How silly my mind is, allowing something so trivial to send me spiraling. Let’s just get right into it, Dear Reader, ‘cause I’m gonna need your help on this one.😘
On this, you are correct, Dickmoji! Floppy bacon blows. Well, maybe not “blows.” Because, it is still bacon. It’s more like…a missed opportunity for greatness. Crispy bacon is a just an absolute delight. But floppy bacon? While potentially still edible depending on the severity of its undercookedness, it’s still an offense to the culinary gods.
And “Undercookedness” is not. I know, I know. Thanks for the vocabulary lesson, Dickmoji. But it’s a real word in my dictionary. So deal with it.
To be clear, semi-raw bacon is not a slap in the face, like flaccid chicken skin on a wing, which touches on soooo many disgusting notes. That sorta chicken wing nonsense is a deal breaker, a throw in the trash situation.
But this post isn’t about the proper method of cooking, chicken, bacon, or anything else for that matter. No. Rather, it’s about never having that bacon cooked to begin with. It’s about feeling unloved, despite knowing otherwise. It’s about falling into deep sadness, not because of the bacon, but because of my past.
So what exactly happened? Innocently enough, it all started when my angel-of-a-wife came upstairs carrying a breakfast plate, freshly prepared. And just like that, my mind jumped in a pool of depression. I rolled over, turning my back to her, holding the blanket for comfort. I asked her, “you made bacon,” already fully knowing the answer. Her paraphrased answer? “Yeah. I didn’t want to open the other pack and I wasn’t sure if you wanted any. But I was thinking about you.”
Now, to be fair, I don’t always want bacon. But I always want to be asked if I want bacon. Petty? I don’t know. I’ll let you be the judge of that one. And it’s not a control thing; it’s a needing to feel loved thing. To complicate matters, the bacon my wife had was cured with nitrates, unlike the uncured and unopened pack. Nitrates are a no-no for me, as they trigger my migraines, which are debilitating as fuck. So my wife was thinking about my health when she didn’t offer me any of that stuff; I just wish she asked me if I wanted a substitute. Or anything. But coming up to our room with breakfast for herself and nothing for me, without offering me anything? It hurt. And just like that, I was swirling inside my head.
Obviously, my wife isn’t obligated to make my breakfast. And she’s not responsible for my feelings or how I react to circumstances in life. That’s all on me.
I didn’t say that, Dickmoji. Truthfully, this has been a bit of a sticking point with me and my wife. Historically, she’s believed I’m accountable for my own feelings, while I’ve argued otherwise. More recently, we’ve come to believe that it’s not as black and white as that…
What are you…Oh, the “black and white” thing. Grow up, Dickmoji. Zero pun intended, despite the fact that we are an interracial couple.
As I was saying, it’s not all…black and white. There are shades here. While I am accountable for how I act, it’s also a bit inaccurate to think that your loved one’s words and actions don’t play a role in your mood. You’d have to be a stoic of the highest order, an emotionless AI, not to feed off the energy—good or bad—emanating from those you love. It’s difficult enough not to let total strangers fuck with your mood. How can we expect our feelings to be immune from the behavior of our soulmate? Still, the manner of our reactions is completely on us. Each of us has the power to let our minds go apeshit or to remain calm in the face of an emotional storm. Looking in the mirror, how do you respond, Dear Reader?
Honestly, I’m not blaming my Queen 👸🏾 for anything. Not in the least. What she did was without malice; she never intentionally tries to hurt me. When we step on each other’s toes, it’s always accidental. The pain in our toes might be real, but it’s a result of incidental contact due to the fallibility of us humans. But in the throes of my emotions, it takes a minute or two (or four hundred and eighty) to get back to the realization that we never try to hurt one another. The fact is, we’re not always going to get things right. I’m just providing a little context for why—in my mind—this teeny little thing turned into such a big deal.
Right after it happened, my wife sensed something was off. With me, it’s hard not to see I’m sad or depressed or stressed—it’s written all over my face. My forehead crinkles up, my brow furrows, and I wear an obvious frown. I have zero poker face and it’s not an attractive facade. And if you couldn’t see me, you could feel me. My entire energy shifts. I pace if I’m stressed or angry and I wallow if I’m sad. To make matters worse, my Mr. Hyde persona doesn’t want to go back in the closet. He overstays his welcome, by several hours.
So yeah, my wife knew I was upset. And upon reflection, she did think her bacon omission was slightly inconsiderate. But enough to warrant that type of reaction? Teary eyed, balled up in the fetal position, feeling like I wasn’t good enough, that I wasn’t loved? Fuck no. That’s all on me, brother.
I’m trying to develop that thicker skin, to realize Nikki isn’t my past. She’s now. She’s with me. Because she loves me deeply. I know that. I do. But in that wallow-time, I lose sight of that. The memories from days gone by just invade my brain and overwhelm me with emotion.
It was never about the bacon. It was about me. It was about the associations in my mind, connecting today’s events with moments in the past, making them equivalent. Turning a solitary misstep into a “does she love me anymore” inquiry between my ears, with my nasty inner voice providing a dialogue of facts to support the lack-of-love argument. And that prick-of-a voice is a world-class fabricator of fiction, expert in the art of pressing my emotional buttons.
To myself, writing this, I sound broken. In those difficult times, I feel broken. And that just makes the recovery all the more challenging. If I’m sitting there under the covers, unable to get out of bed, deeply sad and depressed…because of bacon? Then how the hell am I gonna respond when faced with life’s substantially more significant challenges—challenges that surely will come?
But I’m not giving up. Hell no. I’m resilient. At least, that’s what I tell myself every day. Seriously, I tell myself, by way of journaling , that I Am Resilient. Not at as desire, or a “life goal,” or as a way of motivating myself (even if that is a byproduct). Instead, I say it as an affirmation, a belief in my heart, realizing that I’ve been through a heck of a lot and that I’m still here, surviving, striving, and thriving.
Life is difficult, isn’t it? It’s so easy to fall back into the ways of the past, into the feelings of the past, getting sucked into déjà vu, despite knowing you’re not the same person and neither are people surrounding you. Sure, I may have had somewhat shitty parents, with minimal capacity for love, but that doesn’t mean my wife doesn’t love me. I might take me awhile, but I know that. I know it every single day we’re together and I especially know it now, today on our one year wedding anniversary.
So on our anniversary, I say this renewal vow. Not to my wife. But to myself. And to you, Dear Reader, ‘cause remember way-back-when, at the beginning of this post, when I said I need your help? Well now’s your moment to shine.
This is about being connected to humanity, rather than being connected to the traumas of our past. This is about supporting one another, in a hold-each-other’s hands kinda moment. Do this with me, please?
Get your ass in front of a mirror and then look yourself deeply in the eyes. Then say a personal affirmation, one that touches your heart, filling you with hopes, dreams, positivity and self-love.
Mine goes like this:
Say that affirmation. Not the one above, but your own personal, free-to-be continually modified affirmation. Say it with deep conviction, self-love and compassion. Finally, give yourself a high five. And do this every day (I mean, c’mon brah, it only takes 30 seconds). But today, on this day, since we’re all doing this together, let’s give each other that same high five.
Because I don’t know about you, but I can use all the help I can get.