It hurt so much today to not chat with you. I’ve lost my best friend and i don’t think either of us fully understand why. I kept staring at my computer screen waiting to see, “hello, sweetie” pop up and i kept wanting to ask how you slept and to tell you again that i wish i could be there to shower you with kisses and you would remind me how much better you sleep when i’m next to you. I’m not going to self-deprecate and say that maybe you don’t need that from me anymore. I think you do- i think you need that now more than ever. I know i do. Loving you made me a better person and while i won’t presume to speak for you, i believe your loving me has made you a better person too.

I am back where i never wanted to be. My body moves without my knowledge, my bones float in a sea of disbelief. I am detached from the world around me.

My brain is on fire again and i cannot stop thinking. My dreams fling me into consciousness with no transition. I simply disappear from one reality to materialize into another. My thoughts slice through me as a million raindrops fall – each delivered by the whispers of unkept promises of lovers that are no more. When i was younger, i lived with this for many years and i fought so hard to control it. There were times when it took me to the edge of sanity and suicide- one of those times i put everything in order and was ready to do it. To my friends that might feel concern as you read this, i didn’t end it then and i will not end it now. This is my oath to you and to myself.

For years, i have told myself and to others around me that i don’t understand why people are drawn to extreme pain. As someone that takes pride in being confident, self aware and honest, i am ashamed. I have lied.

I do understand.

I crave it myself.

A razor streaking across my flesh, giving birth to a crimson vine. Flowers with pedals of dribbles and splatters blossom across my canvas. Cracks across my skin that leaves blisters, wheals and fissures. I have lied to myself for years and once more, i crave these things with an unrepentant and feral craving.

My brain is on fire again.

The rains are back, the winds are here. I am no longer tethered to reality, i am no longer afraid to be myself.

I am awake.

I am writing this to my friends because where i am able to put my words here, i cannot find a way to explain them to you with my voice. I am writing you because just as you saw me shed the husk of nearly two decades of sleep apnea, you will now watch me as i allow myself to become someone that i’ve tried to ignore.

I am going to do things that you may not understand. I ask that you trust me as i do what i need to do and please, please understand that i still have my core values of honesty, kindness, integrity and honor. Those are unshakable and unshakable because of the love and trust each of you have given me.

This is not sexual and i am not repenting. There is no sin here.

I am a confident man who was hurt by years of accusations that i was cruel and arrogant. I beat myself into submission because my drive to be kind and my hatred of being accused of being arrogant and cruel forced me to. But over the years, i allowed myself to believe that’s who i was. Worse yet, people mistook my shyness and my reticence as a lack of confidence. I am extremely confident. I have a huge amount of self love and respect but it has been easier and more desirable for me to be seen as a sheep instead of what i hid underneath.

But i wore the skin for too long and i began to believe it really was me.

It is now time to carve.

I have been here before and i have endured. Each time has eroded and carved me into someone new and this time is no different. The last time i emerged as someone kinder, more willing to love and more desiring to be loved in return. I began to understand that monogamy is an intrinsically false premise and my heart is filled with so much passion and a drive to love that it hurts and overwhelms me at times. I also lost my fear of dancing during that time.

I would not have been able to have spent the last four and a half years with Adelle were it not for those changes.

As for Adelle, as much as i love and will continue to love her, i will stand in a field with a carrot or an apple in my hand for her as long as i my heart will endure, but at the same time, i love myself more.

Now it is time to carve.