It's strange to think of a 13-year-old me who a keychain that read "Of all the things I've lost, I miss my mind the most." dangling off her purple Jansport backpack. I had no idea that I was about to fall into a dark abyss of depression, obsessive compulsiveness, and super wacky body image issues. Get ready, 13-year-old, Meg! Life is about to get a lot tougher.
I was put on medication when I was 17 and I was on and off various antidepressants for the next decade. Being an idiot (or at least careless), I didn't take my medicine regularly. I would get it in my head that the pills were making me dull or fat or both, so I'd quit cold turkey and wonder why a day later I was bawling alone in my car at school.
It's hard to say if it was the medication or the misuse of the medication that has left me feeling like that entire decade was a blur. So much happened in the world during that time and I don't even feel like I was alive to experience it. At most I was watching a movie, never participating, only observing -- and falling asleep in the middle of it. This disturbs me.
I desire, at times, to be hyperaware of what is going on. I have moments where I want to read every section of every newspaper, confidently debate those with whom I disagree, attend protests and demonstrations and rallies, and donate all of my time and money to really patching up this little planet. But these moments are fleeting.
More often than not I am still stranded in my head, consumed by an inner world. I fixate on thoughts that I either forget to share or hesitate to because I feel they might be too loony. I'm starting to make it sound like I've lost my grip on reality, but I don't believe that's the case. Maybe I've just gotten too comfortable turning away and not paying attention. This is devastating. I don't have the excuse of insanity on my side; I just have deliberate ignorance.
A fearful life sprinkled with apathy isn't exactly what I ordered, but that's what's been placed in front of me. Do I build up the courage to ask the waiter to take it back? And if he takes it back, will it just come back to me? Because I am the chef in this situation. I cook my own meal, minute by minute, day after day. It's time I learn to digest my own creation, even if it's simply empty calories, full of preservatives.
But I want sustenance. I want my ingredients fresh and my knives sharp. I want to tip generously and lick the plate when no one's looking. To have a satisfying feast, the senses must cooperate. I want my appetite to come back.