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Sam’s Magic Inventions, and Musings on Mental Health

Last night Lily announced that her tummy hurt. I muttered an uh-huh, sorry your tummy hurts sort of acknowledgement that we all know means “I don’t believe you,” and Sam asked:

Has any one invented–you know how one person feels pain, and the other person can’t know, like, how bad it is–like when you try on hockey skates, and no one but you can tell whether or not they really fit?

That was a little incoherent, but I got it, and I said no, no one had, and he said he would, and he knew just what it would look like–“a stethoscope, only for your head, to measure the nerves–Lily, did you know your stomach only hurts because it’s talking to your head through your nerves, and if you didn’t have nerves, you wouldn’t even know it hurt?

Not surprisingly, Lily did not know this. And she’d already abandoned the “hurting tummy” as unlikely to get her whatever level of attention or pepto bismol or free pass from school she was hoping for. But I thought Sam’s invention (which will go well with the tool to measure whether having a straw actually makes you drink more, which he had described all through dinner) was an excellent one.

I’m thinking of all this because I have been feeling so very up lately, so very cheerful and chatty and generally happy about everything, that I recognize myself to be in a lovely life upswing, which I am enjoying very much. I put it down partly to last summer’s having been such a massive downswing, and to relief at not feeling like THAT anymore, whatever that is, and partly to general personal brain chemistry–I’ve never been a person who hits neutral, life is always very very good or very very hard or very very bad (even when it’s clearly not, and also, pretty much the same way, when it actually is), and I’ve often thought that I could probably persuade a gullible doctor to give me some fun meds to take for that. (I know, meds not fun as general, needed thing, but it’s an amusing thought, and if I thought they would give me something along the lines of those focus-enhancing ADHD drugs that everyone raves about, I’d be tempted.)

Point being, there’s no machine to get in someone else’s head and tell if anything’s REALLY wrong. Pity, that, because even when I was severely dragging this summer, I was absolutely sure there was nothing REALLY wrong with me (but big thanks and a shout-out to the commenter who suggested I “go get some Prozac”). But you know, a machine to check would have been reassuring. Maybe a little finger tab, and you’d slip in a finger, and it would kind of take your pulse, and then a sort of mental-health-ometer would light up. I picture it like one of those things where you ring a bell at a fair, with green lights at the top: Perfectly Balanced! In Utter Acceptance of All Things! down to the red: Danger Will Robinson, Danger. Get Chocolate. Do Not Interact with Other Humans. Or Send Emails. Or Blog.

Although I guess if you are really sick, or depressed–to get away from the levity for a minute–interaction is just the thing. For me, though, since I’m just measuring my own tiny little scale of these things, interacting means a) I will say or do something I regret (but that may fund four psych docs in years to come); or b) they, having duly read their O magazine over the years, will believe I should hie me up and, as previously suggested, get some Prozac. There will be much worrying that I–just because I am a VERY GOOD VENTER (or should that be VENTOR) am not ok.

All this to say that I am, and doubly so now, that things are going well. Goodness what a lot of blethering. It’s probably worth noting that I don’t always post events immediately–especially if something went very badly, I occasionally sit on things for a bit–so that the blog may be a mood or two behind.

Is that a really, really long post to say that I am in a good mood today?


One Response to “Sam’s Magic Inventions, and Musings on Mental Health”

  1. shirlee says:

    Personally, I always knew you were okay. We writer need to feel things deeply. Big things and little things, they’ve got to burrow in and then burst out.

    Or, as it were, vent out.

    Which is simply my long winded way of saying….I’m glad you’re in a good mood and are in an upswing and can make me laugh.

    BTW, I LOVE your son’s imagination and brain. What a clever kid. Now, if only he can actually make those inventions work!

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