Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Finding the Fourth Wall

Over the summer of 2012 (can it really have been so recently?)  I was recreationally smoking what is commonly known as "spice".  It's essentially a random combination of leaves and twigs from various plants of unknown species, coated with chemicals to attempt to reproduce, when smoked, the affect of smoking marijuana, and sold as herbal incense to anyone over the age of 18.  Okay, so it had been quite a bit longer than just over last summer, but last summer I used it the most heavily.

Quite often, I was "too high".  There is a point, you know.  I'm apparently pretty paranoid (really didn't need any drug's help to figure that one out, but hindsight being 20/20 and all).  Several times I would hit this sensation of everything just not quite fitting in the universe.

I termed it "breaking the world."  It stopped after I stopped smoking.

Well, except for the fact that it opened my consciousness to a part of my brain I'm fairly certain no one else should ever have to be aware of.  This whole situation is hard to put into words, but I'll try.  I'll start by attempting to describe the "breaking the world" sensation.

Maybe five to ten minutes after having smoked, my vision would start to become extra focussed.  I would sit down and I could swear I could feel myself becoming separated from the universe.  It's very disconcerting to remember.  It was like I knew everything had already happened before, somewhere else, in some other time. It was hardcore deja vu.  We've all had that feeling, that something has happened, we've experienced a conversation, or seen a movie before -- even when our brains tell us that there is no possible way we've done this before.  Now imagine that feeling, and multiply it until you feel the world slipping around you, time passing you by for what seems like hours as you helplessly grasp at what is reality, as you attempt to regain your normalcy.

Now imagine coming back from that feeling, knowing the fear you felt, knowing the absolute terror you experienced, and then consciously causing it.

That was what my summer was like.  I wanted to do it.  I enjoyed it to a certain point.  I instigated the feeling.

And when the adverse effects of smoking caught up to me (increased phlegm production, hacking cough, reduced immune system -- I could tell, even if I never let it get to me, irritability when I couldn't go smoke, an urge to smoke at completely inappropriate times, quite frankly an addiction, even if I can't stand that it got to that point, I'm acknowledging it.), I stopped.  I quit.  I finished the last of what I had left over, and as of August 2012, I haven't gone back.

It...It was terrifying every single time, and most of the time, I was alone while it happened.

And it's like part of it hasn't gone away.  The awareness of my mind, of the thoughts in my head, of the circular, meta, completely insane track of my conscious mind, is now a regular thing.  I notice it, I can't escape from it.

I'm constantly aware of what I'm thinking, and I am constantly questioning why I'm thinking it -- and then I start questioning the questioning until it's a vicious circle I can't escape from.  I'm lost in it.  And I try and change the pattern of my thoughts and I start to question that, too.

It's like I'm caught in a comic book, staring at the panel I'm in, and beating myself against the walls, hoping I can break through.

I think that fourth wall is starting to crack.  I can't...It's too real sometimes.  It's like...Even now, as I'm writing this, I'm wondering why I'm writing it, what is the point of writing it?  Am I writing it for attention, am I writing it to get my thoughts out, am I writing it so I can analyze or so I can inform?

Have I made all of it up, or is it normal to feel this way?  This isn't something I've experienced outside of an author "breaking the fourth wall" in a story or comic.  That jarring sensation that breaks the story line, that derails the plot completely, throws you off.

There's a reason I don't read those anymore.

I'm too conscious.  I'm too aware.

I'm fucking sober, and this is how I feel.

And I can't stop it.  It won't stop, there is no way to turn it off.  I just am constantly aware that I'm thinking and then I suddenly will realize that I'm thinking about thinking and that's terrifying.  Because am I supposed to be thinking about what I'm thinking, and is that normal and if it's not, how come I do it, and why can't I stop it, and when will it stop and will I just go on thinking and thinking and thinking and getting lost in the train and suddenly, suddenly, grief and sadness rain down and I'm caught in this wave of fucking despair and I can't get out because now I'm thinking and I'm thinking and I can't....

And that's what's in my head on a nearly daily basis.  Hope you're not too scared.

Until Next Time, Dear Readers,

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