“That the powerful play goes on and you may contribute a verse. What will your verse be?” – Dead Poets Society
The brain’s a funny old thing. Well mine is anyway. There are countless reasons why my brain should be thinking nothing but positives things to the point that if you were able to open up my head and peer into it, my brain would be a mix of tie-dye colours, cute puppies high-fiving and a physical interpretation of the feeling you get when you smell cooked bacon first thing in the morning. Instead, it’s doing the complete bloody opposite.
Now, I’ll warn you before I carry on. This has the very real potential to go deep and meaningful. Should you be reading this and you happen to be feeling pretty chipper and upbeat, don’t let me bring you down, bail out now.
I’ve said it before… I find writing therapeutic. It helps me straighten out any struggles or confusion etc that I may be stewing over and through that process, find a way to worry less or even let go of completely. I’ve struggled to write of late though. I like the ‘online blog’ format because it keeps me honest, people can read it, can see if I’m going down the wrong path and can reach out and pull my neck in. But recently, I’ve felt restricted to what i should or shouldn’t say and that’s been difficult. The whole point of me taking time to jot down my thoughts is to be able to feel like I’m acknowledging the problem, pondering over it and then working towards letting it go. But when your whole world is dictated to by things like divorce, mental health and ongoing struggles of life in general.. there is only so far you feel that you can open up before people start sending men in white coats round to throw you in the back of a van. I can’t escape the fact though that whilst I did not choose the path, it’s a road I’ve had to walk down for the last eighteen months or so.
A lot of what I’ve written about during that time has been about the divorce. There have been times I’ve felt positive about it and there have been times I’ve been maybe less positive. And yes, I’ve fallen into the trap a couple of times now thinking ‘Yep, you know what, I’m ok now. I’m over it’, I haven’t been and then something or someone will pop up out of nowhere that will completely floor me and make me realise that I’ve still got work to do. Which is fine of course, it’s a long journey back to the top when you’ve fallen down a deep hole. Sometimes you just have to be honest when you are low and not make a jump for it and miss, leaving you feeling bruised when you fall and hit the bottom again. Metaphorically speaking.
I’m not going to start going about how there are two sides to the story… She did this, I supposedly did that.. She’s a wrong ‘un etc etc etc. It’s done now. I can’t change it. Fact. Those that need to know the ins and outs, know. Do I feel like I’ve conducted myself well through out the whole thing? In the most parts, yes. Do i feel that the truth has been somewhat contrived by some? Absolutely. What i have to keep telling myself though is that whilst it might have been almost a game to some, divorce is traumatic experience, one that will ripple for a long time after the initial splash is made. Thankfully the whole thing is coming to a head, legally speaking anyway and i can start believing that when I think that I’ve seen the last of this or that, that it actually will be the last. I’m quietly confident that this will be the last time I will blog about it, directly anyway because some of the lies have been so ridiculous it would be a shame not to use them as a source of mockery or sarcasm.. but it’s still too soon for that.
Joking aside. As you can expect, I’ve found this whole experience horrific. Not because I now have to live with the tag divorcee before I’m thirty, but because my best friend decided to just walk away with no heads up or prior warning. That I wasn’t worth the respect of doing all this in a dignified way and who along with the help of others were happy to pour added scorn onto an already weeping wound, not to mention the friends who decided to think the worst about me without seeing the full picture and kick me to the kerb. I’m not saying I was completely blameless and yes, there were things I could have done better, I’m just as flawed as the next guy. But that’s what we stood and promised, in front of a room full of people, before God, to each other. In sickness and in health, richer for poorer, better or worse etc. No matter my pitfalls, I was fully committed to that promise and i believe I stuck to it. Funny enough, because of that, it’s worked out that I’m going to be a lot poorer. Not just financially either.
You see, lately I’ve been left with a situation where I’m facing a humongous financial mountain to climb but also more importantly, the job of rebuilding what is left of my life. And honestly, there have been days where I just haven’t felt like I have any fight left in me. Days where even the good things, the positive things of which there are many seem tainted or that they are on borrowed time and it’s suffocating. So much so that you don’t see a way out of it, the feelings of loneliness, that you don’t matter, that you are nothing to nobody, the complete crash of self-confidence and motivation become so overwhelming that it leaves you feeling that you are sinking past the point of no return. It’s a scary scary place to be and even worse when your brain starts to tell you that it’s an ok place to be. It isn’t. It never is! That’s why I’ve gone out and arranged time with a new counsellor. I found it such a positive experience before, one that helped me pull things together so it’s time to hold my hand up again. Sometimes you just need to be honest and say ‘You know what, I haven’t got this’. If I’ve learned anything from dealing with all this, is to not be embarrassed about it or ashamed and that you should always speak up.
There are so many positives going on just now for me, among some of them being the fact I’ve started college and travelling down the road to achieving my childhood ambition of becoming a teacher. Something I’ve talked about doing for years but always found a reason why i couldn’t. I’m in the best shape of my life having dropped roughly 47kg in weight in the last eighteen months. I’m away from a group of people who made my life a misery for so long and tried to box me in to a way of living that was so constrictive, self glorifying and pompous. I’ve come to see that I truly have some of the best friends and family a guy could wish for, friends that have stuck by me through it all. Not just that, I’m making new friends. This is something that always surprises me when people say they want to hang out/get to know me etc, I know it shouldn’t but it does, to the point I can be socially disabled at times. I’ve always been bad at believing that people want to spend time with me, although I have to say that I’ve gotten even worse since all this divorce stuff happened. It’s something I’m trying to work on though. To believe that I can offer something, contribute and be something to someone. Not just in the sense of a relationship, something I’m sure, I hope will come again. But also in terms of friendship. Yes I feel it’s made harder when I’ve got all this going on, i mean who wants to be around someone with all this going on! But I just remind myself of the fact that everyone has a story to tell, every one has a past and everyone has skeletons in their cupboard. It’ll come in time.
I make no apology for sharing a subject as heavy all this. This has been and continues to be, although gradually becoming less so, a very real struggle I’ve had to battle recently. One that people have happily judged me on, on a couple of occasions have even had a go at me about. I’m not saying I’m the only one with problems, I’m not attempting to drag it out, go over old ground and I’m not looking for attention because of it. I share this because people need to remember there are two sides to every story and it might make people think twice when they come wading into a situation that is as delicate as this. Just because I can’t cry at the drop of a hat in a room full of people or throw wild accusations around, doesn’t mean I’m not hurting or that I’m the monster.
That line from the Dead Poets Society stood out to me the other day whilst watching it. It was as if someone was trying to tell me something because for a while there, I genuinely wanted my own personal play to end and I had even decided on what my final scene would be. I couldn’t see a way out and i wanted to bring the curtain down so to speak but instead I’ve reached out to my counsellor. Honestly though, I feel a better person for having had to go through all this. Don’t get me wrong I wouldn’t have chosen to had i got the choice but I’ve learned a lot from it. About me, about others, about what to appreciate and what not to, when to pick a fight and when to realise it isn’t worth it. I’ve had to do a lot of growing up and when all said and done that’s probably been a good thing. Ok I’m going through a dark spell but little by little I’m putting things back in order, I’m getting the band back together, metaphorically speaking, and the show, or the play, will go on.
I’ve just got to work out what my verse will be…