All that I am, all that I ever was…

I am more than my mental health. I am more than my homelessness. I am more than any one aspect of me. I am Addy. And this is…

Day #3: A great big magical button!

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This is the latest installment in the “Try Looking At It Through My Eyes” challenge, as devised by Bold Kevin on his blog Voices of Glass. If you’ve missed any of the previous posts, you can read them here:

| Day 01 | Day 02 |

~◊~

Day Three – “The Miracle Button”
If I offered you a miracle button which when pressed would instantly take away your mental health issues – would you press it or not?  And why?

button

If I were standing in front of a miracle button which would instantly take away my mental health issues, the conversation would go something like this:

MIRACLE BUTTON MAN
Who exactly are you?

ADDY
(fixed grin as he realises this could be his only chance to do something he’s always wanted to do)
Well. That’s the question.

MIRACLE BUTTON MAN
(confused, not realising he’s playing right into Addy’s hands)
I demand to know who you are!

ADDY
(imitating the Miracle Button Man’s rough voice)
I DON’T KNOW!
(relaxes)
See, there’s the thing. I’m Addy, but beyond that, I– I just don’t know. I literally do not know who I am. It’s all untested. Am I funny? Am I sarcastic? Sexy?
(winks cheekily)
Right old misery? Life and soul? Right-handed? Left-handed? A gambler? A fighter? A coward? A traitor? A liar? A nervous wreck? I mean, judging by the evidence, I’ve certainly got a gob.
(points up at the button with an insane smile)
And how am I gonna react when I see this? A great big magical button. A Great Big Magical Button Which Must Not Be Pressed Under Any Circumstances. Am I right? Let me guess, it’s some sort of control matrix? Hmm? Hold on, what’s feeding it? And what’ve we got here? Blood?
(dips his finger in it and tastes it)
Yeah, definitely. Blood. Human blood. Bipolar. With just a dash of iron.
(waggles his tongue around at the nasty taste and wipes his finger on his dressing gown)
Ahh. But that means… blood control…blood control! Oh! I haven’t seen blood control for years! You’re controlling all the Manic Depressives! Which leaves us with a great big stinking problem. ‘Cos… I really don’t know who I am. I don’t know when to stop. So if I see a Great Big Magical Button Which Should Never Ever Be Pressed… then I just wanna do this!

…and right at this point, if I were to continue with my loyal re-enactment of the classic Doctor Who scene, I would raise my hand into the air and whack it down onto the button without a pause. Only, if pushing the button meant my bipolar would be instantly removed, there isn’t a part of me that would be able to continue with this re-enactment, as there is only a small part of me that wants my bipolar removed.

Regardless of the pain, devastation, confusion and chaos that bipolar has inflicted on my life, it is still a part of who I am, and I part of it. We are one, my bipolar and I. Removing it would be like removing my eyes, my hands, my fingers or toes. It would be like erasing memories from my mind, eradicating my passions or expunging my innate playful kinkiness. I would still be breathing, still be walking and roaming the earth a living human being, but I wouldn’t be me.

I wouldn’t be the man who sits up all night writing hundreds upon thousands of words because the world would be a lesser place if I didn’t. I wouldn’t be the man who solves the world’s problems between the hours of five and six before sitting down to a nice cup of green tea. I wouldn’t be the man who streaked down Rundle Mall to win the posterior (and, as it turned out, friendship) of a drunken Scots lass. I wouldn’t be the man who tries to sneak spanking and/or obscure pop culture references into as many blog posts as possible purely because it makes me smile to do so. I would never have written I, Georgina whilst trapped in a state of hypomania or edited The Ghosts That Haunt Me to publishable standard. Without my bipolar I would never have met Annie, or Deborah, Louise, Kathy, Rachel, Annabelle, MsB, Stephanie, Sare, Layton or Grace.

Without my bipolar, I wouldn’t be Addy.

And without Addy, what would this world be?

MIRACLE BUTTON MAN
(interrupting my rambling, self-congratulatory train of thought)
It’s not just bipolar.

ADDY
What?

MIRACLE BUTTON MAN
It doesn’t just erase bipolar. It erases all your mental health problems. If you push that button say goodbye to your social anxiety. Say goodbye to those vomit inducing PTSD fuelled nightmares. Say goodbye to your demons, your depressions and despair. If you push that button you could walk down the street without crumpling to the floor in panic. You wouldn’t spend weeks on end locked away in your unit, nor hours on end sitting on the floor of your shower with a bloody knife in your hand. You would be able to sustain conversations, make people laugh and smile and want to be with you. You would have friends, Addy, who didn’t think you were a toy to be played-with or a project to be fixed. They could love you, truly, unconditionally, but only if you push that button. If you push that button…you can live again.

ADDY
(smiling at the thought of it)
My anxiety would be gone. Forever. I could smile again…

MIRACLE BUTTON MAN
…and dance…and sing…and hug…and kiss…and fuck…and whatever your heart desires. But…

ADDY
…only if I push that button. Only if I sacrifice everything that makes me me to be rid of this insidious anxiety.

MIRACLE BUTTON MAN
Yes. Who do you want to be? Do you want to be happy? To be someone who isn’t controlled by fear or ruled by the temperamental whims of mood and memory ? Or do you want to be Addy? Whoever that may be.

ADDY
(muttering under his breath)
The man going hiking says it. The misunderstood Viking says it. The man at the rodeo. And the lonely old Eskimo says.

MIRACLE BUTTON MAN
Last chance, Addy. Who exactly are you?

ADDY
(smiles)
I’m good, thanks.

MIRACLE BUTTON MAN
You’re sure?

ADDY
Would my life be better if I pushed that button. Something happier? Something more successful? Something less lonely? Something worth living? Absolutely.
(pauses)
But I wouldn’t be me. That’s what’s important. And that’s who I am.

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