Dear Twenty Twenty,
I’ve been reading your blog for a few months and I want to know if your stories are true and you’re crazy or if you’re stories aren’t true and you’re a good liar. If you are crazy, you make it seem fun.
—Linz in Alberta
Funny you should ask, Linz. I’m a little of both, actually.
It won’t be surprise anyone who knows me in real, tangible, barstool, and dinner date life that I’m a bit rockerless at times. Actually, it probably won’t surprise anyone who reads this blog, come to think of it. I’m not run-down-the-street-screaming-that-I’m-Gordon-Brown cray. And I’m certainly not catatonic-piss-on-myself-depressed cray. I like to think of myself as a precious blend of the two. I’m fun crazy! Mostly.
But let’s get serious for moment, shall we, LIA?
I suspect that most people don’t know they are a cracked until someone (your twin, maybe, or your girlfriend) tells you that you that you are. At that point, you might say something along the lines of, “Fuck you, you’re crazy.” But a few months after the friend/family diagnosis, you might wake up in your tub one morning wrapped in a sopping wet towel with a really short, really patchy haircut, which seemed like a good and even necessary idea at midnight last night, but in the light of day you see that a) this is going to be a problem at the salon where you work, and b) you have more in common with B. Spears that you ever thought possible.
Maybe it’s at point that you decide to Get Help.
So you get help. You see a series of therapists who are like, “Whoa, nice haircut, Britney,” and tell you that you definitely need a hat and probably need drugs. You get both. The hat is about as effective as the drugs, but taking that little prescription diamond every morning makes you feel pro-active about Fixing Yourself.
Feeling pro-active is really, really important when you think that the bathroom at the co-op is a time machine and if only you can get there at the right time you could go back and decide not to steal those red tube socks from your friend’s drawer when you were ten and also decide not lead the entire lunchroom in chanting “Kill LaWhore” in honor of your fifth teacher Mrs. LaTore? And the Chuck Bass shit? The time you slept with the painter who was house-sitting for the fag upstairs while your girlfriend was visiting her family back in North Carolina, and, by the by, said painter was, of all things, a dude? You hope the time machine hasn’t closed yet.
Another part of being pro-active might be to go to therapy every week. This has the benefit of making you feel like you’re not wasting your insurance money and you may also get some pretty interesting names for what’s wrong with you (OCD? Sure! PTSD? Why not!? Hyber-Sensitivity Disorder? Never heard of it, but whatevs!).
But, Linz, therapy also makes people incredibly fucking boring. You start to think about yourself all the time. You wake up questioning your mental state and appraise it all day long. Are you in a manic episode? Are you depressed? Can you even tell the difference? It’s seriously fucking dull.
At some point, you and your therapist might reach an impasse. You like talking about yourself for an hour each week and getting something out of your insurance is pretty neat, but you sure as fuck aren’t going to tap on your forehead while repeating “I exist. I exist. I exist.” So maybe you break up with the therapist.
Or maybe your therapist thinks that your antics just aren’t funny anymore. That you aren’t actually trying to change. That you’re still doing shit just because it’ll make a good story to tell your pals over eggs Benedict. Maybe you tell her that she’s being too judgmental about your sex life, that even though the last girl who left her earrings in your house was young, she was very mature for her age. You might also argue that rehab is an absolutely ridiculous idea because you only drink on weekends and birthdays, for fucks sake.
At that point, you may say something that sounds good in your head but with an unintentionally vociferous tone that exacerbates an already unpleasant situation: Bitch, please, you might say. You don’t know me.
And then, your therapist fires you.
When this happens, LIA, you think about what therapy actually is. It’s humans listening to other humans talk about their problems. Your therapist may have a box of tissues in her office and your psychiatrist may have the white coat, but they are still human, and when they tell you that disregarding their advice will led to more bad haircuts and possibly even STDs, think about what they say and then go shopping.
I’m not trying to be cavalier about mental health. I know brain baggage is a Really Big Deal. My point is that you need to have a healthy degree of skepticism about this shit. A friend’s therapist once told her that her cutting herself was a good release. No joke. See someone, but not blindly.
We all gots shit to deal with.