Sunday, March 28, 2004

Prepare for confusion

Work was fun today... (I have to write about this morning later, but it's getting late, and I am having a really good chat with Milla right now... and that just comes first. So here goes what I wrote earlier, and see ya in a bit...)

Anyway, I was in a really good mood today. It is very strange, I sometimes can't help but thinking about it: I wonder how much my happy pills have to do with what I feel. I mean, whether they dope me up or whether they just make me normal. Prozac is really just to balance out what you lack to a normal level. It's not an upper. Perhaps what I feel is the novelty of being happy again, and it makes me go bananas. One of the reasons I finally went to get antidepressants was that I sensed I got used to feeling in the dark. I forgot what it felt like to be happy, and that terrified me. Because that equals giving up... if you have no more goal... So now being happy and at peace is almost a totally new sensation to me. Years ago, I read in a German Psychology Today a criticism of Prozac and co.... they were described as a mind-altering drug, and desperately trying to be a good Christian and stuff, I decided I would rather 'suffer' instead of succumbing to drug use. What a foolish notion. In retrospect, it was sinful pride more than anything... the pathetic aspirations of bored Western bourgeois Christians to become of what they believe to be a martyr. Teh. I am making no secret of how ridiculous I behaved at times...
I know there may be some people who will give me flak for this, but being evangelical and living in an evangelical-only community was a bit like going through the puberty of faith: everything is a black and white issue, and terribly dramatic. Evangelicals can be a bit like teenagers: a bloody pain in the arse, and they think they know everything better than everyone else, and are beyond the need for correction.
I am what I would call a post-evangelical now... it is like stages of growing up, being a Christian... to me it was, anyway. Your first weeks and months with God are like experiencing everything thru the eyes of a child, in a spiritual dimension. You make sense of everything in simplistic terms, you believe and trust your elders like you trust your parents, you don't criticise them. There is a sense of wonder and play.
This is why I think the "born-again" phrase is so appropriate.
I had my teenager stage of being a smartass, and I'm afraid I haven't fully outgrown it yet. I am working on my rebellious phase right now, I suppose, because I am cutting the chord from mother church... which I may start to appreciate again when I am in my 'mid-twenties' of being Christian.
I find it easier now to take myself less serious in religious matters now. I don't feel the need to be right anymore, and I am pretty sure that God knows what he is doing most of the time, and he really doesn't need me to run the world. All he needs me to do is not being a bloody twat to people. Which I, I guess, manage to do sometimes.

Anyways, back from religion to Prozac. Heh. Marx would be proud of me, using religion and drugs in the same sentence. It is an absolute blessing to be happy again, to be able to enjoy my blessings, to notice things that were once invisible through the smoke-glass box of depression, and to feel connected to it.
I am not hyper. I am just back to normal. See how relative normal is... I felt depression to be my normal state once... or numbness. Being in a pit, fantasizing about death, being hopeless, terrified, afraid, those were the lows. Being tired and empty and indifferent meant normal level. Highs I had only on caffeine, and that lasted about 10 minutes everytime... Life becomes a drag that way. Being able to be happy without much effort feels like flying, like having the ropes cut that had tied your feet to concrete blocks for years. Like taking off five layers of heavy winter clothing in the first warm days of spring, wearing shorts and sandals instead.

So I bounced away at work, making food, chucking bits of tomato and cucumber at Clive and Nathan through the window in the wall connecting kitchen and front counter, dancing the MC Hammer dance to just anything on the radio...
You can't even take happiness for granted.

Just one downer happened today... and I dunno why it hit me so much, but it was a bloody slap in the face, and I just don't understand it.
Little Vicky and Rich were outside for a smoke, and I joined them for a minute by the back door. There are some benches inserted in the outer walls of the Oceanarium, by the promenade, and Rich sat on one. On the next one was a homeless bloke. Dark with dirt, matted hair, empty expression, the works. Is it wrong to feel sorry for him? Is it condescending? I dunno anymore. Is caring for your neighbor a form of arrogance?
I went inside and made him a thick sandwich, and wrapped it in a takeaway bag, and put a chocolate bar inside as well. I really just wanted to share my happiness. I was struggling with myself to write this, because I really don't believe in advertising one's "charitable acts", because that is just...wrong. It's like showing off what a 'great guy' you are, you know? But I really do it because I care, and of course, it makes me feel good... but that is a side effect... not the reason I am doing it. I remember when I bought a paper off a homeless bloke last winter, and he told me how someone had just given him a pair of gloves, and how happy he was about that. That was just cool. I can't give them money or stuff all the time, cos I just can't afford it, but I do if I can... and most of them are really cool and nice. Dom and I, if we have pasties and sausage rolls leftover at work and they let us take them home, we take them, and if we meet homeless guys, we give it to them, and usually they are really happy about that. I mean, we can't do much on our wages and being students and all... but it is something. I mean, one day it could be you sitting there, you know? And you know, instant karma is gonna getcha. I feel really bad whenever I walk past a homeless guy... and I do that often enough.
Anyways, the reason I write this is now is because I was so gutted and confused. I paid for the sandwich and went outside and offered it to him, and he took it alright.
I went back in to get him a tea, and when I went back out, he was gone. The bag with the sandwich was lying on the bench, and it looked like he had taken the thing apart and scrambled it in the bag, but never touched it. Like that was his way of telling me to fuck off.

Did I do anything wrong? Was I a condescending bitch to offer him food?
I just dunno anymore. It's not about pitying people and humiliating them that way. It's about recognising your fellow human beings. What the fuck did I do wrong?

Talk about digressing, eh? Digression is my middle name.
Sounds like a disease, doesn't it?

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