I was shaving my head the other night (you know, to get that cool bald look), when a thought struck me.
Beneath this enormous dome of a head was a brain that plays tricks on me.
My brain sometimes changes the words I write around so when I glance away from them for a second and look back, it seems they’ve been edited and changed. This can be very scary at first (I went to the ER the first time) but I’ve gotten used to it to the point I just get frustrated. And also because the magically edited version is better than I what I THOUGHT I wrote.
My brain will also make the familiar seem unfamiliar every now and then. I’ll be driving down the same road I’ve drive hundreds of times and all of the sudden I wonder: where am I? Everything kind of seems new and like I don’t know where I am. But after about 10 seconds I’ll round the curve and re-orient myself and all’s right with the world again.
I’m beginning to hate my brain.
The worst thing the brain does is take away my ability to think rationally. I mean, with all my various conditions, I have enough problems – disassociating, anxiety attacks, remembering familiar names, etc. But this is a whole new realm of shit.
I just came through one of these phases recently. I dissed my therapist, planned my suicide (to the point where I was discussing arrangements with my spouse), pushed friends away that wanted to help and turned in incomprehensible work at, well, work. I was a smoldering hot mess.
“You’re not thinking rationally,” a friend of mine pleaded over the phone.
“Yes, I am,” I yelled back. “Everything I’m saying is well thought out and rational!”
Except it wasn’t. Calculating the net value of my suicide minus funeral expenses and cash outs of my retirement account really isn’t rational thinking – at least not at this point of my life.
I overthink everything.
I blame you, brain.
And then, like it has before, this horribly oppressive cloud of gloom, paranoia, and frenetic panic lifted like the morning fog leaving me with the classic Borderline response: oh no, what the Hell have I done?
Thankfully the damage wasn’t irreparable.
And people around me are getting used to this, which I hate. Not them, the fact that they expect me to go off the rails every few months or so.
But here’s the key thing – I’m becoming afraid of that skull full of mush under this big bald head.
Why the Hell do I have such a big head? Maybe there’s a sci-fi creature living in there pushing buttons and pulling levers? Maybe this creature slipped into my large noggin at birth and controls my every mood?
Ok, that sounds implausible but doctors still don’t know how SSRIs really work so in psychiatry, pretty much everything is fairy dust and best guesses. Why can’t I have an alien in my head?
It could at least, be removed.
But in the meantime, I face the dismal fact that at some point in the future, my brain will betray me again. I don’t know where or when or how – but it will happen.
My moods used to be a roller coaster. It sucked but episodes were more predictable – they followed a pattern.
Now it’s more like I’m in a Dr. Jekyll-Mr. Hyde type of situation.
And I’m worried.