Be seeing you, Jack.
This last month or so has been a very strange and chaotic jumble of events and emotions, so rather than my usual exploration of a single symptom I am going to ramble on about the general state of things.
For the last, say, six months, I’ve been generally asymptomatic, or as asymptomatic as I could ever expect to be. My medication seemed to be doing a pretty decent job at minimizing my compulsions and getting me ‘outside my own head’, as I describe it, and as such my mood was really good. I was making a lot of progress, or seemed to be, on dealing with various ongoing issues and was even getting ahead of the curve on some.
Then, about 6-8 weeks (yes, I’m making a vague mailing time joke) ago, everything stopped working. It was as if I’d been walking on the sunken plateau of a Caribbean beach, and reached the point where sand abruptly drops off into abyssal sea. I lost my footing, and my motivation, and my good mood, and have no idea why.
There’s a common issue in seeking help for mental health issues, where one becomes so eager to improve that they begin to falsify their progress. They might not do this consciously, but it’s a slippery slope - since a lot of the improvement is based in how you perceive things, there’s a constant struggle to be honest with yourself and distinguish between improved outlook and wishful thinking.
I’m not sure whether I was convincing myself that I was doing better than I really was, or whether this is yet another complication of my meds. If it’s the latter, I guess I can trust myself a bit more to keep pace with things, but it likely means switching to some other regimen, and going through the ever-entertaining rollercoaster of withdrawal and acclimatisation.
In other news, last week I submitted a short story to a publisher, for the very first time. My OCD desire for things to be absolutely perfect, and to not commit to anything without ensuring I’ve done everything possible to make it perfect, means that this is actually quite a milestone for me. Normally, I’ll sit here rewriting and revising a story and spiraling into deep anxiety, until the deadline passes and I feel that peculiar mix of relief and disappointment that I know so well.
I don’t know whether anything will actually come of that story, and I wasn’t entirely happy with how I wrote it, but the important thing is that I’ve crossed the threshold and should be able to submit things with far fewer nervous breakdowns. The story I’ve been working on since, Lemon Bees, is shaping up quite nicely so far. I hope it gets published, somewhere, though my muse has suggested that I convert it to zine format and self-publish if no one accepts it (or even if they do, and haven’t purchased all rights). Getting ahead of myself a bit, I know, but it’s exciting. Progress!
I promise I’ll return soon to our regularly scheduled Very Special Episodes of mental health.
This blog is not intended to be a politically-focused one, though naturally many topics I may discuss here will blur the lines.
As many of you, hopefully all of you, are aware, the G20 Summit in Toronto this weekend past had a number of regrettable incidents. This video is not particularly clear, and there are others shot from above that show clearly the distribution of the protesters and the police and the actions of both.
I’m posting this video here because I would like to ask, of the handful of people who follow me, that it be reposted. What is being displayed is a police tactic called ‘kettling’, where crowds of protesters are surrounded by police without opportunity to withdraw, and then held there for hours. On occasion, police will rush into the crowd and arrest those that they can grab, while dispersing whatever formation the protesters have fallen into. This is, theoretically, supposed to limit chaotic movement of protesters and prevent harm to property and citizens. Property and citizens, in that order.
No matter your opinions on what the protesters were doing, or on the act of protesting itself, I would like you to watch this and ask yourself how this tactic, used on peaceful protesters singing (albeit badly) our national anthem, diminished chaos and the possibility of injury.
I was at this protest, but prevented from reaching the main group of protesters by a second cordon of police. I was dressed inoffensively, behaved politely, and was only carrying first-aid supplies in order to help anyone who might be injured during a tactic such as this. We were prevented from exercising our right to assemble, and what I believe is my right and duty to assist my fellow citizens.
Please, repost. You don’t need to include my comments here, and feel free to respond to it however you feel, but I would like this to achieve wider recognition. Thank you.
I can believe things that are true and things that aren’t true and I can believe things where nobody knows if they’re true or not.
I can believe in Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny and the Beatles and Marilyn Monroe and Elvis and Mister Ed. Listen - I believe that people are perfectable, that knowledge is infinite, that the world is run by secret banking cartels and is visited by aliens on a regular basis, nice ones that look like wrinkled lemurs and bad ones who mutilate cattle and want our water and our women.
I believe that the future sucks and I believe that the future rocks and I believe that one day White Buffalo Woman is going to come back and kick everyone’s ass. I believe that all men are just overgrown boys with deep problems communicating and that the decline in good sex in America is coincident with the decline in drive-in movie theaters from state to state.
I believe that all politicians are unprincipled crooks and I still believe that they are better than the alternative. I believe that California is going to sink into the sea when the big one comes, while Florida is going to dissolve into madness and alligators and toxic waste.
I believe that antibacterial soap is destroying our resistance to dirt and disease so that one day we’ll all be wiped out by the common cold like martians in War of the Worlds.
I believe that the greatest poets of the last century were Edith Sitwell and Don Marquis, that jade is dried dragon sperm, and that thousands of years ago in a former life I was a one-armed Siberian shaman.
I believe that mankind’s destiny lies in the stars. I believe that candy really did taste better when I was a kid, that it’s aerodynamically impossible for a bumble bee to fly, that light is a wave and a particle, that there’s a cat in a box somewhere who’s alive and dead at the same time (although if they don’t ever open the box to feed it it’ll eventually just be two different kinds of dead), and that there are stars in the universe billions of years older than the universe itself.
I believe in a personal god who cares about me and worries and oversees everything I do. I believe in an impersonal god who set the universe in motion and went off to hang with her girlfriends and doesn’t even know that I’m alive. I believe in an empty and godless universe of causal chaos, background noise, and sheer blind luck.
I believe that anyone who says sex is overrated just hasn’t done it properly. I believe that anyone who claims to know what’s going on will lie about the little things too.
I believe in absolute honesty and sensible social lies. I believe in a woman’s right to choose, a baby’s right to live, that while all human life is sacred there’s nothing wrong with the death penalty if you can trust the legal system implicitly, and that no one but a moron would ever trust the legal system.
I believe that life is a game, that life is a cruel joke, and that life is what happens when you’re alive and that you might as well lie back and enjoy it.