I could ask the question how long does it take to get back to normal after you go through a mental breakdown, how long until I feel like me? Of course no one would be able to answer that, they could give obscure answers or guess but it would all boil down to a variety of “Well now that depends…” Honestly though that’s the simple truth of it. Really how could they know, how could anyone, they don’t even really know what I went through. I don’t even know how to begin to explain it. Who I was will never again be who I am. I tried to get that version of me back and I naively thought I basically had. How wrong I was. How quick I was to simply think I could ever be the same after something like that.
At the time I didn’t even realize how much it would forever change me, I just wanted to put all of the pieces back and see what was left of me and really go from there but it seems the more I look the more I see it’s not even the same puzzle I’m working with… Im sure I can’t ever know how this has or will change me- hell I’m certain if there is anything I know now it’s that I truly know nothing. How hard it would be to truly find myself and how hard I would work at finding out who I am and who I want to be, and how much farther I know I still need to go, I know I’m not there and the end is not in sight, perhaps it never will be. Even though before I was quite certain I already -basically- mostly -mainly-??- had known who I was and wanted to be, with you know “improvements” needed here and there I am but a feeble human with weakness and compulsive desires and battles of course as I thought I well knew but yes the journey moves on so it seems.
One step at a time.
One slow and sometimes painfully excruciating step at a time.
Sometimes without knowing you’re moving or even taking steps actually. Sometimes you can move forward while you simply move nowhere- locked in a padded room for days on end with drool dripping down your chin and your only views of the world through a plexiglass window facing outside or a window in a locked door covered from outside with a blanket, and the occasional set of eyes peeking in.
In August of 2015 I was admitted into a mental hospital for a month. My family called 911, an ambulance and RCMP car came to our house and I was gently escorted into the back of the police car and taken to the hospital. I was hallucinating and had completely lost touch with common reality. I was experiencing psychosis. I had what was afterwards termed a brief psychotic disorder.
A typical rough patch in life like many before and since; however that topped with an almost complete lack of sleep for 3 or 4 days and sleep deprivation over a longer period of time due to pain from a sciatic nerve problem at the time and a basic lack of personal care and nutrition- it simply led to my brain shutting down and creating an alternative state of reality as this one I could no longer function in. My brain took over into a type of auto pilot I believe which resulted in life altering hallucinations, voices, lights, visions, the inability to exist or care for myself let alone my children. I shut down, turned off all main functioning reason and ability and basically said nope I’m out- can’t do this- bye bye!
In my mind I was overlapping reality with a dream world created by my mind, hyper vivid and seemingly more real than most experiences in the normal reality I had mostly left behind. I somehow decided to believe I proved life after death and was going to show the world, for a time in my mind I was one with the living Mother Nature, a goddess and a human combined, I was connected to and able to deeply talk with and understand god consciousness and the connection of all life, the many dominions of nature were within my vision, I could see the energy of all life and was connected to an eternal highway of thought, led by these voices some called me towards them some simply stood beside me. I felt outside of myself, watching and observing so many hidden connections I had never before realized and have since forgotten most of.
I experienced a deeply surreal and vivid world compelled beyond my rational thought or rational reasoning, escalating for days at home before eventually I thought I was dead, I thought the apocalypse was happening, the world was ending in vast numbers and I heard so many voices it was hard to sift through the thoughts at times.
Eventually I didn’t know who I was. I thought I was witness to heaven brought to earth and as I was in this hallucinatory heaven the world was going to restart. I talked to god, I talked to demons. I talked to a faceless business man who had a being living in his mind that had seen the world through many eyes through many life times. I talked to the being in his mind. Without words I communicated with someone I think of as the puppet master, where my reality seemed interjected with the hallucinations. I talked with friends who weren’t present and people I don’t know. I seen and talked to people that were dead. I lived as my highest self and lived as my lowest of self. I talked to others about their meaning and purpose and saw through others eyes, I heard the minds of people who said they could see through my own eyes, I seen lights flashing in my minds eye and was taken to places I have never been- all within my mind.
All of it seemed so real, yet like a dream. I struggled for months with the flashing of memories afterwards, like having a dream and suddenly remembering parts so clearly you almost can’t decide if it was real or if it was just a dream, and how easy is it to hold it against someone for something they said or did in a dream, at least until we can sort the dream from reality…
There were times I would remember so clearly the hallucinating dreams of past the world around again slightly faded away. I still have moments of flashing memories, words and visions that flood my mind at random times, something triggers a distant memory from my minds hallucinations.
It’s hard to sort at times.
Two years later and I have to stop myself mentally at times from being overwhelmed by the memories and feelings.
Nearly a month long dream.
Processing my minds versions from the reality underneath.
So who am I? I don’t really know. I guess I never did. But I do know my mind, all minds, are so much more than I ever previously thought. I also know I can’t just forget all that happened and I can’t be stuck in it either.
There were moments I didn’t remember my family, I didn’t remember my self or my life, I just was, an empty vessel, an empty mind. I remember sometimes too clearly that feeling too. The feeling of being empty, hollowed out, emotionless.
I also clearly remember feeling so many emotions I literally thought my head was exploding. I felt highs I have never before experienced and don’t even know words to explain the bliss and peace that filled my entire being, every cell in my body felt electrified and more alive than I knew could be possible, I watched as energy moved and danced in thin air and within plants, I felt myself move with that energy freely receiving and giving it to others. I remember the lows, the screaming, the confusion, the anger, the feeling of death, the pain and suffering of the world running rampant in my mind and overwhelming my senses, the voices of people telling me they were lost, they couldn’t see anything but deep penetrating darkness, there were those who were in the process of dying, some who were being raped, and some being burnt alive, they were all begging to make it stop, to take their pain and the worlds pain and turn into something peaceful, begging anyone to help ease their own suffering, to ease the burden of the pain for the world. Begging for a way out, begging to see some sight to give them peace or light to fill them with hope, screaming for help out. I remember feeling the desperation and overwhelming fear, I remembering the moment I sat bare foot and cross legged on the damp grass starting at my flower garden pulling the grass between my fingers as faces and voices swirled through my mind filling my senses beyond the brink of comprehension, and I remember as suddenly something inside me broke and I felt a wave of pure love and bliss run through my veins shaking me still to the very core of my being. I remember the moment in my mind when the pain stopped and the bliss that ruptured over consuming all other feelings and blocking all pain from entering any mind. I remember the dream as the minds that opened their eyes for the first time in a long time finally felt free from their hells and the world awoke together as they all spoke to each other and instantly understood the love that had saved all humanity by coming together and sharing each their feeling of love and making it infinitely grow, not on my own but like a ripple that gains moment simply by the presence of another ripple near by, everything being so connected as soon as one started the action others quickly caught on and joined in and a tipping point then quickly occurred because the need was so great it caught on increasing fast.
So many moments plagued by emotions that felt as if they were all coming from outside of me but feeling it so strongly it felt as if it were my own- happening right that moment and at that time. The feeling of tapping into something so surreal and unexplainable so unexpected and altering the very depth of what I ever thought possible. The utter lack of my ability to fully comprehend and remember every detail that happened yet coming back to reality and knowing and seeing it wasn’t actually really tangible or computable, there is no ‘proof’ I could ever bring that would make it so, the things I thought were still all just a dream a figment created within my mind, and what that means beyond that I don’t quite know how to process… a brains reaction to alter the chemicals and overlap a type of dream creation into common reality altered states of reality- a type of hallucinatory lucid dreaming while awake.
The remainder of 2015 was foggy and numb, so many emotions but mostly just numbness and confusion, trying not to obsess with the events leading to the hospital stay and the time spent there, trying not to obsess over the voices and the quick flashes of memories, focusing on who I was and where I was, focusing on overcoming the overwhelming exhaustion mentally and physically, the side effects of being put on then taken off the anti-psychotic medications the side effects of a mental break down, of a personal identity crisis that no words could explain, feeling Iike I was only a second away at any given time from completely breaking down again.
Afraid of what this now meant, for my family, for myself, for my mind and my future, if my mind could do such a thing without any sign or warning if it could completely take away my sense of reality what did that mean, would it happen again and would it or could it get worse, what exactly was it even… so many questions but still so much numbness, I felt like if I opened myself again a dam would break and they would certainly send me back and maybe I wouldn’t come back next time, what if I got stuck in those thoughts and I was completely lost, what if I couldn’t stop the voices from returning again and again…
I was afraid to feel or think too much, so I instinctively shut down all process of emotion, I cant even say I had the choice, I was weak and my mind simply needed time to heal, even if I wasn’t willing to fully admit it. I just wanted my life back, before the ‘apocalypse’. I wanted to spend every moment with my children as I could being the mother they deserved, that drove me forward in trying to gain back control of my thoughts, to understand better what had happened and to learn the best I could how to recognize those thoughts and separate them from the obvious reality, to focus on being here and being present.
Still the numbness came and lingered well into 2016, not to say I was emotionless, far from it, I was raw, it came and went of course but my go to was to shut down before feeling too much. I was too mentally exhausted to deal with anymore.
2016 was a year of slowly breaking down, mentally there was a lot of improvement and re focus on life and questioning of beliefs and memories, and I began to slowly heal my fragile mind, I was still tender and raw, between the memories and feelings it was often hard just to be around people or even go outside to nature, everything felt like a trigger, everything a reminder of my psychosis.
I couldn’t even plant gardens or tend them besides what I absolutely had to do and even then the very act of being in nature made me want to cry- every -single -time; the things I had felt were so intense and still so vivid it scared the shit out of me I might start seeing lights again or flashes or feel too intensely those very sensitive memories, I couldn’t yet let myself open up fully, so I hid away mostly and slowly I looked at my broken pieces and tried to sort them all out. Then too so many other things started to go, one by one like the steadfast ants carrying on, slowly but surely if anything was to be counted on it was that limits were tested as were we. There was a steady declining throughout the year mentally, physically, emotionally, financially, an overall in general breaking down of things around- materialistically speaking and on deeper levels, major household repairs and items breaking down, breaking down of personal labels, breaking of emotional controls, breaking down of self defeating patterns, breaking of mental walls and barriers, breaking memory blocks.
Inside mainly staying still and silent and remaining in deep contemplation, one day at a time one problem at a time, prioritizing and regrouping.
2017 came with its own new challenges and obstacles some harder than others to deal with but also much progress and growth. I have come to a deeper appreciation of nature and am filled with awe again now rather than feeling emotionally bare and raw. Yet I have much farther to go, I have to work on some emotional control issues as everything feels somehow new and harder to get a grasp on, I am struggling at times to find my balance and control but I am open again and understand the process I am going through, it takes time to relearn things that have been stripped down to nothing. – So time moves slow but often too fast and I am learning to live with that as this year begins to wrap up and cool down. I am taking stock of the harvest, preparing for winter and deciding now where else to place my focus. I know only that which I don’t know will always be greater than that which I do so I will try to keep my mind open and hold hope for the new; focusing on the goals that truly hold value.
So that’s a little… uhm… haha, seriously this is sooo long LOL… so instead I shall say that’s a mini bio about me- but what the hell do I know, it wasn’t too long ago I literally didn’t even know who I was, and I have come to see that’s something about me I’m constantly changing and trying to improve so if you think that you know me you should probably think again…
Who am I? How about I ask you a question instead- please feel free to answer; just who in self inflicted hell are you?
Do you dare to know yourself or change the confines of your mind to explore the definition of what makes you even really you, you really do owe it to yourself to look into your questions and trust in your truth to answer for you. So now I’m not certain that answers every really meant to be the same it’s a constant journey and as we grow that answer is going to change, but there is still reason for the question, so… I guess… or at least I hope for me it never really stays the same- who am I-? Ever moving, ever changing, gratefully finding my way.