today I am going to write about mental illness because I knew I was going to have to do it eventually.
I’m not going to talk about why. There was something that prompted it, true, but it’s not my business, and it had nothing to do with me.
I will give a personal little aside though and say a couple of things.
I am Not Well. Some people know this about me. When I say that I’m “not well,” I don’t mean that I “get depressed.” I mean that I actively alienate people and have seriously messed up my career beyond reasonable belief. Like I haven’t been able to leave my house and stuff. Like seriously undermined myself and stuff. I look at places like the SIMS foundation and I think that it’s a great idea, but it seems like a place where I’d just say something and embarrass myself by making a faux pas at a mental heath benefit concert.
It’s like that.
I’m the thing that you hide away at the asylum. I’m not the pretty poster child for the event. And let me assure you, I don’t let the REALLY bad videos out of my sight. We don’t let any of the really freaky stuff out of our clutches around this house.
Long ago, I learned not to Talk About It. So nobody knows about my little episodes. So when I see something alarming about someone else’s mishaps, I remember my college days and think about how it was. And I look at the long string of ruin that I have made of my career and I feel Bad.
One of the fun things that I did was to get really “episode-y” around the time of Song Fu V. This was the last one. I noticed I started doing it before this one and I’ve managed to successfully curtail it. I’m not sure how I did it. Maybe the danger is notpassed yet. I don’t know. Maybe I’m cruising for a bruising doing this experiment and writing about what is going on in my head this time. My husband is having surgery and I’m really scared.
What happened was that I pulled out right before the moleman round because I was about to crack up. I was about to go into an irretrievable hermit phase. I knew that if I pushed myself to finish the damn song about the damn moleman, that I’d probably be able to do it, but that it would be so self-annihilating that I would probably be dead by Tuesday morning. I had this bleak, completely mental sense that no one would give a rat’s ass. I have this series of increasingly crazed videos that talk about John Hodgman following me inside my head and telling me I have to finish this crazed “quest” and blah-blah-blah … and by the time the “last-minute” rolled around I knew I was in a fight for my sanity-identity.
So I chose life. Because I’d been down that road before. And it really didn’t matter all that much in the grand scheme of things. And yes, everyone survived. And they survived the next one too. I almost didn’t make the deadline for the number song either. Everyone would have survived if I hadn’t done that one as well. But Mr.P kinda has been great to me on that one and has let me in by the skin of my ass each time I’ve had technical difficulty getting a file in. So I got four5ths in anyway. I would have shadowed it. Either way it was fine. But it was just extra golden to have it work out so well. But what if it hadn’t?
Who cares? Maybe I’d be one of the people being talked about as “unfit” for competition. Too flaky for fu. Even though I keep getting complimented on my videos. Well, musicians are often completely mentally ill. There have been books written about this stuff. This is just the way of things. The way of artists. This is the row that I have to hoe. And I’m okay with it. I’ve come to accept this.
The fact is, I realize now that I am not self-destructive. It’s really just some kind of odd button I have in me that is telling me to immolate. It’s telling me to escape, that I’m not good enough. That I need to set myself on fire, that I need to jump, that I need to do whatever it is that I need to do at the time that will shut off the nasty horrid voices that tell me that I don’t have the freedom to just shut whatever it is off at whatever time it is.
I don’t know if this is true for everyone. But I’ve come to know it for what it is, for me.
I have been given the luxury to live this long and have come to love myself. I have been given the luxury of a lot of hubris, a low-threshold of pain, a large belief in my own superiority to a lot of other stuff that I see and hear around me, an extreme love of beauty and art and my fellow humans, a large amount of joy and humor and general unabated horniness for my fellow people, and just a freakin’ love of life. So I’ve made it through. And I’ve come to know that it’s all just escapism for me. So I’ve come to learn to ignore it enough to let it pass into it’s mentally ill time.
I let the professionals do their work.
That’s all I’m going to say about that.
I’ve lost enough gigs already. But those were all assholes anyway, weren’t they ..?