I Have That

When my sister watched Center Stage, she wanted to become a ballerina. When she watched Stick It, she wanted to become a gymnast. I’m not saying Pocahontas is at fault, but she does have a long standing belief that she is descended from Native American royalty. I don’t find anything wrong with this quirk. I think it’s precisely why movies and books are great. They allow you to see yourself in different worlds, cultures, and occupations.

I have a bit of that myself – but with illness. I don’t frequent WebMD or search out information on illnesses and symptoms. However, if someone starts describing symptoms of an illness, I have it. The worry comes and goes. The only real long standing one is that I’m certain I’m on the autism spectrum, allow some of the symptoms I think are manifestations of my social anxiety. I’ve been diagnosed with that one, so it’s not just in my head. Or rather, it very much is in my head.

Recently, I’ve been listening to the podcast “The Hilarious World of Depression”, which is probably the best podcast I’ve listened to, ever. I’m not a podcast junkie, but I’ve listened to a few I’ve really liked. This one is the best. Literally, go download it. You can thank me later. Anyway, in episode two, the guest talks about how she has OCD and it manifests in violent and/or sexual thoughts – a lesser known form of OCD, but still a form of it. I’m honestly at the point of seeing a doctor because I really think that might be me. I’m freaking out, a little.

The podcast also talks about destigmatizing depression, mental illness, and suicide. It’s not glorifying these things, but the goal is to make the topics less taboo so that people feel like they can share that part of themselves with others and, hopefully, get the help and support they need. The podcast does it under the umbrella of humor and comedians talking about their struggles. Very well done.

I kind of want to tell my family now. I’m on a roll, I guess. I told my best friend about how I used to cut. I told my boss. Maybe I’ll rent a billboard and tell the world. How do I do it, though? I feel like I need to tell all of them at once because they’re just going to talk about it behind my back – not snidely but in worried tones. “Can we let her continue to let her live alone?” “What happened to make her that way?” “Was it me?” “Yeah, it was probably you.” Just kidding on that last one. The only time we’re all together though is for major holidays. Merry Christmas, I’m in recovery for self-harm. My family is prone to fighting viciously at the holidays. I don’t want to throw a soft spot in the way of an already moving fist. I don’t want to see my mom cry, or my dad try to solve a problem he can’t fully grasp. I don’t want my sister to make it all about her, or for my other siblings to treat me differently. They’ll react out of deep love for me, but that doesn’t mean their reactions will be good or bearable.

Then I talk myself into not telling them. I’ve quit right? There’s no point in them knowing. I don’t need help. It’ll be unnecessary pain for them. Right? I can just tuck this away in my life and let them believe I’m happy and healthy and not more than a little messed up in the head. Is this what addicts say when they aren’t recovering, when they’re just festering?

I don’t know. I don’t know the right path in this case. This is probably where talking to a real person might help me. If only I had the money.




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