That classic line, from the opening of “A Tale Of Two Cities,” by Charles Dickens, certainly proves to be the perfect adage for my life at this time, and if we boil it down to the past six months, it’s amazing to not only see the change in my life and my health, but the absolute extremes that I have lived through in both directions.
The only difference would be that my life plays out in reverse order, as it had been the worst of times, and then three months ago it became the best.
As we scroll back to October 2017, I was about to hit rock bottom. I was miserable. I couldn’t sleep. I was constantly sick, whether it was sinus infections or viruses or any kind of sickness that happened to be going around, my immune system was shot. I had stomach ulcers which meant that even though I could eat, I was in constant pain and had to take medication on numerous occasions to try to fix that issue.
Then I started getting migraine headaches. My eyeballs would “jump,” which I looked up online and found that this issue was most commonly caused by anxiety. Huge surprise, there. I was also around 80 pounds overweight. By the time November was closing, I was so miserably unhappy thoughts of death were a normal part of every day. Not that I was actively planning to commit suicide, but I was praying that perhaps one night I would go to bed and maybe, as per the Megadeth song, “wake up dead.”
My hair started to fall out. I hated my job, but had to make the money.
People were spending money faster than I was making it, but luckily I had cash reserves, so it wasn’t like anyone was doing without. And seeing that my son had everything that he wanted was the most important thing, I wanted him to grow up knowing that he had a great childhood, just like I did. I had the greatest childhood anyone ever had. I wouldn’t trade my childhood memories, or my life in general, for anything.
And things started to change for me.
The realization that I was finally, totally, completely and eternally out of a horrible situation that I was in was the first step in making my life better. And once I started to fall into a normal schedule, circa 2010 before I got into that set of circumstances, I could feel a real change beginning to take hold. And my body started to respond.
Now that I am past that and in a happier position, I can legitimately say this is the best of times. I can go where I want, when I want and do as I please without having to tell anyone what I’m doing. My hair has stopped falling out. I’m losing weight. I can sleep at night. I quit my job and became self-employed, and it was one of the best decisions I have ever made. I have had a total of one migraine headache in three months. I have had no stomach problems and one sinus infection in that time.
Now that baseball season is here, and MLB The Show 18 is going to drop in about two weeks, I can look forward to a great summer. I don’t have to be anywhere except where I want to be. I plan on taking in at least a few, if not a lot, of West Virginia Black Bears baseball games this summer. Long days in the pool. Grilling. Even simple things like mowing the lawn and tending to the garden. Watching the sun set while I listen to a White Sox game on the radio with a flask of whiskey and a cigar.
I’ve bled for everyone else, I’ve done for everyone else. Now its time to do for me. This is the best of times. The worst of times are behind me. I will render them so insignificant that I hope I can eventually forget them, rather than continue to hate them. Because life is too short to hate anything, let alone anything so truly unimportant.
In closing, the lesson that anyone who sees this should take from it is that life is much too short to be unhappy and suffering to the point of your body physically breaking down. This is not the answer. Suffering through the worst of times did nothing to make my life any better and at this moment in time I literally have nothing to show for it other than the hatred I have for those whom I had to deal with at that time. But as dark as the past is, the future is just as bright, and I’m gonna live it for all its worth.
Peace, and God bless.