Lately, I have been experiencing some recurrent flashes of previous psychosis. I recently experienced a stressful event where a person was… essentially preying on me.
I want to talk about it to you. I want to tell you every detail of it. But all my friends… they tell me I should keep it to myself. Keep quiet. For my safety. For my protection.
I wonder. My entire life, I have indeed been an open book, to the extent that I have been vulnerable to attack. But… as a peer… isn’t there strength in me, disclosing my stories? Sometimes, I feel that so many people suffer in silence, because we don’t share our stories. We hide them because of fear, and as a result… we are isolated. We are alone. Instead of standing together, united, we hide ourselves to preserve our reputations.
I wish the world would change in this regard. Of course, one little person like myself cannot just share her whole life story and then expect the world to change…
Unless I wrote a book.
A friend of mine recently advised that I write a memoir. Save the stories for something big, like a book… and then get it published. It would potentially be financially lucrative, and also just a concise document, stylized to “perfection.”
Although, I’ve got a hella lot to write.
It’s comical, a bit. Last week, I was sitting in Starbucks, typing away at “the memoir.” A dude from OkCupid messaged me, asking if I was up for a spontaneous date. I accepted, and advised he met me at the Starbucks where I was currently parked.
He came by, and I was somewhat attracted, except for the fact that he looked somewhat like a family member of mine. Which was a buzz kill.
“What are you doing here?”
“I’m writing a memoir.”
Skeptical, he seemed. “Um… you’ve only lived like, one third of your life…” Instantly, he thought I was pretentious.
I remained friendly, partially because I was oblivious and enjoying his company, if only because it was something different to look at. “Yeah, it’s fun.”
He tried to make conversation. “So, how experienced are you with meeting people online?”
“Oh, I’ve met tons of people. I’m trying not to do it so much these days though. I did a lot of stupid shit.”
“Oh yeah? Like, what is your funniest story?”
I told him of a time when I double-booked myself with 2 guys off of Craigslist. He laughed, but was obviously appalled at my lewdness.
“Yeah, I’m thinking of deleting my OkCupid profile,” he said.
We made small talk then about traveling, and I disclosed that I speak German. I was envious that he had seen most of Western Europe. He glanced out the window often, as we talked lightly about the economy or something, I don’t quite remember. I also said that I liked Bayside, where I live, because it is a Korean neighborhood with lots of quaint restaurants and coffee shops. Regarding the coffee shops, I said that they were as pleasant as the hipster joints in Manhattan, except without the hipsters.
At that moment, I probably looked terribly hipster to this guy. Given that I was writing a pretentious memoir, and that I have a history of being an internet slut. So be it. *sigh*
And then… he said that he was getting a migraine, and that he was seeing spots and having tingling in his hand. He stood up to leave.
“Good luck writing your memoir.”
No skin off my back. I guess. He probably didn’t want to be a character in the “memoir.”
I wonder. Do I even have enough to write about? I think… I do. I have extensive experience as a classical musician, have traveled a fair amount, and then there is the mental illness, which is the crux of why I’m writing in the first place.
My illness has taken me to the weirdest parts of my brain. Like, peeing in the street before being hospitalized. Rubbing olive oil on myself in the shower because I was trying to harness my chi. Smelling appliances in a store, determining which ones were heterosexual versus homosexual based on which nostril the air entered my nose.
One thing about my experience with schizophrenia, is that it causes my brain to go a million miles a second. Idea after idea after idea, and I try to oblige them by acting on them. But there are so many thoughts, that I simply stagger around, frantically minded, feeling like I am overwhelmed with divine revelations. As if God chose me to be a messenger to the world, and that I must reach Obama to open the book of the Seven Seals. And also… the messages from inanimate objects. Everything starts communicating with me.
Some people say that, in times past, schizophrenia was viewed as a spiritual gift. Sometimes I wish it was this simple. But for me… even if schizophrenia creates a well-spring of creative energy, it is not enjoyable. It is FUCKING EXHAUSTING.
My brain, it flits from idea to idea uncontrollably. And then I look at the world around me, and I feel frustrated and isolated, because it seems to be going at a snail’s pace. My brain is light speed, and yet no one can keep up with me. So then I start saying “weird things,” trying to get people to notice me and help me, or whatever. But they’re “slow.” They do nothing.
I’m thankful to have been hospitalized when I was. Because then, I was able to rest. My brain, newly medicated, could have a chance to use different brain cells that were not burnt out from the breakdown. Some medications felt fucking horrible, in that they caused things like week-long constipation or extreme weight gain… but others have saved my life.
I still take meds today. I’m glad they exist. Because of them, I am now able to live the life that I have always wanted for myself. Truly, I didn’t even know who I was until I started Clozapine, 2.5 years ago. Clozapine… it erased the pessimism and paranoia that I have had since early childhood.
The side effects are not the best, but I am able to accept them. Mostly, extreme sedation at night, which makes me sleep like a rock for at least 8 hours. I can never ever scrimp on sleep. There’s also drooling in my sleep, but a wet pillow isn’t too much to cry over. It is potentially a very dangerous drug though. I have to get monthly blood tests to monitor my white blood cell count. At times, I need to repeat the blood work because the numbers aren’t good.
But still… it’s worth it. I finally know who I am. I finally have mental clarity and peace. Many people think you attain Nirvana by meditating and having a spiritual practice. That works for most people, but not for me. For me… only meds can make me experience mental silence.
Perhaps this is sad. Perhaps this offends some people. But this is my story. And I will tell it. I am not afraid, because there is no choice to be such.