I’ve been needing to write this, but I had to find both answers and solutions first. Answers took work. Solutions took time. Today’s post is not censored or funny. I am writing it simply because I’m not a fan of showing only the perfect side of life or thinking.
Long story short, several months ago I ended up in a shrink’s office undergoing a fairly intense mental evaluation. It was the day I felt forced to admit to myself that I may have somehow developed a serious mental disorder. The final straw that sent me there? I dropped a quarter on my kitchen floor and the sound of it made me freak the hell out. A long string of expletives escaped my lips that were far too out of my control. It scared the bejeezus out of me. Because I had no control over it.
Earlier that week, I had blown up on an Internet customer service guy and called him a “fucking twat” just before he hung up on me. My child was sitting next to me. I had no idea how it came out of my mouth or why. It just did. And it scared me. Because I had no control over it.
The week before that, I stormed out of the weekly poker game I have been enjoying for quite some time, and I told them all to “fuck off” on my way out, along with some other choice words. And it scared me. Because I had no control over it.
A month or so before that, I unleashed on my best friend. And when I say unleashed, I mean unleashed. And it scared the hell out of her and me. Because I had no control over it.
A month or so before that, I freaked out on a service guy in the Apple Store for no real reason. And it scared me. Because I had no control over it. I told you all about that one.
Many other moments scared me during that time, and they all had two things in common. First, they were all fairly minor incidents that for some reason triggered giant, uncontrolled overreactions and usually some strange slew of profanity I couldn’t control. Second, they all were completely… not me.
I am a peaceful person. I am an understanding and kind person. I have always had great amounts of patience and have always sought to understand and find the beautiful human inside those around me. To know me is to know that. It takes a lot to ruffle my feathers, and I have always adamantly been against any sort of name calling, major or minor. And since I know who I usually am, I know that the brain controlling my actions lately was not my usual brain at all. I had no other explanation except that I was going crazy.
Yes. I learned something this past year with all this. When you don’t want to believe you might be crazy, you’ll make up all sorts of excuses for your sudden crazy behavior. Thinking you might be going crazy is one of the scariest feelings I’ve ever experienced.
Dropping that quarter that morning, and saying such a horrible thing to another human being in front of my 8-year-old child that week, made me realize that something was very wrong inside my mind. And that same afternoon I made sure I was sitting on a psychiatrist’s couch, being questioned and analyzed and drilled.
I won’t get into everything I went through or had to do from that point on. I’ll just tell you that I got answers. The prognosis for my then current mental collapse was something very real in my life that I would have to find a way to fix or run from. I had gone, most certainly, crazy. I had developed a mental disorder that could not and would not fix itself.
And that really scared the hell out of me. This problem now had a name. And since it had a name it meant I also would have to deal with it. Ugh.
But I’ll tell you more about it tomorrow. That’s enough for one post. I really don’t like writing about this if I’m being honest; but I think it may help give some answers to anyone else who may experience (even if to lesser degrees) the same things I did.
I lost my best friend during that year. I lost a good group of poker friends. I lost one relationship. And I strained so many other relationships and areas of my life.
And what caused it was something that, in this modern world we all live in, can creep in on anyone in many of the exact same ways it crept in on me, so I actually hope you’ll all read the next part of this post.
Dan Pearce, Single Dad Laughing