Tag Archives: childhood

Fuck me: I just found God in Axl Rose

14 Feb

Well, not God or gods exactly; more like inspiration, faith (in myself), and like any religious text, prophetic words I desperately want to prove wrong.

After hunting it down with the six words I remembered from the lyrics, I was listening to a favourite song from my high school days, Estranged, by the metal rock gods Guns n’ Roses. It’s long one, deeply personal as metal ballads go, with lyrics I found both relatable and prophetic at the time. Predictably, I saw the song as foreshadowing the breakup I knew was inevitable with with my high school sweetheart:

When I find out all the reasons
Maybe I’ll find another way
Find another day
With all the changing seasons of my life
Maybe I’ll get it right next time
An now that you’ve been broken down
Got your head out of the clouds
You’re back down on the ground
And you don’t talk so loud
An you don’t walk so proud
Any more, and what for.

Now as I listen to it some 20 years later I still love the tune and find its lyrics moving…but in a different way. This time around I’m afraid they’ll be prophetic, not resigned to the fact. I don’t want to find another way. I don’t want there to be a next time. I don’t want to be out here drifting all alone:

Well I jumped into the river
Too many times to make it home
I’m out here on my own, drifting all alone
If it doesn’t show give it time
To read between the lines
‘Cause I see the storm getting closer
And the waves they get so high
Seems everything We’ve ever known’s here
Why must it drift away and die?

Today I hear these words with a mixture of fear, dread, drive and (I hope, just enough) faith. Faith in myself. Faith that I can stay on track to recovery and return to the real adult world. And most of all, faith that Estranged is a just words on a page, not a self-fulfilling prophecy.

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Afraid of Success

12 Mar

The flip side to my last post, Addicted to Failure, is what I suspect is a common fear among the depressed and anxious – a fear of success.  This string of thought comes to mind after yet another day off spent – aside from this post – almost entirely doing nothing but procrastinating and feeling sorry for myself.

I first remember thinking this not during my own struggles, but growing up with a parent with a veritable jambalaya of mental health issues; anxiety, bipolar disorder, a dash of agoraphobia and pinch of OCD tendencies, like a favourite from allrecipes.com with all ingredients found in the DSM-IV. There’ll be more on this in future posts I’m sure, but for some years I tried – unsuccessfully it would seem – to help my father find help for his mental illness, going as far as finding, chauffeuring and even attending with him sessions with various psychiatrists, psychoanalysts and CBT therapists.

After what seemed like little or no progress through these sessions, I couldn’t help but wonder how much my dad actually wanted to get better.  He had it great, so the theory went; living off of family savings, holding no more than a handful of part-time, minimum wage jobs and free of most adult responsibilities for the bulk of his adult life.  Maybe he was afraid of treatment succeeding out of fear that he’d need to rise to the role of functioning adult/wage-earner/father/role model, etc., reminding me of the famous George Bernard Shaw quote:

“With liberty comes responsibility.  That is why so many man dread it.”

Fast-forward to today, now some two decades later, I can’t help but make the same accusation of myself.  Am I afraid of the responsibilities I remember dutifully fulfilling as a younger man?  Because I’ve made some poor choices about my money and lifestyle, am I forever scarred with the fear of regaining the capabilities and self-confidence I once thrived on?

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