I’m angry. Hacked-off. Galled. I’m banging my fist on the desk, making pens and paperclips jump with terror. And why? I’ll tell you why. Because, according to a clever man with a stethoscope who sent me off like a milk carton on Tesco’s conveyor belt into a funny looking white machine that bleeps, I have epilepsy. I therefore take tablets for epilepsy. I therefore try to resign myself to a life with epilepsy. And yet, despite this diagnosis, (based solely upon the fact that I get deja-vu with my ‘funny turns’) the fucking tablets aren’t doing their job anymore, and I’m not even convinced I actually have epilepsy. Yes, Richard Ashcroft, the drugs really don’t work, and at present they do just make it bloody worse.
So what’s a girl to do? Since upping my dose, my turns have, in fact, increased. Apparently they have to get worse before they get better, so I have been waiting for that shiny day when the ‘better’ bit begins. But in the last week I’ve been back to having them every day, between 3 and 20 times a day, and now, it seems, I’m getting the ‘director’s cut’ versions as well – longer, scarier, consecutive. Last night I had my first ‘mega’ one for about eight months and I remembered how scary and exhausting it can be.
Now I feel cheated. After all, despite the many downsides of temporal lobe epilepsy, the upside is surely the far-out mystical experiences, no? I mean it’s one of the most talked about side effects. And I’m exactly the type – arty farty, sensitive with religious-obsessive tendencies, from an unstable background and prone to strange and ‘mystical’ experiences. I’ve a catalogue of them that would look good on any potential crackpot or guru’s CV. So where the hell are they? Where’s my compensation? Where’s my communion with God, my ascent into angelic realms, my vision of humanity as never seen before? Where are the flashes of genius? Come on… Socrates, St Teresa, Dostoyevsky, Laurie Lee, Neil Young, Ian Curtis… they were all at it. Then, despite it all, I’d at least get in some more good writing material. But no. When it happens I just feel like someone’s let off a hundred thousand tiny bombs at the same time inside my brain and then I need to lie down.
Patience is a virtue, allegedly, so I’ll just have to wait and see. La, la, bloody la. So if you see my eyes rolling ever so slightly into the back of my head whilst we’re chatting over tea, just ignore it, will you? Or if I call you at midnight telling you I can’t feel the top of my head anymore and my legs have gone funny, please don’t click to answerphone.
Grumpiness is another after-effect. So tonight, instead of tying myself to my Imac in the hope of literary inspiration, I’ll be eating my dinner watching back-to-back Peep Show. That’s the only kind of communion I can handle right now - Mark Corrigan in a bad jumper, a wealth of pitiful human suffering, and a piece of battered haddock from the Co-op. Oh, let the angelic chorus begin.