Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Gratuitous postcard: barely hanging on

Postcard: Cavalry Training

When spring rolls around, I get heavily doped up with antihistamines and decongestants, and still end up completely losing hearing in one ear and suffering partial loss in the other for a couple of weeks, due to sinus pressure. It means I have a little trouble talking with friends and family on the phuhn (see Peter Sellers in The Pink Panther for proper pronunciation).

It also means that I can't hear the dadgummed television.

Under normal circumstances, I'd take that as a blessing -- in fact, even most days now I don't feel as though I'm missing anything, since most of what's on the air is dreck. Come to think of it, I'm pretty happy about that hearing loss. It gives me an excuse to hide in the tub with as many bad novels as I can find and turn myself into a literate white prune.

It also gives me the excuse to take over the computer for longer stretches...

Which ultimately leads to my lapses in... heh... sanity.

I'm not complaining about the loss of my hearing as though that were the end of the world. I'm complaining about the indecision my body has, over whether to stay or go on without me.

This is something I gather happens to all people, usually at midlife. Some call it a "crisis" and spend massive amounts of time and cash getting cosmetic alterations to their lives, without once addressing the fundamental problem -- that they don't want to get any older than they were when they peaked.

For me, I peaked at about nine, so I can't really pretend I want to go back to the "good old days." I just want to get a little stability in this machine my mind drives. Unfortunately, it's a jalopy. It wheezes uphill and has no brakes for the downhill. It doesn't corner well -- when it can corner at all. And it certainly lacks panache.

I'm in my midlife, now (although bets are now being taken on how far past the precise center I've gone). In the center of my years, and as a struggling bipolar, I also find myself smack dab in dead center between happiness and misery in all aspects of my life. I like and hate my body. I love and hate my madness. I find resentment and joy in nearly equal amounts, over exactly the same things.

I'm balancing my life between the pluses and the minuses.

Still, I'm pretty sure that I'm not balanced.

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