What is Love, an essay

What is Love? Is it something you catch, like a cold or the flu? Is it something you fall into, like a soft warm bed? Is it something to fall out of, like a speeding train? I’m just not sure. I find that feelings and emotions are something alien to me. I figure it is just because I grew up in an uncaring household as a kid. I really didn’t understand those sitcoms on TV where all the kids and the parents got along and hugged and kissed. These things I find strange. I never had a mom who would kiss my boo boos better, she would yell at me for falling down. “It’s your fault for being clumsy!” she would say. My mom and dad also never hugged or kissed. I can’t say that I loved my parents. I know that I was supposed to, I know that I had to, but I’m not sure I did. I wasn’t sure what love was. I never had any strong feelings for my parents. My dad was never home when I was a kid and when he was, he was sleeping. I can’t blame him really, he never finished High School, he did the best he could to support his family. I don’t think he could relate to me. I was always a smart kid, reading books far ahead of my grade level. I am pretty sure that I intimidated him on some level, especially when I could read better than he could in the third grade. My mom was a whole other matter. She and I never saw eye to eye and there was never any warm and fuzzy feelings between us. To this day, I feel strange just talking to her, and I actually look down on her for her mannerisms. I think I honestly don’t like her. How is that not to like your own mother. She would always treat my brother and sister the way the sitcom moms would their children but I seemed to be an alien beast to her. I would get blamed if one of them did something wrong. I came away from that relationship feeling little or nothing inside for my mom. So I never really knew what parental love was, at least not like all my friends.

It was weird for me when I started dating my wife to be. I knew that boyfriends and girlfriends were supposed to hold hands and kiss, but the only examples I had to go by were the ones I saw in movies and such. I knew that I had feelings for my future wife. I felt for her very differently than I had felt for anyone, but I really never had anything to compare it to. Was what I felt love? I know that the longer I stayed with her the more I cared for her. I was more concerned with her health than my own. I know that I always sought her approval, in everything that I did. I was hurt when I didn’t get it or when I did something that hurt her. I think that I grew to love her over time but there was still doubt as I had never known what Love was before.

It was even harder for me once I had kids. My son was an absolute joy for me when he was born. I loved him to death, at least I thought that what I felt was love. He made me smile when he smiled, I got all warm inside when he giggled or cooed. Is that love? As he grew, and became a young man, I started to feel for him what I felt for my wife. I was overjoyed when he succeeded, I cried for him when he failed, and I tried to be everything for him that my parents weren’t for me. Then my daughter joined our family. This was hard for me because I didn’t really want a second child. My thinking was that our family was perfect and I didn’t need another child to make it complete. My wife wasn’t as sure as I and pushed to have a second child. She really wanted a girl, and I eventually gave in, even though I resented her for it, but that is for another discussion. I wasn’t sure that I wanted the new child all the way through the pregnancy. Once she was here though, things changed, I felt the same about her as I did about my son. Maybe more so. When she smiled at me the first time my heart melted. When she giggles I feel nothing but joy, like music is playing in my heart. I can say now that I love her. I love her. It took me a while to realize it, but I KNOW that I love her.

Once I felt that love, the third time in my life, it all fell into place. I had done things in my life that tried to sabotage the love I had. I believe that I did it because it was an alien feeling. Something that I didn’t understand. I now know what love is. It is something that doesn’t ask of you. It is something that just gives, and in giving, gets in return. It is circular, giving love freely allows you to receive love fully into your heart. I unfortunately took far to long to learn that lesson and I want to make sure that my kids know that they are loved completely. I understand what it means to love, even if it is still a little alien to me. I know what it is to feel love. It is what makes you warm inside. It is knowing that you are excepted even if you don’t feel that way inside. I guess the best way to put it is that love is just that, it is love. You can’t quantify it, you can’t measure it, and it is different than any other emotion that I have ever felt. It is everything, it is nothing, it is love.

“Keep me in your heart”

maxresdefault.jpgWhile he was dying of peritoneal mesothelioma Warren Zevon produced a record called The Wind. On it is a track that he wrote for his family and friends. It is “Keep me in your heart”. It is about how he knows he is going to die, the doctors gave him only a few months to live, but he wants to make sure that those who knew him would keep him in their heart for a while. He wants his loved ones to remember him after he is gone. It is a noble goal to hope that you are remembered after you are gone, especially by those who you are closest to. I’m sure that his family, friends and fans still keep him in their hearts. I know that I still do.

keep-me-in-your-heart-for-a-while.jpg.pngI’ve been having a bad bit of depression lately. It has got me thinking about this song. I know that I am not a famous musician or artist, or famous at all, but I hope that I will be kept in the hearts of those who know me best. It is something that I find myself doubting more and more. My circle of friends has steadily shrunk since my anxiety and depression started to become disabling. I hardly communicate with friends and family and even more rarely do I see them. Most of my friends that I would see weekly I haven’t seen in years now. I doubt tat most of them even remember me. I still see my children but while I am visiting they mostly get lost in their technology and devices, which results in me barely seeing them even though I am with them. It all makes me feel as if I won’t be remembered. Almost as if I’ve been forgotten while I’m still here.

I know that the depression is mostly responsible for these feelings. I just can’t shake them. I feel unwanted and forgotten and very much alone. It is a miserable place to be, trust me, and it takes all of my strength to keep going most days. Most days I never want to wake up, or get out of bed. There have been plenty of days where I just haven’t gotten up to face the day. I need to keep going and try to get better but it is so hard. I fight this battle daily and I’m really not sure how long I can keep fighting it. I try and force myself but I’m not always successful.

At least I try and maybe I should take Warren’s advice and just “Enjoy every sandwich!”

Fog of the Mind

me-sketch.jpgI’m going to discuss something near and dear to me, depression. I’ve suffered from this condition so long I don’t remember a time when I was not depressed. I’ve felt down about myself, where my life has led, and my daily life for what seems like forever.I don’t feel special or unique, though I’ve been told that I am. I feel most days that If I disappeared or was killed no one would notice. I know that this isn’t true but my brain tells me this is the case every day.

I can hear what you are thinking. “Just be happy about your life and live everyday as if it was special.” I’d love to, but my mind tells me that it isn’t, and when your mind tells you something you believe it. It isn’t something I can turn off or even ignore. I’ve learned to live with these thoughts and moods and hide them from everyone around me. I’m not perfect and some days are worse than others. Some days it is easier to hide behind my mask that I am fine. There are some days that my mask breaks and has cracks and lets the dark gloomy me out.It is a crap shoot most days and hopefully I haven’t offended anyone one on one of the bad ones. The dark and gloomy me is a real asshole at times. He is angry at the world and hates almost everyone. When he gets out it is like hell on earth for me, trying to cover his antics and apologize for hurting those he came into contact with.

rorshach_badge.jpgThe darkness that is inside me ain’t something I can control completely. The thoughts are there and they come whether I want them to or not. It makes me fearful of who I am truly inside. I’ve been told many times that these thoughts are a part of my “condition” but that doesn’t change the fact that they are coming from me. Am I truly this dark person who hates everything or am I the happy go lucky mask that I wear that pretends nothing bothers him. Am I the guy who jokes about the bad things that have happened or am I the dark passenger that worries about every glance that I get or look as to what it meant. Which is the true me.

I may never know which is the true me, most likely it is somewhere in the middle. All I know is it is a battle everyday and sometimes I don’t win.