I believe in the word precarious

Karen - Pacific Palisades, California
Entered on November 10, 2008
Age Group: 30 - 50

I believe in the word precarious to describe the brain.

Precarious is a word I kept finding floating around in my head until it would just stick there and I knew that somehow it was describing so vividly what I was living. Nothing is for sure and we are just teetering on the edge of something entirely different. Sanity maybe. And it probably is sanity that I was thinking of because I started to detect the fine line between being okay, and functioning in the world as a normal person does, and then all of a sudden, one day, you are a prisoner of something in your head that is telling you that it is a very big deal to leave the house, or to go to the store or even to take a walk, or you are suddenly in the presence of someone who can no longer do these things.

I know what it feels like somewhat, but I don’t know it as well as my son Justin does. My worries, even if they have been extreme at times, are founded in my knowledge of the world and possibilities. His are based on his very limited knowledge and experience, and no matter how implausible they are, to him they are entirely real. This is the tragedy in this experience, as it shows the most beautiful, carefree little boy who took such absolute pleasure in just being outside with a ball on a sunny day, gradually become a prisoner of his own mind and thoughts to the extent that he could so quickly lose all of the pleasures he took in life to become a joyless introspective being who could not see past the evil pranks of his very own brain. One day he was a happy 9 year old who worried, and the next day he was a ten year old suffering from OCD who was afraid to leave the house and wanted to die.

We walked to edge together, Justin and I, and we peered over the precipice. We teetered precariously over an abyss and together we walked back, hand in hand. He is safe now. He is happy at age 12, but I watch him every day. I give him his meds and I watch the look in his eyes. I know he is happy today, but I never know what tomorrow will bring. I believe that the stability of the mind is precarious. I can never again think of it in any other way.