Last night Ella and I had, what I’d call, a grown up conversation.
For the purposes of this it doesn’t matter what the guts of it was, but its the kind of normal conversation that that couples have up and down the country.
Just at the point where normal folk would be entering into an intense exchange, possibly even a heated debate, I mentally slip a gear.
And then….well nothing. I’m lost in a world of the fizzing brain. Thoughts come and go so quickly it’s impossible to fix on anything – even watching endless American cop shows didn’t help – I was unable to concentrate on even the most simple of plot.
The urge to self harm was massive. The urge to take my own life so tempting. Thoughts of graphic violence to myself parading through my mind. Invasive thoughts coming, unbidden, in wave after wave of shock and awe.
Ella asks if she can hold my hand.
Ordinarily a loving, cuddly kind of guy, it’s all I can do to touch her for a minute or two.
Pills – quetiapine, anti psychotics, in retrospect should have played the, oh so rare, diazepam card….and the inner mantra, barely audible in amongst all the noise…this will pass.
Eyelids twitching…stress mounting…it will pass.
Medication gradually does its job. My mind fighting like a recalcitrant child, refusing to go to sleep.
I get up to go to bed…Ella says, ‘Goodnight,’….
I can’t even look at her…she says she’ll be up soon…I’m off in some dream – playing football…racing down the wing…acting as part of the team…enjoying the joint ebb and flow…’
And then I awake…into this…this state that professionals…that I, call dissociation…
A fugue where there appears to be a satellite delay on my perception of the world.
Everything is distant…everything is a dazed misrepresentation of yesterday…I can’t focus on reality…everything is too much…
Unlike last night though, there is no intensity of feeling…
Nothing is real. Nothing. I’m not real. Nothing outside my head is real. I’ve described this as having my head under the water at the swimming pool – in that my focus on the world is weirdly displaced.
I’m numb. I’ve no sense of caring. I feel no emotion. None.
In trying to explain it to folk in the past, I’ve described it as feeling like being in shock.
This has been happening regularly/ frequently for years. It feels like it’s been more frequent this year.
And there’s nothing I can do. I chant the inner mantra, ‘It will pass,’ so I guess that’s not nothing.
And look, I’m writing a blog while I’m in it.
In the past it has lasted anything between an hour and 3 weeks.
In recent times it appears to have settled into 3-4 days.
When it has been particularly intense I have believed I was a young child – perhaps reverting to a time when I felt most safe….
At others, an omnipotent being…a Christ like individual…surely if my mind is the only thing that truly exists that can be the only answer.
The irony of the fact that I’m an atheist isn’t lost on me.
At times in the past I have self harmed with great gusto just so that I could feel….something…anything…
Today I have pills…I have ‘It will pass’ and I have the gentle pulse of the cop show in the background….
Walk a mile