Sometimes the Bottom of the Barrel Really Isn’t That Bad…

Don’t let the title fool you… Things can always be worse.  I’ve had the splinter of this blog in my head for months now, and I haven’t had the courage to write, the gumption to write, the desire to write.  I’ve had bigger fish to fry to be honest, and I was one of those fish.

Before I started pecking at keys I decided to read my last entry – and found what I wrote was still relevant, so here we are once again.

There have been times in the past three months where I have felt I was at the bottom of some barrel, I was confused at times, angry, and days where the dizziness of not being in control of things just seemed to be too much to handle.

I wrote the above entry in April of 2014.  This post was incredibly hard, and painful to write.

That barrel turned out to be a very large barrel.  Sometimes dark and scary.  Sometimes, dark and comforting.  Sometimes, well… sometimes it just turned out to be downright hopeless.

Why am I telling you all this?  Isn’t the title of this blog “Surrounded by Awesome”? Not “Surrounded by Darkness”?

Yes, my friends, yes it is.  Which is why I’m still here.  Which is why I’m back.  Which is why I hope that maybe, I may reach just one of you.

If I need one post to go viral, this is the one.  Sharing is indeed, caring.

Having a kid changes everything.  You read books, you take classes, you get as much information as you possibly can to deal with being a parent.  Then you realize all those things may not have helped at all because your kid didn’t read the same book you did while in the womb.

Folks, marriage and having kids is work.  Hard, daily work.  But like a crop of corn or wheat – if you tend to it, water it, add to it, it will flourish.  Sometimes, crap happens and a part of that field gets tarnished. You work to rebuild what you had, or it will consume your entire crop.

When L.A. was almost two, he had surgery to remove a mass in his back.  We spent months going to doctors.  Running tests, x-rays, and more tests.  No answers.  First, second, third and fourth opinions all with the same shoulder shrug.  We decided to have surgery done.  It wasn’t an easy decision.  We got lucky and combined that procedure with ear tubes.  Two birds, one stone.

As Tom Petty said, the waiting is the hardest part.  Finally, the results came back.  Benign mass of excess connective tissue.  Like gristle on a steak.  Relief.

Medical bills, sharing chores, don’t get Mrs. Awesome started on the infinite abyss that is laundry.  Do you eat in, or eat out?  Do you watch kids shows for the umpteenth time, or seize control of the remote?  When are you finally going to clear out that overgrown patch of yard and plant that garden you’re always on about?

We are a social media centered society, where we are bombarded by memes, copy and paste stories, guilt trip shares (If you’re my friend share this, if not delete me), picturesque instagrams and Pinterest pins of people who have it figured out and have homes that look like they stepped out of a magazine, their kids are enrolled in sports and art projects, and hey, why isn’t your kid stepping up to the bar?  Where do you measure up on the amount of likes and shares?  Are you done Adulting yet?

I’ve spent my entire life trying to fit in, trying to measure up.  I have a really hard time looking at myself in the mirror and taking stock of what’s good in my life, what’s good about me and realizing that what is good in me may just be a surplus worth to someone else even when it seems like I’m looking at a huge deficit.  Sometimes that barrel is dark, nasty, unforgiving, greasy, and at times feels like you’re right where you’re supposed to be and sometimes you wonder if you should stop caring.

I reached out to a friend of mine to talk.  These are the things you learn over a lifetime of therapy.  Have the courage to reach out, especially when you feel yourself at the lowest.  It’s easy for someone to say you have a family to live for, it’s harder to say go talk to them, and even harder still to do it.

When I met Mrs. Awesome back in 2000-something, I only had one requirement when we started dating.  Communicate.  I had been through a marriage where communication was one sided and I darn sure didn’t want to play that record again.  She was always very upfront and honest and I always knew where we were in our relationship.  We hit a patch after having L.A. where sleep deprivation and the surgery and other factors caused us to seek out a therapist to help us figure out how to communicate with each other again. Again, it was work, but it was worth it.

I didn’t want to tell Mrs. Awesome that I didn’t feel Awesome.  I didn’t want her to see her knight wearing rusty, greasy armor.  But I did.  It was the most terrifying moment in my life.  Not because I had to tell her, but because at that moment I had to believe that I trusted her as much as I had always said I did.  I had to walk the talk by talking.  I made no promises.  I didn’t need her to have answers, but she was and still is there for me each day.  And contrary to a lot of self talk, she didn’t love me any less.  I’m still her Mr. Awesome.

Please, if you’re having issues that feel insurmountable… If you’re fighting a fight you feel you can’t win.  If the bills are piling higher, and you think that there is only one way out.  When memes, and bible verses, and commenting “AMEN!” just aren’t cutting it.  When your fight is the only thing that is important, when it feels no one could ever possibly understand, or would even want to understand…  When it feels like the good in your life is the only thing that matters and you feel the only answer to saving them is an exit sign… Please. Please. Please.

Send me an email.  Make a phone call.

You ARE Surrounded By Awesome.  There are moments, and things that will take your breath away, and give your soul pause to reflect on things that are worth it.  Including yourself.

For those who are fighting, keep fighting.

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255
Crisis Text Line by texting TALK to 741741.
National Youth Crisis Hotline: 1-800-448-4663

If you have lost someone, please find a support circle you can turn to at any given moment.  Grief does not work 9-5

You matter.  You ARE Surrounded By Awesome.

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