Yohannon (yohannon) wrote,

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Turning Myself Inside Out

Okay, so "Michael Clayton" (the new Clooney oscar-buzz-worthy vehicle) was REALLY good.

Having given up on ever having a satisfactory East-bay theater experience that didn't end with either Roni or myself wanting to chew off someone's ears or call Child Protective Services, we went to the Metreon in SF. Considering this was the "Sony" before it was the "Loews" metreon (in fact they still have a Sony Store), I was amused at the line of "Wii" banners that are now hanging in the downstairs lobby, even as I was distracted by the goddess of broad frame and tight grey jeans (MRROW!) at the entrance of the DaVinci exhibit. You know me... broad shoulders, long hair, glasses, and an ass for days. I could have eschewed the movie just to watch her work, but Roni and penguingoddess  would have bitch slapped me.

The movie is a legal thriller that you don't REALIZE is a thriller until you find yourself grasping the arms of your seat (or your companions) firmly. Clooney is so good you don't think of it as acting. It hands you the pieces and guides you in a  very non-twisty or gimmicky way.

A disturbing central theme to the movie is the nature of insanity and madness, particularly for those of us with known biochemical disorders.  Without spoiling the plot, one of the central characters is "manic/depressive" and on meds, and his alleged withdrawal from those medications are at the root of a pivotal event where he's apparently lost his mind.

Or has he?

The key point is: Were the meds correcting his "biochemical" imbalance at the cost of his conscious and soul? At what point do the so-called "benefits" of modern chemistry result in a loss to great to bear?

In my case I'm fearful that one of the forces blunting my urge, perhaps even my very ability, to write is the stimulants I take to enhance my ability to "focus". Yet, much as youngsters reporting feeling like "zombies" when under the influence of state-sponsored medications (carefully exempt from "Partnership for a Free-Drug America" exhortations) such as ritalin, is it really just a way of suppressing forms of expression that others might find too discomfiting?

Even more chilling is the idea that these drugs are preventing me from seeing myself as I truly am. As of next March I will have been taking various corrective chemicals for 16 years. Aside from the concerns of the long-term effects of taking speed with anti-depressants, how can I possibly know who the fuck I am anymore?

The trouble here is that people outside of this situation have difficulty understanding why people with mental disabilities would want to stop taking the drugs. After all, if you function well under the drugs, why would you stop? The over simplistic comparisons to diabetics and insulin aside, the biggest reason is that it feels like being re-shaped to make other people more comfortable. Initially, since at the heart my desire is to make people around me happy, this is a good thing. After awhile, when it's more than apparent that the drugs aren't enough, what do I have for my willingness to beat my personality and foibles into submission?

How much is fear playing a role? Fear of ostracism and failure pushed me toward this diagnosis of ADHD, both from my now defunct marriage, and from work at a company I've long since left behind me. It's still doing the same now, keeping me on drugs and terrified of either the day they no longer let me take them or (far worse) the day the no longer work -- which, to be honest, I suspect is already the case.

That last bit is key: What is my need for the drugs has gone completely psychosomatic? That I only THINK I need those pills to keep my focus, deal with my issues, maintain my relationships? The bitch is... how would I be able to figure out the answers to these questions?
Tags: personal, rant
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