Sydney, October 2019
I’m lying next to my mother on our family couch. This would appear sweet if I wasn’t 27 years old and we are not so much lying together as she is holding me, my only connection to the real world.
My “heightened and extreme anxiety” according to my psychiatrist has taken hold of me for the past two days. Today is my third and my body has given up on trying to fight it.
My father sits at the other end of the couch. No one says anything. This ain’t our first rodeo and there is nothing left to be said.
“Mr Mercedes” plays on the TV. A series I have seen before, but my parents have not, which is good, as it is familiar to me and distracting to them, which means I can be left alone trapped in my body, held by my mother.
Till the Morning Comes by Neil Young comes on. My father turns and smiles at me. He knows it’s one of my favourite Neil Young songs.
I would open my mouth and sing the lyrics I know off by heart, if I could.
If I wasn’t held inside my head.
My father’s smirk also comes from the fact it’s one of the few Neil Young songs I’ve introduced to him.
He taught me all the classics as a child and as an adult I gave him a gift better than any. A song by an artist he loves, that he has never heard before.
My father’s face returns to the TV and it would appear that I am engrossed in this series but I’m not.
I’m only waiting till the morning comes, Till the morning comes recites over and over in my head as if a prayer.
To get through today and by morning things will be better.
I’m gonna give you till the morning comes, Till the morning comes
I threaten my illness: you have me today but by the morning you have to leave.
As the lyrics continue in my warped mind, I start thinking maybe I’ll leave, maybe I’m gonna give you till the morning comes means by morning if you’re still there, you can have me, you win.
It’s all about the morning, the next day, just getting through one more day, taking it day by day, all those clichés used by addicts and the mentally unwell.
I like how Neil Young says it better. It’s soft but also hinges on a battle: who will win by morning.
It’s also comforting to recite strangely. It loops in my head all day till I can’t analyse it anymore, nor is it comforting or scary, it’s just a tune by Neil Young, stuck in my head.
When the morning came, I was booked into my psychiatrist at 8am.