Thursday, August 16, 2012


I met with my new psychiatrist on Wednesday. I'm pretty sure I'm older than him.

This is an ageist comment, the kind of comment I hate when I hear it said about my young clergy friends. But I thought it, and I figured I'd keep this blog honest, so there it is.

Since we were new to each other, we had to rehash some of the ground that I've been going over since last June. He had to ask me the questions about hypomania and side effects and suicidal ideation and self-harm and all of that.

He was really positive about me and my current condition. And that freaked me out.

Here's an example. We were talking about suicidal ideation, and he asked me if I still experience it. "Sure," I said. "It's in the background, always there."

"So do you have a plan?"

"Sometimes. But it's controllable."

"Good. That's really good. That's great."

And that's the thing. I don't want it to be great. I don't want "Feeling suicidal but I'll be alright" to be a good thing. I don't want to be acclimated to this, to accept it as part of what's "normal" for me.

But it is, and I have to.

I've seen this before, which is one of the reasons it bothers me so much. I saw it in Palestine, with the shock of guns and Wall and checkpoints slowly fading into the everyday background buzz of life under occupation. I see it here in DC, too, with just how immune I get to my unhoused sisters and brothers, sharing hot sidewalks and gathering in doorways and under awnings. I just don't have to notice anymore.

So I'm susceptible to normalization, and I don't want to be. I want to keep my capacity for shock. For caring.

Where's the line between radical acceptance and just being acclimated to awful?

I don't know. I really don't know.

1 comment:

  1. I don't know. It's scary and I wonder this nearly every day.