Let me share with you a story about a girl who lost her way. She was a girl who was passionate about many things. Her friends and loved ones might have called her outgoing, overachiever, personanable, or even flirtatious. This flirtation with life became and excess. She says to herself on the daily she can do anything that she pleases. She begins to fill her plate with more and more and people begin to doubt her. Saying things like “you have too much going on.” Though they were right she knew if she slowed down for even a bit it would keep her mind propelling forward at rate that one could not understand.
She talks about racing thoughts or invasive thoughts creeping into her head. The fill her head with anxiety and she stayed up many nights fighting them for sleep. A torment in her mind caused wakeful dreaming. Her mind conscious and sometimes her body morbidly aware. These invasive thoughts turns into rapid fire ideas that turns into beautiful creativity. She could write beautiful poetry, she could write a bold paper, complete books in hours, and stay focused for a bit longer than usual. She was full of life and energy. Everyone around her felt she was the life of the party. She spoke in crowds her opinion eloquent and strong. She gave speeches to her high school and other levels. She loved doing this.
Then in a blink of an eye after the party in her head died she would see flickers of darkness just outside her peripheral. It would begin to close in slowly at first. She knew in the back of her mind what was occurring and she would scratch violently to get away. Her brain on fire. She says it felt like falling in a dream except it takes even longer to remember your not falling and the world is still.
The darkness begins to close so tightly and rapidly that her body no longer wanted to speak quickly and rapidly toward everyone she knew. She begins to look in her mirror and question, “who is this person I see with this hair and these eyes. It’s not me.”
She dissociatively brings her hands to her face pressing all the wrinkles in her furrowed forehead angrily expressing this is not what I look like. With a bit of anxiety she reaches down to her stomach “where did this weight come from?”
She ends up stumbling away from the mirror puts her hands in front of her and begins to cry. She has no idea how she got her she was so happy a few days ago. She looks around the house to see all these photographs, these artistic drawings, social media tells her story, and she tries to find that voice.
There’s a party today and she does not feel like going. She feels like crawling into bed and placing her hands upon her ears and crying. She feels like the weight of the world just got to heavy and balled up into a heart sized mass placed directly into her to carry. She views the news and cries. She sees the violence. She sees the broken-hearted and she feels so deeply. At once she remembers that girl who said, “I can change this and I can do this.”
She starts to gently move her eyes and fingers to type an email to some people she knows in politics but she doesn’t have the strength. She tries to type a blog post but her mind won’t string the words to stay. She writes ideas in jumbled handwritten messes strewn across the undone laundry.
She gets up and tries to look herself in the mirror. She sees pictures of her smiling and tries to cry. She remembers therapy when they said “emotions trains, thoughts train, and feelings train can you see them move” and she stares hard fighting for her light.
She says okay I can do this. I can try again. She tries to move to start again but the pain leaves a hole and she stops. She sees something motivating in a shard of glass pressed against her skin in idleness. She presses it again to jolt her back into life and holds her breath.
Parents see her mess. Not the scars of pain or the thin new lines. They see grades and peers and a upset girl. They see sad and uncleanliness and unwashed. They see her potential but her minds sickness is informal. They do not get the mess inside her brain.
She decided that life would be better without her. So she tells her friend. The friend will never take goodbye as an answer and so on a summer day they rush to a hospital to save her.
She’s placed in a hospital bed near a “crazy” lady which talks to the paramedic in an alarming yet familiar way. She flirts with the man and says, “Boy you are hot and I know your number. I have it memorized it’s 911 call for a good time.”
At this point our girl is terrified but cracks jokes to sympathize with her friends obvious uncomfortable body movements. The crazy lady begins to yell at nurse for food and water and booze.
The Doctor comes in quietly and tells her to not worry they just act like that unmediated. Little did she know that once you have medicine you get the confidence when off of it to do what you always feared. Tell sexually promiscuous slurs at a hot fireman and paramedic is one.
So our girl is sent to a hospital. Then a in patient. Yet the funny thing was there was no room at that crazy people inn. So outpatient remained. She won her place and began.
She learned a bunch of weird things about a brain on fire.
Yet she realizes that this is a life long battle. The more she talks about it the more she understands there are people who care and people who don’t understand. She tries to tell her story and people treat her like a wounded baby. She remembers mania was cool so she takes some antidepressants and no mood stabilizers to induce mania and she gets a lot of understanding out real quick.
She calms down and relies on medicines and therapy to keep her going. But one day in the next year she thinks she is better than medicine and stops taking it. She stops all together and relapses.
Back to swings in mood.
Back to hurtful thoughts.
Back to anxiety.
Back to harm.
Back to depression.
Back and forth.
So she realizes that some people form better with store bought neurotransmitters and that is okay. That she would rather be healthy and linear and capable of doing all she wants to do.
The end of this portion of her story.
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