The Ideal Madman

I want to be happy, believe me. Who wants to read a blog that’s glum and predictable? How exhausted is the old, “I never got to be a child”, or “somebody hurt me”, or “my parents should have paid more attention to me” tirade? If you’ve heard it once, I’m sure you’ve heard it a thousand times, but for some reason, my brain hasn’t gotten the memo.

My mind short circuits unpredictably. It’s supposed to make a cycle through the morning, to the afternoon, and rein in gradually as it chugs through the evening. Most days, this is how it works – those days, it’s business as usual. I am happy, I feel at ease, I want to interact with people, and sometimes I even find something at Target to make my desk look pretty. Those are the good days. On the other days, it’s seriously scary in here.

While just yesterday I was loving life, today my brain could decide to throw all logic out the window. The life puzzles that I’ve already solved slowly resurface, while their solutions remain locked in a back corner of my mind, along with my endorphins and reason. My anxiety and stress run rampant around the complex channels of my intellect, shutting down essential decision making mechanisms, having no regard for the delicate inter-workings of my humanity and delighting in the ensuing mental havoc. On these days, I find myself making lists of the easiest/most painless ways to kill myself. I find myself breaking into a panic attack at work and tapping into the unpleasant memories of a lifetime ago. Sometimes I lash out verbally for no reason, other times I feel my arms yearning to jerk my steering wheel into oncoming traffic. Most of the time, I just find myself here, hammering away on black and white keys, watching the feelings dissipate into the nothingness of the inter-webs, safely funneling into a source they won’t smother. They disappear like ripples on a private pond, disrupting nothing and forgotten effortlessly.

Thus far, no matter what my brain has queued for me, I always return home after. I endure the internal mayhem and in time return to my steady state. No matter how hard the feelings hit, I know I will never act. It’s scary, but it’s finite, and that’s what keeps me calm. Until the day comes when the madness draws blood, I will rely on my dog to keep the crazy at bay. As far as I’m concerned, I’m the ideal madman. I have just enough sanity to contain my own mental illness without the aid of pills, booze, or institution. I’m the madman you nod to on the street and sit next to in your meetings. I’m the madman you relate to because I’m a madman just like you.

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