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August 11, 2005 - 10:22 pm

WEEPING WOMAN

From the atomic level to the unfathomable hugeness of the cosmos, there is a natural pattern to everything, a cycle of creation, collapse, and reassembly, breaking down and rebuilding, loss and gain, chaos and form. Birth, death, rebirth. Over and over.

If that sounds weird to you, you probably havenít tripped on acid, because thatís when it hit me the first time. Maybe it was during an incredibly long jam at a Dead concert when they actually brought it back around to something recognizable. Maybe I just made that up. I donít know.

So, the way I see it, this order-chaos wave (as I like to call it) varies widely from person to person. Some people have long wavelengths with very little amplitude. Theyíre the dull, insensitive people who move through life unaffected by anything. Others have drastic amp jumps in super short cycles. Those are the crazy people who throb like a raw nerve and canít seem to hold their shit together. Most of the rest of us fall somewhere in between with a huge variation in both wavelength and amplitude over the span of our lives.

I also visualize this pattern like those time-lapse films from grade school where a fallen tree decays and gets consumed by the life of the fetid forest, the insects and bacteria, and then the dancing green leaf of a sapling rises from the humus that was that tree and starts the whole cycle over again. Continuous reincarnation.

Or, remember in Terminator 2, when the liquid guy gets all split apart by Arnold Schwarzenegger and then just kind of rolls himself back together? Like that. Sort of.

Anyway, I try to keep this perspective in mind, particularly during those disorienting phases when everything seems to fall apart. Thatís probably why Iíve never rushed to anti-depressants at every little bump in the road. I think recognizing the bodyís need for down time, for re-evaluation, is extremely important. Without lows we lack the ability to fully appreciate the highs; without taking it all apart, weíd never really be aware of our whole selves, how we're put together, and our place in the world. I believe deeply that those are critical aspects to living a full, actualized life, and short-circuiting that cycle deprives you of that richness.

I know you know what Iím talking about, even if only to a small degree. Work with me here.

What Iím trying to say is that even though I finally caved and started on medication, Iím currently in the throes of complete and total chaos. Iím at the trough of the sine curve, so to speak. Iím in a billion pieces all over the floor. Hell, Iím blown so far afield right now, Iím finding parts up in trees and on rooftops and shit. My left butt cheek may be in Alabama for all I know.

Most of the time, Iím in a complete daze. The first thought that enters my head every morning when I come to is one of panic, ďWhere are my children?Ē The second thought is, ďWhat did I do last night?Ē Not that Iím out every night doing horrible things, but I honestly have to make an effort to place myself in the present every fucking morning by dredging up my last conscious memory. Having to wake up and ask ďWhatís the last thing you remember?Ē is kind of disconcerting. That one or two second delay seriously fucks with my head until I can answer those questions.

I heard on that show The Infinite Mind recently that people who suffer from depression (which I have been through a couple of times due to situational circumstances) not only lose memory, but that recovery becomes more and more difficult with each subsequent bout. Great. Iíve been swimming through this one for over a year now, maybe longer if I really think about it, and Iím worried I may never be my old fairly well-adjusted self again. I may wake up in a disoriented panic every morning for the rest of my life.

So I've got that going for me.

As if thatís not bad enough, itís not even the worst thing going through my pretty little head right now.

The thing that scares me most about this whole mess is what will happen if I ever do pull myself out of this trough. Iím terrified because I donít know what Iím going to look like when I put my pieces back together. Iíve come out of these episodes drastically different every time. Iím remade into someone else with only vestiges of my former self hanging around like ghosts of a simpler me. Will anyone even recognize me? And who will I lose in the process? Because upheavals like this are not without casualties. Birth, death, rebirth.

And now here I am again, just waiting to see what my twisted Picasso mind has in store for me. Will I still love my children? Will they still love me? How far can I push my friends before they drop me like a rock? Will I be productive and capable? Or will I be destructive and irresponsible? Will my nose be on my chin and my ear be on my forehead? It could go anywhere from here. I just don't know.

~Samantha

recommended:
reading -ďThe Snows of KilimanjaroĒ by Ernest Hemingway
viewing -Finding Neverland
listening -ďIím Waking Up to UsĒ by Belle and Sebastian

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