Another night of insomnia. Another night spent with the endless shrieking thoughts in my head. There are a few things people with bipolar disorder rarely talk about. Actually, not just a few, but a bucket full in fact. One of them is what exactly goes through our minds when we are in one of our ‘mood’. Right now, I’m feeling ‘in the mood’, so I will talk about it at length.
One of the challenges I face daily is keeping myself from entering a state of psychosis. As in, psychotic. As in, hallucinating and going bat-shit crazy. What exactly does, as Wikipedia puts it, ‘a loss of contact with reality’ feels like? Well, for starters, and as strange as this is going to sound, it feels like your mind having a moment of clarity. For the period of time when psychosis takes over, your mental capacity to reason both fails and goes into overdrive at the same time. Everything starts to make sense, and you realize just how utterly insane the world we live in right now is.
And then I laugh. And I keep on laughing. Until my chest hurts cause my lungs had no air left for me to laugh with. Again, the feeling is weird. It’s not voluntary, but it’s not forced either. The laughter just comes out, as if my body was trying to vomit it. My mind starts to play fantasies and stories out in my head. From heroic epics, to violent sexual desires. And my body reacts accordingly, acting out the thoughts as if I was rehearsing for a play. Complete with the traditional ‘talking with myself’ routine.
Then it stops. As if nothing ever happened.
This is the pinnacle of my psychosis. It’s the zenith at which the barrier between reality and fantasy for me is at its thinnest. It happens at least once a month, with or without my consent. On better days, the aftermath leaves me feeling fulfilled. Similar to having just eaten a nice meal at a pizza place. Everyone loves pizzas. And I would just laze there, wherever I was, wrapped in a bliss of post-psychotic high, unaware of the ongoings of the world for about an hour. By the time I wake, half a day would have flown by, and I would have already forgotten about the reason for my episode the night before.
Of course, there were the darker moments. Times where the night seemed to drag on forever and the clock ticked slower than a snail crawling across its face. Depression sinks in, and I am faced with the memories of every single mistake I had ever made in my life. An overwhelming sense of failure sets in, and no matter how much logic and reasoning I put behind my train of thought, the final destination always ends up being the idea of my own death. Plans for suicide builds, and I spend the next hour, curled up in a fetal position, desperately trying to pry myself loose from the destructive thoughts that had taken me.
And when day breaks, I wake up in my bed, tired, as if I had just ran a marathon. My sheets are in a mess and my pillows and blanket had been kicked across the floor in a violent night’s sleep. I get up, eat my breakfast, and start my day.
As if nothing ever happened.
Imagine that. Imagine your friend, family or co-worker, greeting you in the morning with a smile. Imagine that same person having a life and death battle barely 12 hours earlier. That smile is the most selfish act on Earth. It is one born from pure want. The want to be accepted. To be seen as normal. Because reality for us is anything but, and many people still can’t handle that.
Let’s face it, what would a normal person say, if I told you that when I open a door, half my mind is thinking of an archway to a medieval castle built in a realm of snow? Or that when I step on an escalator, I think of the gears and rollers rumbling beneath our feet, drawing a complete mental schematic in my head of the machine below. What about the wind that carries colour, or the sunset sky that holds the smell of a year? Would anyone stand by as I contemplate the beauty of the cosmos? As the scale of our existence – on a planet in a solar system of 8 others, with 5 dwarfs, orbiting around a star that is part of a galaxy cluster of 300,000,000,000, one of the 500,000,000,000 galaxies in our foreseeable universe, with the possibility of 1,024,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 stars in our entire universe, perhaps more – all forming and taking shape within my mind the very moment the thoughts enter. What would any normal person think of me then?
In the end, we, or at least, I, spend all my nights in deafening solitude. Cause I know not a single person able to put up with and be able to keep up with this train of thoughts. Even with the entire universe of time and space at the forefront of my mind, I am trapped within the walls of my psyche. In a situation where even I, would describe as lonely.