And it begins

by Jon Sullivan - 2022-10-18 - Jonism

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So how exactly do we handle rebuilding who I am from the ground up? We handle it by not handling it.

I know. I know completely. In my soul and in my bones. With every breath. With every step. This is the path I should be on. Yet I am still terrified today. Still shaking inside every time I leave the apartment. That's what led me to withdraw so completely in the first place. That shaking. Easier to just be alone. Easier to just have everything delivered. Easier to just make the problem no longer be a part of my reality. And here I am in Oregon, with all new stuff, and the same terror is a ball and chain with every step I take outside. Yesterday I had something slightly this side of a panic attack and am now seriously considering seeing a psychiatrist. This is a problem.

I went to Portland over the weekend to see the OMSI Marvel exhibit. (Which is the most wonderful thing I've seen in a long time. If, like me, you are an all-caps Marvel FAN, you need to see this. I wept. It was that wonderful.) And on that two hour drive, even pulling over to get gas was scary for me. They don't let you pump your own gas here, I have to interact with a person. And if I want to go in and pee or buy a beverage I have to interact with more people. Just getting gas makes me very uncomfortable. This is a problem.

I don't care. I am not hiding anymore. I will not be alone anymore. No matter how bad the shaking and panic gets, I am charging into it. FUCKING COME AT ME!!! FUCKING BRING IT!!! I will fucking kill it with fire. And...... more practical..... if that doesn't work I'll see a psychiatrist.....

We handle it by not handling it. We carry it, bound tightly to our shoulders, and we leave the comfort of aloneness and set forth on adventure after adventure. Meeting new people, lots of people, strange people, wonderful people. We go to all the events and wade into the crowd. We seek them out. We feel real rain and snow and cold.

The problem becomes the way.

The old Jon problem becomes the new Jon life. And maybe I'll always be terrified, or maybe it will become normalized through exposure. Maybe I will get evaluated. But for now none of it matters. I had a fantastic weekend, I met really fun people, and walked with crowds (masked of course). The shaking was always there. with it's constant voice, "Hey.... this is scary. You are terrified. You'll screw it up. You are screwing it up." I had a great time anyway.

This is the new Jon.

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