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I don't think most people will know what I'm talking about and that's OK.

My dad has a very particular way of viewing the world and I respect him more than almost anyone else I've met. We disagree a lot about all kinds of shit, but his intelligence is unmistakeable. I often don't really know how to feel about it

I think he's always known about my problem, it's evident in comments he's made to myself and others before. But he never seemed to make any move to get me to see a youth psychiatrist about it and for a long time I wondered why that was. But then I thought back to an interaction we had a long time ago.

It was probably my freshman year of high school and I was on the crosscountry team. My father, he was a bit of a runner himself (lifted, too when he could, but he worked a lot & had trouble finding the time). We were doing timed sets together at his behest, running on the track beside the school. It was a tough workout, pushing VO2 Max by design at the least.

I'd used my inhaler beforehand, but I never felt like it did enough; my lungs were always the first thing to go in a workout and I'd always be way behind the other kids... which i guess is a great metaphore for my whole life, really. Anyway, we were a few laps in, we came upon a break, and I was wheezing my damn lungs out. And I say to him, "Dad, I can't do this... my asthma is killin' me." But he tells me to keep going anyway and ignore it.

And so we ran the rest of the laps. I didn't die, merely wished I would have. My breaths, if I remember correctly, are real high-pitched almost like a squack. And my dad says that when you say, "Oh I'm disabled" it gives you that excuse to give up when it's time to push yourself, and hold yourself to a lower standard.

Well Dad, I ignored it for as long as I could and I tried holding myself to the standards that were created for the rest of humanity for years. And maybe that did force me to push myself a lot, and maybe that did make me stronger in some ways. But it's ten, fifteen years later and I've given everything I had. I'm twenty-one now dad, and I feel like I'm a thousand and I can't pretend any longer.

I'm ready to find myself for real this time. Love you in a way you'll never understand.

❤️

 
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