh MIGHT know the Sean I am prouder of - he knew me earlier in my DC days (graduate school time) when things were just starting to get out of control but Doug came later in my stint inside the beltway.
I don't think Doug and I ever hung out that we I didn't get drunk and run up a huge bar tab and stumble out of one bar to go grab food at another. I don't know that we ever just hung out without my drunknen sadness causing some drama with someone or making a good time less good than it could have been. I can't think of many times Josh and I hung out, frankly, that I didn't get drunk or just angry and rude (or all of the above) and ding an otherwise lovely time out on the town.
I was depressed during those years, fellas. Hated myself. I hated how heavy I was but would not really make an effort to lose weight. I was largely resolved that I would die early from my obesity and I was sort of at peace with it. I was tired all the time. I was mean spirited and angry. I was spiteful and bitter and miserable. I put on a GREAT show for some people that I liked myself but that just made me more tired and angry when my "show" was over.
I had a letter written in my bedroom (not a will - but it was written on custom stationery I bought for $200 in my credit card madness days) that detailed exactly what should happen to all my stuff (sorry, Ryan, I lived too long for you to get to keep my CD, DVD and VHS collection (including my porn stash)) and I had letters written to all those that I loved - including people who might not have known they had a letter coming to them - ready to go to explain why I didn't love myself enough to stay alive through my 20s and why I appreciated the friendship and love of "you" anyway when my rotten corpse was discovered.
Talking about how sad I was makes me even sadder than I was at that time. It scares me too. MAINLY because I still had really good friends - really great people - and love and support and I didn't need to be so sad and angry and overfed and miserable. I didn't need to treat the people that loved me the way that I did.
I could have done something then to cut the patterns and change paths. I could have made a million decisions to get healthier and happier and I could have had a very different life.
But that is just it - I don't take any of it back. I like my life. I stand by every mistake I've ever made. I stand by the sadness and the lonliness and the happiness and the laughs. I stand by the credit cards that I have since cut up and paid off and I stand by the positive influence people I knew then had in my life (but maybe didn't realize it until now) and I stand by the friendships I had that were TERRIBLE influences in my life that I have since seen for what they are/were and moved past.
I also appreciate just how much of a difference Joy and Ava have been in my life and I stand by the fact that without the years I had in DC - I would not be the man I am now anyway. I would not be "me."
I am truly sorry for all those that I hurt and all those that watched me harm myself over those years and I thank you for your friendship anyway - ESPECIALLY those that ONLY knew me during my darker days (you know who you are - especially you, my little Corcoran and Day of Fun buddy). I am leaving that all behind now and I know I can't go back and I can't fix it BUT I can live a better life and be a better person to work the kharma off - at least in theory.
I weigh less now than I did when I moved to DC in 1998. I am happier now than when I moved to DC in 1998 (I'm the happiest now I've been since high school, frankly) and I am no longer a binge drinker or a binge drinker. My depression is largely in hand (I know now what makes me sad and I can avoid thinking about it most of the time and when I do think about it I stew on it for a day or two until Joy or Ava will smile just right at me and I will snap out of it) and I don't swear and scream and yell and berate like I used to (I still have ALL my four letter words, I just use them more "wisely").
So, Josh and Doug, and the rest of you - I would love to get to know you again - or rather have you get to know me again (you were fine people then and are no doubt fine people now). At least know that I appreciate your friendship and your support despite and I apologize for not giving you my best in return.