Sunday, January 06, 2013

Hiccups, LSD, migraines

When I was little my grandmother taught me how to get rid of the hiccups. You hold your breath and say (silently, in your head, because you're holding your breath) "Hiccups, stickups, straightups. Nine sips of water will cure my hiccups." Then, still holding that same breath, you take nine separate sips of water. The separate thing is key, You can't just go glugglugglugglugglugglugglugglugglugglug. You have to sip, move the glass away from your mouth, swallow, then sip, etc. Always worked for me.


But sometime after I got grown I learned another trick. I learned how to feel that first little spasm of the diaphragm, that beginning of something deep in my throat right before the first hiccup. And then, that if I did something I can't really describe with breathing and swallowing just so, that the first hiccup never happened. Hiccup program aborted.


When I was a teenager, I started getting killer migraines. I mean the throwing up, beat your head against the cinder block walls because then the pain on the outside of your head will distract you from the pain on the inside of your head, which is worse, type migraines. There was nothing to be done except curl up into a fetal position in a bed in a dark room and wait it out. Which, of course, seemed to take eons.

So I spent a lot of time like that. Being very still in the dark, thinking about pain, while experiencing pain. And I found, eventually, that when I stopped fighting the pain, raging at the pain, and instead said to the pain, okay Pain, do your worst. I'm just going to fucking feel you, pain. I'm going to go where you are, all the way there, and feel the most pain I can. And if I really concentrated, if I totally immersed myself in pain . . . the pain was . . . suspended. Out there somewhere. I didn't really feel it any more. If my attention wandered, the pain slammed back. But as long as I could hold the focus, no pain. My goal became to hold that focus long enough to fall asleep, which worked, most of the time, once I figured out how to do it.

Dealing with depression was, for a long time, for me, about something outside of myself. Bad things are happening to me. Have happened to me. Life sucks. Lately I've been having better luck dealing with it by thinking of it as something like - someone slipped some LSD into my iced tea when I wasn't looking. And continues to do that at random, totally unpredictable intervals. When they do it seems to have no relation to what is actually happening in my life. It just happens for no apparent reason.

In my misspent youth when I did actual LSD, I spent most of those trips fascinated by how "reality" was changed by the introduction of a very small amount of a chemical into my brain. Because up until then, I had assumed that what I saw, heard, felt, etc was in fact, reality. LSD made it freakingly obvious that what I was calling reality was in fact my perception of reality. How my brain processed certain stimuli. And apply a little chemical to the neurons and my brain processed those stimuli in a different way. As the chemical slowly found its way to my brain and gradually started altering how I saw the world around me, when I was "coming on" as we used to say, as my awareness moved from sober to so stoned I couldn't talk or move (although sometimes I could laugh non-stop into total exhaustion) - that transition was the most interesting part. I thought.

Now if someone did, in fact, put some LSD in my tea without me knowing it, and if I'd never had the experience of a psychedelic drug, I could imagine that it would scare the crap out of me. To have the world gradually get very bizarre for no apparent reason. It would be hard to understand that the world hadn't actually changed, that I had changed. My brain had changed.

1 comment:

HuhWeird222 said...

I feel like I can connect to that sort of an experience of pain. But I've never had the occasion of being in so much pain for so long and I never really thought to sort of 'qaurter off' a space for it in my brain to focus on and then cart it away. :P

Reading this whilst tripping cid myself, it's apparent to me that your hypothetical situation doesn't really doesn't have anything to do with LSD at all. I've wondered for the past many years, what has happened such that my reality isn't what it used to be? That for me there is no joy associated with the naive little slice of everything we call our day to day perception, our reality.

I have always looked at it something like this. If all of our lives could be boiled down to a grand, divinely complex equation not of our own design, some would come upon troubling times, things in our lives that make us wonder; Why are things exactly the way they are? Why is my life just this way? Of course, initially the response is to take a look at that equation. 'What is it about this thing... I'm not really happy with things right now, I must have come across some terribly unfortunate cross section of this darn thing! Hmph!'

In reality of course, it is ridiculous to believe that the universe, the 'grand equation' could unfold in a calculated way such that it results in a particular mindstate in one person or the other. Even if one tries to take a look at the broad picture and analyze piece for piece what is going on... they, of course, might come to some sort of definition. Some sort of a reason, for why 'things are the way they are', a truth. But as with everything, what we perceive to be the truth, to be reality, is all "relative". For even if you connect all the causes and effects throughout your entire life, you would only have the 'answer' to the 'equation' relative to your exact circumstances in time, in space, in thought; all the universal universe variables still remain undefined. :P

It becomes apparent once you have had time to take all that in that the answer to why we aren't perceiving in a way that is normal or healthy isn't a question of what is happening 'to' us, it is what is happening 'in' us.

I have been dealing with depression in my life for almost five years now. But I believe it is not clinical depression. There is a root cause, I think. I have never been able to find success, either, and I think that is another result of what I'm going through. Personally, I believe my A.D.D, and a general difficulty in communicating effective thereof has led me to develop a schizotypal personality, which is far from the vision I have had for myself. That has been enough to send me into a depression that has caused me to drop out of college and seriously interfere with my life. Currently I am coming up on several appointments to help sort through the things I've been thinking and feeling and hopefully find a clear-cut solution. My biggest fear, actually, is that it is not A.D.D., and that it simply is a result of the personality that my father and I were born with; we are both highly intelligent. He could have done anything, he just never chose. He has dealt for fifty some years, I believe, the same frustration at himself for his shortcomings and lack of success that I have recently found to be a major factor in my life. I hope that maybe we can rise above our circumstances and finally pursue a dream.

I thank you for your post. It has helped me make my experience a very productive and soul-searching one, as well as somewhat enlightening and inspiring one. I feel I am a step (or a few) closer to figuring out how to live the life I have always wanted for myself. I wish you fortune in your experience with depression and that every gear in your head falls smoothly into place one day. :)