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15 July, 2008

Measure of a Medication

Fear is how we measure ourselves.

(I know it because a god told me. I know it because I feel it in my bones, blood and bone, breath and blood and bone. I know it.)

Fear is how we measure ourselves and that's how I got out, got out, got out of the laughing crying hysteria of terror the slip-slide of the inside of my brain. I said it, said it in the car when we were driving, driving because my husband was willing to go and get me the only food I could imagine myself eating, was willing to listen to me giggling through the tears with, "I'm crazy!"

I said it, and got a handle on the sideways-slipping weirdness of the brain, the sense of Things Moved Around in ways that I don't understand and don't have a grip on, not feeling less of the madness but maybe better able to float rather than flail.

Fear is how we measure ourselves.

And I'm about 90% sure that it was hormonal, is hormonal, with a side leavening of physical illness, and that does not help as much as I think it ought anyway. And half the things on my mind I can't formulate the words to talk about right now, anyway, half the fears, because of the overbearing weirdness of my brain.

I measure myself anyway, measure against the unfamiliarity of the inside of my mind, test it, try to figure out what is bearable, where the fractures are, pray for the hormone break that will restore something familiar if not sane. I measure myself, with only the occasional gibber of, "Moved the furniture! Inside my head!" like an affronted cat who has to sniff everything twice to make sure.

One of the things I said while I was laughing mad, crying mad, shaking mad, was that this was one of the things that I had been afraid of, that my reactions would change, that the unfamiliar would become overwhelming. And no amount of knowing that I'm still falling within the range of potentially normal responses makes this feel normal for me, makes it anything other than a mental intrusion about which I circle, stifflegged and slightly fluffed.

And at the same time I think about the line I came across for work, the thing about it being okay to be depressed now and again, to not be 'medicated until normal', and I don't know how to respond. For work, I corrected the punctuation and let it be, never mind that I wanted to scream at the smug ignorance that can let someone who clearly hasn't been curled up in bed until the sheets were stained black with body oil mutter about how it's okay to be depressed every once in a while, that's normal, that's acceptable.

You think you know something about the world, I wanted to say, you think you know, try it in here sometime, try being in a mind so broken it curls up the body and isolates itself from loved ones while desperately lonely and in need of touch. Take the sheets stained rigid with the effluvia of mental illness and wrap yourself in them for your next toga party. Try out knowing for half a week that you need to do some laundry and have that knowledge crush you rather than inspire you to produce clean underwear. Try on the desperate ground-in habits of depression, the hopelessness, the anxious hyperawareness of failure.

Circle my mental processes with wary caution I may be, but I at least know what I'm talking about when I say that I feel crazy.

Fear is how we measure ourselves.

1 comment:

Graydon said...

Getting off a local maxima always involves going downslope for awhile.

Getting lost in the swamp is optional, but crossing it often is not.

Generally speaking, unhelpful patterns do not benefit from energy or attention; infinite effort may be consumed by the pattern. The thing is to establish some other pattern. Ideally, in a context without absolutes, because absolutes do not function on human scales. ("Fail" is often construed as an absolute; this lacks entire the helpful nature.)

Hopeful futures tend to be brick-by-brick stuff, too, rather than grand visions entire.

None of which is going to be much help right now; good luck with the brain chemistry.