i need to talk through things, ive got that compulsive need.. its how i sort and deal with life… i talk. normally, thats why this blog is the way it is: its my working through the things i have already experienced, but feel unresolved, uncomfortable or otherwise concerned about. i feel like i need to remind myself of that skew in written history a lot, because i look back on things and see one thing: a resolve to persevere. (albeit, not in the past couple posts, where ive actively attempted to document the shit) i think, probably, this is how the outside world views me too.. given that this is all of the public documentation about me (i googled myself: by all objective standards, i look impressively resilient). that is the part that in unique. while other people write during their blackness, i write about my blackness after having survived another round.
this post isnt going to be any different. this post is going to be a lot of recapping. and thinking. and contemplating what to do next. finding the good, figuring out how to step forward. but future self, when youre looking back at this, and youre going “do i really need these meds? do i?” i want you to remember this. this was incapacitating, debilitating, and the first time this decade you have truly earned your “insane” street cred. you made it through this on a lick and a prayer, a lot of good planning, good people, and well orchestrated movements. you maxed your credit card. you didnt lose your job by circumstance. this was the worst your life has ever, ever, ever been. and it didnt stop, for weeks. almost a month. you are still not better. this can happen at any time. this is the reality. this is your life. are the shakes so bad? are they this bad? can anything, ever, be bad enough to justify this risk?
i am recovering from what i am told was a ‘psychotic depression’ or a mixed episode in which i experienced full blown mania at the same time as full blown depression.
oh, hey, look: turns out its not just severe anxiety, former shrinks. i hope you all die for the hell you put me through telling me this was something i could control simply because i also have anxiety and the bipolar disorder hadnt had symptoms while youd been seeing me. fuck you. fuck you. fuck you. the amount of time i spent… anyway. thoughts for another time.
i went psychotic. the last time this happened i was attending nscad. i locked myself in a room for 6 weeks or so and saw weird things that didnt quite exist and got very very paranoid. i didnt have medical help then, so it was never diagnosed as a specific form of episode, though i would say it was a much milder form of whatever i just experienced.
i cant even put into words the frantic, desperate, unstable, shifting sliding, nonsensical things that have filled them.
i dont have words. i just have… feelings. i remember the past weeks only in feelings and snippits.
i know for several days (weeks?) it wasnt readily apparent. i know that i seemed off, but the extent to which that was true wasnt… visible. it looked like a depression, anxiety. it looked like a bad form of the usual.
i know i ‘packed’ to go to my parents place by flipping over a laundry basket into a suitcase. i ended up with a set of sheets, some underwear and yoga pants. this was before the psychosis really kicked in. this was my level of functioning.
i know i had to mail a package. i know i came back into the apartment and collapsed on the floor, sobbing, not breathing, panicking, shaking, expelling all bodily fluids.. sweat.. vomit.. everything.. and brandon sat on the floor with me.. for nearly an hour.. panicking. i know this was the beginning. this moment when i realized something wasnt right. but i also know the real beginning was weeks before that, before pride. when i started leaving the house in see through clothing and misplacing things like hair straighteners in the coat closet.. i started losing logic and stopped writing properly. as someone who writes academically for a living and for school, this was a problem, and yet i didnt really notice.
i know my mother hugged me, shaking, concerned staring at me when she and my father were going to leave to go on their anniversary trip that had been booked long ago, leaving me at their house with my roommate, whod come out because i couldnt be alone. this was not the worst of it. this did not even rate on the scale of the worst of it. and she stared at me and asked if i would still be alive when she got back. i remember feeling absolutely nothing, saying of course i would, while silently recounting the path id walked over and over in loops the night before, meticulously taking apart and piecing back together the upstairs of their house. my father had located what i was looking for, but i could feel a weird twitch that felt compelled to keep searching. they left.
i dont remember most of the days i was at my parents
i know we watched movies and i ate, unquestioningly, with little regard for allergies, for taste, for need, in large amounts, after days of starvation. i remember trying, everyday, to write part of my thesis. for hours i would sit in front of my fathers computer. i remember staring intensely, i remember the ache in my fingers. i remember the explosive energy in my chest, the inability to keep my eyes still. i remember the relief at finishing minor edits that should have taken minutes, hours later. i remember losing track of my thoughts, they were so far ahead of me. i remember looking at a mail opener and wondering if it was sharp enough to slit my wrists. i remember hanging up on the mental health mobile crisis team, sitting in front on that computer, staring at a sea of words that didnt go together. the closest id ever been to actually killing myself.
i remember little else.
i have seen the documents i wrote. i know the thoughts in the middle of paragraphs existed-written. like my fingers and my brain were intrinsically connected.. i know that the words i typed did not make sense. ive seen the emails to angie.
i remember being afraid to go home. panicked. terrified. i remember my father telling me it was ok to stay. holding my shoulders and looking at me. its ok to stay here.
i remember clawing my skin off at therapy, tearing part of my hair out.
i remember having to scribble on notepads with both hands, while talking non stop. i remember matthew watching me with some weird level of interest. not speaking much.
i remember falling asleep on the phone with dale. i remember getting mad at him for no reason. about feeling like his emotions were too many emotions and my emotions took all i had now. i remember saying that to him. all i have room for now is not killing myself. i dont work, i dont go to school, i dont get dressed. i just dont kill myself.
i came home. later. starting to get better. dale came over one day at 6 am to snuggle. it was good. i needed that. we messed around. it was good. i needed that. at that moment. it did not occur to me until yesterday how truly out of it i must have been, because no panic set in. very little rape victim panic. actually, no, i remember some, now. i remember the way he stopped. i remember him telling me i could dig my nails in if i needed to, when i clung to him, panicking. i remember how good he was.
and he was. he was perfect.
and then i started to think i was out of the woods.. i cant tell you when, the sequence of events is still all fucked up. but i wasnt. my dad took me to get my macbook looked at after my psychiatrist appointment. the psychiatrist helped me, i was feeling validated (yes, bipolar. yes, anxiety. yes, both. yes, episode. yes, does seem to be coming down. no, not better yet.) but i had also just been prescribed antipsychotics. typicals. strong ones. ordinarily, id have been devastated.. failure. i wasnt. i felt like the doctor listened. i felt apprehensive. i felt elated. i did not feel sad. we went to the mall. dad was going to wait, but apple couldnt see me till 4. he had to get home for something, forget what. he left me: i seemed ok. i know i came home with multiple pairs of shoes, more tea then i could possibly drink, and headphones is bought just because my headphones werent with me. i met brandon for dinner. he says it was clear i was manic then. i didnt know. ellie came by later, brought me kale she grew. we talked. the depression was setting in, but much much much less than before.
the next day i went to my parents for supper. everything was slow. everything was gone. disassociation, maybe. i couldnt. the visual symptoms were still happening, the auditory ones got worse. didnt hear things that didnt exist, but being near people felt like being in a crowded bar. everything was loud and jumbled together. stayed in the nursery all night. avoided everyone. i remember peeling a banana over and over because it felt wrong. i remember flipping at my sister because she mentioned having a shirt of mine for years, that i had wanted, and realizing i didnt know where my things were. this still makes me feel strange. like i need to know….i remember the frantic weird way i was eating. my father crouched on the floor next to me while i picked at chicken with my finger tips…trying to get me to go play a game. i went home that night. slept.
i woke up betterish, off kilter. went to robbs for sushi birthday. ate. felt like i was pulling it off ok. mild visual weirdness and slightly disconnected. unsure how it came off to the others. came home and dale came over drunk.
he said all the right things, and i dont mean the relationship parts (chalking that up to the patron). i mean the giving a fuck about my well being parts. because he believes them, i think. i honestly think he did..does?, anyway. he promised not to bail. we made out. we snuggled. we hooked up after conversations all week about it, about edging back into that old territory, but in my saner moments saying it was a bad idea for it to happen now.. that we should wait a few weeks. that now was still messy. i dont feel good about this now.i flipped out afterwards, but not in a sane, panicky way. in a crazy, psychotic way. spent the night going through a tray of ice cubes. holding them until they melted and then grabbing another. shrink told me to do this instead of cutting. it helped keep me from cutting. i think i may have frost bite on the palm of my hand now. frantically tried to wake dale up over and over. it didnt work. he was like.. sleep walking. talking, being sweet but not being conscious at all.
i woke him up by putting the ice on him, eventually. being all i need you to wake up or ill slit my wrists. he was mad, and incoherent. i dont think he understood. or. i dont know. this was the moment he saw, for real, what hed only heard before. what he could sleep through before.
eventually i calmed down enough to lay in the dark. he slept wrapped around me. every time i tried to move he’d yank me back down. it was comforting, in a way, to know even at his base level he was still protecting me. still saying words to calm me down. still doing things in my best interest. he looked awake sometimes. would say things.. i thought he was awake. believed him.. i realize now he wasnt.
we woke up in the morning. he bailed early like he had said he would need to when he was sober but somehow that night i had thought he was staying later. i became distraught. angry and sad. he needed to leave- he had to work. its not like he had a choice. something broke there. i think this is where he really realized that i was crazy.
i apologized as i was battling back to normal. he said he wasnt bailing while he was texting me back on the bus. but it was different.
he hasnt been talking to me since… said he needed a moment.
i cant hold it against him, i said that to him a lot when i just took off for a few days during his emotional breakdown.
i dont think he will come back, despite the promises otherwise. i think he might want to, and i think if i were easier.. or predictable.. or something he understood like depressed.. i think he would. but i think its one step too many past where he can go. or maybe im just mentally preparing myself for that just incase.
im not doing a good job here, explaining. i dont know. theres a lot of things, realistically, if i were writing about this in its entirety, in its aftermath, that need to be mentioned. all the good stuff. all the support. all the people and how they love me. but its not quite the aftermath.. but its getting closer.
but right now im just stuck on this one thing. dale. dale and his staying up all night with me. dale and his crush on me and my running away before. dale and his sticking with me through this, and how that knocked down the wall that was afraid to trust him. dale and the way he hugs me. his arms over me, his blue eyes staring into mine promising not to bail. but then.. dale and the sex when i was psychotic. and dale and the maybe not understanding i was psychotic, but dale and his should have known. and me and my attachment and him and his not ready. and me and my breaking. and him, and his possible bailing.
i dont know what to feel about this.
and all i can think is that i miss him like hell. like ive been filling in the time trying to come up with something nice to do for people, the ones who helped. focusing on something i could make or do for him to avoid talking to him.
i hope he comes back.
i dont think i can blame him if he doesnt…
ive been reading this book i borrowed from my grandmother. the marriage plot. its about a girl who married a bipolar guy and how he jut ruins her life until he eventually leaves, running away, leaving her broken, so she can be happy
its awful. it makes me feel so awful.
theres parts of me that know… that this stuff is few and far between for me. 3 mania containing episodes in my entire life, 2 within months of each other and one now, about 7 years later, but much shorter. part of me knows that i work incredibly hard and have all these support systems that have proven to function incredibly well. part of me knows i am brilliant, successful, and good. part of me. but part of me knows ill always feel like im just dead weight attaching myself to someone who could be happy. who could live without ever having to experience this.
part of me knows the ending is just like the book.