The end of a year. The beginning of another. The time to start something fresh.
(The time to sign up for the gym and go for a week then give up, lol.)

Hi Brandon,

We've known each other a long time now and here we find ourselves in the end of year 2016.
I am going to say some things to you, and you have to take it like a man.

As God says to Job:
"Brace yourself like a man;
    I will question you,
    and you shall answer me." (Job 38)

except I'm not questioning you, and you need not answer me now,
but you are going to have to brace yourself like a man and commit to the future.

Please do not take what I am going to say below with a grain of salt.
It is from the deepest sincerity of my heart.
Some of the stuff might sound a little harsh, but not more than you know me to be already.
If you don't want to change, if you don't want to be a new person, don't read on.
But if you do, then take my words with respect, from a man to a man.

Don't worry, no one else can see this page.
This a letter from me to you.
I'm going to address some of the things you wrote to me tonight first.
______________________________

If only you knew how hard it was for me, how many times I thought I was going to change for real this time, failures it took, and how difficult it is for me to continue in my making changes in my life.
How much loneliness I went through, to learn how to have peace in myself. 

You ask if one has to give up so much of his old life?
More like, your old life is dead, buried, and you fight every minute for your new life.
Because the zombies of your past will come for you every day and every night. This is it.

______________________________

Frankly, you seem pretty damn miserable yourself. I know you are depressed and lonely. Most people are. I struggled a lot with loneliness and moodiness and depression and not knowing how to control my emotions.
Damn straight, you are going to find out on your own what the best way to life your life is.
Do not be scared of being wrong or being devastated. There is always tomorrow to do better.
The only question is, can you really handle being devastated? If you truly can, you are ready.
__________________________

You know I had a lot of difficulties talking with you about this.
When you loaded emotional trouble on me, it was so frustrating, and it did annoy me and turn me off. 
Like your dad has done to you.
Like you will do to others if you do the same.

Let me try to give you some advice on connecting with people.
People do not want to have more negativity and depression loaded on them because their life looks depressing enough already to them. Finding connection with people through sharing mutual sufferings and frustrations is good, but you absolutely should not do it in with a negative outlook. Always find a positive outlook - this is good both for you and for your relationships with others. If you are going to open up and share your troubles, always add what you are trying to do to solve it, to work on it, what you are doing to improve.

Otherwise, you are just saying that you are a sorry ass who wants to wallow in his sorrows.

Also, when you talk to others, show them that you understand some aspect of what they are talking about.
So you aren't just sharing only your thoughts - that's very one-way.
Like kids do: I like pumpkins. Do you like pumpkins?
Sometimes you really stop at "I like pumpkins". Without a prompt for reply based on positive attitude.

"I miss people."
"I miss my friends."
_________________________

So you have the urge to change.
Everyone has the urge to change.
Few can live it out because of their fear.

If your efforts to change didn't work out in the past, you only have two choices:
1) Don't try to change.
2) Do a little less worse next time. And the time after. 
(So basically, think about why something happened and do it a little differently. Be a scientist of life.)

The only way to break the cycle is to grab fear by the throat, and wrestle it to the ground.
This is the reason I used to take cold showers - to get used to facing fear and taking it.
This is the reason I do strength exercises - to learn that I can get stronger, little by little, but only through pain and effort.
And also, to learn that I am more capable, than I thought when I was hiding behind my fear.

_________________________

I am sure you have been going crazy because of your dad.
You know that I have also been going crazy because of you.
Less so as of late.

You came to me to pour out your emotional troubles and to ask me to be a friend.
I tried to be a friend in the way you wanted me to.
But I think the way I am expressing myself here on this page is closer to what is a true friend. 
And closer to the true person I am.
I don't think someone else will write something like this for you.

For a year and a half you have confided your secrets to me. 
You have been like a baby bird in its nest, safe but afraid to fly.

If your urge to change is real,

Fuck it, I don't even care if your urge to change is not real.

Brandon, I can't see you be a sad motherfucker like this any longer.
I will not, shall not, see you like this any longer.
It depresses me to see you like this.

 

So I'm going to force you to change.
I'm going to be the mother bird who pushes the baby bird out of the  nest,

to teach it how to fly.

THERE IS NO CHANGE WITHOUT PAIN.
THERE IS NO SOCIAL INTERACTION WITHOUT AWKWARDNESS.

THERE IS NO HABIT BROKEN WITHOUT BREAKING YOUR VERY SELF FIRST.
FEAR WILL KILL YOU, BRANDON, UNLESS YOU KILL IT.


NO MORE EXCUSES. ESPECIALLY WITH THE SOCIAL CONNECTIONS THING, AND WHY YOU CAN'T MAKE CONNECTIONS WITH PEOPLE.

I have said everything I need to say, and I think, over the course of the year and a half we have talked about this, and especially with what I am writing today, I have told you enough. Way more than enough, way too much, in fact.
So now the rest is up to you.

This letter is between you and me.
I do not want a reply with words.
I want a reply with visible change in your life, your interactions with others, and your attitude towards yourself.
I am not going to answer any more email, facebook message, text, or call about this. 
And I mean it.


You are on your own now.
You need to break fear and experiment with your social interactions and find connections with other people now.
Not through theorizing or musing like "Why are we afraid?" "Life is very mysterious." "Who am I?"

I will still be active in the trio chat. We will continue to work together.


I look forward to seeing you take nothing less than full responsibility for your life that God has given you.
I look forward to seeing your painstakingly earned change.
Don't think it will be easy. 
But what's the alternative?
One day at a time.
Now or never.

Your friend.

SAM