How to Fall into an Abyss

Long ago, or maybe not so long ago, I faced what many consider a generous amount of tragedy and trauma, but at the end of the day, I was tough broad. I still am. There was no stopping to feel sorry for myself, and there was certainly, no offering up my problems for others to handle. Even if I had desired this, I didn’t have the time. All I could was put one foot in front of the other, and that is exactly what I did. Until, I lost control. I must have fallen asleep at the wheel, but in any case, my life was never quite the same again.

Gradually, time passed. My quality of life grew. I started to achieve, at least some, of my dreams. What else could someone faced with my fate ask for? Nothing, is the correct answer.

Nevertheless, my mind has always been titillated by the most basic ancient of questions. Questions of meaning. Questions of purpose. Questions of Truth. You get the idea. During the period where I was becoming more “stable,” I had focused my energy on asking and answering deeper questions about myself, but then I made a mistake. I focused my mirror to the outside. The more I looked around I found darkness and chaos. Where I expected to find meaning I found the deep void of nothingness. In attempt to reorient myself, it is as if I had absorbed part of the nothingness into my core. My humanity being as important as pretentious metaphor pointing at nothing.

I will crawl out of this. Or I will not. Those are the only two options.

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I Want To Get Off This Merry-Go-Round

There’s nothing more annoying than someone comparing mania to being able to be on drugs legally and organically, and the problem, ironically, isn’t that they are wrong, in everyone’s case. The problem is that, like with drugs, there such a thing as feeling “too good.” You will lose your damned mind. People, quite simply, aren’t meant to peek behind the curtain and feel like a god. We are not gods, and so we must always, be grounded. If a god must pass by our way, we must pray that we only view its backside.

As for myself if I had to choose, I’d rather be mildly to moderately depressed, chronically, than manic. Other bipolar people’s opinions would differ. Maybe, this is due to the fact I more used to being depressed, and that’s a fair statement to make, but I would have to say I am in much more control of myself when I am depressed than when I am manic.

That being said, mania has its advantages. I have more energy. I need less sleep. I get more done. I’m more organized. I partake in more goal organized behavior. That being said, it has a lot of disadvantages. I don’t know when to quit. I can’t physically sleep, even when I need it. I think I know what I’m doing when I don’t. I think I’m being rational, when I’m not. I do dangerous things. It’s all quite a mess really.

So like I told my therapist, if there is any way I could back to my normal depressed self, my chronic existential crises, and my general disdain for life itself, please help me out with that. Feeling balanced, is always the dream, of course, but if that is too lofty of goal, I would certainly be willing to make a compromise. This merry-go-round is the worst carny ride ever.

Rant: Quit Using Mentally Ill People’s Lives as Tools

I find the way people like to describe the lives of the “severely” mentally ill people quite annoying. So this post, is going to be part rant and part me trying to me trying to make a point. Come, Alice, follow me down the rabbit hole.

People just love to romanticize those who were considered either highly creative or intellectual masterminds from the past who, also, ended up being severely mentally ill, by today’s standards. The tortured artists. The brilliant yet broken scientific minds. Famous examples include, Van Gogh, Isaac Newton, Ernest Hemingway, the list goes on. These types of people are romanized and appreciated for their genius. Their life stories are told as, if they were some type of Shakespearean tragedy.

Moving forward to today, where we have modern medicine. In this political climate, the mentally ill are seen as nothing but pawns in polarized political debate. While shootings are always truly tragic and terrible, it is sicking how obvious it is that news anchors are only paying lip service to feeling actual emotions for the victims. Instead, they are, quite simply, just happy to have yet another argument about guns vs. mental health.

My simple point is this: society cannot have it both ways. People cannot use mentally people’s lives to fulfill their personal needs for quaint stories about “tortured geniuses,” meanwhile posing the question where society would without its “misfits,” and then, turn around and turn us into the boogeyman. At the same time, they seem to forget we are all real people, facing real pain.

Imagine going into surgery. The surgeon says, “Luckily, it’s modern times we have anesthesia. It has a good chance reducing the pain of me cutting out your appendix. A minority of patients even sleep through the whole surgery! You know, you’re really lucky it’s not the 1950’s.”

 

 

My General Paranoia

As part of my Schizophrenia, I tend to have paranoia even when my mood is stable. Although, my mood certainly don’t help.I have found that this has been easier to handle as the years have gone by, but then again, I have had more time to deal with these issues. However, not only am I suffering from mood symptoms, at the present time, I just moved from a house to apartment. This is becoming a problem, even though I, clearly, have insight.

I am always worried about robbers and police coming to my homes. I often will hear knocks at the door, yelling, people walking around, etc. even when I am home alone. This is, even in a house. Well now, I am in an apartment again. It’s harder to reality test, when there are other tenants who are actually making real audible noises. Plus, now I am terrified of the ups/fedex guys actually being the office handing us eviction notices, even though I never lease violate.

Long story short, this going to be quite the adjustment. I might have to pay for a home security setup just to feel comfortable. I know my mental health team might see this as “giving in to irrationality,” but it makes me feel safe. I don’t need the added stress at this point.

Ramblings On My Current Emotional State

Part of me feels like I’m about to collapse inward on myself, as if there is nothing left inside but a hollow core. There is nothing but the heaviness of form feebly upheld by nothing. The other part of me feels like I could reach out and hold the world in the palm of my hand, and then, crush it with ease like an over ripened piece of fruit.

It is like I am a divine creature infected with cancer. My power draining from me with every breath I take. Stuck in an interim. Somehow, I am beyond the reach of heaven, hell, or any place in between. Indeed, there is no one above or below to here my weeping.

I had to put my Adult Pants on Today

Three months ago, I had finally started my first entry level job in my new career. It was also my first “real adult job” sense going on disability. Unfortunately, my I got this job at possibly the worst timing. I had my first mania episode almost around the same time I started my job, which did not was a really terrible mix. I ended up looking completely incompetent, and then I ended up in the psych unit. I could have technically fought for my job via the Americans with Disabilities Act, but given that my reputation was already gone, and I wasn’t sure I could get any of my doctors to give me permission to go back to work in the near future anyways. I decided to bow out gracefully. So, I called my boss, and let him know, I would meet with over this.

Which brings us to today, I went to my work with my resignation later and my other security items I had in my possession that needed returning. He read the letter said it was very good, and he thanked me very much for how thoughtful and professional the letter was. He said, usually, people can’t be rehired with such short notice, but that he would try to see, if there was any exception he could add to my file due to the fact it was impossible for me to give notice any sooner. Especially considering, I had done everything else right and followed all the protocols and had no disciplinary issues. He asked me about my future plans, and said that my career ideas made a lot of sense, and he told me how that the company usually had those kinds of jobs available.

Overall despite this being quite the humbling experience, I’m glad that all parties were able to leave on good terms, and that my did recognize that I wasn’t an incompetent idiot, after all. Plus additionally, there’s still hope at that company in the future again. Only time will tell.

The House that was Built on Sand

Matthew 7:26 And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not act on them will be like a foolish man who built his house on sand. 27 The rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell—and great was its fall!” NRSV

Note: Biblical imagery is appropriate in my circumstance. No, I’m not going to using this story to interpret Jesus. I will, however, allow myself the liberty of borrowing the imagery.

I had thought I had been doing very well, as far as my mental illness was concerned. I had been hiding a creeping up of alcoholism from my mental health team, but I had been trying to seek treatment just for that through people that specialized specifically in just that treatment. Basically, I was in my last semester of college, and my drinking had gotten completely out of control. Well, I ended up in the hospital with a life threatening case of acute pancreatitis. I made it through it. I came clean to my mental health team. I finished up the rest of my semester, and I went straight to rehab. I haven’t had drop of alcohol since.

My mental health continued to be more stable than it ever had, or so, it seemed. I got an entry level job at one of dream companies. Then I started to not be able to sleep for days at a time. At first, I didn’t worry, but then, I started to notice that my personality was reversing somehow. First off, I’m not an excitable person, but even if I was just excited, why was my personality changing. Why was, I, a person who is generally extremely disorganized now almost cleaning on the excessive side et cettera? I have always been very agreeable, but now, I was above average on the assertive side. I could go one. I started to worry. I explained all of this to my mental health team. They told me I was just excited, and it would go away. The problem was it didn’t go away, in fact it got much much worse. Still, I was feeling really, really, good, but I knew I felt way too good, because even baseline me is below average on a depression screening. I just tried to push through. Then, a couple of sessions of therapy sessions later. I was complaining to my therapist that I was really having hard time concentrating lately, and that I was trying my best not to chatter through the entire session. He, then told me, I need to talk to my psychiatrist because, while it’s possible I have a really severe case of ADHD, I had appeared manicky for multiple sessions in row now. I talked to my psychiatrist. He changed my meds. I took a couple days off work. It wasn’t enough, but I had to go back to work.

Long story short, I ended up flipping out in the middle of night and my husband drove me to the ER. I was injected multiple times with antipsychotics and benzos. It was a really rough inpatient unit this time around. We had multiple violent patients. We had patients through feces. We had patients defecating in the common areas. For awhile there were only two women on the unit, one being me. Thus, we had to be roommates. She was violent as well. At least, I found out, at least, one of the psych doctors the worked there was my outpatient psych, and he told me that I did the right thing. That I made a really good decision, and he basically already knew which treatment he was going to try for. He said he couldn’t do more for me outpatient. He said I needed more medication changes and quickly, and he could only do slow minor med changes on an outpatient bases. However, at the time, he also had no reason to force me to go inpatient either. It made sense. Unfortunately, I, also, lost my job, in the process.

So as it turns out, my new found confidence in my own mental health stability was a house built on a sand. It was a house built on a mind much more broken than previously thought. Still, I’m not willing to give up on the dream quite yet. I might have to modify the plan, but I will get back up for another round. Whether it’s just due to good old fashion stubbornness or some sappy bullshit about the strength of the human spirit remains to be seen.