Sunday, January 29, 2012

1 Up, Dude. 1 Up.

I am able to write this post tonight because of The Bloggess. Because she is a fucking WARRIOR, People. Because her sometimes painful honesty regarding her depression, anxiety, and self-harming paved the way for me.

Even though it isn't diagnosed, I don't think anyone who knows me in person or who has been reading awhile will dispute that I've got an anxiety disorder.

Free-floating anxiety specifically.

Acr0nym has stated he believes I've got mild agoraphobia. Not that I'm house-bound or anything but sometimes my anxiety is bad enough that it controls what I will do socially. Sometimes, when the anxiety is particularly bad, I don't want to leave the house...but I will. I make myself.

You may be wondering why, even though I know I'm full to piping hot brimming with anxiety, I continue to go undiagnosed and untreated. After all, this is the 21st century and there are pills for that.

The obvious reason is that I don't want to experience better living through chemistry. That sounds ridiculous given that I've encouraged many friends to explore medicinal options for whatever ails them. I've supported and cheered on family members for their own willingness to try a variety of prescription medications for their mental problems.

But for me?

No. Thanks.

I have some excellent natural coping mechanisms for my anxiety...exercise (if that plantar fasciitis would ever go away), meditation, deep if it comes to that.

I also have Lex who, during the worst of it, talks to me. He strips away the layers when I'm hyperventilating - picks up each dust-bunny encrusted layer, holds it up to me as though it's a dirty sock he's picked up off the floor, and asks, "What's this one? Where did it come from? Does it apply?" He does that until I'm soul bare and we can look at whatever is provoking the attack rationally...together. It's rarely much of anything except my own neuroses. And he's right there with me, looking at the situation, evaluating it, and telling me, gently, "It's OK. You're only a little crazy. It's OK. Breathe. It won't hurt...well, maybe a little, but I'm here."


Yeah, so, you know how I have this imminent first date? It's coming up rapidly. And, while we were making arrangements for said date to be held at a restaurant, I started to feel stupid anxious about something so trivial you sane people - or, at least, those of you without anxiety - couldn't even begin to understand.

I started to feel anxious about where, in proximity to the restaurant, we are going to meet. Keep in mind, this is someone I know - have known for years - in real life, face to face.

See, normal people just say, "Hey! Let's meet at Such and Such 'round 2" and y'all meet without further arrangement and it's excellent fun.


It goes a little something like this: "Should I go in? Should I wait outside? What if he's already inside? What if he's not and HE waits outside while I'm inside?" 

And pretty soon I'm spinning out of control, ready to just pack it in and rush home to my pajama pants and a nonplussed cat.

So...we're making arrangements. And I'm afraid to say much of anything beyond, "Yeah, let's meet at Such and Such 'round 2". Except...I can already feel the anxiety swirling. "What if I'm there early and I don't know if he's already here waiting for me inside?" etc, so forth, ad nauseum.

Finally, I decide to ask if we can be more specific.

And then? A miracle happens. I decide to tell him why I need him to be specific. Because I'm anxious...because I'll worry I'm doing it wrong...because, fine, I'm crazy.

And you know what?

He said, "Just text or call me when you're near and I will be waiting right out front for you."

He didn't even bat an eyelash. Seriously? 

Triple word bonus points.

So...I'm going on this date. And he knows I'm crazy. And he's looking forward to it. 

He just got an extra Super Mario Brothers mushroom. 1 Up. Wow. I don't think that's ever happened to me before.

Thanks, Joe.


Gaelyn said...

You'll be fine.

Now, having said that, I know that won't help you a bit. Glad Lex is a good shoulder.

I used to "what if" all the time, now only occasionally. It doesn't matter because it hasn't happened yet.

Have a Great date!

alienbody said...

First, I am a huge Green Day fan. Next, I'm a huge Jane In Her Infinite Wisdome Fand and, finally...I'm also crazy, but not like that. And not all in that order. We all have our own brand of crazy....even them "normal" folk.

I've got PF in my right foot, making it impossible to wear cute shoes. I'm really, really over it right now...GO AWAY! But I walk through it, in good running shoes (as good as I can afford, I mean). Have you been to the doc for it? If not, I have some tips Ican pass along. :-)

Oh...and as for your comments on my blog...don't worry, I'm taking those steps and working on that bucket list manifesto! :-)

danneromero said...

have fun. texting is the new thing. keep using that strategy....

cdnkaro said...

So glad Lex is there for you- what a fantastic friend to have! This feels borderline voyeurism or something- I find myself getting sucked into the Jane saga with so much emotional energy invested in the outcome. Kinda reminiscent of the post that brought me to you in the first place (about what bloggers owe their readers). Sending my own crazy (but positive) vibes your way:)

Ernie Hendrix said...

See, I told you that your imperfections might be what make you so interesting!! Glad to see your date recognizes that.

(Ms.) Ernie

P.S. Hope your sinus infection has totally cleared up!

Unknown said...

I'm going to say it: We are all of us crazy.
That's all the wisdom I have today. Have fun on the date, lady!

Xxx said...

What I have found, in my quest for NORMAL, is that everyone has hangups, everyone has levels of crazy, everyone is exactly what I though was so abnormal with me. Once I realized that, I started being able to find contentment in me.

Have fun on your date - we'll be waiting to hear how it went.

Laine Griffin said...

"If you're crazy and you know it, clap your hands!"
I'm pretty excited for your date!!!

TangledLou said...

This is just fantastic. This makes me so happy for two people I've never actually met that I just grin. We spend so much time covering up the crazy because of what people might think, hence making us crazier. It seems like it's a good melon who will just say, "Oh sure" and accommodate. It's true craziness not to accept the idiosyncrasies in people we care about.

Anonymous said...

Melanie is right. Everyone is crazy. The only normal people are the ones we don't know well enough to know their brand of crazy.

I've done my battles with anxiety. Still do, sometimes. For me, it tends to come in waves--sometimes a nice calm sea and then whoosh, the tide comes crashing to the shore. Like you, I don't want to go the meds route. I exercise, meditate, listen to music, talk it out, and ultimately, just accept that it's a part of me.

Masked Mom said...

There is so much here I identify with--I am that way about the go in, wait outside? restaurant issue even when meeting non-date people I'm biologically related to. I have a borderline pathological fear of looking like an idiot in public. (I'm pretty accustomed to looking like an idiot in private.)