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Truths

Stare At ‘Em Till Their Head Pops

I’ll start this post off with a yawn.

I don’t exercise as often as I should, so sometimes just a constant stream of movement is like ten hours of cardio. Today I spent two and a half hours at the car wash.

I didn’t grow up with the money or the mind set to have someone else thoroughly clean my car. I drive past Whalers Car Wash all the time (I wonder if it’s owned by Japanese people, that’d be ironic) watching the all-male workers (*cough* BULLSHIT) wipe down people’s scuffed up Cadillacs and Jaguars and . . . Hondas. They look miserable in the heat. Some of them really don’t know how to clean windows because I see streaks across them all the time. They probably don’t get tipped very well.

This Isn’t Whalers, But It Is In My Town. B.S These Guys Are Even Half That Happy. Nice Try, Advertiser.

No, I go out and buy my wheel spray, my tire spray, my paste wax, my window cleaner, my interior cleaner and then I drive my ass to the little “do it yourself” car wash, hose it down, scrub it with some bubbles, and I sit in the parking lot wiping down every inch. Then I pull out the paste and wax on-wax off until I get the shine I want. Then I spray the tires so they have that wet, black look, then I spray the wheels so they shine like chrome is supposed to.

I can’t do this at home. The landlord would throw a bitch fit, then I’d shove some wax up her ass and we’d get evicted. So I drive the mile or so to the carwash.

I have an affinity for cars, I’ve been around them all my life. I must say, I’ve watched and learned a lot about a lot of engines from my childhood but I’ve never seen anything as quite as strange as what’s under the hood of a Dodge Stratus. It’s just . . . I’ve never had a car I had to use coolant for instead of water (It’s a 99), and I’ve never had a car where the battery is about the size of half your Ipad mini and the positive charge is towards the front of the hood and the negative charge is towards the back. It’s split up into three pieces–what the fuck is that shit?

It’s got some nice subwoofers though, a nice tint so you can spy on bitches when you catch them staring.

Just Like This. Perfect.

Everyone needs their “me-time”. A time where you focus on one thing and one thing only, for a certain stretch of time, and just let your mind wander. You don’t linger on any thoughts that come, you just let them come and you acknowledge them, and you wait for the next one. And unless you have to swat away some ferocious bees like I had to at the car wash, it’s usually a very relaxing experience. That’s what washing and waxing my car is for me. It lets me focus on taking care of something I love and if I feel the need to think, I do–but it tends to get brushed aside if I’m focused enough.

For someone who feels they’re constantly thinking, constantly worrying, those two and a half hours are sacred to me.

You know, we discussed medication in therapy last week and I’m still on the edge about it. I’m not against it for myself because I had one really bad experience. I’m not against it for myself because of all the shit I talk about Big Pharma. I’m not even really against it at all. But I can’t put Ivory soap on my skin without it breaking out. I have to use Tea Tree soap. Shampoo that doesn’t have Olive Oil/Aloe Vera as the majority ingredient just dries my hair out. Me and chemicals don’t mix. My body knows what it likes and it told me through my medicated phase that it didn’t agree with what I was doing. And I respect that.

I also feel like the struggles I go through are more than a chemical can tackle. We talked about the medication as just a temporary dose that could help me along but I don’t really need something to calm my anxiety if I can learn how to calm it myself. I don’t really need something to make me less depressed if I can learn how to make myself less depressed. And I don’t really need something to make me react less strongly to things, or keep my moods in check, if I can learn to cope with them myself. Medication is a last resort, not a first one.

Unless the person is hardcore suicidal and about to jump out your office window. Then I hope you have a bag of antidepressants in your purse you can toss them.

But anyway, that’s my preference. I’ve never really been someone willing to let something else or someone else do something for me before I’ve given it my all. And I’m at the breaking point, I really am. Things are falling apart rapidly. But things do that. The cookies will eventually crumble if you leave them out long enough. That’s life. I’m not going to be scared of something that happens naturally.

I have to keep reminding myself to be patient. I come out of my literature class all excited and I come out of my psychologist appointments feeling all excited and then the weight of what I’m up against slaps me across the face and stamps “idiot” across my forehead and sometimes I let it crush my high. I’m learning not to. I’m learning that yes, I have a right to feel good, positivity is good and yes, I’m up against a lot but It’s going to take time to weed through. I can’t just expect one good class to cure my social anxiety. I can’t expect one good psychologist appointment to lift all of my depression. Patience is key.

If you’re not feeling good even after being on medication for a yea, two years even, and you’re in therapy, don’t get discouraged. This stuff takes more time than you’re going to be willing to accept. So instead, just accept that it takes time. Everything is a work-in-progress. You’ll never be finished. Even if you don’t live with mental health struggles, your life is a constant work-in-progress.

Now if you have trouble accepting that, well, there’s your problem.

The more I connect issues from my past to issues in my present, and the more I identify issues in my present, the more excited I get. Because now I know why I act that way I do. It’s not because of anxiety or bipolar or avoidant personality or borderline personality or paranoia or whatever they want to call me. Like I said, diagnosis is for clinical and insurance purposes, don’t read into it as your identity.

So what my emotions are crazy haywire. So what I can jump from one level to another in a matter of seconds. So what I’m on the brink of hospitalization for suicidal issues every couple of months or so. Sue me. I grew up in a tiny household, with a large amount of drugs and alcohol, I’ve seen seizures since I was six years old and had to deal with it on my own before I even knew what a seizure was. Talking to that particular parent is like walking on fucking glass and it has been all my life. How was I supposed to come out with steady emotions if I couldn’t even predict the ones in my own household? It went from smiles and laughter to physical altercations in a matter of seconds.

Kids internalize things.

Before you think you’re just another sick person, take a look at what you’ve been through and appreciate the fact that you were strong enough to get through it.

I’m not just talking about people with depression or anxiety. I know there are a lot of genetics with bipolar and schizophrenia and other severe mental disorders but you guys are in this too. Trauma can make them worse. Stress can make them worse. Stigma from society in general can enhance paranoia. It’s not always the disorder causing behavior.

I think a lot of doctors have this stored in their subconscious but don’t think much about it. Sometimes they don’t think much about anything, they just do. I’ll try my hardest not to be one of those arrogant people. If I had to take an oath in front of the entire student body to get my M.D, that would be my oath.

If they won’t think about it or pay attention to it, that means we have to.

Your body and brain really are on your side. You guys just need to come to a consensus.

Don’t hate your brain. It’s just as scared and confused as you are. 

By the way, It cost me $5 to wash my car. It cost those people at Whalers $20+

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About AlishiaDee (378 Articles)
Alishia D. is a blogger, a beginning novelist, and a counselor at 2nd Story Peer Respite house where diagnostic labels and the culture of mental health is long forgotten. She's a mental health peer who has bounced through as many labels as she has doctors, and enjoys being sarcastic when she can. She also hates writing in 3rd person.

2 Comments on Stare At ‘Em Till Their Head Pops

  1. You’re a freaking riot! ;D

    Like

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