It is National Poetry Month and throughout all of April I have seen some really excellent lyricists shine on the digital screen. There have also been some really politically/professionally motivated (as is so common in the education profession) or ludicrously, ridiculously terrible (can a poem be ear-splitting if not read aloud?) that reveal parts of human creativity more suited to mime than rhyme. Hopefully, this falls somewhere closer to the former than the latter…
Living the calorie life
Never able to find peace
Never able to find a piece
(of cake or pie or pizza)
Enjoyment of food is always dependent
Enjoyment of food is never with dependents,
there is always a darkness at the table with me
The search for perfection in calories in
The search for perfection in calories out,
the only mathematical equation that will drive you insane
the only mathematical equation that will leave you un-satiated
Eleven years ago today, my wife’s father passed away suddenly. The loss continues to reverberate in her, her relationships, her moods. I have always tried to be understanding about this. Since I had no frame of reference, I could be understanding even if I didn’t understand.
Upcoming is another anniversary though. An anniversary that made me understand, since the loss was as impactful… on me.
I have applied to a position of responsibility at my school, which required me to update my resume with regards to my leadership credentials. I went through my old computer files and project binders, compiling all the information I needed (and holy shit, there is a lot of information) and wisely, I went through my calendars to see if I missed anything.
I hadn’t marked it down, but I knew it right when I saw it. April 2013. The last Friday of the month. The day that I left early for a meeting, came home on my lunch to give my wife a kiss and found her on the floor kissing someone else. The air sucked out of my lungs once again. The feeling in my toes became the feeling in my stomach and the feelings in my heart suffered another loss. I was reminded of the day that the innocence of our marriage died.
Impactfulness aside, since that cannot be objectively measured, my wife’s loss of her father is akin to our marriage’s loss. However, one of the differences is that our recovery can happen; another of the differences is that I am reminded, constantly, loudly, without cause.
I wish she was more empathetic with this loss, was more understanding about this loss. It takes effort. It not only takes desire or “try,” but enough mental cognition to follow through, to remind yourself enough times so that it becomes a part of you. It does not happen overnight and it does not happen just by wanting. It takes a willingness to be wrong (because God knows I fucked up in the beginning of our relationship when trying to be understanding about her Dad) and a desire to keep going through the hard.
She will cry today and I will hold her close. I will cry on April 26th.
Something that my wife said yesterday (inquisitiveness/curiosity, not malicious) stuck with me. It kept me up for a while last night as it swirled through my already rough brain. She asked me why I talk about the world doing this to me, why I feel like this is more outward than inward.
I got upset at the beginning, as it seemed like an abdication of responsibility. I will no doubt agree that some of this is inward: the distress I feel about eating and food and restriction and sitting down, the constant need to be doing what’s right or worthwhile, the never-ending lights and catastrophic darkness. I will take responsibility for these, but this is the blackness, the thing that creeps in when I am weak.
I will take responsibility for these, but not for the cracks and scars that let the blackness creep in this time. I was left alone and had to become my own advocate (this is probably the reason why my wife feels I talk about what was done to me, because someone had to). I don’t deserve to put these things on myself, not do I deserve to be alone in pulling myself out of it. As I’ve said before, I could, I know that. I could decide that I will look at the world differently, through glasses fitted for someone else, through coping mechanisms that are cold and inhuman. I could decide to be self-reliant, be self-sufficient and in doing so, be by myself.
So I will suffer through, waiting for the extended hands to help me up. I have glimmers of them, some in small doses and others in undependably sporadic large doses. But they are there. There is enough hope in these to keep me suffering, to keep me deciding to ask for help, to help me keep the faith. There is a house not in New Orleans, but one on this path of recovery that I want. My dream house is not a physical entity, but one of love and compassion and support. My dream house is out there, and I will wait for it, because I didn’t deserve this hole, didn’t deserve these cracks. I deserve love. I guess I’m still a little upset.
I said that I would explore the whole “guilt sitting down” thing, so here it goes. This weekend, it took a bottle of wine and running my legs out for me to sit down. I don’t know why I get stuck in this pattern, I know I don’t want to – it isn’t logical.
Logic would state that I feel bloated now and have for the last 2-3 weeks (maybe a veganism thing, more carbs, but holy fuck is it ever fucking with my head), so that can’t be the result of sitting down (because I haven’t been!). Logic would also state that my weight stayed stable last year when I went through a period of time being able to sit down, so I shouldn’t worry about putting on weight. Logic would furthermore state that there are more important things than weight.
Perhaps it is the overwhelming guilt based on what happened last time, because of how bad it got. And so I don’t want to fuck up and believe in myself and think fuck it, I’m doing the right thing and being the person I need to be, and then… being blindsided by the fact that I’m 135 lbs and being carried into the hospital because I believed in myself. But even that fear isn’t what is keeping me moving, keeping me standing, guilting me into not sitting. Because it isn’t logical to be stopped by fear.
Maybe it is because I believe my urges are bad, they’ve led me into darkness before. As a result, I see my urges as evil, I see them as bad things, as an unchecked id. This isn’t just with food either; it extends to everything, even with going to the bathroom. I can’t just go to the bathroom, going to the bathroom is predicated by something. It is a pattern (going before eating, after _______, during _______), and being controlled by a pattern is a bad thing and it is a bad thing to be controlled by something else. But how is this logical either? Because it isn’t logical to be this distressed by going to the bathroom.
Probably, the amped up distress and stress and anxiety and AAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (I have a bruise on my stomach right now from pulling so hard on the “FAT”) is because I’m getting attacked from all fucking sides by a universe that I need to be kind, I need to be caring, I need to be beautiful. It shouldn’t be this hard to keep going, to find what’s kind and caring and beautiful. I’m looking, but I’m so freaking worn down and that’s why there’s the guilt – the illogical blackness creeps in and screams its death song.