So, I'm mentally ill, you guys. Been thinking about it a lot lately. I mean, it's generally on my mind because I can't get through a day without completely and totally forgetting something vitally important.
Example: Today I have no iPod. I have no idea where the hell I put the thing. None. (I don't know how my gentleman caller hasn't already killed me and stuffed me in the refrigerator or something.) This is because, when I have something my hand that I do not want to be in my hand, my brain does not register what it is or where an appropriate place for it would be. Nope, my brain just says, "GET THAT SHIT OUT OF YOUR HAND RIGHT NOW," and I comply literally without a thought. As a result, cleaning my house becomes something like climbing Mount Everest (I set a LOT of things down) and I would literally lose my own head if it wasn't attached to my body. And I don't have my goddamn iPod today. I really hope it's somewhere that will immediately present itself to my husband because, if it's not, then we're going to need to spend even more money to support my losing-important-shit habit. I mean, do you know how much money it costs to constantly lose things?
Of course, this isn't as bad as the first week that I spent driving, in which I left the lights to the car on two days in a row and left the battery so dead by the mornings that we had to call a tow truck to super-jump it. My first marriage was pretty stupid and irrational, but the one thing I don't blame my ex-husband for is not being able to put up with my insane disorganization and inattentiveness to detail. I want to punch me sometimes. The one good thing about my husband having a milder version of this disorder is that he at least understands.
So, the iPod is important, for the same core reason that I lost it: I literally start to freak out if I am not entertained 24/7. If I do not have music, a book, SOMETHING to do, then I start to twitch, then to pace, and then to sing to myself. In short, I look exactly like the mentally ill person that I am. While I can manage this when I'm, say, in a class, or on a computer (preferably both), when I'm standing, waiting for a bus, walking from one place to another, or in any situation in which I am forced to be alone with my thoughts for longer than about one minute, it takes a herculean effort for me to pretend to be a relatively normal human being. The internet, my iPod, Tetris on my cell phone, having a book with me literally everywhere I go (except freaking today), these are my ways of managing myself. And I don't have my goddamn iPod today.
The thing is, I've been told that I'm just fine. Generally it's not by people who dislike me or think less of me; it might be easier if this was the case. No, it's by people who think highly of me, the ones who think I'm brilliant and want me to succeed. They tell me that I don't seem disordered, that I'm probably just too smart for day-to-day tasks, that I'm just scatterbrained. I was too smart for public school and was failed by a broken system. See? I'm doing great in college! There's nothing wrong with me! (I agree partially, but not entirely, with the part about public school, but that's something for another post. There was a combination of failure to properly address mental health issues, and a failure on my part to put in the work that I was actually capable of.)
All of this would be fine if they would clean my house and keep track of my fucking iPod. It sounds so simple, but I want to slam my head into a wall over it. Little things like that are like tiny pebbles falling in my head: other people wonder why I'm so distressed, but I never know when they signal that the whole mountain is going to come down over my head. I have to remain vigilant against my own mind. Little things like this, like losing my keys, like not being able to have people over to my house because it's at a level that I find acceptable but other people don't, make me want to put my head down and weep. I feel like I'm fighting a giant. I'm not depressed (and I would know; I've been depressed), but that is depressing. It sucks being mentally ill, but it sucks more when most people don't believe it because you just seem so functional.
On the other hand, it lends me a childlike wonder about the world, and some people seem to think it's charming that I bounce around as much as I do. I'm very easily entertained for very short periods of time, and I really do fulfill the stereotype of the ADHD kid all grown up (only more introverted). It's just that I can give you whiplash moving between my moments of innocent glee and my earnest discussions of serious topics. I don't know whether this amuses me or not.