This is the twenty-ninth in a series of episodes, detailing my dawning realization, that I have some mental issues, that I must address, or risk losing those around me, who mean so much to me. I do not know how many installments this will entail, because I do not have an outline, for this particular avenue, that my Life has chosen to pursue. Because I have always found writing to be therapeutic, I am going to share my journey with anyone, who cares to read along. Believe me, I am not having that much fun.
The Metamorphosis, Revisited
I have this image of Kafka’s “Metamorphosis” stuck in my head, the story published in 1915, where the salesman wakes up one morning in his room, and finds out that he has been transformed into a humongous insect. Whether it is a cockroach, or a dung beetle, is hardly of any importance, when considering the fact that his life has been irreversibly changed, and can never return to what it was. Mentally, the salesman is capable of perceiving all that has occurred, including people’s revulsion of what he has become, but can do nothing about it.
Whereas my own situation is not the same on the exterior, because I have not been converted into a different form, I have nonetheless undergone a transformation mentally, that leaves some people disconcerted. By that I mean I leave them slightly off guard, as in, what’s coming next? In light moments, I joke with Annie that it is important that she keep up with me, as my handler, so that she can explain away the potential difficulties I incur, as a result of my illness.
Should I happen to go wild on my laptop, and start dashing off letters that are wildly raving, and essentially better off not mailed, all Annie can do is shake her head, and say that she had no control over me. As for me all I do is shake my head, and say that I had no control over me.
We have a plan in place, both short-term, and long-term, and we know that the key is our willingness to try different strategies, until we find the one that works best for us. Initially we are filling out all of the information on the mood chat, adding elements as they appear on the scene. I added a column for the anxiety drug, Lorazapam, which I still had from when I was suffering from panic attack syndrome, and have now taken two doses on two different occasions, to help deal with an onslaught of anxiety.
Now, having come to grips with the possibility of mood-stabilizing medication in the future, and being able to objectively see it as a viable option, I feel that my tools are in place, and that stability is going to be the ultimate result. Time and the way the summer’s events unfold, will dictate the schedule and terms of the resulting plan.
Should we find that all of the components of the holistic therapeutic process fall neatly into place, and that with proper exercise, sleep and eating, I can regulate and manage my illness, then the mood-stabilizing medication may not be necessary. However, if stressors continue to occur, (such is life) and I am unable to cope with these issues, then I am resigned to taking the medication, knowing that if there are technical difficulties, I can always stop.
No matter who the expert is, expressing an opinion, the best he or she can ever do, is say you may as well try it. If it doesn’t work, then try something else. No expert is ever going to say, “Here, take this, and all of your problems will be over.” No, it always comes with the stipulation, that if it doesn’t work for you, then there is something else to try. Ideally, of course, no medication would be my optimum plan, and ultimate hope, but having removed a cloud of uncertainty, as to the side-effects, at least I am open to the idea.
As far as the metamorphosis I alluded to at the start of this piece, yes, I feel as though I have been transformed into some kind of different being, than what I was before, and it has many unattractive features, but isn’t that the same thing that everyone has to essentially look forward to? Everyone eventually wakes up one day, to find that he or she has changed over time, and now has metamorphosed into a being with this bug, that germ, this gene mutation, that illness, which is going to transform the body into a weakened, failing, eventually incapacitated vessel?
My journey just has an extra leg of it, allowing me to view life though the same eyes, but with a different pilot at the controls. This pilot has most of my traits and characteristics in place, but has added a few wrinkles. I am told that those wrinkles can make for rough landing, and that the new me does not do as well with “I” messages, as he would like to think. Fortunately, in addition to all of the components of the mood chart I have in place, and the Lorazapam, and the psychiatrist, I also have Annie. She hates it when I put the focus on her, so I don’t. All I am saying is that without Annie, I am not even in the ball park. WIth her, at the present, I have decent seats in the bleachers. If I continue on this current path, I hope to get down to better seats, and eventually, maybe even to field-level.
Wouldn’t that be something? To have both feet on the ground, at the same time, and still be able to move forward? That’s my challenge. Only my good friend, time, will be able to say for sure how it all turns out.