"From this hour I ordain myself loos'd of limits and imaginary lines, going where I list, my own master total and absolute, Listening to others, considering well what they say, Pausing, searching, receiving, contemplating, Gently, but with undeniable will, divesting myself of the holds that would hold me."
Walt Whitman (1819-92)
"When I look back now over my life and call to mind what I might have had simply for taking and did not take, my heart is like to break."
Akhenaton (d. c.1354 BC)
And now, the current weather, from some random person we pulled off the street:
Sunday, August 21, 2005
dis-guise Function: transitive verb Etymology: Middle English disgisen, from Middle French desguiser, from Old French, from des- dis- + guise guise 1 a : to change the customary dress or appearance of b : to furnish with a false appearance or an assumed identity 2 : to obscure the existence or true state or character of : CONCEAL 3 : something that most people with Bipolar Disorder live behind every day of their lives
Well, the doc called with the results of my liver cat scan.
Yes, my liver is enlarged.
No, he doesn't think it's much of a problem.
And no, for once he didn't find yet another thing wrong. I'm cool with that, believe me.
So Monday they will send in the camera crew and take a look at my throat down to my toes, or there-abouts, and lets hope they have a team of carpenters on call in case they find something that needs work.
Because, let's face it, if they don't find something, they can't fix this, and I'd hate to just have to live on Lidocaine from now on. That can't be good for ya.
We sold our house to our daughter, done deal. She is letting us live here until we can find a new one. We are now aggressively hunting for a new, cheaper home, and we keep returning to a beautiful one (read "handyman's special") that we found near downtown. Then again, every time we return, we seem to find something else wrong with it. Sheesh, I'm starting to identify with the poor thing.
The house is smaller than the one we are in now. That means that about half of the "stuff" we have has to go.
And darn it, you can sure get attached to "stuff."
Through all of this, my mood state keeps trying to go south with a vengeance. I can't let my wife know, her stress level is already red lined. So I've been leaning on my support network, and they've been there for me.
In the meantime, I feign normalcy.
But sometimes, behind the laughing joking mask...it just hurts. However, that is the way life is, and every single person out there with a mood disorder that reads this knows exactly what I'm talking about. We can't always let them know. These tears that randomly come from the chemical explosions in our brains, they are our private tears so much of the time.
So often we are actors on a stage, hiding behind our Harliquin masques, grinning with wild effort as we sob inside with velvet dispair.
This can be a serious and crippling situation. Let me show you how uncomfortable it can be by relating the following story about a mask to you.
A man is lying in bed in a Irish Catholic Hospital with an oxygen mask over his mouth. A young auxiliary nurse appears to sponge his face and hands. "Nurse," he mumbles from behind the mask, "Are my testicles black ?"
Embarrassed the young nurse replies, "I don't know Mr. I'm only here to wash your face and hands."
He struggles again to ask, "Nurse, are my testicles black?"
Again the nurse replies, "I can't tell. I'm only here to wash your face and hands."
The Ward Sister was passing and saw the man getting a little distraught so she marched over to inquire what was wrong. "Sister," he mumbled, "Are my testicles black ?"
Being a nurse longstanding, the sister was undaunted. She whipped back the bedclothes, pulled down his pajama trousers, had a right good look, pulled up the pajamas, replaced the bed clothes and announced, "Nothing wrong with them !!!"
Frustrated at this the man pulled off his oxygen mask and asked again:
"Are my test results back?!?"
I imagine it might feel odd to laugh at that, I mean, it's funny, but after my introduction to it you may have felt a bit like you shouldn't. Sort of uncomfortable, out of synch. Like the man in the bed.
Usually, a person in a normal mood state will find the joke funny. But a person with a mood state that is out of kilter might identify too strongly with the humiliated patient, and fail to see the humor, but if everyone else laughs, they will too.
It's a survival mechanism that most of us learn.
We have to.
The alternative is just unthinkable.
If a person were to try stripping the disguises from actors while they play a scene upon stage, showing to the audience their real looks and the faces they were born with, would not such a one spoil the whole play ? And would not the spectators think he deserved to be driven out of the theatre with brickbats, as a drunken disturber ?... Now what else is the whole life of mortals but a sort of comedy, in which the various actors, disguised by various costumes and masks, walk on and play each one his part, until the manager waves them off the stage ? Moreover, this manager frequently bids the same actor to go back in a different costume, so that he who has but lately played the king in scarlet now acts the flunkey in patched clothes. Thus all things are presented by shadows. --Erasmus, The Praise of Folly