High Drama: The New Normal

I’ve had a couple of high-drama days, as readers have figured out by now. The 14-hour drive across six states. The grilling by Secret Service cops in Washington D.C. I’m hoping for a lot less drama. But that may not be easy. Drama clings to my type of personality like a sweaty shirt.

Mood music: “You’re Crazy” by Guns N Roses:

Here’s the thing: When you have a mental condition — OCD, in my case — and addictions as a byproduct of the former, it’s almost impossible not to turn the most mundane of situations into drama.

The TV station TNT thinks it knows drama and the commercials for its programming says so. But that’s just Hollywood drama. I know real drama.

The incidents of the last two days probably qualify as real drama in the dictionary. It’s not every day you have two Secret Service cops in your face, after all. But the fact that I was almost happy for the encounter because it gave me fresh material to write about? That, my friends, is drama. Maybe not in the perfect sense of the definition, but hear me out…

When a person has been through mental illness and addiction, situations small as well as large seem big and dramatic.

When your head isn’t screwed on straight, losing your keys can become a big, dramatic situation. Gearing up for a performance review at work can become a big, hairy situation. If you have OCD, the need to constantly check your laptop bag to make sure the computer is really in there is an intense situation.

Most commonly, the difficult relations in just about any family or circle of friends becomes a big, scary, daily drama.

I’m in recovery and I still see situations in my life as a drama. The financial pickle we were in last month, for example, felt like a major crisis.

I try to look at other people who have it a lot tougher than I do. One of my sponsees has Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and spent the better half of the 1980s getting the tar beaten out of her by abusive boyfriends. Naturally, drugs and alcohol — and later food — became her source of comfort. She’s in recovery now, but because of where she’s been, little things still become huge dramas. If she finds a bag of chips and wants to eat them, it’s a big deal for her.

I’ve learned something about all this. Everyone has drama in their lives, no matter how “normal” they are. If you’re buying a house, there is inevitably conflict along the way. If you have kids, there’s drama aplenty — yours and theirs.

Sean and Duncan have their drama every day. If a piece breaks off one of Sean’s elaborate Lego sets, it becomes an intense situation for him. When Duncan feels the person he’s talking to isn’t listening, same thing.

I guess the point of this post is that we all have drama, so maybe, instead of going on about how you can’t handle this person or that person’s drama, you should take a breath. After all, by telling us you can’t handle their drama, you in turn are shoving your drama on us.

Of course, everybody loves a good drama, even when they say they don’t. Me included. So maybe you should just have at it.

By the way, I used the word drama approximately 23 times in this post.

If that’s not high drama (make that 24 times), I don’t know what is.

9 thoughts on “High Drama: The New Normal

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