Psychosis holds a lot of stigma, It also holds a lot of shame for those that experience it.
I have written about my experiences in my book In Bloom Not Broken and spoke about it in my last Vlog Here but I have never shared my scribblings and thoughts in this way. No one has ever seen these besides my psychiatrist.
There are pages and pages that could share but I have picked out just a few to try and highlight what happens in the mind of someone with psychosis.
I was ashamed about these experiences for a long time. I am in no way religious but my experiences have always had a religious spin and i found that very hard to get my head around. I was embarrassed and my last episode which these scribblings are from after it was over and I was recovering from the depression that ensues after the manic episode I would have flashbacks from this time that would stop me in my tracks and see me bursting in to tears. It was so powerful, so all encompassing that when that has gone and you are left the the depression that follows mania, it’s a confusing place and I found myself questioning who I was.
This specific episode started off the back of a lot of stress, exactly one year to the month from the previous episode of major depression that had landed me on hospital only 12 months earlier.
There was a lot going on and I was very busy. This built and it built quite quickly, I remember when it started. after a while of feeling a bit on edge and like I felt that there was something going on that I could’t put my finger on I was sat on the sofa and a white van pulled outside. I remember eyeing this van thinking “I wonder what they want, they are watching the house, they are trying to rig the house. You need to keep an eye out for these white vans”
And there it began.
I couldn’t switch off and I had this paranoia burning away at the back of my brain whilst feeling like everything was very bright, very HD like, things sounded louder and I felt like I was being sent a message from god. I felt like I was meant to do something and I just had to figure out what that was.
I was going to bed and would get a voice as clear as day right outside my ear saying my name or random words that had no meaning.
This feeling built. I was making Beauty and Beast style rose jars at this point and had started doing some Snow White themed ones with apples and felt that his had something to do with it all. I was making so many of them and was so busy fulfilling orders that I was fuelling the mania but I was unaware of this so continued with this feeling of adrenaline and paranoia corsing through my vains. Nothing felt enough, nothing was fast enough, it was all too slow. I felt like I could’t get the house clean no matter what I tried and starting to feel increasingly agitated. I felt like everything was too loud, like there was no quiet – It felt like everything around me was just buzzing,
The religious connotations then started to take over and I felt like everyone was plotting against me, I thought my partner was going to take my daughter off me and that everyone was planning to bring me down but if I completed this mission in someway, If I protected myself, the house, the world against this first it would all be ok.
I had become focussed on red being the colour of the devil and white being that of purity, I placed coloured related items in each of the rooms and towels of these colours over the doors of rooms, to me this was “biding time” until I could figure out what I was supposed to do.
I soon linked everything together with the roses and the apples to the Garden Of Eden and i really thought at this point that it was all coming together, that it was all starting to make sense and that I would know what I was supposed to do really soon and that is why this next one is starred. I remember feeling like I had had a revelation as to what was happening and that it was being revealed to me piece by piece.
It got to the point that I was jut so agitated but feeling like I had ants crawling in my brain that I would sit and write the alphabet out over and over again. Hoping that something would jump out at me and make some kind of sense.
This is just a really condensed snippet of what I experienced and how I felt, you can read more about it and my story in my book In Bloom Not Broken Here but I just wanted to share a few of these pages as there are many but I wanted to share just a few in this way as I want others to know they are not alone with having experiences d this. I felt like I was the only one to have these sorts of thoughts and beliefs and I found it extremely traumatising and shameful and just very difficult to accept that my brain had acted in this way!
I was embarrassed and even thought my psychiatrist would think I was crazy to the point I gave her all these scribblings in my hospital admission and I cannot tell you what a bit step that was and how nervous I felt thinking she was going to tell me that I was a freak. As it was she handed them back and just said that it was quite normal and it wasn’t anything she hadn’t seen before. I could have kissed her. I was so sure I was only one.
So I decided to share these to try and give others that may be feeling that I bit of how I felt when she said that to me. A little bit of realisation that you are not a freak and that you are not alone. We aren’t ashamed if we break our leg or our arm so why should we be ashamed if our brains broke for a bit?!
You are not alone in experiencing these things.
I do think there needs to be more support for psychosis AFTER it has happened as I found it’s not just the episode itself that needs treating but it’s very difficult to come to terms with and I think there does need to be more to support people with the feelings that come after this kind of episode as it isn’t easy. It’s not like just because the psychosis is treated and gone it feels instantly better. There is a lot of aftermath thoughts and feelings that go with it too.
If you are struggling please as always, reach out for help. You are not alone with this and it’s okay not to be okay.