Every morning, since Saturday. I think. I do not want to get up. I wake up and just force myself back to sleep or drag myself up, slog downstairs to make coffee. Yesterday I had a doctor’s appointment at 8:00 and just left the house as soon as I fed the dog. I was so bleary eyed and fuzzed over I had to force myself to concentrate on the road. Is that a street light or a traffic light? So very grim.
And it’s not that I am not roused by another person’s voice or my own voice or enthusiasm over a story I’m reading, a TV show I watch. I am able to perk to chirk up. But if I am not with someone distracted by a very interesting provocative thing, I am somewhat formless and void.
I saw the doctor yesterday and we talked about my progress over he last couple of months. He started me on a low dose of SAM-E plus a super something of B vitamins, etc., which he explained will boost the effectiveness of the SAM-E. He also wrote prescriptions for all the supplements so that I can use my flex spending on them, which will big a big help. SAM-E is so expensive. We also discussed the issue of movement, how much, what is too much. He told me that I need to push myself a bit more, but that I must learn what that means, how much is too much. Which is pretty much what I’ve been talking about with my therapist. Whom I saw later, at 11:00.
She and I had a great session. But as often happens, I think think maybe overthink what we discussed and my mood will stomach flip sometimes fall. After talking with her and reading her moments from this journal, it became quite apparent that I was indeed manic last week, on Thursday, after the workshop. And I think it was solely fueled by my great bursts of joy happy happy new girlfriends oh my I’m out there are people we are talking we are laughing the world has reached down and poked us tickled us just like on the bus me and a little blonde girl I’ve lost her name tickling and tickling each other and laughing hysterically. You remember that don’t you? That out of control mindless energy bursting little girl’s fierce as fuck enjoyment? Image that. Then multiply it by ten. Maybe a hundred. Then imagine yourself crawling into the center of the sun and burning and beaming and warming up everyone around you and sucking energy from them laughter from them me me me from them. If you can imagine that, then you know me and what it means to be so full of joy the double-tipped candle how it burns then melts then puffs itself out and leaves you dried up worn out in the seat of your car wondering if you can raise your arms to drive to the drug store to get one of the drugs that is supposed to keep this from happening. But of course, you wouldn’t trade it. You don’t think.
The good thing is that I was not ashamed after it was over, as I have so often been in the past. I just got my medicine and collapsed in the car seat and then mustered up enough energy to drive home pull myself up the stairs and fall into bed.
Mary Gatskill, in her book, Because We Wanted To, describes a woman’s feelings of happiness in the beginning of a romantic relationship, that period of infatuation--
“When he held her that way, she felt so happy that it disturbed her. After he left, it would take her hours to fall asleep, and then when she woke up she would feel another onrush of agitated happiness, which was a lot like panic….it just ran around all over the place, disrupting everything.” “--her thoughts were fragmented. her feelings buzzed and swarmed.”
This spot-on description of infatuation, is spot-on for what my happiness feels like. What the happiness that surges over the top feels like. It is out of proportion, out of control. It is unreasonable. It is passionate and fierce and almost scary.
I know this and can see this for what it is because I am also quite often happy normally. A bright steady glow. Contented with itself. To just glow. Like a Virgin Mary night light. It’s steady. It’s just bright enough to guide you safely to the bathroom at midnight. It’s soothing. I experience happiness like that, too. But not nearly as often as I experience the above, the falling in love. And falling in love. And falling in love.
In my session with the therapist, she talked about “driven behavior” and in the midst of her talking and my talking to her, in the midst of the evening hours and this morning upon awakening, I realized that this disease may very well be the thing that has kept me from being what I would call a literary “success.” Which is to be respected. Which is to be a well-known genius. Which is to be worshiped and glorified.
If I didn’t have this enormous ego with its enormous needs. If I didn’t believe so solidly truthfully that I am God. If I didn’t run dry burn out. If I didn’t if I weren’t so crazy so diseased, then my life, my writing career would be quite different. I feel like Van Gogh, who bemoaned his disease, who could see what he could do if only he weren’t so sick. But of course, it seems clear that his paintings wouldn’t be so thoroughly divinely tormented what they are if he weren’t sick (probably). The same is true of my writing. Probably.
But if I drop through the trapdoor and into the pit, I can’t write at all. So what is this happy middle? I wonder if I’ve ever really known.
Driven behavior. Walking in a kind of fury, straight through the woods, so determined, so desperate. I walked, found my way through unknown woods until I came to the edge and was peering at his house, just waiting for a glimpse of him, just wanting to see him, to maybe run across the backyard and grab him and smash him into a thing into something I could force could design into the perfect man to love me perfectly. But I didn’t run across the backyard. I didn’t even see him. Or anybody. The house was quiet and I was quite ashamed. Embarrassed.
What would I be if I weren’t myself? Who would all of us, us madmen madwomen? Who what would we be? Who would we be if they’d turned off these genes when we were growing inside our mothers? Or before, in a petri-dish. What would we be? What would the world look like without madness in it?