It is Day 19 of My New Beginning. I’m still plugging away on this journey. I have not petered out. The true test will be to see where I am at Day 45. Why? Time for the God’s Honest, brutal truth – one I really do NOT want to face. I am like my father. He would start something and never finish it. Ever since my Honorable Discharge, I have found I have a tendency to do the same thing.
There are so many ‘projects’ or ‘programs’ I started over the years and never completed. I get a wild hair up my ass and go balls-to-the-wall for a few days. When things get rough, I stop. There is no in-between. It is either full-ON or a dead STOP.
It is what my father did. He had a wife and five children. Things got rough. So one day, he just up and drove away. Last words I remember hearing from him were, “See you this weekend.” Said weekend lasted 23 fliggerin’ years! When he left, he left so many things unfinished. It took my mother years to either complete them or make the mess disappear.
After he left, it became my mission to do whatever I said I was going to do. I did. I started things and saw them through to the end – be they good, happy endings or bitter, sorrowful endings. I talked the talk and damn sure walked the walk.
Years passed. Then, after 13 years of serving my amazing country, I was forced out. I had reached high year tenure – service limitations. I fought it. I had seven years to go to retire. Talk about a bitter pill to swallow! I love my country. I love my Corps. I wanted to continue serving. It was not meant to be.
The first couple of years, I coasted along just fine . . . or so I thought. I started withdrawing from the world. I stopped going to family get-togethers. I started internalizing so much of what I was feeling. I refused to face just how hurt and bitter I was at losing one of the things I loved most – being an Active Duty United States Marine. (The only things I love above that are my three babies.)
I felt as though I were not good enough . . . Not just for the Marine Corps, but for life in general. I went to a dark place. I spent from age 31 until I was at least 42 in that dark place. I do not remember much from then. I have flashes of things. Some things stick out.
Things like breaking promises to my children. I broke so many they stopped asking me to do things with them. Those years are gone. I will NEVER have my babies young again. I did not take many pictures of them or with them.
I was selfish during those years. The deeper I sunk into my dark place, the larger I became. I was embarrassed about my appearance (and since I’m being brutally honest with myself, still am). I was so embarrassed about my appearance, my daughter has no pictures with me from her High School Graduation. Not a single one. Dick move. Selfish. How in the hell could I be so thoughtless, cruel and selfish? Who was being hurt? Not me. My daughter. I hurt my daughter. I disappointed her. I let her down.
And you know what? I did not learn my lesson. She got married in August 2015. She hired a professional photographer. There are maybe a dozen pictures with me in them. When in the bloody hell am I ever going to stop thinking about myself?! It was my daughter’s Wedding Day! I could not step out of myself for one friggin’ day?!
I know I will never be able to make it up to her. Those days are long gone. There are no Do-Overs. Rather than dwell on how I failed, I need to focus on something good. She does have at least one or two pictures with me from her College Graduation. She has photos of me and with me from her Wedding Day.
As this is 2016 the Year of My New Beginning, I am going to actually put a few pictures of myself out there. So, here I am in all my morbidly obese glory. This is me owning up to everything eaten in private. It is now out in Internet Land for all to see I truly am wearing it in public.
In 2016, I will learn to love myself. In 2016, I will learn to accept it is perfectly OK to take Baby Steps. In 2016, I will work hard on doing POSITIVE self-talk and much less on the negative.
My message to Me, Myself and I for 2016: I CAN do this and I AM worth it.