Thursday, July 11, 2019

PANDORA'S BOX

I just finished reading Inheritance by Balli Kaur Jaswal. I don't know why Lucas recommended it to me so strongly and he even got me my copy of it. He kept saying I would be able to see how much the writer seemingly hates Singapore, which is apparent through the different characters' rants about it. As I read it, I completely related with many of the viewpoints of the "East" versus "West" that has always seemed to plague us. I also wonder if Lucas actually subconsciously meant for me to pick up on the mental health issues in the book.

When I first read the chapters introducing the protagonists, I started to feel confused and dizzy. It felt very intense, but in a way I'd never really felt, regardless of the book I was reading. So one of the characters has bipolar disorder, and she doesn't get diagnosed with it until she's close to thirty, and her family being a traditional Punjabi family pre-millennium, have never heard of bipolar disorder either, and they don't deal with it very well at all.

As I read Inheritance, I kept feeling discomfort. I must say it was written very well because I wanted to keep reading it, but it struck my raw nerves. I imagine that it must be like when I read a novel about someone struggling with sexuality issues and I enjoy reading about how eloquently it's written and communicated, but could and would never feel the pain that an LGBT reader would feel reading it.

I kept crying at the end of Inheritance, especially because she writes that in this case in particular, it was genetically inherited, and the father who didn't raise any of his children all that well, also has bipolar disorder, or at least a serious enough mental illness.

My sister has depression, and my father, I think he has bipolar disorder, or at least he has also been diagnosed by the institute of mental health in Singapore. Every time I think of all the things I abhor that he's done, I wonder if any of that could have been contributed by his mental illness.

I also know I have a tendency towards mental instability. I remember things I wrote, about Joey, or Bennett, or whomever the subject was. Some things I cringe about, and some things I feel outrightly embarrassed by. I remember one instance in which I blacked out, I don't remember what happened in a block of 24 hours, and I have a female anatomy, so anything could have happened to me in that time period.

It worries me, and it saddens me. Most days I function as normally as any person would, but it takes a lot of energy. Any day that passes without event is a day I subconsciously give thanks for, that I got through without constant monitoring, or medication.

There are things about me that are always at odds with myself. Sometimes I think, people are right, I shouldn't write about everything. It will live online forever, and I will only embarrass myself by it. On other days, I tell myself, the people in Singapore are used to a cookie-cutter, squeaky-clean impression of life. There are not many people who may find support or even relateable anecdotes of someone with shaky mental health. I want to tell you that I exist.

I smile and laugh a lot, but a lot of the time, that is not how I feel. On many days, for many hours, I think the human population is too stupid and it will be left behind. I think humanity has no hope to deal with climate change because everyone has their heads in the sand, like ostriches. I think in this day and age, if you're not depressed, there must be something wrong with you. I think things like this, and it worries me, because I know part of me isolating myself and putting myself on a different level, is definitely my mental stability.

My biggest fear is that I'm legitimately crazy and that I'm too much to handle. I'm scared Lucas will stop loving me because I will say something in a moment of psychosis or paranoia. I'm scared I will never be able to make something of my life, because I'm cuckoo. I really want to be able to do something in spite of this.

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