Glimmers of hope

My daughter is doing a little better. Although I think her mother would disagree with me on that. The big picture is that she has been struggling emotionally. Mostly with body issues and self-image. While I have not seen an official Diagnosis, we believe she has Anorexia. Which terrifies the living shit out of me. Her mother is terribly worried about her, as am I of course. But her mother chooses to lash out and dwell on her behavior as it affects her, while I choose to offer a kind ear, an open heart, and advice when solicited. We’ve had many discussions and we are clearly not on the same page about our youngest. I believe my ex-wife is quick to fatalism and slow to open herself up to the possibility that maybe she needs to suck it up a bit and tolerate the “acting out” and not make it about herself. That’s just her. A black and white type person who sees all of the bad.
Me, the Pollyanna ex-husband, I see glimpses of her improving and I choose to focus on that. While once dreadfully thin and refusing to eat, she is now eating. Not necessarily enough and it takes weed to give her an appetite, but for now she’s eating. As for her depression, she had the motivation to make changes in her life recently and with my experience in depression, any effort to improve one’s life is an improvement and a very good sign. With my support and that of her girlfriend (I guarantee that I just violated some law of pronouns, but Sar will forgive me because she knows that I like her a lot and mean well) she is doing well enough for me to see glimmers of hope. I have to see hope and authenticate it because my daughter means the Universe to me, and I will do absolutely anything for her to get better. One glimmer of hope, she got a new job.
Change is good.

I was pleasantly thrilled when she sent me a copy of her Indeed resume. She wanted my input. I liked it. For a person with a limited background (she’s 20 and all she has done so far is babysitting and retail) she described herself well. Soon after, she had an interview at a car dealership. The job description sounded like a “greeter” position but it turned out to be sales. I was pleased that she was not deterred by that. She saw the earning potential and knew that she had the personality for sales. Her mother thought it sounded awful, I don’t see the harm. Let her try it; worst case scenario she hates it and then knows what she doesn’t want to do with her life. Best case scenario she crushes it and learns to believe in herself. With a base salary plus commissions it is certainly worth a try. An additional bonus is that it is the type of dealership that the managers will do anything to help their associates so if she gets a customer interested they will make it happen for her. At least until she finds her way.
Sales is tough.
But she has an ace in the hole. Her Dad is a former legend in the business and I’m going to help train her.
She’s in orientation today, her first day and she likes it. Once she learns the company itself, the real training will begin.

I couldn’t be happier for her as she embarks on this new journey, and I hope that I can take it with her.

rock bottom

Well, you finally did it, dumbass. Look where you are now“.
The intercom crackled, “Sir, are you talking to us?”. I looked up at the dark globe that contained the all-seeing camera. “No, I’m talking to myself”. Just for the hell of it I screamed “Get me out of here!”
But I wasn’t going anywhere. See, when you tell your doctor that you plan on harming yourself, this room with no doorknobs, a TV encased by plexiglass and a communal bathroom with no toilet seat with which to bludgeon yourself to death, this is where you end up.

I was cold. The sweat-soaked flimsy hospital blanket did next to nothing. I spent almost 18 hours tucked in the fetal position and waiting for the sound of the big key in the big lock that may bring someone, fucking anyone that may talk to me about what was next. I was alone with my thoughts and those thoughts were dark, foreboding, scary as fuck and wholly, entirely unlike me. Thoughts of harming myself consumed me. Occasionally, the rational version of me broke through the morass and attempted to set me right, reminding me that I have so much to live for.
Think of your kids…
Your mom…
Your friends…
They will never forgive you. All of them. Mom just can’t take another loss and the kids would never get over it. Suicide is selfish, you just pass the pain on to someone else.
Yet here I was. Consumed by the darkest thoughts a man could have. I couldn’t shake it. Death called to me as a viable release from the pain.

13 hours later, at 3 AM I was transferred to my room. A burly security guard with too many tattoos and kind eyes inventoried my belongings. I could have my shoes, but no laces. My beloved Templar cross and chain was bagged and tagged. As he explained the rules and regs of the behavioral unit I glanced through the security window to the ward that awaited me. Nothing beckoned to me as welcoming. I asked the guard, half serious, if it was too late to retract my statement.
“Sir, when you say you want to harm yourself, shit gets serious.”

I had dug myself a big ol’ hole. I needed to find a way to play this. The end game was to get the everlovin’ fuck out of there. I’m not a danger to myself and nobody here is going to believe me. All I knew is that once this ward came to life in a few hours I needed to actively pursue my exit strategy. I knew there would be fallout from family and friends, but therein lay the problem. I’ve been so concerned about everyone else in my life that I failed to take care of me. Now I was broken, and at that moment when I was escorted into the booby hatch I had never been in a lower place.

How do you explain to someone that you love that you’ve lost your will to live? That life no longer gives you joy. How do you tell someone that you are in pain and sleepless and the demons of insomnia are putting bad ideas in your head and you would give fucking anything for the pain to stop, if only for a day. Maybe it’s my fault for smiling when I really felt like wincing. Maybe I should tell people the truth about how I feel and how well I’m coping. Maybe I should cut the damn act and get some help. How are my family and friends supposed to know what is happening if I can’t even be honest with myself…?

“Sir, we have your daughter on the phone…”, a heavy-set nurse was standing at the foot of my bed. I looked out my postage stamp of a window. In the absence of clocks I surmised that it must be about 8. I had finally fallen asleep after 3 just brutal days of insomnia.
“Where can I use a phone?” I asked.
Nurse Ratched motioned for me to follow her. I found a phone with the receiver dangling in the hallway. The cord was only long enough to use while stooped over. I picked up.
“Britt. I made a huge mistake.” Fighting back tears I choked into the phone. “Please get me out of here.”
Time was up. I hung up the phone and went back to my room, curled up into the fetal position again and didn’t move for hours. What had I done with my life… ?