And in my case, written about in excruciating and often vivid detail. I told my dear friend Lulu – let’s dispense with the formalities of “fellow blogger,” she’s my friend, damnit – that sometimes I write my blog posts in an almost non-fictional stream of consciousness way, but I am usually aware of the fact that others will be reading it and I do want to get my point across in language which can be mostly understood. The way my brain is going today, I thought I’d try something new and dispense with that formality as much as possible. I will certainly not make the leap to join ranks with Joyce or Kerouac, although someday. . .
From this point on in the post I’m going to jump and hopefully not fall but fly. Or both. Part of the difficulty lies in how fast my mind moves, and the leaps it makes. My fingers have a difficult time keeping up usually, but I actually have let my nails grow out, something which I never do, so typing becomes a whole different experience. I had the thought that I could clip them but I would derail myself, and also I want to see if I can grow them long and experiment in painting them again.
I stopped painting my nails, both on my hands and feet, because of my tremor. It was so awful I couldn’t hold a cup of liquid in my left hand – sometimes I still can’t – but I was suffering from hyperthyroidism so severe my heart could have fibrillated and me died at any moment, and I also had moderate to severe drug induced parkinsonism. Never mind me explaining why these two things will make all of your limbs and appendages shake and tremble like an internal earthquake.
That’s actually quite brilliant, because that was what was going on inside of me at the time. Did my unconscious know that and try to give me some subtle correlations and signs before it progressed to full on let’s-scream-to-get-her-attention-with-seizures mode? Probably. I was talking to a very good friend about how I genuinely believe I don’t have a subconscious. I have a conscious and an unconscious. I am constantly examining every thought and action and emotion and process in my mind with my consciousness, I think the realm of the subconscious has been sublimated and split into what my conscious mind knows and accepts, and what my conscious mind refuses and pushes and stuffs so deep down inside of me that it lives in my unconscious, sometimes forever, in the case of the PNES until my unconscious just couldn’t deal with it anymore. It had no subconscious way of telling me something was up – I look back now and wonder how I missed the signs, I missed them because I was deliberately blind and refused to see them. So BOOM! my unconscious exploded into my conscious mind in a way that was impossible for me to refuse to acknowledge, in a way that landed me in the emergency room one Saturday morning, in a way that was physiologically measurable as an increase in beta waves on an EEG.
And six months later I still have to be sure that’s all it is, by the advice of every competent source I’ve consulted with, and by my own instinct, even though I know. I know they’re pseudoseizures, I know I don’t have anything else going on, but the hoop is there and through it I must jump. My coffee is getting cold for lack of attention.
That’s honestly what I was thinking about when I sat down here. I am in a very odd hypo-obssessive-compulsive-super-ultra-rapid-(like flipping in minutes or less)-manic-esque state. Except depression doesn’t hit, there’s organizing and hyper-focusing and this must be done now and I have a million brilliant ideas that need implementing and god do I ever need and want to clean and organize and clean out more than just about anything right now, but wait -
Deep breath, control yourself and stop, because you have to get packed and do laundry and keep your nails intact so they’ll be elegant yet shocking when you paint them Austin-Tatious Turquoise, but more importantly -
You know yourself better by now, Ruby. You know where this will lead if you let it and you can’t let it. You can attempt safe outlets like stepping outside your comfort zone when writing, but Time Must Have A Stop.**
And I think I just brought myself back down to my more usual mindframe when blogging. Or close. It’s amazing, with those five words (it’s a book title, actually), Time Must Have A Stop,** I felt the energy and impetus for this project drain, retreat back into me, from my mind and my fingers to somewhere very deep within.
I haven’t re-read this yet, I’ve barely even looked up from the keyboard, but here is my pledge – to all of you who read this, but more importantly to myself: I know I will make annotations and change names to links, and this blog post will have a section marked off below that explains the buildup and gives credit for inspiration where it is due, but I will not edit for style or content. Even if I feel that it’s strange nonsense, it will remain. Gross spelling errors I will fix, and that will be all. I don’t usually edit much anyway, but you will read it as it was written, exactly.
Moral of the story: Do it. Go for it. Embrace it. Do not hesitate or worry about the end result, embrace the process, hold on for dear life, and see what happens.
First, My Wonderful Abnormal Mind, which allows me to see how unusual it is and love it madly most all of the time.
James Claims got me thinking about this because of a post he made about anxiety and writing and how it’s organizational and clarifying – actually I believe he said something specific about imposing order on his mind. Yes, looking now and he did – General/Test Anxiety and Organizing the Chaos. He also spoke in the comments about perhaps doing some research about writing and posting about it on Canvas. This is proof positive that I love having my thoughts and my processes and my ideas about things – deeply felt and ingrained ideas – I cannot exactly say challenged, in this case, because writing is something that I know in my soul, and I know that everyone does differently. But his perspective and method is so completely antithetical to my own on this topic that it actually inspired me to be so much more free with the way I write. So if you’re reading this, thank you, James, and I do hope you write that post for Canvas. Much as writing is my life, I would be a poor choice to write on that topic, because writing is my life, whereas most (not all, but most) bloggers I have encountered do it for therapeutic value.
And now I have to give a shout out to all of my wonderful blogging friends, new and old, in no particular order, because every single one of you is teaching me different things about that which I have done all of my life and made the focus of my life, writing. It suits me for so many reasons, but here I will mention specifically the fact that it is something I can always hone and expand and improve and change my technique, if I will only allow my mind to remain open.
“If the doors of perception were cleansed everything would appear to man as it is, infinite.” ~ William Blake
(If I don’t mention you, I apologize, I feel like I’m making an acceptance speech at the Oscars or Grammys and the music is playing in the background to get me off the stage and where is my list?!)
Amy, Lulu, Sarah Ellen, Always, Monday, Novalee, ManicMuses, Sharon, Suzie, Harnew, James, Shelly, Brandon. . . I’m sure there are more. But thank you all so much for helping me to realize that the plasticity of my brain and the approaches to my craft are infinite.
Also I have to mention a non-blogging friend, Andrea, and I need to remember to tell her why. My schoolteachers at Pleasant Hills Elementary School, I am grateful that you taught me proper grammar and emphasized its importance.
And finally Jack Kerouac, Kurt Vonnegut, Jr., and Dr. Hunter S. Thompson, who showed me how brilliantly all of the rules I had been taught could be shattered, and every day inspire me with the courage to try.
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