After a good thirty-two days (and a handful of hours, but who’s counting) of being in one of the more onerous and detrimental depressive episodes I’ve yet experienced, I have emerged frantically from the ashes tonight and taken gloriously spastic flight in wide-eyed, feral mania! I keep having to think back through my activities today to make sure I haven’t imbibed any elicit substances to trigger this euphoric sunburst of sublime neural bliss (I haven’t). Just like the lows, though, the highs are both a blessing and a curse. The inevitable, eventual fall will be that much more vicious, more perilous. *cue dramatic orchestra*
I say “thirty-two plus days,” but as I obsessively and compulsively back-track to inform that number, I recall the several-month period leading up to the “Big Plunge” thirty-two days and so many hours ago. It was tumultuous at best. Like wading slowly, deliberately into the oppressive, weighty embrace of the ocean. A gradual decline before the sudden and steep drop. (I just sent myself into anxious, fearful shivers picturing that metaphor…)
easy easier to identify and somewhat objectively analyze one’s own behavior patterns when looking back. When I was in the midst of it, though, I didn’t feel — or didn’t recognize — that I was marching trudging absent-mindedly staggering towards an endlessly bleak Grind-Pit of DOOM. On the one hand, the goal of someone attempting to live along the Eightfold Path is to try and live in the moment, not to live outside the moment in obsessive thought. On the other hand, it is beneficial for someone struggling with mental illness to be able to recognize patterns of ill behavior with the intent of learning and improving from them, which of course requires analysis. Contradiction? Or opportunity to bring pieces of oneself together? The Middle Way presents itself in all things…
TL/DR — In a nutshell, I am still trying to learn about, and constantly strive to learn from, my own mind-fuck neurotic head-case psychotic anxiety-ridden fearful manic depressive obsessive compulsive openly defiant over-thinking anarchistic anti-everything (but always with love) mental health issues. I used to self-medicate with drugs and alcohol before I even knew that was what I was doing, and certainly before I had any idea of why I was doing it. These adventures in Crazytown have only come to the surface within the last few years. And I’m still trying to feel comfortable in my banana pants.
Anyways, not to piss Alaskan gasoline on a perfectly good Whistle Stop barbeque, as a fella says! Fellas say that, right? Well…one does! This guy. What I’m getting at, perhaps, is that I would encourage all of us to just enjoy this ride while we’re on it, and try not to get too banged up in the process, eh?!
In that spirit, here’s a fun bit of The Ryan trivia that is also an example of how schizophrenic my delights in life can sometimes be. On this day, this Dawn of a New and Young Mania, my listening habits throughout the day have been as follows (Music is Life):
Early Morning — DOOM and sludge, along the lines of the Melvins, PRIMITIVE MAN, Yob, The Body, Eagle Twin, Indian, Crowbar, EYEHATEGOD…slow, filthy, and burdensome. Don’t look so glum, that’s a compliment in this world!
Afternoon/Evening — This is where this current particular and vital manic episode really began to blossom, to take form, and it did so with a touch of help from so-called shoe-gazingly discontent grunge, of all places! Nirvana, Soundgarden, Pearl Jam, Stone Temple Pilots (none of that Chester Bennington bullshit), Boris, the Melvins, the Pixies, The Afghan Whigs (Do I love them? Do I hate them? I don’t know!), Alice In Chains, Jane’s Addiction (SPOILER: It was heroin), Dinosaur Jr., Blind Melon, Soul Asylum…
Night/Late Night/Now — One of the playlists on my phone slash music repository is entitled “Ethereal Chill.” It is made up of artists like Lana del Rey, Lorde, Flatbush ZOMBiES, Purity Ring, fka twigs, (select) Incubus, Childish Gambino, Puscifer, Tricky, Portishead, Florence + The Machine, A Perfect Circle…I am often inexplicably compulsed to add The Mars Volta to this playlist, but then I remember that, of the many things that band does quite well, being “chill” is not one of them. Not even on Octahedron.
It is just about 0100 hours as I finish writing this. By the time I edit, add media that none of you utilize, obsessively re-read, tweek, re-organize, unorganize, disorganize, and re-re-organize the fuckin’ thing, it will likely be after 0200 (it’s 0215). Maybe I will go to sleep
Maybe. But probably not. 🙂
© Ryan Scott Sanders and Dharma and Belligerence: Mad Rants from a Free-Range Buddhist Hooligan, 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Ryan Scott Sanders and Dharma and Belligerence: Mad Rants from a Free-Range Buddhist Hooligan with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.