A Straight Shot of Politics

A blog from a gentleman of the Liberal political persuasion dedicated to right reason, clear thinking, cogent argument, and the public good.

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Location: Columbus, Ohio, United States

I have returned from darkness and quiet. I used to style myself as "Joe Claus", Santa Claus’ younger brother because that is what I still look like. I wrote my heart out about liberal politics until June of 2006, when all that could be said had been said. I wrote until I could write no more and I wrote what I best liked to read when I was young and hopeful: the short familiar essays in Engish and American periodicals of 50 to 100 years ago. The archetype of them were those of G.K. Chesterton, written in newspapers and gathered into numerous small books. I am ready to write them again. I am ready to write about life as seen by the impoverished, by the mentally ill, by the thirty years and more of American Buddhist converts, and by the sharp eyed people [so few now in number] with the watcher's disease, the people who watch and watch and watch. I am all of these.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Under The Gun Of The Mind

Mental illness is most peculiar. Your feelings come out of nowhere with edges that do not match one another. The puzzle pieces that bridge them remain occult and forever hidden from you.

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...


Blogger molly said...

thank you.

8:27 PM  

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