I was in the middle of a conversation with a good friend last night when I came to a realization. Over the last few months, there have been several emotionally traumatic events in my life: the failure of my marriage, the death of my grandmother, and the death of my father. I’ve had this nagging feeling of exhaustion but I’ve not been able to really nail down what it is. Part of it, I discovered last night, is a sense of emotional wandering and instability that has me spinning in circles.
Growing up, I was not a very confident fellow. I didn’t go out for any sports, spent a lot of time playing video games, and kept mostly to myself and my small circle of friends. After high school, college never came together for me and I focused on work. Dating Indi was the first time I’d felt like I really stepped out and took a risk, thus increasing my confidence. Throughout my marriage, I had an ebb and flow of confidence and self respect, culminating in our trip around the world. Once I got home, I felt like a new man. Sure of myself. My own man. When things fell apart in November, I had this creeping fear that I would revert to my old hermit self but have not been able to deal with those feelings. They’ve been buried underneath everything else that’s happened.
Yesterday I completed the majority of my move into my new home. Among other things, I kept seeing Dad shuffle out the door the last time we spent time together. I was eager to get myself in new surroundings. What I failed to account for is the other side of that equation. Although I became sad when I was reminded of Dad’s worn down gait as he returned to Pawhuska, it is also one of the last connections I had with him. I stood in a doorway in my new house and wept. It’s not fair that the memories that cause me such anguish are also the memories I desperately don’t want to lose. Good, bad, or indifferent; they are all I have left.
Which brings me to last night. As I talked about my emotional state and what my mental life has been like, I realized that I am at a point where I don’t know what I want. Out of myself, out of my work, out of my friends, out of my family. I feel simultaneously angry and relieved that some people have distanced themselves from me. I’m standing on shifting sand; I don’t want anyone to get too close or I’ll instinctively grab onto them and drag them down with me…but I don’t want to go down alone either.