Trapped in a Mind not my Own
Let me tell you what it’s like. To feel the weight of the world so heavy that the concept of rising from bed in the morning overwhelms to the point of tears. To burn from the inside out with a random, illogical, untamed, raging, terrifying, uncontrollable, irrepressible, violent wildfire. To be lit aflame at random, unexpected, unpredictable times. To have to ride the wave every single damned day, somehow without destroying myself or others.
Overcoming my illness is so difficult that it feels impossible. Can you possibly imagine what deep depression is like?—to have the life sucked out of you for no damn reason; to feel no pain to the extent that you can watch twenty lines of blood dribble down your leg yet still literally feel nothing, physically or emotionally; to be unable to find any interest or pleasure or comfort or sense of reward or desire or ANYthing that drives you because your brain refuses to fire those positive signals, ever, for months on end; to feel the heaviness of life so intensely that it takes hours to coax yourself out of bed, body physically aching for no apparent reason; to hear voices that drown out actual, real voices with a dark reality that destroys all hope, all sanity, all sense of self including memory of who you are & what you want in life; to be haunted by the fact that this is how your brain naturally functions, that this is a battle you will struggle with for the rest of your life & have a 50% chance of passing it on to your children because mental disorders physically alter the chemical makeup of the brain & can be hereditary; to not be able to recall good memories or what happiness, freedom, joy, excitement, love, or passion could possibly feel like; to be so exhausted when you wake up that you consider overdosing on
sleeping pills in a desperate attempt to rest your mind from its evil happenings that are unintentionally created; to repeatedly & incessantly attempt to tame or destroy the dragons scorching your sanity only to end up depressed & suicidal again & again; to hate yourself so much because you are unstable & don’t have full control of your mind, because you always end up in the same spot, depressed & destroying yourself without reason or permission, & no matter what you do you never get better; to be so lonely that death sounds more pleasant than spending one more minute in your head; to ponder suicide every single day because it is the only comforting concept, the thought of knowing that you can escape if you absolutely need to.
Could you possibly understand the demons that haunt me daily?
I have been told to adjust my mindset, to overcome my emotional instability, to step through the door & take charge of my own happiness; that I am in control of my mindset & perceptions & how I respond to things in life; that no one can help me but myself; that I have all the power I need within me; that my discouragement is just negative thinking I need to alter; that I make excuses when in reality my condition is an explanation not an excuse; that my terrified hesitation is me weakly giving up. I’ve been told that people overcome immense odds all the time because of their grand willpower, so my situation isn’t impossible either. I’ve been told that it seems like I don’t want to get better because I keep ending up focusing on the negativity & depression; that if I want something changed I need to get up & change it because only I have the power to do so; that I’m drowning in my own sorrows when actually attempting to unravel my past; that I freak out when I finally begin to enjoy life; that I don’t enjoy being happy & that that’s what’s keeping me down.
Let me tell you: these statements all greatly upset me because of their inaccuracy.
Allow me to explain why.
During an episode, I am unable to create my own reality. When my mind goes haywire & transforms my thinking into something I am unable to see beyond, I am no longer in control of my perceptions. My mind is no longer my own; I share it with an evil, terrifying, destructive force.
Lately, I never know what I will wake up to. Some days I wake up craving death, unable to move out of pure exhaustion, unwilling to face the world in fear of injuring myself
without a chance to talk myself out of it. Other days I awaken with more energy than I can handle, thoughts racing with brilliant schemes & notions that overwhelm all sane thought processes. I concoct risky, impulsive adventures. I begin thinking of every person I’ve ever met & how I should catch up with them. Sleep & food become unnecessary to function & quite a bore to be honest. My moods turn my world upside-down on the flip of a dime. Often I am dissociated from reality completely, psychosis making itself at home in my helter-skelter mind.
A neutral or stable mental or mood state is called euthymia. It is the rare opportunity I have to live with a health mind. During a euthymic state, certainly, I am fully able to adjust my mentality, to see the big picture & objectively respond to situations rather than being overcome by emotion. But that is so rare for me! Out of the past seven years, the only time I can identify that episodes did not consume my mind is during my final year of high school, & during the grand year of 2012, at which time I first moved to Colorado Springs & was able to fall in love & be engaged. Despite the calamity in the end, it was a grandly stupendous adventure. Even through the most difficult times, I was able to persevere & work hard & overcome my sorrows because my mind was stable & properly functioning. I treasure that time greatly.
My struggles definitely can be overcome, but it takes great strength. When I am majorly depressed, there is nothing in me that has the capacity to enjoy any tiny aspect of existence; consequently, there’s nothing appealing about fighting to resolve my battles, about living in this wretched world, about working to overcome this condition that is consuming every aspect of myself. During these times, it is especially important to be surrounded by loved ones who can remind me of my worth & encourage me until the depression once again lifts its heavy grasp upon my soul.