Being the obsessive personality type that I am, I’ve been analyzing to death the events of this past weekend in an effort to understand what went wrong. Of course, living the isolated lifestyle that I do, I’m never far from the edge as it is. But it’s important to that I pinpoint the “trigger” that pushed me over the edge into despair. And, thanks to the What’s it worth? post over on JAMMER5′S POLYRANT, I think I now have a better understanding of what that trigger was.
I you might imagine, the pain of my isolation is usually at it’s worst during the holidays, when just about everything coming in from the outside acts to remind me of bygone gatherings with family and friends, and of current gatherings I’ll not be attending. Here in Columbus, Ohio, one of the biggest gatherings for Independence Day is the annual “Red, White, and Boom” celebration, where a huge mass of people from all over the Midwest gather for an all-day event in the downtown area, culminating in the largest fireworks extravaganza in this part of the country.
Well this past Friday was the 30th anniversary of this event, and I naturally began to look back on my history of attendance and then non-attendance once my “problems” made it too difficult for me to go. But it’s not just the huge crowds that make this event so hard for me to attend. No, it’s the patriotic theme that gets to me so bad that my fear of crowds mixes with my fear of embarrassment and the thought of breaking down in such an environment feels like my worst nightmare come true.
In the post I mentioned above, JAMMER talked about how rare it is these days for people to show respect for The Pledge Of Allegiance. Well that’s a trend I’ve been noticing for a very long time. You see, I’m one of those guys who wants to stand with his hand over his heart not only for The Pledge Of Allegiance, but for the Nation Anthem and America The Beautiful as well. In fact, one of the deepest roots of my depression derives from the internal conflict I’ve had, since I was a kid growing up around people who didn’t feel as I did, between my patriotic desire to show this respect and my embarrassment at being seen as “corny.” Because of this, I can’t help but well up whenever I hear any of them today.
Anyway, I still watch the “Red, White, and Boom” fireworks on TV every year (yes, it’s that big). Each year is a little different, and a little bigger, than the year before. But there are some things that are always included, one of which is a song that has become the fourth in my psycho-patriotic, tear-jerking, musical quartet. And it was hearing that song that I now believe triggered my weekend spiral down into depression hell:
For those of you who weren’t in the states to partake in the holiday celebrations, particularly for the Americans abroad who wish they’d been here, here are the final two segments of our 30th anniversary “Red, White, and Boom” Independence Day celebration. It’s like a double finale to the 30 minute program.
I want ice water.