The House Husband

A couple of weeks ago I dropped the only class I was taking. I dropped it because I failed to turn in an essay and chose to withdraw from the class rather than get a low grade. It was my professor’s suggestion, actually. What he didn’t know, however, is that I’m on academic probation. I know, yet, did it anyway not thinking there may be repercussions. It was foolish of me to drop it before speaking with my school counselor, especially since I’m on probation due to withdrawing from too many classes. Now there is a possibility of being placed on dismissal, which means I would have to wait two full semesters before I can register for classes again.

I shared here that I am disheartened, but realize it’s not the end of the world. Now I’m thinking maybe it’s a good thing. Hell, before all this happened, my pdoc was concerned about my stress level and asked me to think about dropping the class. Maybe the gods are trying to send me a message. Maybe their message is to stop taking anymore damn classes before I get my shit together

I spent all day yesterday cleaning the kitchen and haven’t finished. It’s a mess. My husband, Maurice works long hours and I have a difficult time balancing school work and housework, even though I was only taking one class. I’ve let our place go to hell in a hand basket. If I don’t get dismissed from school, the next semester doesn’t start until February. That gives me over three months to be a house husband;  My question to myself is, do I, or should I, stop being a full time house husband when opportunities arise?

Although it’s been 8 years since I was first diagnosed with bipolar disorder, neither my pdoc nor my therapist will release me to go back to work. As I said, my pdoc has now suggested that maybe it’s too soon to be back at school. Maybe he’s right. At this point I’m starting feel like maybe I’ve hit the end of the road regarding my recovery. The meds have me as stable as I feel I’m going to be. My therapy helps, but I don’t know if that’s going to take me any further either. I’m beginning to feel that this is as good as it gets and maybe that’s okay.

Even if it’s not forever, maybe I should take a year or two off. I need to take care of myself and that can begin with improving my environment – my home. More importantly I can use the time to focus on my mental, spiritual and physical health. My mental health is ongoing. My spiritual health needs a swift kick in the ass. I’m Buddhist, but I haven’t focused on my meditation and chanting for a long time. Maurice says he can tell the difference when I focus on my religion and says it’s obvious that I haven’t taken care of that aspect of my life. Last, but not least, is my physical health. At one point I had lost 90 lbs, but I’ve gained some of that back. I’m still 60 lbs lighter than my highest weight, but being 50 years old now I need to lose the weight I took off and more. My plan is to be around for a long time, but that’s only going to happen if I get into shape.

The good news about all of this is that I don’t have to make the decision now. At the minimum I have until February to decide. If I am dismissed from school then I have a year before I have to decide. Regardless of what decision I make, or when I make it, I will be the best damn house husband you’ve ever seen.

  16 comments for “The House Husband

  1. Betty
    November 10, 2013 at 07:24

    Brad, now’s the time to write that book. When I was a housewife only, that’s when I was most productive writing fiction, cleaning and cooking set my brain free to wander and wonder. Try it, you’ll like it!

    • Bradley
      November 10, 2013 at 12:59

      Good idea, Betty!

  2. Lora
    November 9, 2013 at 08:10

    I find that when I feel like life is getting out of control if I can just make something around me more orderly or clean, a floor or a drawer or even a room, it makes me feel more together to see something tangible that I accomplished. How hard or easy it is can also be a good way to see how I’m feeling, even before I’m conscious of feeling it. It has the added benefit of just making everyone in the house more relaxed and happy to come into a nice environment – it’s a way to care for the people I love.

    • Bradley
      November 9, 2013 at 12:07

      “it’s a way to care for the people I love”

      I love this comment. Per our conversation I have been working on getting our house in order. It really has been helping.

      • Lora
        November 11, 2013 at 14:04

        I think one’s inner world and outer world tend to reflect one another. One can be a symptom of a problem with the other, but it can also cause a shift for the positive. Basically an environmental version of Fake It ‘Till You Make It.

  3. Cat
    November 9, 2013 at 08:10

    Sometimes things have a habit of working out without our own intervention. When we live with mental illness, I think it is important not to set ourselves up for feeling failure if we don’t achieve. Go with whatever makes you feel comfortable

    • Bradley
      November 9, 2013 at 12:33

      Setting myself up for failure has been my M.O. It’s something I’m always working on.

  4. November 8, 2013 at 15:22

    Kudos for seeing the positive in all of this. Take good care of yourself, Bradley. You deserve it.

    • Bradley
      November 8, 2013 at 15:57

      Thank you, Nav. I think I do deserve it.

  5. November 8, 2013 at 12:03

    Dear Bradley,
    One of the things that always got my stress levels up was a fear of failure. From what you’ve written I get the impression that you know what that means. It’s taken me a long time to come to the conclusion that it’s ok to fail. My standards have always been very high, and that can sometimes be a positive thing, but it can turn into a negative when it stops me from actually doing what I need/want to do. I’m still working on that… There are no easy answers there. But there’s nothing wrong with not doing the best you can, sometimes it better to do a good enough job, and move on to the next. Top marks are good, but sometimes a pass mark that lets you move on to the next stage is ok too. Marks that happen to come short of expectations only mean that you are on a journey of improvement. That doesn’t mean that you aren’t clever enough, or good enough, but only that you need to work a little more on certain skills like managing time, deadlines, stress levels etc. it’s all a part of it. … I don’t know if anything I’ve written in reply is any help at all. Just wanted to show support and share some of the things I have learn along the way, although I’m sure you know all of this already, sometimes it is good to hear someone else say it, and I hope this will be one of those times. All the best, whatever you decide to do. x

    • Bradley
      November 8, 2013 at 13:47

      Fear of failure has always played a big factor in my life. My problem is that I know that, yet, have never successfully moved past it. There’s an excellent book I read many years ago titled “Feel the Fear and do it Anyway.”. I highly recommend it. Once again, great concept, but hard to execute. These issues are the ones I’ve been working with my therapist. That’s one of the things I need to work very hard to overcome and I’m really starting to feel it in my gut that I need to take the time to do it. Give me the opportunity to focus on each moment rather than looking toward the future and trying to figure out how to conquer the world.

      • November 8, 2013 at 14:02

        Very well put, Bradley, and I wish you every success.

  6. November 8, 2013 at 10:54

    This is a great opportunity to look after yourself without the stress of school and deadlines. Be kind to yourself and focus on what you need to do to get you in the best shape to take on the challenges that may lie ahead.

    • Bradley
      November 8, 2013 at 11:44

      It is a great opportunity. Once again I feel like my world is a clean slate.

  7. November 8, 2013 at 10:43

    One of the hardest lessons in life for me to accept has been that I cannot do anything else until I take care of myself – but it is pretty much true. If you don’t have the basics of physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual well-being, then you won’t be able to do much else successfully.

    Maybe this is as good as it gets. Or maybe life will open up another door for you. But there is a clear difference in accepting the place you are in may be as far as you go and losing hope that life won’t take you somewhere else. Right now, you only have square pegs and a round hole – don’t try to force the square peg into the round hole. Just let it be, and if life happens to hand you a round peg, then take it and go for it.

    • Bradley
      November 8, 2013 at 11:41

      Thank you for the comment, Elyse. You are right about needing physical, emotional, mental and spiritual well-being before I can be successful in any endeavor. I’m going to speak with both of my docs about, but that’s where I’m leaning.

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