In Blackest Night – The Great Clown Pagliacci & Mirtazapine Day 8
Having read and watched ‘Watchmen‘, the above quote has always struck a chord with me. There’s something about Alan Moore’s work that lures me in and that, I feel, holds a deep meaning to me. He may argue that I don’t ‘get’ his work but it’s like any form of literature – we take our own interpretations from it. As much as I loved the movie, sadly Zack Snyder’s take on ‘Watchmen‘ didn’t impress Mr Moore.
In terms of the metaphor, I am not saying I am a funny guy; in fact, I’m the opposite. I have my moments but I find my delivery is rather laboured – perhaps that’s the effect of my depression. However, I do see myself as Pagliacci – the guy that is laughing/smiling on the outside but crying on the inside. That saying always reminds me of Jack Nicholson’s Joker in the 1989 Batman movie. Appearances, as we all know, can be deceiving. The effort it takes to try and keep up appearances and seem like I have no care is phenomenal and I don’t think anyone can truly get it…unless you happen to suffer as well.
That is probably the most unfortunate thing about the human condition – the people we need/want to understand are alienated by the very situation we want them to grasp. No one can show you how it feels or teach you the ins and outs. It goes beyond empathy and imagination. For someone like me, the frustration of this futile situation is exhausting and begs the question – why bother? Think, for a moment, as to what the doctor’s response could possibly have been after that revelation? If going to see Pagliacci was the only remedy he/she could recommend, does that mean there is no alternative? Is that what Alan Moore was trying to get across? What’s his stance on medication? Or was it merely a means of conveying that laughter is the best medicine?
That’s the trouble with this condition (and others) – there is no definitive answer. Some people find a way of coping. But why should we have to ‘cope’? The definition is to deal effectively with something difficult. To me, that means a difficult task or a challenge; something that arises every so often. If we were to say “I can’t cope with life”, that’s such a huge deal and ‘cope’ just doesn’t seem appropriate. Life may be difficult but it seems a stretch to ‘cope’ with it. To me, it trivialises it and this leads me to one of the many thoughts I had while I was sitting outside earlier having a fag and gazing up at the stars.
Minimisation. Here’s a Facebook post I wrote while I was at the surgery earlier today:
When it comes to anxiety, for those that don’t understand it, minimisation plays a huge part. Why? Because the thoughts and feelings that play a large role in our day-to-day feel stupid to describe and explain to others. I am often trivialising my thought processes as a means of getting through a conversation with someone such as when I go to the GP or have to explain to work ‘what’s going on’. Minimisation can be extremely harmful – we emulate the viewpoint of others and, in doing so, we belittle our condition to the point that reality hits back hard. It also leads to complications because, by playing things down, others fail to see the relevance of the issue or why you are the way you are. And, of course, that mental burden adds to the overall pressure and soon you hit breaking point. Some breakdowns the AA cannot fix.
I’m in a situation at the moment where I have inadvertently resorted to minimisation because, when it comes to social protocol, I try to avoid awkwardness or the whole “woe is me” routine. This is another example of the mind being the enemy. Where being completely open and honest regardless of how ugly it might get would be the logical option, the mind warps it to seem like minimisation is the way to go; as if it’s some sort of survival instinct. I don’t know if anyone has coined this already but I shall refer to this as the Perception Paradox.
In terms of the daily journey with Mirtazapine, I’m finding my body increasingly infuriating. I have this constant feeling of a racing heart and as soon as even a minor amount of stress happens, it’s like this nitro boost inside me and I feel like I’ve lost control. My stomach has felt constantly bloated and I feel HUGE. I believe I look it too; weight gain is a confirmed side effect for me. The pain in my neck seems to intensify upon stress and when I’m smoking, I can feel it tighten – I believe this is a known problem caused by smoking (constricting blood vessels and changes in neural activity). Before you say anything, no I won’t quit smoking. Not yet anyway – I can literally quit when I want to. I quit for years (not through choice or wanting to) and when I realised the reason for stopping was no more, I started again. I wouldn’t say I’m an addict (most addicts would say that though, right?) and I may, one day decide I no longer wish to smoke. I can go without. Sometimes I just can’t be assed – I don’t smoke in the house so getting up to go outside is often off-putting.
The ‘brain fog’ is still there and worsens every now and again. The more I think about it, the more I can feel certain points inside me where it lies. Today, when I was stuck in traffic on my way to get the kids from school, I felt it behind my left eye – a bizarre sort of pressure pushing away…it’s very bizarre and hard to describe the actual sensation but it isn’t pleasant. As for the communication skills, I’ve generally found it easier just not speaking at times. I stumble over words like a blind man does to hurdles in the 100m event. It’s like Tourette’s only, instead of random/taboo words or tics, I just can’t form a proper sentence. Luckily, I can still write but even that is troublesome due to the forming and then immediate dissipation of words and ideas.
Anyway, I’m going to call it a night on this post – I was meaning to write a lot more but after having to tend to Georgia after she fell out of her bed the train of thought is enveloped in mist and it’s highly likely that the point I continued from makes absolutely no sense.