It’s not you, it’s me. No, really, it’s always me.
I have a mental illness and today, for a brief moment, it almost killed me.
The sun was high, hard, and hot. The good fortune my wife was eager to share with my teenaged daughter and I wasn’t appealing to me. She found a new used car that the family could afford, and she wanted me to be happy. I couldn’t even fake a smile. My crazy was kicking my happy’s ass.
I don’t have the first frigging clue what kind of tree I would be, but Edvard Munch’s Scream is the painting I’d claim relation.
The distorted view, the sky, my appearance, and how I think the world sees me is so crushing because anxiety overwhelms me. My social anxiety disorder and the panic attacks that accompany it are almost crippling. I’m paranoid that the people who say they love me, really don’t. I’ll write something, go to put it my google document for my friends to read and edit, then break down and shake with fear that they’ll hate my art, and not respect me.
Life moves fast for me. If you let me be me, I can complete a two-hundred dollar grocery store trip in less time than Domino’s can deliver a pizza.. The main reason I like punk, power-pop, and hard rock songs so much is they rarely last longer than three minutes. The problem with being in such a hurry, and being in such a flurry, is I suck at the details of life. Have you read my writing? The ideas are there. There’s structure and style. But I can’t edit. It’s too time consuming. Hit publish and let the talent speak, my anxiety-ridden mind thinks. At least I’m honest. I’ll take crazy truth over anything.
I watched my wife experience satisfaction at being over our financial hardships of the past six months. She finally had enough money available to get a second family car that was safe to drive. My teenager was smiling and talking about being excited to drive the car, too. But I was sullen, disconnected, and anxious to be anywhere but with them. The pills weren’t working because they were new. The chemicals running through me weren’t balanced, yet. My mind was racing, my hands sweated, I couldn’t stop thinking about the writing I wasn’t getting done. I walked toward the road and thought, just for a second or two, would these beautiful women be better off without me. I found something inside of me. It was a peaceful place. I turned, smiled at my wife and sixteen-year-old daughter and declared, “this is your new car, baby. We’ll come back tomorrow when they’re open and work out the details”. Their dirty blond manes danced around their warm, expressive faces. I leaned against a car on the lot, and muttered to myself “kiss my ass anxiety, I beat you this time.” Of course, there’s tomorrow to tackle, and that damn google document with Helene Troy’s chapters.
This guitar riff is what my mind is like on days like today. These lyrics are pretty much what I’ve been experiencing with my family the past few days. Thank God, they love me so much. Today’s song is from Bush. Here’s The Chemicals Between Us.