Everything I write here comes from the same moment in my life. The moment when I draw into myself, when I feel a pressing into my lungs and heart – the weightiness of not being able to speak out what I feel. For me, everything I write here is sort of like a symptom, or if not a symptom then an extension – every letter for me is pulling something out of me that I can’t say, but I can type.
I can type it – I can write it.
Writing is a bit like exorcism I think, but perhaps that’s because of my extensive religious background. Perhaps if I hadn’t been told I was possessed by a demon, then I wouldn’t believe I possessed something like one. In my worst moment this is how I see myself – the harbinger of something bad. In my best moments I can step outside myself and see what is happening – I’m just a woman whose brain chemistry doesn’t necessarily work the way normal peoples does. My brain needs help. It sounds so simple, doesn’t it?
A brain that needs help. A brain that needs different chemicals, different energies, different treatment. It sounds so perfectly easy – if you get sick, take your medicine, if you’re ill, go to the doctor. So why is it so hard? Perhaps because when you’re sick, if you feel better, you stop taking the medicine. When you’re depressed, if you feel better, it means you keep taking the medication. It is much harder to know when you are better, when you are finally well again and if you will actually ever be ‘healed’.
I’ve been writing and thinking about my medication since it began – this blog was a response to those first twenty milligrams three years ago. Now I find myself wondering what life would be like without it, what I would be like without it, even how I would write without it. Is there a creative well inside of me that has been walled off by anti-depressants? Has it been numbed out? Or would life without those little pills every morning just become cluttered and painful again, with a brain full of words but no way of speaking them?
The only way forward would be to try. I don’t know if I’m ready to try yet, but I know I’m ready to think about it. And for a brain that needs help, that’s a pretty big step.