This Side of the Blue

the kindest heart beating
this side of the blue
Joanna Newsom

My dad was listening.  I could see him edging towards the conversation with his eyes.  He was worried, I think, of being shut out again, of me closing the subject or snapping (I do sometimes), or mum changing the conversation.  But we didn’t.

Mum was telling me that she did recognise parts of me in An Unquiet Mind, even though I pointed out that the author had a much harder time than me and was also absolutely nothing like me.  Apparently, I did scrawl on scraps of collected paper in whirlwind time, and I do take up seven million tasks at once without a problem, and I do talk fast to the point where my threads are all cut up and dashed, never mind hard to follow.  And weirdly, I hadn’t realised how apparent that is to others.

Mum said, do I not realise/ remember what I am like?  And to be honest, I don’t always.  I explained to her how, when I am “up” there is absolutely no need (in my eyes) to get any help- I am superfine.  But when I am down it creeps up gradually.  I am brave up until the point it is impossible- I fight it until I can’t, and then I am so down I can’t find the strength or will to resurface..

and Dad was listening, with such interest.  He said I seemed more balanced, more relaxed, the last times I have been home.  I explained how the aripiprazol (Abilify) has been making me feel easier in my head… I tried, without crying, to explain how long I have felt crowded out within my own skull.  Without making them feel bad, or as if they should have known, or could have done something… I tried to explain.

And it was a short conversation, and not an outwardly emotional one.  But I am so glad it was had.


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