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I have a story to tell. It's a terrible story, but it needs to be told. This is not the telling of that story. I'm still deciding how to do that. But these are the important parts that hardly anybody knows:

Brutal honestly and see who cares I guess.

In the summer of 2017 I was struck with an illness and I spent nearly 4 years in bed. I was a Superheavyweight Powerlifter living and training out on the West Coast. One day I just went down with a sickness and I couldn't recover. I thought that I would die and did not expect to recover in any way whatsoever. Although I did try everything that I could think of, absolutely nothing worked. To make it worse, VERY early on into the first year, my spouse apparently decided that MY illness was too hard on HER. Although she stuck around physically, she did the bare minimum. Absolutely no emotional support, no physical support, nothing. She just mentally checked out. I couldn't even get a fcking hug, let alone being held or encouraged. I wanted nothing more than to die, every single day. After trying so many different things, it just became apparent that I was fcked. The embarrassment of losing the self image, the confidence, the strength, the sport that I loved, and the person who promised to love me "In sickness and in health," just became too much to bare. I isolated myself away and kept it all a secret, just hoping and crying out that my spouse would fcking come to her senses and fucking help me. That love and support never came.

I had a few near death experiences. I was literally feeling my soul start to go, I was dying. The 320 pounds of mostly muscle that I was made out of turned to fat. Everything I ever accomplished was gone. I decided to go on a crash diet at the start of Covid. 1,200 calories or less since then. I eventually got down from 320 to 217. But I had nothing left in me. No friends left, no family, not one visitor in 4 fcking years.

I called every single person that I knew. Childhood friends, Internet friends, friends from other states... nobody would even take a free plane ride and CASH to come and help me. I burned almost every bridge to every mtherfcker who ever called me their friend.

Finally, I decided to do the one thing that I promised myself that I would die before doing. I called a family member. The people that I stopped talking to in 2001. The fucked up family that tried to destroy everything about me as a child. I didn't call my parents though, I called my sister who is about 3 1/2 years younger than me. Both my sisters were taken away by CPS when I was in Community College. This was the sister I was closer to when we were children. I offered to pay for her flight, her rental car, EVERYTHING she would need. She refused all of it. I had about 3 days left in me before I self deleted. It had been planned out for years now. Nobody else would have lasted a fraction of the time that I lasted anyway, it was a good run. I wasn't sure that she was going to show up. But as I was lying in bed in the dark, I saw a feminine figure that I didn't recognize. I was 21 in 2001, she was 17... and I was in a state of confusion. As she came closer I recognized her. I don't remember what was said, if anything... but she just laid next to me on my bed and I grabbed her hand and just held it. I don't think we had ever held hands in our lives, but right then I needed it sooo bad. We just laid there in silence until our hands became uncomfortably sweaty.

She hopped on a plane and just came and got me out of bed and took me outside. I had been outside less than a dozen times in 4 years, but this would be the start of something new. Just having someone believe in me again sparked something in me... I believed in myself again, for the first time in a long time. This would be the start of my recovery. My back was in disasterous shape after lying around for 4 years. I could walk, but barely. I had to learn how to drive again, practice walking again, and pretty much everything else.

She lives 800 miles away, so I've had to mentally push myself from her spark. I started doing the smallest of exercises and movements. Dead fcking exhausted I just did something small every day. It's been seven months now. I'm in recovery, I will be in recovery for a good bit of time. But I'm starting to be able to do things again. My muscle memory is kicking in. I'm surviving instead of dying.

I'm down South now. Still trying to figure out what life will be like from now on. Seeing how far I can recover, because whatever happened to me will never be fully healed, but I feel alive again. The loneliness... it's indescribable. I haven't figured out how to solve that one yet. All I can do at this point is keep doing what I have been doing. I'm still on the same crash diet, but I'm drinking protein and lifting weights, even if at this point I'm a shadow of my former self.

I need to tell the entire story, I feel like it's the only way out. I won't be complete until what I buried is put out into the light. My sister, who I'm just getting to know saved my life. I'm just wondering if I will ever be able to find love again, or even trust someone again. It seems extremely bleak. I put EVERYTHING into someone who I caught shit-talking me to her friends, just months into the beginning of all of this. I gave her EVERYTHING and ALL of me and SHE couldn't last 3 months into what I survived 4 years of nearly on my own. One sentence stands out the most of what she said to me while I was deathly sick in bed... "Who would love you?" I sometimes wonder after all of this if she's right. It was a fcking terrible thing to say, but maybe I will be alone for the rest of this life?

An angel from the past, that I would have otherwise never spoken to again, she came and she saved my life. I tell her that I neither consider her blood or non-blood; she's just the only mtherfcker that bothered to show up. Yeah, it sounds crass, but it couldn't be any more true. Why her of all of the people that I cried out to? I guess that doesn't matter anymore, like so many other things that I'm leaving in the past.

This is the start of another life. I have no idea what will happen from here on out... but I fcking survived everything and everyone that I now put behind me.

The entire story needs to be told. This was the 30-minute version. I feel completely invisible. I NEED people to know what happened here. I need to believe that something good is still possible. I ask myself all the time how I keep doing this... and honestly I have no idea. There is something past will-power that I didn't know even existed. I don't know the name of it, but whatever it is, it's what I'm currently running on. I just hope that there's enough left in the tank, because it's been a nightmare, in a nightmare, in a nightmare for nearly a half decade now.

I need something good now. Nothing could ever balance this out. JUST. ONE. THING. GOOD.

(The first picture is the best before and after [current] that I can create. The second picture is the day my sister showed up and got me out of bed.)

EntheogenFan 5 Dec 8
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10 comments

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2

Thanks for sharing the story of your ordeal with us. There's a lot to unpack in that, especially regarding the dynamics of your various relationships, but it's gratifying to know you're in a better mind space now. From what little I can glean from your post and your profile, you're a straightforward guy who says what's on his mind and you value deep conversation and strong interpersonal connection — so, when nobody came to your aid when you sounded the rallying call, it cut especially deep at a time when you were already "bleeding." The question that kept repeating in my head as I read your post is, "Why?" Why did nobody in your life offer support and lend comfort to you? Are they all just horrible people? Are they not the right sort of friends? Are they not as close as you thought? Were they so overwhelmed by your condition and your need that they withdrew? I have no answers, and you probably don't, either, but those are things I was pondering. If establishing strong, healthy relationships is important to you as you start life anew, is counseling something that appeals to you? (That's not a sales pitch, despite how it sounds; I'm not a therapist. I've actually never been to a counselor myself, but I, as an introspective sort, see value in discussing my thoughts with a neutral third party who has a different perspective and can provide straightforward feedback without it feeling like judgement or a personal attack.)

Anyway, it's great that you're on the upswing and again feeling like yourself. I hope you continue to move toward where you want and need to be.

resserts Level 8 Jan 8, 2022
2

So glad you're on your way out of that situation. And glad to hear that you are better. All the support from me

Moon-A Level 2 Dec 19, 2021
1

That's an incredible story. Thank you for sharing it. I'm sorry that the past four years have been so rough for you, but congratulations on fighting through it and coming out the other side. How wonderful that you are reconnecting with your sister, too. I noticed your Michigan Muscle shirt. Are you a fellow Michigander/ southern transplant?

dkp93 Level 8 Dec 8, 2021
2

What was your illness? I had similar happen at age 7 which probably was the best age for it. I'm now 30 years beyond the medical prognostication of dead by 40 purely through ego refusing to let anyone or thing drive me to death together with riding a bicycle for 7 years resulting in the development of good legs & heart. I wouldnt want to ride a bike now with the selfish lunatics on the road!

I already knew what was wrong with me. I was born with Mitochondrial Disease. It had been mostly manageable up until that point. It was a perfect storm of another part of my story. My adopted mom was killed in a truck accident, my special needs brother was put in a home as a result and I shouldn’t have drank, but I did out of mourning. This was when the wife actually began the obvious signs of offering zero emotional support. With that perfect storm of trauma, my disease flared up in a way that had never been seen before. The whole entire, full version of the story is just insane.

@EntheogenFan Not good! Comisserations

@FrayedBear Thank you much.

6

We make plans & the gods laugh. Welcome to life & the reality of it. Thusly I am a cynical, introvert, realist, independent "prepper". In the end there is no one but ones self. & her dogs.

Mooolah Level 8 Dec 8, 2021

True, this time around I put myself first. I'll never put someone else's happiness over my own again.

@EntheogenFan Self preservation is not selfish.

4

And, might I add, you look BETTER in your “after” photo than the “before”; you had too much BULK before your illness. While I never liked him, I also think Arnold Schwarzenegger looks better than he did when he was competing. At a certain age, a toned body is far more attractive than a muscular one.

KateOahu Level 8 Dec 8, 2021

Thanks, I still have a lot of work to do, and some smaller clothes to buy. I realize that especially at this age, women are more attracted to how I look now. On the workout part of my recovery, I'm trying to go low body fat and more aesthetics. It's fun lifting all the heavy things, but only gym girls like really bulky guys and there aren't many of them.

@EntheogenFan Cincentrate on being healthy and fit, and when you are up to it, do for others and enjoy life.

3

You've been down a hard road, brother. From my own experience, I'd say find a support group. Not sure HOW to find it. In my case, my shrink referred me.

mischl Level 8 Dec 8, 2021

I've been looking for one as well. Hopefully I can find something, or at least some new friends that I can trust.

1

Glad you are well on the road to a healthy recovery. I am glad your sister “showed up”, as many people have no one show up, especially in their elder years. I see it every day. You are a survivor; keep fighting. We are each ultimately responsible for our own happiness. Look inside, not outside, for your happiness. You have time to examine what is truly important to you now. Those are the things that merit your attention. And show up for others, even people you don’t know. Getting outside ourselves and helping others actually makes us feel good about ourselves. I can’t say if you will ever find a partner, but I CAN say that you probably have a better idea of what kind of partner suits you. You will probably find that partner while you are out helping others.

KateOahu Level 8 Dec 8, 2021
0

Did you think to see a doctor to find out what was wrong and what you needed to do to fix your problem ?

Cast1es Level 9 Dec 8, 2021

Been there, done that. Zero help.

2

It is a long story. I couldn't figure what to make of it. Your profile does not say if you are a believer in god or not. That could give us some perspective on the story. We all here believe in goodness of human beings, nothing more. We don't do god business here.

St-Sinner Level 9 Dec 8, 2021

Not a believer in God. The child abuse and the CPS taking my sisters away came from good Baptist parents.

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