April 9, 2010
Tonight my thoughts are tripping over each other struggling for expression, overflowing the delicate vessel of my mind and spilling out into words – words inadequate, unreliable, unpredictable. If only words could capture the true essence of thought, of emotion, of meaning. If only words had the universal power of music in their ability to convey the spirit of what is intended – communication in its purest form. Less subject to varied interpretation than poetry or art. Dance is one step closer I believe, but still unparalleled to sound purposefully organized to resonate in the very soul of the listener – setting particles in motion, inspiring feeling, painting vivid mental pictures, conveying a story through the combination of tone, rhythm, and measured silence.
Take, for example, Beethoven’s Symphony Number 7 in A, Op 92: II. Allegretto. The first time I heard it, I wept. It would be an iron-souled person indeed who was not compelled to feel – and to feel deeply – the angst, the desire, the passion that Beethoven is able to infuse in the very heart of the sensitive listener. I cannot listen to this piece without feeling my spirit being lifted into a higher realm, where emotion is experienced more deeply, tinged with a surreal sense of otherworldliness. I envy the ability to create such music. I don’t believe I would ever feel the need to speak if I had such a divine power. My music would speak volumes, and would be more than sufficient to communicate the true depth of my feelings on pain, on love, on despair, on joy, on the ebb and flow of life.
I am sitting in my room. It is completely dark except for the light shining from my computer monitor. The draft from the ceiling fan mingles with the coolness of the night air drifting through the open window, creating a pleasant and calming breeze. Beethoven’s genius permeates the darkness surrounding me. Looking outside my window, I can see the willowy forms of the gray shadows that have followed me about today. I am not afraid of them now. Armed with the strength of music and the spoken word, I will use them for my own benefit. I shall let them inspire me, not torture me. They are under my power now, to move and to speak and to act according to my will. With the force of my mind I command them to dance a mysterious dance in time with Beethoven. Twirling, leaping, tilting, swaying… Now gone. The weary shadows waltz each other away into the blackness of the night. I shall miss them, perhaps.
What is it about the night that inspires me so? Why is it that in some moments, I beg for sleep to overcome me, to numb my feelings, quiet my mind, and paralyze my body into blessed stillness? Why is it that at some times, I pray for the angel of rest to pass by my door, too fascinated by the magic of the night to yield to sleep’s unconscious stupor with its muddled and sometimes frightening dreams? Insomnia is at once a curse and a blessing. I drift in and out of phases of chronic vigilance, in which I am held captive by the clutches of sleeplessness, plagued by the lack of refreshing respite from the cares of the day. I lie wide-eyed in the darkness while others bask in the throes of unconsciousness. Many things, both dark and disturbing, inspiring and enlightening, lurk in the corners of my mind as the ticking clock propels me closer to morning light. Weep for me, oh ye fully rested ones who slip into dreamland the moment your heads alight upon your soft pillows. And yet, despair…for only such as I hold within their weary souls the secrets of the night…
I am staring at the tiny white Seroquel pill and glass of water in front of me. I know I should take it, but I don’t want to. It makes me sleepy, and I want to be awake tonight. Free from dreams, free from endless tossing and turning, free to do as I please with this quiet solitude that is all mine. I wish I were brave (or foolish) enough to go out for a walk. The air is crisp, the sounds of the night coming through my window enticing, and I long to mingle with my fellow nocturnal creatures. But here I remain, in the safety and comfort of my little room, listening to my music, hiding from the Sandman.
I am alone, but somehow… I am not lonely. The gentle breeze wraps its arms around me, the music cradles me in its gentle embrace, and even the darkness seems soothing to the yet raw and aching wounds of my soul. My head aches and my eyes are bleary, but I am no longer numb inside. The icy chill in my heart has at last been thawed by the fiery strains of the music and the softening ambiance of the evening. Sometimes I think it is better to feel sorrow than nothing at all, better to feel pain than that cold, empty, hollow, dreary numbness in which there is no saving spark of fire, no glimmering undercurrent of hope in the sadness. Of course, it is far better than either of these things to feel joy, but when that cannot be attained, I’d take any emotion that carries with it some kind of soul-moving ache than over the deadness that seems to eat through your heart and mind, creating a vapid nothingness where every color turns to gray and every thing around you turns to dust.
And then, sometimes, I’d rather feel nothing at all than experience the pain. Or… I’d rather feel the pain on the outside than on the inside. I guess, still, that is preferring pain over numbness. I was born to feel. Without it, I do not exist.
I would rather be ashes than dust!
I would rather that my spark should burn out
in a brilliant blaze than it should be stifled by dry-rot.
I would rather be a superb meteor, every atom
of me in magnificent glow, than a sleepy and permanent planet.
The function of man is to live, not to exist.
I shall not waste my days trying to prolong them.
I shall use my time.
So sing to me, oh violin, cello, flute. Stir my soul into feeling when nothing else will. Satisfy my longing to feel alive. Comfort me, oh night, oh darkness, oh solitude. Let my very breath vibrate the air with a subtle music of my own. Let my every atom resonate with love, with light, in tune with the universe surrounding me. Let me cry in agony, let me sing with joy, anything… Just let me exist, exist with every particle of my being. Yet, not merely to exist… Let me be alive. LET…ME…LIVE…
I want to feel passion, I want to feel pain. I want to weep at the sound of your name. Come make me laugh, come make me cry… just make me feel alive.” ~Joey Lauren Adams
March 27, 2010
Including but not limited to…
Stupid jokes, sarcastic comments, spontaneous bursting out in song, flamboyantly ridiculous dance moves, annoying mindlessness (such as leaving caps off bottles and putting empty milk cartons back in the refrigerator), and other more… worrisome… tendencies which I have endeavored to put behind me. (My family could undoubtedly add to this list, especially my little sister, who is convinced I am insane and merely tolerates me for the most part). In addition to these endearing quirks, I have the habit of guffawing quite boisterously (and perhaps obnoxiously?) when I find something especially amusing.
My mother in particular was blessed with the privilege of such a joyous outburst following my visit to the “stats” page of my blog’s dashboard. Someone had entered “BPD wife sleeping until noon” in the search engine, and sure enough, was specifically referred to my blog. HA! How fitting, considering I am an expert at avoiding the morning-time, preferring to remain unconscious until the crack of noon! It also made me look back and realize how much I ramble about my sleeping habits haha! Oh well, it made for a hearty belly-laugh and some eye-rolling from my mother. I’m a treasure to be sure. 😉 (As a side note…The search phrase above leads me to believe that this particular person may be attempting to determine an association between BPD and late rising, but just to be clear… This has not, to the best of my knowledge, been identified as a specific characteristic of BPD sufferers… In my case, I just blame the meds for everything…hehe.)
Speaking of sleeping habits… I was up again at sunrise this morning. For heavens’ sake… Why?! I could have used an extra few hours of sleep. I’ve been exhausted the entire day! Has the lifelong night owl suddenly transformed into an early bird against her will? Though, I have to admit, getting up hours earlier than I’m accustomed to has resulted in a significantly more productive day. In fact, I was actually a bit worried at the level of energy and productivity I experienced yesterday. From the time I got out of bed to the time I crawled back under the sheets, I was go-go-go. I read a 250-page book in under 3 hours, wrote my blog post, felt an overwhelming urge to organize our collection of hundred-something DVDs, organized my desk and files, cleaned my room spotlessly (I even swept underneath the bed *gasp*), did 60 minutes of cardio, rocked out Guitar Hero-style, did my laundry, and went grocery shopping. I haven’t done so much in a single day for a very long time. I worried that I was slipping into some kind of hypomanic-like phase (which happened in the fall last year, and was followed by a colossal crash into suicidal depression), but my mom pointed out that I’m probably just so used to being depressed (which for me translates into zero energy and zero motivation to do anything) that it feels abnormal when my my energy is finally at the level of what would be considered “normal” for someone without depression. Plus I haven’t been especially erratic, and it’s not a “nervous” energy, so I think I’m ok. However… I don’t want to get my hopes up just yet that my anti-depressant might actually be eliminating (versus merely lessening) my symptoms… I mean, there’s no “magic cure” right? So…let’s see how the next few days go.
Hmm…I babbled a lot more than I planned to. Oh well. It’s my blog, and I can do what I want lol… I should probably sign off here before I get any more tired and my brain starts melting out my ears and dripping down my neck into pools of cerebral soup on the floor thereby destroying the carpet and terrorizing my clean-freak of a mom to the point of insanity and I start making absolutely no sense at all……
March 19, 2010
I just attempted to write a post about my day, consistent with my commitment to daily blogging.
But I just… can’t… do it.
I am falling asleep as I write this…
I have no other choice but to give in…
I hope I can make it to my bed before I pass out from pure exhaustion…
In Sleep we lie all naked and alone, in Sleep we are united at the heart of night and darkness, and we are strange and beautiful asleep; for we are dying the darkness and we know no death. ~Thomas Wolfe.
Ok I’m starting to hallucinate. Goodnight.
March 3, 2010
It’s one of those days I need to be brutally honest. (Not that I haven’t been brutally honest in my previous posts… I’ve certainly never divulged so much in my entire life as I have here in the last couple of weeks… But I guess I just feel a little more vulnerable right now and need to vent).
It has not been the easiest day, and I’m not even sure why… But I’m… Exhausted. I woke up exhausted. It’s hard to even move… There’s a deep ache throughout my entire body that seems to seep into my bones. I’m tired. Physically, emotionally, mentally, spiritually. This last week I’ve done a lot more than I’m used to doing, and I’m still fighting this virus and adjusting to my medication.
After forcing myself to play the piano this morning, hoping that would infuse me with some energy, I collapsed on the bed and waved the white flag of surrender. I don’t know why I feel so overwhelmed today, but I do. I ate way too much (almost to the point of binging… but I was feeling too nauseous to continue), and now I feel even more sick. I’ve barely moved from the couch most of the day, and besides the piano practicing, writing this blog post is the only (semi) productive thing I’ve done today.
I get tired and run down so easily. I hate this. I require a ton of sleep, and then just going about “normal” daily activities exhausts me to the point where I have to rest after everything. I guess it’s all part of the depression, and probably this illness I’ve been fighting, but it’s just getting me down. I’ve also done a lot of emotional work these last few days, and now I just don’t want to think or feel anything.
I’m feeling bad about myself today. I’m not liking the way I look, the way I feel…the nagging, negative voices in my head that won’t shut up. I just want this day to be over. Can I just go to sleep now? I’m praying I wake up feeling better tomorrow. Move on. I’ve been in slumps like this for days… weeks… at a time… and I can’t go there again. Not when I’ve made so much progress.
I’m just going to pretend like today never happened.
The old grey donkey, Eeyore stood by himself in a thistly corner of the Forest, his front feet well apart, his head on one side, and thought about things. Sometimes he thought sadly to himself, “Why?” and sometimes he thought, “Wherefore?” and sometimes he thought, “Inasmuch as which?” and sometimes he didn’t quite know what he was thinking about.
A. A. Milne
From the book Winnie the Pooh