Not long ago I wrote a post about the negligent healthcare system. I had tried to kill myself and waited in the emergency department all night to be seen, only to be sent home. Something I’ve learnt is the system just cannot get it right. This week they swung to the other extreme.
For ages now my mental health team have been trying to get me to take an antidepressant. So I did! Jokes on them, it then tipped me into mania, and they were begging me to get off it. I spent a week in the short stay psychiatric ward where they took me off all the meds. They now want to give me a mood stabiliser to fix the problem caused by the last meds. I am sick of it.
I was still not right when I was discharged from the short stay unit. When I was admitted my mania, which was fun at first, had turned into something very awful. I was getting panic attacks, dissociating really badly, and having a massive existential crisis, as I wrote about in my last post. I suspect the Effexor and then the ADD stimulant was too much for me. I wandered around the hospital touching things and not knowing whether I was dreaming or awake. I felt like no one else really existed, that everyone and everything was an extension of me. These feelings returned when I came home. The panic attacks and dissociation were still lurking in the background, and it scared me. Monday night was the anniversary of my traumatic night where I was admitted to hospital. I went to badminton, but I was really not up to it. I felt my heart racing again and it reminded me of the panic attack. I was dizzy and thought I might pass out on the court. I picked up a bit, but then when it was time to go home one of the others lost his keys, so I stayed back and helped him look for it. I asked him to check his pockets, because I remember this happening before and it was in the person’s pockets. Finally, he found them, and guess where they were? In his darn pockets! I got this eerie feeling of de ja vu.
When I got home, I was freaking out. I think I had started dissociating again. I logged onto Facebook and found a witch/psychic had contacted me on there. She said she felt drawn to my energy and that my ancestors had a message for me. She said she would like to do a character reading on me which would reveal a lot of information about myself. I completely trusted her. I felt like she had been sent my way for a reason and I was finally going to get some answers. “I’ve got you”, she said, as if she knew exactly where I was at without me explaining. She asked me to answer some random questions: when is my birthday, where was I born, where would I like to live, how do I respond to compliments. She also asked for a photo. I gave her all this information and sat up for hours waiting for her to come back with some answers. I was pacing around, and I lit a candle. I clung onto a black crystal and played meditation music to try and ground me. As it approached midnight, I remembered the clock I saw when I had taken marijuana and was sent into a demonic realm where I thought I was being raped by the people I were staying with. It was stuck at ten to twelve. At twelve I would be free. I didn’t know what was going to happen at twelve. Maybe I would die and return to the place I told the witch I wanted to live, a place that is not even in this world. I emailed my psychologist telling her I may not make it to Wednesday and thanking her for making my life a little bit brighter. I could barely write the email as I was so weak, a symptom of severe anxiety and “shut down” dissociation. As the time got closer and closer to twelve, my impending sense of doom grew stronger. I thought I should wake my mum up and let her know I had lit a candle so she could extinguish it if I do die (there was recently a fire next door which was started by a candle). I knocked on her door, and said some things to her which I guess sounded like total nonsense. Something about marijuana, and twelve o’clock, and something really bad about to happen. On my way out, I told her there was a white tail spider in the air vent outside her room. She got up and sucked it into the vacuum cleaner. I was overcome with guilt (I am vegan and can’t even kill a spider). I wished I’d never woken her up.
I did make it through the night. The next day I was still pretty shaken though. My mum was out and I was in the bathroom doing a poop when someone came banging on the door. They kept banging and banging. Finally I managed to make it to the door. I opened the door cautiously and peaked through. It was my doctor/shrink and another man.
“What are you doing here?” I asked him as I stood there in my pyjamas.
He told me my mum had called him as she was concerned. He came in and we sat at the table. I asked him if he was spiritual, and he said yes. So I told him about the witch on Facebook, that I was seeing double and triple one’s everywhere, and that I was still freaking out and I don’t know what’s wrong with me. He told me I should be careful with the witch, that she might be trying to steal my identity or passwords. He then told me he was either going to treat me from home or section me under the mental health act. Way to make an already scared person even more scared! He left to go speak with the senior psychiatrist at the clinic. That is when I threw a few things into my car and took off. I drove up the mountain but then noticed my fuel tank was empty. I had no idea why it was so empty; I must have been so dissociated lately I’ve been driving around doing all these things and not knowing what I’m doing. Thankfully there was a petrol station nearby so I filled it up. I had my wallet on me and paid for the petrol. I was still in my pyjamas, but I didn’t care. I then headed to a park that is off the main road. I traipsed through the bushes and called my psychologist and a few friends. An ambulance tried to contact me but I ignored them. I was now really out of it. My psychologist asked me to slow things down as I was speaking too quickly. I told her I didn’t understand why this was happening as all the drugs I’ve taken- the Effexor, the stimulant, and the marijuana which I took about five months ago- should be out of my system by now. She believed they had triggered a new condition in me and at some point I do need to go to hospital. It was getting dark and cold and she encouraged me to go back to my car. As I walked back fog enveloped my surroundings and it felt like I was walking through some ethereal world. A man with his dog appeared out of no where and I jumped. I was stuck in this in between place and felt that everything was a dream. I asked my psychologist if she’d ever experienced anything like this, and she said no. “You’re lucky”, I told her. Life and consciousness is so mysterious and surreal, I didn’t understand why no one else questions reality and their existence so much.
I was terrified of my psychologist hanging up. She was my lifeline to this world. I wished so much I had someone with me who could just hold me. Once I got back to the car I turned the light on and called another friend who I like very much. For a while I was the only one in the carpark, but then another vehicle showed up. I couldn’t see it clearly in the dark. I thought it was the ambulance. I was hysterical, telling my friend that they’d found me. My friend did very well to comfort me. I had to manually lock the car as the remote wasn’t working. I then watched two people get out of the vehicle with spotlights. Thankfully they walked in a different direction. I continued talking to my friend, until they returned. I thought they’d just leave, but they hung around. It was freaking me out. Finally I said to my friend that I had to go, it’s not safe where I am. I tried to back my car out but I couldn’t see anything; it was dark and the windows were covered in rain and fog. I almost crashed into something. I could hear a man shouting at me. I was shaking, and continued to try and get out. Finally I managed to get out, and I took off. I was terrified they were following me. I drove to another friend’s house. I parked my car, but a fucking dog wouldn’t stop yapping so I had to move further down the street. At first my friend said I could stay with them, but then they told me they weren’t coming home that night. So I ended up spending the night in the back of my car. My phone’s battery died so I couldn’t contact anyone anymore. I tried to get some sleep but it was so cold. At 6am I resigned to my Dad’s house, which I didn’t want to go to as I knew that was one of the first places people would come looking for me. I needed to sleep and I needed to charge my laptop and phone. My dad has been working on the house, filling the walls with ventilation to make it more sound proof for me. Alas, my bed was gone. I was exploding like a volcano; I couldn’t deal with anything. My dad set up a mattress on the floor in one of the rooms and finally I crashed there. I slept all morning until the neighbour woke me. At first I was furious, but now I am forever grateful. This is because my dad came home at this point and told me my case worker had called him and was sending the cops around to collect me. Again, I threw some things into the car and left just in the nick of time. I drove to a secluded spot. I checked Facebook again and the witch still hadn’t replied, but someone with the same name as her had posted a video of themselves doing mediumship readings for people in my Borderline Personality Disorder Group. No one else responded to the video and I began to think that maybe I was the only one who could see it. I felt cyberstalked and targeted and it was really messing with me. Stalked by this “medium/witch”, stalked by the police. Please, just leave me alone! I turned off my phone for hours and walked deep into the forest. I HATED my mum and I HATED my case worker for what they were putting me through. When I turned my phone on again I got a text from my case worker asking me to come to the clinic as they were concerned about me. I did not; it was a trap.
I do believe I have angels/god watching over me, and an opportunity came up for me to stay somewhere very very safe and healing. That is where I am now, in a little house full of kids toys (some of which start playing music out of no where) and the Footprints poem hanging on the wall. I have no change of clothes and barely anything on me at all, but I am grateful. Sometimes I look up at the tall gas cylinders outside the house and think it is a policeman standing there. Sometimes I hear cars outside and think they have found me. But I found out that compulsory hospital orders expire after 72 hours, and also have no power over you if you leave the area. I am too far away for it to have any power over me. I have escaped. God knows what they would have done to me if I was locked in hospital. Probably inject me with antipsychotics. I don’t usually know what I need, but right now I know I do not belong in a psych ward. I am creating my own psych ward now where I am in control. It can be alluring to have someone else take control over your health, but I know I am the only one who can really pull myself out of this. I believe I can heal on my own.
I stand by the beach and watch the waves come in. Some are big and scary and I run from them. That is what these panic attacks are like. I still feel them there lurking in the background. They come in waves and I’m terrified of them consuming me, killing me, sucking me into the deep waters where shamans swim but schizophrenics drown. My mood is a bit all over the place. Sometimes I dance, sometimes I want to die. It will be Monday again soon and I do admit I am scared. My friend said a panic attack is a buildup of scary unprocessed emotions wanting to come out, that I need to turn and run into it rather than away from it. This is what people were telling me when I took ayahuasca and thought I was going to die. “Surrender to the feeling of dying”, they kept telling me. “Let yourself die”. I don’t know. Maybe my doctor was right and I should be in hospital. Or maybe I will prove them all wrong and heal this on my own.