What if she says no?
What if it’s too late?
What if she doesn’t believe me?
What if she’s willing… and I fail her again?
What if I can’t give her a “happily ever after”?
What will happen when the emotions and sudden “clarity” wear off? Will I be strong enough to keep being disciplined? Will I fall again into laziness, and her into depression?
What if she refuses to try again with me? Will I continue trying to be better, or just fall deeper into depression and a loathe-some life? Am I doing this just for her…. or for me?
The funny thing about trying to holler at God… sometimes he hollers back.
I tried my first cigarette in 2009, around this time of year. My last one was this morning. I’ve had a vape and nicotine chewing gum for years now… and I had to break the gum out of the packaging today. I went from a pack+ per day, to 6 cigarettes yesterday, to about 5 today (all around mid-day), to none. I finished the day with gum… and it’s been rough. I picked a hell of a week to quit… but if I don’t right now, then I probably never will. I’ve “wanted” to quit for years… but it suddenly became a “must”. It’s already difficult, and I’m not even 24 hours in. It won’t be easy… but it’ll be worth it.
Earlier this evening I felt that familiar desire to take a break from cleaning and organizing my apartment… to go outside and breathe deep. I popped some gum.
It came back.
I went for a run (1 mile, I’m still out of shape).
Another bite of gum.
And then….. and then it hit. The panic. The sorrow. The anger. The disgust in myself.
All of it hit me so fucking hard today. Again. It felt like waves.. but when you’re being buffeted by the swell and the current, and the waves try to drown you with each new set. There was nothing calm about this sea.
So I threw my running shoes back on again.
Again, I ran….and ran…..and ran…. until I felt like puking. Until the tears stopped flowing. And then I caught my breath, and walked back and forth on a bike trail…. back and forth. Run. Walk. Run. Walk. Back and forth…. until the tears came back. I ran again, faster and faster, until I was too tired to sob and cry.
I would sprint as fast as I could, until I had to walk. Then I’d walk until I had to cry. Then I’d sprint until I was too tired to cry. Then I’d walk. Then I’d have to cry again. I just cycled through this over and over and over and over, until I lost count of how many times I had run back and forth, and how far I had gone (my Apple Watch decided to record it, though – about three miles in total).
During my walking, I spoke aloud to God. You can call it “the heavens”, but I addressed him directly with a request – “Don’t let it be too late.”
I’ll trade anything. I’ll do anything. Don’t let it be too late for another chance. There is nothing I won’t give up for this. For her to be in my life again.
….and then another realization hit me in a gust of wind: I have been escaping my problems, instead of facing them head-on. I’ll throw trash to the side, instead of into the trash. I’ll put dirty dishes in the sink (or still on the counter), instead of putting them in the dishwasher. I’ll ignore my responsibilities on the weekends by playing paintball. I’ll ignore my wife by working longer hours. I’ll escape reality with video games.
I have given myself so many outlets to escape to… to hide from my responsibilities and problems.
I need to stop that. I need to stop pushing things to the side, then pushing them for later… then ignoring them. I’ve done that for so long.
Exhaustion gives clarity, for sure.
Until the doubt sets in.
Until I realize that I’ve left unopened mail on my kitchen counter. Until I realize I’m full of shit, and will fall right back into the patterns that are “comfortable” for me, where I will make a fool of my wife for ever loving me. I’m so deathly scared of somehow convincing her that I’ve changed… only to repeat the same things again. I’m so worried that I will fail again. If I get one more shot and blow it… I may never recover.
Fuck those doubts. I will burn the boats and bridges behind me. I will succeed in getting my shit together. There is no alternative that doesn’t lead to death.
I’m going to clean the mail off of my counter now, and then try to dream of my wife. I’m going to talk to her tomorrow, and I WILL be the man I should always have been.
…and pray that it’s not too late.