Monday, August 28, 2006

Back to Kilorats

I've slipped. 8 days ago I stayed up all night and the sleep deprivation bumped my mood up temporarily, but I can feel it slipping again. Worse, I ran out of Lamictal because the online pharmacy I use couldn't get something to my mailbox in three weeks. As my sister says of Lamictal, "It gives you a bottom." That is, you're not going to sink all the way into the abyss. Depression becomes a contest of wills when you're clinging to a ledge on the pit wall, refusing to jump. What world view will you hold on to- how you believe things are or how you feel that they are? You must hold on to what you believe. This is what faith is. Faith isn't pretty.

On the other hand, in making my will strong enough to withstand depression, there is a downside: insulation from feeling, or a general lack of sympathy for what's troubling others, but some of this surely must be comprised of my medical training.

Bipolars, not schizophenics, are the true "split personalities"--then we were often mistaken for schizophrenics in the past.

There's a great book on all this business with a lousy title: Listening to Prozac. Therein the author demonstrates how very much of the human personality is dominated by brain chemistry.

At two kilorats,



  1. That's what exercise is for me. It's my bottom. I don't fall through the roof, and down through floor after floor then down through the basement into the pit and beyond anymore. Exercise is my bottom floor.

    Hell is narrow. Hmmm. I'll take that thought to bed with me. I always thought of hell, in my literal, Catholic little girl mind as being vast. I like this idea of it being narrow though. I picture it right now as a corridor so narrow that a two bodies can barely pass one another as they trudge up and down its length in a dripping dimness.

    I think of hell as being more of a post Katrina-esque type of environment, a place of utter devastation that reeks of decay and crawls with mold and posesses a dampness that invades the bones and then the soul, than the usual humdrum runofthemill flames and howling maws setting.

    Hell as a corridor.


    As for those damned kilorats, try to keep your head above the waves, or, perhaps more appropriately, keep your feet on the floor, eh?

    (ever read anything by John Irving? One of the mantras of Hotel New Hampshire is: "Keep passing the open window." Keep your feet on the floor isn't nearly as catchy, alas.)

  2. "The broad road to destruction" leads to a narrow place of diminishing pleasures; the "narrow path to eternal life" (and few be there that go by it) starts out narrow but widens and widens in joy and vision as in Dante's spheres in the Paridisio. Heaven's a big place for generous souls, Hell is a small place for miserly souls. This is a one preacher's view, anyway.

    If I took less meds right now I could try to discover what an exercise bottom felt like. As it is, and a good deal can be attributed to the medications, I am now heavier than I have ever been in my life, somewhere over 270. I promise to walk tomorrow first thing after breakfast.

  3. "like a lone passenger on a train
    with all the windows blacked out;"

    This may be an odd thing to say in response to a poem written while in a depression, but this is an amazing phrase. Also

    "I was taught hell is a narrow place"

    has a wonderful rhythm to it.

    I hope you can get your moods back into a better "rhythm" soon.

  4. Thanks, Twitchy. It's a war, not a battle. Three steps forward and two steps back. Was the poem moving?

  5. Well, I sense a distance in it, a need to step back from the "diffusion" and try to communicate the experience to a reader who is outside of it all. That perspective gives the reader a certain distance from it, as well, even though we can relate, we're not "in" the moment with you here. Not that that's a bad thing.

    Blech, I'm a terrible "critiquer." Always have been. Sorry.

  6. Anonymous7:04 PM PDT

    I agree that swaddling a wet, bloody, squalling newborn poem for a time is generally the kindest thing to do. But I really like this one (and do find it moving), save perhaps for the last word, which, though linking to "train" and "narrow," comes across as unimaginative and flaccid.

  7. I love it when someone actually criticizes a poem, especially a new one. Not to defend my poem, far from it, but my thinking was that "line" linked nicely to the opening, where the speaker tries to put one's thought into a line as a form of escape.... then the diffusion comes, and the speaker believes the former hope hopeless. Or something like that. "Line" may be flaccid, but I liked the symmetry of thought. Thanks for commenting. Glad you liked the poem overall.


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