The pic above has a light at the end of the tunnel. That is not always my experience. But right now I am whirling down the spiral and feeling out of control. As ever, when I get this way I leap into action and take all the steps I know of to fix things. I am taking an extra antipsychotic, have called my psychiatrist, and am seeing my therapist later this week. Only my BFF, Kimm, knows how I am right now. I struggle every day to squelch the thoughts and delusions that are plaguing me – to get the volume down.

When it’s turned up like it is, it’s very difficult to concentrate on anything. The best I can do is watch Harry Potter, and even that is going over my brain. In one ear…

I hate when I get like this. It is a reminder that I am not cured, but managed. Yes, I am better than I used to be. Lots better. I have tools now, and the awareness to be better able to deal with these episodes. But it is my illness tapping me on the shoulder from behind saying, “I’m still here!”. That drives me to distraction. Just when things feel calm, it shows itself. Years and years ago when I was living alone in NYC and trying to cope, I bought graph paper to see if I could chart these episodes, figure out when they occurred and how. It proved to be a waste of time and paper, but at least I had the presence of mind to search for answers.

I know these episodes have triggers, but for the moment I am at a loss as to what has triggered this one. Maybe with my therapist we can shed some light. But I do know that I am free-falling and can only go with it. Often it’s the resistance that makes it worse. I can only be where I am and what I am.

I realize, deeply, that this is only a part of who I am. I know it is not what defines me. I am aware. But when you are in the midst of it, you feel that this is all you are, that there is nothing else. I fight with my head to remember my own wisdom. It is exhausting.

Each time it is different. The environment changes, the people around me are different people. My ability to try to use cognitive techniques to create a strategy for coping is better. I can still laugh, even at myself. I am not curled up in a ball. I didn’t make my bed or meditate, but I did brush my teeth. The little things bring me back to center.

This is just another color along road that is my journey. It no longer takes me off the path or turns the lights out altogether. I don’t isolate myself like I once did. I don’t hide. When you hide you believe you are alone, but I know now that I am not. While no other can know what it feels like to me, I know I am loved. And I can still feel that love. That is how I know that Andie is not gone.


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