I know. I know. Creativity and mental illness go hand and hand. That's only if you aren't medicated to the point that you can't walk a straight line. You can't get out of bed until after noon. You can't hold a job. It's enough to make me want to stop taking the damn pills, but I remember standing in Wal-Mart and not remembering what I was there for. I remember filling a shopping cart full of shit we didn't need only to have my husband return it all. I remember buying expensive cameras and furniture and always, my husband would have to take it back. I remember waking at 5 am because I'd just gone to sleep at 3 am and the baby needed to be fed and I was so angry at him for waking me up. I remember keeping the shades closed tight and the doors locked to make sure we were safe. I wanted to be the perfect mom, but I couldn't handle being a mom. It pushed me over the edge when previously I'd just been looking over for a view of the abyss. That crash made me a monster. I see her in the mirror when I look and I still haven't stopped apologizing to my kids, making sure they know it was never about them and always about me. But the pills, the drugs, they killed that monster. She only shows shadows of her former self. It's like a mirror image of herself. Not the real thing where she stayed for days. She makes a flash appearance and feels immediate remorse and is gone. And that's because of the drugs. So, for my family, for my sanity, for my life, I'm giving up my dream. I'll never be a published writer. The story in me. It will have to come out in another lifetime. Preferably one where I don't have to medicate myself.
I read a Q and A in the back of a book and the author was asked something to the effect if they had to choose their sanity and their creativity, which would they choose? They chose creativity. It's an obvious choice, if you haven't felt the insanity. If you haven't functioned for five days without sleep because you can't. Because you had to write this novel. And you wouldn't choose it if you knew there was a big gaping black dark hole waiting to swallow you up for the next six months so that you did nothing but read the same novel over and over and didn't remember it. That you only lived in a tiny corner of your room, your bed. That you hated your family, but you really hated yourself more. That ugly, dirty, hate, and other dark words like suicide and kill and overdose went through your head daily swirling like a whirlpool in your mind with the words of the novel you've read at least a hundred times. And you don't remember anymore what's real and what isn't because you haven't slept for days or you've slept for weeks and cried so much that your eyes are swollen shut and your mother just doesn't understand what your crying about and you cry more because she doesn't understand, that's just it. There is nothing to cry about and yet you can't stop. You have everything you could possibly need, but you still cry. And if you could stop crying, you would. If you could fake smile like you have for the past thirty eight years you would, but once a name was put to it. Once someone said "mental illness" and gave validity to the feelings that everyone told you were normal that everyone felt, you had to let them out. You weren't "too sensitive". It wasn't that you couldn't feel happiness, you just didn't feel it as often as others because you were generally feeling depressed. And all those unfinished projects....results of your mania, there would be more. Except for the pills.
And so I let it go. I will remove it from my profile. I know how hard it is to become published, but when you've got so much working against you instead of for you, it just isn't going to happen. When you can't even write a single original sentence, it's not gonna happen. But I have my books. They've always been my friends. And it's why I don't let them go. Why I hang onto the ones I love so much. It helps my memory. It's another thing the pills take away from me. Memory, creativity, imagination, dreams. I can have tangible dreams. I won't be able to fly that plane. I think I have to walk that straight line and not see double and triple. I doubt I'll be able to ski or snowboard. Again the balance thing. I'm feeling the glass is half empty right now. I'll look for the silver lining another day. Let me have my pity party. I've been picking fights on the blogosphere. That isn't like me. I stay away from confrontations.
I think as I've been reading this book I've been reading, it's been showing me the reality of what I won't be able to do. What I must accept if I am to continue to stay on my medication. There will be no books. No artwork. Nothing creative. Because yes, for some of the greatest intellectuals and artists ever known, they had mental illnesses, but somehow, they lived with theirs and were able to have their creativity. I can't have both. I choose to be sane, even if it means the end of all the things I've dreamed of being. Even if it means proving my mother and my dead father right. I lose either way. And the disease wins either way. I give.