Tobermory

Like Sticks on the Back of The Hermit

“Ideas excite me, and as soon as I get excited, the adrenaline gets going and the next thing I know I’m borrowing energy from the idea themselves.”
– Ray Bradbury

For the first time in six months I’ve had a huge burst of energy. Unfortunately, it happened at midnight. And I have to write something like that for the first time in six months I had energy.

There has been so much going on I do not know where to begin. These things are never one thing. It is usually the multiple things you carry until your back cannot carry anymore.

For the past year, I have felt like I can’t connect to people the way I used to, or feel like I can properly feel love again. That’s been nice. I don’t blame the other person. It’s up to me to get over it. And I have, sort of, but in the process numbed myself. And I don’t know when the numbness goes away. If it ever does.

Around November, I got a call from my father that my grandmother did not have much time left. I haven’t got over that phone call. She’s still alive, because they don’t make them like they used to. And the thought of losing her, and feeling like I didn’t spend enough time with her, is enough to crush me. I’ve gone to Chatham many times now to see her. Even to her I can’t properly explain how much she means in my life and the day it happens, I don’t know what I’ll do with myself. I can’t even type this without leaking. And even though she’s now back to her usual monthly Caesars Windsor visits and seems to getting out and about with only a little bit of her heart working, that phone call ruined me.

Since January I’ve had trouble paying for my ADHD medication and it has finally got me back to how I was when I had a nervous breakdown in 2013. And I was close to having one again. The past few months have grinded me down to just wanting to work and not think. I don’t care what happens anymore at my job. I just work and leave. When I chose to push all the way with this work because it was something I was passionate about, instead of something that just paid the bills, I thought I was doing the right thing. Sometimes you have to admit when you’re wrong and just move on. Eventually I will. Just more to the pile.

I have this problem when I’m depressed, usually from S.A.D., where I just do the same three or four things over and over. I’ll post on message boards or check a dating app. Not because I’m actually interested in what’s on it, but because it keeps my brain thinking I’m doing something. I’m not actually doing anything. I have no passion or what I’m doing. It is just something easy that won’t clue me into my ADHD issues or my lack of progress. Little tasks to make me feel like I’m doing something.

I eat out more than ever before because it’s one of the few things that feels like I’m treating myself anymore. It’s my cigarette. Oh, and I gained weight. And injured my foot. I know, this is piling up like sticks on the back of the Hermit of Led Zeppelin IV.

But I had Tobermory.

If you don’t have somewhere to escape to, get one. I would rather own a place I can escape to than own a house to live in. I can live anywhere. It’s hard to find a time to escape. And camping, especially in Tobermory, is my escape. It’s my chance to stop thinking about everything bothering me. Everything weighing me down. Everything back home. Just me and some friends walking on rocks and drinking by a fire. Hours and hours away from my problems. My responsibilities. My ADHD issues. My future. My past. My present. My world, no matter how cracked it is. You can’t completely run away. Eventually your escape just turns into your new home. But you can go away for a little while.

And when I returned south, it at first felt like nothing changed. I slipped right back into my numb existence, juggling my mother’s insecurities and my father’s stress over a situation that wasn’t either’s fault. Happy Father’s Day! And I didn’t get to see my grandmother, which made for a disappointment as I left the home of the Hawaiian Pizza on the train. Monday was just a usual work day. A usual work day where I didn’t want to be there but worked anyway. And instead of fighting for how I felt, I just let everything go ahead. No sense trying to interrupt anything anymore. It’s no longer my fight.

And then tonight, something… popped.

I don’t know if it was “Rich Friends” by Portugal. The Man exactly, but it happened when hearing the song. Singing that chorus just made me have more energy than I’ve had for the entire year. I blasted through a workout and felt like writing. I felt like writing about myself for basically the first time in over a year. I felt like writing. I felt like living. I don’t want to sleep because I have so much I’d rather do. I’ll have to sleep, probably when I get home, but that’s fine. I’ll be up tomorrow, and hopefully so will that energy.

I don’t know how long this will last. I might go right back into being crushed by the weight of my own unhappiness. Something could set me back. This could be fleeting. But it was enough to write about it, and if there’s something I’ve missed about myself is writing.

You’ll notice that nothing I talked about has exactly been resolved. I’m still going to be carrying those sticks. But at least I feel ready to carry them. For the first time in months, I don’t feel defeated. I saw a rainbow in Tobermory. It probably means nothing. But right now I could use some symbolism.

“We live in a rainbow of chaos.”
– Paul Cezanne

Thanks, Paul.

(Feature photo by Erik Shaw, Rainbow photo by Aaron Wrotkowski)
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