Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Psychosis as Wish Fulfilment

Today I'm going to try titling the blog AFTER I've written it. Gives me a chance to work up some inspiration and find out what I'm mainly thinking of today.

Today was a successful day. Cleaned my room, then went to yoga, then to my computer class, then a bit of shopping, chatted to a friend then caught the Tube to Covent Garden and went to see Marjane Sartrapi's Persepolis. Absolutely brilliant...a cartoon (beautifully and movingly drawn) memoir of her life growing up under various Iranian regimes as well as a spell in Vienna and ending up in Paris when her parents more or less told her to leave Iran and never go back (for her own sake)...there was no upbeat, resolved ending, it ended very abruptly actually when she arrives in Paris. I'd been wanting to see that for ages, so I'm really glad I got myself there. It's one of the joys of living in London that I can choose from a seemingly infinite number of films and different cinemas. Nothing better on a damp afternoon like today than disappearing into another world for a few hours.

Hmm, was actually reflecting on the reasons for my psychosis, if indeed there can be said to be reasons. I don't mean triggers, I just mean the underlying psychological motivation for taking as it were a holiday from reality as she is commonly understood. I've got to talk personally, because I only know about me, but there is a lot about reality that I find very hard to stomach. One thing I find hard to stomach is old age and death (oh, don't we all?) Another is the separate existence of all these other humanoids. Apparently just like me, with their own set of thoughts, feelings and impulses. And therefore, to me at any rate, threatening. Then there's all the shit that goes on. People hurting and killing other people. So-called acts of God like earthquakes which hurt and kill thousands albeit in a purely impersonal manner.

The nature of my particular psychosis is that I have the delusion that I am (more or less) God, that therefore I have the power to end the cycle of birth, pain and death, bring Heaven on earth, see instantly into the depths of any human being's soul, etc etc. It is one hell of a powerful wish fulfilment! At the time it feels very real and significant.

Up till now I was ashamed to state the nature of my psychosis so baldly but, I don't know. If you see it as an escape from harsh reality, a prolonged waking dream, the ultimate wish fulfilment, maybe it's not so hard to understand. There's a lot of people outside the pub of an evening when I go past. A lot of them drink habitually to dull that ache. I don't feel the need to do that, but maybe my periodic bouts of psychosis serve somewhat of the same function.

Take care all. Love, Zoe.


Rebecca said...

Oh, heavens. How I do know about being a deity. I've felt numerous times, in the throes of mania, that I were indeed the Spirit of Mother Earth, or the follow-up to Christ (his sister, or the "Daughter of God"), or some new definition of Messiah, here to end the existence of Hell and welcome Satan back to paradise, etc etc. Fortunately, I have always kept this to myself during each of those times, preferring to tiptoe about content with the gravity of such cosmic responsibility bearing down invisibly across my shoulders. A perfect being, afterall, would not be so foolish as to brag about her true nature to mere mortals. It's a wonderful secret when I'm manic, which is why I prefer to be alone when I am so that I can ponder my divinity and not be reminded of the trappings of humanity, i.e. friends dropping in to ask why my phone's been disconnected.

Of course, it's always good to know I'm not actually alone in this. I guess a way to mitigate the embarrassment of such grandiose thoughts is to reflect on pantheism? That perhaps we ARE all facets of this being, God? I don't know. Sometimes, regardless of whether I'm depressed, I feel like being bipolar is something of a blessing. I can't fathom living this way forever and believing it to be nothing but a terrible curse.

Zoe said...

Nice to hear from you Rebecca. You are right, it's always good to know you are not alone. I did use to be pretty ashamed of the sheer level of grandiosity involved in being a deity! I too did keep it largely to myself, content to contemplate the wonder of myself, though I did share it with my boyfriend, assuring him that he was also a god, and that in the privacy of our living room we were actually controlling the world!

Most of the time I have a balanced view of bipolar. It certainly opens your eyes other dimensions of human experience which can feel quite privileged. When one isn't cursing the illness from the depths of one's heart (depression following a mania).

Thank you for sharing this with me. Zoe.