Over the next ten years (i.e. the 90’s), I went through a ton of ups and downs. I flunked out of two different universities before graduating both community college (top of the class, baby!) and university (with a BComm) in 1998. I worked at my dad’s restaurant part time, as a DJ on weekends, and as a bartender part time while going to school full time. I remained the same guy for the most part…slightly cocky and arrogant, going from short-term relationship to short-term relationship because (a) I felt that it would make me look “cool” in the eyes of my friends, (b) my ADHD prevented me from committing to pretty much anything long-term, and (c) my insecurities would be temporarily fulfilled if I had a woman find me attractive…either emotionally or physically.
I did things and made mistakes that followed me around the small town. Women I slept with, things I had said, and the stupid things I had done had caught up to me. I had a “reputation”. It was at this point I decided that not only did I have to work outside of the town, but I had to leave it entirely.
I moved to Moncton, New Brunswick in 2001 and remained there until moving to Halifax, Nova Scotia to be with my incredible wife almost four years ago. In Moncton, I became relatively anonymous. I finally matured a bit and grew into a pretty decent person. Of course, a combination of depression and Adult ADHD meant that I still had my fair share of issues…and I’m sure there are people who I worked with over the years who think I’m an asshole. But I was able to move on and just find out who I was as a person (a failed marriage can do that to a guy).
When this happened, though, I stopped going back home to visit my friends. I felt shame and was embarrassed not only of the person I used to be, but as the person I was at the time. I was working in a call center to make ends meet. The last time I really got together with “the boys” was my bachelor party. Then three of my best friends (two of whom are brothers) were my groomsmen. I thought, at the time, that I finally had what I always wanted.
Of course, the marriage ended quickly for a myriad of reasons. I remember going back to my best friend’s place on a Saturday night back in 2008 to tell him we were splitting up. Instead of my best friend having my back, he berated me. He told me how stupid I was for this mistake and that he couldn’t believe I was doing this.
I never told him how that night made me feel, but needless to say our friendship has pretty much disappeared in the years since. I think the last time I saw him was at my mother’s funeral five years ago. His wife has since “unfriended” me on Facebook, presumably in an effort to clean-up account because she didn’t consider us friends anymore.
I’ve seen some friends here and there over the years. I’ve seen most of them on Facebook, though. I guess in this day and age, there really isn’t any reason to have a High School Reunion in person when you can see all of your friends online. But still…when the invitation popped up in my inbox to attend a friends-only “Mini Reunion”, I jumped at the chance.
I feel like I’m finally in a point in my life where I’m not embarrassed or ashamed anymore of who I am or what I used to do. I have no doubt that some of the people attending the party (and even the person who actually extended the invitation to me) remember me as that arrogant jerk from high school who they put up with because I was friends with so many people. I can’t tell you how much I’m looking forward to being able to meet them in person and show them the man that I’ve become.
I’ve got the greatest wife I could have ever dreamed of. I’ve finally got a job that not only pays well and has “manager” attached to the title, but is at a company that makes me feel proud to work there. I’ve got three incredible children of my own and two amazing step-daughters who I consider my own children. I rarely drink and even when I do, I have a few beer and don’t get “out of control” like I used to do. The man I am today is NOT the man I was 20 years ago. I don’t have the self-esteem issues that I used to have…and that has helped me become the best “me” I could possibly be.
Most importantly, I’ve got my depression under control and take medication for my Adult ADHD. I’m not going to say that my ADHD medication is a “miracle drug” or anything, but just ask my wife…Vyvanse has changed my life for the better. On a daily basis, I feel like the man I was always supposed to be…and I can’t wait for my friends to see me now.
Will I reconnect with my best friend? Will I reconnect with people that I will want to continue to see on a regular basis? I don’t know, but what I do know is that I’m going to have a great time catching up and being ‘me’. The universe will then decide what’s next.