New floors

In the battles you wage in your mind, what’s the closest you have gotten to losing? You know, throwing in the towel, so to speak.

I got the closest I’ve ever been last week. With all the external forces in life applying pressure to my already-crumbling psyche, I fell to a new low. Like in “Batman Returns” when Max Schreck pushes Selena Kyle out the window and she falls through all those awnings. They barely, just barely, slow her fall until she smacks the snow-covered pavement in the alley below.

What’s beneath that? I don’t wanna know.

Keeping afloat

Life hasn’t been much more stressful the past few weeks. But I guess things have just built up. There are always holes in the lifeboat of my mind that I’ll have to patch up. But the number of holes are growing and I only have so many things with which to plug them.

Ok, it’s a shitty metaphor, but it’s spot on.

My counselor tells me that it’s not the black dog himself that I must contend with on a daily basis. It’s simply negativity. A few negative thoughts of mine lately:

  • Carting the kids around (to help give them the childhood I missed out on) has been stressful.
  • Work has been unfulfilling, at times.
  • Some family relationships of mine are complicated, and painful.
  • I fully recognize how my conditions are wearing on those around me. Especially my wife.

Some counterpoints:

  • I’m beyond grateful I have the means and the schedule to nurture my kids’ hobbies. Those hobbies are just as good for them as school, exercise, family time, etc.
  • There are still things at work I enjoy. And the people I work with are some of the best people I know.
  •  I’m glad for the opportunity to have the relationships that I do. To me, even attempting to have a relationship is lightyears beyond simply feeling indifferent. Somehow, indifference feels more painful to me.
  • Those with whom I share my burden do so because they love and care about me. I haven’t fooled or deceived anyone into caring about me. No one cares simply because they feel sorry for me.

The difference

I’m on the other side of these past couple of shitty weeks. I can look back and see how those four thoughts are about the same subject. However, the difference between them is my perception. That’s it.

Perception can make all the difference, sometimes.

How can I help?

I know I’ll never fully “pay back” all the help I have received from those around me. And that’s not really what love is about, anyway. It’s acceptance, compassion, talking and listening. No judging or berating.

Do you need help? We all do, from time to time. And since there is no medal for dealing with all of life’s bullshit by yourself, I’ll tell you what I have to constantly tell myself: reach out. Even if you feel like you’re in over your head and you don’t see “the light,” stick that hand out. Someone will grab it.

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