Uncrossable Thresholds

Since my next test drive is taking a bit longer than expected to arrange, and since viewer traffic seems to indicate interest in my psychosis, I thought I should mention how long it took me to leave the house today. The short answer is a while.

There was a great post by Mike Krahulik, the artist of Penny-Arcade last week about what I just went through. Mike, or “Gabe” as he’s known over there, has well documented”anxiety issues” that sound familiar whenever he writes about them.

short of re-posting the entire thing, I’ll link to it and reference it, but it is definitely worth the read. it’s pretty insightful. here it is again.

So My mom calls, whom I didn’t see this morning, as I left without waking her and the conversation went something like this:

Me:”good morning”

Mom:”good morning, what happened this morning?” ( I assume she’s seen my room )

Me:”y’know, the..thing.”

Mom:”are you ok now?”

Me:”a bit better.”

Mom:”Jesus Christ.”


I changed my clothes at least 10 times this morning. I put on more than 10 different combinations of clothes, appraised them in 3 different mirrors and then frustratingly stripped and did it again. This all happened in a panic, too. like “Double Dare” panic. In fact, I’m pretty sure now that most of the physical challenges were engineered out of Marc Summers’ own daily pyschotic rituals.

That’s just the part you can see. What outsiders miss out is the ongoing dialogue in my head that furthers the activity. In what Mike K. describes adequately as “chain worrying,” there’s a constant stream of concerns and issues that results in accumulating distress. I’ll try to give a short example: (deep breath)

I’ll put on a shirt, then worry it doesn’t go with the pants, then try to find something else, but I wore that yesterday, so I cant wear it today, and then I realise I dont have alot of shirts I like so I feel bad about that, so then I feel stupid that I have to choose between 3 shirts and I can’t wear one with these pants because the color is similar to that time I wore lavender and khaki and I hated that, so if I put on a sweater, I’ll look fine, but I need to wear a shirt with a collar for work otherwise I might get shit from my boss, and speaking of work, its going to take me half an hour and I’m already late, but I have to warm the car, but I can’t until I put on clothes, so I put something on and I warm the car, but I dont like how the sweater looks in the sun and u can see how crap it goes with the pants I put, so I put on my cargo pants because they aren’t jeans, but I look like how I dressed in high school, plus Im covering up alot because I feel fat, and then I wonder “do I dress like a fat guy?” so I don’t want to look like Im dressing to cover up my fat, but I feel fat so I have to cover up (and this part repeats several times)

which then leads into I need to work out, but I dont have time to work out, and my room is dusty, and I dont make enough money and my head is too big and I’m awkwardly shaped, and the new”Knight Rider” sucks, and I don’t want people to associate my car with it and stuff like that, and at this point 2 hours have gone by and half my closet is piled on the bed.

 Finally, I’m able to compose an outfit that seems to mildly placate the demons, and I go to work wondering just how I’m supposed to explain this to anyone, and thus becomes a secret, like you lead a double life because I can’t call the office and tell them I’m going to be late because I’m having a bit of “crazy” this morning and can’t walk out the door.

That’s basically what happened to me today.


2 Responses to “Uncrossable Thresholds”

  1. 1 Olga
    February 21, 2008 at 8:33 AM

    As shocking or not shocking as this may be, this is has totally happened to me numerous times. I have torn out my entire closet and wondered who bought all this clown clothes. Then collapsed into a fit of tears and rage. And eventually settled on wearing the outfit I started out with when I opened the dreaded closet door.

    I think it’s unfair that I can’t email my professors and say “I’m having a bit of a meltdown. Hopefully next week works out better.” I can say I have the plague or that I’ve been attacked by ants, but never the truth.

    There’s no way to send that in an email and not have it sound…a little crazy.

    Maybe everyone should just be a little more accepting of “a little crazy”. Since everyone has those moments. Most just don’t have the courage to admit it.

  2. February 22, 2008 at 2:06 PM

    But you can call in a little “crazy” to work – just call me =P

    I know the feeling, cutie, and I know you know I know the feeling. It’s difficult and frustrating and tiresome and strange and familiar yet foreign all at the same time. You want to explain yourself, but you know they won’t understand, and sometimes you feel that even you don’t know what’s happening.

    The first step is making it out the door every single day. You don’t run away from it or hide, you just face it, and you get stronger – and I am so proud of you for that – and it will get easier.

    On the bright side, what you ended up wearing that day looked great!!

    And you did, too =)

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