I’m generally quite a logical person, and I take a lot of pride in that. I keep calm and am able to help others in bad situations. I methodically study everything. I’m very good about rational and reasoned thinking, but sometimes… my mind breaks. It stops working right. It’s the harsh reality of my mental illnesses. If you are new to my blog, welcome sunshine, I hope you enjoy it. See, I have bipolar type 1 and anxiety on a more extreme level. I’m sick, and I will always be sick, that’s just the reality of it.
Today though, I’m going to focus, not on the external symptoms of my sicknesses, but trying to explain how my mind ticks when the clock stops working right. I used two different examples with R to try to help him understand a little bit better, because he *luckily* doesn’t live with mental illness, specifically anxiety and bipolar, and I’ll use the same ones here.
It’s like I have a million jars:
Almost all of them are lined up all neat and easy to understand. When my anxiety hits me bad, it’s as if someone shattered every last one of the jars into a million pieces each, all at one time… I’m then left with no tools to put them back together. I get confused because I have to sift through the mess and hope I can put all the jars back together, without even having glue to keep it together
I felt like that one didn’t make it clear enough so I tried this way.
Imagine having two different brains:
Normally, I have a functioning brain. One with all the connections. One I can think, decide, muse, and understand with. It functions quite well, but…
When things get bad, when my mind breaks, it gets replaced.
This brain was made by somebody with either crudely done work, or is just cruel.
My connections for logical connections is gone. My connections to understand my emotions are ripped out, mutilated, and/or connected all wrong. I get confused, and have a very hard time understanding what’s going on around me. Understanding emotions is difficult. I can’t tell if I want to smile or scream, I’m not sure if the tears that I want to cry are anger or frustration or sadness or a mix.
It’s not just a matter of up is down and left is right. Everything is just gone. I’m floating in this space and I can’t get down. I try to explore it and understand it to get a better grasp on what the fuck is going on in the landscape that is my broken mind, but I can’t. I just float there, unable to move, the ground miles below my feet. I have nothing to push off of, nothing to ground myself with.
The landscape is bizarre. The trees move and the animals stay still. The water is like fire, and the warmth feels ice cold. Everything is confused, and I’m not able to break away from the confusion.
This landscape then leaks into real life. I can’t make basic decisions. R asked me if I wanted tea. I couldn’t understand the question well enough to answer anything other than “I don’t know”. He knows I like tea, so he went with yes. He asked what kind I wanted, that one threw me for a major loop, because there are so many choices. I can’t even figure out an answer between two.
Even concrete things get weird. I can’t tell if I want to move or sit still. I can’t make sense of my thoughts. My words still work, but I repeat myself on single words a lot, and there are huge pauses in the middle of my sentences. I can barely make out what I am saying, so I’m not entirely certain if it makes sense or is wholly coherent.
Sometimes voices far away sound close and the other way around. Everything gets all mixed up and I can’t process information correctly.
I get scared. I get really scared. It’s hard not to panic when you can’t understand even the basics of life. Because I’m scared, I lash out. It’s much like a cornered animal. I get really defensive and angry really quickly and am out of my own control. One moment I’ll yell at whoever came close, then promptly turn around and bawl my eyes out for a minute or two, only to stop on a dime and cower, hiding my face and curling into the tiniest ball my six foot frame can create. Next thing I know, I’m extremely agitated and shaking. The shaking becomes shivers of fear, the fear leads to anger, the anger leads to either being mean to others or turning it on myself, and then before I know it, I’m bawling my eyes out again.
It’s fucking terrifying not having control of yourself, and even with the meds, it still happens.
I end up such a wreck that I cry in front of people, and that’s really not okay to me.
Last night just reminded me of the single most depressing truth of my mental illness. If you are involved in my life, if you love me and want to be there for me, if you are around me long enough… I’m going to hurt you, I’ve never wanted to physically harm anyone (or in any way), but emotionally, mentally… I will hurt you, and there’s absolutely fucking nothing I can do about it… I am so, so sorry.
Thank you very much for reading, and I hope you have a beautiful day sunshines!