“I am just a raindrop that accelerates beyond control, losing bits and pieces in decent ’til I’m no longer whole. I am just another shooting star above that you might see. Until I have your full attention I’ll be anything but me.”
-Phish “Anything But Me”
I think it’s pretty freaking amazing that I can sit here at a Starbucks and subject myself to some really nasty Christmas music in order to throw out a blog post. What the hell, I mean, don’t I have something more important to do? Should I be folding laundry, should I be baking a fucking pie, should I be looking for a new job? The answer to all of those questions is a complacent “shrug”.
Why, you might ask. Simply put, I’ve spent most of my life dying instead of living. Think of it this way, when I was born my parents were told that I had maybe seven hours to live…what did I do? Easy, at the ripe age of three hours old I pretty much showed the bird to the doctors and proved them wrong. They said I wasn’t going to make it to be five years old, ha, another challenge that I conquered. Sixteen was a pipedream, but what did I do, I persevered. Screw that “you’re sick” junk, I kept on plugging along, just because I could. Fast forward to adulthood…sigh.
At the age of 24 I was put in the hospital with heart failure, again, I threw the bird at the idea (honestly, I don’t ever really flip the bird, but the concept was there. I was raised better than to be so unclassy) I escaped from that hospital without being discharged and began the rest of my life. I was sick and tired of being sick …and tired. Where does it go from there, you might ask? Well, I’m getting to a point, believe it or not. The drivel is sort of thick, but it comes with a message.
Don’t give up, no matter what. For the number of times that I’ve buried my face in my hands and have wanted to absolutely give up, I never did, I kept on keeping on. The first beverage I had after “escaping the hospital” was a snort of really REALLY bad bourbon. It didn’t fix a damn thing, but I’ll tell you what, I felt better. There was more calories in that little snort of nasty Old Crow than there was typically in an entire day of eating for me. I was sick, I wasn’t happy, but I didn’t understand why…until…
I woke up in my own guest room, curled in a ball, and realized that it wasn’t life I hated, it was the decisions that I was making that made me miserable. I decided to become so insecure and uncomfortable in my own skin that I turned to self destruction. Keep in mind I was married at the time to somebody that loved me intensely, but that I couldn’t love back. That was the first thing that had to change, although, life didn’t change that much. I was still a slave to the sickness and there wasn’t much that changed as far as the disorder was concerned except for divorce papers and new digs in the hood.
Here I am, not too much farther than what I was then, but with an entirely different outlook on life. It’s not a contest, it’s not a battle for the top of the hill, and fuck, it’s not a beauty pageant. I’m okay with that for once in my life. I’m not going to be a bombshell, I’m not going to be “comfortable” with my body, and by gum I’m not going to kill myself to try to achieve unattainable goals. So, yes, this is me, I can’t offer anything more than what I am, and I’m happy with that. Somebody out there loves me, and that’s good enough for me.
So, this holiday season, I’m backed into an uncomfortable corner. I want to alleviate the pain in everyone else that suffers from holiday anxiety, be it from self induced pain or uninvited pain from outsiders. Family stresses, holiday parties, dinner parties with soon to be family members, all of that shit can take a mighty toll on a person, trust me, I’m one of them. For the past five years I’ve spent more than an embarrassing amount of time crying in the bathroom of my “soon to be mother-in-laws” house, but never did I show my pain. I have to wonder, what helps that pain? Who else suffers through the “not good enough during the holidays blues?
Of course the “soon to be” became a “never to be” mother in law and life went on. It was an uncomfortable feeling though, I don’t have a door to hide behind at holidays now, I had to face them straight on, headlong, and strong. Although the season has just started, it’s still one of those nagging feelings that make you feel like you want to crawl under a blanket and beg the holidays to be over. Some people love them, some of us, well, we don’t. I’m happy enough to say that passing thought this past thanksgiving I didn’t shed a single tear, I was comfortable, I was at peace, I was happy, I had an amazing guy by my side.
This, of course, has a zillion things to do with the company you keep. I’m happy this holiday season. I don’t plan on buying presents, I don’t plan on baking pies, and I sure as hell don’t plan on going caroling…what I do plan on, however, is spending time with the people that I love, which in and of itself is priceless.