Today was all across the emotional spectrum. I started out with a trip to Tranquil Shores. Even without knowing any of the current inpatient kids prior to my arrival today, there’s no place in the world that I can go and feel more welcome, accepted, appreciated, and loved. I didn’t get to see everyone that I would have liked, but I saw most of them. I was a little manic ’cause I didn’t have my Adderall before I went in but that’s okay.
Day one of this marathon wedding that we left Jacksonville for was okay (while I was still there anyway) but as the night went on, and especially after we left, I really started to appreciate just how much things like that fuck with me. It bums me out a little bit: I like to think that I’ve become this (relatively) well-adjusted human being but I just can’t quite hack it a lot of the time in that sort of environment. I’m just not myself; I feel stifled, uncomfortable, and bored. Back home – in my bubble – I’m free to do whatever I want. I get to engage all day long in creative sorts of projects. I’m able to express myself. I’m able to be (and feel) productive. When I leave the bubble and get thrown into a situation like a stranger’s wedding, I’m very much disengaged. I’m not expressing myself, I’m not achieving or accomplishing anything. I’m not productive. Sometimes I get a little overwhelmed with how “busy” I make myself; the standards I hold myself to can be a little much. But there’s a reason I make those choices and live that way. I need these things, these projects, these goals. I’m not the sort of person that can just “hang out.” I don’t like to be idle. I don’t like to feel idle. Which isn’t to say that I’m a total alien / socially awkward weirdo – I can hang out with friends every now and again, be social, and have fun – but … I don’t know … maybe I’m just not good with strangers. And it seems petty but in a situation like this where I’m “on my best behavior” and have to wear these clothes that I would never otherwise put on… I don’t know… I guess I unconsciously internalize this message that something about the way that I normally am (and even the way I normally dress) is somehow not okay – like I’m “not acceptable” as I am. I have be something else because what I am isn’t good enough.
And like I said, I know it’s petty – especially about the clothes. I know that it’s not about me or some personal inadequacy, it’s just about propriety. (Weddings are formal events so we wear formal clothes; it’s got nothing to do with me and I’m a nimrod for taking it personally on any level). And I don’t actually take it personally because I know better, but it still alters the way that I conduct myself; it still inhibits me. So I sit there trying to “be good” (or appropriate [or whatever]) and I just feel like some dead-eyed nothing.
I didn’t show that at all (or share it at all). I’m pretty sure that Heather and anyone else that spent any time around me would vouch that I was perfectly pleasant, sociable, and friendly. In the car after we left though, I just felt drained. And when Heather was somewhat unintentionally curt, a switch flipped in me and I was thoroughly unhappy. Even after she apologized and tried to comfort me, I just stayed stuck in my illness. And I was totally aware of it(!) but that did nothing to help bring me out of it. I didn’t lose my temper or have any sort of an episode but I just completely withdrew into my own head and stayed there – even more disengaged than I had felt back at the wedding dinner. I just kept my eyes fixed straight ahead of me as I drove, acknowledging nothing, and soaking in the hateful punk songs that I chose as my soundtrack for the next hour.
I had a few errands to run, dropping off things to a few friends that I owed stuff to (a print, a shirt, etc) and – in seeing them – I was able to break out of my little funk. …Only to fall back into it when I realized that I failed to post anything to my website today. I knew how disappointed with myself that I’d be if I didn’t so I forced myself to pull over (after initially resisting Heather’s suggestion that I do so when I first realized that it was almost midnight) and I threw that photograph online (of the piece I made today at Tranquil Shores).
I felt a little bit better after doing that (emphasis on a little) but when we got to the Owens (where we’re staying tonight) and I talked to Don and Mclane, things sort of leveled out. Now I’m in bed, typing this, and I feel okay. Tonight was three hours of wedding though and tomorrow is gonna be closer to twelve. I’m gonna do my best to keep it together but I’m a little scared. I think I just need to remember to give myself little breaks here and there. To break away for a minute every so often to write something down or draw a little picture.
Do I wish I could be the kind of person who doesn’t need to think about things like this? Yeah, sure. But I do like being me too. (If only because I don’t know what it’s actually like to be anybody else). I think maybe that’s good enough.