I flick the light on and still my eyes onto a singular object to awaken the blur of my dreams .I grab my ragged, paint embellished sweater, fold it around my perpetually cold body and turn the light off making my way through the dark, carefully holding on. Arriving at the kitchen I wait impatiently for the drip-drop of a temporary jolt; two coffees as strong as I hope to be one day.
Are equal places of loss in my mind.
As of now I function within the grey, with a splash of colour from time to time. This is a place to heal, until I can reach the centre “ish” .I am comfortable here, but not content, so I continue on with baby steps towards wellness, still holding the frustration that my illness is invisible to many, but concretely real to myself and those that are within my walls.
A flash of blinding light strikes, once a week, maybe less depending on the situation, person, conversation, where I strain to focus.
“Do you remember?” is often a statement attached to joy, smiles and conversation but for me, there is always a pause before the words and sentiments. I watch memories soar out of mouths and go south in grey skies .I can almost reach them ….almost.
My Loves, acquaintances, strangers met briefly are my memory keepers.
And when “do you remember? “rises from words and falls into my chest ,my panic rises ,grasps at my throat then and simmers into sorrow for a brief flicker of dark, because that is all I can allow to seep in .
Others hold what I have lost. This is one part of healing I haven’t been able to let go of, so I tuck it away for another day and move on .If not, I would be certain to slip into the dark, vast waters of depression and I can’t afford to let go , again….
The reason is simple
Because I love some brilliant, amazing and beautiful people.
So tightly I embrace the new memories I am making with them.
The reason for my loss of memory is ECT, the eloquent name for Shock Therapy (and maybe a dash of some other things I’ll go into later). A little over a year ago, sixteen treatments all while my much, much better half stayed in the room while it was performed.
He, my most valuable memory keeper and secret keeper.
Him, the one there as I went under, in more ways than one, even before the voltage.
Yesterday I went under…in a good way ,rising-up and slicking my wild hair back .Typically I keep my eyes forward and swim ,trying not to make eye contact or human connection with anyone ,but today, In a city of approx 747,545 give or take a few, I lucked out and got an entire pool to myself. I flipped onto my back and stared at the ceiling, white, institutional. I felt weightlessness as I imagined the ceiling to be a Prussian blue night bursting with stars. The weighted thoughts disappeared into the chemical water, and I imagined them getting all sucked into the filter. I felt a flicker of peace; freedom.
And no one holds this memory but me
As I walk out of the pool, the heaviness set in from the chemicals that stabilize me. But quickly, I reminded myself I must be grateful I am alive because of those substances and the people that held me together.
I’m here to regain a life I never thought I would make it through.
I have been given another chance.
So here, in my own words is my truth of breaking down and getting back up.