Tonight I play a show. I've played hundreds of shows with all sorts of bands. Tonight I play a song. Alone. My bandmates will grant me my one chance at catharsis. We cancelled our last show at this venue because your health was always more important to me. Consider the song a companion piece to this blog post.
In the last two months I fell apart, got put back together again, wobbled a little, and was then made stronger than I feel i've ever been. This is not me breaking down. This is not me losing ground. This is not me validating your decisions and this is not me questioning mine.
I spent a year and a half of my life bending over backwards to fuel your ambitions. I watched you almost kill yourself training but never judged. I dragged you across finish lines metaphorically and physically and pushed you out of the door to see our friends. I watched you alienate people and made excuses for you, and I worked hard to become part of your family. I watched you go from job to job to job and never judged once and I sat with you in the hospital when no one else could. I watched you flirt with your colleagues behind my back and I watched you change into the person you are today. You made it sound like the way I dealt with you breaking my heart was amusing to you. You told me i'd never have the confidence to talk to a girl in a bar. You told me I wasn't losing enough weight and me training harder might have made a difference to the end of our relationship.
I am a strong, caring, intelligent individual. I have the biggest heart you'd ever seen and as the saying goes, big hearts are for breaking. You broke my heart in the most inhumane way possible and I put it back together without you. Then you broke it again and I worried that the cracks ran too deep to find anything positive. Every time I felt I was reaching my feet again your texts would appear on my phone, always wanting something - a kick to the gut, a punch to the chest. Every time I felt myself stand taller, you took it upon yourself to inflict more damage on me.
But through all of these emotional beatings, I thank you. You showed me your true colours, and you showed them to our friends and our families. I used to lose sleep worrying about how you were dealing with things but true to form you dealt with things the only way you've ever known how. Me? I broke the cycle. I didn't find anyone new - I met old friends, current friends and made new friends. I reached out to our mutual friends because they've had a profound impact on my life in the time I knew them and they've supported me in ways I never even expected. I spent time with the family I've been lucky to call mine for 27 and a half years. I went through the darkest period of my lifetime and came out with my head held high. I grew and grew up.
I trained harder than I've ever trained in years. I ran further and faster, lifted more and more often, began cooking right and began taking care of myself. I put myself in previously difficult social situations, I went on dates with incredible people and sought forgiveness from people i'd hurt before.
Mentally I grew too. From doctors appointments to referrals I now know what it means to take care of myself. I met a wonderful person with the same condition I have and when I'm up and shes down we're both just two sides of the same coin and we're never dealing with it alone.
You view yourself how you are viewed by other people but for the first time in my life I can look at myself and smile. I can look at myself and say I'm happy with even the shitty parts of me. And there are shitty parts, and i'm working to correct them.
We live in a fairly large town but our paths will cross one day i'm sure. I'll smile politely at you because you made me the man I am today by being the person I never thought you could be. You made me a dedicated, driven and resolute man with more confidence than you'd ever have allowed. I've come back from worse than you and I'll deal with worse in years to come.
So tonight i'll play this song on my own in the venue I should've played months ago. I'll do this one last thing for you and then that'll be the end of this chapter and the start of a much brighter one. I'll be surrounded by the people that mean the most to me, and I'll do it with a smile on my face. I wish you well.