My Dearest Mack and Tosh,
I hope this finds you well. I’m writing to catch you up in more detail on some of what has been going on here with me over the past few months. I’m going to dive right in. There’s some candid content here, be forewarned.
As you know, this past April I had a major mental health emergency, and was hospitalized in a voluntary inpatient unit for several days. I was discharged quickly, with a new meds regimen, which everyone, including me, thought would solve the issues recurrent prior to my admission. Unfortunately it did the opposite, amplifying my symptoms to the point where I was basically existing in what I might describe as high-crazy mode most of the time. Long story short, the situation culminated with my readmitting myself into hospital, and spending another stint in a mental health inpatient unit.
I was, eventually, discharged again, with a different meds regimen, a different therapeutic model, and a different, more fitting, diagnosis. I am, clinically speaking, more or less stable, but the combination of symptoms make it difficult to take anything for granted. Along with the bipolar disorder, which I still have, I meet sufficient criteria to be diagnosed with borderline personality disorder, which, as we know, is simply delightful—in addition to which, I have a combination of anxiety symptoms, which express themselves most frequently in the form of panic attacks, which are severe and can strike at any time, as well as something residing in a ballpark very nearby to obsessive compulsive disorder. Together, it’s a tricky situation to manage, to say the least.
Even as I’ve recovered considerably over the past two and a half months, I still experience my symptoms considerably, especially those related to OCD. I’ll be going about my business, when suddenly I start noticing something, for example, a spot on the wall. Then, I cannot stop noticing it. I t takes up all my attention. If I try to fight—in order to stop noticing it—the symptom (i.e. the obsession about the spot) only gets worse. The only way to stop noticing it is to somehow “accept” that my mind is obsession about the spot, but this is not always easy, or possible, to do.
In these moments it’s very easy to be overwhelmed be feelings of hopelessness and darkness. The other day I had some intense dark thoughts, as a bi-product of unprocessed symptomatology. Before long I found myself questioning why I was alive, and wondering if the alternative might not be a more preferable state of affairs: a chilling place, indeed. Thankfully, with even my meager practice of coping skills, plus some help from the new meds regimen, I was able to get through these thoughts, and make it safely to the other side.
I’m realizing how important it is for me to find a way to stay connect to people, and avoid isolatory situations as far as is possible (barring writing, which, for better or worse, is typically done alone). Feelings of hopelessness can metastasize in isolation (for me, anyway). I’m looking to stay on the side of light and lightness.
If you’ve read this far, thank you, and I appreciate it. Will look forward to when our paths next cross.
Travel safe. Talk soon.
Song: OVER THE RAINBOW
Artist: ISRAEL "IZ" KAMAKAWIWO'OLE