Those that know me can guess or will know what happened, and for those that wouldn't know, too bad - this isn't the place, and besides that, it has nothing to do with what I'm trying to achieve in writing this.
I guess in part, I'm doing what I have to in order to clear a guilty conscience. It's more than that, though. It's also about recognising that I screwed up, and that I want to make things right.
Before I write any more, I'll throw in a jump - keep reading if you want. This qualifies as the "life" part of "NBA, life and whatever else I feel like!" description of my blog.
During this time, I was an emotional wreck. With the help of a handful of excellent friends, I was able to put a smile on my face, and until I was alone with my thoughts keep myself distracted from my misery.
I'll stop short of naming names, because I don't want to unintentionally cross any lines. These people know who they are, and that's what matters.
Unfortunately, I made two mistakes that have since cost me two valuable friendships.
The state of mind I was in made me ignorant to the fact that the people that cared about me were trying to help. I was jumping to conclusions, falsely accusing friends of trying to undermine me - I was convinced that everybody was working against me. It was a false accusation directed at one who had done so much for me; offered me a job so I could leave real estate, offered up numerous gems of advice and was in general, just a really good bloke. Actually, the first thing I did wrong by him was steal from him - at the time, it didn't feel like stealing, but in hindsight there's no hiding from the truth. Then, being the friend that he was, he showed genuine concern for the other person involved in this saga, and for some stupid, stupid reason I convinced myself that he had ulterior motives - something like cutting my grass - and I unleashed the most vicious, most unjustified tirade of insults and accusations... words I wish I was never so blind to speak. That was six months ago, and I haven't heard from him since. I'm sorry mate, and I miss being your friend.
The second friend happened to be my best friend. He was there for me night and day, preserving my sanity by keeping my mind busy. The saddest part is, my self pity and ignorance hid from me the fact that I'd hurt him. I felt that things weren't quite the same, but I put it down to his busy uni schedule and my responsibilities as a father that we hardly talked anymore. Stupid, stupid, stupid. A few weeks, maybe a month after what happened to me, he started going through a similar situation, but I paid it no attention. Of course, I didn't realise my ignorance - and it most definitely was - but he sure did. Maybe I seemed apathetic. One night in particular, I left him to catch up with someone else. I don't know why I made that choice, an act of selfishness to neglect our friendship for my own needs. The truth of it is, he was there for me when I needed him - always, no questions asked - but when he needed a mate I was too absorbed in my own problems and needs to be the friend that he wanted, that he deserved. It was only a week or so ago that I learned the truth, and that was by way of a third party. I'd hurt him that much that it took somebody else asking to get the truth out, and if it wasn't for that person asking, I probably still wouldn't know.
It's been on my mind for a long time now, but it hasn't taken me this long to do something about it because I don't care. Before I said anything to anyone else, I wanted to first be able to understand what I'd actually done, to let myself appreciate the gravity of my mistakes. I consider it a lesson learned, and now that my eyes have been opened it surprises me, the prevalence of narcissism in our society. I'm never going to be a humanitarian, a missionary or the founder of a charity. Well, I might, you never know, but I don't see it happening. That's not the point. The point is that now, I know the value of compassion, of magnanimity, of modesty and knowing when your problems should take a back seat to those around you. I've thought of something to sum it up:
"He who lacks humility, lacks friendship."
It's that simple. Stay humble, be compassionate and put others before you. If you don't, you'll probably pay the same price as I - and when you realise it, you'll feel like an idiot.