I was cured, alright.

Last Friday night I drank one cocktail (a bit strong) and one dropper of my THC tincture. When I went to bed I was looking for something to read and opened John Berryman’s The Dream Songs, and it clicked for the first time in years. I wrote a half dozen lines, finished them the next day and read them at the Maple Leaf on Sunday to a polite reception. Got home and wrote another poem, my 2nd in seven years.

“I was cured, alright.”
— Alex DeLarge, A Clockwork Orange.

The above was a Facebook post from last Sunday. It seems I am somehow crawling out from under the shadow of Risperidone. I sorely needed some sort of intervention eight years ago, but what was chosen completely silenced the power of creative associative thought and language necessary to write.

I had to go look at the last prescription bottle to remember it’s been almost a year since I discontinued this drug, and not long after started this blog to chronicle what I hoped would be the road to recovering my full self. A glance at the timeline here shows I didn’t keep it up. There was no remarkable recovery. I continued as the productive, bill-paying drone I was for the last seven years..

Until last weekends sudden awakening.

Today I woke up from a restless night of stressful vivid dreams, and sat in my office chair staring at the pile of unopened mail and unfiled documents, piled stop the work laptop reminding me I must go back to my increasingly in uncertain job. I sat paralyzed, feeling like someone had laid a large, lead blanket over me.

I recognized this state, and realized that perhaps I am cycling again. Rather that dispair and pick up the phone to make an appointment with the pill doctor, I resolved to find some way to manage this myself. Then I remember the germinal line of a poem which occurred to me as I fed the crow cousins their breakfast of raw peanuts. And I resolved to turn that line into a poem. And did.

I was cured alright.

If writing is the channel for a certain level of mania, and the cure for episodes of depression then I will not go back to psychopharmacology to resolve this. Instead I see a path to management that Risperidone robbed me of. I can manage this. I no longer live alone with my familiar deamon. I have my partner and sister to slap me upside the head if I beer too far off course.

Real recovery is not an absence of symptoms, but a return to my truer self .

Here’s the poem. Fine enough but not amazing enough to worry about wasting a chance at real publication elsewhere.

How do the crows know
when I am awake, caw-ling
For the peanuts I will
Scatter in the street?
I have made this arrangement
To rekindle every morning
A forgotten relationship
With Creation, to unbuild
The walls our so-called
Civilization has erected
Against Nature. I call them
The crow cousins, adapting
The Native arrangement
Of a family of life.
Someday I will shut-off
The alarms demanding
Timeliness in obeisance
To the unnatural construction
Called modern life &
Wake when the cousins call.
I will make another New Covenant
& abandon dominion for
The company of familiars,
Bring back the magic
We have abandoned
& repose in a whole world.

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