I had never considered whether I would prefer boobs on my feet or boobs on my hands until my friend Sandy asked me at a party one night. As a master of the game ‘would you rather’, she will not accept a monosyllabic answer, but rather a carefully considered response including arguments and counter-arguments. The premise of the game, as I am sure you are aware, is that you must choose the least worst option from a choice of two things you, almost certainly, would rather not. Despite the cringe levels reaching nipple inversion, the recoiling shiver is also one of delicious relief that it is highly improbable that you will ever encounter this choice in real life. The game has become a lot more serious sitting in Dr. Axis’s office.
One thing I will never understand is why the chairs in psychiatrists’ offices are always so low to the ground. Even I, who, coming in at under five foot five, is used to some distance between mine and the speaker’s face, find that Dr. Axis towers over me in these sessions. It creates an uncomfortable situation, similar in feeling to when you notice a spot on a speaker’s face, shiny and ripe to burst. You know neither where to look or what to say. But here she is, waiting for me to confirm my approval. Yet the decision she is asking me to make requires more consideration than a debate on whether a special-made bra for boob-hands would be available on the NHS. You see, over the last fortnight I have been experiencing ‘overvalued beliefs’. These are obsessive thoughts that are precursors to delusional beliefs. My psychologist, Louise, responds so calmly to my bizarre habits that it is hard to imagine anything more than an apologetic ‘oh dear’ to escape from her lips were she to see her house consumed in fire. I had hence hitherto considered her unable to express concern, yet when I described to her my adamant belief that I was Joan of Arc reincarnated, she labelled it as ‘worrying’ and advised strongly that I see my psychiatrist.
Clearly, I obliged and have ended up sitting here hunched in the low chair, picking the skin around my thumb nail, a habit I have picked up from my younger sister. I consider the proposition as carefully as if my answer were to be scrutinised by Sandy. I know a barely audible, shaky ‘yes’ has the power to change my life, but for better or worse I do not know. In the past, I have reacted strongly to medication changes. Each mg increase feels like I’ve downed a bottle of vodka, resulting in what I consider the World’s Worst Hangover. Worse than the night when Catherine and I learnt that rum is the same strength as vodka, four cocktails in. The evening which is also referred to as the Curious Incident of the Pringles in the Night-time. With hangovers, you go from being a genius while drunk, inventing salt and vinegar alcohol, to the next morning crawling on the floor picking up tiny fragments of crisps, where presumably someone had tried to crush them into wine the night before. I say presumably, because I can’t actually remember. I do suffer from blackout memory whilst I am psychotic, but what I can remember is the absolute euphoria before the hangover. The technicolour euphoria. And in that moment, I’m special. Not the oh-darling-I-love-your-drawing-of-your-mum-as-a-worm-slash-wardrobe special, I mean chosen-by-God special. I mean knowing-every-secret-of-the-universe special. But I realised early on that nobody wants to stick my delusions on the fridge door. When choosing whether to be on medication, you must consider everybody.
Which would I rather: technicolour fantasy or dull real-life? I have come to a decision. I turned to Sandy and informed her that after some thought, I have plumped for boobs on my hands, since the idea of standing on my tits makes my nipples concave in repulsion and, moreover, I think I could become a positive role model for the free the nipple campaign.