Metaphor: if I tapped a vein and bled into a cup, it’d be mostly chemicals and strategies and positive self talk. Questions, prescriptions: and so…how does that make you feel?
The blood would clatter down for glass, my labour tumbling and turning about in a petite jolie danse. And all you would hear is the work that pulses in me; continual, the thrash of arms to stay afloat.
Much of me beats unaware of the heaviness of that but sometimes it feels smacking and pinning – a soaked sheet laid down across shoulder blades, the work as buckling of my knees as the sickness itself.
A grey day feels even more like so much gravity, because it is normal-people mundane. Ordinary fuckin’ people, as they say. Stress, hormones, over-tiredness intertwine like oleander in my guts – rankling, and then I’m down for the count a lot harder than a non-crazy.
I think part of that is because I can’t yet distinguish the finite difference between the start of an episode and just a few bad days. Am I running into a field of dying corn, or am I strolling idly through a courtyard of greying irises who need only a little water? The secondary anxiety of managing this liminal pause is heady.
It is times like these that I retreat, I shrink, like an unsure startled hen. My self confidence is knocked clean away and though I continue to bubble, emote and attach healthily, inside is a rash of dark chatter. I think jealously, hatefully, I seethe and punch out at those close to me. I keep it behind the eyes but for a few days of worry and pitched-down esteem for self and others, I am a secret monster. Comfort me/don’t/comfort me/fuck off/comfort me/you disgust me/help. It’s adolescence rebooted.
A struggle for compassion and positivity over bitterness and self-indulgent vanities is at the core of my ambitions for inhabiting my social and emotional space. So many times I hear myself aloud denouncing my own positions, patting down vitriol and cleaning these insides as I go. I wish I could walk into the river and wash it all clean like the most naive of believers – but of course, I can’t.
I just hope each time that the vacancy of my stare, the burnt-down match I feel I am in these days, passes quickly. I like it, my Susy Sunshine mentality. I like her, when she tries her best to care for you and bring kindness and silliness and a share of her arms and kisses and cooking.
I know I can’t reasonably expect to be her all the time, because even ordinary fuckin’ people curl up and kick out some days. I just have to throw a chain to next week, when the curdling goes, and stop trembling at the thought of an episode – pull myself hard across the ravine of speculation.
Today I stand in the breach, though. Let me throw some sun and a good book at it and see out the efficiency of that.
From what I’m told, that works for ordinary fuckin’ people. I shall moonlight in their hopes.