Under The Gun Of The Mind
I sit right now with a mind fading on me. I have put in 23 work hours in 3 days of 8 hours each, back to back, and I can feel the mental fatigue building rapidly. It is like watching a vital dial inch toward the redline.
My alarm bells are starting to ring. A moment ago my fountain pen ran completely out of ink. I disassembled it, looked at it, saw it was empty, put it back together, and then immediately tried to write with it once again. The shock of this makes a completely blank space in my mind of about fifteen seconds duration.
To be routinely brought up short by such disassociative moments is the working everyday experience of a medicated bipolar illness. At its worst, it feels like a fragmenting and frilling of the mind, the edges of functions disintegrating, a scattering of attention, and a thinning and dispersal of awareness.
It also manifests as a gush of words on the paper, words coming as fast as you can write them until the pressure on the mind starts to shut it all down. I am at the very edge of this even as I am writing these words.
Rewriting, tightening, editing [which I just did] is a stepdown in pressure, a backing off of the dial from the red, red edge. It allows you to get your wind, then the words come even faster. Faster. And the dial begins to climb again.
Write, flash, break, rewrite. Write, flash, break, rewrite. Write, flash, break, rewrite.
Everything turns into metaphor. The seconds drip, drip, drip like honey, making a sticky puddle under the bottom of the clock. An image like this seizes the mind and won't let it go. The mind keeps cycling back again and again and again to the mental picture, which gets more vivid with each repeat.
You must divert the mind. Because down that road lies delusion, where the metaphors take you over. So far, I've always been able to divert the mind.
Take advantage of the bowel pressure. Husband your resources. Go to the restroom. While in the stall, two co-workers come in loud and booming with bitch, bitch, bitch chatter about being in meetings all day. The echoing and the rolling laughter bangs on the walls of the room, the walls of your stall, and the walls of your head.
Just what I needed.
One more hour of the need to be completely focused, coherent, and ready to deal with someone who is outraged, when you pick up the phone.
One more hour...