Archive for Goodpeoples

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I felt inspired by my earlier post and wanted to write some more today. I thought about working on my screenplay more (huh? you say) but couldn’t get more than about two minutes of screen time on that, so I came back here. But what to write about? Anything and everything, I guess.

I have a friend who went through what I went through. She lost her husband a little over a year ago and had a very difficult day today. I offered my shoulder to cry on as I’ve done on hers so many times, but she said no. She didn’t want that. She didn’t want anybody. I don’t know how that makes you feel but it’s perfectly understandable to me. We perfect the art of putting on a pretty, happy face for people around us whose concern is probably genuine, but our apprehension in sharing our grief is incredibly overwhelming.

I often talk about the pain of being alone. I often talk about how loneliness is debilitating and destroys any plans I may have for any given day. But you shouldn’t think for a second that being alone is always a terrible thing for me. I regularly choose to be alone and I’m not above lying about what I’m doing to have time for myself. I listen to the Shit list I mentioned before, or I go to breakfast. Shit, I even just flat-out close my office door at work, because being alone is so much better than being fake. So much better.

At the same time, my happiness isn’t always fake, either. I honestly enjoy the company of my friends and do what I can to be with them as much as I can, when I feel like it. I went to a concert last week in a smoke-filled bus and had a fantastic time with a bunch of people I haven’t really hung out with before. I enjoy the pick-up line at school because it affords me the opportunity to spend five minutes with people who often find it difficult to spend social time with me.

So what’s the point? My life is feeling more like mine. It feels less like a life I am hoping to have and more like one I’m supposed to have, and I’m getting comfortable with it. I’m setting boundaries all around me and controlling how effective those boundaries are. I’m accepting what I can get when it doesn’t jive with what I want, and I’m worrying less. I’m here for people to come to for whatever reason, and I’m going to people who can help me with whatever I may need, even if it’s just a smile.

I don’t know if it’s right or it’s wrong, and I certainly expect a different plan will be in place before long, but this is how it is today. I wrote before about playing my cards closer to the vest. I wrote about some people getting more of me than others. Those things are still true, but everybody gets a little bit of me. It may just be here. This place is the least I give. It’s everything I’m completely comfortable with. But there’s so much more. And I like saving that for just a few of you.

I think I’m gonna learn to fly.

Inner Happiness

It’s a term that has come up an insane amount of times in the past few days. Friends, therapist, myself, Google. I Googled “Inner Happiness,” because that’s how desperate I was to find a meaning I could work with. Inner happiness has been missing from my life for a long, long time, since before Dawn passed. I’ve talked about the last 18 months of her life and how difficult it was to deal with, be it from the pain nobody could seem to diagnose or treat, or the deep feeling that the battle was being lost.

Since she passed, I’ve found my happiness in things outside of myself. I’ve found it in doing things I hadn’t done much my whole life. Happiness, to me, was in staying up late, or missing work. It was in leaving my children with others at the drop of a hat, or at the bottom of a bottle. It was in relationships with wonderful, yet unattainable women.

I’m not saying I won’t find happiness in some form of these things, but to the extremes I’ve been using them, it’s not been healthy. It’s immensely easier to take advantage of these things and enjoy the feeling they give me than it is to recognize how they actually affect me when they were used in excess. A good friend brought this point to me and I pretty much refused to listen, but after a couple of days of thought and looking within myself, I know she’s right. Maybe that makes things easier for me – simply accepting it as unhealthy on that level.

I suppose this is rather bland and ambiguous, but specificity isn’t the point. The point is I didn’t manufacture my own happiness. I made everybody else generate it for me, which isn’t fair or healthy.

Once I came to this realization, I wondered what used to make me happy. The most obvious and most difficult to remedy is the happiness I got from companionship. So let’s push that aside for now. The other things that made me happy, that I enjoyed, came to mind as such, in no particular order:

The boys
Outdoors
Diet Coke
Cooking
Beer
Cigars
Video Games
Flight Simulator
and now – exercise

Yes, beer is on that list. I had a couple at lunch yesterday and stopped long before it was a problem, and it felt good to feel that control again. I suppose it came from the realization that quitting drinking wasn’t what made me happy; quitting drinking before I was drunk was what made me happy. Unhappiness came in excess, yet again. I’m still vigilant and cautious about alcohol, and so are my friends in my stead.

I’ll move forward with these things in mind and try and continue to work these things back into my life instead of what I’ve been doing. I’ve learned a lot about myself and I’ve gone too far, hurting myself and other people along the way. I hope I’m forgiven by those I’ve hurt, but I understand if I’m not. I know now I don’t have carte blanche just because I’m not married anymore, and I feel terrible about the disrespect I’ve given. I can cultivate a new, happy life that is fulfilling, fun, and most of all respectful to the people who mean the most to me, no matter where they are or how they fit into my life.

Most importantly, I need to be patient and let time do its work. It’ll get better. It already has started.

Friends

There are people in my life who fulfill many of the needs I have.  Most of them are right here in my neighborhood (these are the people), but some of them are hundreds of miles away.  The ones in my backyard, so to speak, are the ones I probably take for granted.  I won’t lie, we all probably do to some degree.  I pissed one of them off recently because I didn’t bother to look at her reasoning for things I felt were hurting her.  She set me straight and I think all is well.  It was good to clear the air, because I was worried.  I had no reason to be, though.  She has it under control.

There are others locally who fill various needs as well, and I won’t be specific on that.  One of the jokes made by my widow friend is that she has five guys who, when combined, make the perfect boyfriend.  I won’t say that’s what I’m saying, but I know people who make me happy in many different ways that are all their own.  That’s why we have so many friends, right?  Cuz they’re all so different and unique and awesome in their own way.

It’s the ones who are far away who I wish I had more time with.  You meet these wonderful people and they are so far away and all you want is to have them around the corner.  I worry sometimes that I overreach and maybe even annoy a bit, but then I remember how awesome I am and that thought disappears.  Amirite?

These people who are so far away are almost friends on a deeper level than many of the ones nearby, and again, that goes back to taking the locals for granted.  There’s plenty of time to delve deep into who they really are, but with the friends who live so far away, all we have is to get into what really makes us tick, and that’s where the beauty is.  It’s not that I desire the friendship of these people over anyone else, because there’s a lot to be said for face time, but theirs is a friendship I value in a different way than those of you who live around the corner.

Perhaps that’s something I should change.  I suppose I should also make more time for my friends who live on the fringe of my life, and there are plenty.  We all have plenty of friends like that.  I hope to spend more time with those who are so far away, perhaps even see if something real and exciting could come of it, but in the meantime I hope to build better relationships with those who are physically closer yet emotionally hundreds of miles away.  Why can’t we have it all?

Faith

I’ve had a few discussions over the last few weeks with a local pastor.  As I told some friends of mine, I feel I’d be doing myself a disservice if I didn’t look into anything that might help me get better.  I’ve been in therapy for a few weeks and that has been very helpful, but maybe there’s more.  There are many people who I love and respect who save a big part of their life for God, and it makes me wonder if there’s something there for me.  So I’m wondering about it and asking about it.

One of my first questions was about the expectation of prayer.  What I’ve learned is that there should be no expectation.  God will answer in one of three ways – Yes, No, or Wait.  When praying for the “right” thing, I still don’t know how to tell the difference between No and Wait, but like my friend Becky said, that’s when you just surrender yourself.  That’s a difficult concept for me to grasp because, quite frankly, it feels like a cheap cop-out to me.  But maybe that’s the battle.  That’s “faith.”

I’m not there yet.  I’m nowhere near being there yet. I’m not ready to be a part of a church, or even be in a church.  I’m thankful for the guidance of this pastor and his understanding of my situation as I try to find out if there’s something there for me.  He doesn’t press me, and he helps me with anything I ask.  I feel as if I owe a return favor to him of being in attendance at his church, and in due time, with a few logistical issues worked out, I will do that.  I’m looking forward to it, actually.

In a long discussion over lunch, I asked the pastor if anything he did felt like it was good enough.  I expected him to say “of course,” and elaborate on that, but he said no.  This isn’t to say he’s dissatisfied with his work, because I feel he feels truly rewarded every single day.  But he isn’t infallible.  He isn’t supposed to be.

I found my way to him on the advice of some friends who do attend his church.  I sought his guidance in a general sense and he’s earned my respect and I now am comfortable sharing specifics with him, to a certain degree.  All he’s ever asked of me is truth in what I tell him, and I am happy to provide it.  He knows my position on faith and God, and he works with me in that regard.  I’m happy for his guidance.

But I’m still cautious.  I still need reassurance and I think I can only get that from within.  I’m not ready to give myself up to God and I’m not going to lie about my faith.  I’m just trying to understand the mindset of people in my life who have done so.  I love these people.  I’m trying to stop worrying about what isn’t there and start embracing what is.  I know time and patience will reward me.  I just don’t know how to absorb time and patience.  I need help from people, and this pastor is helping me.  Maybe there is something there.  I’m still learning.

My Tigers experience

If you haven’t already seen, Bless You Boys has posted the story of the day my boys and I spent as guests of the Detroit Tigers.  I’d like you to read all about it.

http://www.blessyouboys.com/2013/8/13/4611082/mikes-fan-experience-thing