Monday, April 20, 2009

Achille's dilema.

Well Matt and I have another show tomorrow. This one will be acoustic. I'm really looking forward to more playing. I like having shows. Besides that I've two tests tomorrow.

But of course that's not what you're reading for. Information about what I'm doing tomorrow isn't really important in this paradigm. Giving info about what I'm doing isn't worth shirking off studying. So I have some larger goals with this post.

Partly to remember why I'm writing this blog at all. Of course my life is less tumultuous now, my drugs working, my sorting out of the world coming a long a little better, but that doesn't mean that the centre of all this needs to be left behind.

All the while I've been intending to ask serious questions about my nature and where I fit in things. With the coming of better days I'm having to redefine that. My days are largely a set of things that need to be done, and the time that before filled with a million thoughts now only fills with one or two. The slowing of my cognition, though to some extents useful, has somewhat hindered the sheer volume of ideas I used to have.

I've written too many times about what it's like finding out how to be oneself in a different situation to not know where this ends. I'll find some small truth and latch onto it hoping to avoid finding more. It's a continual process and surely enough after explaining it, it will continue.

So what may be more important is what is going on in my past rather than my current life.

Today wasn't wild. It was nice and slow, and eventful but in a good way. That isn't how my days used to be. I had a few different descriptions of my thought. I almost forget them now being so far removed from Sane and un-medicated thought.

I used to think in probabilities. In the book Dune Paul Atriedes through the drug Melange and a genetic gift found the fabric of space time and could see the golden thread that led through the weave. Before my drugs, and before my madness (sometimes during as well) I could see the weave. No golden thread stood out, but the whole weave was visible to me. Within three weeks I could see the repercusions of an action. All this went on while my brain processed tens of other things.

All the time a song was playing as well. If I wasn't singing, it was playing in my head. I cannot know if my mental experience is like someone else's, and being mildly dyslexic, I'm rather sure that what I see as a P probably looks a hell of a lot like a q would to anyone else. I know that through madness I have a different perspective than just about anyone.

The change of that perspective on drugs is so drastic. I am no longer the person I was. I had such a view on the world. I could see everything as the parts that make up other things. Objects broke down for me. Stories filled my brain and all the time things were flying by waiting to be grabbed back up.

I wrote on my arms because there was so much I needed to know, and there wasn't space in my brain to remember assignments or appointments. I had pages everywhere of various thoughts and Ideas. While everyone else was paying attention in class or leaving it alone entirely, I was half attending and half reading.

A teacher would call on me while I was reading to try and trip me up, and I would still answer the question correctly. When I actually payed attention in class Teachers often had to add a caveat to their questions "What is the bla bla bla , Someone other than Patrick this time."

So having a brain that is otherwise so disordered is a change. A drastic change that I haven't really talked about before.

I often wish that I could just go crazy for just a little longer. Make enough money to support myself for a few months and then go off of my drugs, induce mania, and go back on them before I hit a depression. I could create so much. The rate of thoughts will be maddening, and I'll have so much to produce. Not just these nightly posts of maybe three pages. I could make something amazing.

I can't do that though. I have too much to lose. I don't know If I could take another depression. I don't know if I could live through it. And frankly, if I have a mixed episode there's a gauranteed suicide attempt in the works. I'm not someone who wants that, but I know what depression is like and I don't think I could take it.

God if I only could get both. I have to dull my brilliance to keep my life going. I get to choose a long life of moderate (or realistically, very minor) brilliance and productivity, or I get a short life of wild brilliance that may end before I'm thirty.

The Worst thing about this paradigm is how tempted I am to aim for the short but brilliant life. I know I could produce amazing things on my drugs as well. Just my continuation of this blog and my music and writing is a sign of that. However I can't help but feel a bit worried. Look what this blog has devolved into. I tell you about the happenings of my day, and give analysis. The people still reading are doing so in hopes that they will find something exicting or interesting like the things I used to produce. I have a feeling I'm letting them down.

It's not all my fault though. I still have all this information filling my brain, I still have all these thoughts to be had, but I just can't keep them going at the same rate. I can't just close my eyes an have ten things going on at once. Where before I had writing problems because I had too many Ideas now I have problems because I've too few.

There has been a significant cognitive twist. I don't think that it is the worst possible side effect, but I don't know if I can keep going accepting this hindered brain as mine. It's only painful to think the way I do now because I know the brilliance I once had. I know how unique my mind could have been. My life short, and wild, but oh so productive. Were I just to stop taking my medicine it would be mine in a week. It is hard because that life is so close.

People don't adhere to their drugs because of this, because their minds aren't theirs. There are places where I've arguably improved because of the changes in cognition my drugs have afforded, but it's not all about thinking, a lot of it is how I feel.

It doesn't matter if my writing is more connective and cogent if there's so little of it. It doesn't matter if I can put effort towards something if I don't have that inspirational spark.

While in a hypomania I can produce half a book. And I could do it again, and again any time I get in that state. Without hypomania I have to work everyday for a year to produce half a book. With my new brain I have to sit down every day and write just to know what my mind is.

Though I'll keep taking my meds because I believe I'm smart enough, hell, even brilliant enough, to overcome the cognitive deficits that now befall me, and because If I can be brilliant with drugs I have 80-100 years rather than 30-50 in which my life can unfurl and my works can be written and played.

I don't want to die, and I'm confident (or overconfident) enough to think that I'm still smarter than most people even when my drugs slow me down. So my drugs will keep being taken. My life will keep on going, without suicidal thoughts, and days where I cry for no reason.

That doesn't mean I have fully forgiven fate, or genetics, or that God I don't believe exists, for giving me a taste of brilliance and then making me choose between a short life that leads to fame, or a long one with no notoriety.

The mother of Achilles gave him the same choice. To die in battle, famous, strong, forever remembered, or to live on a farm and be remembered by only his family. We know which choice he made. His rage, His pride, are things of legend.

Perhaps I'm less proud. Perhaps I'm humble enough to take the offer of the farm. Or maybe I'm more fully taking on the mantle of pride and thinking myself above the choice. Thinking of myself as able to create my future despite all the evidence to the contrary.

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