with Avi Spivack
Hi, I'm Avi, and I try to put the work and the dad together, with mild success. This is all about trying to give you a view from what it looks like on the dad-man's side of the world, and I hope you find my ruminations humorous because I try not to take myself too seriously.
I’ve been blabbing to anyone who listen (and even those who won’t) that my first book is coming out in August and it’s super funny and super poignant and buy it, buy it, buy it. It all feels very narcissistic and self-congratulatory and awkward, and this morning I finally realized why.
While the book is about me and my penis and my struggle to recover from a crippling episode of clinical depression, the real hero of the story is my wife.
I didn’t realize it at the time, mostly because my brain was virtually immobilized and up on cinder blocks in some musty repair garage, but my wife saved my life. I was in no condition to be a parent, a husband, or even a guardian. I lost control of myself. I had nothing to offer – emotionally, spiritually, supportively – and yet she stayed. She filled the roles of mother and father, husband and wife, disciplinarian and playmate. She fought for me. She suffered for me. She endured for me when she had no endurance left.
I don’t know how she did it. I spent most of the last year writing the book, going back to those dark, ugly places to re-examine how badly I was broken, how hopeless and helpless I was, how difficult I must have been to live with, talk to, and understand. It is not a pretty picture, and it occurs to me that the easier course of action for her would have been to err on the side of self-preservation. To shield the kids from seeing their father crumble into a huddle mass of tears and weakness. But she didn’t feel that way. She stayed. She stuck it out. And we’re better for it.
With Mother’s Day looming, the annual dread of finding the right gift has again surfaced. But this year, thanks to my newfound awareness of the impenetrable love and support my wife has shown me, the search is harder than ever. Although she’d probably say a convertible Benz would do the trick, I have this feeling that no material possession or sappy Hallmark card could ever do justice to the gratitude I feel for her sacrifice during those tough years.
I suppose the only way to communicate that is to show, not tell.
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