I sat in the parking lot of Wal-Mart behind the wheel of my mother's car. It had been about an hour and I had smoked over three cigarillos. People came and went from the store, and I had a good time people watching. Soon, mom came ambling out. She looked worried and tussled.
"Feel my hand," she said as she got in the car.
"Your hands are just a shaking," I told her as I cranked up the car.
"I am having one of my panic attacks," she told me. "I saw so many people I knew in Wal-Mart, and I have so much to do. I just wanted to come and go quietly."
"Never fails," I told her as I drove out of the parking lot and got on highway 29. "Never fails to get caught by a lot of people when you feel ill."
It was a short drive to my father's pharmacy. Dad was off for the afternoon and mom needed some copies of a living will she was carrying. Shaking hands and all, she went in the store only to return a few minutes later.
"What makes us do this?" she asked me as I drove to my grandmother's house. "Why can't we just be normal?"
My heart went out to my mother as I replied, "It is going to be okay. You've done a lot today and need to lie down."
"I sleep all the time, though," my mother told me. "I stay in the bed. I can't even run errands without getting upset."
I knew how my mother felt as I drove us towards home. I had agreed to drive her because she was having a bad day with her anxieties and panic attacks. I thought of my own returning to work. Could I? Could I be so brash to think I can work with my "busy" mind and my anxieties? I am going to try. I am going to be at work 11 PM my time Monday night and hopefully third shift will be far kinder than first or second -- the busiest times of the day for fast food.
There comes a time when you have to face your biggest fears, and try to overcome your most limiting liabilities. You're only given so many chances in life until they no longer come. I hope to make the most of this chance to work -- a chance to reinvent the mentally ill man that was always so afraid of change -- so afraid of others and afraid of being independent. As work draws closer, I grow more resolute that I am doing the right thing -- the most important and life changing thing I've done in years.