I’ve felt this way for over half a year now.
I keep telling myself I’m in a mental funk. That because I’m aware of it, I’ll be fine in a bit. I just need time. Then I’ll be ok again. That’s just how mental depression works.
I need to stop lying to myself. To you. To everyone.
This is more than a funk. This is a realization. A conclusion I am choosing to ignore.
I’m not just in a temporary state of unhappiness. I’m not happy in my state, and I don’t know where I want to even go from here because I feel utterly lost and without my compass.
I’m almost 37, and I realize one moment I’m pining for the days when I was younger and dreamed of having all the things I have now, or wishing this ride was over the next.
“You’ll have success as a writer, young man, but you’ll want more from life by then, and you’ll always doubt yourself. Doubt what you have accomplished.”
Kid. You get want you want and what you deserve, and I’m sorry for that. You didn’t know because I didn’t. I couldn’t even tell you what to do now to change things.
I wanted so much better. Not money or fame. Just…quality. I still try everyday, and each awakening is a new negotiation for less.
I tried to pinpoint where my compass started to fuck up, and I keep coming back to the bullying incident that happened to me at the end of last year. It still haunts me. I have heard the two culprits are a bit quieter, regained very little footing on social media, and essentially campaigned to the point my friends felt the need to apologize to me for speaking with them online, which I never wanted nor asked for.
It left this abscess in my soul, infecting me. Keeping me from finding comfort and healing. I wanted to forget, but I had to move on and hope people would just stop bringing it up. But when you are a part of the same community and work in the same field, with the same people, it’s near impossible.
All this fed into my imposter syndrome, making me fearful of retaliation and paranoid of the community and my place in it. Scared of what was being said on their end to try and get back in good graces. It felt like, by doing the right thing, I had done wrong.
But I had spoken up, and, while it had unforseen consequences, good did come from it. So I ignored the pain I was still feeling and buried myself into a passion project.
I got back into the Year 47 anthology. Worked real hard with everyone involved (too hard if you ask certain people). Got emotionally invested in it, and I took some lumps because of that.
But it paid off too. It was a best-seller in its category. Really good reviews. All the authors did an amazing job. And after it was finished…
…I was worse off. I was worse off because I didn’t have them anymore. I wasn’t talking to Baylea, Adrian, Dustin, Liam, Shawn, Charity, and Anya nearly every day. Having everyone so damn excited about a singularity. It didn’t even matter if it was gonna work. I remember not caring. I just remember them being so excited. Us being a family. I wasn’t thinking about what happened.
There wasn’t anyone making fun of me, who I was, my work, how I sounded, how I was promoting my art. No one was hating me for existing.
I had forgotten that familiar feeling of being an outcast until last year. Now it’s all I can remember.
I was reminded that existing as Bo Chappell was joyless, repetitive, and exhausting. And now that I’ve achieved a great deal of the goals I’ve set out for myself in life?
I don’t know what I want out of this existence anymore. My motivations are reciprocal, seemingly pointless. I exist now mainly because I just want to see how much more help I can be. Even then, I carry guilt for not being able to be there for the people I care about more, online and off. For letting what’s eating me deter my motivation.
And it’s not that any of you haven’t been there for me. It’s quite the opposite. I’ve received so much love and support, I constantly question what I did to receive it. Where I am now is not on you. It’s not even on the bullies.
I take responsibility for how I feel about myself and my life at this moment, and I very much still love each and every one of you. If you need anything, I will do my best to help and support you. And if you felt like I haven’t been there, I’m sorry.
As for myself though, I need to fess up and admit the hard truths about my life. I know a lot of people love, support, and believe in me, including some of you. I cherish and respect that.
But I also know that ultimately I must respect myself before I can move forward safely.
I feel alone in the world right now, and I am desperately hoping that the right someone will show up and help me because I am absolutely lost. I don’t know how to give directions to where I am, describe what I’m seeing or how I’m feeling, but I do know I don’t want to be here.
That’s all I can say, and I am sorry for not having anymore words to describe what I’m going through, but this is an all new kind of darkness for me.
I’m trying to outlast it, and maybe this will serve as some preparation. I don’t know. I do know I miss feeling joy. Miss writing. Miss you.
I miss me, and I hope in time I can find myself again.
Just hang on.