So, it has been 731 days since ex-Mrs. SFC B and I separated. No, I'm not counting, this is the year 2011, the internet can find more than just boobies. Although, to be fair, the "Date Calculator" I used was the 6th item Google returned, behind 5 porn sites devoted to women doing... things... with calculators.
Yes, this is a wonderful time to be living, and yes, I bookmarked all 5.
Looking back on this past 2+ years it has been an... interesting... time. Relearning to be single has been challenging.
I lie, learning to be single has been challenging. I've never been an "out-going" kind of person. I've always been stand-offish and content to just go off to the side and let the more out-going types enjoy themselves. Hence why recruiting was such a wonderful, happy, awesome time for me. Because it made me go outside my comfort zone.
Another lie; hated recruiting regardless, and never did go out of my comfort zone. Any success I had was due to luck and referrals (and somewhere SSG Rage nods sagely, and yet angrily). So, the move to Wisconsin basically represented my first step in making a conscious effort to change some of the stuff I don't like about myself. Only some, I like some of the stuff I don't like. Don't look at me like that, it makes sense in my mind!
Of course, first, I had to go through a wonderful period of depression. That is always a good time; I highly recommend it if you haven't tried it before. Honestly, if I could have combined the self-loathing and depression, grew some musical talent, and develop a crippling drug addiction I'd probably be a somewhat successful songwriter right now. Damn for missed opportunities.
My favorite part of being depressed is that moment right before you go to sleep and you look back on your day and think "fuck, that sucked". Followed by dreams you don't remember, but know they sucked, and the realization in the morning that you can only hope that today is going be just as bad as the previous day.
Right now, if my mom is reading this, she is going to be calling me with a worried tone.
Being the otherwise normal person I am I tried to work through those feelings the way any emotionally healthy man does: alcohol and sex.
You know what sucks more than being depressed? Being set on fire by angry badgers. That sucks a lot more than your serotonin levels being out of whack.
But, you know what else sucks more is being depressed? Wanting to self-medicate, and knowing that you can't/won't because, damnit, you have to go to work in the morning and if you are too drunk/hungover then your professional life will suck just as much as your personal life does.
Between some quality time with a counselor and focusing on not sucking at my new job stuff got turned around.
Taking a cue from many (most?) of the women I've dated I spent a good deal of time faking it. Going into the office and making myself be excited and motivated, whether I actually felt that way or not (usually I didn't). I have a dull job. I don't blow shit up. I don't climb things. I sit behind a monitor, watch statistics, validate paperwork, and occasionally conduct a class. It's dull. I've always taken it seriously, but I'm aware that 42A had the least interesting MOS video the guidance counselors at MEPS could show.
But a funny thing happened, the fake became real. Making a point to go out, every day, and be friendly, to anyone stopped being a mask I put on to get through the day and started being something I did because I liked to. Going into the office and trying to improve operations and readiness because something I was excited and passionate about doing. I'd spent over 5 years on auto-pilot. I'd gotten promoted due to the career I had before recruiting, and stagnated during my time in USAREC, and didn't recover during my follow-on assignment.
And I didn't just stagnate professionally. I'd gotten complacent in my personal life, stopped caring for myself and, I realize it now, for my now ex-wife. It wasn't fair to her and I was a truly awful person to have been married to.
Wow... kicked myself in the nuts to put that out there. Oh well, no one else reads this anymore so... who cares!?!?
So, yeah, depression, self-loathing, false-motivation, eventual real-motivation, and a better self-image pretty much sums up my first year.
Looking back on this year the best thing I've done was decide to get away from the computer. God, looking back I was way, way, way too engaged in playing a fucking game. I probably missed a ton of stuff due to that. I can't be sure because I wasn't paying attention; ignorance is bliss.
With the arrival of spring here I've been spending more time riding and just going out into the sun. I still have a sickly pasty chest, but at least you can tell it is because the rest of me has something vaguely resembling a tan. Going out just for the sake of going out can be a wonderful attitude adjustment.
I find myself committed to doing something totally stupid and self-destructive. I'd mentioned being interested in participating, and then I found myself sending an email to the Soldiers in my building looking for others who'd like to join. Now that everyone knows I'm looking to do this, and several have agreed to participate as well, I find I cannot back out. Even if I want to I'll be letting down others and showing myself to be someone who won't/can't follow through. I'd like to think that isn't who I am now.
My leisure time isn't spent playing an MMO. I've returned to the simple joys of reading, and when wanting to be more active, learning the guitar. I still suck but I can at least play a couple of tunes I, at least, can recognize.
However, it has revealed to me that I do hate my voice. Why didn't anyone tell me I sound like that?!?! I need to know these things people!
Life isn't perfect, it's never going to be. But it is a whole metric fuckton (which is 30% larger than your standard fuckton) better than it was two years ago.