And I Know Things Now

I can’t remember what I have written before. So I am certain I’m repeating myself. So many things slip through and past me – always have, but the last two years things have been worse. Better and worse. Now there is the tip of a show tune nudging me just behind my ear. “Well, … ” I can hear her voice, the tune, but not the words. Into the Woods.

“Excited and scared.” (I had to look it up.)

Tomorrow I will sit in the doctor’s office and ask to come off the medications. And the thing is, I don’t have to ask. It is my decision entirely. But I want approval. Sometimes I think I should get a male doctor so that I won’t look for approval.

I am oversharing. And really, I am fine with that.

The truth is, I want to get excited about things again. I am not entirely convinced that being numb has given me perspective. It sure as hell hasn’t given me direction.

Nearly three winters have passed and I haven’t noticed. I haven’t heard the lake singing its haunting ice song in the dark mornings. I haven’t seen the first crocuses pushing up in the sheltered places. I haven’t felt present in the world. Which is ironic because I began on medication because I wasn’t seeing the world as it was. Every story I could tell myself was sharply animated. Crocuses like little knives, as metaphors for what it takes to get through the days. Spring as the cruel Dionysus. April as the cruelest month and all that.

But I disagree with Elliot. February is the cruelest month. The trees bud and signal spring, then sleep again. False promises.

This morning the glass table on the deck is covered with ice. We’ll turn the clocks forward again in a few weeks, and the mornings will be dark again. Yeah, I can’t blame nature for that one.

But for all this complaining, I feel indifferent: the flip-side of ambivalent. Because I just can’t summon the passion to give a f**c*. What I wouldn’t give to feel genuinely torn about something. I want to rouse myself from this long nap – shake off the grogginess and this sense of a pause in things.

Because I know damn well the world isn’t really pausing. “Stop the world! I want to get off.” I think I have felt that way, but not now. Now I want back on the merry-go-round but I can’t seem to run fast enough to grab onto a pole.

I miss running in circles, actually. Maybe it is natural to run in circles. A spinning top never wanders far from its point of origin. Crossing the same river again and again, is is never the same river really. Wearing a deep groove, rather than roaming. Like a tree. Ruminating, like a slow cow.

I know that I am repeating myself. Around and around. Even now in this period of what feels like full stop. I have a fear of falling into dementia. Which I imagine is a kind of groundhog day. Waking up and moving through a day, only to have the same realizations and relive the same horrors every evening: “No, he’s been dead for years now, Dear.” It is kind of ironic that the studies show lithium might prevent dementia, when it seems to mimic its brain fog.

I don’t know, are muffled passions like being under a weighted blanket or a suffocating pillow? When I lie for too long, my legs ache and itch, and the restlessness spreads through me like a poison.

When I am tipping into “moodiness”, I can’t even decide what I want for dinner. I think I will choose ambivalence over indifference. There is something to be said for wanting.

4 Replies to “And I Know Things Now”

  1. “The truth is, I want to get excited about things again. I am not entirely convinced that being numb has given me perspective. It sure as hell hasn’t given me direction…February is the cruelest month. … But for all this complaining, I feel indifferent: the flip-side of ambivalent.”

    Oh, Ren. I so feel this, all of this (and have been on the meds for FAR longer than 3 years, tho mostly ssri meds). I have no comforting words or good advice. I can just say you are not alone–for whatever that is worth.

  2. Oh heck, I feel helpless reading this, because there’s nothing I can say or do except for being supportive. My instinct is to say that the last three years have been a continuous miserable winter because the pandemic and the irresolute weather (despite its extremes) have actually put a fog of stasis over everything.

    Every time I put virtual pen to paper, I’m scared I’m repeating myself (in poems, in novels, in statements), but I can’t be bothered to catalogue every word or idea of mine in some sort of filing system, like I know some writers do.

    I could write a long piece (and pluggy piece) about what I think of Eliot’s statement that January is the cruellest month, but I’ll desist.

    1. January? … the weird thing is – he was soooo onto something. People with bipolar often have problems in April. Something weird happens then 😉


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