My head’s been weighing me down lately, and I don’t know why. Last week I had a bad anxiety attack at my house, arguably the worst one I’ve gone through. I’m used to being able to pinpoint the source of my anxiety — sometimes it’s just a severe lack of sleep, sometimes it’s from drinking too much coffee, sometimes it’s just from getting too high — but the most recent time it was none of those things. It’s like it sprung up out of nowhere and I haven’t been able to fully shake it off.

For some reason it’s stuck with me, and the fact I don’t know where it originated is probably the worst part of it all. This has for the first time in a long time forced me to take a hard look at myself, which could be beneficial but could also be a bullshit exercise in futility. I think I’ve been generally happy for so long that I haven’t felt the need to do any sort of deep dive on myself, and it’s been nice. I guess that’s why they say what they say about “all good things”.

I think the routine of my life is boring me. Where theories of my anxiety are concerned, that’s as good of an explanation as I’ve got. I’m caught in a loop where everything is more or less the same, from going to work five days a week, to staying with my girlfriend for a few days every week, to fucking off and playing video games on my weekends, it’s all blending into the same thing.

I’ve been knocking down the dominoes of my life ever since I first went to Virginia Tech, and subsequently returned home in shame. Even in my more depressing years I still had a path, or comeback trail, to get me out of my rut. And slowly I got out of it, started going to school again and working, and then I quit my job and had no money and went into another rut.

The ruts weren’t good, obviously, but they always gave me something to shoot for. There is nowhere to go but up, I thought to myself, and carried on from there. I went to dealer school at age-23 and found work in the casino industry at age-24, and that’s where I’ve been ever since. I’m 29 now.

Even in the casino, I had goals to shoot for. When I started I didn’t know roulette, so I went back to school and learned it. When I auditioned and got hired at a different casino, I didn’t know craps. So, you know how it goes, I went back to school and learned it. At every step — both pre-casino and during — I created new challenges for myself and triumphed over them.

It’s been a constant theme on my blog over the years, but I need these challenges. I don’t know what I’m supposed to do with my life without them. They are my reason for waking up in the morning, and my reason for going about life the way I go about it. I’m a problem-solver. I pride myself on winning every situation in front of me, even if my only competition is myself.

So it’s kind of ironic that, at least right now, it’s my mind that is letting me down. My main source of strength, that’s been sharpened and hardened so productively over the last 10 years, is causing me to doubt myself. At least if I’m operating under the assumption that what I think is wrong with me is actually wrong with me.

Like I said in the first sentence of this blog: I don’t know.

I’ve had a girlfriend for the last five months, and I’ve been really happy. Five months doesn’t sound like a long time because it isn’t, but for me it is. The longest relationship I had been in before this lasted about a year, but the overwhelming majority was of the long distance variety. We had a summer together, a month during Christmas, and another week during my spring break. In real time, though, we probably spent less in-person time together than the relationship I’m currently in.

I’m not sure why that’s relevant, but I think it’s worth mentioning that being with another person is not normal for me. On the surface I’m definitely the relationship type, mainly because I’m really nice and I keep a steady income and I’m just generally what it looks like. Only I struggle with the thought of being locked in, of there being an expectation and commitment to uphold. Even when I’m single it’s not like I’m out fucking a bunch of different people; it’s just the idea. I’m proud that I can say I’ve never cheated on anybody.

This is basically where I’m at. I’m kind of hoping that by writing down these things that it will somehow help me get over whatever the hell it is I’ve got. When times get tough I just try to tell myself to breathe in the through the nose, and exhale out through the mouth. If that doesn’t work, maybe throw some water on my face. Drink some water. Tell myself that everything is going to be okay.

I know it’s all in my head, but it doesn’t make it any easier while I’m going through it. I have too much pride to talk about these things in real life, or go see some therapist, or pop some Xanax or whatever people take for this stuff. I even have some level of shame even admitting all these things on my blog. I’m just at my wit’s end and figure it couldn’t hurt.

Maybe it’s all a matter of needing some new challenge to look forward to. Maybe it’s a phase I’m going through. Maybe I’m going through what everybody else is going through and I should just get on with it. Get a grip.

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