The following and all of the other episodes to come are snapshots of what goes on in my head, now and in the past. There are times none of this will make sense. There will be times when I might get lucky and the blog I post will be well constructed and will flow like a mountain stream to an awaiting lake below. Other times it will seem like the ramblings of a madman and you’ll ask yourself, “What the……?”
You should probably get used to the latter.
EPISODE TWO HUNDRED FIVE: BEING BRAVE
“Courage is being scared to death, but saddling up anyway.”
― John Wayne
So, how about that fear, huh?
You know? The fear when you need to do something (start a new job, meet new people, begin a new year of school, just stepping outside) and you have no choice in the matter?
You know? That fear.
I’ve never fought in a war, I’ve only been in two fights in my life (both times I was the bullied – won one, lost the other), and I’ve never been a real fear of losing my life (though a couple of times I thought it was close. I’ve never had that kind of fear.
But I’ve had the fear of what’s going to happen. When I wake-up in the mornings, I have the fear of what the universe has in store for me today. Am I going to have a car wreak? Am I going to loose a beloved pet? Am I going to loose someone I can’t live without? Is my life going to be flipped on its head and tomorrow will be a completely different world for me? Or…will everything be alright and I’ll make it through the day without a scratch?
Then what about tomorrow?
The cycle continues…
You see, this is what it’s like to live with anxiety. And because of anxiety, it brings it’s brother (or sister or friend if you want to keep it non-gender), good old depression. On yes, siblings, and with me, you can’t have one without the other.
So, as of this writing, I left a job working as a custodian at a high school. Not the job I wanted but I needed it at the time. I met great people and learned a lot about myself and other people. But it wasn’t the job for me. Second shift sucks and they don’t pay custodians enough for what they do. So, I looked for another. And I found one. A shop assistant at a tool-and-die shop. It’s first shift and much more money.
And I don’t have to clean bathrooms.
But, it’s not the job I really want. It’s just something better than I recently had.
I’m not saying it’s a bad job. Hell, I haven’t even started yet. It might be great. And time will tell if I’ll be happy there.
But…it’s not what I want to do.
Now, I have told myself on numerous occasions that you are not your job. You are who you make yourself into being. I have given this advice to myself time and time again (and to a few of you). But those cursed siblings that live in my brain tells me something different. Those two tell me to worry about EVERYTHING. They tell me to worry about today, tomorrow, the day after that, what happened yesterday, what happened five years ago, ten years ago, the damn day I was born!!!
Let me stop there.
I think you get what I’m saying. I’m even sure some of you feel exactly the same way in your own lives.
And as advice goes, you’ve heard it all before. There probably isn’t one piece of advice you’ve not heard.
Here’s some examples:
You can’t control what you can’t control.
Leave it to God.
Have a drink, it’ll calm you.
Maybe you should take some medication.
And the worse advice to give someone who deals with anxiety and depression:
Just don’t worry about it…
That one always gets me.
Hey you!!! You in the wheelchair that can’t walk. Yeah, you. Just grow another leg, stand up, and do a f***ing backflip!!!
Yeah, it’s not that easy.
I think of myself as a knight (I might actually have a few ancestors that might have been one, not sure). I sigh heavily as I begin to put on my armor and chainmail. I take in breaths to calm my nerves as I adjust my gauntlets and put on my helmet. Then I reach out and clasp my sword. I kneel with it across my knee and bow humbly to those that I must be brave for. I stand up and with dread in my heart in mind, I stare at the door that leads to the world beyond and the terrors that might be out there waiting for me.
I step forward, one foot at a time, I reach the door, turn the knob, and leave.
Is that silly?
Maybe. But it gets me through the day when those moments come that makes my heart cringe with fear and worry.
There are those that seem to never have these problems. Either they just don’t care what happens or they are so well taken care of they don’t ever have to worry about a damn thing (I’m actually thinking of one person in particular).
I say, ‘Good for you. It’s wonderful that you don’t have to deal with these feelings of anxiety and depression. I stand and applaud you. Here, here!!!!!!
But I say to you – that’s rare.
And I think you really do worry. I think you really do have bouts with the cursed siblings. But you are just too afraid it might make you look weak. Maybe you think it will make you look not brave.
You see, showing weakness is not necessarily weak. To cry, to worry, to fret should not be looked at as frailty.
The real weakness is not moving forward, not showing up.
When you don’t don your own armor and sword and head out the door despite the anguish you feel from the fear, that’s when you are really weak.
As of this writing, though I might bitch about anxiety and depression, I have still knelt with humility and forged into the world to face what might lie ahead.
E V E R Y T I M E !!!
I hope that I continue to do so.
But, who knows?
Tomorrow is another day…
-Loyd Elmore Jr
September 17th, 2021
I’ve decided to keep a blog about how I’m dealing with depression. I’m going to consider this a form of therapy. It might not help anybody else but it might help me.