Ask Alice

Wednesday June 15, 2022

One pill makes you larger,

And one pill makes you small;

And the ones your doctor* gives you

Don’t do anything at all.

Go, ask Alice, when she’s ten feet tall.

Jefferson Airplane 1967 * Doctor changed from mother for this blog.
Welcome to my world, where there is no need to take pills, or eat or drink anything to feel like Alice.

At 1.45pm last Wednesday, while attending my company’s annual conference in London, it happened. I had helped myself to a plate of food from the buffet and was descending the short flight of steps to the dining area when those steps lurched suddenly to one side and, when I put out a hand to the rail, it shimmered and swayed out of reach. Off balance, I trod over the undulating floor, my head floating somewhere near the ceiling and my arms six feet long.

“Dammit,” I thought with resignation. “Here we go again.”

I stuck it out for the rest of the conference, and I don’t think anyone noticed. I was so grateful to be traveling by train because, when I’m like this, I’m not safe to drive.

I wrote about these symptoms in Ten Things I Hate About You, published October 13th, 2021, so I won’t go into more detail here. We all know – or at least I hope we do – that it’s our brain chemicals distorting reality. Whether it is our thoughts or our perception of the physical world, it’s all chemical. It seems real, but it’s not. I still feel like Alice, though.

One of the things I love about Alice in Wonderland is her acceptance of everything that happens to her. She accepts and makes plans to cope.

“Now I’m opening out like the largest telescope that ever was! Good-bye feet!” (for when she looked down at her feet, they seemed to be almost out of sight, they were getting so far off). “Oh, my poor little feet, I wonder who will put on your shoes and stockings for you now, dears? I’m sure I shan’t be able! I shall be a great deal too far off to trouble myself about you: you must manage the best way you can – but I must be kind to them.” thought Alice, “or perhaps they won’t walk the way I want to go! Let me see: I’ll give them a new pair of boots every Christmas.”

It may seem unfair that our perceptions of reality become distorted without the help of anything labelled “Drink me!” or “Eat me!” but accepting it and making plans to deal with it – perhaps a little more practically than does Alice – is a better way forward than wasting time complaining that it’s happening at all.

Our depression is our reality, whatever our personal symptoms. It’s not really real but it is real for us, so let’s make plans to cope.

Although, by Christmas, I hope I will have returned to my proper size.

Oh, and for any of you who now have the earworm, here’s the link to the song: https://bit.ly/3O8cmCE

A Moodscope member.

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