Monday, June 17, 2013

Back from the Brink

For the last four months or so I’ve been going slowly downhill. Not surprisingly my blog has reflected a growing distance from self. Sometimes it is impossible to write about something when you are in the midst of it, because you actually lose sight of what is happening.

Insight is a strange beast. When it comes to my evaluation of my own illness compared with those of other sufferers, it seems everyone else is genuinely suffering but me. I’m not mentally ill at times like this, just a mass of self-loathing surrounding a collapsed ego. There is no me left to say ‘Don’t worry – you’re just having an attack of whatever it is’.

And when I emerge into the light, and find that self again, the eternal self that hid from me, I wish I could provide a magic thread from that knowledge to the collapsed me so that the collapsed me would always know that the real self would emerge sooner or later.

I still don’t know if this latest outbreak is caused by OCD alone or from low-level OCD with, say, GAD and depression thrown in. But who cares? It’s my unique version of room 101 and my psyche cannot seem to let me off the hook.

Now that the antidepressants are kicking in, I look back and realise that I have been playing around with them almost from the very beginning. Still in thrall to the idea that they would harm both my short-term functioning and the long-term ability off my synapses to fire up. All I know now is that without drugs my brain is not a nice place to be any more. It’s a murky, guilt-wracked quagmire of morbid fears and misplaced connections. I wouldn’t wish my worst enemy to live there, let alone me.

With drugs, in contrast, my brain is like one of those characters in a 1950s Alfred Hitchcock movie - you know how in those movies everybody, even the extras, is so controlled as to seem to be obeying some invisible, internalised authority? Clip-clopping along in their hats and trench coats to whatever official or unofficial desk or meeting they're due at next. Even the crims - especially the crims - seem obsessively organised in Hitchcock movies.

I have a lot of vague hope right now – hope in my brain’s ability to renew itself, partly through chemical means but also through natural means – physical exercise, emotional support and perhaps some kind of mental exercise.

I picture a profound healing medium. It is an electric liquid, inkily reflective yet not wet – when you immerse yourself in it, it parts like a curtain. It is thick and dark but also ice-clear, not murky. A substance not of this earth but constituting it. A mysterious medium that renews and reawakens the essential self. Perhaps picturing this in my brain is helping me to move towards whatever healing the world might be able to bring.

No comments:

Post a Comment