Friday, October 06, 2006

Eternal Optimist

I never really considered whether I was an optimist -- I just knew I wasn't a negative person. I think I was always a generally positive person and certainly easy-going and even tempered. I was never the chick who started crying when she drank (I'm a happy drunk) and I wasn't prone to teenage angst. It was probably a whole coping system, but there it is.

I have had a better week. Not nearly as weepy as last week and not nearly as volatile in terms of wildly contrasting emotions. Part of it is that I have tried to assert control over these things and organize it mentally -- if I need a good cry, fine, but no more than necessary. Wallowing and obsessing are not productive and right now, I need to be productive.

I confronted some outstanding issues (taxes, to be one) and as it turns out, nothing is ever as bad as we imagine it to be. The tax thing is cool like Fonzie and no longer taking up valuable space in my "need to worry about," red-velvet roped area of my brain. It is amazing how much time and energy can be wasted on worrying about the unknown. It is fucking unknown -- such a waste of quality brain cells. In any event, I nearly skipped out of there and felt twenty pounds lighter. I found myself smiling and hopeful and realized that for the first time in a while, I felt good. That is the upside of depression and rage -- when it lifts, you can feel it and that feeling is fantastic. I have no delusions that I'm through the worst of this and know that there will be setbacks again, but asserting control over things I can control? That is better than any pill or drink.

On the way to work this morning, I saw a girl clad in some plastic wrap, and she wasn't some Project Runway reject. She had fashioned some plastic tarp into something approximating clothing and her tennis shoes were literally on their last threads. The sight really took me aback and I was suddenly really ashamed for all of my angst and pain. Yes, it could be yuppie guilt, but I don't think that is the extent of it. There is a lot of pain and suffering everywhere and the degrees are pretty staggering. It is funny -- B used to react to my rare outbursts with this sentiment. "There are people starving in the world, people who don't have law degrees or family members who are there to catch you when you fall and yet you think you have it bad?" I hated it when he did that, as it completely belittled whatever I was feeling. But there is truth and wisdom in those dismissive words.

This loss, these profound feelings, all of it is real and hurtful, but in the grand scheme of things, I am much to be thankful for. I have some really amazing friends and family who would do anything for me if I asked. Andrea has been a touchstone for the past year and we have a growing and deepening friendship that I absolutely know will last a lifetime. My aunt Arlene, as always, remains my core -- my family -- and the place that feels like home. My sister, from whom I am often estranged, has offered unconditional support and has become a most unlikely source of advice and strength. My brothers and I have spoken more in the past month than we probably did all last year. I am one email away from having a breakthough with my parents -- I can feel that -- and I can't wait to talk to my dad.

I am really fucking lucky to have these people in my life and I don't know that I would have fully realized it had my marriage not come to a successful conclusion. Yes, it sounds glib, but that is my positive spin. It is superficial and masks a great deal of pain, but fuck it, I like it. I have a beautiful home, a great dog, a job (and boss) that has allowed me to have my meltdown, friends and family that really give a shit, and, most of all, I have a character that will emerge from this new and improved.

I hope that B has all of these things as well. As odd as it may sound, I am more worried about him. He is a flawed, but he is a good man. Just no longer my good man. This will sound weirder, but I am pained that I am not being a good friend to him right now. A few weeks ago, I didn't think it was possible for us to have anything approximating a friendship but I feel differently now. It will probably change, but right now, I wish that I could sit down with him and talk about this situation as a disinterested party. Yes, I realize that isn't possible and it might be the endorphins talking (5 mile walk, anyone?), but I hope he gains something good out of this and becomes the man I always believed he could be.

It feels good to feel good, or better, is all I'm saying.

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