Monday, December 15, 2014

Who Stole the Fun?

Who Stole the Fun?
By Robin
Brain Chemistry Run Amok is the Thief of Joy
In my autobiography I’m a war hero of sorts. Depression and schizophrenia are wars where brainstorms and dueling neurotransmitters wreak havoc with our lives in ways too horrid to consider, stripping us of our dignity and leaving us with cold night sweats for weeks at a time. And it is always there.
Have a nice day. Cheer up. Things will be better,” they say. And we try to cheer up and have a nice day, but things don't get better.
We spend time in hospitals taking their medications, shocks, and patronization. We spend our every waking hour with a killer at our throats. Looking in the mirror we see the reflection of our murderer, one day to claim us as victim.
Then there are the constant assaults to endure, doctors who cannot quite fit us into their cookie cutter textbook diagnostic categories. Some days there is a palpable coldness chilling us to the bone that our beds, blankets and garments cannot cure.
Other days, tender nerve endings make light, sounds and other stimuli unbearable. A kind word cuts deeply. Birdsong sounds like nails on a blackboard. The fine sunlight filtering into our room blinds us, forcing us deeper under the covers. Waiting is all there is.
The next week a favorite tune becomes our enemy roiling around in our brain for days on end pulling us downward and down toward the edge. Television becomes the perpetrator of countless jingles that wound. Obsessions abound. Compulsions embarrass. Delusions lead us astray. Waiting is all there is.
We are victims of illnesses so cruel they can turn on us at any time. And the world rarely knows the penalty it extracts from us many days just to be able to walk down the street, holding onto our sanity.
We have no dreams to escape to. Our nightmares wrestle with us instead, leaving us in sweat-soaked beds and tear-stained pillows. Neither wife, nor husband, or family has a clue as to what is wrong, or knows what to do. Nor do we. We curse God, and feel shunned by those who seem to shy away from us. Our best friends stop coming around, write or call. The sun never shines in the sunshine state and all is not right with our world. Maybe it never has been or never shall be. That gun or that razor blade seem so seductive at times, and the large building we pass on the way to the store seems to call out our name, beckoning from its height. Wouldn't the fall at least offer surcease of sorrow?
Who stole the fun? Brain chemistry run amok is the thief of joy. It steals our heart and soul and if we ever let our guard down, it takes our mind as well—and a mind is a terrible thing to lose. We could even tolerate their medication and all those side effects, their electricity, their patronizing, if only there were some glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel, but the tunnel has many curves, detours and dead ends. Maybe we get lucky and find redemption in Prozac, religion or AA and become a friend of Bill's. Maybe not.
But if it is not too late, and somehow you have not given up, then maybe these words from a survivor of these wars can assist you in the long, slow, never ending climb out of the black hole, back into some light. The journey back is not easy. Some don't want you back. And the work never ends if you do come back from the edge. You can never relax and forget. The edge is slippery and strewn with banana peels. The best you can do is never give up and keep trying. That helps. Never give up. You will always have bad days. There is no cure. There is some hope.
Never Give Up
If you try to return from hell on the slow train there is no welcoming committee and life must in fact begin anew and not where you left off. Your first and still favorite girlfriend and your best male friend aren't waiting at the station. But there are other people to meet. And perhaps some of those old friends will be happy you returned as well. You became different and are not the same person they knew and loved. You were probably pretty scary to them. Give them the benefit of the doubt; be willing to move on.
Then perhaps one day if you are lucky, technology lends you a hand. By chance you acquire a computer and get online. The internet or video games become a real presence in your life. You miss it when you are away from the consoles. You have something to wake up to. Email from online friends. News of any sort you choose. Music. Endless tutorials. Software to review and share. A Journey to take.
The light at the end of the tunnel gets a bit brighter. Days pass more quickly as you learn to work the net, play the games. There are search engines to try. Sweepstakes to enter. People to meet. Interactive games to play with others. Time is not so much of a burden. You can still learn, grow, socialize in a new way. Your views can be sent to multitudes of e-zines hungry for input. Reality of a different nature begins or returns slowly. Not as you wanted perhaps but life is more bearable again. Writing begins or continues. There is a renewal of hope, a rebirth of sorts in cyberspace.

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