a one-ton armoire slides across my pelvic floor, crashing into soft tissue. i do not hear the thud but i feel it.
my mental illness must involve more parts than one. perhaps 4 or 400. i am told we each contain multitudes.
lately i work more with the positive and negative associations we ascribe to emotional states:
guilt is bad, joy is good.
gratitude is good, panic is bad.
my involvement with psychiatry—with preachers of pathology and the medical model challenges my core. i believe in inherent brilliance, the kind that we all share. i believe in our shared capacity to access higher knowing, through means such as insight or compassion.
but certain states i experience are chaotic and frightening.
like a hijacking.
my internal furniture starts slamming around, seemingly pushed by ghosts.
the last time this pain visited me, i writhed around on my bathroom floor in grave discomfort
asking ‘it’ aloud what it wants, what it needs, where it comes from and why it is here.
in these moments:
i grow appendages of different lengths.
confusion sprouts up from the crown of my head like a thick weed, a skull divided.
angst becomes my right arm, growing fast and long until it is clear across the room, knocking photo frames and ceramics off shelves in sweeping motion. i close my eyes and hide.
despair leaks into my legs, sets itself on fire.
the vessel entraps me.
never have i floated above myself to witness this sort of home invasion.
i was born with these intruders, nurturing them because they are the company i keep. sometimes i wonder if they will leave on their own, though i do not inquire.
for now, i offer them tea and stale shortbread cookies.
they eat quietly.