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Psychosis: The Aftermath

“It is not heroin or cocaine that makes one an addict, it is the need to escape from a harsh reality.”

You know they never tell you how hard life can actually be. They explain bits and pieces as you grow up but they never elaborate on the details of what you may or may not encounter. Everyone is told that they can be anything they want to be, you are pushed to do your best and you walk through life with this ringing in your ears that life is your oyster. Until that fateful night when you feel pain, witness injustice and embrace tragedy.  All that I could be, stopped for me. I was diagnosed with Rapid Cycling Type 1 Bipolar Disorder (the worst kind) and with that came limits. Limits to what I could do, who I could be and the loss of control that I so desperately seeked. I’ve seen despair and all the triumphs that life enfolds but I have also seen the most beautiful moments that this world has to offer. I am compelled to dive into my depression or rise instantaneously into mania but there are moments that remain a memory. Moments that exist before the mania fully takes hold.  In that moment, I sense the uplifting joy, I recognize the enfolding happiness and suck in the wonders that this world offers.

I know that I’m happy, I know that the smells and sounds are intensified and that life is embracing me back. The music is liberating, the breathe of fresh air is intoxicating and the laughter around me is contagious.  I am conditioned to ask myself, what is the cause of my happiness? I am programmed to sense the beginning symptoms of mania but at this very moment I don’t care. This is the only moment that I am grateful to be like the average person. This is the moment that I can see clearly and enjoy my surroundings despite the realization of whats in-store. Theres a sense of peace and genuine happiness that not even I knew was possible. A weight that has been lifted as the stress of life’s struggles have been forgotten. Suddenly nothing seems impossible.

What a relief.

I drive with the windows down and the AC on, music blasting with all genres thats manifest strength and joy. I take in deep breathes that have never been sweeter. I take a passing glance at myself in the rear view mirror and see the beautiful, smart and ambitious woman I have become. I allow myself to suffocate in this moment; as this moment is always brief. This moment will evolve into full fledge mania. I am only hours, minutes or seconds away from losing full control of my emotions and in essence my mind. Eventually everything will intensify and become an overload of sounds, feelings and thoughts. Soon I will blast the music at an ear bruising rate, I will inhale cigarette after cigarette with no resistance and down red bulls as if they were water as I feel every emotion with an intensity thats unexplainable. The rapid thoughts that list the to do’s for today, tomorrow and next month. The feelings of happiness, insecurity and uncertainty mix itself within and I am simply a bucket of confusion.

In this moment though I try to slow down, I try to embrace the feelings that reinforce my present joy. I do not prepare for the storm; I simply bask in the ambience of simple pleasantries. Even the loneliness can be replaced with endurance, the insecurities can be replaced with self esteem and the anger can be replaced with pure humility. In this moment, I try to save myself. I wish I could always feel this way. I dream for a life where this feeling is the norm. I grasp at the feeling and watch it slowly slip away. I have lost control…..

The darkness protects you in a sense so that you are completely unaware. Some where inside of you, there are previews.Seconds really, where you can see from the passenger side. I’m frightened and I have no control but thats not what scares me. Its the way I feel, its the voices I hear and the delusional thoughts that I have accepted as fact. A day of severe grandiose behavior, unconventional spending and unlimited drinking mixed with a week of no medication have taken its toll.  I cant remember and what I do remember stops me in my tracks. The feeling of being untouchable, the words I scream out of unwarranted hatred. Somehow I’m barricaded in my room, theres bread, theres laughter and there are voices that say I am not safe. Yeah Bread, no clue why. Maybe that was my meal until help arrived. I couldn’t tell ya.

I awaken the next morning exhausted and confused. Where is everyone? Bruises and cuts on my face. Tons of calls that I have no recollection of. The last thing I remember was sitting with my husband and having a drink. I wasn’t drunk. I was sure of it. The next morning I am faced with the damage that I’ve caused, damage that I don’t remember and seems unreal. As I drive straight to my psychiatrist for help, I cry. My face is swollen from the tears. The shame and guilt have over taken me. I’m afraid. Can you believe it. I’m afraid of myself.

Im catatonic, there are no words or expressions. There is only silence. I faintly hear words such as psychosis, nervous breakdown and delusions/hallucinations. Its my first episode and its common with my diagnosis. Im prescribed stronger meds, spoken to about the next steps, reassured, followed by her warm embrace. I opt out of psychiatric care, I have to work. I call my mother and she tells me all the things I said the night before. She tells me she understands. She tippy toes her words in fear of causing me more distress. I get it because I’m doing the same. I try not to think, I try not to stress and I let go. I don’t want to fall again. I don’t remember but some how I survived. In that darkness, you are no longer you. I’ve read about it and it was something that happened to other people. Until it happened to me.

They never told me that my grandmother had many psychotic breakdowns, they never warned me that my mother had extreme OCD and mania. They never truly explained the seriousness of my fathers alcohol and drug addiction. No one ever assumed that I would inherit it all. So I sit here, wanting to embrace life but afraid of myself and whats to come. Holding on to my sanity for dear life. I pray that I never lose it again because I have lost a piece of myself. A piece that I don’t think I can ever regain. I can never be certain of my actions. I will never be confident in my emotions. I will forever questions my thoughts in fear that I should break. There is no cure. So how many more pieces do I have to lose before the Natasha I have come to know and love is no longer me?

Cause in this world, anything can hurt you and it can push you and then desert you. I cant let this steal my history. I still look the same as I stare at my reflection. I look the same but I’m not. I just cant stop living, afraid of what I will see and who I will be.

I just need to remember me.

Bipolar · children · Death · Depression · Divorce · family · life · Loss · mania · Manic · marriage · Miscarriage · parenting · Seperation · Uncategorized

My little girl

June, June is a month that holds weight. June is the month that my mother was born. June is many things but June is ultimately the month I will never forget. You were everything I ever dreamed of.  I prepared as any mother would. I didn’t have much but all that I had was yours. The crib set up in preparation for your appearance. The soft small pink outfits that I folded time and time again. The tiny toys that filled your box. With every doctors appointment your heart beat grew stronger and stronger. I felt your kicks and your little hiccups. I loved you more than you had known. I loved you more than I had the chance to show you. You were so tiny in the sonogram and the overwhelming realization that you would soon be mine came over me. I felt blessed and afraid. Afraid that I would never add up, afraid that I couldn’t be a better mother, and hopeful that you would make me better.

Within one appointment, I carried you for a last month check up. You weighed me down and  I felt your pitter patter not too long ago. It had been days though and I grew worrisome. The doctor was hopeful that I was simply an overly worried young mother, she knew that all would be well and reassured me that I should cast my worries away. So I did, assuming that I was just overly protective. You see, I loved you so much. I was so worried and excited. I dreamt of you so many nights. I dreamt of your long black hair, your pale skin, the deep brown eyes that would stare at me with your dads long eye lashes. The smile that would break your fathers heart and drop me to my knees. You were my daughter before you even knew it.

That appointment , the doctor smeared the cold jelly on mommies tummy and the moment that I waited for each month came as it always did. It was time to see you move and squirm within me. It was a chance to see you and feel you and hear your tiny heart beat within mine. It was the moment I thrived for. It was immediate but I saw the concern within her eyes, I didn’t hear the beat of your heart. She smiled awkwardly at me. She rubbed the handle of her sonogram machine all around me, in hopes to find a sign of life. She only only saw the tear. Tear of your amniotic sac, the home that you have known since you were conceived. You at some point were lacking your nutrients, your home, your safety.

The sadness and despair to which the doctor had was inconceivable. She apologized as she excused herself from the room. She returned almost instantly with 2 other physicians and they all took turns confirming what my fears had already shared. You were gone. You no longer lived and squirmed within me. The absence of your kicks and the silence of your hiccups were a sign that you were gone. Rushed into an OR room where I was provided medication to contract and push you out was almost unreal. I didn’t have a chance to call daddy. I didn’t have a chance to call anyone.There was hope that if you were taken out they could save you. I didn’t take a chance yo slow down the process. I needed you. You see you were my salvation, I dreamt of you since I was a little girl. I dreamt of your appearance, how you would feel and the years that came after. I never let go of hope.

You came out and the silence was deafening. You were pale, you had the black hair I dreamt of, you were so small and fragile. You were beautiful. They let me hold you. I was in aww, I was in pain and I was alone. I was so young and I had no idea what to do. I wanted you to kick, to say surprise and start crying. I wanted you to breathe. I wondered how I would even begin to tell all those that waited for you in anticipation. How could I let you go? I couldn’t take you home. I considered it. I felt pain but the sudden realization of what had happened didn’t hit me. I was numb. I let you go and they took you away. I laid there frozen signing papers with no real understanding as to what I was doing. I was told that I would be transferred to the maternity ward. I couldn’t do it. To hear the song of every new baby brought into this world with a new life to be witnessed. To hear the sounds of babies crying all around me, knowing that yours would never be heard. I refused. I left and never returned.

Everyone around me felt anger, sadness and emptiness. I couldn’t understand or even process. You were gone. You would never lay on that bed that your dad and I built, You would never wear the tiny outfits we prepared. The depression deepened and everything within me shut down. Daddy had to pack everything away, No easy task I’m sure. I held a blank stare, I lost hope. I felt a feeling that I wish upon no-one. I loved and lost you in such a small time frame. Death had never been apart of my life, you were my first loss. I didn’t recover. I never could.

Every birthday I dreamt of how old you would be, how cute you are and what your personality could be at this moment. I envisioned your smile and sassy attitude, your tiny feet and little dreams. I imagined the look in your fathers eyes that would have been filled with so much love for his little girl. Every little girl that passes by me,  is you. Every babies little laugh is yours. The dreams that I have of you are so real that it hurts. Years have past and not a moment goes by that I don’t see your little face, feel your small body and smell your soft scent. Not a day or year goes by that I don’t want you. I dream, I hurt and I know that this emptiness will never go away but ultimately you are and always will be my little girl.