I’ve swallowed what’s been at hand since 1999. Big, little, bright, dull, happy, mean, and psychedelic: they’ve all gone in, all gone down, and I’ve taken whatever next has followed; no matter the circumstances.

It seems ironic to me now. I took a multi-coloured handful half an hour ago and I’m waiting to feel their effects. As a grown up I’ve spent a lot of time waiting for chemical influence to take hold. I’m an expert at waiting it out.

What’s been at hand—the nature of what I ingest—has changed substantially over the years. These days I am supplied with things to swallow from the establishment, from the engine that works to keep its subjects alive and ticking, and instead of measuring out my dose in pleasure, it’s necessity that keeps me focused on the regimen. I need the pills to live.

But it’s always felt that way. It’s only now that it’s true.

I have little rituals and routines to keep the practice up these days. I have a clever little box guarded by a flying monkey that keeps my tablets safe and easy to find. I’ve become a master at gobbling them surreptitiously at dinner and in the bathroom. “Supplements,” I say, if anyone sees me. With the whole population so keen on staying healthy with whatever presents itself as effective, no one asks. I don’t know who wonders, if anyone does. It shouldn’t be surprising that we need assistance to live. I have needed assistance from the beginning. I have never been truly self-sufficient. I don’t know anyone that has.

It’s just that my methods have been conspicuous, and at times antisocial. I have taken my crutches and gone to the corner, out of sight. Well, perhaps not so out of sight. At times I’ve been perfectly vulgar, but the intention has always been to remain on the sidelines, far from the field of communal attendance.

Two to stay level. Four to stay well. One to stay positive. Two, three, four to sleep regularly. Occasional additions to keep my head on straight. Sometimes it doesn’t feel like they’re doing anything at all.

It used to be one to smile. Two to dance. Three to dissolve into motes of music. And if I didn’t feel anything I’d demand a refund.

Small handfuls of assistance, measured out.

This is the litany of the bipolar brain: demands for reprieve emanate from poorly articulated crises, but they are acute. Now that I know what been going wrong the medication has a lot less of an allure. The mystery has been vacated. Asking for pharmaceutical assistance has become old hat—no longer occasional. The festive spirit is absent. Festive can, in fact, be a restless station on the way to trouble. Better to stay calm. Swallow unobtrusively. Sleep soundly.

My prescription is open ended.


~ by A Mundi on December 12, 2013.

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