My brain works in mysterious ways. It likes to be fed copious amounts of useless information. For example, did you know that if an ordained minister is knighted he does not have to take the title “Sir” because he’s clergy and would not be expected to carry a sword? My brain got all knocked up with a trivia baby over that one. Finding out the difference between a queen consort and queen regnant? It offered me a foot rub and a buy-one-get-one-free entrée coupon from Applebee’s.
What I’ve come to realize is that while I really hated school, I love learning. In fact that’s probably why I hated school. School gives you a lot of socialization and not a lot of knowledge. And since I hate people, school was an exercise in futility broken up by periodic bouts of extreme boredom and the occasional pudding cup. And I can’t really speak for college because I slept through it. I did some world-class sleeping in college.
One of the ways I knew I was coming out of a very serious recurrence of depression is that my reading habits changed. I read. A lot. And I read fast. In fact, you know how you pick up a book and think you haven’t read it, it doesn’t really sound familiar when you read the cover, you get it home, get about 100 pages in and BOOM! You realize the mistress did it in the kitchen with a lemon zester? Publishers change the book covers with every edition because of people like me. I’ve bought at least one John Lescroart book three times. So I don’t buy books anymore. I move through most of them so fast I don’t retain much of what I read. A year ago, that was okay. You read a Scarpetta novel, who cares you don’t remember it the next day? There’s not much to take away.
In thinking about the books I read, I can see when I started to feel better because few of the books I was reading were on The New York Times Best Seller list. Listen, I’m not saying that to be THAT girl. The Oh I NEVER Watch TV Or Read Anything You Can Buy In An Airport Girl. In fact, it was not too long ago I came out about my distaste for the work William Faulkner and how I found eating bacon to be much more satisfying than reading him. Look, this is what I do. I write about stuff like that. I do it because I CAN.
I’m not an intellectual giant, is what I’m saying.
But I’ve become hooked on this program from American Public Media called On Being. It used be called Speaking of Faith, and it’s hosted by Krista Tippett. It took me a long time to warm up to the show, but now I’m there, and I have a very long list of books to read that have been referenced on the show. I also listen to the podcasts a lot.
Coming back home from a weekend trip I listened to a show that talked about a man who was a particle physicist and then went back school and eventually became an ordained minister. So that knight reference before wasn’t so random, thankyouveddymuch. I was really fascinated by the discussion and went to the library to load up on this chap’s books. And I’m not going to lie, I’m lost with most of it. But it’s interesting wading through anyway.
I was telling my therapist about this particular show and how I was trying to wrap my brain around quarks and creation stories, and I was getting more and more animated trying to convey the conversation I wanted to have with my husband about what it means to have an infinite universe inside all of us and blah blah blah!! THERE WERE LOTS OF EXCLAMATION MARKS IN MY CONVERSATION!!
Then I looked at the clock and realized my time was coming to an end. She bid me farewell with this closing thought:
Her: It occurs to me that you don’t sound very depressed right now. People in the pits of depression don’t really get so excited about things like this.
Me: Yeah, I don’t think I’m very depressed right now.
Her: But, I do wonder…do you think you could be a little hypomanic right now?
Me: Manic? No, I don’t feel manic.
Her: Okay. I think this is just how you are, but when patients start bringing up quarks, I really do have to ask.