Huntress of the Lens


Sunday, September 13, 2009

Unwelcome guests in the bone house

It's the dark hours right now, even my all-nighters have started their slow even breathing. I've spent over 24 hours in bed and have no more sleep left. No more lying flat, sitting up, curling on my side. It's alarming when I get that uncontrollable thing that pulls me down to dreamless unconsciousness, but at the same time it's kind of nice, when I leave my body I get to leave my mind as well. 

Pain is such a loyal companion. It may wander as far as the other room for a drink of water or to stretch its legs, and I think "Oh, it's going away!" but then it returns to lay it's hand on my forehead and reassure me that it will never leave me. It's like a creepy one night stand that I invited home  in a blackout. It moved all of its personal belongings in while I wasn't looking, and now we live together. It's friend depression is starting to hang out with us even though I thought I had made it clear that it wasn't welcome here. There are no pills to help me with any of this any more, I swallow my daily doses like a Catholic takes communion. I know it's not doing anything at all, but I do it out of habit and out of the hope that in some way I'll find salvation.

I can't stand to be touched right now. Michael wants to pat me or rub my back or my leg and the extra physical stimulation is just too much. I want to scream "get that off me!" but then I remember that he loves me and is feeling powerless and wants to make me feel better, and he can't; I tolerate it for as long as I can. He says "It's just your thyroid, they're going to take care of it for you." and even knowing that and agreeing does nothing at all to sooth the current moment. There are no more blackberry bushes for him to uproot and tear out in substitution for clearing this tangled thorny mess in my head. In a way I've left him alone.

Everything irritates me, everything. Usually sleep will sneak in and take me away, but it gave me an ultimatum: "It's the pain or me, I won't share you in this relationship any more." and the pain just sat, fat, in boxers, eating chips with its mouth open and laughed. It's not going anywhere. Now I have no sleep, just the dark in the middle of the night and this unwelcome guest in my head who is too large for the space it occupies. It crowds out words, and art, and anything else I would normally use my head for. It has taken up blacksmithing as a hobby, and I am such a convenient anvil. The things it makes are sharp and useless and it just leaves them laying around on the floor of my mind so that no matter where I think I'm tripping over one creation or another.

I can't think or remember, I trip over words just like I bump into doorways and grab solid objects for balance. The world is like a ship that sways and dips under my feet. I can't even read, I find myself repeating the same sentence three or four times before I give up. I can still write, but it took me almost a minute to remember the word "occupies" in that last paragraph. When in my life have I ever not been able to escape any bondage by reading? Never is when. I usually go through a book a week or more and I've been on the same three pages of my current read for days now.

It's black outside the window, literally that darkest hour before dawn. It's black in here too, but no sunrise will make it any brighter for me. I feel as if I'll be stuck on an old stained couch with this fat, obnoxious companion until it sucks me dry. I would leave myself, just abandon the belongings in my head; the vocabulary, the potential drawings and paintings, the memories of the births of my children and just start over. There are no doors or knobs in this bone-room though, the walls are round and no matter how many times I pace the perimeter I end up back where I started, ankles and shins bruised and bleeding from tripping over my thoughtless blacksmith's creations. I have iron filings in my eyes. Orbs that are swelling again, because there is too much pain in my head to be contained by mere bone and those are really just safety valves, the first soft things to blow out if the pressure gets too high.

I'm hot, then I'm cold. I'm awake, then I'm not. I was foolhardy to say I didn't want any more narcotics to help me with this, a hapless hero, the first guy down on the alien planet in Star Trek; the one you know won't make it to the end of the episode. I turned down the only weapon I had to fight this thing, in the name of recovery. So I still have all 2,108 days, all 50,597 hours to call my own, courtesy of a Higher Power that freed me from one frying pan only to throw me in the fire. When you watch a movie, and the girl hears a noise outside the cabin and grabs a ridiculously large knife to investigate; when you're thinking to yourself "NO! Don't go out there, it will kill you just like all of your other screaming and dismembered companions!" Do you ever think, as the dramatic music swells that she should set down her knife? NO! You look at your watch and see if, based on the running time of your average movie she will be the one left to survive until morning after slaying the bad guy. I set down my knife. Cut myself off from my only weapon, went up against the Big Boss with no armor and no buffs. 

I feel as though I've just had boiling water poured over my head, I'm shivering with a chill. The window hasn't lightened even slightly, and I'm alone in this night, just me and my big, fat, unwelcome guest riding out the dark beginnings of yet another day. It's just my thyroid. So fucking what. Everyone I know is so solicitous, and caring, and wishing me the best, and guess what? I can't feel it! I appreciate it, and the small kernel of who I was just days ago loves you for it, but it doesn't get in here with me and this agony. I'm not even dying, or I already have and this is hell, one of Dante's circles in the shape of a skull with only two fleshy eyes to keep the whole thing from pouring out like lava, like the waters that over-ran the levees in New Orleans when their dear friend Katrina came to leave her mark. 

Since it's just you and me here, I guess I can admit that depression is not just a visitor, really. It has its own drawer in the dresser and friends helping to bring the rest of its stuff so it can move in with us. How is it that things get in here and I can't get out? Anxiety is calling every hour or so to see if there're bunk beds here so it won't have to leave once it arrives for good. I don't bother to explain that there is no need, sleep barely looks in the window any more, we may as well just commit to playing Twister for good, if we can clear all this sharp metal shit off of the floor.

I am never, ever hungry, and I have gained 8 pounds. That's some comfort anyway, right?

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