Don't get me wrong. I didn't expect for life to unfurl before me like a red carpet to freedom when I started treatment. I'm a realistic gal. I'm pretty much prepared for "the fuzzy end of the lollipop" or any other whip-bam-boom that comes my way. I'm aware that survival is a struggle, life is hard, love hurts, etc. The tough stuff was normal to me-- expected. In fact, I used to laugh or roll my eyes a bit at people who bitched and whined about how "hard" they had it. "What's the matter? Did you have to try or something?" Pft. Honestly, what did they expect? No one said it would be easy, after all.
I know that people like to camouflage the blatantly absurd nature of life with things like video games, fashion, or romance, but I don't think that anybody's been bamboozled from the fact that this whole "living" thing is kind of a sh*t storm. "Get real, cry baby," I'd think when someone started blubbering over some break-up or random, petty BS. "This world's got bigger problems than your self-absorbed nonsense." Perhaps subconsciously I was being my happy, prideful, narcissistic self: I've got real problems. I'm insane, and I hate myself, and this entire universe is a joke. People are cartoons, everyone's a liar competing for first place in some non-existent prize fight, and they beat each other to a pulp over nothing-- and this despite the fact that we all cross the same finish line no matter what came before. "Holla', Conqueror Worm! Eat me!"
Naturally, while these hopeless, FTW, FML, RIP thoughts were polluting my internal world everyday, I worked overtime trying to disprove my own theories by outwardly portraying the Disney heroine of the Midwest. Ask not, want not. Always say 'please' and 'thank you.' Help others even when you can't help yourself. Most importantly, always turn that frown upside down! I was begging the existence I viewed with cynicism and the people I viewed with skepticism to prove me wrong. Reward this shadow of goodness with the real thing. Please, before I die of heartbreak!
I've written about the struggle this balancing act became for me in past articles. I've also written-- in my Introduction article-- about my lowest point. What I haven't yet expressed is the terrifying and yet almost exultant feeling one gets, when barely holding onto an over-burdened state of mental torment, looking downward into the abyss that is utter insanity. It seduces with white noise reverberation in your head. This feeling of, "Yeah, I could go there... I kind of want to go there," tempts the mental victim to just let go and free fall into oblivion. It provides quite the unexpected and disturbing orgasm-- knowing you can marry, consummate, and submerge your flesh with nothingness. It's signing a contract, consciously or unconsciously; it's accepting your mind's exit.
How fine to just give up, how fine to no longer care... Hasten life's cruel process by delicately resigning and annihilating thyself! Deteriorate! Be banished and unreachable, and never, ever come back! Allowing oneself to look down There-- into the pit of surrender-- and partly get off on it, this is the part that invokes terror. It's so far gone. So far. Deep. There is no return... While the soul is willing, the mind is weak and it, in turn, weakens the flesh.
I never jumped. Looking back now, I don't know how or why I didn't. I was in so much pain, but I never jumped; not even on nights when it felt as though my bones where going to unplug themselves, break through my skin, and spend eternity scaring children on All Hallows Eve. I suppose the proper amount of Me was still the majority ruler. I was too scared to let go of my knowing, my ability to reason, my self, and still too ashamed and afraid of the monster I was certain to become. As you know, I am much farther from that (Head Like a) Hole than I was before. But It's still there. I know It is. And It knows it too. Just like a drug calling to an addict, It's always going to call to me like heroine and try to suck me back down.
I've always been able to identify with "crazy," and the more isolated in my psychosis I became, the more I understood what before I had intuitively only felt. The brain is one Hell of an organ. It is a universe-- the atom from which our personal Adam/Eve springs. Its roots are deep and are connected to both everything in us and everything outside of us-- our minds light bulbs powered by the same source that we can't understand, though we try. Nature is human nature. We are comprised of the same things that made the soil and the trees and the clouds and the water. That's a huge thing when you grasp it-- when you admit the force of yourself and the part you play and the parts within you. We are small, but we are huge. Our minds are our true centers, our warriors when on the offensive and our shields when being terrorized. Rain washes dirt away, scars heal, and the mind will manufacture you however it has to in order to keep you alive and part of the bigger scheme, of which you are a minor/major player.
As such, at least as far as I can interpret it, total insanity is just taking yourself out of your socket. You are the light-bulb on the Christmas tree that doesn't work. Going further, your uncooperative nature can and will effect the world at large, whether you realize it or not. (Remember how that one damn, broken light turned all the others off)? Insanity is letting go of will, control, and common sense. It is disconnecting from the universe and living solely in one's unoverse. (I made that up just now). Insanity is like dying, except instead of heading "toward the light," you allow yourself to be embraced by warm, velvety darkness. Insanity is a deceptive shroud dressed as a security blanket. It feels peaceful, the notion that you can just let yourself go, leave your auto-pilot mind to do the rest, and you, my weary friend, can rest in peace.
I would sometimes imagine myself locked up, and I guess the theatrical side of me enjoyed entertaining these visions. I would be a skinny, wasted, blonde creature with sunken eyes-- the kind who never speaks but will sometimes emit carnal howls when approached too close or pushed too far. My parents, dutiful as they are, would come and visit me-- under the care of Nurse Ratched. They would try to reach me, find the little girl that they had once known, but all I would do was drool and stare or maybe strip and do a dance that embarrassed them and sent them scampering off in tears. It would be wonderful in a way... Wonderful not to have to care, be human, a dutiful daughter, or a contributing citizen, instead huffing on the ether of craziness, crawling on all fours, and writing made up words on the wall that only I could understand. That's what my breaking point would look like. I wouldn't even scream when the attending nurses or night watchmen would beat or rape me. I'd laugh. I'd laugh hysterically, because I'd know that they'd never touch me. They couldn't. I wasn't there. I had already given myself away.
Hell of a picture, huh? I describe this dramatic tragicomedy only to clarify my personal findings from the other side of myself. "Insanity," from my personal experience of it-- and I got at least 3/4 of the way there-- is an agreement the mind makes with the body to be in collusion with each other and nothing else. You can be born mentally ill, but having a predisposition or a lifetime of horrid circumstances that slowly drive you to madness is a totally different thing. I suppose as a depressive personality I can safely describe myself as mentally ill, but it took a couple of decades for me to "go crazy." Not everyone has the proper resources or connections to take a breath and stop before they get to the edge and feel themselves falling in. I did. Thank Christ, I did.
But, as I said, the maniacal offer still stands. The precipice is there. There are still times when I look at my life, what I don't have-- what I wish I could be, what I think I should be, what I'm still unsure of-- and I start trying to connect the dots in outer space and create the same map within, and I simply can't do it. I can't make sense of it. I get confused. I start to feel like a failure. My mind goes-- spinning so fast that I can't keep up with it-- and I start to feel that ol' vertigo again. Then I get angry, because I'm thirty f*cking years old, and I should know how to live by now, and I hate that I still can't tell which way is North without a compass-- which btw, I suspect is broken anyhow. Yes, the crazy is there, just waiting for me... If I fell, the vertigo would go away. I could go back to It. It would always have me like an old friend. I could descend.
What makes me not-- in addition to the merciful meds-- is my concerted effort to externalize myself. I go outside-- I put dirt in the Hole. I make new friends-- I put dirt in the Hole. I do something for the pure joy of it, and it doesn't matter if it sucks, or my writing sucks, or I suck, or no one ever recognizes it or me. Whatever I do or say or make is still mine as much as theirs.
I put dirt in the Hole.
Now, instead of burying myself, I bury temptation and weakness. I uproot myself. I plug into the outside world and make myself one of the unapologetic, pathetic, superficial ones. It is better to surface than to drown. The people I held in scorn were never camouflaged. I was. Now, the mighty hypocrite, I bitch. I moan. I make noise. And I have a right to. I'm alive. I am alive. And now it's the Crazy that can go f*ck itself: FTC, FMC, RIP.