a required taste for the pretentious as all get out





a pocketful of crazy and a heartful of meds
November 18, 2005, 6:18 pm

When I was in fourth grade, I told my mother I wanted to kill myself; it was mostly to get attention, but really because I couldn't figure out why I couldn't stop crying myself to sleep worrying about middle school. My father proceeded to scare the shit out of me that night, giving me the most heart-rending yet violent speech in the history of human-kind that still, if I think about it, brings me to tears while simultaneously feeling like I've been punched in the stomach.

When I was in seventh grade, I used to lie awake at night listing every person in my class that liked me, that hated me, and sat up until 4:00a.m. to plan a strategy to get the people who were on the "hate" side on my "like" side.

In high school, before every soccer game, I would will the bus to crash (with no serious injuries), or for me to spontaneously break my leg so I wouldn't have to play, not because I didn't enjoy it, but because I was afraid of making a bad play.

There are nights I think of something that happened to me my freshman year of high school, where someone yelled at me, and I can't stop.

My doctor likes to call all these symptoms an "moderate to severe anxiety disorder"; I like to call it the cup of crazy I continually have by my bedside, but I can't bring myself to take downstairs to the dishwasher.

Anyway, this week? It was obvious to me that it was time to bring out the Cascade, and I did. Am I happy that I'm finally combating an issue that I have carried around for my entire life that I just sort of looked at as one my personality quirks? Yes, but terrified, too. I really, really like my personality...a lot. I'm a fun person to be around. I'm a barrell of laughs; I mean, most of my students would tell you I'm their favorite teacher, you know?

But when I'm like this, and I take two days off work to go to the movies, and it's the opening of _Chicken Little_ and I have to leave because I'm worried about the papers in my bookbag getting too cold in the car and that the papers are judging me for not grading them on time and I don't like myself anymore because how horrible am I that I would do that and I still have to order something for the play and those kids will hate, hate, hate me from now on if I don't do that or say that or correct that...yeah, it's time for that to stop.

Here's to quieting the doubting Thomases in my's to making everything okay (mostly).

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