the doom of it

B reminded me that when her physical pain was so great years ago, she had told me she thought of suicide, and then later, maybe months or years later, I'd said, Aren't you glad you didn't do it? I didn't remember the conversations at all. I think of Spalding Gray every time I have the attack of itching/stinging. I know why he did it. I can feel a parallel to what caused him to go over. I know what pain or discomfort (discomfort: such a plush, seemingly innocuous word) can lead you to do. Just to stop it. All you want is to stop it. I cannot stop weeping. I wept Friday because a medical resident smiled her way into the exam room, and I told her, I didn't think residents bothered me any more, and I was embarrassed that they still did. I feel attacked. I feel stripped apart. I feel taken, taken brutally, by surprise. I cannot believe my hyperbole. Many many years ago in an interview for an internship, I was shocked to be told that the length of the internship was not what I thought. To be told differently than what I'd assumed--I was shocked, embarrassed, into gaping silence. Because the world was not the steady thing that I thought it was. Or rather, not the steady thing I knew it wasn't, but needed it to be. Then again, all this, this being deeply felt despair, deeply felt sorrow, could be caused by a switch from the brand Effexor to the generic capsule. And last time I filed for a switch back from generic to another brand name medicine, the insurance would not allow. Not allow. To be boxed in. To have no choice. My father would say, Only a fool is happy all the time. He had no idea. No idea of daily despair. Of the depths. How bad it could get. There was only unhappy or total happiness. I didn't even hope for total happiness. I wouldn't have bothered to hope for it. Total happiness wasn't necessary. I agreed with him on that, I didn't demand such luxury. All I wanted was to be delivered from the darkness. To live in the world the way I imagined a normal person would. I knew that I might not receive this award or that one, or be accepted into the ivy league university I thought I deserved. I did not demand or crave a life that consisted of always winning. All I wanted to was to be released from the invisible choke at my neck. To start out looking the morning straight in the eye. On a level playing field, you could say. As if there were some guarantee from our alleged Creator that we would not feel each day as if life were against us.

To read about how Prozac changed my life, click here.