I started therapy the other day. A fulfillment of a promise I made to myself this year. One of many.
I hope you know everything you tell me is confidential
I know. I laughed, nervously. It was over the phone because of my newfound anxiety. Her voice felt like the first warm apple pie during a long winter. Was everything she told me confidential?
I cried within the first fifteen minutes. The kind of crying that waterfalls from your eyes with minimal sound and no force. The kind of crying that happens when everything of you is unbelievably exhausted.
I’ve been having anxiety attacks, aggressive, frightening, panic attacks. My stress has been leading to insomnia, causing an inability to focus or have regular, normal emotions. I no longer like being outside. Around people. I have developed an aversion to crowds, strangers, public spaces and unknown places. All of my previous favorite things. I cancel plans and miss flights because I find myself sobbing uncontrollably and screaming at myself, irrationally angry. I am the opposite of who I used to have always been.
Two years ago I had more hours in a day than I’ve ever had before. I suffocated myself in exponential growth and obsessive learning. I excelled in everything I attempted. One year ago I began to see the fruition of my wildest dreams.
A few months ago I started reading more biographies. Studying documentaries. Reading articles and psychological studies. Trying to find an explanation for everything I knew that started feeling wrong with me.
In autobiographies very few people mention their own crazy. They hide it in a bliss of madness; the insanity is laced through the brilliance. Most people who write about themselves romanticize their own psychosis. Or maybe it’s more simple and less sinister. In your own worldview, your mistakes are footnotes in all of your greater creations.
In biographies, secondhand accounts, witness statements–these same people are crucified for their short-comings. Their failures, mental breakdowns. These people (inventors, singers, actors, musicians, writers…) become known as divas, bitches, assholes, eccentrics… famed for their talents but colorized, largely, by snippets of mental instability. They are successful “but” brash, angry, arrogant. They are great but human.
My brother once told me that living is being in a constant state of flux. I think of my mind like this: a pretty jar floating in the ocean, perfectly buoyant, surfing with the tide. And when I’m sad or not right I close my eyes: the same pretty jar, swept by currents, swirling in a typhoon. Loud. All-consuming. Suffocating. I don’t know why I was led to believe I couldn’t ask for a life raft. A pulley through the rain. I don’t know why I was led to believe I had to fight the sharks and the tides and the fury.
I lived through it alone a lot. Through the years since my father had gone. I thought it was a yearly affliction that was attached to my weakness. A parasite bonded to my insecurities: a simple issue caused by my simple lack of enough.
I didn’t know it was a possible symptom to the conditions of existence. I didn’t know it was a prevalent side effect to just being sometimes.
We are, by evolution, chasing a perfection unallowed. A race of billions praying for a profound.
I attempt to cope superficially yearly. Different methods. Breaking quarterly. Wondering why a house isn’t enough when built on unstable ground. I fight constantly with who I am, measured up next to who I should be, who I think I want to be. I close my eyes and who I am never matches with this woman in my dreams and I wonder really who put her there. This whimsical waif made of diamonds and designer that speaks with poetry, sounds like velvet and fucks like magic. This beautiful being that was all the best parts of me at once with none of the disparity. I close my eyes and dream of the purity of my heart, mind & soul in harmony.
Intimately when I’m alone what do I want most? In the dark of my bedroom, bare skin under white sateen sheets. Who am I when all the rest slips away and it’s only me at night?
If tomorrow can be designed, what do I want most? The bills paid in advance, clients to be overjoyed, employees ecstatic and productive. Business partners impressed; vacations planned, wishlists emptied and cravings sated.
The tiny waist and beautiful curves. My own full lips and hopeful jawline. Smiling whites and slanted deep brown eyes. Soft skin and a happy glow.
At one point of my life I had all of these separately but never all at once. I want to be in love with myself like how in love I am with others. I want to be in love with myself like how in love others are with me.
I’m half a bottle of wine in and I’ve been drafting this post for two months. I’m buried in irrelevancy; dipped myself behind the curtain to do great work for people in front of it. I always wondered if I could live, survive, love myself without the vanity. My therapist says vanity is human and there are a hundred levels of it.
We’re six or so sessions deep now. She told me about the duality of my soul: the disapproving mother and the overtly loving father. When you’re three and barely cognizant your mentality is forming without your choice. When you’re twenty-six and sobbing your mentality snaps back to these pointed stages, like a rubberband in the dark. Without your choice.
I want to write a million and two words. Scream at the mountains and pray to my father. I am overwhelmingly loved by so many except for myself. I know I am severely flawed, but have always tried to do good, even at the expense of everything else.
I am behind in every goal I have ever wanted, but I am alive. Happy. Working. Trying.
Were these all the goals I actually just needed?