It's funny the way this illness will grant you some odd remembrances and transform otherwise ordinary occurrences by filtering them through the lens of your condition. For example, I remember one Sunday watching a football game on the television in my room and now only remember the final play, in which the Atlanta Falcons kicked a field goal to defeat the Minnesota Vikings. I remember vividly the green artificial turf and the deep purple of the end zone. I must have watched the entire game but remembered only ten or twenty seconds of it after it concluded. The shock treatments have a way of scrambling your short term memory and even raiding your past, too.
When I think about Super Bowl Sunday, I mostly remember a party I went to directly after an extended three-month hospitalization. As I think back on it, I must not have been discharged for more than a week, at most. My best friend in high school was raised in an extremely right-wing Christian family and attended the Church of God. He invited me along, I think not knowing in particular what had recently come before. In his mind, I had simply disappeared from school for three months for some undisclosed reason. The worst depressive episode of my life was what had come before and I was still reeling from the impact of too many sedating medications combined with several sessions of electro-convulsive therapy. I was unsteady and largely uncommunicative, but even in my impaired state of mind I wished for company.
As I was a senior in high school at the time, everyone else at the gathering was in their teens. I sat at the back, shyly, not making conversation. An elder in the church was holding the party in his den, so at halftime instead of watching the entertainment the game was switched off and we were treated to a VHS video starring prominent NFL players eager to profess their unyielding faith in Christ. It made me a tad uncomfortable, since the Methodism of my childhood was a subtle affair, one that certainly didn't make any attempt to win converts by direct witness. In an aside that might be interesting to some readers, my friend later drifted away from conservative Christianity and the Republican party into a kind of netherworld of apathy that is the truest sign of the true believer gone sour.
As I have mentioned before, the immediate aftermath of shock treatments produces convoluted recollections and so I don't remember much else, aside from the fact that I felt out of place and wasn't sad when the game came to a conclusion. Interestingly enough, as I think about it, I also have a Super Bowl Memory from a mere two years ago that is still too fresh for me to wish to revist in much detail right now. At that point, I was in a state of mild mania, but managed nonetheless to luck into winning nearly $100 via a betting game. It was money I needed, since I was living off of disability payments by that point. As I recall, I used it to pay for groceries and co-pays to my therapist. Both of these instances come from places of pain and it is in the spirit of forgetting that I even mention them at all.