Blog: Six Months Later
(originally written 10/13/12)
On March 18, 2012, I disappeared from society. Not exactly a shocker; if soaps were mainstream and looked upon as more than a lowbrow sapfest, I'd be known as the black Luke Spencer. Be it heartbreak, job angst, self-pity, or athletic failure, my longtime method of dealing with the pitfalls and challenges of life has always been to draw back into hermit-level isolation while my heart, mind, spirit and ego heal.
These vanishing acts can last anywhere from three weeks to nine months. My longtime buds have gotten pretty used to it; it's actually become a running joke among my 707-native brethren.
So when friends weren't able to get ahold of me March 18–via phone or otherwise–most of them weren't terribly concerned. After all...I do that.
But this time was different. I'd been suddenly hospitalized after a very unsettling series of thoughts the night before, intensified by a bipolar disorder I wasn't aware I had.
During my eight-day stay at St. Helena, I was told to write a letter to myself to be mailed in six months. (Highly reminiscent of time capsules my 6th grade class prepared at the start of the year to be "unlocked" at year's end, but I'm not here to talk about the past.) In this letter would be a list of goals and achievements I expected to have by the time the letter reached me. I did as I was told and completely forgot about the letter upon discharge.
Well, in late September, to my surprise, it arrived–right on schedule. Going up and down the list, it was extremely gratifying to discover virtually every goal I pursued had been met, or was due to be met soon. Those goals included:
⦁ Living in the 408 again
⦁ Seeing my friends far more often
⦁ Seeing Josie every day (not there yet, but soon)
⦁ Re-joining FedEx
⦁ Keeping my volatile temper under control (not a single outburst since discharge)
⦁ Re-joining the sports blogosphere
As you might imagine, I beamed with pride over my progress. But it would, and could, never have happened without the support of my family (mom especially) and friends–all of whom have been totally supportive of me and, most importantly, haven't treated me any differently or given me crap about my forced teetotalism. You will never know how much I love you people for that. It's inexpressible with words.
On Tuesday, I am expected to return to work at the company I never wanted to leave but was driven to by illness. On the side, I plan to continue busting my butt sportswriting–there are huge benefits to be reaped if I work hard and put out quality articles every day, I will be given opportunities to not only be compensated for my articles, but also sent to cover sporting events with a real-live press pass! Josie could say "That's my fat dad on TV!"
In short, things are looking up. At 32, I finally know who I am, where I want to go, and how to get there. It would have helped to have those answers 10 years ago, but I was too busy skirt-chasing and being part of "the scene". Today, I will not be stopped, not with a daughter who needs her daddy and a daddy who is determined to be the finest one ever produced.
Hopefully all of you will be along for the ride...