A couple days ago, I tweeted that we’re just about at the ten-year anniversary of my diagnosis. With this New Year’s came the reminder that 2001 was, in fact, an Odyssey.
I think ten years ago now I was somewhere around the fourth ring of a self-made hell. I was spiraling downward, desperate for a Bottom that I never seemed to find. I found no solid rock. Beyond the ninth ring, I found a springboard into a mania that lasted months, rocketing me upward into a self-made psychotic ecstasy. I exploded out of hell, into a million tiny pieces of myself, diffusing throughout the ether. Those tiny selves violently recongealed into my own big bang when the physics of self-compression caused a seizure that September. My omni-existence was followed by the nonexistence that came, for me, with Depakote. I closed out the year with the removal of one of my organs.
As bad as 2009 and 2010 were due to the economy, this New Year’s reminded me that nothing can ever compare to 2001, the year I self-destructed. I mean the destruction of my self. I mean my destruction of my self.
It was glorious and terrifying. It was blindingly bright and deafeningly black. With 2002 came the intervention, the recovery, the starting over, the work. But before all that, 2001 was the year of sheer experience. I saw, felt, knew, and was the sublime. Even the Depakote-induced nothingness was sublime. I didn’t need suicide: I was already dead.
2001 was the year of my transcendence. My depression transcended every concept of the Bottom previously conceived by me, by continually breaking through another lower plateau as if it were jell-o. My mania transcended Humanity by unleashing a truly feral set of electrons once attached to the firing atoms of my brain. My sedation transcended both, stripping me of what it means to be a sentient being — reducing me to fleshy fully-formed molecules and nothing else, emptying me. I was incapable of volition, and thus couldn’t decide to fill myself back up. (That, I think, was the point of the intervention. Others, mostly my mother, needed to make that decision for me.)
I spent the next decade determined to move forward without ever looking back.
I have two resolutions this year: (1) to finally learn how to adequately maintain a household, and (2) to finally let myself think about, consider, and examine 2001. It is the year of which the current me is a product. It is time to talk about it in the first-person. Monday morning, my therapist is in for a shock.
Questions: Have you done this? Have you revisited the past to know your present and work through your future? I’m afraid the process itself will trigger an episode, that if I go there I won’t come back. Who out there can tell me I can do this? If no one, should I do it anyway?