I have a confession to make. I sometimes listen to the Carpenters. In fact I’m listening to Rainy Days and Mondays right now. In polite company I probably wouldn’t admit this – would rather reference Jimi Hendrix’s Manic Depression. But, well sometimes I need to cry, and Karen just seems to turn on the waterworks best.
Manic depression or, as those with a more dispassionate scientific idiom prefer, Bipolar disorder, is not everyone’s cup of tea. Definitely not for sissies. And, the ubiquitous studies have shown, can be fatal if untreated. Fatal in the sense that between 15 and 17 percent of sufferers choose suicide as their preferred mode of getting the fuck outta here.
So what kind of lunatic would choose to experience it. Choose to soar the heights and plumb the depths at the whim of an unstable neurochemical environment.
Well this kind of lunatic for one. And for the sake of the scientists amongst you I’d like to try and explain why. Well maybe not for the scientists because they’re a famously unsentimental bunch. Perhaps just for the closet Carpenter fans out there.
When I take my medication everything is grey. Don’t get me wrong, grey is ok, but it’s never going to be the new black. And it’s definitely not colourful. Not black, not white and not colourful. Actually fuck grey. I’ll leave it for the accountants.
When I’m up I’m a ninja. Or a Jedi. I can do anything. Well yes, if I’m up I would say that but what’s the evidence? Well, for example, I can get the job, or get the job done, get the girl, steal the show, charm a corpse or even an accountant and solve some pretty major philosophical problems. All before breakfast.
And have. Every major achievement in my life has been stolen from pandora’s manic box. Oy – that’s a horrible mixed metaphor. Should have categorised this as NSFW.
But honestly I’ve done some pretty rad shit from a position of manic invulnerability.
So. What’s the problem, you ask? Well it’s the old Icarus effect innit? Not a pretty sight – like Wile E. Coyote when he looks down and realises that he’s running on air. If he could just learn to not look down. If I could learn to just not look down.
But those magic neurochemicals that open pandora’s box don’t give a fuck about my sanity, my mood, my usefulness to the world. And when they turn, they turn 180 degrees. Stop on a dime and all that is pure and true and fluffy and light suddenly turns to deep dark drek. And it’s hello abys my old friend, wonder how deep the hole will be when I land.
How many friendships will I have irreparably burned? How much money will I have burned. People let down, possessions lost, time lost. Dignity lost.
So why don’t I just take the fucking little pills? Well, I just don’t like grey. I like to live in colour. Rainbow colours. Peacock colours. Blood and guts and pyrotechnic colours.
And no. I don’t expect you to clean up the mess 🙂