So, you say that you have anxiety disorder. Is that right?
Me too . . .
Ever freak out?
Ever come to the point where the walls are closing in and nothing works?
Nothing stops. Yell if you want, but nothing helps. You can’t calm down. You can’t rest. And you can’t get out of your own skin.
I’ve been there and if you’ve read this much, then I assume you have too.
In order to find clarity, we have to create clarity, which means this part will take some housekeeping. This part will require honesty and personal inventory. Afterwards, this will come down to an honest assessment of the company we keep. This will cause us to recognize some of our behavior.
But, let’s keep this simple . . .
We are who we are. Am I right? Or, is it more accurate to say that we are the sum of our surroundings? We are the boundaries we keep. We are the friends we have and the job we have. We are the total of our family influence and the culture we come from. Is this it?
There is a word I remember hearing when I was a boy. The word was long and strange but nevertheless, the word is real. Are you ready for it?
Back as a kid, The Old Man used to tell me that I lacked a sense of sticktoitiveness and I remember thinking, “Is that even a word?” And it is.
Stick-to-it-iveness means determination and to be persistent even in the presence of difficulty. My Father would tell me that I needed to toughen up. I had to thicken my skin. He told me that I needed more sticktoitiveness or otherwise, I’d become something soft and habitual.
I will be going back and forth from the adult mind and the child’s mind on this one. . .
I have seen different places in this world. I have seen the faces of children when their eyes are open wide and completely amazed. There is something to this. There is something beautiful and pure. I am amazed by this.
I am amazed by the way a child sees the world, all new, all the time, and always wanting and searching for more. I think about the different phases of understanding and how age takes away some of our rights. I think about the absolute wonder of youth and how our version of life is this limitless thing.
I say this because there are no limits to childhood dreams. I say this because youth is nothing more than a plethora of dreams. It’s filled with hopes, imagination and fantasies.
I know I’m not alone when I relate to having a case of monkey brain. I know I’m not alone when I say that my thoughts can be all over the place. I can think myself into a million different directions. Whether in the past or the future, I know what it’s like to not be present because my mind is somewhere else.
Enter the thought machine . . .
I find myself back at another starting point. Today is the second day of the new year, which means we are back around the sun again and the world itself is physically back where it was at this time last year. Once more, we have accomplished another full revolution around the sun and what have we learned? Who have we become and what have we accomplished?
I will post this as my last entry for this particular journal. I am not sure where the winds will take me. I don’t know who will come with me or go the other way. But then again, none of this is within my control. All I have is this. All I have are my thoughts, which I have shared with you. All I have are my recollections and the stories that I have shared with you, honestly and to the best of my ability. All I have is this moment, right here, and right now.
Everyone knows there is a beginning, a middle and an end to everything. We know this but nothing ever prepares us for that last goodbye. Nothing ever helps the realization that this might be the last time we see each other. And we hurt and we weep. We mourn and we lose and still, the world turns. The clock ticks and the eventual or inevitable countdown never stops. This never changes speed and never allows us to pause because there is no pause. There is only life and its brief course in a short span of time.
I used to head to this noontime meeting near Madison Square Garden on Tuesdays and Thursdays. There was another meeting up the block on Monday, Wednesdays and Fridays, which was good for me at the time. I made these meetings because I was told this is what I needed to do. I was told about the 12-steps and how to work them. I was told about a program and the need to come to an understanding with a higher power. And I took the suggestions. I showed up early and I helped set up the tables and chairs. I agreed to go under protest, but I still went and stayed out of trouble (for the most part).
And then there’s life. Then there’s the things we see and the things we think and feel. There’s the little things we pick up and the big things that we miss.
Life is eventual and inevitable. No one gets out, pain free, and no one goes without a scratch or without a trip to the hospital or a fever. No one goes without a stomach ache and nobody goes through life without the touch of a broken heart. I know this. I’ve seen this. And it’s true. Life happens to everyone.
Big wallets can go empty. Poor people can have the richest hearts. Success is a mindset and so is rejection. But before we go on from here, it is important to note that there are people who have built empires out of nothing and there are people who’ve been given the golden ticket and threw it all away.
I was moved by the lyrics of a song that went, “It’s been a long road, without you my friend. But I’ll tell you all about it when I see you again.”
Not sure if you remember but I was hospitalized when I was somewhere around the age of eight or so. My memory of this has faded. At best, my memories are minimal. My only memories were the window and the view from the bed. I overlooked a golf course. The air, the sky and the world around me looked clean as ever. But me, I was in a hospital room and in a bed next to a large window with the sun shining through. I can remember the green from the trees and the grass. I remember the sky was so incredibly blue with puffs of white clouds like pillows of cotton that flowed overhead. I remember this feeling inside of me, as if the entire world was living.