Today is High School Graduation Day for my Large Fry. Her school has its ceremony at an event hall in Washington, DC. We flew in her 10 years older sister from Chicago. It’s supposed to be a big deal day. But it isn’t.
Yesterday, the senior class had rehearsal in their gym. Hundreds of kids, in an unairconditioned gym, doing what kids do best, being loud and rowdy.
For Lg Fry, crowds and noise are her Kryptonite. Anxiety took a great big hold and said NOPE, no graduation ceremony for you.
I thanked her counselor who helped her not have a complete freak out. We went home and I grabbed the 4 graduation tickets we had and brought them back to school so that they could be used by another family. Those things are like gold. I probably could have scalped them outside the hall today…
Her Dad is disappointed; I can tell. He understands though, like I do, that having her try to do the actual ceremony where a panic attack would be in full view of a couple thousand people is not in anyone’s best interest. Also, she still graduates, she just isn’t walking across a stage to shake the hand of a principal she’ll likely never see again.
Anxiety is a terrible horrible thing that takes you away from people and places and makes life difficult for you and the people who love you. But it is a thing. A real thing. No amount of cajoling will make it go away.
Lg Fry likes to say that sometimes she feels like she has made Anxiety her bitch. That didn’t happen this time and that is OK.
Damien Jurado posted the image below on his Facebook page on March 17. I’ve only recently discovered his music due to the movie Tumbledown but he’s been making music for at least 20 years and has a very dedicated fan base. He’d been scheduled to start a tour of Europe today. That tour was cancelled. You’ll see the reason in his letter.
I appreciate that he recognizes that he needs to take care of himself. It’s important for everyone to do that. I think even more so for musicians and artists because they end up leaving so much of themselves out on the stage or on the canvas or on the roll of film. People will understand. This fan will be waiting and will happily greet Damien when he’s ready to face the world again.