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[personal profile] hurricanelaura
Tomorrow I'll have been out of John's house for one week.

Living at Larry's has been nothing short of a miracle cure on my overall mental state. I have this amazing house all to myself, completely on the other end of town so I stand absolutely no chance of running into Certain Piles of Shit unless it's when I have to venture out to Lakewood for social dealings or to pick up my medication. I've taken full advantage of the jacuzzi, cooked like a maniac in his well-equipped kitchen, slept in his impossibly comfortable bed (it's custom made from Indonesia and stands 3.5 feet off of the ground), and chilled out on his stylish-yet-ambition-killing furniture. I have to say, the man knows comfort.

His having me watch his house is precisely what I needed when I needed it, and for this I will always be very grateful to him.

He may have saved my life.

Back in November, I made an unusual public-ish plea for help. I was devastated, lost and feeling like I had no hope left. I had just lost pretty much everything. While I try to be strong, and I try to stay positive during these situations, this grey cloud of misery was beginning to consume me unlike it ever had. As a teenager I was depressed, and so I recognized this feeling. But it was so much more aggressive this time. This time I couldn't pack a bowl, turn up King Diamond and daydream it away. I'm not 15 anymore. I was now experiencing the impact of substantial loss rather than just feeling sad for Reasons Unknown.

I felt that I literally had nothing left to live for.

It wasn't exactly voices in my head, I'm not a lunatic. It was more like a battle between two halves of myself, which had formed when the final blow of John leaving me struck. There was one half of myself - the positive, hopeful and curious half who always takes losses as a way to look forward to what else the future brings. This was being overtaken by the other half, which was the one who felt every ounce of all of it, and was in unbearable and hopeless amounts of pain. I felt like falling asleep and not waking up. I wished I didn't have to be alive anymore and be in constant agony. If I were dead I would be free from the demons. I wouldn't have to wake up to hopeless pain, go through the day with hopeless pain, and only escape it when my brain entered sleep for 6 hours at night. I resented having to get out of bed, log into work, even more twisted the fact that I still had one person keeping me from just finding a tall building or sneaking away with my friend's gun. My mother would be destroyed if she lost me, and I knew this and know I could never hurt her like that. She's already lost her mother, her husband, two of her best friends and most recently her father. If I did this, she would lose the only one of her children that has actually done a decent job at adulting, the one she's most proud of. I'm uncertain of the existence of any afterlife, but if there is a Hell-like place I'm sure my punishment would have been having to watch her devastation.

So while some ignorant asses would call it an attention-seeking move, I didn't care what they thought because I was desperate to save my life. I started writing exactly what I was feeling to a filtered group of people. I wasn't sure how long I could keep that other half of me at bay before I gave up and let it take over and I'd do something terrible. I needed help, I had to give up my normal internalizing coping mentality because I knew this was something I could not handle alone. I didn't want to be alive anymore, yet I was desperate to keep myself that way.

One person who reached out to me in a way he never had was Larry Collins.

He sent me a message asking me for my address, and then asking me if I was okay and if I needed to talk. We started messaging back and forth, and him being his lighthearted, sweet self he really did make me feel better. A couple of days later I received a book from him in the mail, When Things Fall Apart by Pema Chödrön. He explained that this book had helped him through his recent divorce from his wife Ra, and that he had been in a similar situation himself. I was so touched. This was a man I had never actually met in person - just someone I was friends with on Facebook who would comment every now and then. Yet here he was reaching out to me when friends of mine whom I've known for over a decade coldly maintained radio silence.

That week I had lunch at Tommy's in Coventry then walked across the street to Larry's store, The City Buddha, to give him a hug. He took me for coffee and started asking me questions about myself. It felt a little odd until he told me that he was "interviewing" me to watch his house while he was in Indonesia for the winter. I was surprised, and also flattered that he would trust me so openly. In the following weeks we made plans for my transition into his house. We hung out at wine bars, and being Larry he made me laugh and repeatedly told me what an idiot John was for giving me up.

Looking back, I now know what he was doing and it was genius. Larry is a genius. With his understanding and compassion he offered me the absolute best remedy he could give me.

And it worked.

So next time you happen to venture into Coventry and pass by The City Buddha, stop in and thank Larry. He played a significant part in keeping me here today.

“To be fully alive, fully human, and completely awake is to be continually thrown out of the nest. To live fully is to be always in no-man's-land, to experience each moment as completely new and fresh. To live is to be willing to die over and over again. ”
― Pema Chödrön
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August 2016

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