How I hate staring at this empty box. How I hate to feel as if any creation that is spawned from my mind in these moments is an unreality. Is it not real if we believe that it is real? Or does a consensual reality have to exist among the majority to term it as such?
I might start using terms that I have either overheard and paired my own functional definition with, or terms that I invented myself to describe some kind of phenomenon that currently has no solid description.
I know I exist in a parareality today. Time is not syncing up correctly. In the slower moments, I am alone in a room with myself. I am caged in this prison, running wildly around the barred perimeter, thrashing desperately and angrily. Those are moments where The Voice is not my friend.
The Voice, I forgot to mention in my last post, had stated at one time in the recent past that we are no longer at odds, because the greater enemy was outside of myself. We could no longer be internally warring for control. Personally, I considered it to be another trick and dismissed it. But, as if right on cue, there was The Voice, sharing subconscious insight to help me navigate my troubled waters.
Listen to me. Work with me. I see things that you do not.
It has dawned on me. The Voice is naturally residing in my extraconscious, the bridge between the conscious and the subconscious. It is the only place where parareality and personas can co-exist with the exterior reality. Truly, the exterior reality doesn’t change much. But, the interior reality is a different story entirely. The Voice is the voice of my deepest fears and darkest secrets conceptualized and personified. And, we are at odds for a reason. The Voice announces things coming from my subconscious that I do not want to be true.
However, my states of consciousness are distorted. My conscious mind is having perceptual dysfunctions. These distortions pass through a short-term memory and are interpreted by The Voice and others of the same nature residing in the extraconscious. The short-term memory releases the memory into the subconscious to be stored in the long-term bank and paired with another event or emotion. Unfortunately, that usually generalizes the emotion paired to the events with similar events and vice versa.
When things are pulled back through the extraconscious, The Voice feeds back many judgmental opinions, hardly based in any conceivable fact. Even when there are facts, they are subjective and distorted, creating complex delusions from the word GO. In times past, I was usually able to rely on information coming in correctly, but hardly ever information going out. However, the information coming in does not seem characteristic of everyday stimuli.
Hallucinations and delusions, walking just a millisecond out of sync with the reality that surrounds me.
I am unsure as to whether this is considered a hallucination. Since I was small, I could feel an emotional climate around me. Just as some animals can sense the weather changing, I sense an emotional climate that has shifted, even slightly. I can anticipate emotional storms, mine and others. But, it was always perceived as just a feeling in my solar plexus and my crown, and faint words and phrases from the detuned radio in my head. Yes, there is a lot of noise in there, mostly static. Today, there are words I am grabbing at.
I can physically feel it as an internal sensation, just as if it were an organ.
When I am in motion, I can jar this sensation out of my hypervigilant scope. Or, I can choose to find a way to render myself unconscious and just sleep it off. I like the former, because of several reasons. Firstly, medication that is supposed to put me under is ineffective right now. And second, I am clinging to any kind of reality that I can. Losing any of it is worse than not being able to process it correctly. Correctly? No, there isn’t a right or wrong. Ummm, I’m at a loss for words at the moment.
I need to shake this before it rocks me.
- I’m Going To Give All My Secrets Away (asthependulumswings.wordpress.com)
- Conscious, Subconscious, and Extraconscious (asthependulumswings.wordpress.com)
- Subconcsious Freedom Therapy – Forgiveness (ahmritanaturalmentalhealth.wordpress.com)
- Conscious vs. The Subconscious Mind (socyberty.com)
- Fabric of Unreality (solaceofsavagery.wordpress.com)
Foreword: Trigger Warning! The following topics include very sensitive subjects. If you suspect that you may have a trigger contained within, please refrain from reading. Reader discretion advised.
Blink. Blink. Blinking away. The cursor sits at a standstill while I stare ahead, poised, awaiting the words to flow out of my mind, through my arms, and out of my fingertips. Nifty title for some heavy stuff. And though there is plenty of content, I have no clue how to provide an introduction. A part of me flinches, and I find my fingers stiffening in hesitation.
No, you’re going to do this today.
Awhile ago, The Voice emerged from the jumbled noise in my head and spoke to me again. The Voice was back at feeding my paranoia and preying on my fears. I cannot understand how this conflicting persona came to be, though I tried to make sense of it in a theoretical psychology essay entitled, “Conscious, Subconscious, and Extraconscious”. I can only recall the emergence in my early teens, probably nearly coinciding with the onset of symptoms.
The Voice had never become external to myself. Until late April, mentioned in Lulu-Lunacy. Moments in time started happening where The Voice had taken on a complete audio hallucination. It had gone beyond paranoid delusion into a complete distortion of my reality. I would have believed that The Voice was a real external entity. It sounded as real as someone sitting next to me on the bus, whispering in my ear. The words were loud, crisp, and clear. But, there was no body to go with it.
I knew it wasn’t real, because I had been hearing it for as long as I could remember. However, I’ve always been able to identify it as a part of my conscious mind. This was detached. The words coming out were not words that came out of a deep, dark place. I had never considered going off of my medication. I had always regarded them as something that made me better. Instead, The Voice was telling me that the medication made me dumb, like cattle, so I could be led around by the neck.
That was my first experience with solid psychosis.
I started to believe that some kind of external source was putting The Voice in my head, and had been doing so for years. I just couldn’t hear it, because I was purposefully not listening. This reason The Voice was always one step ahead of me was because that external source had been monitoring me for years. I was chosen. And it was at this point that they wanted me to finally step up to take back my life from others who were trying to steal it for their own gain.
Yes, it was that real. Do I still think that? I have no idea.
Here’s the truth. I am not one solid person, as I began to mention in Conscious, Subconscious, and Extraconscious. I have a post drafted about my various personas and how some differ greatly from others. Really, it’s more of a spectrum. It’s almost dissociative, but not quite. A part of me is still present as a spectator while other personas take the wheel. But, I am almost in a disembodied kind of state. Sometimes, it feels like I am in a third person kind of state completely outside of myself. Other times, I don’t feel like I am present at all, and clearly I wasn’t. Chunks of time go missing and events get hazy.
Sometimes I feel like I am struggling for control of my own consciousness.
Then, there are the pararealities. I describe them in many of my more lucid, vague sounding posts. Most of the time, I feel like I am a time traveler. Except, I am not really akin to Doctor Who or Marty McFly or other time travelers. I don’t really go from this time period to other time periods. I live in pararealities. These pararealities run alongside and often overlap the linear continuum most people reside in. Here’s a visual representation of reality and pararealities:
To put it in words, I do not experience life and time in a linear way, though I do experience it in the same direction as others. Time speeds up and slows down. Some moments last forever, and sometimes days go by with a blink.
The parareality is a reality that is similar to our own, but doesn’t quite operate in the same way. It’s like living life a millisecond off of everyone else, either faster or slower. Sometimes, the parareality is a little more detached, like in the farther regions of the red and blue zones. But, they are adjacent realities overlapping in areas. More than two pararealities cannot be experienced at once, and although a spectrum may exist, it’s not like a theory of parallel dimensions where there could be dozens totally different from one another. They are much the same, but it’s often like putting a different lens on a pair of goggles.
I realize that what I am saying is complete insanity. It’s the realization alone that prompted me to stop writing and start dodging. Silence fell over me, because nothing I was thinking or feeling really made any sense when propped up against facts. And then The Voice says, “Or maybe it does.”
It’s a rabbit hole situation. I am Neo, and I’m opting for the red pill, though I am not entirely sure whether it is going to lead me to the real reality, or deeper into the delusions and hallucinations. It just feels like I’ve been taking the blue pills too long. Everything feels so forced. Life shouldn’t be forced, right?
Now, we get to the sick parts.
I have been keeping secrets. Apparently, it is what I do the best of all. I am so skilled at illusion that I can deceive myself without even knowing it to begin with.
Enough with the pomp and circumstance. Get on with it.
I am still taking my medication, though I do not want to. I don’t want to drink alcohol anymore, not because alcohol is bad for me and it makes me feel bad. (It is and it does). Alcohol is distorting a reality that my mind is already challenging as being real. That’s all good right?
No, I have ulterior motives.
I am continuing to take my medication and to stop drinking alcohol for a very disturbing reason. These are all efforts to continue to sustain an obvious mania that has been going on for – since at least late March, but it was a component of a mixed episode at that point. It didn’t become clear mania until late May.
I am also doing these things to keep my weight down. Did you know that Wellbutrin has been known to exacerbate symptoms of eating disorders?
Wait, Lulu. You don’t have an eating disorder.
It’s probably pretty clear to those that have ED. The restrictive diet, the compulsive exercise, talk of negative body image. It’s never been something I wanted to admit. First, I didn’t think that it was a problem. It’s not, not physically anyway. Second, even if it was a problem, I didn’t want anyone to catch on to the behavior. First, because I so fear obesity. I didn’t want anyone to stop me. And second, because I didn’t want anyone to look down on me anymore than they already do. It’s bad enough that I hate me most of the time. (Unless, I’m manic when I love me).
I binge sometimes when I’m sad. I purge it when I’m disgusted. I purge when I’m nervous. I purge when I feel self-destructive. I purge when the scale is giving me an unacceptable number. I restrict when I’m very sad and self-loathing. I run to run away from all of this, to run away from myself. I run to see that number plunge. I restrict to spite myself. I restrict to self-destruct.
I have an eating disorder(s).
Finally, I am still in the grips of self-injury.
I am not proud. I am not showing off. I am not crying out for help, because at this point, I don’t even think I really want help. I am being honest, because my dishonesty was killing me. I’m supposed to be discussing mental health topics. And here we are. The very start of everything. Honesty in the face of the monster.
“The Voice” may be experienced uniquely for each individual. It may just be a whisper, a buzz, or a feeling. No matter, each person Dx or not has “The Voice”. In my personal experience, “The Voice” is literally that, a voice. It comes from within myself, as if I am host to two conscious minds in one physical being. It is not a hallucination, as I recognize the existence within myself. They coexist and are more than aware of the other “personality”, if you will.
I am familiar with my own conscious mind which produces these monologues that I translate to print. It forms the words milliseconds before they come to life. It repeats important information to commit it to short-term memory. It can take on a physical manifestation to transport me into the past, with all of my senses intact.
“The Voice” was born from the same conscious mechanisms that produces monologues. Suddenly, dialogues existed. These two conscious voices in my mind would deliberate everything. Sometimes, they would viciously argue. The noise was deafening. I was a woman divided.
“The Voice” fueled the fire. In depression, it perpetuates incredible delusions. It whispers, “You know you are worthless. Look at all of your failures. That’s why no one loves you, not even your family. Everyone is better off without you.”
It blames my action or inaction for all of the woes in the world. It convinces me that I am responsible for creating misery in and burden on my loved ones. All of my greatest fears are realized. My delusions are reinforced and substantiated as being reality.
In hypomania, it overcomes the other conscious voice. It is strong enough to occasionally be the only voice. It rationalizes each decision and refuses responsibility for the consequences. “I am the most awesome person in the world. They are only jealous, because I am superior. I am amazing at everything and have nothing to prove to everyone. This should be common knowledge by now.”
I become above the rules, because I alone am the exception. I am invincible, and “The Voice” reminds me at every impulse. I explode when enraged and it’s the other person’s fault. “We were having a good time and they had to be a jerk. Give it to them!” I go on a rampage because people have personally wronged me.
At one point, in the worst of the fits with The Voice, I deemed the dialogue as having three participants. The Voice had split and fused with a portion of my moral, conscious mind. And in between, there I was, watching the battle rage almost totally outside of my physical being.
My physical form started containing a world of it’s own. Everything from the outside went through a perceptual filter. It often came out too distorted to make heads or tails of what the truth actually was. How can one possibly know the reality of their own life when it Is completely relative?
The noise in my brain was overwhelming, sometimes to the point of maddening. Always, even when The Voice didn’t have an observation or remark, there was the background static of a detuned radio. Occasionally, it would pick something up, but it was always like being on the edge of a broadcast zone. Outside sounds would echo, a biting remark, a provocative line in a song, etc. It made focusing nearly impossible.
Eventually, these dialogues passed through my lips, as if they could no longer be contained in such a small space. I attempted to channel it into my writing, but I would have spent my entire day with my head buried in a journal. Sometimes, I did. I would allow these dialogues to exist in tangible world if it meant my head would be a little less noisy.
I made sure it always occurred while I was alone. At least I had that much control. I was always on foot in those days. Many of these conversations came to life en route to and from work – a brisk mile walk both ways. And I’m kind to call them conversations. Often, they were confrontations and / or arguments.
Sometimes, I, or at least some version of me, would beg it to shut up. Leave me alone!!!
How can I go away when I AM you?!
When I started Lamictal, my mind was suddenly silent. No static, or echos. I could actually fully be present in the moment I lived in. And The Voice suddenly disappeared. Oddly enough, I was scared. All of those things had been present for so long, I felt as if my brain had been deadened.
The Voice couldn’t be stifled. When I found myself engaging in silent dialogues once more, I knew something was amiss. More medication, and it was silent once more.
Today, The Voice plagues me occasionally. Typically, it is during a depressive episode, as it began before. That’s not to say it doesn’t happen during a hypomanic episode. But, The Voice has a low volume at best.
I now have clarity if thought and quality of reason to beat The Voice at it’s own game. You are not real, and I am not listening.
I’ve attempted to write this post about a dozen times now. Maybe more. I don’t know. The words aren’t coming out right. It feels like there is nothing to write and everything to pour out, all at once. There’s this battle going on inside myself between what I want to write, what I should write, and how to convey all of these thoughts.
I’m just going to blurt it out. My blog, my rules.
This has started at work and with blogging lately. For some unknown reason, I’ve been getting the feeling that I’ve been talking about myself too much lately. I’m not self-absorbed, at least not in the way that my interests and motives orbit my being. People seem to give me these blank stares of intense disinterest when I’m relating a situation to them. The objective is to relate to someone else, not grant my pity. I feel strongly against pitying people. It’s insulting to some and enabling to others.
This has been the case with my blog, I’m sure. I don’t often look at my stats, and when I do, it’s only to see what topics are the most popular. If I’ve run a topic out, say about my upcoming surgery, then I’m done with it. There is all that is to be said on that front, and I move along. My stats are consistant with days that I write, and there is no immediate drop off.
However, there is no dialogue. This is not incinuating that every post sparks something within each reader that makes it relevant and interesting. If there is nothing to be said, then so be it. But, I’m not running a blog to whine about my life. It was never my intent to create a blog that dissects every situation and magnifies it to intensely overdramatic levels. My objective was to become relatable in my trials and tribulations. That does not to seem to be the case. At least, not to me.
It seems that my comments and insights into other blogs are not enjoyed and in certain occasions, seem less than welcome. It was my assumption that I was among a community of bipolar bloggers, to say the least. I’m sure there is a mishmash of alphabet soup among us, and I can accomodate that. Perhaps, I was mistaken in certain aspects of how these relationships work.
My goals were simple. First and foremost, write a blog for me. As my reader base increased, I had decided to narrow it down to important topics in my life. As the community grew, I attempted to welcome everyone with open arms. I was pretty sure everyone started their own blog with similar objectives, so my next goal was to provide insight and occasionally suggestions to other writers. And finally, to bring our community closer together.
Maybe I was wrong, and I’ve failed in some fashion. Or, I’m delusional with depression.
That’s what I wanted to write, sort of. I wanted to include something to the effect of my suspicions of an on-coming depression, that is coloring this entire ordeal in my mind. But, that can wait. It’s not something I’m considering dissecting at the moment. I am too disillusioned to be remotely objective.
I’ll write when I’m ready. Whenever that is.
I’ve mentioned this in recent posts. But now, it’s gotten to a point where I’m not even sure what is going on anymore.
In case any readers aren’t up to date, I’ll summarize with some links. This all began with my last cutting episode. We determined that the mixed emotions I was going through was dysphoric hypomania. It lasted 16 days and I though it was over when I got sick. I thought I went from hypomanic to panic. But, I’m not sure that’s the case.
Yesterday, I was hit with panic earlier in the day. My mind started drifting and I got this urge to call off of work. I had this strong feeling like something was very wrong. However, since I’ve been in the throws of panic lately, I figured it was anxiety. That was that.
I started feeling very bad at work. I’ve been feeling ill – unsettled stomach, puffiness, etc. At work, it was magnified. I became nauseated with a throbbing head and a terrible stomach.
I wasn’t right in my head to handle kids today. I let them pretty much do what they pleased, within certain boundaries. I snapped out at my 3rd grade class because their behavior was atrocious. More than anything it was agitating because of the extreme annoyance. Children don’t typically annoy me. This was a clear sign that there was something very wrong.
Later, one of my co-workers pointed out a mistake I had made. I took it very personally. I became inexplicably angry that he would dare correct me although I knew I had made the mistake. I wanted to jump down his throat and tear him a new one.
But, I feared that he would put me up on the chopping block. I became paranoid, thinking he was the unidentified source who reported concerns to my boss about my performance. He had it out for me. He secretly didn’t like me and wanted me eliminated.
At that point, I had the mother of all panic attacks. I sat still, far in a corner of the room. I was trying to plan an escape route without anyone becoming suspicious. I had to get out. I couldn’t get it out of my head. But, if I left early, then someone would be upset. I’d be giving them even more reason to send me away.
I couldn’t wait to get home. Home, the only safe place left. And yet, just three months ago, I would’ve said that about work.
Here’s the question. Am I hostile at work because I’m feeling threatened because I’ve been having panic attacks at work that are making me delusional? Or, am I actually still in a now dysphoric mania with serious paranoia and delusions?
I hadn’t been dressed in over a week.
It was about then that the buzz of the accident was over and the heaviness of the real world settled on and around me. I was still unemployed. We still had bills to pay, and now we have more. And I was mostly a single parent.
But none of that was really different before the accident, was it?
It’s circular logic. Do hard life events bring on a depressive episode or does depression beget hardship?
I’ve been trying to outrun it for awhile now. I’m well versed in the signs and signals of it’s approach. Suddenly, I have the urge to be alone. I have lost interest in everything I work so hard on and I have lost pleasure in all of academic and creative pursuits that I pride myself in. I start spending more time in the house, and even more time gravitating toward the bed. Everything is a laborious task. Showering even seems inconvenient and exhausting.
It went above and beyond. I started cancelling important appointments. I didn’t want to see anyone at all. I didn’t return any of my phone calls. In fact, I stopped answering the phone entirely. I didn’t have anything to say. And I didn’t want anyone to notice my condition.
I can’t say that I didn’t try to head this off. I still invited friends over. And I enjoyed their company. It was nice to put all of this in the back of my head for a minute. Until the moment I said, “Take care!” and latched the door behind them. Then it all came flooding back, like a tsunami of emotion with an anchor around my neck.
I’ve been a zombie. I see the dishes pile up in the sink and can’t bring myself to do them. And when I don’t, then the guilt and depression deepen. I lay there and stare at the television while my son brings me toy, after toy, after toy. He just wants his mommy to cheer up and play. For a moment, I sit up, and smile weakly at him. I hug him hard and try to play. But I’m not all there. And it’s not fair to him.
I’m taking medication but I never seem to get completely better. I’m better for awhile and then I gradually backslide. I’ll notice an episode here and there. But they’re pretty short lived and not very intense. But it grows. The next episode is longer and suddenly I’m thinking that I might not be able to handle my life. Until finally, I am here.
Where is here? It’s all too familiar a place for me. This is the deepest, darkest pit in the whole bleak and treacherous landscape of my bipolar mind. The is where the pendulum flings me when it takes a hearty swing and I can’t hold onto it any longer. This is the place where the shadow monsters live. All of the bad things I’ve ever done and all of the things I never could be exist in this place. And I’m never sure how to get out.
And in this place today, I went to the home that resembled mine. The rooms were dark and the house was still. I went into my drawer and took some medicine – ya know, just to take the edge off. I went into the bathroom and stripped down to nothing but my astrological charms, my engagement ring, and my wedding ring. I sat down in the tub with the shower pounding on my head and back as I put my head on my knees. And I cried.
These delusions are greater than me. “Your husband hates you.” “You are the reason your son needs extra help.” “Your mother considers you a burden.” “Your father only loves you for your son.” “Are you going to keep killing everyone’s souls with your illness?” Every ache from the past rose to the surface until it felt like I had better battered.
I cried for everything I cannot be, cannot have, and cannot do.
All I wanted to do was bleed. And I pulled out a razor and went to it. I was hoping to gauge whether I was ready to go for the vein. Or if the blade was even up to the challenge. I hardly broke skin – and I gave up. For now. I didn’t have the right tools and time was up.
Pruned-up and water-logged, I dressed and hid the evidence. I patiently waited for everyone to be in bed for their naps and I took some more medicine. And a little more medicine. I wanted to be out of my mind this time. I was hoping some crazy concoction of depressants that I put into my body would be enough to do the trick. I’d drift off and never awake again. I found a sharper razor. But not sharp enough. I barely drew blood on an already open wound. But it was just enough pain to put everything else to rest.
Alas, alack, I am here. I just wasn’t meant to go through with it.
I need to go to the doctor. But what use is a doctor when you’re still completely alone with this?