22 JUN 2017

reality

it’s now june and i just tried to type 2016 in the title of this post.

i’ve made this sort of mistake innumerable times before. numbers don’t feel real to me, and they never really have.

i know this because, after eagerly volunteering to hold a hawk at a bird show as a child, i told the host the wrong age when they asked me how old i was. my mother was mortified. i, however, was just happy to be so close to such a beautiful creature. eagles and falcons seem to do just fine without an awareness of their own age. at least i think they do.

i know this because the magnitude of events both current and historical doesn’t hit me when i read facts and statistics about them, regardless of how shocking i know them to be. it only hits me when i read the accounts of survivors and eyewitnesses. it only hits me when these happenings are communicated to me in an emotive way.

i know this because, despite how hard i try, i just can’t seem to get my head around economics. this frustrates me massively because i know how important this subject is. i could discuss identity politics until the gender-fluid cows come home, but as soon as talk of interest rates, inflation, gdp and debt creeps into a conversation, i feel my confidence implode and i fall silent.

i know this because, when i was creating a plan to help me come off of my antidepressants safely and gradually this month, i decided to decrease my dose by 75mg in one day.

now, due to my complete inability to translate numbers into reality, nothing feels real. it turns out that 75mg is a lot of antidepressant to cut down on in one go.

i know this because i have been seeing shades of blue and green on my vision for days. they dance around the room most every time i turn my head. whilst this was somewhat aesthetically pleasing at first, i can only withstand an optical barrage of turquoise for so long before i start worrying about my well being.

i know this because patterns warp and morph like illusions when i look at them for any notable length of time. my herringbone trousers gave me a headache yesterday. i haven’t even peeped at my knitwear collection recently out of fear that its sheer fruitiness would send me into an anxious tailspin.

i know this because when i smiled at someone in the street today and they didn’t grin at me in return, my first thought was that i must have died.

this sounds utterly absurd, but it’s the truth. these symptoms have been gradually chipping away at my hold on reality for the past week. when they have been at their worst, i have been completely incapacitated and left desperately pinching myself to try and bring myself back into the present moment. it’s been pretty shit. as scary as this has been, however, i know i will be just fine.

i know this because i always am.

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