A Letter from my Former Psyche by Joules Watts

Photo by Joules Watts

Dear Joules,

You have to end your quest.  Seriously!  You’ve been looking for so long to find the holy grail that will restore me and bring me back.  It’s a futile quest.  Copper toxicity and the damage that came with it turned me into the psychological equivalent of swiss cheese.  Even if you got everything back to normal, I wouldn’t be able to come back.  Too much of me is gone.  And unfortunately you, not me, have to deal with the aftermath.  I’m so sorry.

Art by Obsidian AbnormalYou remember me like I was some shining paragon of amazing and brilliance.  I really wasn’t.  Yes, I had a phenomenal memory and mental clarity.  I could learn things with ease.  I was a musician but remember I couldn’t compose or improvise worth a damn.  That was frustrating!  I was kind and empathetic, but naive as all get out.  I denied myself any negative emotion because it simply just wasn’t done.  It lead to a lot of pain.  Not just for me but for those I loved.  I wasn’t all sunshine and rainbows, that’s for damn sure.

I was so very flawed, Joules.  Medicated with ritalin from 2nd grade.  I didn’t have the tools to function without meds.  If I forgot to take meds, I was close to worthless.  I couldn’t function at all.  Remember that I never learned how to recover from failure?  Yeah, when I inevitably crashed and burned, I didn’t know how to get up.  How much was lost due to my ignorance, my singular reliance on my memory and intuition?  So static, so many opportunities wasted because I didn’t have the tools to grow.

So it’s no surprise, given my fragility, that I wouldn’t be able to withstand the upcoming biomedical onslaught.  Like thin strands of sugar crystals, I shattered when I encountered resistance and nearly disintegrated.

Photo by Joules WattsBut you, Joules.  You didn’t shatter.  You didn’t scatter.  You re-forged yourself after I was gone.  And you gained so much that I don’t think you see.  You were able to learn how to get up after failure.  There is a tenacity in you that I never had.  You were able to gain skills, to adapt, to grow.  You became something I never could be.  Anxious.  Angry.  Frustrated.  Scared.  Determined.  It became a fuel source for you.  Simply brilliant.

You took your inner demons and made them your advisors.  You had the strength to not only face them but to accept them.  To integrate them.  To master them.  I ran from them and denied them.

I have seen you stare into the abyss.  The void where depression and illness and everything uncertain hides, waiting to strike.  And when it stared back at you, you sneered and winked.  Honestly it was the coolest “come at me bro” event I’ve ever witnessed.  I Photo by Joules Wattson the other hand closed my eyes and hid.  Denying that the abyss even existed.

So in the face of that, what do I have to offer?  Why are you so determined to bring me back?

I understand the near obsession of getting back what you’ve lost, more specifically what was stolen.  Your memories, your talents, your former glory.  But, dearest Joules, you can’t have mine.  Not anymore.  All that I had is nearly gone now.  You’ll have to go out and find them on your own.  Start from the beginning once again.  But this time, you have an advantage.  You know you can do it because it already happened.

Art by Obsidian AbnormalI don’t know how much of me will remain as time goes on.  As old things get fixed and as new things failed.  So I ask you this, Joules.  Remember me, as best you can.  Think of me fondly.  But accept that for all intents and purposes, that I am gone and can’t be brought back.  Stop longing for what once was and start planning on what you will now be.

So before I go, allow me a little paraphrase from the 9th Doctor.  (I know he was your fave before Peter Capaldi came in as the 12th…)

Joules, before I go, I just want to tell you you were fantastic. Absolutely fantastic. And do you know what? So was I!

-The Former Psyche of Joules Watts

About the author: Joules Watts

Joules Watts describes herself as a self driven bumbler and science afficionado.  Her husband describes her as irreverent half ifrit, which probably explains her incredible heat resistance and fiery personality.  The truth is probably a unique amalgamation of the two.

Aside from her day job, Joules is a geek (leans sci-fi), musician, writer, podcaster, gamer (both video and tabletop), and unfortunately a mildly brain damaged, semi-professional medical patient.  In her considerable free time (trademark sarcasm) she enjoys reading, top rope wall climbing, and chasing the ever elusive full night’s sleep.

Joules currently co-hosts Seize the GM, a podcast that focuses on how to be a Game Master.  (Episodes drop every Thursday, barring horrible technical issues).  She’s also a player on the podcast Hidden Grid (A Shadowrun AP podcast that’s currently on hiatus) and Legends of Earthdawn (An Earthdawn AP podcast).  Additionally she has her own podcast, Five Degrees Off Normal, which is a chronicle of her experiences being a geek with brain damage.