One month after hospitalization for psychosis…
It’s been nearly a month since I was discharged from the hospital and it seems I’m back to normal. With the supervision of my psychiatrist, I managed to slowly taper off of Zoloft and Lithium and be 100% medication free for all of 3 weeks!!! Yay me!! The next part of my story goes that I had a “relapse” of mania and then a short and intensely scary psychosis for about three days. Bipolar Disorder is back!
A the peak of the scariness of it, I imessaged my mom and sister to come to my place. A friend of mine was over at the time and she sat with me outside my basement suite apartment until my mom and sister arrived. They got me into the passenger seat of my moms Buick SUV but I refused to let them shut the door. I clung facing backwards to the seat with my arms gripping the headrest. They called the ambulance and comforted me as I shivered. My breath became more shallow and I was sure they were loving me in my last breaths of life.
In my mind, I was somewhere else, reliving trauma of many years past, a night where perhaps part of me died. The ambulance took about 45 minutes to get to me, my body shaking the entire time. My sister came with me in the ambulance. Much of the time I just kept repeating “I’m scared. I’m scared”. And I was scared.
At the hospital, I was given medication to pull me out of the psychosis and help me to sleep. My mom slept in a chair beside my hospital bed as I was not yet given a bed in the ward. I laid there quite delirious. I was not sleeping though my eyes were closed. I heard sounds and people swirling around my head like my soul was travelling through different possible realities that I might wake up in.
There was the possibility that I would wake up dead. If that is possible at all. There was the possibility that I would reincarnate and wake up in a womb of an unsuspecting mother. There was the possibility I would wake up after heavy drinking to the realization I was a homeless person sleeping on the street. And then there way my favorite possibility. The possibility that I would wake up from a coma in a hospital in California and be told I was hit by a car on my rollerblades four years ago. Then this entire mental illness journey of mine was just an elaborate internal reality created while my body slept.
As all these possibilities circled my mind with cylindrically oscillating sounds I felt curious and open to how I might awake. My travels were interrupted by a sound, it was the sound of my mom snoring. I was hit with an instantaneous intense fear and I knew I was in a hospital bed in the nightmare reality of psychosis. I got out of bed and the thought that came to me was one of the scariest things imaginable. I don’t know if I can even say it. It is something I would never do. I would sooner kill myself. I got up to find someone to help me. The psychiatrist was right there. I said to her “I feel like I could kill my mother”. She handed me a little cup with 3 tablets of some kind and I got back into the bed.
I fell back to sleep and that was the last of that kind of thought. Where does that kind of awful thought come from? I don’t understand. A few days prior, in mania, I felt a oneness with all things. I had a few experiences in the two weeks prior where I felt an intense healing in my relationship with my mother on a heart and soul level. I had an experience where I was listening to the song “Music Box Dancer” by Frank Mills and I started crying and felt a new appreciation and love for my mom. As a child, she would play the organ after she would put us to bed. Often she would play the song and I would listen while falling asleep and trying to stay awake to hear her play. I realized how much she loved us when I reconnected to that feeling of enjoying listening to her enjoying playing. She enjoyed playing after a long day of taking care of four young kids. She still had the energy to play after a long day. She celebrated the love she had inside for us in gratitude for another day with her kids. At least that’s what I could feel.
A then here I was a few days later with a totally different thought. Utterly terrifying. For the most part, I eat a plant based vegan diet that is largely raw and living. I eat steamed veggies too. I wouldn’t hurt a fly!! And then something comes over me giving me the feeling of killing my mom?? To me it seems the feeling was so intense because of the fear and paralysis that amplified it. I don’t know. I called for help when I had the intense feeling that I might kill myself and I called for help when I had the thought of harming another. The key is I called for help to keep myself and others safe.
Why does this happen? Why do I get thoughts of self harm or harming another? It happened a month ago and it happened four years before that. I am so good, perhaps too good at loving and taking care of myself on a daily basis. Then what happens? I don’t understand. Why must I again fear myself? Why must I carry medications with me just in case my brain goes kamikaze on me? What is the difference between my brain and the brain of a “normal” person? Don’t normal people think thoughts of self harm like “I’m so fat” or “I’m so ugly” or “I wish I was this” or “I wish I had that”? Aren’t these all mini gabs at the self? Why do I then seem to go to the extreme where I think I must end my life?
Why is there so much “good” in mania and why must it mutate into the “bad” of psychosis? Is it a matter of what goes up must come down? Is it because having had a taste that I could be beautiful and innocent in the image of God I must then see that I could be horrible and a killer? Sometimes I feel like bipolar disorder gives me the opportunity to experience as a feeling, all the possible states available to human consciousness. I feel that I’ve had the felt experience of being a homeless person, a saint, a killer and everything in between. Does that mean I will act out the associated behaviors? No. There is a difference between having a thought and acting out a thought. They say we have 50,000 thoughts a day. We don’t go around acting out every single one of those thoughts.
Anyway, I feel ashamed and sickened by my thought about killing my mother. If I think back, I’ve probably thought “I could just kill that person right now”. Perhaps it’s scarier because I have a mental health diagnosis. Perhaps people should be afraid of me. Maybe I’m out to prove that I’m not scary. Maybe I’m just trying to be myself. I don’t really know who that is. “Normal” people are “lucky” in that they can expect the same sort of person day in and day out. Maybe there is something different going on inside but it can be hidden by outer smiles.
I want to figure this out. There must be a reason for all these shenanigans.
I’m not going to focus on my one terrible thought as I have thoughts o plenty that are lovely and free like birds.