That’s all it took for a psych ward stint, followed by a month of rehab. A Google voice message left on my screen. Yup, simple as that.
I was at the bar one day, feeling a bit heavier in my spirit than usual. I was talking to someone, and suddenly a clear message scrolled across my tablet with the Google voice activated speech. Then, it redirected my web browser.
“I love you. You are beautiful in every way.”
Now, this would not be odd if we were talking about love and I just so happened to hit the voice button, but I didn’t have my hands on my tablet and we weren’t speaking of love. As it redirected me, I was quick enough to take a screen shot for further investigation.
I remember the delusions starting about 2-3 weeks prior to this experience. I was so taken aback by this message, I blushed and yelled out loud to everyone in the bar, asking if they had sent it.
It confirmed my delusions that I was being followed and tracked and tipped into delusions of a grander scale…that someone actually loved me, as sad as that is. From afar. A secret admirer of sorts. These kinds of delusions are very dangerous for me, as they always start out this way and grow into some convoluted story that I aimlessly follow for the better half of a year.
I wasn’t about to go to that level, although tempting. I wasn’t about to involve those I cared for the most. Not one more time.
I had been drinking pretty heavily for a while, after a brief time in recovery this year. I reached the end of my rope and became suicidal and that, coupled with the minor delusions, was what made me decide to commit myself for a week and a half in a dual diagnosis center for psychiatric care and addiction counseling.
I can say with confidence that I’m proud of myself for nipping this in the bud, because once those minor delusions take a bite of me and sink their teeth in, it’s over. And I mean, over. I’ll become hypomanic fast and I’ll slip right into full blown mania without warning, and then finally psychosis, which lasts for 5-6 months straight through. Then the dreaded crash and depression, which I had just gotten over months before.
It’s a slippery slope and I have very little warning. So, the earlier it’s dealt with the better. Kudos to me for recognizing it for the first time and not denying that I was on the verge of another episode. No one harmed. Not even me.
The psych ward was okay. I’ll just say that. I slept for 5 days straight through and cried the entire time. The purpose was to regulate my meds and become stabilized on them before I moved on to rehab for the next month.
During my time there, I decided to reach out to someone that fueled my mania last year. We both ended up into long term stays for mania and psychosis. In fact, he’s still there. I called him and to my surprise, the phone number dialed none other than Google voice! The transcription indication sounded the same and everything. No lie. I just sat there with my jaw to the floor and laughed as I told the nurses that this wasn’t good for my mental health! We joked about it and I dialed it again and got his answering service directly linked to a transcriber that sent him an email.
I started to dig back, trying to confirm my delusions. I wrote notes and fantasized. I salivate at the thought, because let’s fucking face it, euphoria intertwined with love stories, are the best whether the men or mutual infatuation existed or not. Nope. Not one more time.
I still to this day, don’t understand the message that scrolled across my screen in bold letters, as it hasn’t done that since that day. Even if there is something more to it and even if the someday I do figere out the mystery of all that I’ve witnessed, I cannot afford to recover again…not in that capacity. I had to get in there and end it immediately.
A piece of me is kind of saddened that I didn’t just go with it. I do miss the high. Oh god, do I ever. But the crash and recovery is too hard to bare. I expended so much fucking energy just staying alive this past year. I was exhausted.
Rehab was incredible. I mean, best rehab I’ve been to, hands down. I’ve been twice before to other places. I was resistant at first because I thought, “what else can I possibly learn?” But I did. It was well run. Great support. Great group of women there for the right reasons, and to have us separated from the men was key. I can, for the first time, say I actually miss it.
We had art therapy daily in the ward and three times per week in the rehab. I got back into my art while there and ended my last two days in rehab, drawing portraits of fellow patients. The ladies were thrilled. I haven’t picked up a paint brush in a year, so to draw again was really a blessing. I have some exhibitions coming up shortly, so I need to submit new work.
My first drawing was a metallic dragon for one of my best friends, who happens to be my ex. He visited me twice while I was in rehab. To him, I owe the world. Hands down, the most supportive man I’ve ever met in my life.
I’m thankful for my outside supports and could kick myself for bashing them. I was sick. So very sick. I was overwhelmed and felt underestimated. But truth is, if i can’t get this right, I’m just not going to be going anywhere but six feet under. And I have dreams. I have a purpose. And I’ve been called.