Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Escape?

Awake. Naturally. Because I don’t work until 4pm.

Want to find a full time job. But it’s rough out there when you’ve been out of the workforce for ten years, despite having a degree…in the arts. I often joke that I majored in voice but then added a theatre major to have “something to fall back on.” I almost pulled off a 4.0, but the truth is that it was so long ago and far away that no one cares much.

It’s also difficult to find something livable when you have been diagnosed with three anxiety disorders, including social anxiety disorder (appropriately acronym: SAD). This particular disorder makes life in general a living hell at times. My shrink wonders why I would choose a job that focuses mainly on customer service. I thought it was akin to taking allergy shots: mass exposure to the allergen would desensitize me. Make me more like a regular human being. Person after person, I would grow to understand that we are all human, and that in turn I could somehow relax when encountering fellow human beings.

I wish that were the case. I was, in the opinion of one customer, “shaking like a leaf” the other day. He accused me of perhaps being on drugs because I mentioned I hadn’t slept the night before. He then informed me that he would have to “come down here and kick [my] ass,” if I was indeed taking drugs.

I’m just going to start telling everyone that I am on drugs, because it’s true. I take these lovely prescriptions to survive everyday life. I have a tremor because of them. When a customer calls me a “ding-dong” for being “nervous,” I’m just going to say I’m on three psychiatric medications. Bet THAT will make them feel at ease.

Because, though I blog about it and about a zillion other people are openly discussing it, mental illness is not entirely mainstream. People tend to pigeonhole you, because people in general are ignorant. I have only told one person at work that I struggle with anxiety. I am afraid to be explicit, lest others should think I am simply “crazy.”

I sometimes work in the garden center. The heat as of late has been 100-106 degrees. Because of this and all the unanswerable questions asked by customers, I think of my stints in the garden as an exercise in purgatory.

On a certain screen at the register, I often try to press the escape button. The touch screen reassures me that “Escape is not an option at this point.”

No exit.


Hell is…other people.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

A Positive Note

I'd be lying if I said I wasn't struggling.

Struggling to make ends meet. Struggling to understand my thoughts and my actions when I'm not tethered to another person romantically. Struggling with anxiety, despite the many medications I consider myself fortunate to take.

Despite this, I recognize that I have become a better person due to adversity. I am a far more empathetic and less critical human being than I used to be. Something that would have resulted in scorn in my twenties elicits praise now. I realize more how far we have come in our respective journeys, and for that I am grateful.

So in that spirit, someone disdainful enough to call herself a "former idealist" offers a small sample of the many things I am grateful for.

I am thankful for my daughter, for without her reason is lost, and hope absurdly diminished. She is the truest form of love, and I am forever grateful that I managed to help create someone so wonderful.

I am thankful for family. I was born into a lovely group of folks and we've been known to adopt many others along the way. Some we have lost touch with. Others have passed on. All are important in the formation of stronger character, even those I no longer reside with. How fondly I will always remember my father, his video recorder a bright light in the darkness of an audience at many performances...

I am grateful for so many people who recognized greatness in me at one point or another. My fifth grade teacher, who told me I could be the next Stephen King. Mrs. Rosen, Mrs. Schmidt and Dr. Tynon, without whom my efforts at singing would have remained awkward and obscure. They gave me the strength to let the shy girl shine. I would be amiss not to mention the theatre folks: too many to list, all inspiring. Thanks for telling me to audition for more plays in college, Joe Golden. I learned so much from my fellow actors.

And then there are things that I am appreciative of: good books, crescendos, lack of tornado activity in Idaho. The thesaurus that I so desperately need right now that is stashed in an auxiliary garage in Utah. A rock from my Aunt Holly and a plastic Roo ring form Tess. The skill required to pour a beer with a decent head. The ability to hold a conversation with anyone because you were raised to respect everyone.

But of all these friends and lovers, there is no one compares with you, friends and lovers. The strength you've shown and the many experiences you've shared have had such a profound effect on my development. I continue to grow as a consequence or a blessing of having known all of you.

I choose to see even the negative experiences as a blessing.

At least for today, you know. Tomorrow I may return to being a cynical bitch. Insert maniacal laugh, cue music, fade to black.