Monday, September 13, 2004

Submariner

I felt downhearted today, that would be the word, if I had to choose a single word.

It started in my room. Now, usually I have to look in my mirror a lot of times before I leave the house. I used to have to put my finger on my wrist a lot, too, and check that my pulse was regular. I would also worry about death on a semi-permanent basis. I would wake up and think "I'm going to die one day." Or I would be eating a sandwich and think "Is this my last sandwich?" (particularly if it was a pre-packed one). I have overcome my worries about death now, although they resurface moments before boarding any aircraft.

The mirror, yes. The mirror is still an obsession. And it's not vanity, despite the protestations of friends. No, it's not vanity. Let me say one thing. One day, when I was about 21, I went to Birmingham without looking in the mirror. And all day, women were smiling at me, making eyes, I couldn't believe it. "Have I turned the corner?" "Have I gone from ugly duckling to swan?" etc. It was a great experience. When I got home after my day of superstardom, I went into the bathroom, and caught sight of myself in the mirror. And there, right on the end of my nose, was a large blob of toothpaste!

But that wasn't the trigger for mirror issues, I just drop it in as an example of how cruel and ridiculous my life has been on occasion.

Well, today, I had to look in the mirror at least 60 times, from various angles, fighting with myself to find a way to say "It's okay. Go. Go out. Go out there..." These days I'm philosophical about having to go through such moments. The same thing has been happening when I go for job interviews etc, I find myself outside the venue, fighting to find what it takes to knock on a door, push a buzzer, etc, resisting the urge to flee. I figure it just shows that I am a courageous person, because I have to meet these powerful feelings of fear head on, and I almost always manage to find the way through.

That has to be better than telling myself I'm in the grip of some obsessive disorder, don't you think so, folks?

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