Today I feel consumed by anger. If you bumped into me on the street and we chatted, you wouldn't know. If you knew me well, you might clue in that something was a bit off. Of course if you have been around me much in the last three years you might not think anything was off at all.
I'm not "mad" right now. I do get mad. When I do I'm often just letting out my anger. I get mad at my kids. Sometimes I get mad at Susan. I get mad at the dog. I get mad at idiot drivers. No. As I write this now I'm not mad. I'm angry. And angry is something much deeper and more insidious. Mad is an outburst. Angry is an emotional state I can't shake.
If I can't shake this anger, why write about it now? Saturday will mark the third anniversary of Nathan's diagnosis. April fools! That is why. I see that date coming on the calendar. It isn't circled in red. I don't have a reminder set on that date in Outlook. It might as well be and I might as well have. It just pops. And each time it pops I chase the same train of thoughts and emotions. It goes something like this...I should be happy. I should be able to celebrate it. After all, three years is a long time for this diagnosis. After all, the 5 year mortality rate is approximately 30%. This is where things start to turn in this chain of thought. Three years? That is kind of pushing five years. The chances of making five years are bad.
Then I do the fucking math (it isn't hard). The math I'm doing doesn't logically apply to Nathan, but I still do the math. I get mad when I chase these thoughts around and my anger gets fueled.
I could go on and on about what I get mad about. I could give you a laundry list of the things that spark my anger. That is what it is like too. It is very much like static electricity. I walk around all day and my anger kicks around building up energy and it has to find that point where it can jump to something else.
I spark and get mad, but what am I really angry about? Is it obvious? The cause is clearly obvious, but I'm not angry that Nathan is sick. I'm angry that life is what it is, and that seems to be a hard thing to get over. At least for me. Susan and I were living outside of the reality of life. We met young. We were happy. We picked a place to live that we liked a lot. We had good jobs and made good money. We bought a house. We got a dog. We started a family. I wouldn't have thought I was naive. I knew that the nature of life was messy, but I guess I didn't expect it to be messy for me. April Fools Day came and it wasn't funny. And all of a sudden life was what it is, messy and hard and a struggle every day. So if I had to boil it all down, I'm angry because my life doesn't match up with some ideal or expectation of life that I didn't even really acknowledge that I had. I'm angry that the reality of my life doesn't match the fantasy that I was living out and expecting to continue.
Now I could be delusional in my little pop-self-psychology analysis here. I think I'm at least on the right track. And I'm so damn mad at myself for being able to recognize at least some of the reality of it all but still unable to deal with it as well as I would like and feel that I should.
Life is messy. Get over it. Give up the fantasy. Embrace the beautiful parts of reality. Love is real and beautiful. Love cannot be fantasy. Accept the love. And give it back. Revel in it.