I am huge fan of Pintrest. I don’t know what it is about those random pictures featuring everything from a lovely dresser to a desert I can taste without once stepping in the kitchen that keeps me entertained for hours. I like to use the pictures to fly away from my little world and create with them a world that is of my exacting and sometimes eclectic taste. I dream of the places I would see, in that perfect focus, and the dresses I will never be able to afford. It gives me a taste of the elegance, the sophistication, the beauty that life continually seems to deny one. Life is simply too dirty to ever look like Pintrest.
If you ever go on Pintrest on of the things you will be inundated with from the beginning are little sayings, cute little quotes, and famous words. These poetic life wisdoms will be on wood, glass, paper, and even sometimes the shirts you probably would never wear. Some are cute, some are inspirational, some are downright rude. But they are there to pick you up, dust you off, and change your point of view.
I often read the quotes and chuckle. Other times, I will save those little bombs for future use; whether in decorating a home I don’t have or in painting a masterpiece that I am incapable of.
Little bits of wisdom are strange and wonderful things. When they hit you at the exact moment that you need them, it feels like a wind tunnel has blown not just your hair but the whole course of your life. For days you might remember the words that so powerfully lifted you up, but eventually you will either replace the saying with one more appropriate to that moment, or you will simply slow down enough that you can’t keep up with the very wind whispering those potent words. This is life. This is what happens; and no matter how much you need those words back, you will forever lose the incredibly mighty lexis that once filled you.
I have spent many years looking for those sayings, even prior to the invention of Pintrest. For some reason Marilyn Monroe’s words, or Aubrey Hepburn’s words, can transport me through the curve that is currently causing me trouble. They are my muscles, my strength to not give up. And I use them as easily as I use the words I am writing on this paper to get through the tough times.
Not everyone does this, of course. There are those who use other inspirations to stay the course, or to beat back the demons of negativity. Then there are those who simply don’t let the unenthusiastic, unconstructive, unhelpful, pessimistic words to ever bring them down; they are made of eternal sunshine. I often wonder if these types of people actually exist, and then I simply want to know what they have drank, smoked or swallowed – I need me some of that.
Me, I am pessimistic until backed in a corner or worse, until someone actually sees me. Then I put a smile on my face, roll up my sleeves, and start with a drop kick in defense. It maybe in my imagination, or it may in someone else’s, but I fight only when I have to.
My husband is different. My husband starts out for about forty-eight hours being happy, confident and full of the vinegar needed to make things happen; and then he slides for the next three months into a level of pessimistity that is hard to describe. Walls have fallen, and then rebuilt. Worlds have moved, and then stopped dead in the face of a pebble. Blood that once ran red, all of a sudden look black. And once that depressing attitude begins, there is no stopping the excuses. There is no way to change the tide; the woe is me has begun and it is on a train that has no wheels to turn.
Don’t get me wrong, I am bipolar. There are moments of pure depression that make my husband look like a ray of sunshine. There are moments of anger, frustration and then sadness that make it impossible for me to comprehend why I even begin to get out of bed. And most of my optimism is paid by that little pill I take multiple times a day in order to stay sane. But whether it is the pill itself, or my own self, I mostly do get out of bed. In fact, I will often get out of bed over and over again to face the same dreary reality, rather than stay in bed as I should.
To listen to my husband make excuses when those wheels aren’t turning, when the tide is pushing so quickly and so dramatically, pushes my buttons faster than anything else God has yet to throw at me. I hear it, I listen to it, I rage against it. I see red and literally can feel the blood began to flow through my heart as it races to keep up with the demons I can’t keep reined. I will anger, I will scream, I will cuss, and I will find myself quickly in a place that is as destructive as the place my husband as found. And then we are both lost.
The worse for me is the what happens when the excuses begin to fly. My husband’s excuses come in the form of drinking heavily and laziness. Did you not know that excuses come in other forms; not just words? Sure the words always exist, but excuses are actually the actions you take in reaction to the insidious words of doubt or even happiness that comes into your mind. The words that change the reality are important; but they don’t hold a candle to the reality of the actions they make.
My husband is an alcoholic; he doesn’t actually need much to decide to drink. Give him a good day, give him a bad day or anything in between, and he drinks. He hides it under the bed, just like any other alcoholic; I suppose in an attempt to keep me from knowing how much he drinks. He convinces himself each and every time that I don’t know; yet I know before I even get my whole body through the front door. I can smell it, see it in the redness of his face, and I can hear it in the stories he wants to tell. Then there is the laziness. Life not going the way you want, my husband’s response isn’t to fight, it is to concede and hope the next round is easier. My husband doesn’t use anger or frustration to come out fighting; he uses it as a way to make it simple. My husband longs for an uncomplicated, effortless, and painless life; and despite his age he hasn’t figured out it doesn’t exist. My husband sees a mountain, and rather than climb it, go through it, or around it; he sits down and begins the excuses. He begins to figure out how to become the mountain so no one will see him; and no one further push him. Being the mountain no one can hurt him, turn him, no one can destroy him.
I understand this about my husband and I love my husband. There is so much of me that wishes my husband knew how I felt about him. There are so many times I wish that when I explained his wonderfulness, that he listened. There are so many times when I tried to explain to him that life is beautiful, but he won’t see it.
From my husband I instead get asked if I love him? Why am I not supporting him? Why am I not seeing the unfairness that is staring into his face? Horrible questions for a person who believes soul deep that she is trying. And sometimes I wonder if the old saying about two people with diseases being married is true? Maybe we are destroying each other with our own destructions? Can I truly make him see that I need him at his best, to fight the darkness; can I give him the words convincing him that he is not less? That I need him to believe that everything is going to be okay; because fair or not…I had the disease first.