Things Could Be Worse
It’s fall. Strangely, fall is my favourite season. It’s temperatures fluctuate from cool to warm with few extremes, allowing the long days to stretch seamlessly into equally long nights. The thunderstorms are fabulous, growling affairs that rattle the windows and are accompanied by enormous raindrops that plash against the sidewalks, shattering themselves into miniatures that spray upward from the impact. There is a golden quality to the light that I always miss during the blinding white winters and squintingly bright summers; the sun’s rays are longer, casting shadows, raising the depth, producing a crispness to everything I see, a clearness, a sharpness that reminds me of old colour photographs.
These are all surface things, and I revel in them the way a drunk does when he can afford that one shot of high-end single malt whiskey. I need to love the surface qualities of the fall season, because internally, it is quite a different matter. My mind hurts. My heart hurts. There is an ineffable pain buried away deeply inside my chest and throat that remains untouched, unchanged by any good cheer that comes my way. For the moments that I do find myself laughing or enjoying a good conversation, I am relieved somewhat, but that internal bruise continues to ache away unaltered. My throat tightens around a knot, like something half swallowed.
This feeling comes and goes throughout the summer, but from the beginning of fall to the end of spring, I suffer differing yet continual stages of psychological turmoil. I have been on several different medications, seen several psychiatrists, and tried to cut through the pain in my own way with alcohol, disordered eating, drugs, moving, relationships, school, and a hundred other lesser distractions with varying degrees of success. Nothing ever truly stops it. The feeling can be numbed to an extent, it can be squashed down beneath the veneer applied by some new medication, but it never leaves. It is as though it were a separate entity with its own consciousness, crouching in a corner, waiting for its time to come around again.
Over the last week, it has been returning, and I am partly at fault for this. I have been taking St. John’s Wort for a few months, and it has worked better than any other drug I have been on. I have felt less depression and more calm without that sense of unease that I feel on other medications, so why I neglected to take it for over a week, I don’t know. When you’re feeling better, it’s hard to remember how bad things can be when you’re not better. So, I let things slide. I started taking it again two days ago, but it will likely be a few more days before I begin to feel more even keel. I want to hide away until my brain uncoils just a little bit.
The Fiery One and I went grocery shopping yesterday, and thought that I would let him take the lead in the store, because I usually lead, and it’s good to switch things up a bit. I am someone who is not technically an obsessive-compulsive, but I have my tendencies, and the grocery store is where I usually have to stick to my sense of patterned order. All the labels and objects and people panic me, so I methodically go up and down every aisle in order, moving slowly from one end of the store to the other. The Fiery One doesn’t do it this way. We moved up through the produce section, and then he cut straight along the back of the store along the dairy and meat fridges, calmly strolling past each aisle while my chest grew tighter and tighter. I managed to make it through in the end by remembering to keep breathing, even if it was in short gulps in between subconsciously holding my breath. He patted my hand that firmly gripped the grocery cart’s red plastic handle and let me know that I was doing really well. I felt like my hair was on fire.
Today, I am tense as all hell. I don’t want to talk to people. I don’t want to hear their voices. I don’t want to play nice. I want to cry and sleep and read Persepolis and sleep and cry and then have a cigarette. I want to throw up my hands and give up just for today like I have some sort of uncontrollable flu. I want my drugs to start working. I want the wound to go away.
I am tired.
Don’t let me stop taking my meds because I feel invincible. Don’t let me believe that I’m healthy enough. Don’t let me pretend that this isn’t a life-long fight. Don’t let me give in to feeling helpless because of two bad days. Because the pills will work. Because Persepolis is a really fucking good book. Because it is not always like this. Because I love more than I hurt.
This is either hilarious or extremely aggravating.
Even the United Nations seems to be ignoring the Sudan.
Don’t mix your Red Bull with vodka.
The hole in the ozone layer over the South Pole has reappeared.
4 million people are without power in Florida due to hurricane Frances.
There is a new theory about the causes of dyslexia.