Ever since I admitted to a doctor that something happened to me last week, I've been on that emotional roller-coaster a lot of folks talk about here. But it's really taken me to an extreme.
For awhile, especially this weekend, I was able to have a great time with my band and forget about everything else in my life. All I did was play music. But then on Sunday, I read an article in the New York Times about another musician, Bob Dylan, that brought it slowly crashing down.
The article itself was really interesting - apparently he's been touring constantly for almost twenty years... scary when you think about how old he's gotta be by now. But the last sentance went like this:
"The question, bluntly put, is what Mr. Dylan is running away from, or to.... What personal demons could compel a man to spend his late 40's, then his entire 50's and now his 60's, away from home?"
And that slowly started wheels turning in my mind. I take my band way too seriously. We're just guys playing music over the summer and having a good time, but I throw myself into the music so recklessly. I tried to write about it on the blog I set up to write in every night, but nothing really came out the way I wanted it to.
What am I running away from, I thought? But I knew the answer, and suddenly it didn't seem as safe anymore. The band felt like a job, and it's when I'm at my day job that it'll hit the hardest.
Today, someone made an offhand anti-Catholic remark while defending gay people, and I responded angrily because I felt like people like that were the reason why I don't trust any side in politics - they all have groups they hate for no good reason, and I feel like gay or straight, Catholic or not, shouldn't matter in determining the quality of character. But as I was responding, my head swam. I was angry, sure, but I'd never felt quite like that before. The pressure I get on top of my chest bone whenever I talk about this came roaring back. I had to sit down for awhile and cool off.
As the day went on, my mood kept on swinging. One minute I was writing a song about the problems I see in this Live Aid in the bathroom, the next reading obituaries of famous artists I liked who died in the past few years. I walked outside and, even though I couldn't afford it, bought new music. I almost bought a book I couldn't afford, too, but stopped myself at the last minute. I almost cried listening to one song when I got home - Johnny Cash's cover of "Spiritual."
The night before, I'd sat on a roof with old friends from high school, drinking beer and talking about music, drugs, women and life, and felt normal. Happy. Today I was a wreck again, and I feel that now that someone's flat-out revealed to me that I'm using music as a crutch to get through this, I don't feel like it's working anymore.
I'm afraid. I don't know what this thing is, this pressure on my chest - sometimes there's pressure on my left eyelid, too, sometimes my vision swims if I get angry... am I working myself to death? I went to the doctor (before I told anyone) and he gave me a clean bill of health, said my blood pressure was incredible and my heart and lungs were crystal clear... does PTSD work like this? I went through something similar with a very different situation and it never felt like this. There it was an emptiness in my chest, like someone had ripped out everything inside me. I can't tell, I don't know. I could use a hand, I guess.
I don't want to go to my doctor. I don't trust him fully although I know that's a really stupid thing. It's just a gut feeling. But he's the only one that could recommend a therapist.
And if I went to see a therapist, I would have to pay money. As it is, my spending habits are out of control - I need to shred my bank card or something so I'm not broke by next week - but if I use my insurance, my parents find out, and then they ask questions, and I have to relive this whole thing again.
I don't know. I'm in a bad place.