It was just one of the many times I spent in the casino. It was a year since I suspected that a depression relapse was imminent. It was exactly a month since my nervous breakdown.
I didn’t go to hospital. I only cried a hell of a lot the morning it happened. I cried more when I couldn’t remember the name of my psychologist. It must have been the panic attack or the anxiety but I was frustrated with my mind’s failure, my failure. I had decided to quit talk therapy in the new year. I was trying out positive thinking, happy thoughts and seeing the sunshine behind the clouds. I scrolled down my contacts list from ‘A’ all the way to ‘S’ where I finally found her name. Only then did I remember. Unfortunately, she couldn’t see me that day.
I was still hysterical. I called my GP and the receptionist must have felt enormous pity on me and she squeezed me in between other patients. My bill was also discounted. I was there only two days before for bronchitis.
I liked my GP even more from that day. I talked. She listened. Before she wrote my prescription, she told me to care less about what others think. She had said: “I don’t care about what others say. They must have walked in my shoes first for at least a mile. Otherwise, they can f*ck off.” She may have used other words but she said the ‘F’ word. I thought it was sweet of her. I felt her empathy, not only sympathy.
I immediately went into medication then made my way to the casino. I gambled alone. The days I didn’t go to the casino, whether to gamble or just relax, were few but I was never alone. Gambling was something fun to do; an expensive fun thing to do. I could have bought a pair of Jimmy Choo or gone to Paris for a few days. Better yet, I could have paid my personal loan or credit card debt. But, I kept going even when I lost every day. It was crazy.
I was crazy. Perhaps I had always been a little insane. I was one of those people who believed that the rain wrote cryptic messages on my window panes. I was convinced from the start that I had multiple personalities. I talked to myself all the time. I did my best to conform to society but I knew I was different. It was a pleasure to question the status quo. I thrived on being me no matter how bizarre I might seem to ‘normal’ people. I could go from happy to miserable in a matter of minutes, but not on that lovely Friday evening early in July.
I didn’t lose. I was feeling so lucky that I even thought I could win a million. When I didn’t, I took my money after making 25 and, remembering that it was flash fiction Friday, I left the casino floor with 2,025 from 200. It was really nothing to be happy about considering the losses I suffered in the last 30 days but I was happy. Only a crazy person would be happy with a win of 1,825 considering a loss of about 20,000 in a mere four weeks. Then again, it was better than losing more.
Finding joy and love in the midst of anxiety and depression
Leaving the casino floor, a woman-man duo playing music near the casino entrance caught my attention. I stopped to listen to them. She was singing an Adele song. Both of them were playing the guitar. I regretted that I quit playing the guitar. I wasn’t really good at it. While I stood there almost mesmerized, people were walking past without even pausing to enjoy the music. Some probably didn’t realize that there was beautiful music playing. At least a couple stopped and I was no longer alone. When the song ended, I clapped. No one else did. When the second song ended, I wasn’t the only one clapping anymore. Justin Bieber’s ‘I’m Sorry’ attracted more people. Some of us started swaying to the music. We were then a crowd of at least ten. A young couple started dancing as the duo played David Guetta’s ‘Titanium’. An older man took a picture of them. The atmosphere was more festive than when I first stopped to appreciate the music. It was a cheerful crowd. I felt love for everybody. I was feeling ecstatic. It was amazing. But, writing was calling. I hadn’t written for several days. Luckily, the duo was taking a break. It was easier to walk away.
As I left the happy place, I remembered the young wretched soul who told me adamantly the past week that she was who she had always been and would never change. I started thinking how depressing that must be.
Despite my sporadic anxiety and depression, I thrive on change, hopefully for the better. I would most probably be an in-patient instead of holding a senior position at work if I wasn’t growing even a tiny bit every day. Then, I would be truly insane.