Do you know what it's like to have no control over a relationship? You're anxious and sick to your stomach all the time. And even when you have a good day, you worry about what might go wrong the next time. Do you know what that's like?
Well, I sure do. I saw this quote online last week and found it really appropriate for my situation:
"What happens to you when you're like that is that you don't enjoy what you accomplish because you live in a constant state of anxiety with small moments of relief. And that's something that just doesn't change."
The quote is from one, Nicholas Lou Saban, relatively unknown in relationship guru circles but somewhat of an expert on the 3-4 defense and pattern-matching pass defense. Upon reading it, I immediately copied and pasted it in an email to Axl with the subject line "THIS is exactly how I feel...EVERY GAME!" I'm referring, of course, to my relationship with Alabama football.
"A constant state of anxiety with small moments of relief." Nothing could sum up my experience of watching a Bama game better than those ten words. I basically said as much last year, when I wrote that watching a game was "95% anxiety, 5% elation and relief." In hindsight, I may have overestimated the elation and relief percentage.
Saturday's game was an exercise in frustration. We couldn't score a touchdown. By the 4th quarter, I had pretty much stopped cheering. Everyone around me was cheering, but there I stood with arms folded, completely sick about how we had played on offense. I even asked my sister at one point in the 4th quarter if she was ready to leave because, quote, "I'm tired of watching this. This is pitiful." And this was when we were WINNING 12 to 3!
I also invoked a new rule mid-game Saturday, telling my sister I was no longer cheering for field goals. I want touchdowns! Then I forgot and cheered when we hit a 50-yarder in the 4th quarter.
"I thought you weren't gonna cheer for field goals," she asked, ever the observant one. And that is when I, ever the master of making up the rules as I go, wrote and passed the first amendment to the Field Goal Act of 2009.
"Oh... alright, I'm only cheering if they're fifty-plus yards or game-winners."
Why does it always have to be like this for me? Can't I just be happy that we scored at all, that we're ahead in the game? Apparently not. If we're not looking particularly good doing it, then I'm griping about the problems we're having and "well we might beat Tennessee, but if we play like this we'll never beat LSU."
But it's the coach's job to worry, not mine. I'm a fan. I should be enjoying this. So why do I continue to go through the same thing, every game, every season, every year of my life?
Things had been on the verge of turning disastrous Saturday night. Leading 12-10 with seconds to play, our opponents lined up to attempt what would have been the game-winning field goal. Then, as my mother would say (and probably was saying) the Bear looked down on us. Our defense blocked the field goal as time expired and sent everyone in crimson home happy.
Well, maybe not everyone.
All I want is complete and total domination for four quarters and for the other team not to score. Is that too much to ask?
I suppose maybe there's a 12-step program for people like me. The problem is I really have no desire to get better. I wouldn't know how to act without this thing to care about and pour every ounce of my emotion into. Sure it might be unhealthy, but I need this! And let's face it, with my deep-seated mommy issues this is more than likely the only kind of relationship I will ever know.
"And it makes me think there must be something wrong with me. Out of all the hours, thinking somehow I've lost my mind. I'm not crazy, I'm just a little unwell..."