Degausser (Extended)

It’s been over a month since I’ve felt “normal,” or however you say. I haven’t been writing because I haven’t felt the will to write, and if I was being honest I would say it makes me feel pretty useless. Some part of it has to do with there only being one thing I feel compelled to write about, and that one thing happens to make me sound like a total downer/buzzkill.

Which isn’t what I want. But here we are…

I saw a doctor last week, and guess what! He said nothing was wrong with me. My blood pressure is great (!), my pulse is normal, my eyes and ears and nose all appear to be normal. The one thing he said was that I had some congestion, which may be the thing that’s throwing me off-balance, to which he suggested I get some Claritin-D.

It’s frustrating, because in some way I was hoping to be emergency-helicoptered to see some obnoxiously expensive specialist that would force my private health insurance to deny me care. At least then, and only then, could I feel like all the stress and anxiety I’ve been going through is justified. As it stands, I was basically told what I originally assumed — or feared? — from the beginning, that whatever “this” is has been all in my head.

And it’s true: the fact that all my vital signs are normal does bring me some sense of relief. The general feeling of anxiety I carried 2-3 weeks ago has for the most part gone away. Every time I feel it creeping I can just tell myself, yo, everything is fine with you, stop being a little bitch.

But physically, I’m not there yet. My head still feels heavy, like an anchor dangling around my neck. The taste of cigarettes isn’t the same; my appetite hasn’t returned (though the stress diet I’ve been on has shed the weight I put on since I’ve been in my relationship); generally, over the course of a day, I feel stress-free for a couple hours, which is usually the time that I absolutely stuff my face with food.

In other words, the symptoms (or fake symptoms, depending on how you want to view this article) are similar to any garden-variety form of depression. I woke up one morning last month and for some reason my brain told me that the world was no longer the same as it was when I went to bed the night before. Nothing feels the same, and neither do I.

I tell myself to take it one day at a time, and that’s fine. I mean, after all, it isn’t like anything is wrong with me, not that a doctor could find, anyway. I just miss being my regular, unnecessarily-optimistic self. I enjoy being alive even when all signs point to life being shit, with everything getting worse from here. I just need to find that place again, I guess.

When I was 19 or 20, being depressed brought me closer to people. It made me realize that everyone is dealing with something, which was probably the most worthwhile life lesson a kid who didn’t know any better could go through. In the same vein, ten years later I find myself in the same position. I am not the only person in the world dealing with some general form of anxiety, even when it seems like I’m the only one while it’s happening.

If we’re checking the scoreboard, here are the facts:

  • My older brother recently started working at Pala Casino, meaning my mom and I aren’t as burdened by having to shoulder all the bills in our house.
  • I have a good job, and despite it being summertime I haven’t felt the effects (via tips) of being out of season.
  • I have a good girlfriend, and I’m happy in the relationship I’m in.
  • My health is good, even if my brain is trying to convince me something is wrong.

I can hang my hat on these things, even if I’m having a hard time appreciating them in this exact moment in time. My preference is truly to write about garbage that has no tangible effect on my life — whether it’s sports, politics, or labor issues — as opposed to my deepest struggles and most ambitious dreams. I’d rather cast a wide net that people can enjoy, rather than getting so specific about myself that it shuts everyone out. (But maybe it’s the opposite. Maybe people relate more to my specific personal stuff. Whatever.)

Anyway, you see what I’m about, so I’ll cut this off here before it devolves into 2,000 words. You really have no idea how excited I am to get back to normal, writing about things I love to write about. In the meantime we’ll just take this thing day by day and see how it turns out.


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