Saturday, September 2, 2017

Wild Dark Thoughts

Have you ever met someone "normal"? Ick! They are so annoying with their normalness. Also, rare and hard to find. I feel like a lot of people have a little somethin-somethin going on..ADD, OCD, Depression, Narcissism, Anxiety, Addiction, Anger Management, Bi-polar, etc etc. When I was growing up, I knew I wasn't quite like the other kids. I would cry.. sometimes daily.. for no real reason and I would stress constantly to the point I would give myself migraines. I bit my nails to the quick. What kind of problems does a 5 year old have to stress about? The doctors suspected brain tumor, but, no. Nothing was physically wrong with me. I would come home from school and demand to finish all of my homework immediately and it had to be perfect. If I didn't finish right away or get everything correct, it caused me much distress. When I was in 8th grade, my class went on a retreat before graduation and there, I was voted "Most Weird". My fellow classmates and a nun stared at me with pleasant, satisfied faces as they doled out my new misnomer, which I took as an insult and rejected. I told them to go back and deliberate again. They did and I imagine someone found a thesaurus or something and they came back with the more positive, "Most Unique". I didn't feel different, but, time after time people tell me I am. Whether I like it or not. My palms were, okay real talk, are sweaty at all times. My body is always tense. My muscles always clenched. Fast forward to high school. Teenage years. Shit hit the damn fan. Sometimes my thoughts would turn dark. I thought about suicide. I know that's taboo to talk about. The fact that talking about mental disorders is taboo, is a problem. The more we talk about it, the less taboo and the more understanding will come about. Freshman year was fine; nothing memorable really. My brother was a senior and my brother is very cool. People would tell me I could come to their party but only if I brought my brother, which always prompted a hard pass from me. Sophomore year, a group of guys started hating me out of, what felt like, the blue. I never understood why. I really don't think there was a reason because I never talked really and kept to myself. Maybe because I was different? They did things like write letters describing in great detail everything they thought was ugly about me, yell out that I was stupid and didn't know the answer if I got up the nerve and raised my hand in class, dramatically didn't want me on their team for projects, stole from me, etc. I remember sitting down on the kitchen table and reading an unprovoked letter about being ugly and finally just crying. Sucked. And I felt like a sucker because I knew deep down these people were just shitheads and I let them get to me. Junior year, I switched schools because I went to summer school and LOVED it at the new school. No one really harassed me too much! How lovely. There were all kinds of people and they were all different and unique as hell. Different races, different religions, different thought processes, different backgrounds, different personalities. People not only accepted me, but some people liked me a lot. Meanwhile, my hormones were a-raging and I still had depression. Not because of an event- depression and anxiety were just always looming. Sometimes if people tried to just talk to me, my face would turn red and I couldn't talk back. I wrote constantly and was looking forward to taking English class because I heard we were gonna be writing poetry and reading classics and that sort of thing is my jam. The teacher was a nightmare. I turned in my first poem, which was about suicide. I knew it was a good poem. You know how you just know when you write something good? I guess I was proud of myself and wanted recognition from someone who teaches this stuff. The A+++ I was expecting never came. Instead, the teacher read my poem to all of her classes because she didn't believe I wrote it and wanted to see if anyone recognized it. She read it in my close friend's class who told me this was going on. Which, thanks teacher, everyone thinks I'm a psycho now. But, they didn't. One boy was in a band and wanted to make the poem into song lyrics. I wanted to talk to the teacher and get to the bottom of this. I ran into her in the hall and began to ask about it and she bulldozed me over in the conversation. She was angry. She said she called WEBN to see if these were the lyrics to a song (Side note: Google would've cleared my good name in this day and age). She confirmed to me that yes, indeed, she was reading it to her classes to see if anyone recognized it. This part still hurts to say. She said, "I had to give you an A because I couldn't prove you didn't write it, but I know you didn't write it.". I wrote it. My response was to completely give up on school. I skipped a lot. I skipped to the point that if I skipped once more I would be kicked out. When I did go to school, I slept through her class. She'd call my mom and say that she suspects I'm on drugs because of my new English Class Nap Time. This was about the time I discovered alcohol and it's magical self-medicating effects. When I drank, it relaxed me. Instead of tension, I was relaxed. Instead of depression, I was happy. Life was fun as fuck! I got arrested for a couple things soon after turning 16 and my parents were furious, but I felt really free for the first time in my life. I felt connection to other human beings. I self-medicated for many years and never understood there was something mentally wrong with me until I had been an adult for a very long time and the panic attacks began. Panic attacks demand not to be ignored. I went to the doctor and got myself fixed up and I function wayyyyy better now. I believe that suicide is the thought of someone who is sick with depression. Someone said to me once regarding suicide, "I don't care WHAT is going on.. nothing's THAT bad.". That is probably true for someone with a healthy brain. A lot of people think this way and they don't see the other side of things. It's somewhat dismissive. It's also straight-up ig-nert. It can and it does get that bad if the synapses in your brain aren't firing correctly. It isn't something you can mind over matter. People with depression are not weak-minded. They are strong. They show up every day with a smile and fight an internal battle that a healthy brain may unconsciously take for granted. From Psychology Today: "The greatest suicidal risk exists for people that believe they are a burden on society AND possess a history where they acquired the capacity to harm themselves. Some examples of this arising in unusual ways: playing violent and extreme sports, getting multiple body piercings and tattoos, shooting guns, getting in physical fights." I know what it feels like to hate yourself with such an intensity that stopping it by not being alive starts to kinda sound like maybe a viable option. There are things you can do. You don't have to live this way. I worked at a psych hospital part time for many years and calls where someone is suicidal happened pretty much every week. I know what to do and how to help. I mean, I'm not a doctor or anything. If you ever start getting wild, dark thoughts- I can listen and help get you started in the right direction.

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