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Living in the not

Have you ever felt inexplicably irritable? For a week or month at a time?

Now it’s time for the truth. I have an explanation, I’ve just been reluctant to talk about it. It feels like an excuse. Part of me lives in fear… like if I say it out loud a mob of disturbingly happy people with “The Secret” will bombard me with platitudes. Then, on top of feeling grumpy, I’ll lose my lunch. The best damn yogurt I’ve had all day.

Oh, I’ve talked about the reason. I just haven’t copped to feeling run over by it. (At least, I don’t think I have.) Part of me feels shame – that my troubles don’t deserve the pity I heap on myself.

It doesn’t help that I know it’s all garbage. We all have problems, larger and smaller, and we’re allowed to be upset by them.

The good news is I’m sleeping better. A combination of advice from my doctor and friends seems to have my restless legs (somewhat) under control. The bad news is I’m still really tired. Worrying about Cheryl doesn’t help. We’re getting to the point where we’ve just about ruled in surgery. Now we talk about possible nerve damage and things that may never be fixed. Now we wonder how long her department will hold her job, or if they’ll let her work with any physical limitations.

The funny thing is, I don’t mind the extra work. I’m not a big fan of chores – as if anyone is, but doing a few extra things around the house hasn’t been a big deal. My part-time taxi gig (for Beth’s activities) started before the accident, so I can’t blame it on that. Besides, I kind of like going to Tae Kwon Do. I may grumble about it from time to time, but that’s just me being grumpy… hence this post.

That little corner of my mind – the selfish prick in me – was worried about picking up the slack. I’m happy to say I’m not quite as selfish as I thought. Much of the time the extra work feels gratifying – the one thing I have some control over, to make things a little better for Cheryl.

I feel like all of it is wasted when I succumb to a blue period. I want to be an emotional rock of support, not mud. I want to fix things, not make my own messes. Maybe fix isn’t the right word. I know I can’t fix everything. Maybe that’s my problem. I know but I don’t really understand.

Hah! Look who’s speaking in platitudes now?

Something Lost

Your mother wasn’t feeling well last night or this morning, so we called her doctor. The pain was worrisome but not unbearable. The doctor took us right in this morning and gave your mother an ultrasound to see how you were doing.

I have no medical training, but I knew enough looking at the monitor to know we will never get the chance to meet.

I noticed the nurse wasn’t saying anything, and I got the sense it was deliberate. Your mother was looking at the screen too, but I couldn’t tell if she knew what I knew, and I was no better than the nurse. If your mom had looked at either of us she would have known right away.

So now we’ve lost you before we ever had you, and my soul is filled with sorrow at the loss. Even though you were never born, the idea of you is three months old, and your loss has struck me more than I would have thought. My only memories of you are made up, fantasies of what you could have been like. We’ll never get to make real ones. I’ll never get to look into your eyes and see some of myself in you. I’ll never get to look upon your face and see some of your mother in you. I’ll never get to see you play with your older sister. I’ll never get to share my love with my second child. One day we’ll probably have another, and maybe by then I’ll have recovered from your loss. People will refer to that child as our second child, and I might too; but it’s hard to imagine now. I’m so sorry.


Why I feel content

What can I say, I feel good. Do I need to appologize? I’m not going to. For the most part I have what I want. I have a wife I love, who seems to feel the same for me. I have a healthy daughter, who is a joy (most of the time). My wife and I have steady, stable jobs. We have a place to call home, and a place we feel we can continue to call home for some time. I have hobbies I enjoy. I like my job. I have family and people nearby I can call a friend.

The only threats to my happiness lie within. I fear I don’t let people close enough. And those I do, I fear I tend to drive away. Does it have any basis in reality?

Bottom line: I worry what others think about me. More than anything else, I think that feeling drives my behavior. It’s not such a bad thing, is it? If I’m happy, and all of this is what got me here, maybe it isn’t.

In the begining

In the begining I was alone. I was alone for a long time. People were always around but I couldn’t get close. I walked through life like a shadow, with only my brooding thoughts to keep me company.

And then I grew up.

I met Cheryl and finally made a conection. I went to work and made more conections. I came home and made more.

Now my life seems rich. My prayers have been answered.

A letter to myself

If talking to yourself is a sign of mental illness, what about writing to yourself? Either way, I’m looking forward to the next month. It’s more than Cheryl can say. The only thing Cheryl likes about this month is it’s the last of her pregnancy – and my heart goes out to her. She has handled all of the discomfort with grace, something I couldn’t equal if I were here (thankfully, barring a miracle I will never to).

Sometime this month I am going to meet my first child – something I have waited almost 9 months to do. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve always thought I’d have children eventually, but I didn’t really think about it seriously until we found out Cheryl was pregnant. In some ways it still hasn’t sunk in – and it probably won’t until the day comes – the one day this month that I am not looking forward to. Oh, I’m looking forward to seeing my child for the first time, but I’m a little worried about what it will take out of Cheryl getting to that point.

I’m sure it will all be something to remember. Who knows, maybe I’ll be able to look back and say it wasn’t as bad as I thought.

I make a lousy optimist.