I have been distracted. New friends. Thanksgiving.
Haven’t walked. Haven’t written. Neglected a few friends. I’m not beating myself up too much, just observing. This morning, I’m back on track. I restarted my routines.
Amidst my week of living distractedly, I was criticized for bemoaning the fact I hadn’t written or walked for a few days. I couldn’t explain that it was my personal PSTD.
At my nadir, the shackles of pain prevented me from escaping my self-loathing self. My phone ringing triggered dread. I’d stare at it until it stopped . I erased voicemails – concerned friends checking in, without listening. Early on, during my descent, one of my oldest friends, exclaimed excitedly, “What a great opportunity! You can read all day. Home-improvement projects. Write a book!”
Or curl up in the fetal position and crackwise on the book of Faces.
My ex-wife added salt, “Your daughters ask me, ‘what does he do all day?'”
When Caroline and I separated, more of the same, except for amping up my self-medicating.
And then everything changed. Back from visiting my oldest daughter , Rebecca, my Starbucks (and currently, neglected) friend said, “Why don’t you write a blog about it?”
That single sentence was the key to the cell I in which I had been living.
Not just unlocking the door, this blog enabled my reintroduction to society. It is an ongoing reminder I have a voice people like to hear. And when I say “the blog” I don’t mean just my words. It is the collaboration. It is you, who connect with me, who read, who follow, who comment, that provides nourishment and encouragement.
I love the high I get from writing, from walking. The sense of serenity from sitting down in Tryst where Corrina brings me a cup of coffee with almond milk without me asking. My routine.
On the flip side is the lingering terror of where I was not too long ago. It is that terror, I could not convey at the moment I was criticized for whining about not writing.
I think the root of my shame is that I am not “grown-up” enough to exhibit a modicum of self-control. Shouldn’t I be able to disrupt my routine for a day or two without reverting into a floundering, lost soul?
But now I find compassion for myself.
I am confident that as my new healthful habits transform from habits into who I am, my fear of the abyss will likewise transform from fear to memory.
Until then, I just need to keep on keepin’ on.
Stay in touch. Connect.
P.S. On my walk today, I was listening to a playlist which includes, Walking Each Other Home by Mary Gauthier. Mary has a Lucinda Williams vibe but it is the lyrics of this song that resonates. Give it a listen if you have a spare four minutes.