I am writing from a very dark place. Even though I spent last evening with my father and stepmother, having a couple of drinks and sharing a few jokes, it didn’t ease the oppressive blackness surrounding me. In fact, coming home to an empty house somewhat amplified it.
Today is my birthday. For that reason I am reflecting on the past year. The shittiest year I’ve ever endured.
I started last year full of hope. I know that because I went back and read my birthday post from last year. I wished for a wonderful year for my wife and I at the close of that post. For some reason I saw last year as one full of promise. A year where things would finally settle down and happiness would finally come and claim me. Oh how wrong I was.
Instead what I received were 12 months of heartache, heartbreak, and a heavy dose of depression. Love and loss. Lessons teaching the ease in which a heart can break. An on and off again marriage, which is now permanently off. I have become a part-time father for ANOTHER child. I’m having withdrawals. I’m used to seeing Baby C every day and now I have to adjust to life without him half the time.
Even though I lost so much last year, I did gain some things. I gained perspective on myself. I learned a lot about myself. I learned that though I thought I had depression under control I was merely fooling myself. I learned that I wasn’t a model husband. I learned that I had a severe lack of patience. I gained other things, as well. I gained friends. A lot of wonderful new friends. Friends who suffer from the same condition I do. Friends who understand how I feel without even having to explain it to them. They know because they suffer, too. It is through our common afflictions which we bond. I’ve grown as a person despite losing so much. I’ve grown as a writer. I’ve grown as a father.
This year, I make no wish. I did that last year. I refuse to look towards the next 12 months with my chin up. Fuck that. I’ll take each day as it comes and do the very best I can for my boys. They, besides my immediate family, are all I have left and they are worthy of every bit of effort I can give them. They are my reason for continuing, even though most of the time I feel lethargic and unmotivated. They will be my inspiration because they deserve it and, quite frankly, no one else does. Everyone else I’ve let inside my walls, aside from my mother and brother, have let me down or hurt me in some catastrophic way.
Those boys right there. They are my guiding light. They are my saving grace. They are my beacon of hope. They are my reason for everything. I miss them right now. Sure, they drive me nuts sometimes but I love them and they are all I have left. They are my goal for this next year. I need to be okay for them. I need to continue for them.
I enter my 37th year on this planet a bitter, pessimistic, and cynical soul, but a determined soul. Somehow I will get through this. Somehow I’ll survive. I have to. I must. My boys are counting on me, even if they don’t even know it. I am, in turn, counting on them.