Saturday, November 8, 2014

Soldarity is the single greatest gift...

"Sorrow found me when I was young. Sorrow waited. Sorrow won."  The National

This month marks two years since I dedicated myself to blog writing to supplement my time and experience between making up piles of horse shite to pass off as artistic prose (or fancy horse shite to pass as poetry). Every day for a month, I said. It'll be good practice I said. Nope. I didn't even make a weeks worth of posts between November and the following January. But in that time of my life I was peaking in a high.

By peaking I don't mean that I was reaching the best I would ever be, and I also don't mean my high came from narcotics or illicit drugs of any kind. Rather I was seeing a beautiful truth in life that I am not alone. This does not imply that I was in the midst of some "footprints in the sand" revelation I adopted -- I had chucked up the deuce to Jesus culture months before and was yet to discover the Zen Buddhist path I am currently being terrible at practicing. It more so came after multiple consecutive weeks of setting appointments and seeing a therapist. I found out there are other people who get just as sad as me; feel just as hopeless about their purpose and place in the world as I did; who wrote just as clich├ęd similes about their neurotic nonsense as I do. Though the idea made known to me that the practice of mental health physicians exists to serve and help more people than just me did put a wrench in my narcissism gears, but did wonders for my ability to find solidarity with possibly millions of people I didn't actually know. And that helps. Just knowing you're on the same side of a fight as another living human being is enough to give at least some elevation of outlook.

In order to see a therapist, especially to see one for free, as I was able to do, you have to first not see a mental health professional either for a long time or ever -- this logic is flawless, I know. When you don't see a therapist to open up about your daddy issues, or how the cancelation of Freaks and Geeks after one season has made you a self destructive hedonistic nihilist, things can get dark. When things darken in an already bleak outlook about the sanctity of personal life, light is only able to fracture among the haze and fog that now fills your head and makes seeing anything clearly as useless an endeavor as trying to marry Taylor Swift (or at least that's what people say...)[1] That's the short version of how I nearly ended up voluntarily vacating my fleshy premises on October 31st, 2012.

At the time I wasn't worried about being some future gag story of becoming a ghost on Halloween. I wasn't really worried about too much more than taking the newly purchased package of sleeping pills and two bottles of really, really bad Yellow Tail wine home and consuming the contents in their entirety. The good sleep I think they call it. I made one last trip out of my way to see my best friends one last time at their bookstore, just to say hi and bye, then headed home to do the deed[2]. Needless to say that when I woke the next morning I was pissed. Pissed yet too drowsy to actually do anything about it, which turns out was a good thing. I'm still here because of lethargic recovery and in the times I was conscious that morning on my couch I was able to consider what had happened and devised a plan to seek out the aforementioned therapist.

Skip ahead to today, I am once again without a therapist. It's hard to convince one to just bounce around from Oregon to Oklahoma to California to Oklahoma (again) and back to Oregon, pro bono. My only medications are self prescribed and most days my anxiety of letting someone else down is the only thing that gets me out of bed for work. But you know what? As of this morning I am okay with that. Not the crippling sadness or peace of mind berating anxiety, those assholes can burn in Christian hell. I am okay with the revelation that today the lingering idea of a leap from this plane to the next is not present in my cocktail mix of neurotic clusterfuck.[3]

Among those around me whom I keep closely guarded in my heart are two newcomers in my life. For the sake of this conversation we will call them Sarah Jane and Rory [4]. They also fancy themselves writer's and have decided to include me in their weekly braintrust de plume. We talk about writing, reading, and occasionally share our works and projects with the group for critiquing and enjoyment. I won't bullshit you, that last part terrified me so much that I would go out of my way to make plans that directly conflicted with our writer's group meeting on the nights we were set to share (sorry guys!). For one I am terrified of being judged a failure at something I love so much, and second I have been so lost in my own petrified forest that I have not been able to put words on paper (or computer screen). I don't think anything is more terrifying than the possibility of finding out that your passion may actually just be a delusion that you have no business partaking in.

At last nights meeting -- I was made to promise Sarah Jane I would be in attendance the week prior -- Rory shared two pieces of his most recent work, one of which was just published, that were so naked, so raw, and made up of all the emotion that art is supposed to be created with. It inspired me to do something similar in nature. I took down their email addresses and later that night ignored my stress induced regret of things about to be shared and opened up as to why I have been missing on Fridays and not been sharing when I do show. Last night I lied in bed, losing sleep in worry, but at the same time, in a small way, felt like I had just handed Atlas back the globe of the situation.

Just after 5:00 am I got a reply letting me know that I am not alone. Though there are differences in our neuroses, there is someone beside me in a battle that may never end. Our demons and struggles are now one person smaller because we are aware of each other's, or at least that is how it feels in my mind, hopefully its reciprocated. And in that, this rambling was created. It's not a great piece of literature. It's not even enough to call art. It may just be the rambling of some angsty emo piece of shit trapped in a 27-year-old-adult-who-should-know-better's body, but by David Tennant's pinstripes[5], it's mine. It's a creation doing the one thing I actually can say I love doing.

On top of the email reply/reminder, I also officially became insured, which means I get to explicitely talk about my whatever-issues to someone who can help again, which means I can get official medications, finally, that will help slow down my mind enough to back to enjoying life and passions without as much fear of self destruction by mental implosion.

If for whatever reason you have come across this and deal with similar demons and need to know that you have someone here to take a stand beside you, email me: harrison.pierce@outlook.com. Send me a letter. I am not a professional. I cannot give you counseling being as that I am not qualified to do so, but through correspondence I will be a voice to help you know that you are not alone. You are never alone. Who knows, you may just be a voice that returns the help to me in return as well.

Until then, I'm going for a walk, getting tacos and sitting zazen. Today is a new day. This moment is rebirth. I'm going to enjoy it. I hope you can too...

[1] Amanda Palmer, the sex goddess of modern performance artistry, once said somewhere "When you cannot joke about the darkness of life, that’s when the darkness takes over.”
[2]Until their possible reading of this post, neither of them were aware of this. I'm sorry Greg and Jessica. I am better now, and will continue to try to get better
[3] I should stress that this could just be a temporal mindset. Being un-medicated for depression can only leave the future of one's mental state in speculation. 
[4] For two reasons: 1. Not sure if they even want to be named or if its even a big deal and 2. I am a big sci-fi nerd and can't believe I have been talking this long without making one Doctor Who reference until now.
[5]I don't have a "LORD", per se, to take his/her/its name in vain, so I have to use the next best thing: the tenth incarnation of a particular Time "Lord". eh? eh?