Dangerous Compassions

doctor, doctor, my husband thinks he’s a chicken

The other day, Ming was looking so cute to me, I thought I must be ovulating.  We were at this lecture hall at a new college, and I took his picture.  He was wearing his Beet the System shirt.

Sunday I picked up some amazing art at the trade rack at a zine event.  It’s so gorgeous, and I’m trying to decide if I can look at it every day.  It’s weird and amazing, but not sure what I want verymuch in my head.  Thinking about it.

I read this article about schizophrenia and blindness.  It made me think about how one of the reasons I can’t drive is a perceptual issue with not knowing the boundaries of my own body, or any vehicle I might try to drive.  I never thought it was a problem with my eyes, just a challenge with my brain.  Another name for it might be extreme clumsiness.  I try to compensate, but it’s ok. 

Never seemed like a real problem–any quirk like that, I assume there’s some counterbalancing quirk that makes me awesome.  I guess that’s optimism for ya.  Nice that I defaulted to something kind to myself, for a change! 

I can’t drive, but maybe I can write a beautiful poem.  Maybe the world needs poets more than drivers, at this point.

It also made me think how the way you phrase a question can show your values a lot, and maybe skew things.  One of the studies mentioned, they played two different conversations into two different sides of headphones, and the people which schizophrenia did worse than average at tuning out one of the conversations, while blind people did better than average.

Ever since I was a little kid, I’ve been able to listen to multiple things at the same time.  My mom would tell a story about me doing that–she found it amazing.  I think being able to pay attention to lots at once is cool, and I could use that for the powers of good.  Or maybe I could combine things in a neat way, in my mind, and output also something neatly combined.  I love genre-bending.

But the study itself seemed to suppose as given that being able to tune stuff out is good.  What if instead of “how well can people tune stuff out?” they asked “how well can people not tune stuff out?” 

It can be very annoying and distressing, in public places with lots of sensory input, trying to focus on something, and the world is flooding in like dangerous dirty water.  It can use up my energy quickly to sort things.  But everyone has challenges, right?

I was talking to Ming about diagnosis–if “debilitating” is in the description, it confuses me how a thing that’s supposed to be really bad can also have superpower aspects.  A long time ago someone told me their crazy was like their mind had open windows with no screens, and reality was flying in wildly.  I related deeply to that metaphor, and I know it’s hella inconvenient, but maybe I like those birds inside me.  I get extra birds, and maybe I need the eggs.

My mental health stuff is episodic, some of it, but the difficulty in spatial perception is constant.  If I have an issue with my occipital lobe, so be it.  Tradeoffs are everywhere.  I love my brain really hard and trust it to do its things.

I like how a difficulty can have a wonderful aspect.  I was thinking how my friend who carried mirror fragments in his pockets has a hard life, but he’s amazing, and I would a hundred times rather talk to him than a random soccer dad who does what he’s told.  Anyone can have an aspect that’s dazzling, but crazy people are my people.

A long time ago, I asked a crazy bestie if we were romanticising our mental illnesses, and my bestie replied, “That depends on what you mean by romanticising, and what you mean by mental illness.”  Touche, friend. 

I was thinking today–why not romanticise it.  If that helps.  It’s my beloved problem.  I can do whatever the hell I want with it.  I’d like to be capable of seeing it clearly, but maybe I could hold on to that option, then decide to see it multiple ways, different times, for my benefit or just for fun.  I like wildly differing perspectives, and we see things through our lenses all the time, accidentally, so why not use a lense on purpose, for a good reason.

Another friend told me affirmations are ok because we lie to ourselves all the time anyway–we might as well lie purposefully.  Those weren’t her exact words, but maybe we see what I mean.  I am open, I am stable, I have everything I need.

I bought a box of three mint It’s-Its at Winco and ate one as a midnight dessert snack–delicious.  I woke up still sleepy but in too much pain to sleep more, from my pinched nerve.  I consider physical therapy and try to think how to fit one more thing in my life.  But maybe it would be fun, in a way, especially considering how embodiedness is a project of mine.

Love to the crazy people, the ex-besties, all idea-givers, the people who work at the It’s-It factory.  To Ming snoring in the bedroom.  To you, reader.  To myself, the light, the darkness stars can shine through, the little noise that the light timer makes, quiet quiet ticky grindy noise.  Gnight.

By Laura-Marie

Good at listening to the noise until it makes sense.

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