I just completed the two chapters of my book which deal with my first psychosis, depression and and the subsequent hospitalization. Finding myself divorced emotionally from it, which probably isn't a good thing for the book....but may be essential to my continued sanity.
I am wondering if everyone has such clear recollection of "their first time" (no, not that first time...their first admission to a psych ward, of course!) And of course that "everyone" is only referring to the "select" who have indeed experienced such a thing. For the rest of you, that experience may be neatly tucked into your future ! Now there's a sobering thought for you!
I've had well over - ahem: *mumbles into hand*- thirty hospitalizations - and to be honest, there are several...yeah...maybe more than several ....which I don't recall at all. And there are none which I can describe to you with any descriptive clarity, except for my first one. Why is this I wonder? I think it may be a multi-sided answer: 1) because my mind was not yet dulled by years of mental illness and because 2) it was so very new and very traumatic for me. OH and let's not forget #3: I was young and my brain had not yet atrophied into extinction.
So, writing about it has been hard - in a removed, analytical kind of way. And also been hard because I recall my feelings of the time in a descriptive sense....but not in an experiential sense...Which is probably a good thing....because if I experienced that hell of a deep depression again...I don't know what I'd do.
In fact, that is a true - and curious - thing. I've spent most of my life cycling in and out of deep despair. ... And it is with an odd jolt to realize that I haven't feel that "deeply" about anything for a least a year...and definitely longer, come to think of it. Since - I've been on mood stabilizers and antidepressants, naturally. Now one would think that this can only be a good thing, right?
But you know: I miss the intensity of experience that those times brought. To feel anything so profoundly seems to be impossible to me now.
I don' t know.
Just another reason to hate that handful of pills I swallow twice a day.
I know that that sounds weird... it's just that I used to feel pathos and beauty with an intensity that could rip my soul apart...and out would leak poetry. I haven't written a poem for close to a year....and nothing good for longer. that's because I haven't felt anything much for that long.
This begs the question: Can this book be written on the basis of intellectual recollection? There is also the danger, that, were I to actually relive some of those feelings, I would rapidly find myself describing a hospital stay in present tense - from a live model. So maybe a distant heart is not all that bad.
Do all writer's wonder about these things? (well, not about the psych hospital....but about the intensity or lack of it that comes with the dilution of time and recall....) Or are other writers in complete control of their mental acuity and perspicacity ( ooh, great word, Cyn!)...? Somehow ...I think not.....