Imagine, if you can, feeling yourself descend into madness.
You love (ok, maybe not love right this minute, I am in grad school) your job. You are passionate about your field of study. You wanted this. You want this.
And every damn morning you have to convince yourself to get out of bed. You have to convince yourself that slitting your wrists is actually NOT what you want to do. That, yes, it would get you out of a few days of work…. but it would potentially ruin the rest of your life. Every day this inner struggle to get up and go do the thing you love.
Now imagine being paranoid to tell anyone about it. Because they will want to commit you. They may want you to stop work. They may want to take actions that would take away the things you love. You know that the angel can beat the demons…. but they are not confident enough in you. Besides… you know exactly how to slit your wrists so as to cause damage, but not death. You know the enemy…. you just can’t defeat him.
You get to work and can barely do anything for fear of screwing something else up. But inaction is just as bad as mistakes. So you can’t win. You have to continually subject yourself to a situation where the losses will far outnumber the wins… and your brain is already skewed to make any loss greater than a win anyways. Seriously, just getting to work is a triumph. But it is not enough. You *know* this. But you can’t seem to get your brain to be convinced of it.
Every morning you wake up to a partner who loves and cherishes you. It is the amazing love of someone who understands. Someone who will not judge. Plus the undying love of a pet who thinks the sun rises and sets with you. Yet you feel alone and isolated. You feel adrift, disconnected. You know you are loved yet you yearn for…what?
It is a cloud that rolls in over your brain. You feel as if you are working through a fog, or running in sand. You know you need to act… but deep down you just don’t care. What is the point? Sure, you may have a good day tomorrow or the day after. And then what?
The light at the end of the tunnel is not a fixed point, it moves, retreats, advances. It teases you, encourages you, and then flits away like a firefly.
And then you begin to wonder….why is a raven like a writing desk?
And you yearn for tea….
You watch yourself go through this, unable to stop it. Knowing and not knowing, helping and unable to help. Is it better to know you are mad? Maybe. But it is not easy to embrace the madness when you know.
The only thing knowledge may do is stop you from slamming your head around when that is all you want to do. The knowledge contains but never controls the monster in your head. It would be easier to embrace the monster, to let it rule, than to have to keep constant vigil.
So who is really more sane: The individual who embraces the insanity? Or the one who hides it?
The never ending battle takes its’ toll on the field. The field becomes no longer green and lush. No longer able to support life. The tears and craters in the earth are an assault on something that does not chose sides, only favors. The fog rolls in, obscuring the damage, but it is still there.
If only there were a true way to tame the beast.