Wednesday, July 27, 2005

The Worst Year of My Life

The worst year in my life had to be 1997. I’ve had others that were bad but 97 would rank at the top. 1985 was my sophomore year in high school and that was a not a great year for me but the Bears did win the Super bowl so, it wasn’t all bad. In 2002 I lost my Grandfather (which really sucked) but I also got engaged. So when I think about it 1997 ranks at the bottom of the list.

The basic reason for my misery that year was my girlfriend. I was dating this nut job of a bimbo who convinced me to live with her in Harwood Heights. I should have known better but for some reason and I am not sure why I did. I was miserable in my relationship and going home every day was painful. Part of it was being away from all my friends and family in the south burbs. My life was there and every weekend I was back in the south side doing my thing.

My girlfriend was just killing me. Looking back I am not sure why I dated her. I met her the year before and since we lived far away I only saw her like once a week. After having no where to go once my lease expired and not really able to afford to live on my own she suggested moving in with her. She had a son and did not want to uproot him out of his school so, she asked if I could move to her neighborhood. So, in January of 97 I did just that.

I went from seeing her once a week to every day and I quickly realized I had made a huge mistake. This woman was driving me crazy, as she was a complete loon. I dreaded seeing her and I quickly felt trapped. However, not being a quitter, I decided that since I had made the commitment that I had to at least attempt to make it work. So, I stayed and the situation just got worse. Everyday was worse than the last and I could see no end in sight.

The other thing that happened in 97 was that I had quit working at IRI and was now consulting. Consulting meant that I would not get a vacation all year. I worked a forty to fifty hour week every week with out any break. Holidays came and I didn’t even get paid for them. Plus I was no longer working downtown so I had to drive to work every day, which I hated. I missed being in the loop and being able to go to lunch in the big city. Instead I was relegated to going to Old Orchard mall and grabbing some fast food.

With work sucking and my home life in the crapper, I was at the lowest point in my life. I didn’t have any outlet to relieve my stress and I was getting deeper and deeper into a huge pit, in which I saw no way out of. December 31st was a microcosm of the entire year.

I had made plans to go to a New Years Eve Party at my friend’s house in Oak Lawn, like I do every year. I hadn’t been spending as much time with them since I lived far away so, I was really looking forward to it. On top of all of that my girlfriend had made plans to go to this party with her son that her brother was throwing. So, I was really stoked. I woke up that morning and was dieing. I couldn’t eat anything without throwing it up. It was coming out of both ends and I was running a fever. I looked as white as a ghost and I was freezing. So, I called into work and figured if I rested the whole day I would get better and I could still go to the party. (I think I was also delusional but this just shows just how much I was enjoying my home life.)

My sympathetic girlfriend looked at me and didn’t offer much help. She went to her brothers as planed and I was stuck at home to fend for myself. I was so tired and so out of it that I lost the remote and it was stuck on MTV and they were running a real world marathon. I was literally in hell. However, as each hour passed I kept telling myself, I could still make the party. All I had to do was get to the shower and I would feel better.

As Nine o’clock rolled around I finally got up and tried to eat something. That would be a mistake. I made some Lipton Chicken Soup and let’s just say it didn’t agree with me. AS the night got later as much as I wanted to fight it, I knew there was no way in hell I was in any shape to go to a New Years Eve party. So, instead I turned on Dick Clark and sat there and for the first time in decades watched New Years rockin’ eve feeling sorry for myself.

Things got better for me in 98 and everything worked out fine as I got myself out of that bad situation. However, whenever I think back to that time in 97 when I was working out in no man’s land and living with Medusa herself, I break out in with a case of the cold sweats.


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