The Little Engine That Could Listens to Eminem

Today begins the last week of my six-week hiatus from work. I return next Monday.

These last several weeks have been the roughest times I’ve been through in quite some time, and I’m amazed that I’ve been able to persevere. Ever since my day in the looney bin, I’ve been trying to take things one day a a time, one step at a time. Some days are better than others, yet the universe keeps pushing me forward. I feel a sort of disconnect with the world, though. After having not worked in nearly two months, I feel like I’ve been away from my students and co-workers/friends forever, as if I’ve been gone a year instead of just several weeks. In fact, the last couple nights I’ve had some crazy dreams involving going back to work. I assume the interpretation is that I’m somehow uneasy or anxious about going back. And I am, but realistically I know it’s for the best, and that I’ll be back into my old routine within a few days. Going to therapy and leaning on others, I know I have the tools to cope with the inevitable stresses of life without crashing as I did a few weeks ago. I’m still on the road, but recovery seems to get closer and closer every day.

What’s interesting is that I find myself listening to Eminem’s Relapse album pretty often nowadays. I know the songs are largely satirical and negative, but I just really identify with them right now. To me, the album sorta reflects everything I’ve been going through emotionally over the last two-and-a-half-months. The metaphors may be extreme — I don’t fantasize about being a serial killer, for instance — but I nonetheless relate to the album’s my-mind’s-fucked-up theme. And by “fucked up mind”, I mean my ongoing battle with depression, a battle that I’ve really come to recognize during this hiatus. Listening to Relapse is oddly soothing to me, because it reminds me that I’m not alone in fighting these demons. (Besides that, despite Eminem’s displeasure with the album, I think it’s got some great beats, and I love Eminem’s accents and various flows.) The constant mention of drugs and pills and meds speak to me as well, as I’m on track for those as well.

Ironically, though, as much as I identify with Relapse, I don’t want to have a relapse of my own. I admit to having little ones, but I’m fighting back against the major kind. But, I know, one day at a time. I feel like The Little Engine That Could.

Come next week, the train goes back to reality, to begin another part of my journey.