John and I were talking but I cannot remember what about. All I can remember is what he said: your trouble is you always think that you don’t deserve it.
I know I have touched on this subject before, particularly when I bought the dream hi-fi system for us both. I still look at it and wonder how I could have done such a thing. However, this does not stop me from using it and appreciating the beautiful sound.
Barely a day goes by that I do not feel grateful for what I have. Perhaps though gratitude is not what I actually feel. It may be much closer to guilt.
Here I am up late in a fair bit of discomfort. I can only say that I have brought this discomfort upon myself. I have been doing this to myself quite a lot recently. And I find myself sitting and wondering what on earth am I doing.
I have a somewhat rigid eating regime that I have managed to stick to for many years. It is vital for my health and my well-being that I do this. Recently, I have been going off the rails. Occasionally at first through most of 2012 until the last two or three months where it has become much more than occasionally. Never mind what this does to me psychologically, it causes me much physical discomfort and pain. In the long run through weight gain it causes too much stress on my already in trouble body and my diseased heart.
As I ponder this, I sit in our beautiful new living room looking at our beautiful TV and the furniture and the hi-fi system. I am also surrounded by my lovely dogs and my new puppies. I think of how the last few years have seen my dreams come true with regard to my dogs and their showing success. I also think of John, this wonderful man who has been at my side for better or for worse for nearly 32 years. It has not been at all easy as life with me has been extremely difficult as I came to terms with my past. He has loved me through out all of this.
What the f*ck am I doing? Am I really going to let old tapes dictate to me that I am not good enough for all of this? That I don’t deserve it?
Or is it really that I am afraid? Since the day that we got married back on our 31st anniversary, July 7, the fact that we will be parted because one of us is going to die has weighed heavily upon me.
As I write I begin to see that this has far much more to do with fear than it has to do with guilt. As a child I was used to everything I felt anything for being taken away. We moved constantly. I was always lied to and told that those I was leaving would be there when I returned. We never did return. We did once briefly return and it was clear to me that life had moved on and they barely remembered me. Later it was the leaving of my dogs that broke my heart because I had by then given up being close to people. I hold my head in my hands in a mixture of sad resignation and a feeling of shame that I cannot just keep the f*cking past in the past.
Most certainly I have not worked in the conventional sense but I most certainly have worked my balls off to have what I have today; my 32 year relationship, my dogs and our home.
It took absolutely everything I had to get to where I am. I cannot imagine any work being harder than the work I have had to put in just to survive. I sometimes wonder whether there is any point at all in trying to convey just how much tenacity, courage and strength it took to get here. I cannot go back and show you myself at my very worst. How can I explain how far down I was?
Yet still I allow others to throw me off and have me yet again measuring myself according to the yardstick of others. Maybe I need to try and stop explaining myself. I know and John knows and two of my closest friends know just what surviving took for me. The present state of my body is indeed some indication of the toll surviving took upon me.
It is time for me to put much of this to bed. Yes, I have survived and I have survived well. Whilst I will never deny my good fortune I must also stop denying what I have done to bring about my own good fortune. I also realise that it can be considered ungrateful of me to now not enjoy the life I have built for myself.
I do not know how many tomorrow’s we have left together. None of us knows that. I have not let fear stop me reaching out for the healing of my mind and my spirit and now that I am in this good place I must not let my fear of tomorrow ruin my today.
If I step outside of myself and look over my life and look at what I now have it makes no earthly sense whatsoever to deny myself the enjoyment of it.
I have worked my balls off for every bit of it. I have earned it. It was not handed to me on a plate. I did not steal it. I did not take it from anybody. I did not step upon anybody to get it.
No, I earned it and it is time that I straightened my back and enjoyed it.