Friday, October 10th, was 'World Mental Health Day'. It was also my son Tristan's birthday. Tristan in no longer a teenager. Another phase of his life starts. I can longer call him a 'teenage rebel'. No more teenager, unless, you can call a twenty year old 'twenteen'?
World Mental Health Day was a busy day for me. My own anxiety levels went into bizarre overdrive. I took an exceptionally deep breath and headed out the front door of my home, my private world in Leek. Destination, the New Vic Theatre in Newcastle Under Lyme, twelve miles from my reclusive world in Leek.
Two hours and two packed buses later, I arrived. There I was outside the New Vic Theatre. So many people, dare I go in the entrance and 'impose' myself on all those people? Challenging my fear, this walking 'paradox' entered the building. Me, the introverted extrovert, was abandoning his uncomfortable comfort zone and attempted to interact with the vast sea of humanity that engulfed my senses.
I watched Dave Wheat's play: 'A Matter of Time'. It had been several years since I watched a play, yet being there with many people I knew, seemed to help reduce my anxiety levels. It was a thoroughly professional performance by wonderful actors. I have great admiration for all those involved and applaud their noteworthy efforts. I visualised myself standing on the stage, in front of all those people, that would be the ultimate challenge in confronting my low self-esteem.
After the show, I slipped out and headed for the bus. Two packed buses and two hours later, I was back in my other world. Heading for the kitchen, I noted the chewed up correspondence that had been flung on the counter. Before me lay the remainders of my son's birthday card and cheque that his Grandma and Grandad had sent. Before me lay what was left of my expenses cheque. Now then, what had happened? The answer was pretty obvious, unless my son had suddenly got an appetite for paper.
The perpetrator of this act of correspondence chewing was cowering in the living room. The gulity party, (pictured, named and shamed), 'Penny' the dog, made a hasty retreat behind the couch. "Yeah..you stay there...why the heck do you always think the post is for you?" I thought.
Back in the kitchen, I had a bit of a temper tantrum. Grabbing what was left of the mutilated mail, I proceeded to chuck it round the kitchen. My son thought I was angry at him and stormed out of the house, the dog took off to my bedroom. Oh great! What a day, what a mess.
I sat down, I calmed down. I realised it was about time I put a catchbox on my door. Tristan returned and I apologised to him. For I was angry at myself, not him, not the dog, myself, for not making allowances that when our dog hears a noise at the front door, she has to check (cheque?) it out.
We are going to attempt to take what's left of the cheques to the bank. With a little luck, the bank will be understanding. World Mental Health Day. Well, in the klahanie household, it certainly was a test on our mental health. The good thing is that instead of fretting over what happened, I decided to have a bit of a laugh instead. I think that's pretty darn positive. Must go now and check our cheques. "Oh Penny why couldn't chew up the electric bill instead?"