One might have thought that the last 16 months of semi-solitary confinement (brought about by two autoimmune illnesses) might have prepared me for the last 28 days of total-isolation, but lo… they did not.
The last 16 months were a “Wonderland” tea party, in comparison! Or, perhaps, my mind is playing tricks on me; and my memory of the past 16 months has been transfigured into something it really was not; but who’s to say for sure? I no longer trust my memory or my perception of reality.
Twenty-eight days ago, today, I made a life changing decision; with neither a care nor a worry. I willingly opted to have my knee joint replaced, with a bionic, titanium, version of a knee joint. There were many reasons for this; none of which I remember now, but there were many reasons. I think?
Easy peasy, right? Wrong!
The whole experience (Yes, yes, I hear, “That I willingly brought on myself,” ) has been a total and complete nightmare. The pain is unbearable. The inability to get around and move freely, is demoralising. The humiliation of being totally, 100% dependent on the person you love, is embarrassing and uncomfortable. And being in an exposed and vulnerable emotional state, 24/7 is stressful and creates a shit-load of anxiety.
…but wait, it gets even worse!
Imagine being alone, let me say that again, IMAGINE BEING ALONE; all by yourself, with only the four walls and the bizarre, preposterous, distressing thoughts and images that your mind begins to throw at you, day, after day, after day, after day; it is, the ultimate form of self torture.
After all… there is no escape from YOU!
My attention span is negligible; so reading, watching TV, writing a meaningful (or even meaningless) letter to friends or family members is not an option. I start to write them, lose my train of thought and leave them by the wayside.. Art work, i.e. papier mache, adult colouring, etc, is impossible, because I can’t sit in one place for any length of time, before my leg starts SCREAMING OBSCENITIES at me. (You know things are bad, when your leg is swearing at you! …but as long as you don’t talk back, you figure it must be okay, right?)
You start to see things. Hear things. You doubt your own reality. “Did I just say that out loud?”
You can’t even blame it on the pain meds, because you’re not taking them. The fear and paranoia of becoming addicted (or not being in control) has you crippled; so you just tough it out. (Ironic isn’t it? you would have happily ingested any/all of the meds, that have been prescribed to you in the last month, if this were 1972! …but unfortunately, it’s not!)
And why an I writing in the 3rd person?
Anyway… the fear of losing my mind is becoming very real. Too real in fact. To be politically incorrect, one could say I am fast becoming;
Mad as a hatter,
Away with the fairies,
Non compos mentis,
Off one’s trolley,
Round the twist,
As daft as a brush,
Not the full shilling.
It must be said that standing on the edge is quite intriguing… as I peer over the periphery, I feel both nervousness and fascination. Do I take the leap into the unknown; or do I stand tall, dressed in my hare costume, regarding the inevitable?
I should have known. I should have realised… spending to much time alone (regardless of how much you think you enjoy your own company) is enough to drive anyone MAD. Integrate the loneliness and isolation, with the pain, immobility, boredom, depression, anxiety, and the fear of losing one’s mind… and you could literally lose your fucking mind!
I guess only time will tell where we/I land on this one.
“You’re entirely bonkers. But I’ll tell you a secret all the best people are.”
― Lewis Carroll,