Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Reviving Ophelia

You think you're doing well and then you wake up one morning and your ribcage is trying to constrict your heart. It hurts, like hell. You figure: I am in hell. Except that, as I took the time to explain to L-- this afternoon, Mormon theology doesn't actually support a belief in hell. And so you're left to find some other faith that will assume the depth of your suffering. 
 
If this makes no sense, I'm sorry.
 
I'm going to say I know what triggered this episode, and I'm going to hope that I'm right because the only way to deal with this kind of anxious turmoil is to think oneself through it, and to confront the trigger. Otherwise it's just buried until later. And believe me, it will resurface regardless of how hard you try to keep it submerged. 
 
It's funny how "mental" anguish, "mental" illness is manifest by completely physical means, and how it's hard to determine the line where mental awareness of pain becomes legitamate as a medical condition. What's even more humorous is the level of consciousness attached to this sort of pain, how it can remove you from reality, how it can bring your reality into greater focus, how we treat our awareness of pain with things like food, sex, sleep, exercise. I say "treat," but the only treatment these provide is a kind of self-indulgent drowning.
 
Poor Hamlet. You ignored Ophelia. You let her drown. But she never stopped haunting you, did she? I can feel her now, gasping for breath within these constricted bones. I carry her in my chest, put a hand to my heart and feel her waging for life. Again. Again. Again. Again. Again. Ghost within my ghosts, she chooses to be; a pain like a child in my right lung. In a night I've lost all focus. Who am I? What do I want?
 
The clouds lift, but leave a deep layer of snow across the valley's mountains. What now?
 
What now?
 
My faith: It will never stop aching.

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