Failing At Life, First World Style

It’s hard to point to a precise point in time and say ‘that is the point when my life began to go up in flames.’ You might argue it was the first time I did crystal meth in an attempt to get a boy to like me, and proceeded to spend two and half grand in four days, in an attempt to prevent the inevitable comedown. Some would say it was when I went home in a drunken stupor with a 50 year old amorphous blob of a man (when I was 24), then when I decided “no I didn’t actually want him penetrating me,” he proceeded to do it anyway, giving me HIV in the process. Or maybe it was the first time I went at my wrists with a stanley knife, not doing any real damage because I’m clearly too gutless for that, but just slashing and slashing in an attempt to numb the internal pain.

But it doesn’t really matter when it started. I guess part of what actually matters is the moment you realize that your life is an uncontrollable mess, and for me, that was when the police turned up on my doorstep to do a welfare check. They had found me naked on some guy’s doorstep with a tie wrapped around my neck. Listening to the officers explain the state in which they had found me was fairly effective in bringing home a few self-truths. Especially since I have no recollection of the incident at all – the what, when, where, why and how are a total mystery.

??I told them that there was no problem with my mental health or my welfare, and that there was no way the incident could have occurred. And on the surface, that hopefully seems true. I hold down a white-collar job, I have a downtown apartment that overlooks the river. Although I’m drowning in debt from all the things I buy to make myself feel better, I look the part of someone who has their shit together – not someone who contemplates suicide on a daily basis, or someone who abuses any vice available.

??What makes this situation difficult (and thank you for putting up with the pity-party I’m throwing myself right now), is that I physically cannot bring myself to tell anyone any of these things. It’s fine typing it out like this and sending it away anonymously – I don’t need to deal with the humiliation of exposing myself as such a failure in person. For someone who has it ingrained in his DNA that it doesn’t matter what the reality is, and that it only matters what others perceive, telling anyone what I really am is completely unacceptable. My entire life has been built around a house of lies – lies about my parents occupations, my family’s background, and the minutae of my life. Everything is engineered to create an image of someone who is successful, independent, optimistic and always happy. Someone who never has problems; who actually doesn’t want a meaningful relationship because that would be hell itself (and sleeping with random men is so much more liberating); someone who should be lauded for their overall fabulousness?.

Clearly it’s crap. And the cracks are starting to show… keeping up a facade like this from the time you were sixteen is hard work – and people are beginning to notice. The increased absences from work as I recover from another trip. The slash marks on my arms that I swear were put there by a cat that are usually hidden by a jumper that’s worn even in thirty degree celsius heat.

The fact, of course, is that I’m sick of maintaining this persona 24/7, and I just want to have a breakdown and have someone Make It All Better. But I just fucking can’t. I cannot discuss what is wrong because it means admitting the myriad of sins I’ve committed in the process, and that I basically fail at life. So I’m stuck posting this here, where it’s doubtful anyone I actually know will ever see it and help me do something about it. Which has actually kind of made me feel a little better. And after reading this, I know you probably feel great, too. TC mark


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  • Papaya432

    Hope you're taking some anti-depressants and anti-retrovirals.

  • eceismen

    I don't know what to say. You told things I ditched away from my mind before going to sleep. I want to say “I hope it gets better” but what would that mean anyway?
    Hang on. We seem like we are alone, but we are not.
    They don't call pity party a party for nothing.

  • spacepuppy

    No one can fail at life, and nobody can ever be completely independent. Having not had all of the same experiences you have had but some equally horrific ones, I can tell you this honestly. Life is not some fucking board game, nobody has the right moves. Sounds like you're moving in circles – a spiral.

    The best way out is to take out one thing from this routine of hell you put yourself through, and replace it with something new that is totally not like you. You'll keep moving and will change, for the better and for the worse. Figure out what works for you, and start telling the truth more often about these new things. You are the person you present to the world, you said it yourself. Eventually they'll replace the old things, and your scars will be just memories of an apartment, a routine, friends and a life that never really felt like and was “yours” anyway.

    There are thousands of lives waiting to be led by you. Choose your life, first-world winner, and the people who are in that life come with the package later. Best of luck to you.

  • hunter ray

    You don't need to make a confession or be forgiven. I love you.

  • Faydza

    You are not alone.

  • Public Safety Bomb Disposal

    I feel great.

  • Kyle Angeletti

    Face your problems and admit them or they'll never go away.

  • Michael Koh

    trainspotting yall

  • Ms. Pants


  • Emily Diepenbrock

    You can't beat yourself up over your past mistakes.  You can start making the right decisions now.  Focus on the things that make you happy…and stop dwelling on the things that don't.  You're not alone.

  • Allie

    Talk to someone you trust. Its such a big step, but once you do, the crushing weight will lift. I'm bulimic. Physically I was OK, but the bingeing and purging was killing my soul. I confessed all to my boyfriend. We're now in it together. Life is so much better. Kia kaha (stay strong). 

    • Jeremiah Stevens

      Thanks Allie… I wish I had someone like that too. I'm glad it's working out for you

  • Guest

    sad for you :( know that people care. you're not alone. wish i could do more.

  • 8z

    someone should hug you i think

  • alexrax

    You're in Brisbane too? Honey, let's get coffee at South Bank and go for a ride on the ferry.

    • Jeremiah Stevens

      Sounds amazing :)

  • Carlos

    you seriously caught HIV from a 50 yr old man? maybe you should tone down on the  'sleeping with random men' thing. are you telling them you are HIV-positive first? or at least write it out in a note to them if you can't bring yourself to vocalize these things.

    • Jeremiah Stevens

      It wasn't exactly my choice not to use protection Carlos…

  • bappada boopy

    what a delightful read :)

    • bappada boopy

      seriously though, ohmygod. I wish I could Make It All better. =(

      • Jeremiah Stevens

        Thanks :)

  • dreadfulphantom

    You're not alone. Virtual hug.

  • Duke Holland of Gishmale

    If you're not having fun living you should at least have fun dying.

  • Brandon h

    I think you know what you need to do. Get yourself into a good 90 day treatment center away from home. It sounds like your life is on the line, so your job and money issues can wait. At the very least get sober, start going to AA, see a good therapist (med insurance should cover most of the cost) and get a sponsor.

    And it's time to stop the lying and start taking responsibility for your actions with your family and friends.

    • Pfft

      He lives in Australia, it's not the same deal as the US. 

      but i agree with the last sentence.

      • Brandon h

        What isn't the same deal? I dont follow.

  • Tyler

    so you are suicidal? read this.

  • Hannah Amante

    I'm rooting for ya. Also, you're a talented writer.

  • jessi jae

    there is no shittier cage to be in than one where the walls feel built by your own hands.  
    but on the same token, only you then can knock them down. 

    put the same fight into your health and recovery as you have put into maintaining these structures!

    EVERYONE has the chance to step back from the ledge.

  • Margaret Thatcher

    I’m actually really glad I found this. And I hope you are doing well these days.

  • audge

    You are NOT alone.  Take that first step and hold on tight and it will slowly get better!! :)

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