Detaching, shredding and a lack of monks

I had a devastating manic episode a few days ago and I’ve been doing my hermit thing since. It’s very tempting to go on Twitter and rant about politics but politics was one of the contributory factors to this particular episode and the subsequent burn out.

I’ve been detaching from the world and tweeting once a day to say that I’m still not engaging with people. I do this because sometimes you get a bit overwhelmed with mentions and direct messages asking how you are when all you need is a quietness.

While I’ve been detaching from Twitter I’ve also been detaching from the outside world to a certain extent. I haven’t been talking to many people (which suits me well) and I haven’t been watching much television (politics again) so I’ve been sitting listening to music and rereading some of my favourite books. I’m totally submerged into Ray Bradbury’s “The Illustrated Man” as if it was the first time I’ve read it. I’ve bought a copy of Kafka’s Letters to Milena to dip into. My rats ate the last copy so I can, once again, relive his agonies and curse Milena.

Being a hardy north-easterner I put my duvet into storage about May and it stays off until about October. I’ve been shifting things around to fit it in somewhere and while I was doing that I found a pile of twenty or so greetings cards. I thought that the layers of dust were hiding a horde of memories that would spring to life in my mind and conjure up long past feelings in my heart and eyes but they didn’t. The cards were just words that could have been written to anyone by anyone. They didn’t stir memories but they did make me think why I’d clung on to them. I’m not sentimental and I think that I could have been holding on to them because I’d been convinced that when I opened them events and occasions from the past would pop out like some bizarre jack-in-the-box. I’ve just finished shredding them and have said goodbye to a pile of inked cardboard. The memories of that relationship (which are many, varied and risque) are still there they’re just in my head gathering dust instead.

This evening I’ve been talking to a friend and I noticed that the way that he uses language is quite different from the way I do. I ramble from the moment I wake up until I go to sleep and I’m lucky that my animal brood like the sound of my voice. I talk when there is often no need to talk. He is very spare with his words and I’d say the same thing in 10 times the volume and still not get to the point.

I have spent times when my words were more considered and sparse but that is way back more than half my life ago when I was living in the little house in the woods and working part of the time in a monastery. Perhaps I need monks in my life again or maybe all I need to do is read the Rule of St Benedict and get back to the values, spirituality and silence that was.

The comfort of nightmares

I’m increasing my medication and it’s at a faster rate than when I reduced it. There are side effects both going up and down and, for me at least, nightmares are a big part of this.

Last night the nightmare was very vivid and it seemed totally bizarre but very real. As it happened just before waking (as my mind is freeing itself from the drug) it is easy for me to recall.

The detail I’m not going to bother you with. My nightmares aren’t of much interest to anybody but the message that I get from this particular one is loud and clear. I was at a point where I had a choice to make between two things and that neither of them led to a position that I should have allowed myself to be in. As I say the detail isn’t of interest to you but it scared the hell out of me.

Sitting with my breakfast mug of tea this morning I realised that it was actually a very distorted memory of something that went back nearly 30 years. It was a bleak reminder that if I choose not to take options that are available then I’m responsible for only having the narrow options that are left to me.

Exercising options isn’t always possible and I can’t see into a future where making a different choice is the wrong one. The comfort is that I’ve learned that I don’t have to make decisions quickly. It’s more than okay to wait and make the right one. Now I’ve just got to remember that.