What This Election Has Taught Me

In a word: Respect.

I have always believed that I have a great deal of tolerance.  Something that I have developed over time and a lot of deep thought.  However, when it has come to political issues, I seemed to have missed the boat.  This years presidential election has forced me to realize that and do something about it.  I have talked to some close friends about why they were planning on voting for Trump and why I was not going to be doing that.  What I noticed was almost all of them had the same disdain for Clinton as I do for Trump.  I decided that I had no choice but to respect their opinions and feelings on the subject.  While it is easy to fall into the thought cloud of, “But he’s such a colossal ass, it’s not the same thing,” it really is the same thing.  I wanted them to respect my opinion, so it is only right that I respect theirs.

Every voting season I find myself saddened by how people can’t seem to find respect and tolerance for each other.  I might not have been as vocal as others about my gut reaction to Trump supporters, but I definitely had it.  It has taken deliberate and focused effort to adjust that, and I feel like a better person for it.

Be respectful of each other.

i-may-disagree

The Great Fukyoo

Who out there remembers The Great Gazoo?  You know, this little fucker from The Flintstones…

Gazoo

I’ve decided that one of my depression monsters is just like him; an annoying little shit that gets his jollies from belittling me and making a mess out of my thoughts.  I have decided to call him The Great Fukyoo. He isn’t the Big Black Dog.  He’s the one kicking up all the mud.  It’s like this:

You’re swimming in a pond you know well.  You are comfortable there.  Sure there are always little surprise fishies rubbing against your feet, but you all try to stay out of each others way and you get along just fine.  Then one day your foot gets tangled up on something on the bed of the pond.  This is usually a big thing that you knew was there and stayed clear of, but some weather has moved it and you are caught completely unaware by it.  You struggle against it and go back and forth between a calm above the surface where you can logically think about how to get unstuck and the panic of being underwater actually trying to get out and worrying that you won’t get air again.  That is not The Great Fukyoo.  He’s all of the mud that gets kicked up when you are struggling to get loose.  He’s an added complication that makes it harder to see the problem and so then even harder to get free.  He’s all the little bits of things that have settled to the bottom of the pond.  They are part of the pond and as long as they stay on the bottom, everything functions just fine.  Unfortunately The Great Fukyoo makes sure that you become surrounded by all the little pieces of sedentary, to the point where light has a harder time getting to you, so you start to panic even more, and nothing is ok. Then you’re drowning.

My weekend was filled with The Great Fukyoo.  Luckily, Sunday was also filled with David.  I read him the description above and he had some good insight on things.  What it boils down to is that I have an excellent crisis mode; as long as I can do something about the crisis.  When there is nothing I can ‘fix’, things become a bit difficult for me.  I did, however, figure out what to do about it and it is not easy for me, but I basically have to become still and wait for the mud to settle back to the bottom.  Having a good friend and good food also helps.

 

Not What I Planned For

Today is my 10th wedding anniversary, and I’m not really married anymore.  Yes technically, David and I are still married, but emotionally, we have both moved on.  I made a therapy appointment months ago for this day, with the expectation that I would be a wreck.  David and I had big plans for this day.  We started talking about renewing our vows on our 10th anniversary during our honeymoon.  It was going to be another big bash with all our friends.  Instead, he and I are going out together tonight to celebrate our friendship; to celebrate what this new future holds.

Some time ago, when I still couldn’t wrap my head around why he had fallen out of love with me, I was crying and yelling at him about how I knew he was the right one and I was the right one for him and he said to me, “There has to be someone that is more right.”  That hurt so much, but it was because I didn’t understand it.  I do now and I know that he was correct.  I don’t know if I will find that “More right” person, or if I will be able to trust that it is true, but I do hope I can.  I was so sure David was the one I was going to spend the rest of my life with.  How can I ever really know that if I feel that again, it’s more real?  More true?  I guess we don’t ever really know and that is part of the risk of love.

I had so many plans, so many ideas of how my life was going to go, and it just didn’t turn out that way.  And that is ok.  I have done something in this journey of therapy and divorce.  I fell in love with myself.  A feat that I did not think I could ever accomplish.  I spent so many years listening to the demons of depression, that I truly believed I wasn’t worth my own love.  I know better now and I encourage any of you that are sitting there not in love with yourself, make that your priority.  Figure out how to love you as much as you love others.  There is nothing more amazing.

When I started this blog I intended to make it funny, while dealing with the serious issues of life.  Second blog in and I have already fucked that up.  I am going to leave you with my favorite Ze Frank video.

An Invocation for Beginnings

Below is an image of the invocation poster, but first is the part of it that impacts me the most.  I watch this video a lot to remind myself of this.

Let me think about the people I care about the most and how when they fail or disappoint me I still love them, I still give them chances, and I still see the best in them.  Let me extend that generosity to myself.

Invocation For Beginnings

All By Myself

*Sings* Don’t wanna be, all by myself… *stops sing*…I did enough of that last night, making an ass of myself…anyway…

Yesterday, my (derby)wife had me take a quiz to determine my highest love languages.  If you have never heard of it, you can find it here, 5lovelanguages.com. My top two were tied at 9 points each, Physical Touch and Words of Affirmation.  This surprised no one.

Today, I have been cycling through various levels of anxiety.  The worst consequence of this (today) is the inability to focus, hence why I am writing this instead of working.  On a different train of thought for distracting myself, I was thinking about how my anxiety has been so up and down today, and in my ever persistent need to analyze every little thing I do, I started thinking about what helps me snap out of the anxiety.  Which brings us back to the love languages quiz.  Often, outside affirmation makes a very big difference to me.  However, I am working very hard to not need it.  I can like it, I can let it make me smile, but I have to stop needing it.  So how does one not need external validation?  Well they validate themselves.  So I am sitting here realizing all of this and I start trying to come up with something I can say to myself, about myself, to affirm me; then the thought hits me, BUT I AM JUST GOING TO DISAGREE WITH ME.  At which point I can completely see myself walking around my apartment having an argument with myself:

“You’re awesome, stop worrying.”

“If you are so awesome, why are you talking to yourself?”

“Because that is what self-affirmation is!”

“Do you feel affirmed?  Because you look like a fucking idiot.  Even the dog is staring at you wondering what the hell you’re talking about.”

“You leave Diddy out of this!  He loves us unconditionally.  You know like we are supposed to love our self!”

“Really? Do you hear you? You are starting sounding like Gollum.  Next you are going to be calling yourself Precious while hunched over a picture of yourself as baby.”

“What about a bowl of ice cream instead? No! Frozen yogurt.”

“Screw that, let’s go get a Whopper and fries.”

“You realize you are doing it too now, you just called us a ‘let’s’”

At which point I stop where I am and give myself the look I give other people when I am all like, “Really?”

Then I return to my regularly scheduled avoidance of work.