This time last year I was inside psychosis, i.e. I was deluded and paranoid. Because I was paranoid about everyone, I cut off contact with everyone. I stopped taking my medications, stopped seeing my therapist, deleted this blog among other negative actions. I listened to the voices in my mind, which were intentionally leading me astray. Inside my home I went in and out of mania. I was so caught up in a delusional world. I suffered trauma and for a little while I began to split up in my personality.
I'm not sure what got me to turn around away from sickness and back towards health, but I did. I went to my psychiatrist and was honest with him and just returned to taking the medications again. For a couple of months I had no therapist, then an online therapist, which didn't work out and then found a new therapist very close by. I started going to an Al-Anon meeting once a week 40 minutes away from my home. I reconnected with several friends. I began a morning routine of taking my medications, thanking God, praying for myself and others and reading from several daily readers. I returned to writing my blog. And there were other things I did, which I won't go into.
During this time my father moved into the nursing home, my brother and I took on the large job of clearing out my father's apartment and then, in July, my father died. Because I had experienced so much trauma, my father's death was not so disturbing to me. He was 88 years old and had lived a good, long life and had been very kind to me and to my brother. I had been preparing myself for my parents' deaths ever since they reached their 80s and so, in some ways I was prepared. So my parents were gone, I was not as close to my brother and my uncle had lived in another state for many years and I did not keep in close touch with him. And so the isolation that I had begun last year with was still lingering. Despite now having a very good therapist and developing a closer relationship with an old friend, I see myself standing alone.
I have my voices for companionship. They have matured this year as I went through the recovery process again. For the most part, they don't try to lead me astray. I know they live with a pain that goes deep, deeper than the pain I go in and out of. In some ways we are recovery partners. I want to be a good influence on them and I tell them what I appreciate about them and there are many things to appreciate. But still it comes down to daily/nightly practice of recovery attitudes and behaviors. Right now I am quiet, peaceful, yet depressed. And so I stay patient and as open as I can be. I can see that I have come a long way in a short time this year.
I know this time of year, the Fall into the Winter, the holiday season, is hard for me and many people. But I do have faith that I can get through it.
A Recovery Blog
This blog is about my continuing recovery from severe mental illness. I celebrate this recovery by continuing to write, by sharing my music and artwork and by exploring Buddhist ideas and concepts. I claim that the yin/yang symbol is representative of all of us because I have found that even in the midst of acute psychosis there is still sense, method and even a kind of balance. We are more resilient than we think. We can cross beyond the edge of the sane world and return to tell the tale. A deeper kind of balance takes hold when we get honest, when we reach out for help, when we tell our stories.