Yesterday in New York, we met a friend for lunch. She’s a brilliant actress, and at one point we got to discussing creativity, emotion, control and socialization (we’re crazy like that!). I conjectured that people operate on a scale. At one end are people who are completely in control and socialized, and at the other, those who are raw and wide open. We decided that, to be creative and free, it was necessary to be at the raw end of the scale, with an ability to act normal, and that this was infinitely preferable to being at the controlled end and trying to be emotional. We also drank. It was fun, honestly.
Now, since coming off the meds, and particularly in the last few days, I’ve veered wildly in the direction of the raw and emotional. What I seriously and unfortunately lack is the ability to act otherwise.
Another connected problem I’m having right now is an inability to think straight. I am an incredible destructive over-thinker. Here are a couple of examples:
- After lunch, I saw a t-shirt. Here’s what went through my mind: It’s a bit big but I’m sure it’ll shrink but how will it shrink if its shrinks this way that’s ok but if it shrinks this way it’s not and is the collar too tight and is it too faded and will it fade more and do I need a new t-shirt and what t-shirt will it replace and when will I wear it it could work with those jeans but not those jeans and I’m not sure I wear those jeans enough to justify it and how do I pay I’ve got cash but I need the cash but I’m sure in the last store someone was asked for ID paying by card and I don’t have ID and if they ask me I’ll feel like a criminal or something and be embarrassed and that’ll upset me so never mind I don’t really need a t-shirt.
- Last night I was hungry. Here’s what went through my mind: I could go to McDonalds it’s just down the road and there’s not much else around but do I want McDonald’s I don’t much want beef I could have chicken yeah chicken like a good chicken burger but maybe I’m allergic no McDonald’s is usually ok so what will I order do I want chips yeah I could eat chips but don’t want a drink can I not have a drink they’ll ask what drink I want can I say I don’t want a meal will they think I’m a freak they’ll know I’m not local will I sound like an idiot will they even understand me it could be humiliating I just want some food but I can’t take the risk.
I’ve no t-shirt and I’m still hungry. I can’t make a move at the moment without playing out whole games in my head, without seeing each possible move, each subsequent option and each again, and the differences, nuances and subtleties of all the various consequences multiply exponentially until I just have to shut down. Right now I’ve pretty much reached a point where I just can’t function in normal society, can’t conduct a normal conversation, can’t do the simplest of everyday tasks. And I don’t have the skills to pretend otherwise. So I’m raw and wide open, but I can’t act. As such, I behave in unpredictable, uncomfortable and incongruous ways, I can’t enjoy myself and I place a great weight on the shoulders of my wife, who has to deal with all of this madness. This, clearly, is not ideal. This I need to fix.
I’d like to apologize to Kate, to Nili, and obviously to Lorena for how I’ve been acting the last few days, and to anyone I might annoy or baffle in the near future. I’m trying to be fun, witty, interesting, sociable and…well…competent; but I’m not a great actor. I’ll try harder, if you’ll please be patient.