A year ago I went crazy.
Like actually, stark raving mad.
Daryl Hannah and Shaun Young on the White House lawn for a rally that is vaguely related to endangered birds crazy.
I got dumped by someone I had spent three years of my life with. Someone, who at the time, was literally my world. It was, clearly, a very codependent, addictive, unhealthy, young, and unbalanced relationship. The cracks had long begun to show. Cracks like three screaming matches a day, constant jealousy, constant distrust, and my most memorably insane moment…. a drug fueled argument about my body image issues in the middle of West Hollywood on a Saturday night that ended with my literally CHASING him down Santa Monica Boulevard (he got away, btw, because SOME PEOPLE took PE in high school).
All that said, the actual break up came as a shock. More than a shock, a hurricane striking my little world and I honestly thought I was dying. While a lot of people internatilize this kind of sadness and anger and rage, I did the opposite. I broadcast, I made it who I was, I was no longer Jeffery. I was now an angry, heartbroken, depressed, woe is me version of myself who spent most of his time taking selfies of himself in bed. Let’s be honest, I was Diane Keaton in the “I’m SORRRRY” scene of First Wives Club, because ultimately thats the only way I knew how to deal with my first break up. And it’s how I felt.
I’ve always been weirdly public about my emotions, good and bad, on the internet. It’s weird and sometimes a bit off putting for potential dates or people who might consider giving me a job but then go… “but wait, isn’t he crazy?” And in the past year, I really really really indulged in the publicness of social media. In fact, it became my addiction. I have been addicted to broadcasting my emotions online since August of last year. Especially the bad ones. I became addicted to being an angry person. To being a mess. To being the pathetic version of myself that I see when my depression takes hold over me and I am completely incapable of seeing the good.
Some people say you lose your mind at the age of 27, something about saturn returning or whatever, and for me it started more so around 26 1/2 and only got worse. Until recently.
Something flipped. A switch. The switch so many people who reached out to me during my very public sadness promised would come. They never said when, but they all said the same thing… one day, you’ll wake up, and realize that you’re okay. And finally, I did.
In retrospect, I have some large regrets about how I handled myself during my quarter life crisis. Parts of me wished I had kept my insanity to myself but ultimately, I know that would have been impossible. The internet can be this weird support system for you in times of pain, but it can also become that addictive outlet for validation and assurance I so indulged in.
I lived my past relationship extremely publicly, and the public break up that followed made sense to me, and still does. I just wish I hadn’t let anger take complete control. It was a combination of events that really set me off and its been a combination of events to reel me back into reality. Back into a world where I’m not constantly angry and bitter anymore. Only sometimes.
I didn’t speak to my ex boyfriend all year. I couldn’t. He reached out but I always responded with the venom of that cobra that escaped the Central Park Zoo a couple years ago. I avoided him, in every possible way. And one day, a few months ago, as I started to see someone new, I got these little whispers in my ear from somewhere beyond. Whispers that suggested maybe I’d be able to find some peace if I forgave him or apolgoized for my own mistakes. I couldn’t though, the idea was too tough to even consider. Besides, fuck him, I thought. Fuck that. You’re angry. You’ll ALWAYS be angry.
But the other day, some friends reached out to tell me that he was leaving Los Angeles to go on an adventure away from technology. And the minute I heard that I knew it was time for me to let go. Let go of the anger, of the past, of the grudge, of the hurt, of the bullshit I’ve carried around with me for a whole year. It doesn’t have to be so difficult, one of those whispers said, a little louder. (NO I am not hearing actual voices, this is a metaphor, PLEASE hire me. I promise I’m stable!)
So I reached out, I said I’m sorry, I said I forgive him, I wished him well, I said goodbye to the grudge and the past… and the minute I did, I felt the final switch.
There have been many others over the past few weeks. Walking down the streets of New York and remembering how sad I was on the exact blocks a year ago and seeing sunshine, noticing sunshine again. That’s a switch. Losing myself in the audience at a Broadway musical and for three hours not thinking about anything else, a task I’ve rarely ever done before, that’s a switch. A cute blond Australian boy to laugh with over a glass of wine at 100 Acres before going to shoot Watch What Happens Live. That’s a switch. A show with one of my closest friends with people laughing and cheering for five nights in the village. That’s a switch.
And by letting go, really and truly letting go of that rage I have clung to since last August, I feel ready to be genuinely okay again. I feel ready to give myself over to all the things I forget about when I’m depressed and not sure if I’ll ever notice sunshine again. It’s an uphill battle, depression and stuff, and one I will fight forever. But this particular storm feels like it’s cleared. Like the final switch has come. And I hope I can remember all of this next time. That the switches come. So does the sunshine. There will always be a switch.