Thursday, October 28, 2004

Pop Rocks and Coke

When I was a little kid, I was always told that if I swallowed pop rocks and drank a can of coke, that my stomach would explode and I'd die an excruciating death. Similarly, I was told that if I made nasty faces, my face would get stuck that way and I would have to go through life looking stupid. My mom told me that the oil marks on the pavement near the grocery store were the remains of children who didn't hold their mother's hands.

We all believe in a lot of bizarre things when you think about it. Some people believe that there are faeries in the woods who sing and act of little mischievous deeds to bother passerbys. Others believe that there is life on other planets, that the Simpson-esque Kodos and Kang are hanging out above the atmosphere on their flying saucers watching us, as if we're that interesting.

But how do we know when our beliefs transcend a belief to become a reality. For example, how do I know that any of you exist beyond my imagination? How do I know that I have blood pumping through my veins? How do I know that my parents are my parents?

There are a lot of things that we think we know that we kind of take on faith.

When your foundations shake because of the quirks of mental illness, you have a lot of time to think about this. One of the things I think about everyday is why I take my medication. The ladies on my listserv tell that I'm in a phase that I will grow out of eventually, that everyone goes through their rebellious not-wanting-to-take-meds thing.

I don't claim to be different. But I can't help but wonder if taking these medications and expecting them to work is a bit like watching fireflies and pretending that they're faeries dancing in the twilight.