ALICE AND THE FAMILIAR

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I know I wrote a post about change and how, right now I am not only embracing change as it occurs, but also making change. But today I am having a bad day and change is the furthest thing from my mind.

When you have a mental illness, sameness, the familiar, ritual and routine all make you feel safe in the presence of an unreliable brain.  You don’t do change gracefully. Today I am longing for something I recognize, people from the past, things long gone. I myself have become unrecognizable as my evolution has been sped up in recent months. And change has had me on a high of sorts for quite a while. So it isn’t out of the ordinary for me that I would crash a bit, feel lost and unknown. And today is the day. I have lost all motivation-which has been copious of late-and I feel quite despondent. I miss my sweet Dulcibella, the cat that was more of a mother to me than my actual mother. I want her nurturing and her safe love. I want her to let me know that it is okay that I am less than myself today, that it is okay that all I want to do is watch Harry Potter films and vegetate. Everything else is threatening and scary.

When I get like this I feel empty inside and it is no wonder, as I have felt so full of positive energy lately. There is still a part of me that makes feeble attempts at self-sabotage when things get too good. My brain plays tricks on me and tells me that I am still the crazy sister and daughter, the one of whom little can be expected. And then I crave the familiar, things that increase my sense of security, things I know I know. A self that I recognize and feel comfortable with. Nothing unknown. No changes. Nothing unexpected.

I hate days like today. They are like F Scott Fitzgerald’s “Lost Weekend”. A day gone right down the toilet, with nothing to show for it but angst and darkness. Days like today tell me that my illness is “managed” and not cured, that that is an integral part of who I am and that may never change. Days like today remind me that I have to take medication-something I usually do without thinking-and that there are certain things upon which I am dependent in order to function. And days like today remind me that I will have days like today from time to time, when change is undesirable and sameness is a necessary thing for safety’s sake. When I think about it though, am I so different from you? Doesn’t everyone have “days like today”? What do you depend on to get you through? Drink? Weed? Drugs? Food? Sex? Sleep? Work? Think about it. And they say I’m the nutcase!

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