Red Ross

The most frequent response to my recent revelations is one of confusion and a fair amount of shock. Happy-Go-Lucky-Daddy Jason bears zero resemblance to Barely-Controlled-Rage-Monster Jason I’m introducing everyone to. It seems an incongruent melding of Truth and Twilight Zone. Hard to tell which is which sometimes. While I haven’t been that guy at his worst for several years, the truth is still painful and embarrassing and literally my only way out of this mess. I’m not here to lie. I can’t. Not anymore.

I suspect even those who are surprised by this additional bit of personal context could get there with a little thought experiment. Take the standard-issue ego and opinions you are already more than familiar with and extend it out several magnitudes. Throw in undiagnosed PTSD, liberal amounts of bourbon, a closed door and stir in an emotionally-charged crisis or two. It’s probably not so hard to imagine that explosive cocktail now is it? Not as incongruous as you originally thought? I’m sure many people’s secrets might play out in similar fashion. Life provides an illusion of normalcy. A patina of sanity.

Banishing the monster for good was really as simple as looking him dead in the eye, taking responsibility for the damage he caused and begging the forgiveness of those who were hurt in the process of me becoming more fully human. Changing myself was really the only way I could start making amends. Stop the bleeding. My continued confessional here is an effort to ensure that part of me never comes back. I ripped off the mask. Exposed the lie to the harshest medicine of all. The truth. Unvarnished and unwavering. I won’t be returning to that cage ever again. I already lost too much to a devil I know all too well. We’ve been close for years.

The most amazing part is the new me is a much nicer guy. I genuinely like him. Less reactive. More patient. Considerate. Deliberate. Funny. Kind. Reevaluates his progress frequently, seeks honest feedback and then adjusts his sails. Kaizen. Continuous improvement. I know. Doesn’t sound like me at all, huh? Telling my ego to take a hike was literally the best thing I could have ever done, for me and my family. My relationship with my son has never been tighter. I love my new job and have yet to run into any of the same negative issues I had in the past, even six months into a new gig. The energy is completely different. It’s tough to explain to anyone who hasn’t gone through a similar transition.

It’s as if the old me is gone, but not everyone has read the memo yet. Therein lies the biggest challenge to date. Trusting that the truth has already healed my now, no matter what the future might plan for me next.