part of an essay on illness


*****This is just part of an essayI have been working on. I read something someone posted on thier diary and it convinced me to publish this. I have had this piece for a while and have been debating on publishing it. It was much longer but I lost part of it to coputer problems. I don't know when and if I will finish. As I said I read a piece by someone who has recently been diagnosed as Bipolar. I was diagnosed 14 years ago. I hope in some way this might help or comfort. (it hasn't gone through a thorough editing, so please forgive)**********************

I will channel my madness through me so that it can be expressed purely.

It's in there I know. It waits patiently watching for the right time. Once is senses the time is right it begins to circle itself round my mind, like a shark circling it's prey, a boa constrictor wrapping itself around my brain. It circles like buzzards waiting for the creature below to give up its will and die. It spirals closer and closer. I can hear it in there. It has the sound of rustling sheets, something dusty or dank. It breaths slow, long breathes, patient breaths. It will wait and wait. I can sense it in there. As it tightens it's spiraling approach, it builds up momentum and a feeling of anticipation begins to stir inside me. My mind gets heavy with the awareness of it.
I attempt to carry on as the possession begins. As all of the wheels and cogs line themselves up and begin making their whirring noises, I become isolated. It becomes difficult to follow a train of thought, conversations become distracted, my focus slips. At first, while the other begins it's occupation, I am able to carry on the basic day to day operations of living. As the pressure builds it takes more and more effort to maintain, to be just so. I can do the basic things, cook, clean, wash, talk, although they are just motions I go through, the mechanical tasks of a robot.
Slowly, the pressure from the machinery in my head begins to make itself known. My thoughts begins to loosen . As the space between my stability and my disease becomes more cramped my abilities begin to fall like dominoes. My concentration takes great and purposeful effort. Remembering details takes great effort and I must have the aid of notes and calendars more so than normal. I begin to repeat my self giving out the same information over and over again, asking "honey, did I tell you that..." or "did we already talk about this..." or "did I ask you if....". These are not questions or statements having to do with conversations or subjects days, weeks or even months old. These are questions and statements having to do with the now, or an hour or two before, maybe the day before. I have made the statement now and again during a conversation with my husband "did I just say....." not sure if I actually spoke out loud or completed a thought. Some basic tasks that normally are first nature become confusing or complicated. I will have to set the microwave in attempts to cook something several times. Dialing a number that I know by heart is cause for pulling out the phone book. I have lost my car in a grocery store parking lot, long enough to have panic set in because I fear it has been stolen. All of these symptoms may seem familiar to you because at a normal level everyone has a touch them. Most people have lost their car in a parking lot, most people become distracted and can not remember how to spell a word or a familiar phone number. When they become symptoms of an illness they become disabling and disruptive, they become extreme. This all, as the madness settles in.

Words by Jessica Rexroat
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Written on 2007-03-18 at 19:16

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John A. Mcculloch
what do you do when you know that this is happening to your best friend over and over and over again sometimes you watch, sometimes you sit on her sometimes you drive her to the hospital sometimes you kill spiders all the time you be there dont try to understand just ...STAND. love you babe

Phyllis J. Rhodes
I can hardly write because my little girl is describing how much it hurts when she gets sick and I know I can't help her. I can't kill the monster. I can't stop it or slow it down. I can't do anything about it. I can only tell you something that I've just discovered. I know this monster too. It's been around me before. I recognise it, and am somewhat stunned at your complete, perfect description of it and my experience. I did not realise just how much we had in common. I am so sorry that this monster has been trying to devour you all these years. Writing about it will help. It will help you and it will help others. So many have been its victim and do not know that they are not alone. You are a brilliant writer, a brilliant woman. It seems this monster prefers brilliance, feeds off it. But you are also strong, that is why you still survive and fight. Love you honey. We will fight together.

Kathy Lockhart The PoetBay support member heart!
Jessica, you have written a deeply moving text of this horrible illness which tortures, disrupts, invades the mind. This highly descriptive essay brings forth many images and emotions. I hope that you will be able to add to this essay in increments. It is so well written. It gives a very personal account of the devastation that this disorder causes. Love you, Kathy