If I just had a way to plug in to a certain part of my mind, bypassing all the bits required for survival, to transmit what lies therein, I think I could be useful to society. Conversations used to serve the purpose of putting the world to rights. But I often lose my place mid-sentence these days and, truth be told, I can only hold onto complex understandings for the briefest of moments. I used to be able to stretch them out in front of me at arm’s length and turn them round until I had observed every aspect and nuance of an issue. Not any longer.
I have in mind a sci-fi cartoon from the nineties or naughties that had a character who was merely a brain in a jar. I think “he” was the leader of some operation (can’t remember if it was the good guys or the bad) and his value to the group (as well as his shortcomings) were made obvious in characteristic cartoonish fashion: he was merely a brain. I can no longer remember how they had worked out the problem of communication, but in any case, I think this might be an appropriate treatment for someone like me. I understand things that no-one else seems to understand, and yet I forget what I’m doing after putting one sock on and looking for… What?… Where am I? …Why is there a sock in my hand? …Oh, wait.
Cultivating a sense of humor is the most important and least discussed aspect of treatment for mental illness. I cannot count the number of times laughter has saved my life. And it feels good to make light because this is some incredibly heavy shit. So, I think of myself as a brain in a bell jar, and feel the ridiculousness along with the sadness. I make a habit of calling my children by odd names for a laugh when I forget the real ones again. I find cool ringtones for the myriad of timers that I have to set so that being required to function by machine feels at least a little silly and maybe at times even joyful.
Despite the fact that I will undoubtedly meander far more than I would ever have considered acceptable before my breakdown, I feel a need to get out what is inside my head. All the important stuff; all the minutiae. In fact, today, with my brain-in-a-bell-jar musings, I am feeling that the need to plug in and leak out is far greater than my fear of public scrutiny. I am feeling like I don’t have much time before my value—my mind—finally reaches the vanishing point.
So, I’m writing again. And I’m hoping there is something important (or at least intelligible) here. And I am allowing myself the space to write about whatever is gnawing at my neurons on any given day. And I’m not sugarcoating anything. I’m bustin’ a flow.