I'm at Vibrations right now. Today is Red Stories day. I'm usually nervous on Red Stories day. Today is no different. I'm here early for the writing workshop. We are writing about mental health. I don't want to write and share about it. I do enough of it already. I'm particularly nervous about my mental health these days. I'm afraid of what the medication is doing to my body. I don't like the way my hands shake. I don't like the way the meds make my body tick. I don't like the way the meds make me forget. I'm afraid of what not being medicated is doing to my mind. At forty-five I don't want to choose between my mind and my body. I will not accept that I have to. I write and post my stories in my blog partly because it's my way of communicating with others without having to say it in a conversation. I don't really want advice. I don't want the look. I don't want the awkwardness. I want to be taken seriously when I say I need time to rest when I need it. I want my time valued. Because dementia of some form or another runs in my family, I have a fear that it will not escape me. I am afraid of losing my mind. The hallucinations are getting worse. Rather the fear of the hallucinations are getting worse. I live with a fear of rats and mice. I fear them in my sleep. I fear going to sleep because I might see them. I look for them behind bookcases, in my covers, in drawers before I go to sleep. It's a ritual, like a child has her parent look for monsters in the closet before she goes to sleep. It is true that the medication allows me a much better sleep but over time I don't trust its affects on my body.
I've told this story before, the story about the ocean my father taught me. It was his last story to me before he passed away in 2009. He used to call me and just blurt out random stories. Often he was drunk and that made the stories take longer sometimes, but...hey. The story goes like this:
"Verily, verily I say unto you." My father started stories with verily, verily because "That's how Jesus started his messages to his disciples." Anyway, story continued: "You know, the shark got a bad rep." And then I followed the pause cue and asked how. "Well, because you will never hear something rustling through your kitchen in the middle of the night and then go check to see what it is and go 'oh! A shark! A shark!' No, you won't do that. You will never be walking down a dark alley and hear someone behind you and turn around and go 'oh! A shark! A shark!' No, see the only time a shark can get to you is if you go to the ocean. See, the trick to life is to know your ocean. So if you are a crackhead then you can't live by the crack house because that's your ocean. If you are a shopaholic then you can't live by the mall, because that's your ocean. Now if the shark does eat you it's not the shark's fault because the shark just thinks you're food."
Well for me, during my manic state, at best the meds calm me down, at worst, I don't notice the affects at all. During the lows, at best the meds lift my mood, but at worst, pills become my ocean.
So most of this was written before Red Stories. Last night for the show Donny interviewed me. I haven't written my notes for after the show yet. I will though. For now I'll say this, Donny asked me last night as his final question, "If Uraeus is the answer then what is the question?" Well, the question is why fight to stay on this planet and fight for my health? Because Uraeus deserves his mother.
Oh, and I got my laptop out the pawnshop yesterday, heeeeeyyyyy!