Crazy Train

About this time last year, I was lying on a gurney in an overcrowded hallway of a local hospital with 3 guards hovering over my bed. At this point, my rage hadn’t broken. But that quickly changed as desperation set in. I missed my chance and I missed the train.

I had missed the train by only seconds. I stood about 10 ft from the outbound train to Jersey, tempted to make a break for it as the police took down my information, trying to distract me. I was 302’d by my father and the man I was supposed to meet on the other side of a 7-hour journey. I had been suicidal days before because I had been thrown out of a shelter for not doing chores with a smile and only had graveyards to sleep in, hence the 302. But I wasn’t suicidal that day. I was just desperate to start a new life.

I’m not sure how anyone but my friend knew where I was. The train was about 4 minutes late and the police showed up just in time to take me away from what they assumed was a terrible decision.

I had a plan in my delusional mind. A story that was unfolding before me as I took center stage. Unfortunately, in my state, the story could change at a moments notice, such as cops showing up and denying me access to my escape. I would twist the reality of the situation into a game – a more exciting plot twist that I alone couldn’t fathom. And the worst part is, I thought everyone knew exactly what was going on in my head. There was always a surprise lurking at the end of this story, something everyone knew but me. I thought it was a treasure hunt to my wildest dreams and I ecstatically went along with the flow. Or maybe a better word is, irratically.

I never once behaved like this on purpose. Unfortunately, bipolar mania can quickly lead right into psychosis with little warning time. It’s a sick and twisted trick of the mind. But in the moment, it’s glorious, exciting, hilarious and energetically fun.

In that state, I was gracious toward the men. I didn’t put up a fight at all and even called a police officer a sweetheart after he told me that the Dr.just needed to see me for a bit and then I could be on my way to wherever I pleased. I fell for it, because anything fit my scheme. My brain was on fire and I just wanted to get on with the show.

In that moment,  I literally thought I’d be checked, and escorted to Jersey so I could meet my man, get on a plane, travel and live happily ever after. What happily ever after entailed, I don’t know but it always had to do with saving this world. He was tipping the scales into psychosis as well so I was not alone in my quest. I never got that far in my mind though, mainly because I didn’t want to ruin the surprise for myself. It was all a game, afterall.

And in a game, you can be and do anything you want. And that is where the danger lied, as I grabbed my bags at the hospital and made a break for the doors. I had been dupped and I knew it. My wildest dreams turned into a nightmare in that split second decision to run.

I was left bruised and bloody on the gurney after a fight broke out between the guards and I. My rage had finally broke and from that moment on, I didn’t hold back for months.

Even if it was all in my head, it was reality to me. I was just ripped away from everything I believed in. I knew what loomed around the corner because I had been through it before. You’d think that’d be enough to settle out of the delusional state into a calmer reality, but it’s not. That simply takes time. Around the corner were months of psych wards, forced medications, separation from and loss of family and friends, alienation, mind fucks, court hearings, and finally the dreaded “crash” and years of recovery. Hopefully by now, I have enough tools to recover faster, but it’s been about 8 months since my release and I’m still in crash mode.

Turns out that the man I was supposed to meet that day ended up in a year-long stint at a psychiatric unit. Probably for the best. We still talk and I’ll always adore him regardless, but now it’s more as family. We went through so much together in a very short amount of time. We get it.

Another one of my best friends understood as well. She happened to be at the hospital that day to witness what unfolded, believe it or not. I didn’t even know her. She was so horrifind by what she saw the guards do to me, that she demanded to be sent to the same psych ward as me. I was transferred to Philadelphia into a 302 unit.

We ended up being roommates, even though she went in voluntarily. Serendipity at its best. And she is literally the only person that kept me sane, engaged and and laughing at the hilarity of an extemely difficult time in both our lives. We had a blast and made the best of what we had.

But now we’re all in recovery mode and I think that’s the hardest part. While it may be devestating for family and friends to witness and be affected by this disorder in the grips of psychosis, I think the hardest (yet bravest) aspect for those of us living with Bipolar is recovery. Unfortunately, by the time recovery comes into play, most of what I’ve seen is that family and friends assume you are already healed, when that is nowhere near the case.

But I believe it is possible, without relapse. Someday.

I would like to get to a point where I can delve deep into my spiritual beliefs without taking it too far or going over the edge. It’s maddening. I desperately search for a balance. Letting go entirely would be crushing. On that note, I’d just like to get to a point where I can live freely without this weight looming.

It’s now a matter of understanding early warning signs and sticking to the next right thing before it escalates into traumatic experiences, mania, and psychosis. It’s a tough call. It’s not easy because it feels so damn good. Why would anyone want to stop it? It’s like the best drug out there and it’s all natural. But the consequences are steep and sometimes devestating.

In my recovery, I find it helpful to write it out. And I intend to. Except this year, I’m digging deeper and I’m going to really get my hands dirty. So many more stories from just this year alone.

Stories for another day…

 

11 Comments Add yours

  1. darie73 says:

    I found that the only times I would hurt myself was when I was drinking. And I’ve tried sober but can’t. I am terrified of Psychiatric Wards. When someone mentions one to me or suggests I admit myself I hear a buzzing in my head. I feel like I’m going to pass out or I just want to bang my head on the wall because they still don’t get it. I’d like my family to spend 30 days in a Psyche Ward where I have and see how they like it. Every one I’ve been in mixes all illnesses together and people detoxing. You never really see a doctor, you watch TV, sleep, do arts and crafts, eat crappy food, get Benadryl to sleep, try to avoid the really out of touch with reality people, and beg to go home. I’m trying to figure out if it’s worth it anymore to explain myself or ask them to understand. I know one thing, I’m tired of saying I’m sorry.

    1. Amen! I’m really tired of saying sorry as well, although I know I should or feel I should. But I’m not sure what I’m apologizing for. This is about the third time I’ve been through this and it gets harder each time. I don’t know what else to do. I was on the road to recovery and doing really well. It’s so complicated.

      I hear you 100% on the psych ward experience. That is it in a nutshell. It’s basically a holding cell to keep you and others safe. No healing takes place there, unless you happen to connect with patients on your level. The healing, for me, seems to be months after release and unfortunately, people are so tired of something that we cannot control, that I am left to heal alone. I feel guilty for everything. All of it. It’s so much pressure.

      Most think the hospital is where you’ll get the therapy and understanding. Not the case. It kind of bubbles up from within if there is even energy left after these experiences.

      I need something more. I need a retreat of some sort that delves deep into therapy, the root of psychosis, and explores the ideas that led to it. One of my next steps is to create an advanced directive in case (god willing it doesn’t ) happens again. It’s worth a shot! Because psych wards only make the trauma worse, and this time around, I was very defiant and for a reason.

      1. darie73 says:

        An Advance Directive meaning if you were in a coma or dead and decisions had to be made? I learned a very long time ago to stay as far away from psych wards as I could. They do make you feel worse. I’ve also learned to take the SHAME OUT OF RECOVERY. The bravest thing anyone can do is know they struggle with something, screw up, BUT GET BACK UP AND TRY AGAIN. As long as you still want to get back up there’s a chance. None of this “You failed and have to start all over again” bullshit. As far as relationships go people are people. I hate to say it but most of them will let you down. I was so caught up trying to make someone love me when I didn’t love me that 20 drunken years went by.

      2. No, I meant an advanced directive in case psychosis hits again. In that state, I cannot make decisions for myself and most make them for me to keep me safe. In the long run though, the decision to just throw me into psych hospitals has not done much good. I’m usually left recovering from that experience alone and never get to the root of the issue. There are other options out there that foster a much more stable and nurturing environment. I’ve only explored a few, so still working at it. Unfortunately, these options are expensive and insurance is usually not accepted. :/ Plus, the treatment is a bit unconventional and my family isn’t likely to see anything but mainstream psychiatry and care as beneficial. So, I’m just trying to take this all into my own hands just in case it were to happen again. I know what works for me and I’d really like to give it a shot.

        So true – bravest thing anyone can do is get back up and try again. It’s hard for me though to put the shame to rest. I think I struggle with that the most because I have lost so many people along the way. It’s hard not to feel at fault.

      3. darie73 says:

        I understand completely. Mood stabilizers haven’t worked to keep the psychosis at bay? I’m throwing this out there because insurance covers it but I’m not sure how it works with psychosis but ECT? I had one round, it did work for almost a year. It was just the environment I had it done in and the Dr. that did it that sucked. I had looked at a place for people with Resistant Bipolar Disorder/Addiction issues in Massachusetts. It was a $45,000 deposit to be evaluated. The problem is they have had great success but don’t take insurance. It’s almost like you live on a campus with a structured environment and talk therapy 4 times a week. Why is the cost for something this important so high? I would help you more if I could I know what you’re going through.

      4. I haven’t been the most compliant patient to be honest, so I can’t say that some medications wouldn’t have worked. But the side effects were too much for me to tolerate. However, even being on Abilify for years, didn’t stop mania that ran straight into psychosis. And none of these meds have been able to stop it. Not from my experiences. I haven’t thought about ETC. I’m afraid to try but glad that worked for you for some time. Any side effects?

        Trouble is, I have a view on bipolar and psychotic experiences that is kind of different from what many people believe, especially family and friends. I don’t believe it’s all pathological or caused by chemical imbalances. My view is based in a more spiritual and unfolding approach but I find myself on the fence a lot and it is maddening. I tend to view a lot of my experiences as spiritual crisis or existential crisis. And I really think that I need this approach and understanding to be applied in my recovery.

        I’ve met many people that feel the same way and I belong to some groups on Facebook and online that have resources available. It’s gaining momentum in the West and some clinics have already opened up that incorporate spirituality into the whole, if not entirely. However, they are either in different countries or they are expensive. And none that I saw take insurance.

        Not sure why it is this way and it sucks. I mean I have my suspicions that are most likely the case. In the end, it’s about the almighty dollar. There is no money in true healing and cures. I guess that’s a pretty negative view, but there is truth there.

      5. darie73 says:

        I’m open minded to most things. I do tend to go with what I can see and what can be explained in a way I can understand. This is usually Scientifically. I can’t ignore the fact that my Grandmother and 4 of her children were Mentally Ill or that my Grandmother and 5 of her children were either alcoholics or drug addicts. My mother is included in both categories. I’m an alcoholic and so is my brother. He’s 50 and doesn’t admit it the only problem he has with alcohol is there isn’t enough of it. His oldest daughter has BPD and is a Heroin Addict. You can’t ignore the significance of family history. But I also believe environment plays a factor. My brother’s daughter wouldn’t be as she is today if she hadn’t been a witness to her parents extreme dysfunction. But I am Bipolar with delusions of grandeur and some days I think I know everything.

      6. Mental Illness and alcoholism run in my family as well. Can’t deny genetics or upbringing.

        On the flip side, I can’t deny some things I’ve experienced and witnessed that can’t be explained.

        I just want to give a new approach to healing a shot, but it’s very dangerous territory for me. I get grandiose too. Oh god do I ever, no pun intended. 😉

        I wish there was an easy fix, don’t we all.

        I have to learn to incorporate this into my life vs looking at it as its own separate entity…either that or looking at it as if it’s all of my life. Because it’s not. It’s just part.

      7. darie73 says:

        It’s why I’m a huge advocate for Comprehensive Care. Mind, Body and Soul. The entire package should be treated. We are not just our brains or our kidneys or any one thing. The sooner modern medicine realizes this the better. When I go to a Medical Doctor for my Kidney Disease and they read my chart for the first time and the first thing they do is start speaking louder and slower to me I have a tendency to get a little upset. There is no compassion or empathy between the Medical community and Psychological one. Not where I live. That’s why they can’t wake me up after anesthesia because no one ever bothers to find out exactly what Conversion Disorder is and how it might effect me physically. Does any of this come up in a way that we can change it? Nope.

  2. I relate so much to what you said in this post. Look forward to reading more and good luck in your recovery. Im in my own battle as well.

    1. OnTheRocks says:

      Thanks for reading and reaching out. I look forward to reading about your journey as well.

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