Saturday, 2 June 2007
We are alone.
That is truth.
Even those of us with headmates or remnants or fragments,
they are alone in their own skins too.
My friend Junior from Baton Rouge had headmates.
He told me about alone.
And I understood as much as a bastardized singleton could.
He was explaining his system to me, told me one of his headmates did the laundry.
"Cool," I said. I hated doing laundry.
He shook his Junior head. "No, not really."
I didn't have any headmates, remnants, or fragments.
Or if I did, they were all lazy bastards who refused to do laundry
or much of anything else.
I force myself to do stuff, have been since the major depression tried to swallow me many years ago.
Sometimes I get sick of it but I notice that I am mostly better off.
I forced myself to shower.
I forced myself to do laundry, go to work, walk the dog, find a routine, exercise, call my parents, pretend to be interested,
pretend to be social, eat something other than junk food.
And even after those things became a regime,
I forced myself to do more things.
I didn't want my problems to show.
The "forcing myself to do stuff" is actually part of what was responsible for incorrect V-codes diagnoses until 3 years ago
when the Major Depression turned into "Severe."
V-codes. Those words in the D.S.M. that meant, "You are a bit of a mess but you will get over it cuz you are nermal."
Or, "Your pain is not the pain of metal hell." Whatever.
I knew I had Major Depression.
The V-codes kept me off of the nutwards, even when suicidal.
I suppose that could be a good thing.
From what I know of the nutwards anyways.
I went to visit a friend in the local in-patient mental hell unit of the local hospital
years ago. [I've been to visit more than one friend, but it is this one friend and a
particular visit that I am speaking of].
Some of us were hanging out in her room [open door policy, always] with the
closet but no hangers [too dangerous] and the sealed windows [not just for
The bed was locked. Someone unlocked it.
I sat on the bed and someone else made it go way up
and then way down. Way up, way down. Over and over.
It was fun. We were laughing but not insanely.
The M.H.T.A. [pronounced ma-ha-ta] came in.
Without looking at me at all, he said,
"Don't play with your bed." He locked it.
"But Mister," I said. "It isn't my bed. I am in the emergency room waiting
for a bed." He left, never looking at me or anyone else in the room.
The model patient on the unit was allowed to go downstairs unescorted to the gift shop
or to the cafeteria. No one there was allowed to drink caffeinated coffee.
The staff on that unit would have banished the full moon if they could have.
The model patient had gone downstairs, and smuggled back
into the unit six cups of coffee. We all sat on the floor of my friend's room
drinking the forbidden caffeine. Ah, caffeine.
The ma-ha-ta never looked at anyone in the room when doing those pesky little room checks.
If we were all dancing naked, he wouldn't have noticed.
Just as long as we weren't playing with the bed.
I left. My friend stayed a few days longer.
She left. Life goes on.
She went back to her physically abusive husband several months later.
I couldn't watch. Walking away was difficult.
Not what I had envisioned at all.
And now here I am. I don't have the life I envisioned for myself before I became acquainted with
But it is a life. I'm not dead. And not among the walking dead.
That is a plus.
Furthermore, I want life. I like it, even love it.
A significant plus.
If I lived near any of you, I'd come and get you and we would ram all over,
eat in a diner here, go to a bookstore there. We would become acquainted with
each others' obsessions. Mine, in no particular order: frogs, rocks, e-mail addys,
frogs, Medscape, frogs, bookstores, frogs, court teevee.
We would chat like old friends and remember not to feel threatened when falling
into periods of comfortable silence.
I do well with the cards dealt to me, something I hear.
Where is the winning hand?
Husband says gamblers are losing before they lay any money down.
Dad said he didn't pay for a college edumacation for me to wind up working in a stained glass factory.
I was doing the best I could, dammit.
I am tired of having to start over and start over and start over.
I march to the beat of a different drum. There's another one.
What the hell does that mean? What drum? Where?
I'm not marching anymore. I'm taking my sweet time.
If I walk too fast or don't think about walking when I walk, I fall over.
Not fun. Ah well. Walking is not automatic anymore.
But I just keep walking. I don't have to force myself to walk.
I like walking. I don't like falling much though.
When all has been said and done,
we mostly all do the best we can with what we got.
Not much of a comfort perhaps.
You said you don't have friends to hang with.
I haven't been sympathetic enough. I don't know how.
Smoothing things over, like frosting on a cake.
I have no patience for that.
I have easy distractAbility. Yeah. The thing that keeps me from
multi-tasking. Oh yeah, no friends. That's right.
My brain bursts with thoughts, all the time.
It keeps my mild expressive aphasia from being noticed.
No treatment for the racing thoughts please.
If I didn't have them, I would appear stupid.
I would fumble awkwardly for words. I wouldn't be able to
cover up, circumvent, work around. I can't exactly make my mouth say
the words in my head sometimes. So I substitute.
It works well enough. Most folks don't notice.
But what is the substitute for not having friends?
It is hard not to have friends to hang with.
Hard not to have people that can drop in and kick back.
chill, watch a movie, help in the garden, laugh at jokes.
But see, they leave, even when one has friends to hang with.
And we are once again left with the cruel reminder of Alone.
The drinking thing never found me friends--
I threw up a lot, no fun for anyone around me back then--
really though, in that condition it is hard to find friends.
Throwing up does nothing to endear one human being to another.
I would have settled for some fun acquaintances yanno,
back in those days. Alone used to be a cruel reminder
of Death. I was younger then. So much younger.
Not anymore. I need Alone. People too, yeah.
I also need Alone. As much as I need the rocks and computers,
frogs and Medscape, e-mail addys and bookstores and court teevee.
Now I do have some friends.
Ones who don't mind my random bursts of speech
and understand that my ways of thinking are different.
Ones who also are not afraid of Alone or Silence.
It took years.
spike: sapphoq on life