I think about that a lot, about simultaneous formality and informality of the question, “How are you?” And that at least I feel like I can never ever tell the truth. I don’t know if I’ve ever answered that question honestly including now.
Vocalizing something as abstract as how you are feeling in your totality is impossible. It’s kind of an impossible question.
So, it’s easiest to say, “Well I’m not actively dying. So, I’m fine.”
I’m going into this knowing, “oh, we’re going to talk about mental health stuff and I should be transparent and honest.”
I feel like there’s always this impulse from having practiced it so much that even in a space where you can be vulnerable and you know that you can be vulnerable, those defenses are so strong.
So, now I’m re-evaluating my answer. I’m fine, I’m just somewhat anxious. I also had a coffee today for the first time in months and I always forget what it does to me.
I’m remembering this thing that I used to do as a kid that I’m realizing is really weird.
A set of stairs Going from the first floor to the second floor At the top of the stairs if you look straight forward There’s a window
That window is too high up on the wall to be accessible to be cleaned or to have anything up on the window sill.
So it’s not really a place in the house that’s reachable in reality.
So what I would do is: I would go to the top of the stairs, and this was when I was a child so I was small enough that
lie on my side and imagine that this space that wasn’t accessible to a human body would be another secret room that existed in this house
So the window would still be the window But the whole room would be horizontal and slightly shorter because it’s such a narrow area.
Instead of things being on the floor, everything in this imaginary space was on the wall.
It was this room that only I could access because it only existed in my head really.
I guess the idea of comfort comes from having something that is only accessible to me.
In the same way the idea of how a bedroom would be inherently private in some way and comfortable in that sense.
Initially and conceptually, it comes from the idea that it’s not real, it’s a space where there aren’t consequences for anything which I think is also true of this imaginary on top of the stairs space.
I don’t know if I’m the only person who does this but sometimes ill keep things in my YouTube search history, that I know I’m going to search again, so I almost want to send you a screen cap of how terrible my YouTube search history is But I will play you some videos.
This is one that’s been making me very happy, “Choccy milk make pain go away”
I just think that that’s kind of fun. Let’s do one more.
"Have you ever had a dream that you, um, you had, your, you- you could, you’ll do, you- you wants, you, you could do so, you- you’ll do, you could- you, you want, you want them to do you so much you could do anything?”
I love that video but it also makes me so aware that That’s exactly what I sound like 90% of the time
It’s parallel to a bedroom, but not exactly a bedroom and I like the idea of combining what’s most appealing of those two things
And I think a lot of that would have to do with what kind of furniture is there?
Because my first impulse is to project comfort in an almost ostentatious kind of way
I think of a victorian bed with a canopy or something that adds a lot of drama to a space that is plain and not real
But now I’m interrogating, like why? why is that my impulse??
You’re thinking, “Oh okay, let’s make a place of comfort” And my first impulse is, “I know! Lets ruin it and make everybody uncomfortable!”
In some sense it’s reflective of how I think of my mental illness and being this thing I have to make peace with to some extant.
I really like the idea of embracing things that are bad, as if they are good.
I like the idea of comfortable darkness. Things like that aren’t inherently bad And that discomfort isn’t inherently bad.
I always think of this section From an Audre Lorde writing,
“These places of possibility within ourselves are dark because they are ancient and hidden; they have survived and grown strong through that darkness. Within these deep places, each one of us holds an incredible reserve of creativity and power, of unexamined and unrecorded emotion and feeling. The woman’s place of power within each of us is neither white nor surface; It is dark, it is ancient, and it is deep”
As someone who is currently very resistant to medicalized mental health environments and this insistence of, “Ok, this is a safe environment, you can say whatever you want.”
Knowing from past experience that that’s not true. It’s almost a shame that that sort of language has become triggering to me so much so that my brain can’t accept it.
It takes a really long time and a lot of trust for me to actually believe that that’s true even in a community environment as opposed to an environment where there is a balance of power.
Obviously, it’s like you and I are friends, I’m not afraid of you! Like, I trust you and I trust your judgement and I feel like I should be able to have that amount of vulnerability, but it takes so much active work to do that.