Wednesday, May 05, 2010

I was gone for awhile, but I'm back now…

posted by Bill Arnett @ 2:24 PM Permalink

…'though for how long this time I cannot say. This last round of deleterious side effects to medications prescribed almost literally left me without a mind. It is usually my hands that bear the brunt of damage done, and I'm very displeased with myself for not recognizing what through the haze of my mind that my hands had again gone numb with no sensory perceptions, not even one.

My hands became as bird's feet, their relaxed state clutching tightly, instead of laying there opened lightly, the tendons hurting badly, and I'm doubly P.O.'d I did not recognize this because my mind was busy being absorbed madly with wild, incoherent thought that caused me to do things I knew I ought not. I had much time for introspection, searching desperately to find the right direction in which I must go, but I found my ability to think had slowed to a crawl, really, really slow. So I dumped all of those newer medicines that had recently been prescribed knowing it must be them that was robbing me of reason, leaving me almost blind.

As I sat for many, many days I realized I did not just want to disappear without leaving some type of memory, proof I was here, so that if I should happen to be discovered with a blank stare and unable to move my body corporeal people would know I had been there.

I used to have a well organized mind, a master of compartmentalization, where each day I would take stock by opening drawers of this giant chest, withdrawing the contents that varied wildly at best. But I opened each drawer one at a time, viewing its contents I would decide if there was anything I could do to deal with the problem, a solution for that problem inside. If there was nothing I could do the viewing would be quick, and that problem returned to it's drawer, and thus I would proceed opening never more than one drawer at a time taking stock of the day ahead so rarely would anything be a surprise.

I find now that my beautiful chest of an infinite number of drawers no longer exists and my thoughts versus my deeds present a dichotomy I cannot reconcile, but having an inordinate amount of time I began thinking at light speed to see what I could learn from this loss of capability of mind. I was shocked at what found there, but it does explain many things about the possibilities of the present occupant I find…there.

Inside my head there is a multiple number of tines, tines like those of a rotating spit cooking hot dogs at a fair or a street vendor selling his wares to people of all kind. And loaded up on each tine are blocks skewered shish-kabob like are tumbling, jumbling blocks one would buy for a child, of many different colors, different pictures, images, writings and creatures ranging from mild to wild.

I am perched upon the tine at its apogee, furthest from the bottom of my psyche, free to run along and leap from block to block to re-experience different memories of other, better times, the things that make up me. After exploring each block in kind this spit of multiple tines continues on its rotation and I must make a leap in good faith hoping to land upon or at least be able to grab hold of one of the blocks or sink, no flotation for me. There I am again free to run up and down these blocks of memory that store the memories of my mind and the perspective I have gained from this I have finally grasped and now know why entire blocks of my life turn in and out in a way that was baffling, but for me, being the only choice I have, it really is better than nothing at all and is often even effective.

I know that there are not an infinite number of tines or the blocks arrayed there, and that not all tines contain the same number of blocks which is why I feel sometimes that I am locked out of my mind without a guide to aide me in returning to one of the tines - which I guess is fine or it would not happen so naturally and happen without from me even a whine. It is these times where I am I know not where I am that I remember a snatch of a quote from Aldous Huxley,"…nor am I the captain of my soul. I am merely its noisiest passenger…"

During those times I rail in my head, I will miss as I grab for the next tine rotating into view, and I remember different words, wiser words, giving me a clue: "He who fights with monsters might take care lest he become a monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you." [Friedrich Nietzsche 1844-1900]

It's a foregone conclusion (at least to me) that one day while taking the next leap of faith I will miss miss; I will fall into the abyss; whether my corporeal body choses to go or not my mind will shrivel up and the slowly-spinning tines of blocks will cease, my mind will quiver as well, And I fear inside I will become a shrieking wraith no one can see, or hear or find me all alone, and if the eyes are the windows to the soul people will look and find there is no one home.

I am finished now memorializing my fears and explaining the processes of my mind. Perhaps it will edify and teach the reasons I come and then so often go. But I will do my earnest best to keep up with the rest of the wonderful people with whom I write, the ones who went out on a limb, that took so many chances, for I don't think I have ever concealed that within me insanity dances, driven mad by pain, again and again, soon to start all over courtesy of the government I faithfully served and wound up living this life I don't believe I deserved.

But that's just my opinion and you are free to examine your own life. It's very like peeling the layers of an onion. Unless you live in eternal pain as do I or if you lack adequate time to make such observations of Self, figure out what you can and place it in the back of your mind, there, there upon a shelf.


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At 12:33 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You grace us with your writing as you try to reveal the intricacy of this difficult journey. May you find some respite from the pain you describe and a quiet place within where you can run for cover; where you will be shielded from all that is ugly in our world right now. Peace.

At 7:37 AM, Blogger The Vidiot said...

I live with discomfort at worst and THAT makes me crazy. I can't imagine what you're going through. Your survival is a testament to your will and your warrior woman's love.

Write when you can, rest when you can't. Stay as sane as possible.

At 12:36 PM, Blogger Bill Arnett said...

Anonymous, as is the Vidiot, you are extraordinarily kind with your words and I thank you both for not just laughing and moving on. I have wrestled with this for a very long time and finally was compelled to write of my explorations of my mind; not everyone has the luxury, if that's what it would be called, to take so long to examine one's self, much less the time to write of it all.

My Warrior Woman is wonderful at helping keep me grounded, as is our son, soon to be a psychology major at San Francisco State University.

Again, thank you both, and Anonymous I hope you will visit us again, hopefully to find me lucid, maybe funny or informative or whatever it is that you see in my musings, 'cause I am always pleased and it makes me glad to know that I may have touched someone through my self-doubts and confusion.


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