I totally had my shit together for like ten minutes.
— Smug Lemur (@Smug_Lemur) October 12, 2014
That kinda sums things up quite well, doesn’t it?
I kinda had to take a week long mental break. I’ve poured a lot of time into this blog over the past couple of months and I tend to put more pressure on myself to do it more than anyone else does. God knows I don’t need extra pressures. I’d intended to write a post or two over the weekend and instead got sucked into revamping the blog very nearly from the ground up which if you didn’t notice, then you’re new, so welcome to the strange that is my head.
I also spent way too much time on Twitter this past weekend. Not the best use of my time but it certainly lets me know that my head is not the strangest place in all the land. I’ve spent a lot of time reading other blogs, finding some new ones, meeting some more blogger-type peoples and generally being sociable from the safety of the computer screen.
I think one of my favorite comments from another blogger came from Lizzie this week. She left it on my “About me” page.
What *is* it about bloggers also being people who struggle with life? Is it just that the people who don’t struggle have no need for this kind of outlet?
It’s a valid question.
I think the other valid question is are there actually people who don’t struggle? Well, if we listen to the statistics, 1 in 5 Americans suffers from a mental illness. Let’s, for a moment, assume that mental illness is not an affliction to be suffered only by Americans and go with 1 in 5 people. In the whole world. Now take a moment and think about all the people you know. Would you say that 4 out of every 5 of them completely has their shit together? I seriously doubt there is a single one of you that can answer that in the affirmative. Let’s consider what that means.
If we know that 1 in 5 people suffers from a mental illness, then that means that 1 in 5 people have been identified and have either sought treatment or simply accepted the diagnosis. Now think about your friends again.
Valid psychological conclusion: EVERYbody is batshit crazy and 80% of the world is running around untreated!
Now, I’m not here to point fingers (that you can see). I’ve got a laundry list of my own. It’s not something I’ve kept a secret here. I’m an adult child of an alcoholic. I’m a recovering alcoholic myself. I suffer from depression, anxiety and insomnia. I get treatment of some degree or another for all of it. Well, except the insomnia. “Treatment” for insomnia means “quit staying up all night and sleep when you are supposed to” and I’m kind of a rebellious sonofabitch about that. I like my night time.
Through the treatments, however, I’ve learned a little bit about when I just need to get out of my own head. Putting pressure on myself to write a blog post defeats the purpose of why I started doing it to begin with. The blog is therapy in and of itself.
My head is a circus worth of Stephen King and sometimes I have to dump that ugly shit out or they lock the gates and there’s no escape. And it gets dark in there. I’ve been trapped in there all too recently. Things are definitely on the upswing now, but it was only a few weeks ago it was a bit tumultuous in there.
Right now I’m ok. That’s easy to say right now because things are ok. Things are going well with the job and noises about making me a permanent fixture there are getting louder as the work I’ve done has impressed the right people. Apparently an anal-retentive Marine with OCD issues has value in the medical supply line of work.
I’ve got a good roof over my head, food in my stomach (sometimes more than I should) and good people to support me here. I’ll even have actual tags on the car next week instead of just 30 day tags. (He said, 2 months later)
It’s also my birthday next Friday.
Ok, so not everything is fabulous.
I’ve spent a lot of time this past week going over things in my head like what kind of things “trigger” me to drink, or get depressed. Some of the answers are easy. Getting laid off from a job that I was doing well at certainly scored some points in the depressed department. Leaving a place that I actually liked didn’t help either. Don’t get me wrong, the reasons for the move have been for all the right reasons and it has definitely worked out in my favor, but I LIKED Colorado. Things were just not heading in the right direction there and it was time to move on.
I also don’t DISlike Florida. It’s definitely different from Colorado and watching these people get all “cold” when the temperature hits 70 just makes me laugh my ass off. We also get these rainstorms that come just shy of a complete monsoon and everybody forgets how to drive and everyone bitches about all the water and it happens so much that the grocery stores actually provide umbrella bags at the front door so you don’t drip all over their floor. It doesn’t bother me, because I remember a) getting evacuated from my apartment for 2 freakin’ weeks because of a wildfire that destroyed hundreds of homes in my neighborhood and b) dreaming of even the slightest bit of rain to help put out the fires and soak things down to make them less likely. The dreams went consistently unanswered, all three summers I was there.
To sum it up, I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be, even if I don’t know entirely where that is yet. I’ve got the head start. The trick is, how did I get here? How did I pull myself out of the dark, endless tunnel of my brain that made me wonder what the point of anything was? Best thing I can think to do is just make a list.
- You can’t get here by yourself. When your friends reach out, take their hand.
- If it’s the last thing you want to do, it’s probably exactly what needs to be done.
- If it’s the first thing you want to do, it’s probably the last thing you need to do.
- When someone gives you some advice and it pisses you off, think about why you’re pissed off about it. It it’s because the advice was ludicrous, dismiss it. If you’re pissed off because deep down you know they’re right and you just don’t want to follow it, then it’s probably valid advice. If it made you happy, you probably would have already done it.
- Get it out of your head. Write, blog, make a video, build a tree fort or paint it on a fucking overpass, but spill it.
- When you do spill it, let someone else see it. You’ll be surprised to find out that not only are you not alone, you’re probably in the majority. Remember, EVERYbody is crazy. It’s also easier to find someone to bail you out of jail if you decided to paint it on an overpass.
- Find other people just like you. I don’t care what your mom said, you’re not unique. There’s a billion of us out here and we’re the fun kind of crazy.
- This one is personal to me, but if it works for you, by all means, use it. If it pisses you off . . . make it funny! It is the basis upon which I built this blog and by God, it works.
- Seek professional help. My therapist keeps asking me hard questions like “What do YOU think about that . . . ?” and it fucking pisses me off, so it probably means he’s doing a good job, because then I spend the next week thinking about whatever this weeks “that” is.
At the end of the day, I had no intention of writing a post at all tonight. I was going to continue to take my mental week and work on something funny for the weekend, which I’ll still do, but then I read Lizzie’s post on my phone when I got the email that she had posted and turned on the computer to type out a well thought out comment on her post. She had mentioned to me earlier in the week that she was working on a post that she had not yet decided if she was even going to publish, and this was clearly it and she clearly had.
Then I decided I related a little too much and figured she didn’t want me typing a whole blog post in her comments, so I just made it a blog post. As the computer loaded up and I came to the blank “new post” page and I began the laborious process of trying to come up with a title that doesn’t suck (yeah, sorry about that), a private message popped up on Facebook. It was from Lizzie and it just said, “I did it.”
Yes you did, Lizzie, and I am suitably impressed.
She has experienced/is experiencing that long, dark, endless tunnel and she is doing pretty much every damn thing I put on that list above. (I can’t vouch for the overpass as I’ve never been to England.) Keep it up and you’ll make your way out of the tunnel. Your friends will be waiting for you when you come out. Your good friends are coming in to sit with you while you’re in there.
Put me on the “good friends” list. I’m familiar with the terrain in there.
Go check her out on her blog, Considerings. Offer up some support. She’s adorkable!
Tweets of the Day are gonna come from my cool peoples who asked where I’ve been. I’m here, just needed a break. Thanks for checking on me though!
@Opticynicism Hey…are you gonna do some more blog posts soon, or have you become a Twitter addict? I miss your funny writing you jerk wad.
— Margot Capers (@mccapers) October 16, 2014
Margot’s so fuckin’ sweet.