As luck would have it, I’ve got a new issue to deal with. I’ve managed to injure my knee. I’d like to say I was doing something heroic like running down a purse snatcher or rescuing someone trapped under a car, but no, it basically just happened. I was trotting from the car to the house because it was pouring down rain and about 6 steps in, something popped and down I went. I have no health insurance (which is a story in itself) so I put off going to the doctor for 4 days. It was becoming obvious however that it was not getting any better and I finally broke down and went to the Dr. I’ve got a torn meniscus in my knee that has me on crutches and pain pills.
Just my luck.
You know how some people just seemed plagued with bad luck? Well, I think some would say that about me. There is certainly evidence to support that.
With four ex wives, you could say I was unlucky in love. I seemed to be attracted to women who ultimately bring out the worst in me. Not saying it’s their fault at all. I’ve been through that many times. But it seems luck isn’t on my side when it comes to relationships.
My career has had its own share of bad fortune. It seems like every time I find a job that I believe is one I can excel in for a long time, something happens to take it away. One job I had was eliminated when the company was sold. Another time I lost a job to the earthquake and tsunami in Japan. Yeah, the earthquake on the other side of the world cost me my job. I was working for a Toyota supplier, and when the disaster struck they shut down production for three months until the supply chain could recover. And our parent company decided that they didn’t need people to manage a plant with no production. So they let us all go. And then they brought in their own managers from Japan when the plant was ready to begin production again. It was a good excuse to replace the American Management Team with one of their own. Other jobs have gone away as well to circumstances beyond my control. A software company that provided products to the Homebuilding Industry went under when that market crashed. And so forth and so on. Seems like bad luck, doesn’t it?
Then there’s the big one. I am fortunate enough to be bipolar. NOT! There’s nothing fortunate about that! If I’m honest about relationships and jobs and all the other ‘bad’ things that have happened I can link most of them back to that disease. Why was I so fortuitous as to be blessed with this illness?
I guess you could say I am just unlucky.
The problem is, I don’t believe in bad luck. I don’t believe in luck at all.
Stuff happens. Life Happens.
It seems really unfair often times when bad things happens to good people. It seems like it’s always the nicest people who are the ones getting the worst cancers. It’s the innocent driver who dies, not the drunk driver that hit them. Dr. Atkins spent his life being healthy and developing ways for others to be healthy, and he has a fatal freak accident slipping on ice. Conversely, it seems like it’s the undeserving that find fortune and fame. Just being in the right place at the right time and getting opportunities that other people who so hard for the same aren’t able to get. I’m always hearing people say “It’s just not fair that such a lucky jerk gets away with that”
Life is full of events. It’s really not that it’s good or bad it’s what happens to all of us. Luck has nothing to do with it. And what makes it good or bad is how it’s reacted to and what’s done about it. None of us can control what happens, but everyone has the choice as to how to respond.
I think in every situation where I’ve lost a job, I’ve ended up in a better place. Or it was a time when I really needed the time to focus on things other than work. When I lost a job, I could either dwell on the injustice or bad luck of how unfair it was, or use the experience to create new opportunities. The last time I was unemployed it was 8 months before I found a job, and when I did go back to work, it was with 60% less pay. Bad luck? I think not. I had just separated from my last wife when I was without work so long, which could be the best thing that could have happened. I had no distraction from dealing with all the pain and suffering I went through after the breakup. It was an extremely traumatic time. But being forced to face it, I was able to deal with it in a much faster time than if I had other things to think about. And yes, my pay is considerably less; but so is the responsibility. Before, I had large staffs to manage, and significant results to produce. It’s a very stressful position to be in, and requires much more time and emotional investment. The job I have now is as an individual contributor, doing the same thing as several others in the same role. When I leave the job at the end of the day, I don’t have to think about it again until the next work day. The nature of the job is still stressful, but it’s not as all encompassing as being the one in charge. At this time in my life, it’s a great job to have.
Yes, I’ve had quite a few failed marriages, and even more poor relationships. The bad part of all those failures is that is that it’s not just affected me, but has been just as hard (if not harder) on my partners. But I’ve learned something new from every failure, and believe that (with the help of therapy) I’ve applied these lessons, and am now developing a real, healthy relationship. It’s good for me, but I believe that it’s good for her too. She’s going through some similar circumstances and thanks to my background I’m able to give her some unique support.
As far as being bipolar, there’s a silver lining there too. Make no mistake, it’s been a horrible ride, and has left a lot of destruction to both myself and many others. I’ve suffered through so many hospitalizations, self mutilations, dangerous episodes and suicide attempts. That’s just the tip of the iceberg if I really think about it. But as a result, I’ve invested 1,000’s of hours in therapy and gone through countless medications. The Therapy has given me much insight into myself with not only being bipolar, but a lot of other issues. It’s made me a much better person, and I have to believe I’ll just get better and better. Being on all the different medications has given me an education that has served me well many times, specifically when a friend or loved one has had questions. (NEVER have I given Medical advice…but general information and personal experience only). And maybe, just maybe being able to communicate my struggles and victories through my blog, I’ve been able to help others in at least some small way.
Have I had a lot of bad luck? Or is it good luck that I’ve been able to turn things around over and over? I don’t think so. I firmly believe that everything happens for a reason. It may not be obvious at the time, or it may not ever be evident as to why. But it’s not luck.