Dear Friend,

This world can be a lonely place at times. A friend reached out to me this evening, telling me of their loathsome thoughts towards self. They said they felt lonely and unwanted. Instinctively I wanted to say anything and everything to dissuade them of feeling that way, to push them into the stratosphere where I feel their confidence belongs. Thing is, I can truly relate and empathize with their despondent introspection. I too have felt the sting of that nefarious belief system.

For a long time, I thought I was doing everything right—I had the career, I got the girl, I bought the house, had two vehicles, a fur family of two cats and a dog, hell, I even had the picket fence! In reality though, all I was really doing was forcing a square peg into a round hole—you can imagine the carnage that causes…

In the present, when I reluctantly gaze into the mirror, I do not see a man worthy of love. I am certainly not confronted with the image of an attractive figure. A truly rancorous reflection is what greets me. Thoughts and beliefs such as these made it even more challenging to bestow any sincere words of encouragement onto my dear friend. I wanted to. I even tried, but my words fell flat without ever taking flight.

Back then, when I was younger, I really did love my ex. I fell so hard and so fast for those big brown eyes and her candied lips. I thought her to be a miracle—what ever does this raven-haired beauty see in me, the repugnant beast with a wanting heart? And as it would turn out, she was less of a miracle and more of a reaffirmation that I am unlovable. Now, intellectually, I understand how inane that is to think or feel. But I really do feel it. That’s the thing about feelings; they don’t give a shit about fact nor reality—distortion is their currency, and they are rich…

In sobriety I have had glimmers of worth come to me in fleeting and waning flashes. I was even brazen enough to join online dating! (I know, tell me about it…) I haven’t gone on any dates nor had many conversations—this is likely due to the fact that I have had about as many romantic matches as Jussie Smollet has had punches to the face—not many. And of course, this does little to build upon an already miniscule molecule of confidence or feelings of attractiveness. If anything, this merely cements the belief that I am anything but!

Ironically, I don’t even really want to date anyone. I’m serious, I don’t! Isn’t that insane? Pining after the thought of someone finding me attractive and wanting my attention without actually wanting to commit to it in application? Crazy town!

But those thoughts come in: Thinking of sharing a bed with someone, intertwining our bodies as we lay still and content in one another’s company. Or maybe just sitting next to one another on the couch, enjoying the sound of rain gently tapping against the window, watching the rivulets glissade poetically. There is something about the smell of a woman’s hair when you come up from behind and pull her close to you. An intoxication not found anywhere else. It cannot be duplicated by renting a girlfriend for the night. A woman in your bed after a night at the bar, not the same. There is just something about love and the love of a woman…

I really do feel for him tonight—perhaps that is because I feel aspects of what he feels. Wanting something without really wanting it but missing it all the same—a perplexing madness of the mind.

Funnily enough, I did receive a message in the inbox of my online dating profile earlier in the evening; and far be it from me to sound so callous and judgmental—but this… woman… appeared as though she could have been Jabba The Hut’s stunt double, or at the very least, been featured on a Halloween special somewhere! Again, not a tick in the confidence box.

I don’t really know what the answer is. I don’t know what to say to my buddy to make him feel less burdened and sullen. Perhaps that’s because I don’t know how to change that record for myself either? I dunno… I have all these great things that I could say about him, and I would be sincere in doing so. But it would likely fall short of hitting the target.

This world can be a lonely place sometimes—even more so when you feel deserving of that solitude. And even more so when you can’t figure out how to help those you care about. But I will try with this: A letter to my friend.

Dear friend,

I know that life is hard right now. I understand that things feel rough and disjointed for you. And I wish that I had the words to take that all away, but I do not. What I do have are words of sincerity and unrehearsed honesty. You are a good man. You are kind and thoughtful. You are honest and you are humble. I have been blessed in this life to know of many-a-good-man—and my friend, I count you among their ilk.

A woman does not gift you your worth. Nor can she make you whole. It is only when you find love for yourself that the love from another will feel deserving and warm. We cannot hurry nor force this love to come to us. And although waiting can feel like agony and torture, we must take solace in knowing that there is an unsolicited love bestowed upon us by those around us. It may not be the love we seek, but it is the love that we deserve—even if we don’t think so—they do. If you cannot find worth in yourself, trust in those that do. My friend, you are worthy and you are loved—I love you, brother.

There have been days where a smile seems so distant and foreign to me that the thought of it is impossible. In those times, my phone will often chime to life with news of a new message. Upon checking it, you have no doubt sent something worthy of an unhinged guffaw! I now smile… My friend, for that, I must thank you.

I am not the love you want, but I am the love you deserve. I am also here to tell you that she will come… and when she does, she will see what we all see—a good, kind, generous man… and she will gift you the love that you so desire. I’m sure of it.

Be well, my friend. Goodnight, and much love to you.

Signed, your pal,

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