Thursday, May 25, 2023

I Stand Alone

"Let yourself be gutted. Let it open you. Start here." - Cheryl Strayed

I'll begin by admitting that I am normally not one to openly share my personal experiences with anyone outside of my little circle of trusted family and friends. This blog is in direct violation to my internal will to keep things locked away but I have to continually remind myself of the reason why I started this ten years ago. I needed a space to rid my mind of the intrusive thoughts so I didn't end up in a straight jacket, muttering sweet nothings to an imaginary friend in padded room. I search out comfort, just not the "padded cell" type of comfort.

The material since my return has been dark in nature. It is the ugly truth surrounding my life currently and as soon as the thoughts and words are out, things around here will lighten in nature and I will be free to bare my soul in a different, much more constructive way. This is necessary now.

Five Stages of Grief In Divorce

1. Denial
Simply put, there was no denying this split. It was long overdue and in fact, we put it off for far too long. The reasons may have been different for each of us but they all culminated in the current agreement to go are separate ways, and to do so amicably.

3. Bargaining
Again, there was none of this. We both concluded that this was necessary and the only real decisions that we needed to make were (A) Are attorneys going to get involved? (B) Do we agree to file no-contest and split everything 50/50? (C) Will I and my family have free reign to see my daughter whenever we/she chooses?

4. Depression
Ah yes. My old friend. I know you so well. And yes, I experienced depression but it is an old shoe.
I have felt depression and anxiety in some capacity for a very long time. Probably beginning in my early teens, I suspect.

5. Acceptance
There was a palpable amount of tension in at home. On occasion, we would find breathing room but it was short lived. It was affecting every aspect of life and it was evident, we could not bear it any longer. A necessary, albeit, painful choice had to me made. 

2. Anger
While reading through this, you may have noticed that I skipped number two. It was purposeful. The order as you see it is my experience. The anger came later.
Through this process, I have had an ample amount of time to sit and think unhindered. I simply could not feel anything when taking meds. Demeaning things were said in the past and it normally went in one ear and got caught up with the rest of the fuzz. I never acted on any of this shit because it didn't register. Now, it registers and I am very aware. Even during this journey of renewed life and purpose, I still combat anger. I am not angry every waking second but at times, I remember something from the past and the anger intensifies. After a short time, I am able to free myself from it mostly, but it still lingers. The day is coming though, a day when the hurt and sting will have no place in my thinking. I will be free to forgive. The anger will simply dissipate with nothing more than a whimper. On that day, I will truly be free.

"You take power back by letting people go." - Emma Xu
This post was short and to the point. My intentions are to never offend. I am here to empower my own thought process, not to drag anyone down. It is honest and it is painful, rehashing all of these feelings and buried emotions but it is absolutely necessary for me to move forward confidently.

This musical piece has been my new found mantra. Believe me, I am not alone. I have a wonderful support system in place but this still strikes a nerve when I hear it.

I Stand Alone - Godsmack

Wednesday, May 17, 2023

Send The Pain Below

"Drugs take you to hell, disguised as heaven." - Donald Lyn Frost

For years, I hid my true self. I locked away all of my dreams and aspirations. I settled in many ways and if it was anything, it was comfortable. I did/do not like excessive amounts of drama. I like my world cozy and with as little conflict as possible. I was prescribed medication to curb the emotional rollercoaster I was on and it did work as intended but like many things, having too much of some things ends up being the wrong thing. You form a routine and naturally that routine becomes a part of your norm. The meds were supposed to get me past the hump and in time, I would be weened from them and I would learn techniques to combat the obsessive thoughts by using good old fashioned brain power, exercise to help brain function and to get back on the rails of positive thinking habits. But, as I dove deeper into the rabbit hole, the medication took on a life of it's own. I needed it for stability and the thought of living free from it gave me a great deal of, you guessed it, anxiety. All of the research, all of the books, the articles, the testimonies, family encouragement, etc. was supposed to empower but it simply did not work for me. Like any addict, I convinced myself that I could not function without it. So, I continued to pop pills and I did so on a fairly extensive regiment. Lithium, Abilify, Flufoxamine, Zoloft and Ativan. You name it, I was currently taking it or had taken it at one time and I was unaware of the repercussions that using for so long would have on my being. It changed me. I was no longer me. I was lost internally and I wasn't even aware.

"Addiction is the only prison where the locks are on the inside." Unknown

That is truth. No matter how hard my loved ones pushed for change, I was simply not able, or at least, I believed I was not able. I just kept slipping deeper and deeper into a very dark place. I was not living at all. I shut the door on most everyone and in time, I ended up exactly where I am today. The only thing that was going to save me was painful and drastic change. 

"Fall seven times, stand up eight." Japanese Proverb

I have heard this quote before and in truth, it did not motivate me until now. I can happily say that I am free of medication. I decided to ween myself off of everything. I was tired of feeling nothing. I wanted to feel again. I am an emotional being. I sob when things go horribly wrong. I have been known to tear up a bit when I experience an abundance of joy and I am okay with that. Feeling things again is going to take some getting used to but I want it badly. I want to experience pain again, as well as true joy and I am done telling myself that I need chemicals to make happiness happen. 

Over the past couple of weeks, I have rekindled my passion for things. I am sensitive but I will not allow someone to tip toe around me. I am gaining strength on a daily basis and it feels so good to feel again. I will get knocked down, I am sure, but no one person will destroy me and yes, I will get back up. 

I do hope that if you happen across this blog that you find strength if you need it. I have spent the last fifteen years pushing the pain down and not out. It is now time to take back myself and let the chips fall where they may. 

Tuesday, May 09, 2023


“Nothing endures but change.” ― Heraclitus 

 It isn't a mystery. We all change over time. Some of the time, change is for the better but, in my experience, it is normally not welcome. I don't tolerate change very well. Even the slightest change can alter the delicate line I walk. Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. Emphasis on the word obsessive. I get something stuck in my mind and in turn, will obsess over it until I break or it breaks. Usually, depending on the severity of the issue, I break first. As a side effect, I experience a great deal of anxiety. With the help of therapy and meds, I am able to fend off most of the anxiety attacks. I have researched OCD a great deal and over time, I have figured out bits and pieces of different techniques that aid in calming me down.

 The big stuff though...That is tough.

 The year 2022 can kiss off.
 February 2022, we lost my mom unexpectedly.
 September 2022, we lost my mother in law unexpectedly.

 Both had some health concerns but they were not stricken with anything that had us on alert.
 A shock to the system for all of us.

I looked up to both women for different reasons. My mother was stubborn to a fault but taught me how to love unconditionally. She loved her family that way. She loved my sisters and I, my dad, her grandchildren, my wife and the rest of our relatives with her whole heart.
My sisters and I were fortunate to have lived long lives with her at our side. She fought for us fearlessly, even when we were wrong.

My mother in law was an unbelievably strong person. She had seen her fair share of this ugly world and through it all, she never wavered in her faith that God's promises to us all would be fulfilled in time. Even our wrong doings, our faults and our sins would be wiped clean from the slate at the end. She still found a way to accept me even when I was at my worst.

I miss these two women dearly.

  "I don't know that love changes. People change. Circumstances change." - Nicholas Sparks 

 Let's move forward a touch, shall we? The year 2023. And like 2022, it can go to hell also.

My wife and I had a good run but in the end, I was simply not able to change and grow enough.

For twenty one years and some change, we were able to hold it together but it just fell apart over time.
We have made the decision to move forward but not with each other.

"All you need is love!" 
The Beatles had it wrong.

You also need structure, stability and have the ability to be open with those with whom you care deeply. I had the love part in check but the rest was difficult and it may have been my undoing.
 Sometimes, it's just not enough. Sometimes, one or both parties just get to the point where they have had to fight too hard and they grow too weary to continue on.

Years of locking myself up internally and not being available to her had finally taken a toll that was unrepairable. I'll live with that for the remainder of this life. My focus now is to build a stronger mind. One that can withstand the hardships that can spring up during life and support and nurture a future relationship, if I am meant to have one.

The best experience to come out of our relationship is the birth of our baby girl. I never knew what real joy was until she came into my life. Now, I have an opportunity to reconnect with her after so many years of being distant. I am fully engaged and willing to be the daddy she needs now.
I still have a few tethers holding me in place and she is one of them.

It has been a long while since I have posted on this platform and I do look forward to posting again, as I find it very therapeutic. It is a place to loose some of the thoughts that rattle around upstairs. I also enjoy the relationships I build with other bloggers. 

For the most part, I try to end many of my posts with a musical number related to the post material and this will be no different. I have chosen an oldie but goodie, as it pertains to my current situation completely. I hope it gives you hope if your down or adds to an already decent day if your up. 
Be well.

Change - Blind Melon