I’m grateful that my wife suggested flying our youngest daughter to spend New Year’s Eve with me. She knew I was having a rough time with conversations we had during the Christmas holidays and dealing with my Godfather who had just passed. I had planned not to come home for New Years, so instead, she sent our daughter to me. This gave both my girls some time away from each other, my wife some alone time with her friends, and my daughter and I quality one on one time.

 

I’m grateful for the movie Bumblebee, desserts and Krispy Kreme donuts, and bringing in the New Year with knights at Medieval Times. I’m grateful for a DJ and good music to dance to. Plus, I’m grateful that my daughter, who wasn’t too sure about dancing, allowed her dad to “cut a rug” for an hour after the new year. I’m grateful that I went with my daughter halfway home (she had two separate flights) and that I was able to jumpseat in the front on the way back to training. That old bug and excitement to fly came back.

 

I’m grateful for my blog to help me process my emotions. Writing my blog gives me a chance to stand outside my story, take me away from the pain of being in it and end up feeling like a victim. Looking at my life from a different perspective helps alleviate the pain I’m going through. The belief that my story, that my pain and struggling, can help others, brings me a sense of peace to what I’m going through. And knowing that someone else may find strength and hope helps me to realize that all that I’m going through is not in vain.

 

I’m grateful for my new D&D group who allowed me to join in with them via Skype. It felt like I was sitting right at the table with them. I’m grateful that when I’m feeling down, they were there to pick me up.

 

I’m also grateful for a close friend who too was struggling with a break up. It’s pretty awesome to be able to allow myself to feel comfortable enough to cry on the phone in unison with someone who is also that vulnerable with me. It’s rare to have two men find it acceptable being that vulnerable. It was also healing. We allowed the emotions to flow through us, knew it was ok and necessary to process our “stuff”, and then to give each other strength and encouragement to work through it.

 

 

Childhood Memories

Due to training and the inability to keep up with my Grateful Sunday posts, I wrote these in March and back-dated all my posts from December through February. The week of March 10th grateful I started reading Michelle Obama’s book titled Becoming. I had heard her on a podcast promoting her book and knew this would be a good read. She explained in the podcast that even being married to the President of the United States doesn’t mean you are immune to conflict in a marriage. Marriage takes work and she believes in marital counseling.

 

What I noticed in this book was that she talked positively about her childhood. I imagine, trying to find her identity as a African American female in such a male dominated white society, must have been extremely tough. Instead of pointing out the bad in her life and her struggles, in her childhood she talks about the positive lessons she learned from her caregivers. I have spent a great deal of time growing from my childhood wounding, and yet, that is what I still focus on, what went bad in my childhood.

 

So, for 2019, I will end each week with something grateful in childhood.

 

Grateful Childhood

Today I’m grateful that my childhood has made me the person I am today. I know this may sound generic. Let me explain. My childhood brought about a perfection piece with a high value at achieving and doing things well. This may be seen as a weakness when one does not accept that he’s human and makes mistakes. However, this becomes a strength when it comes to recovery. I have learned so much because of my dedication to be perfect in my recovery while also trying to do the best I can to change and grow to be a better father and husband. Even though I have put a lot of emphasis and energy on how my marriage dissolved, what I have learned will someday be a benefit when I find a woman who not only desires me but also wants to build and grow our relationship together. Who I am today has made this blog possible, gotten me through some pretty tough emotional times, and I have succeeded in my career due to the perseverance and determination to never give up. I am who I am because of my parents, my grandparents, and my important adult mentors in my life. And for those mentors, I am forever grateful.

Continued from Why Do I Still Continue to Struggle

January 2, 2019

 

I stand once again staring out the window watching an airplane push back. This time, it’s not my wife that’s leaving. This time, it’s not me remembering when my sister used to leave.

 

This time, I’m watching my daughter leave.

 

I feel numb. I feel like a soggy towel that someone has just wrung out.

 

I’m tired with lack of sleep. And in my weakness the Knight of Shame swings his sword. I barely have time to ward him off as I weakly lift my shield. I’m knocked to the ground.

 

Why are you feeling this way?

 

Come on Phoenix! You have so much to be grateful for.

 

Really, you’re going to wallow in this tornado of sadness once again?

 

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Here it is New Year’s Day. I’m flying my daughter half way home for the holiday, and instead of feeling immense joy for the absolutely AMAZING New Year’s Eve memory the two of us will cherish for the rest of our lives, I am plagued by a colossal weight of pain and sadness.

 

I can’t seem to get out of my head.

 

At the moment I feel as if I am wallowing in my own agony and I have this image of our Labrador Retriever standing outside soaked in the pouring rain, tail between his legs, ears flat against his head, and his eyes giving the saddest, most forlorn look anyone has ever seen. Our well-trained dog does not bark, doesn’t even whine. That’s all good, except he would stand there for hours until someone noticed him, instead of trying find a way to get our attention.

 

I guess this is a reminder for me to “speak up” and take care of my needs with my recovery community.

 

I’m so tired of feeling loss and pain.

 

I’m tired of allowing my hopes to rise only to have them get smashed to pieces yet once again.

 

I wish I could be like the knights my daughter and I watched at Medieval Times last night and battle my negative emotions to their death.

 

I know the truth though.

 

I can’t feel joy without feeling pain.

 

The negative emotions are as important as my positive ones. Learning to manage them is essential.

 

I can’t bottle the discomfort, bury it in the sand, and hope that by doing so I will never feel that pain again. I only end up burying my happy feelings too.

 

I can’t let negative emotions overwhelm me, sucking me into the undertow, allowing wave after wave to pulverize me.

 

I need to acknowledge my loss. I need to acknowledge my pain. I need to grieve.

 

It’s so hard to do this when the Knight of Shame is standing there ready to also take me down. I hear his battle call and try not to engage.

 

It’s tough, because deep down, I know 2018 brings me so much to be grateful for. I have no reason to be feeling this amount of sadness.

 

I should be celebrating life.

 

Should.

 

Oh, to “should” oneself is to shit on oneself.

 

To 'should' oneself, is to shit on oneself. Click To Tweet

 

The Knight of Shame chastises me for getting stuck in sorrow.

 

Like quicksand, I feel as if I’m sinking and don’t have the strength to fight back.

 

The knights of all my negative emotions surround me, and I don’t feel as if I have the strength to continue fighting them. Sometimes, it just feels easier to give up. I have fought so hard for so long.

 

This was my New Year’s Eve struggle. This is where I’m at as I start 2019.

 

I went from the most incredible high I’ve experienced in the past four years to once again getting knocked down, feeling immobilized and stuck.

 

I guess its time to bring my Fledglings up to date.

 

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