My last day of school was actually Feb 28, but they combine classes so the hall is cheaper. So, four months later, I’m “graduating”.
Its been 13 years since I did anything like that.
The last time I graduated I had been diagnosed with bipolar 1, OCD, and anxiety disorder for a little over a year. I remember the day of graduation, it was a warm day. Everyone was outside on the field, and I was having a massive panic attack in the cafeteria. The thought of being on that field, with people. That people were watching. That I was trapped on the field. That I would look like the crazy ass I was if I ended up running off of it in a panic.
They set me at the edge of a row, just in case my fight or flight kicked in and I ran like hell. But I made it through, amazingly. I don’t remember most of it…or hell…90% of it. But then again, year 2000-2004 are pretty much nonexistant in my memory. I was diagnosed in 1999, and was on a myriad of drugs for those years. I was taking upwards of 15 pills a day. Anti psychotics, mood stablizers, anti depressants, anti anxiety, anti seizure, you name it. And when something wasn’t working, just up the dose! I ended up spending alot of time doped to the gills, thus the memory issues. To this day, my short term memory is practically non existant. I can remember great from childhood to 1999. I remember 2005-2009 vaguely.
I get angry that I have practically no memory of a decade. The twenties are supposed to be a great time. Finding yourself. Making your mistakes. I made mistakes alright. I know I held some jobs, but I don’t remember when, or how long, or sometimes even WHERE.
I started this as a post about graduation and it turned into…this. That’s just how my brain works when I’m writing, I suppose.
But, the point I was getting at, is that I haven’t had to do anything in front of crowds for a long time. I’ve never had what you call, “stage fright”, I’ve sang in front of people my whole life. I was in plays. But somehow the thought of not doing SOMETHING and people staring at me is horrible. I recently lost what could have been a very awesome job because of it. I was taking pictures at Comerica Park for the Detroit Tigers. I was doing fine until it was time to walk the stands, that hold 45k. The place wasn’t remotely full, but no matter where you sit, everyone can see you. Which meant that everywhere I walked, people could see me. I hate people looking at me. Maybe its due to insecurity, I have no idea. But I stood frozen for an hour at the top of the stands until I ended up a crying mess and I quit.
Here’s to hoping I get through it in one piece.