I Am Not an Asshole. I Have an Illness Part 10

They call it waiting for the other shoe to drop. To me, it’s more like waiting for an oncology report. Don’t get me wrong. It has been a great couple of weeks. It is entirely possible that I…I must use gutter quotes. I don’t want to jinx it. It is possible I “turned a corner”…God, if I only had a dollar every time I said that only to be disappointed later.

It was a good piece of work, but that is all it is. It has brought me some peace. If I am lucky, it has changed my relationship with my illness…for a while.

These things are never binary. No, like my illness, it is a continuum. Causality is hard to assess. It could be the Aricept? When did I start taking it? At what point does it take effect?

Maybe I am experiencing dividends from my therapy sessions. Of course, it could be any combination or permutation of the three…or none of the above.

Sunspots. Yes, it’s sunspots. Alas, It’s probably the arbitrary combination of neurotransmitters for the moment. It’s quite possible that nothing I do has any effect, but I try anyway…

Yet everything is going well. I am like the man in the Buddhist parable hanging by vine above a tiger and on the cliff above him is another tiger. There are two mice chewing on the vine. He notices a strawberry on the vine, plucks it and eats it. “How delicious,” he remarked.

In my version, only the strawberry which symbolizes the present has its original meaning. I can put aside my concerns about the tiger below, which in my case is depression, the tiger above, which is hypomania, the anticipatory mouse ever vigilant about biopsy reports and shoes and the mouse of science and reason that wants to know the causes and conditions of everything.

I don’t know how long this strawberry will last, but there will be another one.

©2017 Stephen L. Martin

Photograph: Rare golden tiger at the Buffalo Zoo. It is also known as a strawberry tiger. Photographer unknown, public domain

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