Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Lithium, Part Two

My inner world is one of shapes - sculptures, lines, webs, rounded squares and rectangles, a distinct landscape, colors of association flashing the connections everywhere. Knowledge is brightness, ignorance is dark - metaphorical, but very organized.

Slowly, unnoticably to me, my inner world slowed and gradually crystallized into a round-edged block of brown glass. It was inexorable, and created edges and boundaries around what had been seemingly limitless space. It was heavy, dull, and it severed and suffocated those lines of connection between thought to thought, thought to action, thought to words to action. Dull lights flashed bravely in the dark, isolated, far away, unreachable, without connection.

Blink. Stop.
Feel. Stop.
Speak. Stop.
Touch. Stop.
Stop motion without motion.

Nancy Andreasen, in Secrets of the Creative Brain (http://www.theatlantic.com/features/archive/2014/06/secrets-of-the-creative-brain/), talks about the "association cortices".
"To read, your brain... needs to forward those black letters on to association-cortex regions such as the angular gyrus, so that meaning is attached to them; and then on to language-association regions in the temporal lobes, so that the words are connected not only to one another but also to their associated memories and given richer meanings. These associated memories and meanings constitute a “verbal lexicon,” which can be accessed for reading, speaking, listening, and writing. Each person’s lexicon is a bit different, even if the words themselves are the same, because each person has different associated memories and meanings."

The brown crystallization blocked my ability to create those associations, until I could no longer function even as the blood tests reported "below therapeutic levels". My life (beyond breathing and sleeping) depended upon being able to make those connections, but my ability to make them was being crushed.

I could no longer even make the connections that Lithium was causing it. 

I could not connect the thoughts that I could stop, I needed someone to explain to me that I could, tell me I must.

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