Those people who have experienced some of The Ryan in person, or those who share vicariously in Our shenanigans through social networking from time to time (We love all y’all!), are generally aware that I am an unpredictable basket case, but mostly the cute, fun kind. Not always, but mostly…
However, more recently and with increasing urgency, I have been finding it a more overwhelming struggle to not completely lose my shit multiple times a day in reaction to situations or events. The Crazy Pills that I am on, under physician supervision of course, always seem to keep me in the Fun Zone for a few months, but then it seems as though The Unhinged among us start to slowly assimilate the Happy Lunatics. Up the Dose, Change the Formula, Reset, Play Again.
As a self-identified, sporadically practicing Buddhist hooligan, I am attempting to include meditation and self-reflection in the therapeutic process. This comes with two disclaimers, the first of course being that you only get out what you put in. Meditation is a practice that must be performed and maintained with regularity to develop both adroitness and results. AHEM, Ryan. We said, “Meditation is a practice that must be performed and maintained with regularity to develop both skill and results!” Secondly, though, meditation is also similar to digging a slow hole to China in that, occasionally, you might happen upon something you didn’t know was there. And, occasionally, that thing might have some force behind it.
Unfortunately, some of The Unhinged sort of, well, became unhinged at work Friday morning, and I had a “teensy” little panic attack. Fortunately I felt it coming and ducked into the employee dumper slash locker area slash break room (it’s the size of a closet) to ride it out. Again unfortunately, though, when I get overwhelmed my brain stops processing normally, I get confused, and instead of acknowledging and allowing myself to feel my fear, I lash out in anger (and those fools gave me knives…HA!). Anyways, once I felt I was adequately re-leashed, I tried getting back to work. It didn’t take me long to realize “getting back to work” i.e. “getting back to ‘Normal'” wasn’t going to happen this time. I was barely holding it together, I wasn’t performing well, I was treating everyone with undue contempt and disrespect — especially my white bread benefactor K-Dub, a.k.a. KMFSM a.k.a. Kevin Mother Fucking Saunders, Manager.
So I called it. I realize now that the whole thing could have been much more grand and climatic, but I calmly asked to speak with K-Murda for a few minutes, thanked him (and by extension, the entire management team…except you, Rhudy. FUCK YOU. Nah, I’m just playin’ bro…) for everything, explained the situation, and excused myself. No firebombs. No battle cries from the oppressed Irish motherland. No fits of explication or explicitness. I didn’t even get to break anything or knock a motherfucker out! Peace out, BJ’s Restaurant and Brewhouse. Oh, hey, can I still get my last free employee meal?
The naked truth that We are left with, now, in moving forward, is this. Getting off drugs and alcohol was the best thing for Us, and needed to happen to keep this carcass alive. In the wake of that, however, has been a series of interesting developments on the mental health front. This was the shit We had going on that I didn’t know about. This is the shit I was self-medicating as a compulsive and fervent abuser of glorious and inimical recreational drugs. Many issues were unleashed quickly and therefore dealt with early on out of necessity. Other issues have been more gradually making themselves apparent.
Always the over-thinker, I have felt mostly capable at introspective analysis, and have felt a greater understanding of myself and The We as a result of dealing with these matters of insanity as they arise. In the words of one Rustin Cohle, “I know who I am. And after all these years, there’s a victory in that.” But, as with all things, it is when one begins to feel too much contentment (stagnation?) that the unforeseen happens.
We have been feeling more Unhinged as of late. It is becoming more difficult to exist in the world as opposed to inside Our head. This means We face more of a struggle when trying to venture out into that world and interact with You People. This is easy to do over a computer, because We can maintain Our illusion of control. Things get infinitely more tricky in a face-to-face, hands-on setting, though, because suddenly there are so many other factors involved. Focus becomes infinitely more difficult. And, as of late, and increasingly, We are becoming less able to maintain that focus. Eventually, as some witnessed Friday, We break.
“Nobody realizes that some people expend tremendous energy merely to be normal.” — Albert Camus
I am not feeding you all this detail in an attempt to elicit sympathy. I can do that just fine some other time, thank you. Part of this is completely selfish, because I am figuring some of this stuff out as I write about it. The other part, equally selfish, is also somewhat altruistic — or at least that’s what I tell myself. I share these things with people so that they can maybe understand me, but also maybe understand each other and themselves.
Damn, but pretentiousness feels so good!
In any case, obviously We cannot survive only as Tortured Artists. Not at this point. We haven’t yet developed the resources. The challenge in moving forward, is, how do We attend to keeping the level of disquiet manageable while also seeking out, acquiring, and performing acceptably at a “day job”? Wherever I go, I take myself with me. Wherever I go, there is still the We, and We still must maintain control over the Unhinged. Therefore, I have been looking for opportunities that elude a perhaps more tolerable level of additional stress, even if that inevitably means less pay. Something associated with The Arts, i.e. publishing, entertainment, freelance writing, whatever, would be ideal, but obviously I must also look outside of that intriguing, challenging, and ornately adorned box. I am very interested in things I can do from home, perhaps, for many obvious reasons, the second most being that I would be able to make some money while also pursuing and developing This Writing Thing. Again, though, in the short term at least, I must also remember to think…um…within, um…what’s the word? Oh, right…”Reality.”
Because, of course, the goal is for writing to one day be The Gig. I wonder how We’re doing so far?
© Ryan Scott Sanders and Dharma and Belligerence: Mad Rants from a Free-Range Buddhist Hooligan, 2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Ryan Scott Sanders and Dharma and Belligerence: Mad Rants from a Free-Range Buddhist Hooligan with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.