Anyone who has gone through dental problems knows what it is like. Maybe not when the infection gets to the point that the pain is shooting up the side of your face, because most people don't wait that long.
I waited because I wasn't able to afford it.
That's the truth. Or at least part of it.
The rest is that I had read that the infection could kill you - and I wanted to die.
There were nights that I thought "If I wasn't so much of a coward, I would just end it right now". I really wanted it, but I couldn't do it.
I had tried a few years before - before the divorce, after the first time I found out that my wife had cheated on me.
It was the worst plan ever - take a bunch of pills and never wake up. I did.
But I completely forgot that they were homeopathic! I got really sick, but that's all.
So I knew that I wasn't "smart enough" to actually be successful. My only real option was to let something else kill me.
I had friends that I could talk to on the phone. But none of them were local, and most of them had lives. I loved and was loved in return - but even that felt as hopeless as it turned out to be.
The people that I could talk to on the phone, they helped keep me alive - and most of them I knew from having started LJ Idol.
This was what Season 4 looked like from inside my apartment. Me, barely holding on to what little I had left inside me, because I had make a commitment to the contestants that I would finish the season.
There were people who legitimately hated each other - and some who just liked to pretend that they did in order to get under their skin.
There were factions and people trying to cheat (or "prove a point" as one put it).
Splinter groups being formed and threats against my life (from people who had my address and could have got there) were made.
LJ Idol was all that I had. Or more accurately, at that moment, it felt like all that I had - and there were people openly talking about how badly they wanted to *destroy it*, because I wouldn't let them be in charge, and I eliminated them when they had the fewest votes. It "wasn't fair" and they said that I "had to pay".
They formed their own versions of Idol and more or less crashed and burned (one is still around, pretty much on life support. They were the ones who recently came back, trying to recruit people) because they didn't have that one thing that I had - I was *living for Idol*. No one was going to put more of themselves into it, because no one ever needed it as much as I did.
I wanted to die, but seeing these people who loved this thing that I had created, this gift that I was giving to them, that was a bright spot. It was something that I could look at and say "These people have changed from this and produced work that would not exist without Idol. That would not have happened if I was not still alive".
For all of the people who wanted to make my life -or each other's lives - hell, there were people who just genuinely wanted to be there, to experience what the group had to offer, and take something positive away from being a part of it.
The dental problems were eventually addressed. Relationships came and went. I got out of my apartment more and actually made some friends.
Even the things that seemed too big to handle, they ended up being handled.
It was a crazy/completely fucked up chapter - and I'm really glad that I was able to see how it played out.
I wasn't being a coward. I just needed something to focus on, something to "be brave for" when being brave for myself wasn't enough.
Those feeling though, even now, they wash over me from time to time. It's not really a "dark cloud", it's more like a plastic bag someone has put over my face, pulling it tight.
In those moments, the "what if" comes into my head. But I have so much more going on in my life right now. It's not just "living for Idol", I'm at a point that I want to live *for me*. Because damnit, things are good. Even the bad shit that comes from every day life and relationships - it's still pretty damn good.
Idol has been a part of all of that for me. It was there when I needed something to hold onto it.
Whatever you might be going through out there, I hope that it can be there for you too.