It’s been about a good year since I started a five part series on How to Embrace the Suck. Up until now, I never made it to the 5th piece. I could list a number of reasons why I never wrote it; started other stories I had to get out, I was lazy, I didn’t want to, or I forgot I hadn’t finished the series…but mostly, I couldn’t come up with a legit fifth way to get past all the suck.
Yep, I was mostly just stuck.
Things in life had added up to a stifling pile of shit that I just couldn’t climb out of, and it sort of just got worse and worse and this last month came to a head. For the first time in my life, I had to say the phrase, “My dog died.” He was ‘just a dog,’ but he was my dog. When I found out over Facebook messaging he had passed, from a distraught Jackson, a piece of my heart shriveled and shut off, to never fill up again.
I built up an even bigger steaming heap in my head, thinking of all the things I felt like were wrong (I won’t subject you to that list) but, couple the recent life situations with a general feeling of ineptitude of living this crapshoot called life, I was feeling and acting basically like a whiney little bitch.
I was most definitely NOT embracing the suck.
I’d been here before though. After my first deployment, I was unemployed for over a year and had no idea how to live. I didn’t do anything but eat Rally’s and drink Natty Ice, which obviously didn’t help. I put on thirty pounds and wore the same pair of pants for two weeks spans, stained with cream cheese. My oral hygiene was questionable at best.
I felt even guiltier for being that way because my tour hadn’t even been bad, it was a cupcake walk compared to what others had to endure. Sure, bad stuff had happened to me over the years, the abusive boyfriend, sexual assault, alcoholic dad, blah, blah, blah…basically stuff millions have dealt with to some extent. I felt like I had no right to be unhappy, I was after all, alive.
I knew it was time to get my shit together, when I reached the point where I wondered a lot about checking out. I wouldn’t say suicidal was the word, more of a desire to just not be around anymore. Like, if someone would have presented me with a button, and if I could have pushed it and disappear, to cease to exist, I would have pushed that button with my ass cheeks to get it over and done with (I don’t know why I wouldn’t just push it with a finger). So I went to the VA, and surprisingly, it helped.
My counselor said it wasn’t necessarily a chemical imbalance, she said it was mostly situational depression but we tried meds anyway…it just gave me headaches and only made me want to push Nuns down slightly less, so I stopped taking it.
Eventually, I stopped going to my counselor and my brain waves evened out. I no longer just sat in my car in the garage, wondering how I was going to make my legs work to get me up and into the house. I no longer used alcohol to trick myself into thinking I was the most awesome person who ever walked the earth. I just managed to go on existing.
I kind of went on autopilot though, and had been until recently. Interesting fact, eventually my sadness and autopilot mode, had morphed into rage. I was mad at everything and everyone.
My internal dialogue in day-to-day events went somewhat like this:
Internet: “Here’s a picture of an otter, isn’t it cute?”
Me: “FUCK YOUR OTTER INTERNET…IF I CAN’T HOLD IT AND SQUEEZE IT TO DEATH, WHAT’S THE POINT IN SHOWING ME A PICTURE OF IT…DICK.”
Friend: “Yeah, I think I’m going to go back to school.”
Me: “YOUR MOM IS GOING TO GO BACK TO SCHOOL!!!!”
Every single random acquaintance on Facebook: “We’re having a baby/we’re getting married/we’re moving to Hawaii/We’re having a party and imbibing/We got a dog/I did the laundry/I ran a race/I got a new vehicle to drive to places that don’t matter, look how much money I spent on it, you should be jealous you can’t go buy tampons in this tricked out ride/I went to the beach, look at my knees/I saw some clouds/LOOK.AT.THIS.CAT…IT’S DOING CAT THINGS…”
Me: “Fuck you guys, fuck that girl, fuck him, fuck them, fuck your truck, fuck ya’ll, FUCK YOUR CAT….JUST…GET FUUUUUCCCKKKED.”
These train of thoughts are always accompanied by squinting my eyes, pursing my lips and mentally flipping desks around smiley people…and I’ve literally thrown a plastic fork at a whiteboard because it broke into pieces when I used it to eat food, and an actual person had to duck from it. FUCK YOU FORK…JUST DOOOOO YOUR FUCKING JOB, IS IT SO HARD???? Do you just want me to use my fingers, fork? Is that what you want, would that make you happy…well, you can’t be happy, because you’re a fork, and you had one job…and you failed…if I hadn’t already broken you, I’d tell you, dear fork, to get bent…but then you’d probably just break anyways because you have no structural fortitude and bending is too hard.” Cue super heavy breathing and convulsions…over a plastic fork.
Yeah, I spent way too much time being angry at people and especially inanimate objects.
So, I went back and read my other stories about embracing the suck, and I wouldn’t say they’re the reason a light switched on. But they were something, besides feeling sorry for myself. I found that discovering one method of taming my trolls, lead to another way, and another, until I randomly discovered multiple ways to not just cope, to just be fine, but to thrive. Before, during my depression, I simply wanted to wake up and not dread the day. I was ok with just accepting that there were things I had to do. Now, I’m actually looking forward to what I GET to do, not just what I HAVE to do.
Today, I found myself thinking of Junior, and my heart wasn’t imploded anymore. Yes, I’m still sad, it hasn’t been that long since he passed, five days actually. Yes, there’s still some other shitty stuff floating in my orbit, there always will be. I think maybe, because of the little things I’ve done to make myself feel better, I rebuilt some of the vessels, veins, and tissue of my heart compartment, the part that loved Junior and I might be able to fill it up again, just maybe.
So, what’s the point of all this, you ask. Welp, I have found thee ultimate way to embrace the suck through all of this…it hit me pretty hard tonight. For now, I’m just going to say it involves Freddie Mercury, and I’m pretty stoked about it.