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Fear Is the Glue? It really is?
I had long feared for the Long Haired Hippy Lout.
Yesterday in Miami a man lost his life, shot by an Air Marshal because he was Bi-Polar. Not unlike England My England. What is happening to us? We have become globally paranoid.
The poor man, unable to reach his medication became manic. He tried to reach his medication. He tried to reach his on board carry bag, but did not make it. He was pursued. With his hands free and waving in the air he lost control of his own demons, and began to run to get off the plane, pursued by a woman crying "my husband! my husband!"
He was unarmed, in the grip of a demon released by his inability to reach his medication on the aircraft. In a panic, with his arms waving in the air be began to run down the air corridor.
Air Marshals shot him dead.
They killed a poor, disturbed man suffering from a bi-polar disorder. An unarmed, distressed man, whose wife could only follow, knowing her husband was in danger, she cried out.
I want to share something the Long Haired Hippy Lout wrote. He was never afraid, strolling barefoot and wearing his stupid t shirts... "I only do what the voices in my head tell me."
We always made sure, that on a long flight, he stored his medication in his top pocket. He never had much problem on a flight. He knew he was safe, travelling with his companion. Quietly taking in the world. But what if he had? If he had not had access to his medication as this poor man in Miami?
How can we be so afraid of our own society? How can we be so paranoid? Why do we open fire at poor harmless people except to create fear? In Australia we now have sedition laws. Sedition? Laws made when "witches" were feared and persecuted!
Before you get onto an aircraft, and I have done it a thousand times, one goes through intensive security scans and checks. Carry on baggage is scanned, explosive detectors are run over ones body. And one poor man suffering from an affliction suffered by millions, was shot and killed for his affliction. I ask who are the terrorists? Who are we to be afraid of?
This is what the Long Haired Hippy Lout wrote. So often distressed, and yet so full of love and humour. It could have been him these Air Marshals killed. It could have been your husband, your lover, your friend. He was right the Long Haired Hippy Lout. Fear IS the glue. Now I understand. I will not be afraid. He taught me that much! I will not be gagged by sedition laws! I will speak out! That is the role of a writer...to explore the truth without fear.
living with manic depression
Have you ever been drunk or stoned... or both, for so many days that you can't remember, with someone you just happened to meet?
We don’t talk much about it these days, this tight, motley crew of family and friends, and those who fit in the Spaces-in-Between; people who know everything about you and still like you all the same.
I’m the oldest Manic Depressive I know. I don’t like ‘bi-polar’, but whatever cranks your dial. I’m Manic Depressive not bi-polar. And I stole that line from Spike Milligan about being the oldest Manic Depressive I know. Spike’s gone bless his heart, and I’m only 57. Here’s to you Spike!
I think I got the ‘gist’ of it around 48 or so. A magic formula it is not. Cold, brutal logic, it is, and Manic Depressives have little enough of that. I have to admit that there are times when we feel that we are being completely logical. It’s only everyone else who isn’t!
Firstly you have to stop loving it! It isn’t your best friend. Your best friend is sitting somewhere feeling impotent and miserable because they can’t help you. Your best friend, your partner/lover is trying their damndest to be ‘on top of it’ while you go off into the sparkly heights not caring that soon you are going to need them more than you need your disorder. Because soon the voices in your head are going to get louder and more insistent and you are going to become boorish and insensitive to anything that anyone says or does. And that’s only the beginning.
Somewhere, wherever they are your friends and family are being dragged down into the vortex. Once they are caught in the spiral of your fall, it’s hard for them to stay with their heads above water.
You just went on a drug-free, anarchic flight into the Universe, met some people, burnt the candle at both ends and the middle. Your natural promiscuity, for whatever reason it exists has a vocabulary that doesn’t include the word ‘no’. But now the voices have started to annoy you,and they won’t go away. You’re tired after days of not sleeping, being the life of the party. Being a Stand Up comedian or an ASIO spy, or a Finance Broker for a terrorist organization… (They would spring you if you said Albert Einstein. But now you just want it to go away. And it won’t. So tired, the voices so insistent wanting to keep on keeping on like Berger Paints. “Fun! Come on! You old drudge, party pooper, how long can you go?”
So there you are, standing on the edge of an abyss too scared to go over the edge and too tired to stay where you are. Butch and Sundance eat your hearts out!
I heard a song once called The Cape. “He’s one of those who thinks that life is just a leap of faith/just spread your arms and hold your breath and always trust your cape…” (Guy Clark)
You know that over that abyss is the deepest darkest reach that Hell can spawn. There isn’t any choice now. If you don’t jump you will simply have to go back to the party. And the party has got dangerous. There are mad things to do at the party. Terrible things that can kill you if you are not careful are at the party. Laughably at this stage you are not ready to die. That comes later. How much later depends on you now. Things have gone far and there’s yet a trip to be had. Over the abyss you must go.
How far down is Hell? You know you have to pay the price for that yearning to be free of the bonds that keep you ‘normal’.
You are home when I arrive. Your eyes are hooded and dark from lack of sleep and worry. I am disheveled. I smell of stale sex. Your hurt and anger distress me, for I am in a place…a space, in between. I am sorry. I am so sorry, that the word slips from my lips in a constant stream. Your questions, ‘where have you been? What did you do? Why did you not call? They have no answers. Only “I’m sorry… so sorry”.
You put your arms around me and tell me that ‘half the town has been out looking of you’. I make an attempt at black humour. "Only half?"
You want to stop caring because you hurt from loving. You don't ask who she was/they were, because all you will be offered is a litany of "sorry. I'm sorry. I'm so sorry".
You know I am, and you want me to know that it doesn't hurt. "You're home. That's all that matters" But I am in a despair of sorry and flying down to speechless hell in the abyss.
I know you care. I know you hurt. I am so sorry!
There is no more mania. You put a child to bed. You medicate. You leave. There is no more to be done now. The child is in a land of damnation and darkness. "Is there anybody out there" The child screams, unable to make a sound in the blackness. Knowing that on the outside someone is talking... "is there anybody in there?" Yes. Quite Comfortably Numb.
How many days and nights? There is only timelessness and the creatures in the dark. The Spaces In Between where Nightshade and Toadstools grow, and the slightest sound will bring the dogs to tear your flesh into pieces.
Each day you open the curtains and let the sunshine in. Each day you medicate and leave. There is no point in staying. There is no communication. But the sunshine searing through the window is a healing light. You know that much. You know that the darkness he is so afraid of is the darkness he wants to inhabit. Where he deserves to be. Where there is punishment to be endured.
You come home and I'm up. Busy. Cooking and cleaning. "Everything was dirty". I clean because no matter how much I look at it everything is dirty. I dust and polish and scrub, and mutter. "Everything is dirty"
Now your eyes get wary. You can 'deal' with the mania. You can 'deal' with the depression. But you never were so good at 'dealing' with the Sly Logic of 'normalcy'.
You know about Plan B. You know that this is the time when logic and good humour and loving behaviour are a cover for wherever the vital hoard of Morphine Sulphate and Valium resides. You go to work and worry. You telephone every hour on the hour. You refuse an evening drink with the girls and rush home, frantically checking for signs of life.
I am here. Home again until the next time. Keeping a promise to Spike. Don't love it. Make it your enemy. Hate it. Despise it. Treat it with contempt. I'm not going away yet.
Yes darlings, (how can an old scrawny old man be loved by so many) Yes darlings, my beautiful girls I hurt you all. You love me, you share me, you ask nothing from me. And I hurt you more than I hurt myself.
No promises. I will hurt you again and again, and each time I will hurt myself. Thank you all for your love. Thank you for learning to live with Manic Depression. Thank you for choosing to live with Manic Depression.
Reader Reviews for
"Is This What I Have Feared All My Life?"
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|Reviewed by Sandy Knauer
|Very well written. You're ability to express the inner turmoil well enough to make someone who doesn't suffer the same condition understand is unbelievable. I hope many will read this, not just us here on Author's Den. Thank you for speaking out.