I was hoping that I would be a lot more positive by now, but the universe seems to have other plans for me.

Finding inner strength seems to be getting harder and harder these days. 2018 began in much the same way as last year started, I was full of hope, trying to put all of the shit that I had to deal with over the previous twelve months behind me.

Then, within days of the start of January, I got a message from my Uncle, telling me that my mother had taken a turn for the worse and was now gravely ill. After a conversation with my sister, it became apparent that my Mum wasn’t going to be around for too much longer.

By the middle of January, my mother had passed away, almost six months to the day, following the death of my grandmother (my mum’s mum). The two women that had raised me are gone. I feel numb. I’m not sad, I’m not angry, just numb.  Not positive.

The death of my mother at such a young age has brought my life into sharp focus once again. Regular readers of this blog will know that I have struggled with a variety of issues over the last several years. Money, or lack of it, seems to be the most significant pain in my arse. I have tried to make a living for myself for over ten years now, sometimes while working a regular job, but all to no avail.  Not positive.

My wife works her arse off, bringing in a meagre income, but it is just about enough to keep a roof over our heads, food in our bellies and clothes on our backs. I, on the other hand, have not been able to contribute to our finances for quite some time now. I have been looking for work, and I apply for jobs every day. At the last count I had sent off a total of 194 job applications, and out of those I have had three responses and no interviews. That makes me feel worthless. I can’t get a job, even a part-time gig that would help to take the pressure off of Rhona. Not positive.

So, I tell myself that I can contribute in other ways, chief among those being able to “be there” for our son. I always make time to talk to him every day; I make his food every day, I collect him from school every day. Doing those things for him, while reasonably standard things that everyone does for their kids brings me joy. Other ways I contribute are being a loving husband and a homemaker. Positive.

I keep the house as best I can, I could probably do better, but I had never been shown how to do household chores when I was a kid. So, what I do know about cooking and cleaning I have picked up along the way. Previous girlfriends have taught me some of the basics, friends have filled in some of the gaps for me too, but it wasn’t until I met and married Rhona that I began to learn. Aside from cooking, she has taught me the most about how to keep a home. She has very high standards, something I struggle to meet most days.

But, I know that my family appreciate that it is hard for me at the moment. They just let me be. Sometimes I think they find it hard to speak to me about certain things; maybe they are worried that I might fly off the handle or something? The last thing I want to do is to find myself being stalked by the black dog again. I try hard to take time to lose myself in a good book, a movie, music, meditation and, lately, going for long walks. I have a couple of good friends that take the time to listen to me, but they too have their demons to fight on a daily basis. It is hard for me not to lean into them too much for fear of pushing them away with my angst.

Today, for the first time in a long time, I had to ask the girl at the checkout if I could put back some of the groceries that she had run through the register. I didn’t have enough money to pay for all of the things in my basket. That was embarrassing. We put back enough so that we had just the right amount of money to pay for what we had kept. It left me with nothing. I had promised Karta that I would treat him to a cheese-burger from McDonald’s on the way home, but I had to tell him I couldn’t even afford that. He offered to give me some of his pocket money to help me out and not to worry about the burger. He said I looked sad, that made me cry. Not Positive.

I feel as if I am circling a black hole of uncertainty at the moment. I have more questions than answers right now. Am I a good enough dad, am I a good enough husband, am I a good person, am I a failure, when will things get better and most of all, why is the universe kicking me in the balls, even though I am already down? It would be so easy to bury my head in the sand and hope that this will all just blow over, but I don’t have that luxury. Despite my best efforts, all I have is sadness and frustration, sprinkled with moments of pure joy.

If I win the lottery tonight, I will take a year off, before I make any decisions about how to move forward. I would take my family and sail around the world, without care. But I know that isn’t going to happen, so I will write down my darkest thoughts upon the pages of my most private journal, hoping that by doing so I can keep the darkness hidden away. Meditating helps me a lot; now I feel ready to look for some physical form of meditation, maybe Yoga or something?

Until next time.