Okay, it wasn't a nervous breakdown but it was God rattling my cage.
Things come to a head for a reason. For me, they gather in the wings, noticeable by me, ignored by me, until the dam breaks and I'm buried in the flood.
I had made KFSS more important than my family. I blew off men's Bible study because it fell on Tuesday nights. KF nights. I resented having to miss class to attend a family/kid function. I justified it by saying it was my time, my sanity I was saving.
My wife. God bless her. God blessed me with her. She's not perfect. Has her own issues. Doesn't like KF or a lot of the things I like. But she compliments me, fills in my weak areas, balances me. She's put up with a lot of my shit over the last 18 years of marriage.
Bottom line was I had become a selfish bastard. I thought that as long as I made my appearance at home, school things and such then it was okay to have a hobby. As long as I brought home a decent paycheck that allowed my wife and kids to do extra things, then I could have a place to go of my own. An escape. Unfortunately, I let KF become, in the words of the Good Book, an idol. It was replacing that which I truly loved, my wife, my family, my Lord, with something else.
If you would have asked me what was most important in my life I would have said my faith, my wife and my family. But my actions didn't back up my words. My words were empty, hollow, saying much but signifying nothing. My actions said, KF was important. Me getting my Master's in the art was important. I justified it three ways to Sunday.
I'm such an idiot. I nearly killed my marriage over it. My wife was ready to leave and let me do whatever I wanted if that's what made me happy. She saw that she and the kids did not make me happy. Only KF. To an extent, she was right. I love the art. Still do. But I can't let it replace the love I had for my wife and family. I need to find that love again. I know it's there because when she offered to leave, I nearly had a heart attack. Not the proverbial one but a literal one. My chest seized. My mind reeled. My eyes were opened to what I had done.
Schmuck is probably the most apt word.
Ladies and Gentlemen, boys and girls. Love your wives/husbands. Your sons and daughters. Love them with the love Christ has for his Church. They aren't perfect and neither am I. But if I love them as He loves us, what can I lose?
Will I ever go back to KF? Probably. Someday. Not in the near future. But someday. Right now, I have to rebuild my marriage. Reconnect with my kids. They will out of the house in as little as 5 years. That's not a lot of time, really. The last 14 have gone by rather quickly in retrospect.
Don't be fool like me.