I think it sort of surprised me that I somehow skipped over the depression and anxiety for Thanksgiving… but it found me anyway. I talk about what I am thankful for.
Really it is always there… but the intensity and tone might vary quite a bit. Sometimes it is quite manageable. Thankfulness helps.
I made it through three courses of food I shouldn’t eat in the amounts I ate them… and I slept very, very well.
And the next day I climbed a mountain… not metaphorically. Literally… two miles up to Echo Canyon with family.
And then the Japanese American National Museum. We have come so far… And then then the UCLA game. Which they won.
And the next day, watching Fresno State… who also won. I know he would have watched and cheered loudly at the screen.
And if I said I wasn’t missing Ethan every step of the way, I would be lying.
My brother has the tubby Corgie named Coda… and Ethan used to pick him up… which was never easy, nor enjoyed by the dog… yet he did it every time.
And I think I can do this… Turkey. Stuffing. Sitting and wondering if he would have beer or wine with dinner.
It is neither depression, nor anxiety to wonder these things… what would he be like four years down the road… If he would have resolved his demons and found something, or continued lost… If he would have finished college and started a career or continued on for a Master’s…
We get a week off for Thanksgiving… and so I kind of kept busy and really didn’t get pulled down into that vortex that seems just beyond the curtain.
And then the week ended.
And going back to the usual routine… the thing that feels like anxiety and depression isn’t wondering about Ethan, or missing Ethan, or thinking about all the what ifs… It is continuing on. It is going forward missing a mission critical element. Carry on Carry on. Carry on… And trying to think about why? Why bother? What is at the end of this all, all the effort? Wasn’t the whole point about being a father… that the children would carry on? So now what?
I’m running on a treadmill… not a metaphorical one… a literal treadmill. Yesterday, I couldn’t find a rhythm. So I did two solid miles and then cooled down… Today was better. I’m carrying on. The mission continues even without this critical element.
And I am thankful for what I have.