It’s not like this blog has a lot of followers or anything, but sorry for the radio silence. I’ve been dealing with things. Maybe the following piece will explain.
But I Struggle
To most people I probably seem like I have it together. They probably think I’m normal and have this adulting thing down. If I complain, it’s a temporary issue and something I will figure out on my own, and quickly, so I can get back to being normal, uncomplicated, and in compliance with whatever box they’ve assigned me to.
But I’m not normal. I’m not sure anyone is. But I know I’m not. I seem like I have it together. I have two master’s degrees, a full time job, and own my own home. I parent two ridiculously energetic balls of fur. I have a myriad of hobbies and generally present myself to the world in a non-ripple-forming fashion.
But I struggle. Sometimes I struggle so hard to appear normal I fear my skin will crack from the strain. On my sixth consecutive hour at work repeating the mantra: don’t cry don’t cry don’t cry, I feel like a phony. Can my coworkers see my strain? Do they know how much it costs me every day to appear like one of them? Have any of them seen me burst into tears when I finally reach the sanctity of my car at the end of the day? I hope not. I want to continue this delightful fantasy that I’m fine. That I’m normal. Because if I don’t…can I still be one of them? Maybe they don’t notice my tension. Many people don’t notice — anything.
But I struggle. Sometimes the only thing that keeps me from seriously harming myself is looking at photos of my family. I mentioned something recently about the pointless nature of human life to my mother (big mistake — never let them know you’re not normal). I told her I had yet to find a real purpose for my life, something to give it meaning, something to give me a reason for wanting to continue it. A couple of days later she said she had a solution. My heart leaped with joy because she had found it! She was going to fix it, and I was going to finally be normal, like everybody else. She told me that my purpose was her, that I should stay alive for her, because she loves me more than anything and I’m so important to her. My smile stayed on my face — for her. But inside I deflated. Didn’t she know that that was the only thing I had been hanging on to for years? This was not going to fix me.
But I struggle. Sometimes I’m so far up in the clouds I literally think I’m perfect. I don’t mean figuratively. I’m not being hyperbolic here. Sometimes I literally think I’m perfect and have compared myself to Jesus. Yes, that one. A portion of me knows that is ludicrous — to compare myself to a person many view as the savior of mankind’s souls (or whatever it is). Yet it seems so rational to me at times. Of course I’m perfect. Of course I’m better than everyone. When I’m up like that my arrogance knows no bounds. Neither does my creativity. You know, the only difference between genius and insanity is success. I’m not going to lie — I love it when I’m up like that. Nothing can stand in my way, I can do anything, and no one will stop me. I vacillate between states of arrogance and vivaciousness during these times. So I can either be the worst person you’ve ever met or the coolest. Just depends on what my brain chemistry is doing that day. The problem with this wonderfully high state, is that I don’t accomplish anything. I start tons of things, really cool things, but they don’t get finished. Too much energy to finish anything. And then I swing down off my high clouds into the dirty muckety-muck of every day life. If I’m lucky I land in a lucid muckety-muck state and am only mildly irritated that I’ve started a bunch of projects I can never hope to finish. If I’m not lucky, I land somewhere around the middle of paragraph four (above) — pondering my big finale. Because I’m a failure. Because I can’t do it, any of it.
But I struggle. For years I’ve convinced myself that I’m just lazy (of course, that’s done wonderful things for my self esteem). When people ask me to do things I can feel my whole body droop, all of my energy suddenly drained out of me. That’s just laziness, right? Everyone feels like that when they’re asked to perform simple tasks, right? I don’t know. I’m not so convinced anymore. When someone asks me to come look an article in the newspaper or to look at something on their computer screen, it is an effort, every time, to make my body move. To just, get out of my chair and walk a few steps. Do other people feel that way? No, really, I want to know. Do they? It shouldn’t be so hard to make my body move. Should it?
But I struggle. With one of life’s most basic necessities — nourishment. Now, I don’t want to throw blame around here, but it was actually not helpful to my psyche to grow up with a parent who was extremely knowledgeable about nutrition. I’ve been sneaking “naughty” snack food to secluded places and gobbling it down before anyone could miss me since, I don’t know, age eight or so. That means two decades of developing a mindset that food is shameful and should be eaten quickly, especially the good stuff, before anyone notices that you’re eating. Until age eighteen that really wasn’t a problem because I was an athlete, so those extra calories were burned up through extreme exercise. Oh, and there was that period of time during junior year when I just stopped eating all together. Sigh. I have somehow never managed to eat consistently healthily, despite knowing how. Now I either say Fuck It! and eat whatever whenever, or I meticulously count every calorie and exercise like a fiend. Where is my middle ground!?
I know I’m not alone. I know, sadly, many people feel similar things. I know there is support. I love Jared Padalecki’s (actor, Supernatural) Always Keep Fighting campaign and his honesty about his own struggles with depression. I love that Jensen Ackles and Misha Collins (also Supernatural actors) have started a You Are Not Alone campaign to support the SPNFamily Crisis Support Network. I mean, as far as actors using their fame and fortune to good effect go, these guys are spot on. Proud to be a Supernatural fan! And so grateful for the support they’re offering.
But you know what? It’s not easy to get actual, tangible help. I, and by I, I mean my mother (because I couldn’t do it) called two different psychologists in the area to try to talk about some of the crap mentioned above. Both offices full. Of course, my mom, saint that she is, volunteered to keep trying, but I completely shut down. Why does no one understand this!? I find the most basic of tasks draining in the extreme. After two failed attempts at making an appointment, I’m just going to quit. Obviously. Maybe no one realizes how bad this is. How badly I need to talk to a professional. Maybe if they did, they would be more inclined to make that appointment happen. But I’m not very good at talking about this stuff. I’ve held it in for years. And I don’t know why it’s all suddenly become so much worse, but it has. And at a time when I need it most, real, professional help is not available to me. Ha! I mean, it’s laughable. It really is. Except, in that laugh-cry sort of way.
It’s fine though. I’m fine. I’ll be fine. I’m really fine right now. This is the most normal week I’ve had in months. So, now I guess I’ll just wait for the shoes to drop again.