(Allow to be blunt here, this is long and gets pretty personal. I completely understand if you do not read it!)
The past few years have been pretty rough on most of us. I'm sure almost all of us could agree on that, right? Living in constant fear of a potentially deadly virus, the turmoil of social unrest at every turn, and the world seemingly waking up to a lot of the injustices of modern society in general. We've lost loved ones, had panic attacks, potential death scares, etc. I'm not unique in these pieces of suffering.
And like some, I've vowed to try to survive the tide and rise above it in some fashion of triumph. The past year and a half or so has been one of self reflection and working to heal decades worth of mental wounds, overcoming negative traits, and just...trying to improve. I'm sure plenty of you who may read this have been on a similar journey as well.
The past two years I've began to truly wrestle with my mental issues, of which there were more than I thought. I was diagnosed with PTSD years ago due to some reasons I'm still not fully comfortable talking about, and some that I am. But regardless, despite having sought and received some treatment for this over the years little has worked. I can go weeks without a single episode, but then out of seemingly nowhere my world comes crashing down on my head. Feeling caged, paranoid, intensely and painfully vigilant for threats that most likely don't even exist, and more. It's left me a very cynical person at times, and a downright negative one others. Sometimes my pessimism borders on nihilism when it really starts to churn. Those are the really bad times.
I've been striving hard to recognize these moments and eradicate them in order to move forward instead of being stagnant. I finally found a new therapist who has done a lot to try to make things a bit easier in my journey. But then came up an idea to test for a few other things as well. ADD was the big one, and she was right to consider it. Definitely have that as well. Explains a LOT of things once we figured that out. Hopefully I'll start some medication for that in the very near future.
So I've begun to not only try to heal some of these old wounds, but also just try to stay more positive and be a better person. This isn't something that happens overnight of course. I know this, but even still I get so frustrated with myself when I find myself slipping back into my old ways. At times it feels insurmountable. Feels absolutely impossible and that I'm just stuck forever. This more so than ever physically - I've also been trying to get back into better shape physically alongside the mental tightrope walk. And while I DO see some progress mentally, physically I feel worse than ever. I know how it happened, years and years of just not giving a single shit. Not caring rather I lived or died. Living fast and hard, consequences be damned. And then even as I cooled down from that lifestyle, I began to find comfort in eating junk. And I was constantly in a war with myself mentally, so I was constantly eating to find comfort.
In the end though, excuses be damned - I'm almost forty. I'm happy that I've been actively trying to move forward. I've made a tremendous amount of progress in this past year alone. The time for excuses and procrastination is done and over. My wife and I have been battling together, as she has a couple of serious things she is perosnally going through that I will not discuss out of respect for her privacy. We've became closer than ever and realized how much we rely on one another and how much we help each other. My son, who is still a boy of nine has also unfortunately inhrited both of his parent's mental issues as well. So we've been trying to help him understand it and learn to deal with it, rather than sweeping it under the rug as it so often was in the generation in which I grew up.
While there's a lot to work on and address, there's so very much to be thankful for as well of course. This is the first holiday season in years that I've not absolutely dreaded. I'm stressed to high hell due to work and other things going on, but I actually look forward to Christmas this year. We have something special lined up for my son. He'll be receiving his first guitar this year. Something he's been begging for for years now. We tested the waters for that earlier in the year with my own guitar and a friend having brought over his acoustic. He feel right in line with it and much like his time with the keyboard, has already began to show raw pure talent in being able to pick apart things and play them purely by ear. He doesn't even know chording yet, and can already play basic melodies of songs he loves. I'm blown away. He does this on his keyboard as well, and while both my wife and myself have some natural talent in the ways of music, I still could have never dreamed that our child would demonstrated such natural talent like this. We're very proud of him and fully intend to encourage his desire to create music so long as he's showing interest in it. I do not even remotely give a shit that I've put myself in debt to ensure he will begin with a GOOD guitar that doesn't sound like shit and actually stays in tune.
The wife and I are so, so excited to see his face when he gets this guitar. And equally excited to hear him progress with it over time. This alone, even if nothing else will have made all of these long nights at work worth it. I like my job, but it's been very taxing, as most retail jobs are during this time of year. More so because of health reasons between my wife and I than anything else, but it is what it is. I work with some fantastic people that have been exceptionally understanding of my complex scheduling needs. I'm super thankful of that.
Of course with that bit of good, must come some bad. Things on either end of my wife and I's immediate families haven't been spectacular. In my own corner my relationship with my mother and my brother has deteriorated to the point of quite possibly irrepairable damage. Ever since my father passed away things have been sinking further and further in this regard. I've come to realize just how detrimental my mother's influence and upbringing of me was to my overall well being. In short though, they're both extremely selfish people with little regard for anyone's struggles other than their own. And as I've began to try to move forward in life, I've realized more and more than they were heavily dragging me back down almost anytime I'd have any serious interactions with them.
See, I grew up in a very family oriented upbringing. The thought of cutting immediate family out of your life was considered an ultimate sin. But the lines have been drawn in recent years and I realize that trying to ignore how things really are now is very detrimental to any progress I've so far made. Staying stagnant in that bubble of selfishness and toxicity will ruin what I've worked so hard to overcome. So I must move on. It's a mental struggle that weighs heavily on me, even if I KNOW I need to do this.
And well on my wife's front, it's not as complicated but altogether a worse situation. Her mother is not well. She hasn't been for years really. But it's REALLY bad now. This might well be our last holiday season with her...if she makes it that far. My wife and her mother are VERY close so it tears at her every single day. I don't want to go much deeper into this as it's not my place really. But it's not a good situation, and one that has no good answer. It is however just one more reason we're really trying to make this Christmas a memorable one and as good of one as we can.
The scale threatens tip too far in one direction or the other, but I can't let it. Perhaps you may have noticed I haven't been around as much lately, well this blog explains a bit of why I guess. Lots of self improvement, a very busy workload, etc. But know that it's all for the better! I'm alive and well enough, and trying to just keep on improving. It's not easy, but we're getting there. If things are bothering you, please don't forget that you CAN improve and overcome them. You're never truly stuck so long as you're still here.
If you read this rant, I appreciate it. I just needed to get it out and felt a few of you might even have wondered where I've fucked off to lately. I hope you all are balancing the scale of your life well and I wish you all happy holidays.