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Thursday, June 1, 2017

the room

One of those days where the 3 different crucially unstoppable without supervised tapering meds I'm on are conspiring to make everything worse and every jot and tittle of my entire life's collection of regrets is rerunning through a screen I'm locked in a room with and can't turn off.

One of the interesting things I go through on days like this is suddenly seeing sharply where before something was blurred, and I horribly understand the mistakes I've made in relationships, like trusting and, you know, trusting. I trust people to get to know me, and somehow, somewhere, somewhen, that becomes a sort of misappropriation that sideswipes me and tips my world over. When I'm not locked in the little room like this, I don't see ANY of this. When I'm in here, and I'm always alone in my head when this happens, there is no way out.

I know there are people who live like this all the time, because their depression is pretty bad, and from the outside it looks like self sabotage and you can't stop them from believing all the lies they're seeing on the screens in their heads in their locked rooms that they can't escape. I have been very fortunate to have an escape hatch through some of my life, and that is simply having a reflex that cuts all that off. There is a way out of that terrible room, but it's unconventional. I think that is where my psychologist would point out the narcissism comes in.

I think I read this story, but the picture in my mind is so vivid I almost think I saw it on TV. But I can't seem to connect it to anything, so maybe I did read it. A man was trapped in a small room, like a box, with no escape. All the sides and top and bottom were smooth with no openings. There was no way to break through, no way to contact anyone. He could only exist inside that box, with the proviso that if he could find a way out, some kind of wish would be granted and he would never be caught like that again. After some time, that room was discovered empty, and when the man was found again and asked how he did that, he laughed and said he thought long and hard and eventually realized the box was not always there. Since his existence in the box was forever, he figured out that technically the only way he could move was backward and forward in time. He went backward to before the box was built. No one had ever thought of that before.

If anyone reading this actually knows that story, please put it in comments. I'd love to read it again, but I don't remember who wrote it. I think it was part of a collection of short stories.

I can usually sort of do that with that room in my head that sometimes makes me feel trapped. There is a way to just flip it inside out in my mind and it no longer exists. The depression still exists, but I'm able to cobble my day together, sometimes only a moment at a time, but I'm getting very good at not being trapped in it. Once in awhile, though, I have a really hard time doing that, and then here comes that screen and the reruns and the highlights I missed about what was really going on when I wasn't paying attention or the world was looking too blurry to catch it at the time.

When I'm not in that little room, I don't care about any of that stuff. I figure half of what I feel most of the time is pure chemical imbalance anyway, so why fret about it? If it's a wonky brain thing to be like this, I can usually just set it aside and do what I want, even if it's very restricted and I can't really do much. I can still choose it. But for awhile today, I was stuck. The only way out was to start writing.

Why do brains do that? Why do they rerun stuff and make us look at the things that make us feel terrible? I've wondered for a long time what the positive evolutionary adaptation of that happening to all of us sometime in our lives could be, because I see nothing positive about it. Why are we so good at feeling guilty or self recriminate or seethingly and self pityingly accusatory when we wind up in that little room? What is it about living under that kind of self torment that makes or breaks us?

I know who I am. I know what I want. I know what I need, who I love, and how to manage my life. But when I'm trapped in that little room, all of that becomes muddled and questionable and possibly even unreal, a sort of fabrication or dream, a lie that we tell ourselves when reality just really super sucks. But then when we're not trapped in that little room, we can see it for what it is, its own great big lie in a stewpot full of uber negative emotions. It's like a special sort of hell that we fall into and have to find our way out again, like a changing maze or labyrinth, and oftentimes the only way we can manage that is with some kind of medication and loads of support from people we can't see that we are repelling.

What gets really stupid is when medications tip you into that hell room and lock the door. Surprise! There've been a number of times that what got me through the day was realizing early on it might be the meds I'm on for something else, and then I can watch the clock and hang on to a countdown till those meds are more out of my system.

I am currently on THREE meds that I absolutely cannot stop taking cold turkey without winding up in a hospital for something very serious. Top of the list is the kind of seizures that can kill you, and right under that is psychotic episodes. Wheeeee. I'm in a little hell room on meds that can make me psychotic, yay!!!

I'm not very nice on days like this. I'm also not very good at juggling convos on the internet like this. And this is on top of autism spectrum. I reached a point earlier today where cognitively I could barely even function enough to write a short reply back in a game chat.

When I am like this, the best thing anyone can do is just hang out with me. I have a friend who is an expert at that, and today was fun because there were experiments blowing up zombies going on, and I enjoyed just seeing the reverb roll up in the chat. It was the perfect distraction. I have other friends and friends of friends who wanted to try to help me do something complicated, and for some reason when stuff like that comes up, it's always a right now drop everything else I'm doing multiple convos kind of thing, and there is just no way any of us would have survived that without me mutilating a few people. There is absolutely nothing anyone can do to help me fix that, and although it's very natural for people to want to jump in and be helpful, mowing me over in the process without understanding what I'm having to process through will only end in weeping and gnashing of teeth on my end. Every time. So the best thing I could do was keep telling people thanx but maybe not right now, keep my head down, and ignore the sad feeling overwhelming me because even though I'm in the middle of whatever, I'm actually the one being left behind, and no one understands that.

I'm coming off of one of the cruddiest weekends I've had in months, one of the emotionally toughest couple of months I've had in awhile, during one of the most challenging med years I've had in ages. I mean, good thing I'm in as good a shape as I'm in to handle all this, because I'm walking an edge that would have flatlined me a few years ago, and I'm not joking. That's not a joke.

I don't interact well on bad days. Some people know me well enough to say I can go downhill pretty fast even on good days. Yeah, I write millions of words, but I think maybe 6 people have ever heard how fast I can crash and burn over a phone just trying to have a real-time convo with one person. Now imagine an autism spectrum person living with a nerve disorder in her clumsy arms and hands and severe depression on a high pain day and meds going wonky trying to type quickly enough in two different group chats and one or more private messages while all the words are rolling (thank goodness I'm a speed reader) to have meaningful interchange with people who are shortcutting their thought processes and carrying on several other convos themselves while they multitask. It's almost absurd that I can kind of fake keeping up with all that. Throw in a misread or missed sentence, someone bypassing direct interaction with me and hooking me up with someone else who was told I need assistance with something I'd already told 2 other people I won't be doing right away, and there I go, full blown aspienado balking to a dead stop asking for more detailed info on who said what where and why, and alla sudden I'm a bad guy and no one's talking to me.

At least, that's what it feels like.

Enter little room from hell.

I won't share what went through my mind in there. I'm just glad I caught it as quickly as I did. The meds I'm on are a very bad combo, and I moved up a follow up with my primary care to talk about starting at least one taper asap.

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