(Written just before Thanksgiving Day, 2020)
Do you have to be alone well to be together well?
Do we fear being alone?
The answer to that is yes.
Relationships are all the vogue.
Coming from a man alone, I bet that doesn’t sting anyone reading.
Then you watch your favorite shows. The ones where everyone is getting together and they “teach” you what it’s like to be them. You fawn over their lifestyles, their habits, their personalities.
Don’t you want it all?
The relationship, the life, the personality? Even the drama.
The answer to that is yes. Sign me the hell up.
From where I’m sitting, alone in a basement, watching one of those shows, I want to finally graduate from the class. I want to stop being so jealous while I’m watching it. I don’t want to carry the vicarious torch of the lonely fan; and I don’t want to shlep upstairs and tell my nephew it’s time for bed, when I have a son out there, who’s so young he might be in bed already. From where I’m sitting, I’d like to be the man my relationships have made me so far.
But I’m the kind of man who settles, who’s been made weak by fighting and drug abuse, the kind of man who proposes and soon finds out she hasn’t been loyal to him, even after giving him a child.
What kind of man am I really? A broken one.
As this story tells well. It’s supposed to take confidence to approach women the way I need to at this point, and it damn well ain’t coming easily.
First, I have to put drugs aside. Not easy, but I have been sober for 6 months. Half a year? That’s a record for me. It’s a record for anyone who has suffered from addiction. You don’t get to half a year without going through some lessons in sobriety itself.
Second, as a man, you have to trust women after what happened with the last one. Any lingering hopes or unfinished business from a former relationship will degrade confidence in a new one. Also, the issue is whether or not you can rely on a new partner. That remains to be seen by dating an individual, let alone, courting an individual. The habit in certain modern cultures is to stay mistrustful of women. I’m not that kind of man.
Third, you have to heal your heart from the pain of not only losing a woman, but, I’m going to just say this, a child. Because I haven’t given up on a better life for this child, having lost him when I had to prove I could stay off of drugs for a month and couldn’t.
I’ve lost a lot. A wife, a child, two homes. Lost them. Not to poverty or death, but due to my own failures. That’s how broken I am. In essay format, no less.
So, my confidence may be low, at this point. But that’s as it should be. I still have work to do. I may have kicked the habit, but I haven’t given up on my child. I’ll admit, I have given up on marriage from time to time, and I don’t know if I will ever have full confidence in it. Not the way I used to.
Nevertheless, I have to get my “groove back,” as it were. I have no problem with my “mojo”. But I have had chances to “hop back on the horse,” and I haven’t been available enough.
I think I may not have had the confidence. It still may take a while for my heart to get past all of the resentments it still holds, but when I heal, hopefully the nation has too.
As I write this, we have yet to overcome COVID-19. But there are worse stories than a broken heart if one were to begin that story.
I’ll leave it there.