- Nick Adkins
Mental Health Toolbox
This is a story about writing, mental health, and humor. I'm guarded when it comes to certain aspects of my life, but finding that it can be therapeutic for myself and others when I share things that aren't often shared. Mental health has become particularly important to me, especially since the concussion last May and especially in February in Michigan. I have my quirks, as we all do. I’m often anxious; an over thinker and daydreamer; a perfectionist who also wants to know how to do everything. Therapy can be helpful (understatement of the century). It can help you accept some of your quirks and direct others to be more useful. To be tools in your toolbox.
Last night, I had a therapy appointment. Therapy is one of my favorite things. Where else can you ramble on about bookshelves, bunnies, and baby names (all things that came up and all make sense with proper context, mind you) without a single sigh or look of concern?
I was talking about how I can never finish my book, because I will always know it could be a little better. I compared it to a wall in my house that I have patched four times now, because every time I walk past it, I rub my fingers across rough spots that I missed or rough spots that I actually made by over-sanding. But every time I patch it, I have to wait for it to dry, then sand it, then paint it with primer, then paint it with the final coat. All this work to make one tiny thing a little smoother, a little better. It’s a pretty decent metaphor for writing actually.
My therapist then asked what advice the main character in my book would give me. I said she'd tell me to finish it and be done with it, but that she was impulsive and look what kind of trouble that got her in.
We were watching How to Train Your Dragon last night. During the scene when Hiccup and Astrid are flying on a wild, jealous Toothless, the flight snaps Astrid out of her anger allowing her to see Hiccup in a different way. I said, “Toothless is the perfect wingman.”
I sometimes think of something mid-thought and change the subject. When directed properly, it can result in humor. Another tool in the toolbox.
My main character is a lot like me in some ways and the polar opposite in others. Impulse is not one of my tools. It takes me days to purchase something when I have a gift card, because I’m afraid of buyer’s remorse. However, compromise is one of my tools. If I could take my indecision and the impulse I lack, and meet somewhere in the middle, maybe I could finish the book. Maybe I could do one final patch job and see the left over bumps as a good effort. As reminders that there used to be a lot more bumps and rough spots.
It’s a nice thought anyway.