the other side

If this blog is going to retain any life, if its word count is to continue to swell, and the dates continue to roll forward, it’s going to need some sort of infusion. It’s going to need something different.

When I started it I had this idea in the back of my mind that mental health, all on its own, would produce enough material to materialize an engaging didactic, as there was little out there on the web I could find dealing with the day-to-day functioning of someone who’s brain chemistry is hopelessly compromised, and who’s world—both outwardly and inwardly—was so constantly inconstant. Surely there had to be a story there? Because I tell stories, or try to, ad nauseam, inside the curvature of my scull; and I have told stories online before with some degree of success.

But it’s not enough just to be compromised where others are not. It’s not enough to be dealing with an illness—even two—that affect the way I live and how I live, unless it can be central to a narrative. In other forums I’ve talked about sex, about social adventure, and a little about dismay—the lack of social justice or any humane perspective—but there has always been a framework, and I have always felt compelled to communicate it.

I won’t be talking about sex anymore, not because there is nothing to say, but because that well has been tapped, and the lascivious lapping of anonymous, titillated tongues has given me about all the virtual thrill I need at this juncture of my life. It’s an old tune. And I begin to suspect that the chronicling of social adventures is a younger person’s game—as each event unfolds in the tender years with such an unbearable newness, and the retelling of it all seems so raw… it also requires one have a bedtime later than what I am now prescribed, if the tales are to be at all thrilling. I fear my adventures are now a little too sedate to retell with panache.

It’s not that I don’t feel compelled to talk about mental health, but as time has worn on, and I have continued to oscillate between moods and functionality, I realize that it’s not the sum total of what goes on. I’m more interested in my bookshelf than whether I’m depressive or manic at the end of the day, and, hopefully, I will be more involved with my impending scholastic career than with what my HIV status means to my enduring subsistence (which, as it turns out, is not much, so long as I take my medication and hope for the best.) There’s something quite repetitive and boring in a succession of posts that simply document ‘now I’m up’, ‘now I’m down’, and ‘now I’m on a new pill’. As projects more complex than simply getting on with the day—a process that had been hollowed out by illness—start to fill the void, I’m not sure that I want to chronicle my personal struggle with emotional stability in the form of a blog. I’m not sure that even I want to read about it.

Perhaps this is what they mean by recovery. Perhaps this is what they mean about reclaiming your life after you come to mourn for the ‘death of the Healthy Self’. It’s a process I had been referred to by the professionals, but it had meant little to me at the time. I see that it means a little more now.

At the end of all that, I am not going to stop writing this thing. I am going to continue to try and find some narrative thread in the fabric that stretches from here to there and back. It’ll still be about books, I suppose; and brains as I take mine back to school, balanced or no; and bad luck because what else is there to give conflict to a life than unfortunate turns; but there will be good luck too; there will be the subliminal throbs of a heart that beats faster at the thought of another day, some other word to savour, some other trick to reveal. I’m convinced that there’s some sort of character here in the details, and there is something to say, so I might as well try and say it.

So I’m turning the page.

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~ by A Mundi on April 25, 2010.

2 Responses to “the other side”

  1. I can understand the situation. mental health is an issue along with HIV. Both are manageable. But I think it is important to talk about where you are *here and there* so that we, on the outside, who know about what is going on in the inside, can give you advice because we have been there ourselves. HIV is also a mental battle. The amount of energy we have to put behind the pills we take, can be tasking at the best of times. I don’t write about my hiv much except for dr. visits and little notes and memories here and there. only when necessary. Every story is important because others are reading and may find something that they need for their journey.

    The past is the past. I don’t think we need to dwell on it. I think that writing is important. It is to me at least because I am invested. Books are great. School is coming and that will be a new writing experience for you.

    I hope you will keep writing. It may sound repetitive, and it might be, I kind of like to think that in some small way, I am involved in another’s life, in a good way. If you don’t share where you are, how can we help each other?

    It’s all good whatever you decide. I know where to find you. And I am here as well. keep writing.

  2. Thanks for the comments, Jeremy. I appreciate the encouragement.

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