Last night, I had my first real episode of (negative) mania and loss of lucidity since the birthday party incident. Well, strictly speaking it was this morning – shortly after 2.30am, during a fairly typical night of insomnia. I was in a frenzy, though the physical manifestations of it can’t have been that strong, as A continued to sleep soundly beside me. However, I was having trouble breathing, and rocked myself back and forth over and over again.
Even though I was going completely nuts, I did maintain enough lucidity to note the following symptoms of my insanity on an iPhone mood tracker that I downloaded the other week:
- Severe suicide ideation
- Almost all-consuming desire to harm
- Bloody cursed evil shapes
- Fantasies about completely losing it with C and Dr C
- Imagining stabbing self in skull with knife used in cutting
- Composing suicide letters both to real people and people on fantasy world
- SHAPES!!!!!!!!! Evil hate hate hate hate
- Rocking back and forth
- Want to die die die die so much want to die
- Utter consumption of self-hate [I assume I meant, “utterly consumed by self-hate”]
- Hate self love self hate self love self
- Death death death
- Shapes death rage hate fuck fuck fuck
- Make it stop make them stop go away evil shapes GO AWAY LEAVE ME ALONE MAKE THEM STOP PLEASE SOMEONE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Hmm. For the record I have corrected the various spelling mistakes that exemplified my madness.
To distract myself, I tried to remember the DBT techniques, but I was unable to focus enough to force myself to get up and read them. I did try nipping myself with severe force, which did help me reorintate myself a wee bit. Having got to that stage, which was not good but marginally better, I sought refuge on the internet via my trusty phone. I don’t remember now what I read, but whatever it is it must have detracted my attention sufficiently for some time, because I was eventually overwhelmed by exhaustion and after sytematically stretching all my muscles, was able to go to sleep.
I didn’t self-harm and I am still alive, so I suppose in some ways I won.
When I awoke this morning, as ever I was baffled about the coming of the madness. I felt, frankly, embarrassed about it. Behaving totally mentally in front of the psychologist and the psychiatrist was one of my many rambling thought-images during the night – I wanted to pace up and down their offices screaming, raving and behaving in a completely psychotic fashion. In the cold light of day, I sincerely hope I do not do this. I have even debated withholding the information on last night from them, or at least from C, though I am not sure whether that is out of a desire to protect, or whether it’s a desire to save myself from the mortification that discussing it would bring.
I have been trying not to post-mortem the episode – at least, not in a self-flagellatory fashion – as per C’s instructions. I tried, but the incident nonetheless left me in a disillusioned, contemplative and rather depressed mood this morning. What is most unacceptable about it is that absolutely nothing set it off. I have also observed of late, and I’m sure others have observed for many years, that I fly into murderous rages with people over nothing, then worry that they are going to desert me. Point being, my psyche responds negatively to absolutely anything.
A, who was still blissfully unaware of what happened during the night and indeed of my poor mood this morning, tried to persuade me to get out of bed, but I demurred, and remained there until after 11am, whenupon I left the house to come to my mother’s (since I have been off work, I come to her’s for a night or two per week).
My plan was to cheer myself up by listening to ‘uplifting’ tunes on the drive over to Mum’s,which is one of my ‘distraction plans’ from the DBT stuff. But that failed as I have lost my iPod – didn’t panic-obsess over that or anything, oh noooooo – and I can never be arsed to sync my iPhone. So I only have select music on it, and most of it is metal or gothic rock. Very cheerful.
I ergo arrived at my mother’s in relatively bad form, but hallelujah! It desisted fairly quickly (though much of the contemplativeness has now returned), not with joy at seeing the woman who gave birth to me, but from a letter from the SSA. The SSA, I hear you ask? How can correspondence from those evil tossers be good?
Well, subsequent to my visit to the Citizens’ Advice Bureau, they are going to award me DLA at £89.00 per week, backpaid today from some time in April. The backpay amounts to over £600; it will solve my very severe short-term financial problems (that I have lots of debts and no money). I don’t have a long-term plan, should I lose my job or be unable to return to it.
Of course, the positive letter was offset by a negative one demanding that I attend a medical assessment with the SSA – not in relation to the DLA claim, but regarding my Employment and Support Allowance, which I am receiving whilst I am off work. Fortunately for me the appointment they sent me conflicted with next week’s C appointment so I won’t have to go to it, but the relief is temporary; they weill send another one and then I won’t have good news to balance it and I will totally crack up worrying about it. A, a civil servant (though not with the SSA), advises that it’s really just a formality, but you know me. I will worry and panic anyway. Perhaps that is not a bad thing as at least they will see that I am a nutjob.
Anyway, it is C in the morning. I have been wondering today what I want from psychotherapy. The thing is, if I am ever successful in leaving perpetual the despair that is my present norm, where will I end up? I actually do not want to be ‘normal’.
That is not to say I want to be mentally ill. Who would choose this? Yet, in a twisted way, it is my comfort zone. It is what I know and what I have always known. It is an inherent part of me, and whilst I hate myself sometimes, I actually don’t want to change my native and entrenched persona. I don’t want to be the slave of the illnesses, but if I had a switch to completely switch them off, I am not sure I would flick it. I cannot enunciate exactly how I feel about this. It’s weird and complex.
I remember watching Stephen Fry’s analysis of his bipolar disorder on BBC2; he, and most of those he spoke to, said they would not flick the metaphorical switch either. I remember being reassured by this as I had always thought I was alone in thinking this.
All the same, I do not want to be experiencing suicidal episodes of depression nor do I want to undergo incidents of psychosis nor panics so severe that I can’t think or breathe. I am a paradoxical dichotomy and I hate myself for my apparent indecisiveness – except that it’s not indecision, because I want both states of affairs.
I think what I want, and indeed the best I can hope for, is just to be able to manage these things when they come to bite me on the arse. I want to go back to work. I want to be able to function socially. I want not to be angry with people for no reason and I want not fear being rejected by them and others. I want to be able to control my depression, anxiety and more psychotic symptoms, not to have them control me.
But oddly, I remain scared of any of them going altogether. I don’t think it’s likely to happen, but isn’t it odd I wouldn’t want it even if it was?