May 13, 2007 at 10:58 pm 3 comments

Playgirl, choking on cigarettes won’t get you along
Hey, playgirl
Hey playgirl, hey playgirl
Northern lights catch you coming down
Sleep your way out of your hometown
    — Ladytron, Playgirl

Fuck, that hurt. A random line in a song and suddenly it’s as if something has reached into my chest, up under the ribs and ripped huge holes around my heart. Or something similar anyway. A rush of anguish, sudden and unstoppable, too quick for my normal emotional systems to clamp down on it, reject it, analyse it away like I’m doing now. For minutes I was on the verge of tears, burying my head in my hands and desperately trying to find some equilibrium in the chaos.

“Oh god, the realities that other people inhabit.”

Other people. Rebecca. Slice open a window into her soul and that’s what you’d see. It was why I loved her. Beautifully tragic and alien. Beliefs, held strongly enough, are beguiliing. The stories we tell ourselves. Her own story about herself.

Maintain your emotional distance. It’s the only way to survive. Take the harsh, searingly bright sun and dim it down so you can study it in detail. Don’t feel the warmth on your skin. Don’t get burned.

This isn’t making much sense, is it?

There’s an irony in wanting to save people when you can’t even save yourself. When people fall in love aren’t they really falling in love with the story they tell themselves about the other person? How close to the truth are those stories? Is my belief that I understand Rebecca more completely than she understood herself just based on faulty reasoning, fooling myself into thinking I know shit when I don’t know shit? The things she did, the ways she hurt me are all forgiveable because I know she’s always been in terrible emotional pain, but isn’t it easier for me to forgive everything than accept that I have been hurt?

I’m still not making sense.

There’s no way to accurately describe the rush of images, the fragments of feelings and memories that were suddenly unlocked. But holding someone and telling them “it’s OK” is no basis for an ongoing relationship. The way that people hold themselves together with layers of lies, and lies about the things the lies are covering, the whole story of the person, the fragile details. Was her life beautiful in the way that tragic heroines in fiction are beautiful, or was that something I made up because I wanted to fuck her? Implied desperation in her movements, convincing herself of the worth she was always unsure of. Coping. Barely coping. Whatever.

I should stop this now. These are wounds I don’t want to open up. As always, pretending they don’t exist is easier. Besides, it makes me inarticulate and I don’t like things I can’t describe.


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3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. patientanonymous  |  May 14, 2007 at 11:39 pm

    I’m sorry this hurts. There’s not much I can say or do to try and alleviate your pain, I know, except offer you a virtual hug if you wish it. But I’ll tell you something. I understood every word you wrote. It made perfect sense to me.

  • […] particular of thought began with the post I made yesterday about a momentary break in my normally emotionally dulled exterior. If the outer personality, with […]

  • 3. experimental chimp  |  May 15, 2007 at 2:14 am

    Thanks, PA. I’m glad there was some coherence there anyway.

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Hi, I'm James. I'm a 26 year old guy from England with bipolar disorder (currently well controlled). I also have a circadian rhythm sleep disorder (not so well controlled). This blog has charted my journey from mental illness, through diagnosis and, recently, into recovery. It's not always easy, but then, what is?


Self-righteous note about smoking

As of 12th September 2008 it has been forty five weeks since I quit smoking. So in another seven weeks it'll have been a whole year.

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