Alright, I’m back. It really hasn’t been that long, has it? It feels like months to me.
The past few weeks have been a weird black hole in the middle of 2019 where I’ve barely left my flat. Nothing has happened. It was nice to have some time off but, to be honest, I’ve missed blogging way too much.
I may not have acted on any wandering and tangential thoughts… But I still had them… Over the last two weeks, I’ve written some of the quicker missives and made them scheduled posts. I was sad to see other thoughts drift away from me.
I feel like the desire for a little hibernation was just a sign from somewhere else in my body that I was gonna need it. Far too much of the blog break was spent in bed. I caught a cold, then a throat infection and rounded things off with a sinusitis chaser that I’m still getting over. It has been a prolonged load of bullshit. And, yes, it did actually look a lot like this…
(Eternal thanks to Prat for these illustrative snapshots into my squalid and sickly life. She is quickly gonna become this blog’s unofficial illustrator if she’s not careful cos this isn’t the first time. I’m gonna need to find a way to pay her a salary.)
In between the constant napping and procrastinating, I have thankfully managed to do what I’d planned, which is get “Egress” into good shape.
I have a manuscript, if perhaps still an imperfect one.
Blogging is still gonna come second to finishing it off but, at this point, I don’t feel like abstaining from the blog is actually helping with productivity anymore. It’s good to have it as a offshoot for stray thoughts that can otherwise clog up the brain pipes.
At the moment, I’m working on the book’s final chapter, and it’s one that has caught me very much by surprise.
For months I’ve been trying to fit the pieces of the jigsaw together, seeing if anything I’d written about Mark on the blog over the last 18 months could help tie off the loose ends of this manuscript that has been lying around for about a year in near-completed form.
The issue has always been the ending. It’s never quite felt right before. But it does now.
I ended up collating last year’s Westworld posts into a long final chapter, bringing Deleuze and Guattari back into explicit orbit of Mark’s later writings and arguing that his emphasis on “consciousness raising“, in the last few years, when infused with his Acid Communism, would instead look like a DeleuzoGuattarian “unconsciousness raising”. If communism requires a newly conscious collective subject, acid is the qualifier to drag the unconscious along with it.
This was surprising because those Westworld posts were initially written with patchwork in mind, but it served as a reminder that much of last year’s research explicitly grew out Mark’s interests in new forms of collectivity. It gave me a kick up the butt to start collating some of those posts into something long-form as well. Maybe I’ll have to take another break soon to hammer out a patchwork book…
This, in turn, has got me back on an American literature kick, so expect more frontier psychiatry over the coming weeks.
The main reason for wanting to dip my toe back into the blog is that there are some new things on the horizon that I want the blog open for documenting — the main one being that I start my sleep study on Friday.
I mentioned this a few weeks back on Twitter. I’ve been looking into new forms of treatment for my depression over the last few months. I doubled my SSRI dosage at the end of last year but I’m still on a criminally long waiting list for receiving any other sort of treatment on the NHS.
Things still aren’t that great with me and the main issue is fighting the uphill battle of looking after myself. As pathetic as it feels and sounds, I’m actively looking for help and support with a lot of basic stuff, like eating better and whatever else.
My weight is fluctuating a lot, which is probably helping to make me so sick, and my physical energy levels are nonexistent as a result. This is always a dangerous position for me. Whilst the depression itself may be being kept at bay by medication, the constant war between my brain’s utter indifference to my physical health and my body’s frustration at my mental health persists, and worsens when I’m supposedly keeping my shit together.
After the last month of sickness, I’m starting to worry more and more about some kind of future singularity where the two low points meet.
Then, out of nowhere, a lifeline: just as I was getting desperate, I got an email invitation to take part in a sleep study being run by a university here in London, looking at how light therapy and changes in sleeping pattern can help support the treatment of depression. Their hope is that, if the trial returns promising results, they’ll start offering this kind of sleeping pattern reset and light box therapy on the NHS.
The treatment sounds pretty out there and I’ve just found out that I’m due to start it this weekend. I’m not sure what to expect but I’m going to be spending a few nights in the hospital where therapists are going to keep me up all night. (Something ironic about a sleep study where the doctor’s intention is to keep me awake.) I’m assuming I won’t be allowed stimulants or sugar to assist in keeping me up artificially but keeping me up all night is what they want then letting me blog all night would be a good start.
I’m going to keep a diary of how it goes — hopefully with pictures — and probably post somethings up on here later. In the meantime, enjoy a few things that have been sitting in my drafts for a bit. I’ll post again next week.