It’s been a minute since I have put pen to paper. Tons and tons of really cool, incredibly wonderful moments in my story have happened. I’ve even cried a few happy tears. I know, you are shocked….
After my oldest daughter’s dance performances, I would hear from one of the teachers or parents about how they could not wait to read my blog about the day. My small, little bit of fame. Aren’t you the Dad who writes the blogs? I’d be lying if it didn’t give me a little bit of pride. I would find some time to write, turn on the computer, and then get lost in a YouTubevideo or some other easy distraction. And, I would miss my writing window. The time in which I am the most raw. The time in which the words flow and don’t feel forced. I can tell a few sentences into to every story I write if I was in my emotional window when I wrote it. Getting completely lost in a story, hitting publish, then having to go back and fix the 85 grammatical errors, is when I know I got the most of my story.
But, lately, if I am being honest, I feel like that emotional window closed on me. I don’t know how or when it happened, but every room I have been in I feel like I am floating around it, never with my feet on the ground. Questioning and doubting myself at every turn. Finding my wife and I in one of our valleys. Usually those valleys don’t last for us, we found our way back to each other pretty quickly, but this one, I don’t know, hung around too long.
I don’t know where I got lost, but I know I am. I feel alone, and I haven’t been alone my whole life really. Everything bugs me. The dishes, the laundry, the damn messy rooms in the house. I’ve been stuck at home, starring at a cup left on a table without a coaster for like 8 hours and when the kids and wife come home, I lose it on them about a fuckin cup. That ain’t me, but I guess it is me. I always could find the funny or heartwarming in one of the 30 empty bottles of shampoo left in the shower, but now I just hate the sight of them.
Earlier this week my wife finally asked me “What’s wrong lately? Kiley (my 14-year-old cheerleading, stand-up comedian daughter) is worried about you. She was upset and didn’t know what happened to you. She’s worried and misses you. She misses her silly Dad”. I fought it a bit, saying how I felt it was always 3 against 1 in our house. How I was mad about something and I got stuck. To get away from the conversation I said I would talk to my Kiley and figure it all out. I dreaded the conversation to be honest. What the hell am I going to tell my 14-year-old about how fragile I was feeling. I could come up with something or avoid the conversation and hopefully things would find a way back to normal.
But then I started to remember, I love my house when it was the three girls against me. I love that fight; I love knowing I am wrong in a fight but still trying to get 1 of them on side. I look for weakness in their arguments and I celebrate any small victory I can get. I think my record is something like 3 wins and 10,000 losses, but I LOVE that fight.
So, I dove back in. I started paying attention to them, specifically my Kiley. I caught her smiling at something I said, and I noticed one of my feet finally touching the ground. We connected over something stupid, which is exactly us. We never needed that talk. We laughed about my niece calling her Grandpa “Bupsy Willow”. That name will mean nothing to you, but to us, that’s one of those forever memories. We shared an apple watching The Friends Reunion, and we locked eyes when my wife picked up her phone to look at it while the show was one. It’s one of our things we share, we hate when she looks at her phone when we are all watching a show. It’s one of our things and boy did I need one of our things more that I knew.
I still feel a bit out of place. I don’t know if it is depression or whatever you might call it. But I know I found my medicine. See, I am one of the lucky ones. My medication isn’t in a bottle. My medication sleeps under my roof. And, I will forever be grateful for how they can pick me up, remind me of who I am, and get me back to my writing. I can’t tell you how excited I am to tell you about all our adventures. Now that my little girl helped me find the words. I write lots about my oldest, because her stuff is always firsts for me, but my Kiley, in the simplest of terms, is my laughter. She can crack me up with a look, and she always picks up on the subtlest of funny moments. She found my heart with her humor and I love that about her.
I hate talking depression because I never feel worthy of the conversation. I never feel like I have it bad enough. I’ve seen some with crippling depression, so my little “woe is me” never feels worthy to be labeled the same. Maybe I am embarrassed by the word a bit. I don’t know. Here is what I do know though, when I see it, I usually can get myself out of it. I find a project in the yard and I beat myself up a bit. I meditate or I go on a long walk. I can clear my head for the most part, I can find a moment that brings me back, but when I can’t I know my tribe, my three favorite women on this earth, will fight for me. They are my compass. Forever and ever, the luckiest guy there ever was.