Sunday, September 15, 2013

Excerpts From a Mind on the Mend

If I had cancer, I would understand my relationship to that cancer with my brain. If I had diabetes, I would understand my relationship to it with my brain. There is something wrong with my brain. How am I supposed to understand that? With my foot?

Suicide is a thing that is always waiting to suggest itself to me. Other people have problems and struggles in their lives, but not all of them turn directly to thoughts of suicide when things go awry. Suicide is the perennial salesman, always on the bullet point.

I don't know how to explain my salesman passenger to other people who don't carry the same passenger. I guarantee you, if you do not have the passenger, there is nothing I could say to explain it to you. If you do have the passenger, there's nothing else I need to say.

I guess there is a loneliness to being down, because the only comfort I can find when I am down is to seek out art created by folks who know what it's like to be down. Nothing direct helps lift me up. I am only lifted by catharsis. There is a song by Florence and the Machine called Never Let Me Go that is a romantic ode to drowning that has kept me afloat lately. I listen to it over and over again and really know what it means. I don't think my disease would be bearable without art.

Similarly, I also have to write. I mean I have to write. Otherwise it knots up inside of me and makes me too heavy to do anything. I have demons that I have to answer to. Some of them are beautiful and some of them are horrible. I use the beautiful demons to chase away the horrible ones. Sometimes it is all I can do to remain functional.

I'm coming out of a fog lately. The medication I have been on has been working pretty well, but there are still cycles. Luckily, I have been able to take some time off of work in order to sort these things out. It's something I need to do every now and then. I feel tender. I wince at human contact. I'm going to grow stronger if I am patient with myself, I know, but it's a matter of waiting. One does not simply walk out of Mordor.

I know it may be unwise to share these things with you, but I'm not the only person with demons out here. Life can be a cold business and it is inherently without meaning. We have to create our own meaning and share our meaning with each other. We all carry this life around on our back, and it is good to share our loads. It's good to let others who have a similar load that you know what it is like bend beneath the weight. At least I think that's true. It has helped me.



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