Sunday, July 22, 2012

Here's What I Did This Weekend

Note - this post is going to be way personal, although I'm not going to mention any names of people or any details (they're not sordid), so if you're waiting for me to talk about writing, grab a cookie and wait a little longer.

As per the writer/artist cliche, I suffer from pretty intense depression. This really isn't a secret if you know me, I've likely talked about it with you or you've been either present or aware that I have my good days and bad days. What the majority of people don't know is that along with that depression comes a huge heap of anxiety that dives into full-on panic. 

And like all people who think they can handle their problems, I didn't really do shit about it. I thought this was just my deal, and that by saying something about it, I was jeopardizing my relationships, my professional career and any "cool credit" I had accumulated to date. 

I realize now that I was totally 100% backwards on that idea -- My silence and the shit I did because I was too afraid to get help cost me my relationships, a lot of career options and my "cool credit". 

So I've been looking for professional help. I have a list of names and numbers and I was dutifully making calls, getting discouraged and having a harder and harder time understanding why I was doing it. There wasn't a "prize" or "reward" I saw for doing this - no one was going to hand me a cupcake or make out with me or whatever....but I knew that I wanted the shit to stop. I wanted to break, like big huge compound fracture break, the cycle of shitty attitude and shittier behaviors and get better. Sure it cost me relationships and friendships and opportunities and burnt quite a few dreams to the ground, but on the bigger scale -- I could either live for those dreams, or I could do something and get better, so that maybe later (some indeterminate later) I could revisit those dreams and goals and have relationships where I wasn't being a bag of shit. 

I did finally get through to a professional, and I explained my situation. She said, "Go meet my associate at my local hospital, he can help you."

I went, thinking I'd name-drop this guy and get whisked off to some cushy office on a double-digit floor and I'd start some process of talking and getting help. 

That didn't happen.

I name-dropped that guy, and like I said a Manchurian Candidate code-word, I was checked into the hospital, and taken into the back for "evaluation".

This is where One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest became my dominating panic-thought. 

Granted, I had REALLY amazing hospital people around me, who were SUPER supportive and very aware I was TOTALLY freaking out, as they drew blood, inventoried my pockets and gave me some emerald scrubs in place of clothes. (Side note - I look pretty good in emerald) 

This was all around 10 in the morning Friday. Maybe 10:30, I'm not really sure. There are no clocks "in the back". 

I'm someone who really enjoys a sense of contentment from knowing what time it is. I can't measure time for shit, (I also can't judge distances) but I feel way less panicky and jumpy when I know how long I've been in a room. 

I was alone, and my panic instincts are pretty intense. I drowned a little in absolute fear (that I'd never get out of a hospital ever again), but eventually, people and Ativan pulled me out. 

The end results? Intense therapy starting this week. Anxiety meds. Pills for high blood pressure (apparently 154/122 isn't a good state for your heart to be in for hours on end). 

I went in at around 10. And was home by 6:45. A whole day that is a mixture of trauma and blurry not-quite-House phrases. 

What are my goals? To get better. To be a better person. To not hurt all the damned time. 

If my admission here causes you to unfollow me, unfriend me, block me on social media, ignore this blog, send me hate mail, or think that a guy saying he's getting help for his problems is a homosexual or a loser, then go forth into the world, far away from me -- that's not the kind of attitude I want around me sick, healthy or otherwise. 

I can't promise anyone miracle cures or instantaneous fixes. I also won't blow smoke up your asses. This is what I'm doing, I might end up talking about some parts of it periodically (believe me, the experiences of Friday WILL end up in something I write), and I just want you to know that this is going on...

transparency, it's a thing I'm working on. 

We'll talk soon.