Let me tell you about my beast.
I have this beast, the Everything Beast that lives in my head. She is an all-consuming beast as befits her title. She yells, she screams, she scrapes, she crawls through the innermost channels of the furthest reaches in my mind, begging me forward, urging me on.
I imagine the Everything Beast as a Hydra with a head for every thought. Every head is as tenacious as a honeybadger, but in as relaxing a guise as a dutch grandmother who just got her weed shipment–or Betty White…she looks safe enough. When I think I’ve cut off one of the demanding heads, another head, another demand grows in its place. I can’t tell you how upsetting it is to behead Betty. (St Olaf is going to burn me in effigy)
The Everything Beast keeps me up at night. She screams that I’ve not done enough, said enough, read enough, written enough, composed enough, exercised enough, been enough of a friend, of a mom, of a partner. I’ve not planned, the Everything Beast tells me I’ll fail, she also tells me I’ll win.
Simply put, the Everything Beast wants me to be everything. EB is exhausting and as ever-present as water or the earth beneath my feet. I struggle to fight her back, to determine how to quiet the Everything Beast long enough to allow me to find rest. As of right now, the only quiet I find from EB is in sleep….when I finally give myself over to the black waves of blissful silence deep in the night.
I understand that she comes from my desires to be better, to achieve, but there’s achievement and then there’s insanity. I am walking the razor’s edge. Unfortunately, doing so seems to simultaneously drive me crazy and calm and soothe me. My brain is one that with its ADHD and MDD, needs to be ever-stimulated to keep it from darker places. The places that are dark in my brain, are black. Pitch.Black. The Strobe light of the Everything Beast is at least light, even if it’s overwhelming.
Only a handful of people have ever seen me when I allow the blackness in. I hide it like one hides a gambling addiction or love of Dan Brown novels. It is my secret shame. (yet somehow less-shameful than reading Dan Brown…)
BroadwayBaby and the Man are pretty much the most amazing people for helping me keep the Everything Beast fed just enough so that the Murderous Bitch stays at bay. The one that comes from the dark. The one that turns everything to black. The one that comes to kill.
When MB comes, I try to feed EB as much as she’ll eat, keeping MB as evanescent as is possible; but sometimes, sometimes the desultory pace MB keeps, locks me down and holds me in this pattern of dark. Thankfully, right now, EB is being fed, and is locking MB in her glass cage. I’m only hearing her whispers, her smooth chant. It’s not yet built to the cacophonous overture of the dark.
Right now, I’m winning. EB is winning. The very definition of the “lesser of two evils.” I am not one given to halcyon days and relaxed nights. It is not in my nature. I just need to stay happy enough. Maybe if I read a Dan Brown novel….
And now, since I’ve undoubtedly soured your mood…
Green Bean Pickles
Quick Green Bean Pickles
What Goes In?
- 1 jelly or pickle jar full of cut, clean, dry green beans and
- 2 radishes, thinly sliced
- 2 tbsp fresh dill
- 1 tsp peppercorns
- +for the brine+
- 1 cup white vinegar
- 1 tbsp honey
- 1 tsp sea salt
- fill the jar with the beans, radishes, dill, and peppercorns
- on the stove, combine all other ingredients on medium until salt and honey is dissolved
- remove from stove and pour over items in jar filled to the top
- cover jar and refrigerate.