Just Focus and Keep Aiming

So life has been a blend of ups and downs recently, with more downs than I can count. What I’ve learned, though, is that I’ve been a little selfish.

Well…probably a LOT selfish.

Let me explain…

On Wednesday I got into a very big argument with Sunshine while we were both at work. For those wondering, yes…it is a horrific idea to use Google Chat for an argument. Things went from bad to worse in a split second and they escalated quickly. NOT a good idea.

What was the argument about? Without getting into too much detail, I was feeling good after we spent a great weekend together. We had a great Monday night with the kids and I was changing medication (again) to help me combat this depression I’ve been going through. I was feeling positive about a little bit of progress and having a chance to continue life in a positive way.

Sunshine, however, was exhausted and in a negative headspace. How negative? Well…when I told her that I thought we were beginning to move along a positive path together she said that she didn’t feel the same way; that it was an anomaly. Other than a couple of fun days, nothing had really changed.

Unfortunately, that set me off.

Over two hours this war of words went back and forth. Here I thought that I was finally making progress but thought that Sunshine was simply dismissing everything. For me, it’s been a brutal battle to try and be the person I used to be. If she couldn’t see the positive steps being made, then why was I even trying?

Thankfully, just when I needed it, one of my best friends just happened to message me with a simple, “Hey there. How are you doing?”

So I explained everything to them…in vivid detail. My anger, my hurt, and my frustration just poured out. We went back and forth a little bit. They saw my side on some things; they saw Sunshine’s side on others. Then they made an analogy that kinda gave my head a shake and made me truly understand Sunshine’s point of view…

“Dude, don’t blame her for still being upset with you. It’s like an addict who has gone clean for 2 days and wants everyone to be all smiles and cheery despite the fact that, when still in the midst of addiction, he stole their savings and crashed their car.

People may not be all that fucking cheery for you and that’s because they are hurt. The addict says, “Why am I going to clean when that means I have to face all this anger?

And then if the addict said, “Man, I’m going to go back to using because YOU aren’t POSITIVE and supporting me!”…then that’s ALL kinds of wrong.”

Damn.

Sunshine has been through a lot over this past year. I had no idea just how bad I was until I read through my posts from 2014 last week. This has been going on for a very long time.  It was completely unfair for me to be upset. After months and months and months of me saying, “I’ll get better” without knowing what the problem actually was, why should she immediately assume life will be perfect right away once I figured out what was wrong with me?

And that’s the thing…I still don’t know what’s wrong with me. I don’t know why I have self-loathing issues or when this depression even started. I have ideas, but I haven’t worked through any of them yet. I need to continue to work on me. And something that I think I finally realized yesterday was that I absolutely HAVE to do this for me. If I don’t, then the changes won’t come.

I can’t just be doing this to improve my marriage or my relationship with the kids. I need to be a better person because I deserve it…and that’s been something that I’ve been battling with since I was a kid. I’ve never felt worthy of anything.

Sunshine didn’t simply pick this week to have a bad day because it reflected on the few good days that we had together. She had a bad day because she was exhausted after months and months of fighting for us. For ME.

So as I switch back to the same medication that I started with a month ago, I think I finally realize what I need to do in order to fix my marriage, solidify the relationship I’ve got with my children, and be the man I always wanted to be.

I can’t blame those around me for not feeling the same way I am. I can’t just say, “Hey…we’ve had four good days together. Aren’t you proud of me?” Needing that acceptance is part of what led me on that downward spiral to begin with, I think. I can’t base my own happiness with myself on another person’s perception of me. I have to be able to look in the mirror and love the man who’s staring back at me. Once I do that, the changes will come.

I have to do this for me. Not for her, the kids, or for anybody else. If I don’t, then there isn’t any point in trying. I’m the one who is broken and I’m the only one who can fix it.

Thank God I’ve got a fantastic wife who is sticking through me during all of this. I don’t know what I’d do without her…OR that great friend with the great advice.

Life is a battle every single day. Sunshine posted this to her Facebook wall yesterday morning and it really resonated with me…

“An arrow can only be shot by pulling it backward.  So when life is dragging you back with difficulties, it means that it’s going to launch you into something great. So just focus and keep aiming.”

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