I wake up. I do that. In some fashion. Because I’m OK.
I walk into the kitchen and see a pile of dishes, not unfamiliar to me as they’ve been towering over the tiny sink for, I’d say, three days now-every viewing more daunting than the former. I see the beauty in these dishes being cleaned, organized, and the sink in perfect condition in my head. And I do it. I make it happen, cleaning and organizing. It’s work, but it becomes pretty ok work-its really not daunting. In my mind it is, well, it is not heroic-but it is something above and beyond what I thought I could get done. Because I’m OK.
Work is hell because it involves people. No, no people are not all evil-but they possess thoughts and ideas and methods of working. And I am full of all of the above with the different parts of my brain already battling it out. Yet I need to deal with these people. In fact I explicitly need to deal with five people of the many that work under me. They are not-by my or others’ standards-pulling their weight. I’m already into cliché. They’re not working fast enough, with the same “every eventuality” thinking I hold myself to. Maybe I’m a very difficult manager, I don’t know. I don’t quite know what I’m doing as a manager-but here I am. And here these five workers sit in front of me. And I’m to make changes to how they work? Yes. I dive in, I don’t let my fears of my own incompetence get in the way. I talk. They listen. People say “OK.” And other things. I feel… done. Accomplished, things. Because I’m OK.
I know there’s nothing worthwhile to eat in the house, so I head out to the store. It’s quite cold out, with a touch of rain. Miserable, but I don’t do cars, so I suppose I can knock my mood into “routine,” though my brain is telling me “this is too much.” I ignore my brain, I have to. Inside the store-one I visit at least three times a week-I open my grocery list on my phone. I’ll forget anything I don’t keep checking over and over. I also don’t quite know where anything is, though I’ve purchased these items many times. “Routine,” you see. But I can’t pay attention enough to solidify the map of the store in my mind, as, well, overflowing brain. Regardless I make it through my list of five items, antsy of course because-people. But I got it, dinner exists in raw form. I leave, satisfied. Because I’m OK.
A phone call. Well, the buzz of my phone is all right now. A potential phone call, as such an event does not classify as such until I pick it up and begin talking. Which I very rarely do, I need to be prepared for any social interaction. Thus is the beauty of voice mail. I get a message that I need to call someone, I prepare extensively, I make the call. I am in control. But not this time, it involves work. Yeah, it’s a obtuse salesperson. But I need to make things happen with this person. For work, something I really care very little about at this moment. Again-brain overflowing. I make the call, brace myself to interact, and begin on my years-long rehearsed monologue of moving quickly past small talk to what I need done. It doesn’t matter what the details are in this case, it is just a checkbox I need to check on one of my many lists. I say I need something, I say I’m willing to pay other people’s money for it, the phone call is done and I am back inside my brain. Because I’m OK.
It’s that time of the month-the 23rd day, the day I get my prescriptions filled. You see, I don’t have insurance of any sort. I’ve learned to cobble together seemingly fleeting discounts online to build some sort of affordable budget for the four psych meds I need to take. It’s discouraging, intimidating, it’s a world of bullshit against me. But I have to, the meds work. Or some of them do, I’m pretty sure some don’t do anything-but for sure some do something. Whatever, this has to happen. I make my way to the pharmacy. They never tell you the prices when you get an email that your scripts are ready. I call this psych med pricing roulette. It really is, I’m pretty damn convinced the prices are made up-and indeed this time my number comes up wrong. Two hundred dollars for what used to be seventy-seven dollars the last few months. Screw it, I take my script and my discounts to another pharmacy. I spin the roulette wheel again-eighty-five dollars. That works. Wasted time, but… well, now I have to learn a new routine going to a new pharmacy. But I guess I won. Sort of. It is good enough. I’ll call it a win. Because I’m OK.
I get home, I think about my day. Fast moving, too fast. None of this is me, this isn’t what I want to do. But I did it. I did what most others consider a normal day happen. But none of this is normal to me, nothing is “normal.” It is all uniquely strenuous every time.
But I do it.
Not because I’m OK.
For reasons no one else can see. Maybe reasons no one else wants to know-why would they? The reason I wake up.
Because I’m good at faking it.