Neurosis & Coincidence
The doctor said we can try some new medication, but there isn't really a whole lot I have to work with. Benzos are out (for obvious reasons), plus they sedate, and I already suffer from a lack of energy. Then there are the...anti-psychotics, of which I've either A.) tried them, or B.) seen what they do to others. In both cases, no thanks. Which pretty much means I continue with a baseline of anxious, anguished, and agitated. Not that it's so bad, really. Especially since I've been working under these conditions most of my life. What it ultimately comes down to is I am neurotic, high strung. But who isn't, right?
A lot of people, I suppose. It's 21st Century paranoia, as my friend Mike used to say. In particular, in regards to the diseases I think I have, retroactive junkie residue. And in the age of perpetual media assault, everything hard wired directly in via Bluetooth, search engines, et al., you see or hear about someone getting a cancer practically every second of the day, so why would it be odd to wake up with a tickle in your throat and think you are next?
When I living with my first wife up on Dwight in Berkeley, I had a dream about blue suede shoes, only to wake up and find out Carl Perkins had died. Now I never dreamt of blue suede shoes before, so it would seem odd that the first night I dream of them, the guy who made the song famous would die. What probably happened was the TV had been left on in the other room, I heard a newscaster mention his passing, it passed into my unconscious, and I had the dream. Of course, we had no electricity. Or water. Or light in that apartment, so it must've been a neighbor's TV playing very very loudly. Then there was the time I finally got around to reading Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, a book I'd been told to read by everyone for at least twenty years, only to finish the book on the same day author Douglas Adams died. Which sort of freaked me out, mostly because I was in rehab coming down off speed, and speed really fucks with your head and makes connections that are not there (this was something I always felt was underplayed in the case of Timothy McVeigh, whose anti-government rants and lunacy were textbook amphetamine psychosis).
I know in my case the drugs didn't make my neurosis any better, and in the midst of my using certainly made it worse, but I'd been anxious and neurotic long before I ever picked up. In fact, picking up most certainly was a piss-poor (and ill-advised) attempt at self-medication.
It simply speaks to an overactive mind, this neurosis, not necessarily an insightful or keen mind, though there are plenty of bright guys who are whacked out of their skulls. Then again, there are a lot of stupid guys that way, too, so ascribing faulty wiring as a prerequisite to genius, artistic or otherwise, seems a stretch. For every Van Gogh, there are sixteen hundred Joey Mittenses living in a boarding house down on the docks, smearing tuna fish on their dick, singing show tunes.
I saw a bit by a comedian a while back, and he was talking about the various diagnosis for mental illnesses we have these days. Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. Manic Depression. Borderline Personality Disorder. Attention Deficient Disorder. And how in the old days, those people were just called "assholes."
So maybe I'm just an asshole.
I keep the same schedule every day--get up the same time, go to the gym the same time, eat the same meal, take the same routes. Routine. Ritual. Whatever you want to call it, I do the same thing, in the same order, see very few people and take even fewer chances, because I have to think less that way, and when I have to think on the fly, adapt and change and try to reconfigure, I get extremely anxious, and my results tend to suck.
Or maybe I'm normal. Like Petersen says, with the way this world works, I don't know how everyone isn't running out of their houses, screaming down the street every day. Quiet desperation and all that.
Or maybe I just need to try harder.