Saturday, 23 August 2014

The Puzzle

Several large pieces of the jigsaw of my life.
If found please return.
Many Thanks.

Each week I think about what to talk about next. I've been very lucky that each week I've had something to write about other than this. This may be what still haunts me the most. The lost month. Nothing would please me more than to move onto the subjects of leave, recovery, and the beauty that can emerge from horror, but in order for me to do that I feel the need to address the psychotic elephant in the room. It's not what is there that hurts the most. It's what isn't.

There is a chunk of my existence that is lost. Lost to me at least. It's like I've been given the puzzle, but the picture on the box has been severely scratched and no matter how hard I try to put the pieces all together there are huge patches that can't be filled. No matter where I look I can't find the missing bits. Fragments remain. My memories pad around in slippers and dressing gown through the stark corridors of my mind.

I was mad.

Maybe it's better that there are only suggestions, emotional shadows and strange imprints on my mind. Maybe my brain is helping to keep me safe. Maybe I would be even more horrified if I remembered that time clearly. Maybe all this is what I tell myself to help the healing process.

My medical notes go some way to filling in what happened, but they are not my reality. They are an outside impression. They are cultural judgements and medicalisation and clinical observations. They are not "truth". In some ways I think that what is so disturbing about being psychotic is that you have access to true reality. What I mean by that is, you realise that it doesn't actually exist. All there is is THIS reality versus THAT reality. Some of you will say, "Well, I think we could agree that you were mad, and that was the reality." But was I mad? What and who is anyone to say what 'mad' is? In some cultures I would have been revered as a wise and holy medicine woman that has access to other worlds. Someone that can offer huge healing and understanding to her tribe and community. Here, I was contained, drugged and left feeling utterly ashamed. I may have missed my true calling! 

Don't get me wrong. I'm delighted I was drugged. I'm very happy I was contained, and the shame has helped me speak out about my experience, but when you have a reality altering experience like that, it makes you question everything you thought you knew about the world and the people in it. 

I'm beginning to realise now that I have in front of me the pieces from many puzzles. There is so much in life we don't understand; perhaps we never will. There are so many pieces that I realise that trying to make sense of it all is futile. 

There is a peace in that. 

Having it all worked out and finishing the puzzle is not really the best bit. Trying to put the pieces together is why we keep doing jigsaws. Our search is never finished. Our quest to understand is never complete, but still we try to put the pieces together, knowing we never will.

Love and shaman blessings,
Mutha Courage X

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