Is morality like etiquette?
I’m not going to answer it, I just wanted to give you a question to think about for the day.
I had an interview at a nursing home this morning for a housekeeper position. These past few months have been rough: I’m fatigued, I’m tired, I’m forgetting more than usual and of course I’m skating through most of the day wondering if I’ve stuck in a dream or not. Today, luckily, has been relatively chill.
But my mentality has taken a toll on me, so when the secretary asked me what position I was applying for, I couldn’t remember the word “housekeeper”. I said “the person who sweeps and mops”.
I laughed at myself harder than I probably should have.
The manager who interviewed me was high as fuck. He could hardly keep his eyes open and when he spoke he slurred his words. He moved fairly quickly however and seemed to keep up well with his staff, so from all the drugs and addiction I’ve grown up around I can safely assume he’s on some kind of pills. His cognition was there, so were the majority of his reflexes, but his speech and eyes and general demeanor were not that of the average sober person.
I had to sign a “we have a right to drug test you” clause in the application.
I suspected Xanax or perhaps a benzo; his position seemed to be high stress as he was constantly running around the facility trying to make sure his staff members weren’t fucking something up. His desk was a tragedy. Paper all over the place. I didn’t even have room to fill out the paperwork.
It’s odd that much of my social anxiety has sort of taken a back seat for the time being. I still wouldn’t give a speech or go to parties or anything like that comfortably, but in terms of going into stores, doing interviews, working with other people, it’s gotten much easier. I see that as progress. An odd sort of progress because I haven’t really been practicing anything.
What I struggle with now more than anything is the tendency towards Alexithymia-I can’t distinguish my emotions from each other. They’re all a whirlwind inside of my head and as a result I lash out. These are the days I usually take something or smoke something to level me out, but because I have no more prescriptions available and because I’m still applying to jobs which may drug test me upon hire, I can’t risk it.
So instead I’m standing waist deep in my own personal hell.
I thought today would be okay because I woke up feeling alright. The last week has been a haze. I can’t describe an ounce of how I feel in words. I tried last night, I’ve tried many nights, and being a writer it’s more than frustrating when you can’t put something as simple as emotion into words. So instead I write about how I can’t write about it. That makes sense, right?
So I use music to distract myself from my own thoughts. It’s louder than my brain so it makes it easier for me to focus. As long as there is noise, I can focus. If there isn’t background noise and all I’m alone with is me and my thoughts then I get confused, overwhelmed, and only more tired.
I just spend my day wondering if the tree outside of the library is real or what would happen if it wasn’t. I wonder if I’m real, if you’re real, if the table I’m sitting at is real, and if the hands I see typing on the keyboard belong to me and what if they didn’t? I feel unreal, my actions feel unreal, my words sometimes don’t sound like they’re coming from me, I don’t feel connected to the world, blah, blah, etcetera, etcetera.
I’m not bothered by it, it just takes up a lot of time during the day.
Over the years I’ve learned to accept the derealization, the constant pondering, and my tendency to wonder if an event happened or if I’m still dreaming. I write off the feeling that I’m still dreaming. I wrote off the feeling that the incident in the vault never happened and I imagined it-I’ve already concluded it didn’t happen so there’s no need to continue thinking about it.
I write it all off because of the simple fact that it hasn’t disrupted my life like anxiety and depression has. Sure people think I don’t care about things (I.e, my room is a mess, I mean you can barely walk through it, I rarely do laundry and just salvage old clothes or hand wash in the sink if I absolutely need something) and sometimes they get annoyed because I won’t talk because I’m so deep in my head, I won’t laugh because I honestly don’t know, sometimes I just don’t feel like I can, or if they just meet me they don’t understand why I won’t share facts about myself with them or why I don’t feel like making eye contact or why I barely respond to them at all in some cases.
But in reality (ha, in your definition of reality I should say) none of those things bother me. Depression that makes me suicidal bothers me. Anxiety that prevents me from speaking up in class or asking a question when I need it bothers me. The fact that I can’t be comfortable at any moment outside bothers me.
Do I really need to tell the different between reality, dreams, and fantasy to live my life? Depending on the severity, not necessarily.
Think about it.
If I feel I’m living in a dream or I can’t tell if I’m awake or if what I experience was a dream or not, but I still go on about my day, I still study, I still work, I still function then what difference does it make?
If I’m not sure if my hands are mine but I’m still typing with them, what does it matter?
If I don’t feel like talking with people and still live life content with limited human contact, what does it matter?
I think that’s where people get stuck in the process of overthinking their “problems”. I’ve been comfortable questioning what was real and what wasn’t since I was 6 or 7 years old, I’ve been comfortable with bouncing back and forth between reality and fantasy too. In fact, I’ve never really separated the two. I’ve always seen the world differently. Am I aware that such a thing could snowball into something more “serious”? Sure. Am I going to sit there and act like I have a problem right now? Fuck no. And I think the fact that I’m as comfortable with such things as I am has helped my functionality.
Anyone else who stepped unprepared inside of my brain wouldn’t survive.
To me, what’s in my brain is normality. People who go through life without analyzing the reality of every little thing or people who have never sat at a table, stared at the floor, and had to ask themselves “am I dreaming?” scare me. That’s not normal.
So there’s a reason this blog focuses particularly on depression and anxiety because those are the aspects of myself that I find most troublesome. Not being able to talk to a classmate frustrates me more than the fact that i can’t tell whether or not the incident in the vault at work ever happened. Waking from a dead sleep into a panic attack, slicing or burning myself frustrates me more than my belief that I’m destined to change the world per some otherworldly intervention, or my introverted tendencies.
What do I think of the boss who is obviously abusing his prescription medication? Well, he’s accepted reality is reality and he doesn’t like it. So he medicates. I accept reality isn’t reality, that as a result reality is a fantasy and therefore one in the same. I don’t medicate.