My Fear

I haven’t been to therapy since the week before Lockdown. And as an American, I don’t have health insurance because it’s a privilege and not a right. And I was worried that I’d be out of work forever and I wouldn’t be able to keep up with my bills while enjoying the luxury of attending to my mental health. But now that I’ve weathered many of the Covid storms and I’ve come through relatively unscathed I texted my therapist today to get back into it.

I think my biggest fear is I’ll die this way. I’ll be stuck fighting the same battle for the next 40 years I’ve been fighting for the last twenty. And if I win it it will be too late to really enjoy the victory. I’ll be laying there in a bed watching Steve Harvey’s son on Family Feud and a nurse who doesn’t find me amusing will be changing my diaper and I’ll need help walking to the shower. I’ll sit on one of those rickety plastic seats as hot water sprays all over my fat wrinkly body. My tattoos will look like shit. I worry my mind won’t work well enough to tell a story in a way where they’re entertaining instead of a burden. That might be my biggest fear. I watched it happen to my parents as they lost their minds. Being able to tell a story that captures people’s attention is one of the only things I value about myself.

Some folks are a glass-half-full type and others are a glass-half-empty type. No one ever talks about the third option. I’m a glass-half-full kind of guy but I assume I’ll spill the rest before I get a chance to drink it. So, out of spite, I pour it all on the floor and stomp in the puddle like a toddler throwing a tantrum. “How you like me now, mother fucker?” Then, to make it worse, I sit there and stare at everyone else’s cup and how much liquid they have. I get jealous that I don’t even have a glass because I already threw it against the wall and it’s now shattered into too many pieces to ever jigsaw back together. This must be the dumbest way ever to live your life. Sad to say, it’s a pathetically accurate description of how I got here.

Back to therapy, I don’t want to focus on any of the bullshit this time around. I don’t need to talk about relationships or depression. I don’t need to dwell on work or friends. None of it is actually essential to the crisis I face. I never learned how to be content with who I am and what I have. That’s the problem. I see it now. I see it so clearly. I want the things I don’t have. And I value nothing that belongs to me. Any of my skills (in my mind) are just things anyone can do. But fuck me, what I wouldn’t give to be anyone other than myself.

I’m never smart enough, good looking enough, funny enough, sexy enough, rich enough, fit enough, enough, enough, and ENOUGH! I feel it slowly killing me as I’m pushed to that bed wearing the diaper and the unamused nurse. I feel the hot water from the shower. It hides the tears of a sad old man who squandered the years that were supposed to matter wishing for the things that were never going to come. I’m like a drunk without the comfort of booze. I’m like a hoarder in an empty house. If I could I’d rip open my chest just to show everyone the void inside me. But I’m pretty sure no one would care to look. And then the void would swallow me up. Or perhaps I’m deluding myself by thinking it hasn’t already consumed me and the only thing left to do is run out the clock. Either way, I’m not particularly hopeful about how successful going back to therapy will be. But my appointment is Thursday.