Thoughts by Richard Bleil
A friend reached out to me. She told me that my social media posts have been rather dark of late, and she wanted to check on me to be sure that I am okay. The inspiration might well have been my most recent post, that read “To all of my friends, thank you for standing by me through my tumultuous life. I love you all.” In retrospect, I suppose that this does sound like a “so long and thanks for all of the fish” kind of note (that’s a Douglas Adams quote from “Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy”). So before going any further, let me start by reassuring all of my friends and loved ones that, no, I have no intention of doing harm against myself.
Yes, lately I have been in a rather prolonged manic, depressive state, but I am happy to report that I am on the upswing at the moment. If you read yesterday’s post “Digging Out”, I am happy to report that, today, I have actually cleaned up my house. Don’t get me wrong, I still need to dust and vacuum and find the courage to face the toilet mold, but all of the garbage has been picked up and if anybody comes to the door, at least it won’t look like a hoarder disaster.
Much as depression builds, so does the upswing. Looking at a living room free of garbage will help me to feel better tomorrow, which may even inspire me to do for fun things. I’ve not played guitar in a very long time, but one of the things about the living room that has bothered me is the guitar cable. I purchased a very long one because the plug was on the other side of the house, and it’s been laying on the floor for months, getting underfoot regularly and interfering with the vacuum cleaner. I purchased a very short one and managed to move the amplifier closer to the couch, so maybe I’ll pick up the guitar and start playing again. I’m even considering shaving my beard. This is not depression related; the beard is a wintertime facial affectation, but sometimes simple changes help with depression as well. It’s a change, even an insignificant one, at a time when change is desperately needed. It’s much like the first time I gave myself an adult star shave. Nobody would see it, but I knew it was different, and it helped.
As for my social media post, yes, I meant it sincerely. My life has had extreme ups and downs, from having a larger income than necessary, to having so little money that I would eat once every three days. I’ve gone from owning a sixty-thousand-dollar car, to being homeless and riding the bus. Everybody struggles from time to time, but I truly hope that the struggles I’ve faced, and the timing thereof, is something that very few people face. And yet, through all of the heaven-touching highs and earth-shattering lows, my friends have stood with me. They have given me love, support and encouragement, never wavering in their compassion and concern.
On a rather long drive not long ago, the thought came to me of my friends who have stood by me even when I had nothing to offer but myself. I’ve had friends feed me when I had no food and no money to my name. Friends that I did not expect stepped up to give me shelter when I was homeless. Several friends have reminded me that family is not necessarily blood related when I was struggling with mine. These friends have given of their time, their emotions, their love when I needed them most, and had nothing to offer in return. I’m sure I have so much more to learn about love, but what they taught me about it is indispensable.
And of course, my readers show their love just by opening my blogs. I’ve struggled with loneliness and relationships, I’ve had my problems with my family, but I’ve been blessed by so many around me with their love, support and understanding. For those of you reading this, I hope you don’t struggle as I have, but it you do, I can only wish you the kind of love and support I have known from my extended family of friends. It doesn’t really help with some kinds of loneliness, like my desire for a physical relationship with a wife, but it’s always helpful to know that I’m never emotionally alone, nor am I ever devoid of love. And neither are you. Thank you for all you have given and done for me.