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…