Monday, May 20, 2013

An orgasm of emotions

Mental illness has many different faces.  I'm not exactly sure how to label my own, and I don't necessarily want to.  Several doctors have tried for me, and all of their classifications and categories fit me in one way or another.  The "scarier" ones get pushed into the back of my brain and ignored, and the "easier" ones get their names spoken occasionally when I need to explain some sort of odd behavior.  
"Sorry I didn't answer when you called.  I have anxiety."
"Sorry I was so lame at your party.  I'm pretty depressed."
"Sorry I acted like such a boob the other night.  It's my ADHD."

Not that those are excuses.  But they help explain what's sometimes an uncomfortable weirdness for me and everyone unfortunate enough to have to be around me when I'm, well, weird.

And there are moments where I go beyond weird.  Where I sink into such a scary space that I start to entertain scary thoughts and say scary things and behave in scary ways.  It's like trying to claw your way out of a dark, dirty pit deep in the earth, and every attempt to make your way free only scratches more dirt down on you.  Sometimes it's short-lived, and sometimes I'm stuck down there so long, that I just give up, and sit.  And wait.
The desperation grows a little stronger every day, and that's when the weirdness starts.  Weird thoughts.  Weird words.  Weird behaviors.

And I sit there at the bottom of that pit, hoping for some sort of ray of hope.  Some sort of ladder, or rescue that will pull me from the darkness and back up to the surface to feel the light of day on my desperate face.  It eventually begins to feel truly impossible, and truly hopeless, leaving me to wonder if it's even worth the bother to go forward for another second.  And when I'm at my darkest, I know it isn't...

It's the scariest place in the world.  Rational thought does nothing to sway these types of feelings at this point.  There is literally nothing that makes it seem as tho moving forward is a better choice than...not.  My body begins to feel like a big fleshy cage, and I sincerely resent every breath my brain forces me to take.

Relationships are strained.  Family dynamics begin to shift.  The whole world feels surreal and foreign and wrong.  And I truly believe that nothing will ever be good ever again ever ever.  I just sit, and wait.

And then, without warning or reason, like a dormant tree suddenly budding in the spring, I begin to look up.  I begin to see that all the dirt I've clawed down onto myself has built up under me, and I'm within reach of the top of this horrible pit.  I can see daylight, and smell fresh air, and hear birds sending their songs out into the breeze.  And I know I'm going to get out...I'm going to be ok.

And when I do, it's goddamned glorious.  The-hills-are-alive glorious.  Dawning-of-the-age-of-Aquarius glorious.  Pinocchio-finally-gets-to-be-a-real-boy fucking glorious.

Every sound is electric.  I can hardly contain myself and my excitement as I start blasting awful techno-y house music thru the atmosphere, soaking in every cliche note as if it were gourmet food and woody wine after a year-long fast of flour and water.
Every face around me immediately becomes the most beautiful face in creation.  My children are so goddamned lovely I can hardly take it.  My husband's graying head and foot-long beard are irresistible  and I can hardly stand the moments where his face is not immediately touching my own.
The wind thru my hair, the sun on my cheeks, the air in my's all too much, and I feel so happy that at any given moment I could burst open and release an infinite flow of brilliant light powerful enough to heal the whole world.  I really could.
My brain full to bursting with thoughts of self-improvement and hopeful desires.  And because I suddenly have all the energy in the world, I know without doubt that I can and will fulfill each and every self-appointed task.
"I will walk to the end of town and back every single day, rain or shine.  I will shrink this body and build these muscles to strength that will carry me well into my hundreds without effort.  I will eat nothing that doesn't come directly from this beautiful soil, and I will harm no creature in order to satiate my carnivorous desires.  I will be a better wife and a better mother and a better lover and a better friend.  I will answer every phone call, and reply "yes" to every invitation.  I will finish every half-written story I've ever started, I will expand my vocabulary and stop using so many fuckwords.  I will forgive my mother.  I will call my father.  I will I will I will I will."

And I believe it.  Even the ridiculous.  Even the impossible.
Even knowing that it's a temporary and probably "unhealthy" chemical balance causing me to think and feel these things, doesn't dull the brilliant sparkle inside me that's surely radiating from every pore for all to see.

I don't know which is harder to tolerate; me as a dark wad of a person at the bottom of the pit, or me as the hyper-elated crazy lady who's practically an orgasm of emotions.

Eventually, it will settle again, and a kind of quiet peace will take over.  I think that's the best part.  Sometimes I think it's worth the violent despair I have to endure to get to that point.  Sometimes...

I won't medicate.  Not conventionally.  I have tried it, and I know it's not for me.  Most of my teen years are irretrievably hidden under a fog of Lithium and Depakote and Prozac.  Not only do those things fail to "heal" me, but they rob me of the beautiful euphoria that follows the dark phase.  They rob me of everything, actually; of happiness and compassion and orgasms and desires and appetite for life and want for death.  They leave me stale and empty, like a gutted carcass left to bloat and stink in the summer sun.  They leave me malleable and compliant, willing to be or do as requested, in a vain attempt to be something.  Even if it's for someone else.  It isn't for me.  

And so, I find my own ways to medicate, to suture, and to survive until I can climb back out of the pit, and into the dazzling spray of light waiting for me on the outside.

Today, I am outside.  I feel the molecules of everything on the planet against my skin.  I literally tremble with goodness and happiness and lightness, and if I don't hold onto something, I know I will fly away.
Even knowing that it won't last doesn't dull the glorious light tearing thru me right this very minute.
I am unwell.  And it's beautiful.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

The Further Adventures of Alice and Ophelia

It started with a chili dog.
I don't eat chili dogs.  Partly because of migraine-y reasons, and partly because, gross.  Hot dogs are made of hair and wood and the skin of circumcised baby boys.  And bum.  And sick.

But I ate it.  I slathered that skinny, weird food-type product in generic canned chili, shredded cheese, enough mustard to cause an ulcer, and I salted the whole thing like I was preserving it for the winter.  It was terrible.  And glorious.  I haven't eaten anything so sinful and amazing in months, and it was all I could do not to stick my whole face in it, and wallow like David Hasselhoff in a cheeseburger factory.  

And then I realized what I had done.  

"I should go sit on the front porch, and think about what I've done."
So I did.

Our yard is, well, the only way to say it is to say that we're "that" yard.  Our grass is always overgrown.  Always.  And because one of us is a militant tree-hugger, we're not allowed to use chemical lawn sprays.  And you shouldn't either.  But that's not the point.  The point is that the dandelions in our yard are plentiful, and they are hardy.  And they are approximately a foot tall.  

No, for real.  

And there is nothing more fantastic to do with a dandelion, than to take it's firm, cool stalk, and split it into two sproingy, cool curlicues, perfect for slapping an unsuspecting bystander.
Well, you can eat them, but this blog isn't about why you shouldn't poison off all those wonderful, edible, medicinal, curlicue-able wonderplants in your own yard...

This blog is about me, sitting on the front porch, fat-full of gross chili dog, splitting dandelion stalks with my daughter.
Or at least that's how it starts.

She produced a frisbee.  Well, I mean she found one.  She didn't pull it out of her ear or conjure it up from Hades or something.  She found a frisbee, and she challenged my honor with a firm frisbee-slap to the arm fat.


Thus began an hour-long frisbee-slap, dandelion-slap fight.  With British accents, because, well I'm pretty sure you have to when it's a duel.

Somewhere along the way, I got totally "into it."  If you've got kids, you know what I mean.  If you don't, it's pretty much like forgetting that you're a grown up, and regressing into some sort of enormous adult-sized child-beast as you play with your kids.


In my defense, she did throw like a fanny, and it's high time someone told her.

For the next hour, Alice and Ophelia chased, insulted, and violently assaulted one another with giant dandelions, sending clouds of white fur into the air, and causing passers by to double-take.  

Is that fat girl running?  After that little girl?  Did she just slap that little girl with weeds???  

I may, or may not have become so engrossed in our weird game of tag, that I ran until my baggy laundry-day underpants made a less-than-graceful descent beneath my sweat pants.  Note to self...purchase new underpants.

And I'm not saying I tackled her, but I did manage to get that frisbee from her, and immediately declared victory over her entire pitiful kingdom, and loudly decreed that "ANYONE FURTHER DARING TO ASSAULT MY PERSON SHALL BE IMMEDIATELY AND MERCILESSLY EXECUTED BY DRAGON-FIRE!"

She reacted by flinging an armful of dandelions in my direction, and collapsing into hysterics.

Then we found horse shit.
Then we found cat shit.
Then we giggled over all the shit we found.
Then she put an "old lady" spell on me.
Then I had the bright idea that we should wander to the park next door, which now contained a selection of six or seven people who kept taking cautious glances in our direction, as we grew louder, weirder, and more British.

She thought she needed roller skates to go to the park, which turned out to be the most absurd, awkward and painful "walk" thru the park ever.  She's pretty adept at carpet-skating, but on a hard surface she's about as nimble as a newborn giraffe.  Legs in every direction, squealing, stumbling and giggling, and both of us with wet bottoms from rolling in the grass, dandelion fuzz in our hair, and covered in dirt.

"SHH!  Don't let the humans get suspicious!  If they find out we're aliens from the Klutz Galaxy, they'll chop us up and stick us in jaaaars!"

"Mom.  We are not aliens.  Act right."

Apparently the game was over.

We stopped to take off her skates, and started toward our house breathless and exhausted.
"Mom, that was the funnest day ever."
Yeah, it kind of was.  
Alice and Ophelia had a much-needed play together, after far too long without.  
I immediately retreated to my bedroom to remove my bra, and dump out about four thousand little dandelion seeds.  I have also since discovered that I sprained an ankle, and that I'm pretty sure I actually injured a bicep throwing that fucking frisbee.  Rockstar.  

There really isn't a point to this whole thing.  I just want to brag about the fact that I can play British dandelion war with the best of them.  And that my daughter throws like a fanny.  

You play ball like a GIRL!