Friday, March 22, 2013

MISSION ONE: Confession

Once I had surmounted the hurdle of admitting that I had clinical depression, received the medical attention I needed, and consequently started feeling better, the first step to my real recovery was "confession." In other words, I had to come out of the boo-hoo, self-pitying, retard closet and make amends with the people who had undoubtedly been affected by my... odd behavior over the years.

For example: parties. Parties are situations of much conviviality and libation, for everyone except fruit-loop Meredith, of course. I could put on a good show from time to time, mind you. My current, solid group of friends came into my life at a period when I was at one of my low points, (why do people fall in love anyway? It's stupid). Meeting my surprising new gang and being initiated into their group actually did a lot to repair my broken feelings. In fact, I became so happy in their presence that they probably thought I was normal at first. (Ha, fools)! On a good day, I would be excited to connect with them. I would forget my troubles and unwind in the pleasant company of their wit and candor. On other days, when the blues started creeping up again, I really wouldn't feel like being social. Yet, I would make myself go out with pals, if only because I know how it feels when people don't show up for you. (I once threw a pool party in the 7th grade, and a meager two people showed up. It was a very pathetic Little Man Tate rejection situation. I think it scared me off throwing social events forever). 

The more time went on, it became likely that I would indulge in the "punk out." I just couldn't get it up, I guess you could say. The idea of having to deal with a large group of people was too unnerving. I rarely feel comfortable in crowds. I'm best in groups of two or three, where it's not as overwhelming, and I don't feel obsolete. However, even the 'punk out' was not the worst case scenario. Worst case scenario was me showing up only to find myself overly intimidated by all of the faces-- familiar, unfamiliar, didn't matter. I would slowly withdraw into myself. It was like my personality had been sucked behind my eyeballs and was now watching everything  from the inside through a pane of protective glass. I was a visitor to an aquarium of colorful human beings, the neutral colors of my own being sitting silently on a bench watching the beautiful, fluid people come and go. If I had a nickel for every time someone asked me, "Are you okay? You're being so quiet," well... I would have a "sh*tload of  nickels"-- or so a great man once said. (Ten Awesome Sanity Points if you know what I'm referencing).

Every time I entered a group of people, it felt like an introduction, even if I had known most of them for years. I had to investigate who these people were, their motivations, and how I would fit in. With the slots of funniest, loudest, smartest, most sarcastic, prettiest, etc, always taken, I often found it hard to find my place among them. The solution was to remain quite and not to speak unless spoken to. Yet, many times, I would feel so unnecessary or ignorant that a torrent of negative thoughts would start firing in my brain. I would decide that no one really wanted me around, so I would mentally bow out. As psychosis often overcomes reason, I would ignore the fact that I had been "invited" to these get-togethers, so my presence was indeed wanted.

Thursday, March 14, 2013


A funny thing happened on the way to my life: I got lost. The most pathetic confession that I could make is the same sad detail that has defined and controlled my life for the past 29+ years: I don't know what joy feels like. I've had good days, bad days, and in-between days, but mostly I've felt wretched. That is, until recently. Recently, I'm discovering that happiness is not a myth only to be found in the movies.

 Before my eye-awakening redemption, I was merely a well-trained dancing monkey who was incredibly good at following orders, keeping my mouth shut, and putting on my game face. Yet, beneath it all lied an unbearable sadness. There was always a voice in the back of my mind telling me that what I essentially was was not good enough; that I had to work harder than anyone else to deserve the very air I breathed. This voice-- which I have now mockingly begun to refer to as my "dark passenger" (a la Dexter- who by the way is a fictional serial killer, so this isn't self-complimentary) began to spread like an infection into every corner of my brain, body, and bone. The arduous process of pulling my own weight became difficult. I was exhausted. I had run out of steam; run out of smiles. Finally, I could not even run from the fact that I hated my life and myself.

I combated this by protecting myself in a formula of daily routine, scheduling every minute of every day of the week so that I was never left with even a split second to look myself in the face. This worked out fine-- except for at night. There, lying in bed [alone], I would be attacked by thoughts of my worthlessness. I would cry myself to sleep at my loneliness, at my personal and professional failures, and at the notion that I had to go to work in the morning at a job for which I felt perfectly unsuited and performed terribly. In typical fashion for the overactive mind, insomnia quickly followed. I never slept. Respite came in brief increments that felt like seconds and included constant tossing, turning, and the resultant frustration at fate's robbery of my peace. With bags under my eyes and an aching head, I would awake from whatever measure of sleep I had had, fight the urge to cry again at the day I knew I had to live-- a fight I almost always lost-- and peel myself out of bed. A born Taurus (if you believe that malarkey), I still made it to work every day and on time. I performed every duty required of me. I didn't apply myself. I did merely what was asked and no more. It was an obligation for money. I would compartmentalize myself like a prostitute, lie back and take it, but I would be damned if I was going to fake an orgasm for it. At 5pm, I returned home to force myself through the rest of my regimen before repeating the process the moment my head hit the pillow. Life-wise, I was there but not there.