“It is a very inconvenient habit of kittens (Alice had once made the remark) that whatever you say to them, they always purr.” ~ Lewis Carroll, Through the Looking-Glass, and What Alice Found There (Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, #2)
I’ll spare you all the details of the manic episodes that led to this post because of my young readers, including my own pre-teen. I hope she and others read this post and understands why her mother was gone for nearly two weeks and all the Thanksgiving food went uncooked this year in my unexpected absence. Please respect my blog and direct any questions privately.
Like the quote above, I have an inconvenient habit of purring, always smiling, and always living life to the fullest. The details are unimportant to this particular post except I did the one thing you never do, stopped my medication. I was convinced I was wrongly medicated and each time another pill would be added sending me into a rabbit hole. I reached out entirely too subtle and told one or two people I stopped all my meds then followed with the “I’m fine”. I WAS NOT FINE.
“Manic depression — or bipolar disorder — is like racing up to a clifftop before diving headfirst into a cavity. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is the psychic equivalent of an extreme sport. The manic highs — that exhilarating rush to the top of the cliff — make you feel bionic in your hyper-energized capacity for generosity, sexiness and soulfulness. You feel like you have ingested stars and are now glowing from within. It’s unearned confidence-in-extremis — with an emphasis on the con, because you feel cheated once you inevitably crash into that cavity. I sometimes joke that mania is the worst kind of pyramid scheme, one that the bipolar individual doesn’t even know they’re building, only to find out, too late, that they’re also its biggest casualty.” ~ Diriye Osman
So head first I landed in the mental health hospital. It was extremely important to stabilize and get me on proper medication as fast as possible. I was numb, dead to the world and nonexistent. The details are blurry, the EMT talked the entire time on the ride to the hospital to comfort me. Entry was like a jail, but an overwhelming smell of crayons. All my things were taken, watch, phone, shoes, and anything with strings. I didn’t care, I was escorted to my little room I would share. During my time there I watched the ward turn over patients 2 or 3 times, I stayed.
I wasn’t one of the lucky ones who got to eat in the cafeteria, I wasn’t allowed to leave my ward. My breakfast, lunch, dinner came in styrofoam containers at the same time everyday, in the same place. The same area I sat all day to color and look out the window. Thanksgiving day, dinner came in the styrofoam container, it was surreal. I had grown attached to a small group of people and we ate together and then went on with our day like any other. I watched people come and go, I wondered to myself, “how sick am I?” I couldn’t understand why I couldn’t go home and in my tiny room I’d already had three roommates. Looking out my window everyday I just felt trapped, trapped like an animal.
I was eventually released just before the weekend, After nearly two weeks I felt defeated and broken. It was amazing to surround myself with friends who insisted I spend the weekend outside doing a sport I love, but now looking at windows from the outside, not trapped inside. Feeling defeated went away and feeling broken slowly went away so I could heal and forget the memories of the ward. I need that inconvenient habit of purring.