But sometimes the system fails. Maybe it’s a chemical shift in the brain that the medications don’t block. Maybe it’s a stressor in your life that you didn’t expect. Maybe there is no reason, and you’re just going mad for the hell of it, but you try not to think about that because that would imply that no matter what you do, no matter how tightly you batten the hatches, madness can get in.
Marya Hornbacher Madness
It never ends. Madness, that is. It always comes back for more.
Now, I’ve known this. It’s only been five years of monitored madness for me, but the finality of “healed” is already an absurd, unfunny joke. Somehow, when the already misfiring neurons exploded into a civil war in 2011, I knew that this was the beginning of an endless something. I knew there wouldn’t be an all-better.
Oh, I’ve tried. I’ve tried working myself healthy (60 hours a week’ll fix me), lifting and spinning myself well, balancing work and rest . . . trust me, I’ve tried. I’ve threatened to quit medications. I’ve tried walking, I’ve tried running, I’ve tried writing, I’ve tried church, I’ve tried writing prayers and reading collects, I’ve tried. I’ve tried CBT and DBT and EMDR and PHP and IOP. I’ve tried medications galore. I’m currently trying three mood stabilizers all at the same time.
Marya Hornbacher is real about this. Madness does not end with her two years stable. What it does end with is the shocking (to me) admittance that she wouldn’t trade her brain for anyone else’s.
I would. And my life has been substantially more predictable. Yet I would trade in my imbalanced mind for a minute of sanity. A minute without anxiety. A minute without worrying when madness will get in again, and what it’ll do. For a minute of safety.