Ahhh…and here it is, the season that brings families together. Many people look forward to this time of year. Prior to 2013, I was one of those people. That year, a lot of things changed. I was diagnosed with cancer for the first time, I lost my father, got a divorce, fell in love, found out about my new to me jealousy, and also discovered that something just wasn’t so right with my brain. Prior to that year I had never missed the holidays with my family. Thanksgiving has always been the staple holiday for us. We celebrate Christmas too but we are less traditional with Christmas. For Thanksgiving we usually start the day pretty early in the kitchen as a whole family. I’m always in charge of the bird, mashed potatoes, and macaroni and cheese. This was all prior to 2013. Everything changed.
Since 2013 I have been a completely unreliable …hermit. After my trip to Atlanta and that whole ordeal that happened back in October I didn’t trust myself to get on one of those chairs that fly in the sky to meet the family for Thanksgiving. Not only did I bum family out with the news that I wouldn’t be making it this year, but also myself (probably more than they were bummed because I over-analyze and make myself feel horrible). I hadn’t really felt that low since probably …July. It wasn’t a good feeling. As a result I began slipping back into my paranoid state, hermit-ting, and my grades in school started to plummet. Things were not looking good for my mind. This devastated me because when I really think about where I was a few months ago and where I am now, I’ve come a long way. A few months ago I wasn’t even sure if I wanted to have surgery because I thought that if someone didn’t want me to fight, then why should I? But I had the surgery, decided to fight, I’m here, I’m going to be ok. However, this guilt and anxiety I felt over telling my family that I wasn’t going to make it left me feeling as though I was going to cycle back into my depressive state. That state is the hardest for me because it’s so hard to do anything. There’s really no way to explain it but those of you who suffer from any mental illness know exactly what I’m talking about. To someone who doesn’t suffer, there’s no way that you could understand. Little did I know that my family had been planning a surprise if I had said that I wasn’t going to see them this year. Rarely can one pull a surprise over on me, but the day before Thanksgiving I received a text from my oldest sister stating they would be in the city in one hour. I couldn’t see my face but I could feel one of the biggest smiles I’ve had in a while. Their presences was much needed/welcomed. Not going to lie, there were times when I had to excuse myself for some mental rest …and that devastated me. Why should I need a mental break from my family. The people who love me. Then I realized, Christopher …you have Bipolar Disorder. It’s ok …this isn’t a race. Maybe I won’t be ok tomorrow…next week…next month …and I’ll bounce back and forth …but each day I can take another step towards my goal, yea? It’s so hard because for the past few years I have been consumed by my failures that I forgot to see all the things that I have accomplished. So as of today, for this past week I completed all of my school assignments on time, went to a public gym twice, and my favorite grilled cheese restaurant once. I should be be happy about this progress and I was but then …
Then there are days like today. Grey …rainy. During these times I often find myself in deep thoughts replaying moments over in my head and analyzing the “whys” and the “what if’s.” Not sure why I do that to myself, usually puts me in a foul mood. Luckily, I had some help today in getting over my foul mood. Two reasons, my new, came out of nowhere support (she’s good for my mind I tell you)…and one of my friends who now lives here came over with his little humans to watch the SEC championship game with me because he knew I wouldn’t be up for leaving my apartment. I never even have to explain to him he just knows. His little humans are pretty cool, for lack of a better term. I’m writing this as he’s in the spare room doing the daddy diaper business. I never thought the two of us would ever be in this situation. Him the loving father, and me not a father. I always thought I would be a father (everyone’s told me what a great one I would be – I always wondered why things like that were said) and had briefly thought that perhaps that’s what was missing from my life when I married someone that I didn’t love and figured marriage and a little human would help make me happy. But then I found out that kids were not what was missing. I soon learned that I could be completely happy without a little human…completely happy loving someone.
Honestly, since my diagnosis I am terrified…terrified of passing on my disease. Terrified of my unreliability and uncertainty of how I’ll be one day to the next. I once was told by someone who loved me, that I would be an incredible father but ….that I need to be better at keeping my word and be a little less spontaneous. Those words still sit with me today, obviously but I’ve come to terms with not being a father. The thought of not being one actually was pretty easy to make when love was involved. Each person has their own happiness, and your happiness might be different from the person sitting next to you. What I do know is that Josh has found his. When I look at Josh from all angles and reflect on who he used to be and see who he is now, a great father …someone I never thought could be a “great” father (never even imagined it really – and my imagination is pretty incredible) ..it’s very heartwarming to me. Is it weird to say that I’m extremely proud of him? …so much so that it really makes me smile. Well I may would not be a good father but at least I can buy some kick ass clothes for said little humans. I scooped up all this below for some of my friends little humans Xmas present for a little less than $50 on cyber Monday + free shipping (5 pair of full PJ’s, 4 shirts, 1 hoodie/jacket, 2 pair of pants). But wait, the best part is that the monster beats PJs and the astronaut shirt glow in the fucking dark. That excites me and I won’t even be wearing them. I am an adult and I own a glow in the dark shirt and it’s definitely one of my go to tees.
You know what else I realize more each day? That it is better that my Bipolar reared it’s ugly head earlier than later. So in a way, maybe the personal tragedies happened just in time. I now have the patience, understanding, and lack of judgement that I need at this time of my life and it couldn’t mean anymore to me than it does right now. I won’t go into anymore detail about that, it’s for me to know and understand. Baby steps, Christopher….baby steps. This is what I have to keep telling myself.
P.S. meet this guy
Bruce…my nephews new pup and by my nephew I mean, my sisters new acquired pup. A few nights ago I was in bed long after my family had departed and I did a full body stretch and ran my foot across something fluffy and I jumped out of bed only to find that Bruce left me one of his toys in my bed. What a nice guy. I had given him one of Ace’s toys (because I’ve bought him toys, beds, blanket, and other dog amenities already) and I guess he forgot to take it back with him. Spending time with Bruce = ready for my, Ace. January can’t get here fast enough.You can get a small glimpse of my thyroidectomy scar there. I’ve captured close up images every two weeks for a post that will follow when I’m ready to show them. The best product I found is a combination of bio-oil, scar away silicone strips, and scar away cream. I couldn’t be more pleased with the healing of the incision.