Fighting the fogginess
It’s been over a month since I wrote anything here, or anywhere really. A month and a half of days and nights, of struggling against my own disintegration into nothing.
I’m not one to hide from my oft-stigmatized diagnosis. I’ve written about it here and elsewhere. I don’t see much point in hiding it, or even blatantly lying about it (how many of us have said our psych meds are for ‘headaches’ or ‘insomnia’?), since anyone who knows me for any length of time will come across me at some point when I’m in the fog (Eleanor Roosevelt referred to her depressions as her ‘Griselda moods’ and for some reason I’ve always liked that).
For the past month and a half, the fog has coasted over me, drifting in and out as it wishes. Some days are productive, with only a mild haze here and there. Others have left me unable to see in front of me. (I know the whole depression as fog thing is overdone, but it’s a very handy metaphor nonetheless.)
For the past month and a half, I’ve done what I can to keep myself going. I’ve put up a good fight, too. I’ve done a few bits of writing work, and have several part-written posts. There’s even one about mental illness on TV. It’s not bad, but I couldn’t just ever quite get it finished. Here’s a part of it (I may as well put it here; I doubt I’ll finish it):
This isn’t the first time I’ve written here about mental illness, and I’m sure it won’t be the last. It’s something that’s constantly on my mind, if for no other reason because it always is my mind.
Mental illness, in all its forms, is always going to carry some sort of stigma. No campaign or television show is going to change that. At the very base level, those of us who are sick in the head are sick in the head. There’s something wrong with our brains, chemically or structurally, and we function differently. That difference in functioning will always put us apart from ‘normal’ people.
Since we’re always going to be different, and always going to be seen as being different, what’s the point of all these campaigns and television shows?
Over the past month or so, I’ve seen a few calls for participants for television shows. The stated aim of these is always some feel-good line about showing that mental illness sufferers are no different than any other person. They want to show mental health problems as insignificant. They want to diminish the importance of mental illness while entertaining audiences through the othering of the mentally ill.
Attempts to be inclusive end up being exclusionary. The mentally ill are normal people, these shows say as they corral them into a separate programme. If the mentally ill are normal people, they shouldn’t need to be placed into such programming.
Not bad, but it wasn’t going anywhere in particular, and I couldn’t bring it back to what I wanted to say. What I really wanted to say. What is it that I really want to say?
I don’t know.
Part of this fog is a murderously ferocious self-doubt. With everything slightly blurred, nothing seems right. There’s always something wrong with what I’ve done. The more I think about it, the more I find wrong. The only way I know how to survive this is to stop thinking about things. To drop it and move on. To cut my losses, even if it means never achieving anything.
In the past month and a half, I’ve tried to figure out what I want to do, and what I can do. But everything comes back to the fog. Everything gets killed by the fog. Today it’s been making things difficult, as it has done for a month and a half.
I’m fighting, though. I’m trying to fight it. I’m trying to get through the fog. I don’t know if I’m succeeding, but I’m trying to fight.
So here’s another pointless blog post, floating out into the world for all to see, and in the vague hope that if I just write something — anything — I can push that much further out of the fog.