I have issues. I know: don’t we all? Mine run a bit deeper, though. Like deep enough to get me discharged from the Navy on the recommendation of a psychiatrist. Deep enough to get me eight days in the mental ward at Audie Murphy VA hospital in San Antonio less than a year after that discharge. (Edit: My disorder apparently formed in early childhood, and just became noticeable as an adult in the Navy. I didn’t have a traumatic experience in the service, and I’m not a combat veteran. I don’t have PTSD. I just want to be clear about that. I don’t want to imply that I can relate to those of you have to deal with that particular demon.)
I seem to have been born without a strong internal sense of motivation or drive. I feel like I’ve gone through life with a severe motivational deficiency. I see other people who are hard chargers. They seem to always succeed, while others work hard and can usually make it work. Then, some of us just can’t seem to make things work no matter how hard we try. Almost like there’s a “success gene”, and it’s a dominant gene for some, a recessive gene for others and dormant for people like me.
My personality disorder has given me problems throughout my life, even before I was diagnosed. Matter of fact, the diagnosis explained some problems I’d had in school, before I even joined the Navy. It’s given me problems with relationships throughout my life. It’s caused problems with getting and keeping jobs. I finally had found a job I really liked. Sure, I griped about it, but who doesn’t need to vent? No job is all sunshine and rainbows.
That job left me, in a manner of speaking. And I’ve been drifting ever since. I spent most of my twenties drifting like this, and while I survived, and got by, it was just barely. I find myself in the same situation now, but with bigger bills, and bigger responsibilities. And with two other mouths to help feed, who can’t contribute to their own sustenance. So, the pressure is on. And it’s pressure that I find myself constantly struggling to cope with. In the last two years, it’s been a rare thing for me to feel relaxed without requiring at least an hour on the bike, or booze. I know; that should be a warning sign, but what can I do? A personality disorder by definition forms in childhood, so it’s not service connected, so the VA can’t help me as an outpatient. I can’t afford the deductibles and copays to see somebody through private insurance. So, I write my own prescriptions. I ride as often as possible, whether it’s alone or with a group. And I drink. I don’t drink to the point of drooling stupidity – just enough to take the edge off the teeth of this wolf that’s haunting me.
My little problem lay dormant for the most part for many years. Sure, it’d rear its head from time to time, but it just growled; it didn’t bite. Lately, though, it’s not just rearing its head. It’s arching its back and its baring its teeth.
Sometimes I feel like I can’t breathe because the world is pressing in too hard on me. Sometimes, it feels like I’m being pulled so strongly in so many different directions that I’m stretched thin and tight to the point of breaking. Sometimes I want to break stuff. Honestly, sometimes I wish I just wouldn’t fucking wake up in the morning, or some asshole would run a red light and take me out. Don’t get me wrong – I’m not going to take action myself. I won’t do that to my family.
But when every job I’ve tried for the last two years just doesn’t work; when I try and just can’t seem to grasp it, or maybe I sort of do, but the bills still aren’t getting paid, or especially when I have high hopes for a job, and it just doesn’t live up to the expectation… Well. That’s when my old struggle starts up again.
The mix of anger, frustration and depression swells up until it becomes a roaring white noise that only I can hear. Literally. I hear a roaring whoosh inside my head at times. Then my chest gets tight and it’s hard to breathe.
It gets hard to imagine any future that contains any sort of “success”. I’ve never truly lived on my own. I’ve always had roommates or lived with a wife or significant other. I did live alone in an RV for a while, but it was sold to me so cheap that it was virtually a gift. And even then, my family helped me pay for it. Now, the new job doesn’t look so bright. It was so promising, and I was so optimistic about it in the beginning, but it’s fallen apart. I should’ve known. That’s a pattern in my life. Every time I’ve been optimistic about something, I’ve been disappointed. If I’m just okay with it, then maybe it works, maybe it doesn’t. But when I expect “good”, it rarely happens. I guess I need to learn to keep the bar a lot lower. Pessimists are rarely disappointed.
Anyway, lately I feel like I’m bound for the nutjob wing again. I worry about how my bills will get paid if I’m not getting paid, but what the fuck? They’re not getting paid now, anyway.
I don’t know why I’m writing this. As I go back and proofread, I wonder if I’ll post it, or even share it with an individual, or even a select few people. All I know is that it’s been welling up inside me, and begging to be said, but I don’t know that I’m capable of “saying” it. I can type a lot of things I can’t say. Part of me feels like I should just shut up – it’s not like I went through a traumatic experience. Then again, sometimes we’re not broken; sometimes we’re just defective. More like a car that left the factory missing pieces than one that was in a wreck. I have a feeling that if I do post this, some people will read it and think I’m full of excuses, or laziness, or whatever. Kiss my ass. Psychological problems are real – as real as physical impairments. Trust me – I’d much rather be able to hold it together than deal with this shit all the time.