I come from a proud heritage of screwed-upedness. Most of my close ancestors have been religious, so the party hasn’t been as raucous as it had potential to be.
Still, I’ve spent the younger years of my life in anticipation of a horrid emotional surprise. Each year brings ever closer the question of whether I may finally be classified as a mental condition.
Do I have Depression? Anxiety? Social anxiety? Ooh! Maybe I can be diagnosed with a cocktail of disorders I’ve not yet heard of!
A cocktail is what to expect when one applies to a psychiatrist -one of medications.
I learned, in school, that a person is defined as having a mental condition when said condition interferes with normal life. And so, each day that is a bit more difficult than others, I wonder if I’ve finally crested the abnormal wave.
“Everyone feels that way,” I’m reassured, by a spouse who does not spend the morning crying.
“Oh, I’ve had those days,” says my neighbor, from her newly-decorated sitting room. I haven’t gotten around to mine for …four years.
Eventually, one of my children brings a true threat of fratricide within earshot, and I have to leave my self-pity rut.
It’s still there, though. Even a medicinal mix wouldn’t erase it. I often feel that drugs create potholes in other locations: side effects fallout.
What is normal?
How do I get there?