animal farm

For over twenty years, I’ve shared practically every aspect of my life with you. If you’re attentive, you know my favorite haunts, my meals, my daily activities, the ins and outs of my life. The casual ones of you know my fears, my dreams, my demons, and the edges of my humanity. As time and my audience grew, so did my need to outdo myself at every subsequent step. How can I top that? How can I share something new of myself with the world? What can I do next that will make you cluck your tongues and say “Oh, Adam?”

Over years, you became a global circle of friends. I engaged with as many of you as possible in as many different ways as I could. I didn’t just use social media – I lived it. And as I shared more and more, I gained the trust and respect of so many of you – some who knew me well, some who mostly knew me through my words, and most who knew me not at all. Whether you approved or disapproved of what I shared, I fed on the attention and grew hungrier and bolder with every year.

And recently, in the pursuit of total transparency, I shed myself of every demon and skeleton in my closet, discussing a litany of past behaviors that ranged from disappointing to deplorable. To many, my need to write about the things I’ve done seemed self serving, although that was not my intention (of course, every blog post is self serving to a degree). My efforts to describe the process of changing from the person I was (someone who I despised) to who I’ve become today, came across to a vocal portion of you as congratulatory – once again, not my intention, but I understand why. And while I anticipated most of the reactions I received from you, in my complete ignorance I never considered the betrayal that so many of you felt and still feel. Worse still, actions of mine came to light that I have no recollection of doing, were unaware that they had happened, and/or inadvertently caused pain to people I cared for. My post triggered bad memories for many of you of your own unrelated experiences, sowed distrust among those of you who truly matter the world to me, and thanks in no small part to my poor decision to rely on flashy writing with no context and click-bait titles, instilled you with an unshakable sense of fear.

I am not the person who I once was – the one who relied on influence and power to control every aspect of his life. At this point, some of you will roll your eyes and stop reading, and that’s your prerogative. However, for the rest of you – I no longer engage in manipulative behaviors. I am honest with my intentions, my desires, my plans and my past. I respect the privacy, needs, and boundaries of others, and I have done so for several years. “But what about . . .” you say, and I will happily discuss details of anything you’d like with you privately to offer context and prove my point demonstrably.

It doesn’t matter, though.

None of this is the point of this post.

This is the point: I’m done.

For over twenty years, I’ve created for, engaged with, and thrived off of you. Whether your reactions were positive or negative, I gorged myself on them, and it slowly became a cycle from which none of us emerged unscathed. Some of you found yourselves becoming the type of people we hate the most, others have been emotionally traumatized, and the foundation of trust has been destroyed. Nobody has walked away from this feeling okay.

So, that’s it. It’s time for me to create for myself, not for you. Time to assess the damage I have left in my wake and get the help I need. To continue to strive to be a better person, but this time without accolades or condemnation from anyone else. For the first time since I’ve been an adult, I’m doing this just for me. It’s time to channel all of that energy I used to put into connecting with each of you into reconnecting with the healthiest and best aspects of myself. Time to stop living in the world of social media and just live in the world.

I’ll be limiting my online interactions primarily to writing here, and you can subscribe (or not – please don’t feel compelled to follow along). I am available by email or phone, and on social media to an extremely limited level, but it’s time to figure out who I am without you.

To each of you still reading this, I have three final things to say:

First, I’m sorry. I’m sorry I hurt you with my actions, regardless of my intentions. I promise never to be someone who does that again.

Secondly, my friendships with each of you had meaning that was substantive and real, and I don’t judge anyone for the way in which they reacted to such an awful betrayal. The only way I can demonstrate my true character is by understanding and moving on. Those decades of secrets and skeletons I’ve been trusted with will always stay between us, because I’m not who I used to be.  I’ve become someone who treats others like I would want to be treated. Maybe there are a few of you who will recognize what your friendship means to me eventually and reach out, but if not, that’s okay too.

And finally, thank you. Thank you to those of you who sent messages or called with support, who understood my intentions even while they were disappointed in what I did. Thank you to those of you who reached out for clarity and didn’t rush to judgment. You have been an instrumental lifeline – even if you reached out with support, but later chose to step away – you made the effort and that means the world to me. Thank you.

But even more than that, thank you to every single one of you who called me out and continue to do so, with fury and righteousness. Please know that I understand, and I hear you, and I’m not upset. What you did was necessary and important, not just for every voice that you speak for, but for me. Thank you for your behaviors – whether you’re truly proud of them or not – by channeling that anger and rage my way, you’ve helped me as well.

I know that I never would have decided on my own to walk away from my audience. It had to be wrenched from my grasp with purpose and condemnation. This stagnation I’ve been feeling over the past few years would have grown worse as I existed in this comfortable life I’d built. Only by removing all options would I be forced to make the changes I needed to make in my life to find true health, wellness, and happiness. Between my subconscious guiding me as I burnt my life to the ground, and each of you being vigilant champions of justice and fairness, I can finally step away for good, knowing I’m leaving little behind.