I don’t want to spend too much time writing because I’ve been living out of boxes since I moved into my new place, haven’t been to the gym in a week, and my room and bathroom (my very own bathroom!) are a mess, and I have tons of homework to do before Thursday. Of course I have not yet done my taxes. All of that would’ve overwhelmed me at one point in my life but now it’s just annoying. Mostly I do what I can today and don’t worry too much about it. No one cares that my room is a mess so it really doesn’t matter. Later today I’ll go for a walk with my roommate and that will be good enough exercise. As far as homework goes, this semester I’ve been doing the bare minimum of what I need to get by, and that works just fine. Of course it worries me that I’m not retaining much information, and it seems like every semester this happens, and before I know it, I’ll have to take a certification exam on all this material I feel like I never learned in the first place. When clients come to see me with 25 different seemingly unrelated health problems, in my mind I’ll be thinking, I have no idea what you have, and I guess I’ll just tell them all to eat more vegetables and go see a doctor. You can’t go wrong with that, right? Luckily it won’t be my job to diagnose anyone. Haha! I love my strategy for becoming a successful nutritionist.
My ex and I have been “talking,” which means we email each other every day. It’s a strange, distant way to communicate, but that’s what we’ve been doing because neither of us knows if we’re getting back together eventually—just that we’re not right now. We both know we’d need to make changes, that it would have to be different for this relationship to work out, and we don’t know if that can happen. I want what we had to come back again but the relationship has changed, and I don’t know if it’s possible for it to grow in a positive direction, or if what other people say is true, which is that no one in a relationship with a bipolar person is happy. More specifically no woman in a relationship with a bipolar man is happy. But the men they describe sound nothing like my ex. You can’t lump everyone into the same category. I’m sure if you asked the general public if they wanted to be in a relationship with an alcoholic, everyone would say no, even if the alcoholic was sober. For anyone reading this and thinking, No, don’t do it! Remember that you’re only getting my side of the story, as much as I like to think I’m being so objective. Being objective is impossible. Because I get the feeling that now, after all that has happened, after all the guts I’ve spilled, all the tears, heartache, and despair—no one in my life—except my sisters and dad, who met him once and think he’s the king of the universe—no one thinks I should get back together with my ex. And as strong as I’ve become, I still care what everyone else thinks, and I worry that it’s true. I forget that this is my life, and I’m the only one who has to live it, and that my friends just want me to be happy.
They remind me that I was ambivalent before we broke up. I was ambivalent because I was depressed, and because he insisted I go visit his father for Thanksgiving, when I wanted to see my sister and stepfather, when I wanted to grieve over the loss of my mom, because I felt like he was putting a time limit on my grief. That was the catalyst that started this, the domino that toppled the whole thing. The resentment I felt over that has lessened its grip on me. Of course I still feel that it was bad timing for him to want that from me, but I also know that he’s human.
The good news is that I don’t have to decide what needs to happen because whatever is going to happen will happen regardless of what I do. I’ve tried every way to control this relationship, to make him stay, to make him change, and nothing I do matters. The best thing I can do is focus on taking care of myself. I’ve been spending this time trying to get over him because the phrase “three-month separation” was synonymous with “permanent break-up.” “I don’t know,” means “no” to me.
But then earlier last week he sent me this song, saying it reminded him of me.
I was just about to fall asleep, and then I got that email from him and now Bing! Wide awake. Could not sleep. Cried. Why. Why did this song remind him of me. If he meant that it reminded me of words I’d say to him, except for the part about it being easier to let him go, then I get that. But if he’s saying these words to me, then why did he make the decision to leave me? Why send me this song. Why do this to me.
Instead of asking that right away, I just replied that it was a pretty song. Of course it sounds like all of the songs we listened to together, my favorite combination of sad and sexy, which I haven’t listened to again since we broke up because now it just reminds me of him, although that’s all I listened to before I met him. Sad and sexy. Two things I don’t want to be right now, together or separately. I certainly don’t ever want to relive that combination again. No thank you, Lana Del Ray. Puppy dogs are what I crave now. Puppy dogs, romantic comedies, and catchy pop songs—all the things that my inner angsty teenager rolls her eyes at—those are the things I look forward to now. Connection with other people.
The next morning I asked him why it reminded him of me, and he said that he didn’t know all the lyrics, and had thought the one lyric “only love can hit this hard” was “only love can heal this heart.” He said it reminded him of us. He said, “It’s a pretty and sad song about the limbo between being in or out of a relationship. I just like it and wanted to share.”
Listen here, buddy. You cannot send me a song like that and be casual about it. I take song lyrics very seriously. He knows I’d pored over every song, spent lots of time and put lots of meaning into every playlist I made for him, which by the way all of which I have since deleted. He knows because I told him, but he probably doesn’t remember. I remember he was surprised when I told him that.
Anyway. Doesn’t matter now. Even if we get back together, it doesn’t matter. We know we love each other and have said so. That doesn’t mean we’ll get back together. I don’t feel as heartbroken about it today as I did even a couple of weeks ago, and a couple of weeks ago I didn’t feel as heartbroken over it as I did a few weeks before that. Maybe we will remain friends and maybe that will be for the best.
In other news, my dad and his wife went to visit my sister out in New Mexico last week. He showed up riproaringly drunk, told her he won’t be alive for much longer, passed out on her couch, and cancelled plans with her three times later in the week saying the “altitude” makes him sick (translation: hangover). All this in front of her eleven-year-old twins, who I pray live a life full of innocence and childhood longer than most, for as long as possible. I want to say so much more but I’ve spent all this time obsessing over my ex (I still have a lot of work to do on my codependency), and now I need to focus on school work before unpacking more boxes. In short, I feel sad for my dad, who’s now 70 years old, who has lived most likely his entire life absent from any kind of deeper connection to other people, to any higher power as far as I can tell.
That could have been my life.
I am so grateful that it’s not.
I hope for my dad’s sake that he finds peace before he dies. My mom’s mother did, about a year before she died, after she got a cancer diagnosis. According to my mom that’s the only thing that got her to stop drinking. Anyway, I sent an email to my dad saying I’d visit him soon, maybe even when the solar eclipse happens, which will be the anniversary of Mom’s death. He’d wanted my sisters and me to meet him in South Carolina in some town where the visibility of the eclipse will be best, and I’d initially said no way, partly because it’s the anniversary of Mom’s death, but mostly because I didn’t want to see him. I was always my mother’s daughter, and surely he knows that. I was never close to my dad; he was always impossible to get close to. I tried. I called him almost every week after I got sober, and he didn’t even notice or have anything to say when I called except to tease me to ask if I still had my job, car, and boyfriend. Meanwhile my mom, who I was always been close to, but didn’t visit as much since I moved to Maryland, just died out of nowhere. I could’ve moved to North Carolina to be closer to her, and I had planned to, but I put it off because I knew I’d never move away from her once I lived there, and she’d probably live to be in her 90s, and because she was still in such good physical health she was a long way from not being able to take care of herself. And then poof! Gone in one day.
It’s a shame that happened to my mom, someone I could have had so many heart-to-heart discussions with because she was not only capable of it, but she longed for that. Meanwhile, I tried so hard to be close to my dad, and it didn’t seem to matter.
I didn’t mean for this post to end on a sad note, nor did I mean to delve so deep. But writing is my therapy and that’s where I am with that today. In spite of how heartbreaking my previous paragraph may sound, my mom knew/knows how much I loved/love her, and how grateful I am that she was my mom.
Other things I’m grateful for: my sobriety, my new home, my new career path. Mostly I’m grateful to have a new outlook on life, to recognize that I have a good life today. That I can choose to spend my energy on positivity or on being sad and angry. Here are a couple of good quotes for today: