“I thought the most beautiful thing in the world must be shadow, the million moving shapes and cul-de-sacs of shadow. There was shadow in bureau drawers and closets and suitcases, and shadow under houses and trees and stones, and shadow at the back of people’s eyes and smiles, and shadow, miles and miles and miles of it, on the night side of the earth.” ~ Sylvia Plath
“That is all I want in life: for this pain to seem purposeful.” ~ Elizabeth Wurtzel
“Don’t try to solve serious matters in the middle of the night.” ~ Philip K. Dick
“He who hears the rippling of rivers in these degenerate days will not utterly despair.” ~ Henry David Thoreau
I went to see the psychologist yesterday; Doctor fella, funny guy too. He laughed a lot. And he can prescribe drugs – and analogies. I’ve been actively depressed since November and he wants us to team up and see if we can “throttle down” my brain. Something, maybe, about my pre-frontal cortex, which took a profound blow when my face hit the handlebars of my bicycle back in 1984. This current depression has not been the knock down drag out kind, though there have been numerous times when it felt like it was going there, for a few hours, maybe forever, but this mid-grade downer I am not without resilience. Lucky me. When those hours occur I like to find something intellectual to read. Pulls me ever so gently back into the borderlands of rationality. It is mysterious and puzzling at those times when rationality and irrationality become yin yang pals and just hang out together. And I watch from the sidelines, not dissociated, just stepping out to get some fresh air, to catch my breath, to mutter a few WTFs for my own amusement. There are times when I can actually dissociate on purpose. That is never a good idea so I don’t. Not anymore. Back in the first few years after the accident, during the initial phase of unknown recovery from the brain trauma, I instinctively developed the skill as a coping mechanism. The reason I call it “unknown” recovery is that one doctor at Jackson Memorial Trauma Center flat out told me that there wasn’t any neurological damage. Friggin nitwit. I don’t remember anyone else much caring either. I was pretty much on my own. Even if I had been able to articulate what was going on, I am cold-certain that nobody would have listened anyway. Shit like that scares the bejezzes outta peeps! And never mind that I was having mystical experiences as well. Who wants to hang out with a guy like that?
“The conflict between the will to deny horrible events and the will to proclaim them aloud is the central dialectic of psychological trauma.” ~ Judith Lewis Herman
Between the first paragraph and this I got some sleep. Not long enough, but it seems to have worked anyway. The coffee is perfect, what I call ex-wife coffee – strong, bitter, and dark. That’s the way she liked her coffee and I was of the Folgers crowd. She introduced me to many things that changed my life. I still to this day drink my coffee this way. Yum. I’ve been missing her lately. It’s been nearly 30 years since I last saw her; 40 since the divorce. There is healing going on. That much I can say. I just walked out to the car, where I can see the mountains. It’s cold here in the morning shadow sent forth by the Sangre de Cristo range. A golden aura lines the summits of all mountains in sight. I couldn’t tell if it was a trick of the eye or an actual optical phenomenon. Not that it matters. Still, I may look for that golden aura anyway as I go through my workday. Light shining around shadows in this world. It’s hard for me to explain why I call physical objects, including people, shadows. I’ve been this way, seen this way, ever since the accident, which also involved an NDE journey. My feeling this way, this morning, almost feels objective rather than subjective. I’m not used to this, not since last November when this lengthy bout of depression first expressed. I wrote, quite carefully, the first paragraph last night, with talk show/news panels analysts yammering about in the background. It is unusual for me to write at night. Maybe it’s the Prozac. That’s what Dr. Mash prescribed to “throttle down” my brain. It seems to be working. In theory it takes 10-14 days for this drug to take effect, but I remember the first time I took it. Although the full effect ran in the 10-14 parameters I could feel it right away, within a few hours of swallowing the first pill. Doc calls this a “baby dose”. Micro-dosing is quite trendy these days, although the term is usually applied to cannabis, shrooms, and LSD. I feel good to be taking this. I know countless people who express disdain toward pharmaceuticals in general, but even more so toward SSRI chemicals. I know from experience that Prozac works. I could use it again right now. Sigh. SSRIs allow the body to use more of the serotonin that we naturally produce. One thing about depression is that it seems to encourage the body to suck up most the serotonin as soon as it gets into the bloodstream. Serotonin helps to regulate between light and the shadows. I believe it is a consciousness-raising substance as well. Well, maybe not raising. Depression, for me, is like a manhole cover, and I just got stuck below for a few months. It’s not that simple, of course. I have a therapy session this afternoon at 4 PM. My therapist is an old colleague of Dr. Mash. I will tell her about what all doc and I talked about. Then will will likely go into the Jungian Shadow stuff; like what this all means on a semiotic level. No, serotonin doesn’t raise my consciousness. Boy howdy the time spent in this lengthy down-cycle provides ample and fecund opportunity to raise consciousness. But you have to do something other than laze around like a lump. What I need to do right now is grab a quick shower, which means that I need to resist the time warp vortex in the shower stall; that which tends to keep me under the hot spray, where what seems like ten minutes is actually about 30. Whatever.
Peace out, y’all. Goof gloriously.