Hey hey, I'm a horse.
Blog exploring a world of manic highs, (not so much) depressive lows, the joy of hypomania, and the dead buzz of the medications to quell it.
Art, cartooning, comics and dissociative personalities.
I’ll take my index finger and thumb and pincer grip the sides of my jaw.
I’ll squeeze so hard my jaw bone pops out.
I’ll dig my right index finger into my right eye socket,
"And if thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee”
I’ll drag my face across the tarmac
(and it’ll make slooshing sounds)
I’ll kneel on nails.
I’ll break my shins.
I’ll press rosebushes into my breast.
I’ll do this all inside my head,
And for some reason,
I’ll be all right.
Blood, sweat, and ink.
Tomorrow I take my first paper for the A levels. For everyone out there who’s never been taken under the jolly ol’ British’s wing, or doesn’t actually live there, it’s a standardized major examination that is taken with incredulous seriousness in Singapore.
I am anxious yeah, of course I am - I mean, who wouldn’t be? The anxiety isn’t so bad as it was before, as in like the times before other major standardized tests. It was terrible. I’d heave sick out of my stomach every 15 minutes out of psychological terror. I hallucinated the nights before and trembled in the examination hall.
Looking at myself now with just white moths flitting around my stomach, I don’t know if it’s medication, complacency, or the result of 2 hard years of blood, sweat, and ink.
I’ve worked harder these two years in junior college (or pre-university, if you’d like) because I know that the route is short and narrow in test-crazy Singapore. Sir Ken Robinson’s ‘education revolution’ doesn’t seem to have hit here. I know that the minute I landed into a JC education, I was going to have to suck it up and not get my As (as I used to do) on wit and luck. I slavishly, I embarrassingly admit, I slavishly, slogged for these two years.
It’s time to prove it to myself.
I know my greatest enemy is all in my mind. My anxiety. The black worms in my gut, the voices in my head and the hissing of the walls.
I’ll overcome them - I want to to, I know I can. I have the blood, sweat and ink behind me to prove it. They were my sword and shield. I love the academic world, and here I am, at its gates, and they want me to prove myself before I can proceed onwards. I’ve got blood, sweat, and ink dripping off me.
C’mon man, I know you can do it. If you’ve staved off jumping off the highest cliffs in the world, and drowning the lowest abyss of the deep, you can surely get over a few papers made by a couple of blokes in merry ol’ Cambridge.
Just remember, whenever you’re stuck, look behind you.
The answers are in the blood, sweat, and ink. Don’t forget that Oxford comma.
I can’t seem to close them.
It is amazing how tiny things can ignite huge sparks, enveloping waves, just folds and folds of chemical feeling. I can’t tell if the feeling’s physical or emotional any more.
It didn’t use to be like this, it wasn’t like this before the big reveal. Being aware, being aware of the spiders crawling up your gut and your teeth falling out of your gums, the black bile leaking out from under my eyelids, my fingernails yellowing and falling from my arthritis-ridden finger joints.
I used to suffer from mental illness in blissful ignorance.
It’s like gashing your leg without knowing - funny how you feel the pain but aren’t aware of it, funny, funny huh?
You don’t feel the pain till you see the blood - that’s how it is for some people, for over a decade I never fathomed the possibility of being mentally ill, so I suffered in a passionate and blissful pain.
Now daily I am aware, aware of the sinking feeling, or aware of my palms sweating, I feel my pupils dilate and my heart speeding up. I am aware of the lopsided grin that spreads across one half of my face like a stroke victim. I. Feel. My. Heart. Kicking. My. Sternum.
I can’t continue, I can feel my brain frothing pink froth at its diseased mouth and like a syphilis infection, the fever’s shutting me down slowly.
I know it’s ridiculous.
I know it’s ridiculous, but I don’t want to go to school tomorrow.
I love going to school, I love love love love the people there and the lessons and the studying and everything.
I like the structure and schedule and rules and boundaries that make me feel safe and cozy.
But sometimes, like tomorrow, where there is a “workshop” where everyone is free an’ easy instead of being together as a “class”, I get so upset and nervy, becaause I know everyone will ball int their little cliques in which I will not be a part of. They’ll leave me, out, and they’ll make a show of it.
I know it’s ridiculous. I know that because sometimes I mind and sometimes I don’t mind.
Tonight I mind.
I don’t like being labelled as part of a group and I guess that has its repercussions. Like a scarlet letter of indistinguishable etymological origin, on some days I wear that badge with a fierce pride, and some days it leaves me with an inexorable anguish, burning my breast and cheek.
Doesn’t help that I have assholes getting smart with me. Unbelievable wankers.
I’ll go to school tomorrow because I like to. I don’t want to fallow at home. If anything, the pain of being excluded will distract me from the pain of insanity and whooping, gleeful misery.
I don’t want to be a pain in anyone’s ass by being a pain in my own arse.
Socrates and the Ancient Skeptics theorized that we can never discover the Truth about Reality simply because it is beyond us and the best we (and great minds like his) can do is to accept it and remember this as an underlying basis as which we are to lead out our lives. Nonetheless he said, despite this foundry on which we exist, it doesn’t mean we cannot continue to question the big Truths in life and continue to challenge current beliefs and maybe come to some sort of higher understanding of the nature of the world. I quote this from memory but I think this sums it up pretty well.
There are many rules which these great philosophers based their lives of questioning on, of which I particularly liked the Practical Criterion by the Ancient Skeptics which expounded a contentment with the natural pace of society which was to be the basis of which we can question the nature of Reality in a contented, stable manner.
As we as human beings grow older, we naturally come to know more about the Truth of Reality. I think that’s a fact. You can see it easily when you watch a movie different times in your life, your perspectives change as you grow older and every new viewing adds new perspectives to your viewing of the movie from the previous session. I like to see it as opening doors. in life we open doors to new perspectives and revelations. Once we open it, we can’t close the doors, and we are free to explore the rooms, arrange its contents, or bring new contents into old rooms and vice versa. In the likeness of how the whole of the Universe works, the first thing we do is to try and make a working system out of whatever we have, and though it may take years. With all the contents of the rooms we open, we arrange, adapt and customize all the threads of understanding and knowledge we have to construct our world views and personal identities.
For some people, they open doors to religion, in which they quickly explore and set the furniture into a cozy resting place in which they comfortably understand the world. For others, they open door filled with facts and statistics and academic journals in which they stash under the coffee table and view life from. Some open both doors, others open other doors not easily classifiable. I’m sure you’ve opened some doors that you are still arranging the furniture in, and some doors you’ve opened and superglued the contents within down otherwise known as your personal bias and set worldviews. We open doors till the day we die - or so I’d like to think.
In the throes of an energy fit, as my brain has seizures to the point of involuntary physical reactions, sometimes, I kick open doors without knowing it and I stumble into the rooms behind them in a fantastical, lunatic state.
What I see inside seem to defy any world concepts of naturalness and supernaturalness. I open my eyes and can’t see anything yet see everything. I can smell the blinding light and hear the dead silence. When I enter these doors I see things that human beings cannot see, cannot even begin to understand. Perspectives that have immense revelatory potential. I see things inside these doors that let me dissect the mysteries of human nature, solve the meaning of life, tell me my purpose on the face of this Earth..
..Call it solipsism, self-centeredness, human nature, but sometimes, I really do feel like I feel more than a lot of the people around me, like in the face of all these numbskulls sitting around me, I am closer to the Truth, I live in a more real Reality, I am at a higher consciousness from the shallow, superficial and trivial bags of flesh and Darwinian survival instinct fallowing around my physical being! Good God..!
But then, like how the Universe was modeled, I try to make sense out of it, make it a system that works, something collapsible and expandable, something with form and structure I can wrap my head around. The contents of these rooms float freely and the fundamental laws of physics, the unamendable laws of religion, and the self set laws of personal experience elude them, nothing I know can apply to them, yet they are everything, everything, I’m sure of it! Yet like Socrates and the Skeptics, my logical side knows that I can’t ever grasp the Universal Truth, but when I am bathed in the fire of insanity I can’t help but flail my arms about trying to draw every floating mass to me and barbarically smash them together to try to create a working system out of them. Like the theoretical watchmaker that made this world, i try to construct my own mini universe out of these floating bits of knowledge and philosophy.. but can’t. I know they all mean something, but what? How? It’s all bits and pieces that I try to consolidate in this reality I am rooted in through words and pictures and chemical highs. It wreaks havoc on my mind, it ravages it and tears it to pieces, but how could I ever denounce it? Being closer to the Universal Truth, seeing into the meaning of all creation, how could I stop? How could I?
But you wouldn’t understand, of course you wouldn’t understand, how could you understand a new reality that I come to taste and you haven’t? Plato’s Allegory of The Cave makes a little easier to understand - if we were all men chained up at the back of a cave, with our backs turned to a fire for all our lives, our version of reality would be the shadows of the men and things that passed by the cave fire projected on the wall. We’d never contest this because we all never knew better. What if one day I broke free of my chains, what if I took a peek at the men and the fire behind all of us? Would you believe me when I told you what I saw? Would you believe me if I told you there was a new reality? I’ve just taken a peek, a little peek only, because normalcy - normalcy, the smile in a child’s eyes and the dead stare in a million adult’s - medicated me back into society, back into staring at that wall. Would you believe if I told you I’ve been somewhere higher? Would you discount my experiences? Would you listen to me and not try and circumvent the issue with your ad hominem, or red herring fallicies of logic..?!
You’d probably call me insane.
Oh when the medication kicks in the doors slam shut and bar me from entry, but can I forget what I have seen, smelled, felt in there? I cannot take away the revelations that have begun to seed in my mind, but how can they continue to grow unless I enter that door again under the influence of revelationary mania and hysteria? When the medicine kicks in it doesn’t really matter because both spiritual and tactile senses are dulled. Me, as Narrator, sitting in my classroom at midday, wonders whether reality is more tactile or more supernatural. Whether what I feel is within me or outside.
As I try to live out the life of the Skeptics, in touch with society’s needs and norms, yet trying to gain access back into those locked doors, more questions rather than answers seem to spring forth as I dwelve deeper in the search of the Truth.
Gee I’ono, the A-levels are coming up pretty quick, they’re pretty important exams. I’m not a bad student, in fact I’m a pretty fuckin’ good student so my only concern for examinations is that I don’t have a flip out session, triggered by something or just brought on randomly.
Aside from actually tackling the exams, I’m really looking forward to the after exam period, I really am, not because I want to space out or drool in front of a computer for days, but I really think it’d be a great time to finally do some growing, yknow?
After the exams, I am going to
Work on my art. I’m even booking a trip to a stable in Malaysia to do a lot of horse-themed works. I’ve only ever been up close to real life horses twice in my life so that’ll be great. Time to experiment and let things flow would be great, because hen life is so rushed and jumpy now, the patience to work on a piece over days really decimates.
Work on my career. I’ll be going back to school to get a job as a research assistant, how awesome, being paid to go to school and research on my favourite subjects. I’ll wear a school uniform to troll all the teachers too. It’ll be great in my CV, especially since I want to go on to work in education.
Work on my independence. I’ll be going overseas alone with some of my friends to Hong Kong, it’ll be my first time going overseas alone. I’m a natural worrier and I am aware this sort of thing can trigger a manic episode, but I’ve got people who caare for me on that trip and it’s my personal goal now that I’m aware of my condition to see how far mind over matter will go in managing my condition. It will be great time to bond with this set of friends I’ve had over 10 years.
Work on my relationships. I’ll be going overseas to Taiwan with some of my family too. I don’t do the family bonding thing as much as I’d like and I’m looking forward to it. I seem to be going overseas a lot huh. I guess it’s something I promised myself to do after I was barred from going to an education trip to Cambridge earlier this year. It’s a horrible story, and contributed to the most revolting manic-depressive episodes in my short life. Stigma and misunderstand in an institution is incredibly devastating. Being barred from going two days from departure nearly drove me off the edge after preparing for the trip a year in advance. I guess this is how I make up for it. A promise to myself.
Work on my spiritual side. A lot of my art will do this. Maybe I’ll post a little up here.
I guess this list is really important to have up here. It’ll be written proof of my goals in case I stumble along the way. It’s a blessing and a curse to live in a little bubble, where outside people’s actions rarely affect you at all, but you have to be the sole motivation in your life. I guess I really do make or break myself.
Well, I hope this was one of the more saner and less depraved posts. Back to the books.
Edit: It’s been a couple hours now and I’m back to this post.
I realized the main reason I wanted to write this post in the first place was because I wanted to rant and rave about how after the A-levels my psychiatrist agreed to try me on different anti-psychotics that wouldn’t make me gain 10 kilos in 3 months or drools like an idiot during lessons, maybe didn’t have such a crazily strong sedative effect that leaves me unable to function. But as I got into writing it, that idea slowly dissipated. It was like thinking of all the happy things I wanted to do kinda overrode the main angry reason why I wanted to post anyway. I really do want to get off this medication, but perhaps there are things in life that unconsciously I wanna do a little more.
Bad sad/ good sad. Bad happy/good happy.
Emotions are a huge part of my life. Huge as in sometimes are in a overwhelming influx, and at other times there is a huge void, lacking of any emotion. On one hand, having too much ravages with the way you see the world, distorting it from the already (very) different way I believe I perceive it to be for me. This can lead to some very scared and upset people who have to deal with me, which I am sorry for. On the other hand, coursing through life on an auto pilot where the lack of emotions makes you a rash decision maker, a flippant and unemphatic person and a zombie also leads to hurtful words and regretful decisions. It leads to upset people as well.
That is why my view on emotions may seem a little off-putting to some. Emotions are a risky deal in the Kai-world, and you have to approach them like an alien on the biopsy table - with surgical precision into the unknown. Sadness could wreak havoc or it could inspire creative genius. Happiness could leave me frothing rabidly at the brain or turn into a beautiful gesture for someone else. Anger could leave someone with a bloody eye or could be a driver for social change. Fear could cause worms to escape from my pores and enter my airways or it could lead me to empathise and care for someone. I don’t always have a choice which way to teeter.
But one thing I do know is there is always bad emotion X and good emotion X. It’s not about my perspective or attitude about a problem here, we are not talking problems, we are talking emotions.
Life in Kai-world is quite detached from the real world. Emotions are not always triggered by happenings in the real world. They come and they go whenever they want to. Sometimes there is a trigger, but the emotions they bring do not correlate with the trigger. Bumped into a stranger at the mall? Stammer, utter jarringly, “sorry”, get a rude glare back, and all hell breaks loose in your mind. Logically you know it doesn’t make sense, why am I reacting this way? Why am I freaking out? What is thaaaaah noise? WherAAAAAHHHH AHHHHHHHis it comiAAAAAAAAAAAH fr-AAAAAAAAAAH
MAKE IT STOP
NO DON’T STOP!
And on it goes.
When the screaming in your head starts, what can you do to make it go away? What happens when you start to rub your eyeballs on tree bark? Scrape exposed brain matter on the tarmac? Flip your nails open? Swing a hammer through your teeth? Stick chopsticks in your ears? What, I- I just get it to stop, no, it’s not going to stop. This is bad happy/sad. The inexplicable joy that comes from your misery is something that can’t be helped. It doesn’t go away. It doesn’t go away until your eyeballs are gone, your brain is a 10 meter line behind you, your teeth are lying on the floor with your finger and toe nails, and you can’t hear anything but ———————————————————————-A
Bad joy. bad sad.
Mania. Social anxiety. Depression. Oh, and my favourite, manic-depression.
Then. Then there’s this I’m feeling now. There’s good sad. And I’m glad that it’s a good sad. Me, as Narrator, can tell you that I, Omnipresent Narrator, am feeling a good kind of sad.
Good sad is what you feel when you get
- bad exam grades that never get better
- never seem to get better at your hobbies
- never fit in with the popular kids
- miss your bus after running for it :«<
- Get called stupid by a teacher/parent
- A bad breakup with a friend or S/O
- Getting in an argument with someone close
- Missing out on a fun outing, feeling left out
- And so it goes
Sound familiar kids?
I’m glad for good sad. I am. Good sad tells me that things are working okay up there in my squishy squashy in my head. Good sad are things that have potential to get better. Good sad is a sad you only feel because you also know what constitutes happiness. What a beautiful kind of sad. What a human kind of sad.
Everywhere, it’s everywhere, it’s the beauty of our kind. The sadness that comes from knowing a profound happiness. How it contrasts with bad sad. The mad sad. The sadness that brings whooping delirium and joy! Oh the joyful sadness, red eyed and frothing pink foam! I hear it, I see it, I read it everywhere. I bend my finger joints backwards until they snap, angered by how they cannot appreciate their good sad, how they cannot appreciate their sanity..!
But can I discount their feelings? After all, how can you appreciate something unless you’ve experienced worse or have it taken away from you? How can I tell them to appreciate their soundness of mind if it’s never been rocked to the core? I could well be guilty of under-appreciation as well, but oh, oh..! When I hear the people surrounding me bemoan all their good sads, exclaiming it’s the end of their world, and how terribly— terribly oh so horribly their lives are going.. In my head, as my teeth begin to rot next to my yellowing nails and brain matter begins to ooze out from my ear, I kneel down and I cry out at their feet:
O! What a beautiful, beautiful sadness!
National Suicide Prevention Week
It’s a great thing, really.
That people try to prevent this sort of thing from happening.
We are all connected, I’ve always felt - yet so far away from each other - I’m sure you’ve felt it. Maybe sitting in the bus alone, looking at all the people around you. Haven’t you ever felt close to these strangers? Knowing that somehow, somewhere in that intangible web of fate that they matter to you and you matter to them?
Maybe it’s just me.
Maybe we get turned off by their glassy eyed stares.
Point is - even when I’m feeling incapable, shitfaced and helpless, in absolute need of somebody - I wish I could help. I guess that’s my goal in life, to be someone’s light, not and emotional crutch mind you, but someone’s light.
Before I become a light though, I have to get out of the dark.
Before someone becomes your light, you may have to help them get out of the dark.
Till then - I hope you can be a light in someone’s life.