I Had a Nervous Breakdown

Isn’t that funny?

I mean, it would be hilarious if it wasn’t the first time. Nervous breakdowns have become a regular for me. Wound into the double helix of my DNA. I guess I’m seasoned to the occasion. My life is not conducive to emotional stability. The highest highs and deepest lows abound. More and more, I have to stop and ask myself if it’s how I perceive the moment or if this shit’s really happening. Are events really that bad?

I’ve been prone to distraction of late. Attempting to distract from the misery that is my current life. I’d been scheduled for a surgery that had to be aborted when the surgeon discovered that something else was going on inside of me. Now I’m stuck with this open wound that I have to unpack and pack with strips of medical gauze everyday. And it’s maddening. It’s fucking skin-crawling and vile. Explaining why is a task I find difficult to do. How does one explain madness?

Yesterday morning I sat on my daughter’s bed reading a copy of Psychology Today that I pilfered from a doctor’s office. I popped in my earphones and clicked on The Police’s Darkness from their Ghost in the Machine album. While I read the article 10 Myths About The Mind, Sting sang the line, “I wish I never woke up this morning…” and something flipped inside me. Tears rolled down my face and then, like the building of a song approaching a bridge, my emotions got away from me until I couldn’t control them. Body shaking, hysterical crying consumed me. My sons’ room was down the hall. I knew they heard but I couldn’t stop. My eyes were closed. I don’t know when I closed them, just that I couldn’t open them. I was paralyzed in the moment. Screaming and Screaming.

Was it the song that tipped me over? The Psychology Today article…or a reason unexplained, unknowable? If I think of current events like a boulder rolling downhill heading toward an intersection, it was inevitable that it would reach the bottom and potentially cause a crash.

Thank god my daughter’s away from home. She wouldn’t handle this well.

Lately, I’ve failed as a parent. Failed to shield my children from the realities of my neurosis. My thoughts drift to suicide at least once a day. And that kernel of an idea sometimes sprouts into an obsession. I plot and plan how to do it. What to write in my final letters and who to give my passwords. What to hide. I read informative websites meant to provide the desperate with the realities of suicide methods as a deterrent. But none of those warnings moves me any less. Its become ritual. What stops me from following through?

My children.

Because the only thing scarier than living is leaving my kids to face this world alone when they’re not ready. But there’s another reason; my writing. When I write, I’m able to bleed the misery. Take my psychosis and twist it into something meaningful. Even if that meaning only extends as far as my own understanding of it. Through writing I gain a reprieve from Maslow’s daunting Pyramid of Needs. I don’t have to worry about how far I am from the top. I can just be. At least for a little while.

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