Mea Culpa

I must begin with an apology, because many of you will not have heard from me in quite a while, and in fact I have only rarely been logged in here. There are a number of reasons I could give, and any number of excuses, but put simply, I have been hiding in my cave, suffering with a certain amount of "caregiver syndrome" and not a little stress.

A number of you have been in touch to offer help and support, and I may not have replied. This is because I find myself caught between a rock and a hard place - part of me knowing that I need to take care of myself, and part of me still feeling that I need to be here for Christine (who is still suffering both physically and all the other -ly). Trying to sail a boat and take shore leave is impossible, so I face the equivalent of helping to crew the vessel during the storm, whilst nipping off to lie in my hammock when I grow weary. In short, i have been hiding in my figurative cave, and all not often literally pulling the bedclothes over my head and hiding from the world. It's not a great place to find oneself in.

Add to that the recurring nature of things in the past five-and-a-half years, and you'll know why this has on occasion been a Sisyphean task.

I've had days when I've hated everyone, and wished they'd go away and leave me alone. Talking to a friend a week or two ago, I told him, "I can't talk to anyone who isn't either facing something life-changing or life-threatening, or those who care for them. Then again, I tire of hearing from them, too. And I hate you, especially, and I wish you'd just fuck off." It was like the scene in The Life of Brian, when Brian tells the gathered hordes to fuck off, and they replied, "How shall we fuck off, Lord?" This great man understood perfectly. He's recovering from heart bypass surgey, his father-in-law just succumbed to brain cancer, the family pet dog died and the family were all upset. We hugged in that manly way. He knew what it was like. He's been a tower of strength to me through this past year-and-more.

Some people have chastised me, rightly in their view, for failing to keep in touch with those who care, and about whom I too care. Slowly, I'm returning to normal. I'm attending a Mankind Project men's group weekly, I'm taking my various meds, I'm exercising every day, am starting a new job soon. All these things help, but it's a slow process, and I ask for your patience and forbearance while I adjust back to normal life. Whatever that is, these days.

I've tried many things to cope with stress in a healthy manner, from the .357 Magnum Stress Management System to camping out one night a week. It helps, but nothing can take away the pain of seeing Christine struggling through all the treatments and chemos and surgeries and side-effects. Watching someone suffer hurts, and I'm still learning to cope.

I'm slowly catching up with those I've neglected, and you all have been neglected to some degree. Forgive me for the bulk-presentation of this message, I will try hard to catch up with all of you personally, over the next few days and weeks.

If you really want to read the backstory and have a little time to spare, peruse recently-written daylogs of mine. I haven't been entirely idle, even whilst under the covers.

Tomorrow is going to be a new day for me and I'm very excited for it. Why, you ask? Because I'll finally be working at a job that does not involve cleaning toilets or picking boxes off warehouse shelves. I'll be sitting in a chair, at a desk, typing on a computer, which is what I do every day of my own free will at home anyway. I'm a little worried that I'll end up hating it, but at least I'll have a cubicle to hang my head in if I do. Somehow, though, I don't think I will.

It pays far less than my last job, has very little to do with the subjects I studied at school, and I'll be working the evening shift which is opposite to almost everyone I know. In a way it feels like I'm moving backwards, but sometimes you need to take one step back before taking two steps forward. It's not retail, it's not general labour and they're entrusting me with confidential information. In other words, it's completely different from any other job I have had so far, with the possible exception of my crisis line volunteer job. Could this be the point in my life where I finally grow the fuck up and stay with a company that I want to stay with?

This is the end of unemployment for me. There will be no more mid-afternoon trips to the movie theatre, no more days filled entirely with cooking, and no more sleeping in far later than I care to admit. I probably will also stop staying awake until 2:00 a.m. listening to obscure video game music on youtube while eating white chocolate baking chunks that I melted in the microwave until it became soft enough to eat with a spoon. Not that I actually do that last thing *coughcough* anyway.

Rereading my words, I realize that in a way I'm going to miss the freedoms I've had to do what I want, whenever I want, with the contents of my wallet as my only limitation. However, every vacation must come to an end and I've reached the end of mine. I'm tired of my debit card being declined so frequently, tired of feeling stressed over meeting new people and explaining to them my situation when they ask what I do. I hate calling companies to ask if they're hiring, only to be told to send my resume by email and don't call back because everything is done electronically these days. Plus, the way I've been using my free time has become more pathetic the longer I stay out of the working world. Oh sure, I've worked a few odd jobs in the past few months, but those don't really count for much.

The main point is that I'm ready to move on. In less than a month it will be a new year and I'll be starting it off the right way. But first, I need to stop writing on everything2 and haul my ass to bed. I need to wake up in six hours for work.

I can't wait for tomorrow to come.

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