Malaria

When I quit drinking, eighteen and a half years ago, the monsters in me, subdued by the drink, arose in vehement fury. It was not pretty. I had no one beside me to help to quell those dæmons. From within me, I had to overcome. In an unexpected way, my malaria helped. With malaria, accompanying the precipitous rise in temperature, to about 106 degrees, 41-42 degrees Celsius, there is an overwhelming dementia, a madness. I learned early to bar the windows and the doors, to secure anything with which I might harm myself. Of course, I had always to ensure to be alone. When the fever broke, the euphoria that followed was sublime. I knew that I had only hours before the next bout, but for the moment, I could conscientiously, mindfully, hearteningly recover. I regarded my craziness, genuine psychological and behavioural malady, in the same way. Aware of the warning signs, I would prepare for the attack, run the gauntlet, then rest in blissful recovery. I went only once to a doctor. She said she could help, but that I would have to submit to treatment, to therapy and to medication. Refusing both, I never saw her again. There is no good or bad, no right or wrong; there are only balance and imbalance. Though challenging even in the best of times, I have managed, for the most part, to maintain my balance.