Wednesday, 19 September 2012

the dirt and spit of the world

As I woke up each morning, complete fatigue took hold of all my limbs and it seemed as if they will stop operating the next moment. As I was in a framework, I knew that I had to rise up from my bed and did as was expected from me with exhaustion, and on other days I stayed on my bed as a stone or carried myself to the chair in my room, there remaining motionless for a few hours. My entrails began twisting and shrinking in hunger, but I remained in my place.

After the representatives of conventional medicine proved their weakness, I searched every corner of the web for a last resort in the form of unconventional methods. In my searches I turned to the live food and experimented with eating solely fruit till noon. Despite my shaky belief, for the first time in years I experienced a relief in my feelings; a spark of lucidity, a clear thinking, traces of feelings and an experience of humanness. It was a first light that faded out each day when I succumbed to another food. All I wished for was to strengthen this weak light and to lengthen its hours, and so I started to reduce my food, to divide it into weighted portions and to remove one from the other as much as possible. It was not long that my already miserable body lost several kilograms, and all the time I wandered between the enjoyment of my sudden lucidity and hunger that took hold of all my members. Each piece of food that entered my mouth evoked in me the anxiety that the threatening curtain will come down again; sometimes I lay in my bed, at the beginning of the day of at its end, and my limbs craved for food. The resources of my body soon dwindled; deep pallor appeared in my face and constant cold was my lot. It was another method, which is not to be detailed here, that restored my strength.

Now, the current state of all things is what is left. During the month of July and until today I experimented with the method of sungazing, in which a person gazes at the sunrise in its first hour, aiming to increase the activity of the brain areas responsible for the sleep-wake cycle, physical energy, emotional balance and more. This might be a small turning point in my route, as now I am closer to others' humanity than I have ever been before. The morning hours are for me the hours of grace, when gentle animation is to be found in the drowsy corners of my mind; thought fly nimbly by, without any difficulty; a measure of strength is felt in my body; and the touch of a piano arouses a feeling that had been neglected in past days. All of a sudden, it seems as if the thousands of stimulations surrounding a person from the very existence of his life are absorbed in my mind without any effort, and all that is left for me is to organize them according to my will.

Nevertheless, the relief passes. As soon a piece of food enters my mouth a deep mist finds place in my skull, my limbs collapse under the weight of fatigue and my body, by its nature, burdens me like a weight. My breathing is short, up to suffocating, my heart is heavy and in the reality surrounding me – that is experienced as a delusion made out of a continuity of incomprehensible pictures, as if arriving to my eyes from afar – my mind is an empty box and the voices of those surrounding me seem as if being strange background noises, and they pass through me and are not heard. A sense of entrapment arises between the borders of my body, which close me in, and it wishes to fall to the ground without movement, far from the eyes of the world. It seems as if stones pass in its system.

I climb the stairs to my house and quickly collapse on the chair in my room, there I only have to stick my eyes at screens and wait for the dispersion of the fog. All my days are an endless struggle to preserve all remnants of energy, feeling and lucidity whose end is an overwhelming defeat.

My last hope depends on an experimental procedure named dTMS (deep transcranial magnetic stimulation), in which a gentle magnetic field is activated around a person's head in order to stimulate the electric activity of the brain.


A long time has passed since my flesh rose above its meager existence and in it existed even a shard of the humanness which most persons, be they wherever thay may be, attain. My heart had died many ages ago. It is no rare occurrence for my chest to swell and to shrink slowly with a silent creaking of hinges, the screen of my eyes glazes while the fragments of my consciousness hover towards an unknown dimension and my soul - departs.

in motion

I did not know where to place the source of failure in my body, and so I phrased my feelings in the most accurate way that was made possible by my foggy thoughts then, and spread my request for a solution and finding a name for my sickness all over the country; by mail or by virtual means, I sent my request to senior doctors in every field that comes to mind, in various hospitals and outside them. It is needless to say that most of them could not help and I could not receive a worthwhile diagnosis from such distance.

Nevertheless, the "Schneider" hospital received my appeal and passed it on to the mental health department operating there, assuming that that is where it belonged. With no visible lead and no one listening to me as I say that something is wrong with my mind or my body, I passed a psychological diagnosis that determined with an unbearable easiness that I was suffering from clinical depression, and so I agreed to undergo a psychological treatment there which included medical treatment under psychiatrist supervision. My memory from those treatment sessions is vague, as nothing significant took place there. Time and again I travelled to the hospital in order to fall into the treatment chair and be quiet, as I used to be then, or alternatively to express my opinions concerning irrelevant issues. Research has shown that a depression attack passes in a few months, told me the psychologist with her typical smile; I'm sure everything will be OK.

My time, even though it had no value, was wasted in vain. In the deep fog of my senses I did not experience any life, any occurrence, any content or feeling, rather an existential darkness; and so I was not able to share a thing except my silence. As predicted, I will not deny that my mood was gloomy, but a diagnosis of the sort that I received demanded a person to have an experience of reality and an active mind, which were then only a distant memory for me. Furthermore, the medical treatment given to me, with a common antidepressant, elevated my mood to some extent, but the strong fogginess, the blurry traces of the personality, the slowness of my thinking and the void that had become my mind, all these stayed as they had been.

The medical establishment refusing to acknowledge me as suffering from an illness that is not clinical depression, during the five years that passed from the day of that event I crossed paths with various psychologists, various psychiatrists and various alternative-medicine caregivers as well. Without any reference to whole of my symptoms whatsoever, I turned to these narrow-minded professionals time and again in a desperate effort to find a cure, but it never had any visible help and I was certain that it was not the appropriate way.

From time to time, kindhearted images entered through the glass curtain of my life, seeked my nearness and did whatever they could, believing that beneath the dead mantle of my personality there exists a human being; while I, as a shell with no content, did not respond despite the many efforts. For this I apologize and ask forgiveness from all these people; I wholeheartedly believe that in another life, or in one of these days, things could come to be what you desired, even though I doubt my appearance in your memory.

So I degenerated into a complete void over seven and a half years.

Monday, 17 September 2012

brain damage

And so my image vanished, as if it had never existed. As unbelievable as things were, it was not possible to mistake in the assessment of the depth of change. In my new life reality dominated the feeling that my brain is essentially turned off and that its activity is almost null. I moved about with a feeling that there is a black space beyond my skull and found it difficult to produce thoughts. In the void in which I conducted myself the brain wheels operated their meager labor with a fatiguing slowness, and when people turned to me I stammered for a few seconds and had to strain my mind again and again in order to decide what to answer. Every word that exited my mouth was forced and had not a thing behind it; I had no content, identity or personality from which I could draw, and so I was left no choice but to emit into space the words that I had forced my brain to produce in an effort to satisfy every person that surrounded me. The act of searching for words was so difficult that it had suffering in it. It was so exhausting, until it left me with no strength. When I did not perform it, I was silent for whole days. My mind was turned off and I saw myself only as a body that is carried from place to place.

A permanent weariness fell over me and was always present. If I was deprived of sleep even for a short time, the stupor and the mental fuzziness increased and I experienced a real cut off from reality. I used my voice as a tool that was disconnected from my body, and its note was artificial and robotic. The reality that was carried out around me was so rapid compared to my mind and it astonished me; even though I knew that in the past I had been part of the human beings that surrounded me now, in the new state of things these human beings seemed to me as being a strange form of life that was different from me and that I was not part of. Everyone, without any exception, walked swiftly about, their minds full of such and other contents, thoughts kindled in them easily, feelings flamed plentifully, while I was an empty shell.

Why have you become so quiet, all asked me; taciturn. When the recession bell rang I frequently stayed sitting at my desk and my friends, who did not notice the change that came over me, approached and talked to me. I heard their words but no response was created in me. In an attempt to recruit all my power and to cooperate with them I looked at them smiling and stammered yes, then fell silent. They looked at me embarrassedly, without understanding, and went away. A stupor encircled me. My family asked why me why I was so closed up.

My friend M. asked me why I had become so quiet, let's talk, she said. Again and again I answered that I don't know why, that I have nothing to say. I was astounded at her failure to notice the deep change that had come over me, and she only mentioned my silence once in a while, although it is certain that during that period she had begun to experience a personality change and turned all her concentration to herself. In the reality of my new life I had no interest in a thing, I did not feel a thing and I did not do a thing. Similarly to my relations with any other person, my relationship with M, that had been significant and close before, became a burden too. After a while she contacted me less and less during the afternoon hours. I did not ascribe much importance to it, although I felt relieved. So several weeks passed, at the end of which she shared with me her feeling that I was no longer interested in a relation with her. I explained that the fact that I had not made contact with her had no meaning, and things resumed their past course. Her blindness amazed me and I knew that no one could understand. After a period we talked by an immediate message software, when I let M. know that as I was no longer the person that she knew, it would be better if we terminate our relationship. Even though she refused to confirm my words, this came about.

I was left alone without knowing what I should do next. Before my image dissolved into hidden districts, I had been a person with powerful feelings and bothered with various thoughts. I had been a creative human being; I engaged in writing prose and poetry, painting, photography and playing the piano. Needless to say I neglected writing and photography in the void that was created altogether. As to painting, surprisingly I succeeded to keep engaging in it for several more years, but finally I felt that my hands did not obey me and I could not continue to paint despite wishing to do so. As to the playing, with the change that had occurred in me, the nature of my playing changed too: in the past I used to practice different pieces in a reasonable frequency, but now I played and did not feel a thing. In the slowness of my new life I found it difficult to strain my mind and my hands in a playing action that was now horridly slow. I had never stopped playing, although I had made minimal efforts. I stopped listening to music, which seemed to my ears as a jumble of insignificant sounds, except for a single group whose sounds managed to pierce my ears, even though it often sounded suddenly as a jumble of sounds.

I knew that something was wrong, but I did not know what it was. In a desperate effort to break the state of all things, which remained unchanged, each day I deprived food from my body from the moment I woke up and till I came home from school. To my surprise, a spark of the familiar humanity was kindled in these hours of fast, although by noon I gave in to the needs of my body. On one of these days of fast I felt a sort of curtain coming down in a clear movement and melting from my head up to my feet, and noticed that the violent energies that had accompanied me these last months were no longer there. I stopped fasting and only my empty image stayed on.

Sunday, 16 September 2012

I have no air

Here it comes. I am the one that boasts of having the dubious title, according to which I carry an unnamed and incurable disease. I am 22 years old, and in a month from today the curse that hovers over my head will complete nine years. If I should be so lucky, maybe fate will break it before I would be able to mark ten years from its appearance. These have been nine years of heavy agony, and I will never be able to remember and accurately describe the batch of events that altogether assemble these years. This blog serves as a last cry for help to the whole world, if a person who can help me can be found in it.

A complicated chain of events brought me to the place in which I am today, and it might be difficult to join them together and make a logical continuity. The symptoms described are both physical and mental and exist in disorder and confusion. I will try to begin at the beginning. Up to the day of the event that marked the beginning of my illness I was a functioning teenager, without any physical difficulties. I will not hide the fact that during the three years before that day I had suffered from clinical depression, but that was the total of my illnesses. I was a person amongst people – thoughtful, quiet, introverted, and maybe a bit unstable – but for all these, I was a human being.

On the 1.9.03 I began my studies at the eighth grade. In the renewed meeting with my school friends the shyness and tension that were typical for me were aroused, and in order not to gather myself inside these feelings, in a sort of amused game, on that day I chose to present an image that was the opposite of myself: I raised my voice up to a grating, I joked a lot and I took on a body language that was strange to me on top of an eastern accent. Utterly personal, I saw in this a sort of substitutive personality for one day, a comic intermission and no more.

The school day came to its end. I made my way home accompanied by my friend M. and as the traces of my other image were still noticeable in me, remarks were heard, that I was not the person that I used to be, what has happened to me and if things will continue in this way we would have to cut off our relations. I explained that it was no more than a game that has nothing behind it, and that soon things will return to be as they had been. I meant to take off my new skin on the spot, but did not succeed in doing so. Despite my efforts, strange behaviors kept taking hold on me with no control. How it could be possible that I would not be able to cut off the image play, I thought; soon, my own image will return. I tried to calm myself, but I panicked.

A day passed, and my substitutive was the only person that was left. I could not take it off. It was a whole month during which I was drawn into a sort of uncontrollable ecstasy of a jumble of extreme behaviors, such as I had chosen for myself on that day, and that was now part of me. I have no recollection from that month; my brain had worked out of ecstasy, in aggression, in an endless race, it could not be stopped. All the words that my mouth uttered and all the behaviors that my body performed came from an unknown place, while I myself was not there.

It seemed as if another man was living instead of me and as if a power stronger than me was acting inside me. I remember that things were performed with an unusual energy, with an egocentricity in which a person sees himself only, without being able to stop and think, with short and rapid breath. This memory is blurred and partial like a dream.

A month passed and excited responses were shot from all over the place. Who are you? What has become of you? Suddenly a darkened corner of my mind, in which remained my own self, woke up and understood that something had happened. After great efforts the ability for self-awareness returned, but I myself evaporated into space. The whole time, a physical urge to perform the strange behaviors accompanied me; as if a demon was walking beside me, attempting to pull me back into the other world with violent energies. I struggled incessantly with the need to rage and scream. If I would have succumbed to these urges, even for only a moment, I would have been instantly drawn into a diabolic whirlpool where my reasoning would have been taken.

Who was the person who remained during moments of sobriety between times? No one did. When I awoke to my new life reality, I realized that the person that had lived inside my brain and my body during the 13 years that had passed before that day no longer existed.

I am fuzzy and without strength.