I’ve been away. For a long time. And for a good reason.
You see, I’ve been diagnosed with a Bipolar disorder. And not in a pretty way.
And I’ve been trying to understand how it effects my life now. And If it effects my life now. Do I even have my life now. And whether I’m ready to share it here. I guess I am, so here we go.
Let’s be honest, I always knew something wasn’t completely right with me with both positive and negative implications. Because nobody in their right mind starts writing a blog. And yes, I’m quite possibly calling all bloggers mental. Also, I had quite a score of quirky behavioral patterns trailing behind me, if you will, that really put my final diagnosis right at home.
But until we got there I kind of, sort of, completely lost my mind. Literally. Like I forgot my name, people. And I never forget shit. Looking back on it, and analyzing everything for a millionth time, I still don’t know what was the trigger, or if there was one, or if there were multiple.
Point being, I stopped going to work and just sort of mopped around doing nothing. Then I stopped showering (side note: I know gross. But also saving the planet) Then I stopped eating. Then I stopped sleeping. At this point a great deal of guilt and anxiety kicked in, and everything pretty much spiraled out of control. And so I began drinking to stop my raising thoughts. And that made it even worse (side note: do not drink if you stopped going to work and showering). To the point where I became completely non responsive, which was later diagnosed as a case of catatonia. It was like being asleep only I was awake. It was fucking mental, people. Thankfully, my family was with me. They took me to the emergency room. And all I remember is waking up in a psych ward.
And to put it mildly, after losing your shit for a few weeks, waking up in closed off premises with people who lost their shit is not exactly therapeutic. It was horrifying. Like the worst nightmare imaginable. Like finding yourself naked in front of the others, only you ARE naked in a hospital gown, in front of the others.
Just to reiterate, I do have a day job (even still, surprise). I have a college degree. My nice Brooklyn apartment. Also, a cat that I’ve kept alive all these years. And there I was wandering about in a psych ward unit, drugged out of my wits, but still me.
To put it short I spent there 6 days. They diagnosed me with bipolar, and I responded to meds almost immediately. But they wanted to keep me in, to make sure I don’t spiral down once again. Which was a great logical thing to do. But pretty fucking shitty thing to live.
Most other patients were really, super out of it. Like spitting saliva, throwing things, yelling incoherently out of it. We formed a band of ‘stable patients’ and kind of stuck together, and watched everything around us like a funny movie, only it was shit and also the reality. Like there was a man who just peed all over the place, quite literally. There was a woman who always wore a shower cap, and carried a plastic bag. There was another woman who just kept saying ‘I don’t function, I don’t function, pray for a miracle’. And lastly, I had two roommates. One was Asian and just lay in bed all the time, making such slight movements. You know, Grudge style. The other one was an elderly women who once woke me up at 3am to catch demons. At her command, we armed ourselves with a pencil and an extra blanket. True fucking story (and no, we didn’t catch any demons).
All this in a place where I was supposed to get well. I was on my way to a speedy recovery.
Long story short, I did get well. Or they let me out. And now I’m only terrified of ambulances, people in scrubs, everything that has to do with a hospital, and a few other things.
I feel great. Not really, but you get the idea.
I’m on meds now, in therapy, and back to work, and my usual life. Or I’m trying my best to be. Some days are better than worse. Some days I get severe flashbacks, and do so much breathing exercises my chest hurts, and I fucking hate breathing exercises. Some days I’m just fine. Those are my favorite ones.
Point being, I’m grateful for getting the help I needed all these years. I just wish it came in a less severe form. Although, sometimes I get all Jack Nicholson as in ‘One flew over the cuckoo’s nest’ I lived that shit proud. Us crazies have badges of honor too, you know.
So tomorrow when you go out there, be nice to that weird, twitchy person next to you. Who knows the battle they’re fighting.