Monday, June 2, 2014

Paranoia -- I Hit Rock Bottom

Somehow -- I don't know how! --  Paranoia has been entering my room, completely unseen, and leaving Post-It® Notes on the face of my clock. Always a clock-watcher, I look up and there's another note: "We are waiting for you ... Come on our turf, eh? -- Paranoia." Taunting me, challenging me, knowing my few strengths and many weaknesses. A thought occurs: I need better weatherstripping.

I have taken Paranoia head on many times, and, frankly, I hate to admit it, I haven't fared well. To admit this I'm not yielding an inch in this present struggle, just being honest. I've been put through the paces so many times, and have so often been left twitching and babbling, cold and naked in the cellar, in the shower drain. And it's been worse. Since then I have steeled myself -- giving myself many strong affirmations, and kissing my finger and pointing to the heavens -- plus now I'm older and wiser, and tougher.

Sitting in my chair, I check my inner system status: A pulse is detected, a heartbeat, blood flow, temp about normal with the latitude to go feverish and survive, my brain's essentially reliable, misfiring only something like every 1000th thought. I shake my head rapidly, an old yoga trick to reveal things in the room otherwise invisible. I thought I saw a face in the shadows, then when I shook again, it turned out I was wrong.

Anyway, this week I'm taking on Paranoia. I already wish I hadn't. But this time -- cross your fingers -- I expect to prevail, I shall conquer! If I don't kick Paranoia's ass and take names, I'll know the reason why!

Here's the descent as it went down: I muttered endlessly to myself, focusing on slights going back as far as childhood. I thought of all the stupid teachers who held me down, a gifted child, probably out of jealousy. I thought of my parents denying me music lessons, depriving me of a future as a prodigy. I thought of the countless meetings I've walked in on where everyone quits talking the minute they see me. Then there's the constant fears I've had, of police pulling me over, of being brought before panels and commissions, of being followed, of being anonymously called, of dying from my thatch roof catching fire, of threats from little old ladies stealing my recipe box, of danger on land, sea, and air, and of being totally found out.

With the descent now apparently over -- one last shudder for good measure -- I sit in silence, about a half an hour. I think to myself, starting to feel very satisfied, "That was easy! I won this son of a bitch!" Then ... without so much as a boo, everything comes rushing me at once, like a sewage tsunami, and I face the dread reality that once again I'm at the mercy of forces completely beyond my control. I'm jiggling uncontrollably, like the earliest G force tests, revealing teeth even my dentist hasn't seen. Must - be - strong.

I tell myself, "I have resolve, control, and power. Just like a tree that's planted by the water, I shall not be moved," but then I'm wasted, devastated, the devastation starting at my core and radiating to the extremities. With no Extreme Unction in sight. Walls are moving in, trapping me, electrical forces are snapping, lightning is now inside my house, pictures of relatives come to life and point at me. They used to be so harmless! But now they're all here, in wicked versions, Grandpa, dead for over 35 years, pointing his bony finger in my face, and condemning me for the half acre being shaggy. I'm screaming bloody murder over and over, until, again, there is silence. I look down, fortunately no spit-up.

In those welcome moments of calm, in these very tough times, what blessed manifestation occurs? I sense the peaceful encouragement of a donkey. This is true. A donkey, who I discern as Desi the Donkey, brays in my face in an encouraging way. Quickly followed by another blessed visitor of the soul, a true saint, St. Rita of Cascia. She points to the horrible pulsing, bleeding scar on her forehead, helping me focus and eventually fall asleep. Through the night, yes, I twitch and babble, and several holes are burnt in my mattress, but it's minimal, probably coinciding with the 1000th thought trouble from before.

I'm happy that everything's behind me and that I'm completely back to normal.

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