Ever get annoyed? Ever feel like someone needs to be told where the dog died? Or handed a crowbar and a tub of Elbow Grease to help them pry their head out of their arse? Congratulations--you've come to the right place.

And when I'm not commenting on the latest thing to piss me off, I'm trying to figure out my own twisted life. Because, hey, I'm like that.

On a gentler note: for anyone dealing with depression, anxiety, and other assorted bullshit: You are NOT alone.

And if you're looking for a laugh, search on the key word "fuckery." It's just my little thing (as the bishop said to the actress).

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Shooting the Black Dog, Part 1


I'm not familiar with the Mackenzie Taylor's work, but I will get familiar with it.

This hit a little hard this a.m. when I read it; Jim Jefferies posted it on FB & Twit, and it was a gut punch, especially after listening to Jim's stuff over the past couple of days.

One of the reasons Jim made a fan of me is the honesty in his material--the fact that he's taken the shit of his life and used it to raise roses. It's something I've been trying to do for years with a variable level of success.

There were a lot of posts on Jim's FB page in response; thankfully, all of them kind. My heart is breaking for his family; my heart is especially breaking for Mackenzie Taylor. Been there, tried it.

Thank the merciful Gods, failed all three times.

If you are one of those people who has never had to deal with brain/body chemistry-based depression, consider yourself the luckiest mother fucker on the planet. Science is proving these days that a lot of the diagnosable mental illnesses--bipolar, schizophrenia, disassociative disorder--are actually physical conditions, NOT "mental illnesses," or mental weaknesses as so many try to view them.

(How ironic is it that Queen's "The Show Must Go On" just came on the shuffle on the Zune?)

They have actually mapped the chemical changes in the brain during episodes--the maps, especially with disassociative disorder (multiple personalities)--are amazing. As someone who's dealt with depression, anxiety, PTSD and suicidal tendencies since the age of 3 (yeah, I remember wanting to not exist at age 3), I keep half an eye on research coming out.

Part of the problem with diagnostics is a) we're dealing with the human brain. Short of taking out a slice and running it under a microscrope and a barrage of tests, there are several diseases that cannot be diagnosed until AFTER death. Alzheimer's is one of them. b) The "single track" approach of Western medicine. While some diseases run in families (bipolar is one; ditto, certain forms of anxiety; schizophrenia does as well, and there are higher incidents of it in children fathered by men over 50), many of them manifest in some family members and not others--like any other hereditary ailment, like diabetes, breast cancer, heart disease--it's a crap shoot.

What too many doctors do not take into account are the environmental factors. The brain is a chemical factory--90% of its capacity isn't tapped (one of these days I have to find a citation for that, but it won't be today)--and as any good chemist will tell you, you have to have the right combination of catalysts to get a certain chemical reaction. When you're dealing with the brain chemistry illnesses (I'm using that term instead of mental illnesses; it's more accurate), there are so often multiple environmental factors--triggers--that some are exposed to and others aren't.

Spider Robinson once commented in a Callahan's story that our society has become so fucked that our greatest artists have to poison themselves to endure; he was specifically referring to the heroin use by musicians like Ray Charles, James Taylor, and a few others I can't remember right now.

A number of family members of bipolars who had suicided commented that they were comedians. I wonder how many of them had been abused, raped or hurt, because all too often, that is a common factor with the brain chemistry illnesses--a traumatic event that triggers protective measures.

I was just relieved there were no ugly words. All too often, the general reaction is, "loser!" And for those left behind, it seems like such a selfish act. The day after I tried to slash my wrists in February, my best friend, Vicki... Gods, may she forgive me for putting her through such awfulness... asking why I could end my life, didn't I know how badly people needed me? How important I was?

The honest answer is "no." When you get to the point you're ready to check out, there is nothing that exists in the world but The Pain. And The Pain is like a rat in your soul--a voracious, hellacious evil bastard who sits there, devouring your soul, ripping into you with his vicious claws and rapacious teeth, exposing every last awful detail of your life and your being, every dark, ugly truth, every horrible moment, and you know that you are NOTHING and will NEVER be anything, and all that's left is The Pain, and the world is empty and there is nothing nothing nothing nothing nothing but darkness and loneliness and there never will be.

The funny part of suicide--and there IS a funny part--is the internal debate about how you're going to check out. Because, hey, you're causing enough pain as it is, let's make the clean up as easy as possible! See, pills are bad--you puke. Hanging--you shit yourself: the body completely evacuates while you're up there, and who the fuck wants to do that to a loved one? Bad enough they've got to foot the expense for the funeral, and insurance doesn't cover suicides. Seriously! I always went for the slash because it can be done in a bathtub or outside, so all you have to clean up is any blood that escapes the porcelain.

OK, Sbux is closing. Part 2 tomorrow.

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