04 May 2013

Anxiety Invasion

Today was the first Saturday in May, which meant the Kentucky Derby and Free Comic Book Day. Because of the date, it also happened to be Star Wars Day ("May the Fourth be with you"). I was supposed to have met some friends for an 11:35 showing of Iron Man 3 where my admission was covered by movie cash I got from Disney Movie Rewards earlier in the year, and then other friends were hosting their annual Derby party. I even entertained notions of trying to get to The Great Escape when they opened at 10 this morning in time to snag some of those Free Comic Book Day books (I want Atomic Robo and The Tick).

Naturally, I never got anywhere near The Great Escape or the theater. I had a rough night last night, more from anxiety than from Crohn's though my guts were plenty angry, too. Around 4 AM, I realized that the best I could manage would be to make an appearance at the Derby party so I sent a very-late-night text bailing on the movie. At least my movie cash is valid through the end of November so even I don't get around to seeing it until it hits the Village 8 (our second-run theater), my admission is still covered. Still, I feel disappointed and frustrated yet again at my inability to do such basic things as going to see a movie with my friends with any reliability.

The Derby party, then, was going to salvage my day. These same friends had invited me to go with them to Oaks yesterday, but I knew better than to even attempt that nightmare. At their house, though, there'd be far less than the second-highest attendance on record (113,820). Plus, two bathrooms. Always a plus!

What happened? I was overwhelmed. Every room was chock full of people. I knew them all (or at least, most of them). I should have been perfectly comfortable. These are my closest friends, after all. We're such a closely knit group that years ago we just started talking about ourselves as extended family. I couldn't take it, though. Too much family. I took two Klonopin within the first ten minutes I was there. I barely lasted two hours before I was just too overwhelmed and had to come home. I crawled straight into bed and slept for three hours.

Somewhere out there are people who don't have to think about things like their guts or their anxiety level when they make plans. I used to be one of them. I wish I still was. I've been fighting a severe depressive episode for an entire month now, and this was not the day I needed.

Still, I'm reminded of that anecdote I once shared about John Wayne, who was dying of cancer while filming his last movie. The weather ruined their outdoor shoot one day and he overheard some members of the cast and crew complaining about what an ugly day it was. Never one to hold his tongue, The Duke remarked
Any day you get up is a beautiful day.
On that basis - and that basis alone - today was a beautiful day. I just wish there were more positives to it.