And so, a Failure Yet Again – October 31, 2020

This will be my last blog post before NaNo begins in earnest tomorrow.

Frankly, I’ll be surprised if I actually do get around to posting this, as things haven’t exactly been going stellarly for me, and I’m finding it very difficult to get motivated to do much of anything, really.

I have been putzing about, getting small chores and projects finished here and there, but the bigger projects that would require a bit more time and effort on my part have been languishing, untouched.

Writing has been nearly non-existent since I finished my “Story Circle” outline for my NaNo 2020 project. It’s all I can do to just get out of bed and shuffle off to work everyday, though I do have to say that I’m proud of myself for keeping up with going to the gym five times per week throughout this “Blue Time.”

As usual, there is no one thing I can point to and say “that’s the cause of my mood/depression/blues”. There’s a lot right with my life right now, a lot of good things I can be thankful for, but there are quite a few things that are “wrong”, that are weighing on me. Things I can’t just clear from my mind, stop focusing on, put aside for a while, ignore so I can enjoy the good things.

I’ve written previously about my issues with my family, specifically my asshole brother and now my mother, both of whom I’m not currently speaking to, and one of which I have vowed to gift a sorely needed punch in the face. (Just to make it clear, the punch is for my brother, not my mom.

I’ve also mentioned the issues I’ve been having with my kids during this strange time of COVID, and though those do tend to pop up a bit from time to time, we’ve all begun to heal those issues between us. I’m very thankful for that.

COVID fatigue and living through this pandemic is also taking a toll, one that I do my best to hide but honestly, the cracks are starting to show. There is a barely audible background hum of existential dread that permeates everything I do now. The things I can do, those limited social interactions, the small luxuries of shopping for non-necessities can disappear again in an instant if we’re all forced back into lock-down, and that weighs heavily. It’s definitely contributing to my melancholy, as I’m sure it is for everyone.

Couple that with the rage I feel whenever I’m confronted by those that still refuse to take this pandemic seriously, selfishly deciding to put their own comfort above the health and safety of those around them by “choosing” not to take the simplest precautions against spreading this virus, such as social distancing and properly wearing a face covering in public. I can’t say that I believe my rage at these people is irrational or undeserved, but it’s not really something that’s helping my current moods. The rage gives way to despair and a sense that things will continue to get worse as these people exacerbate the situation with their refusal to do their part to help minimize the spread of this virus.

My last (over the phone) appointment with my endocrinologist was also a bit disappointing. Despite all I’ve done to change my habits and improve my health – quitting smoking, trying to eat right, getting more sleep, going to the gym five days a week, etc. – my last A1C test, though much better than the one before, was still a smidge high for his tastes. He’s told me I should work at cutting out more carbs from my diet, which is really funny considering how few carbs I eat, and he’s told me I should increase my daily insulin injection from eight units to ten.

Every time I don’t reach a goal and have to increase my meds, I feel that I’ve somehow failed, that I’m at fault because I just didn’t work hard enough. I know that’s not true, and that my Diabetes is a result of losing the genetic lottery where my endocrine system is concerned, but it’s disheartening, and that’s added to my blues as well.

Lately though, and by lately I mean the last few months, there’s been one more, major contributor to my lingering depression that I have so far not discussed here in my blog. I haven’t mentioned it because, well mainly because doing so would raise a lot of eyebrows among anyone reading my blog who happens to know me in real life, and would spark a whole mess of gossip, I’m sure. It would also likely make things even worse, as making this matter public will likely affect more people that just myself.

For the past several months, I’ve been having problems in my marriage. Problems bad enough that I fear my marriage of over 24 years may, in fact, be ending.

Now, you’ll have to forgive me if I don’t get into too much detail concerning the bombshell I’ve just dropped. I know that it’s incredibly cruel to say something like that and then offer no specifics, and I hope you don’t hate me too much for it, but I really don’t want to use this blog as a platform to slam anyone in this situation. I don’t want to lay blame here, or throw accusations, enough of that’s been done already, believe me. I don’t want to call anyone out or risk embarrassing anyone. We are all the hero in our own movie, and the villain in someone else’s, and there are three sides to every story, blah, blah, blah.

But I do occasionally need to vent, and this is a topic that I do have to vent about to some degree, lest things build up too much steam and I really end up exploding.

Yeah, I’m afraid my marriage might be over, and I’m not sure how to deal with it, and that’s a big reason why I’ve been so down in the dumps lately.

It would be difficult to explain why I think I’m headed to divorce, at least without causing embarrassment to everyone involved or devolving into cliché’s like “we’ve grown apart” or “they aren’t the same person I fell in love with”. I’m pretty sure all those things are standard when it comes to marriages breaking up, and anyway, it wouldn’t be fair to use this blog as a device to assign blame.

I guess what I’m really experiencing here is fear. Fear of what comes next, an unknown and unknowable path leading toward whatever the future may now hold for me.

I’m 50, and I’ve managed to build a very comfortable life for myself and my family. It’s not an extravagant life by any means, but we have all we need and more. We have a nice home, the kids are educated, healthy and have grown into fine adults, and we have some luxuries that we enjoy, vacations and toys and such. Honestly, we have little to complain about.

Now I’m looking at leaving all that behind and starting over, which honestly is a daunting prospect.

Even though they are adults now, I don’t want what may happen to deprive the kids of anything in any way. I don’t want them to feel they have to leave their home, though that might be a possibility, or to withdraw any of the help I’ve given them so far with the cost of their education, which again may be strained.

I know they’d survive, they’re resilient and resourceful, and honestly, are pretty much set as far as finishing their academic careers. I’m sure they could do fine without my help, but none the less I want that help to be there for them, and I worry that the turmoil brought on by ending my marriage could derail their plans somewhat.

I also don’t want my wife to suffer any hardships because we can’t seem to get along any more. Honestly, I do love her, and I do wish there was another way to deal with the problems we’re having. I don’t want a divorce to be a vindictive tool, something I use to punish her in some way, to deprive her of anything. I want her to continue to have a good life, I just don’t know if I can continue to be part of that life any longer.

And yes, I’m afraid for myself.

The amount of time I’ve lived on my own compared to the time I’ve lived with others is miniscule. I lived a few months in a bachlor appartment when I was in university my first year, before moving back home and driving the hour each way to school to save money, and then I spent a few weeks watching a friend’s home. I lived in my first house for a little over a month before getting married and having my wife move in, and that’s about the extent of my “living on my own” adventure.

I’m not worried I’ll be lonely, as I’m by nature a bit of a solitary person, but you just grow used to having others around, being able to count on someone else to help do things around the house. It’s going to take a lot of adjusting if I do end up getting a divorce, and I’m honestly not sure what to expect, or how difficult it will be for the first little while.

Plus, I have no idea of what my life going forward will be like. I live comfortably now, but there’s no guarantee that I’ll be able, financially, to do so, and keep everyone else at or near the level of comfort we’ve all grown used to. I’m hoping for an equitable divorce if it comes down to that, something as fair as we can manage so we can all continue our lives with as little trauma and disruption as possible, but there’s no saying that things might not turn ugly. As we all know, men tend to fair worse in divorces that are contested. There’s every possibility that my living conditions could change for the worse if and when I do opt to end my marriage.

So yeah, all of that has been weighing heavily on me, adding to the depressed moods I’ve been in, and distracting me from projects and other things I should be focusing on.

The pandemic situation has meant that, like everyone else, my social interactions have been significantly limited, so there’s not many people I can go out for a pint or two with and vent and bitch and commiserate with. Doing something like that over Zoom just doesn’t seem like it would be satisfying.

Well, since I’m already pretty much on the outs with a good portion of my family anyway, and I’ve always been kind of thought of as the black sheep, I won’t have to worry too much about further disappointing my strict European Catholic relatives. I’ll be the third (fifth?) in my generation to get a divorce, so the shame I’ll bring to my mom won’t be so much that she’d have to hide from the rest of my relatives. I mean, we’ve already got a few drug addicts and a criminal or two in the fam., so my sins won’t be considered to be all that bad.

So, there you go, just a quick snapshot of my life right now, October 31, 2020, Halloween during the Time of COVID. Nice, right?

And starting at midnight, I have to hunker down and begin writing yet another pile of shit novel, in the hopes that someday I’ll have stumbled onto the skills I’ll need to actually write something someone will want to read, and perhaps even enjoy. Oddly enough, I’m kind of looking forward to NaNo, despite everything else that’s going on right now. I’m hoping it will prove a distraction.

On a brighter note, and not to be glib, I’ve only thought about suicide once during this last whole month, so I’ve got that going for me.

So, Happy Halloween everyone. Wish me luck so that at midnight I can put my rather large but still handsome nose to the grindstone and start making with the words once again. I hope you’re all well, and that you had at least a reasonably fun, if slightly disappointing I’m sure, Halloween this year, and that you continue to survive and thrive through the deprivations of This Pandemic Life.

Be Well,

Rob.

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