Tag Archives: psychosis

Facebook Memories

If you’re on Facebook, you’re probably familiar with how Facebook likes to share memories, showing you pictures and status updates that you’ve posted on any given day in years past.  It is mostly really fun to see what was going on in your life.  I, personally, love seeing old pictures of my pets and my friends, and thinking about the fun nights I had over Facebook in law school (without Facebook, lawyers from the class of 2011 would not have made it).

But there are times when I don’t necessarily want to remember, Facebook.

On January 23, Facebook reminded me that it had been 3 years since my Gram passed away.  I had a good cry, I posted a sappy post, went on a walk to process my sad feelings and saw a hummingbird in the desert (which I’m currently convinced is my Gram’s way of saying hello these days).  It worked.  Remembering my Gram’s passing was bittersweet; full of missing her and wishing she could see me now, but remembering how much of her lives on in me.  Okay, so Facebook memories can remind me of my Gram any day.

I still wish I could be selective about what I’m reminded of, though.  Maybe Facebook could come up with a shitty life events filter or something.  Of course, it may not have even helped with this next one considering that I had intentionally, selectively, mostly forgotten about it.

On February 4, I was reminded that around this time in 2014, I had a second weird psychotic episode that I’ve hardly discussed with anyone, even though everyone basically saw it happen this time.  After quitting my job at the big law firm, going on my round-the-country road trip, and pouring every bit of myself into launching my new law firm at the end of 2013 and into the new year, I lost my mind again.  It was maybe a period of about 48-72 hours without sleep, endlessly searching the internet, convinced I had broken it, writing this crazy manifesto that I still can’t bear to read, and sending “coded” messages to all the friends on Facebook that I felt close to at the time.

Yep.  Facebook memories reminded me that I sent a bunch of psychotic messages to my friends.  Lovely!

I posted a status update blaming it on Facebook, which seems to have gone over okay with most of my friends (except maybe one).  But it was me.  I was only about a year and a half into recovery from my childhood trauma, burned out and running away from myself on my road trip, I came back and immediately poured myself into my work and avoiding everything rebelling, but then I caught up with myself again and lost my mind.  No wonder my business failed didn’t go so well the first time I tried it.  No wonder I could barely motivate myself to get off of the couch for months after.  I have so much shame about it, and Facebook reminded me.

Thankfully, Facebook also reminded me how much I have grown since.

I honestly feel like such a different person than I was those two years ago.   I have worked really hard in therapy to move beyond so many things and it is paying off in my life.  I not only AM lighter (if you didn’t read my post yesterday, though currently stuck in a stall, I am -105lbs now!), I FEEL lighter emotionally.  My spirit is freer these days because of all of my hard work.  I am freer.

I do still fear a return of the psychosis, though.  Even though this second time around was far milder and far less damaging, it still sucked; a lot.  I’m still incredibly embarrassed and and carrying some pretty intense shame because of both of the times that my brain short circuited.  If it happened twice, it can happen a third or fourth or fifth time.  I fear being permanently disabled by my mental health issues.  If my brain can fail me in such dramatic ways, how will I ever be able to be a successful human being like I want to?  What if I’m not cut out for being a lawyer?  What if I cannot actually be a business owner?  I could go on, but I don’t need to.

Definitely some things I need to talk about in therapy.  I have so many good things going on and, despite the bullshit thrown my way this year so far, I feel pretty good emotionally, so I hate to get too much back into the serious stuff.  Finally telling you is pretty helpful (and remarkable, especially since a year-old blog post about the same subject sits in my drafts), but I’m sure telling Sam will help me tie a little bow on this and put it up on a shelf.

No more shame, damnit!  Well, at least a little less shame for now.  Thank God for therapy this week!

The Real Story, Part II

I started going to therapy as an adult in April 2010 I believe.  It could have been 2011, I know it was April.  I was having a hard time dealing with my boss at the time and knew that going from being so busy with school and work to just working would be a difficult transition.  Plus I was paranoid that my parents were going to find a way to screw up graduation.  So I talked a lot about that.  Then, of course, there was the Bar Exam.  I wanted to have my mind straight for that so I could pass on the first try.  During therapy, things came out about my childhood, but my therapist was really good about not making it the focus of everything.   I liked him a lot.

My therapist was great, but he left and got a job at the Veteran’s Administration.  I couldn’t find a good one after he left.  The therapists I saw always ended up talking more than a third of the time or tried to tell me how to think or make me go through my history again instead of reading my file.   I needed to be the one talking.  I’m usually going to come to the right conclusion, I just needed guidance when I say stupid things, like I’m an idiot, or I feel like shit, or I downplay my success, etc.  No nonsense.  I have a great therapist now, but it was difficult to deal with the aftermath of what was to come by myself.

At the end of 2011, I had a nearly physical altercation with my mom after she threatened to commit suicide, cops were involved and the whole bit (a huge slap in the face to my family getting cops involved).  I acted purely out of concern, but my mom saw it as an attack.  She went on a terror, threatening me, telling me how much of a spoiled brat I was, that she disowned me and I would be alone for the rest of my life.  Pretty hurtful things.  The physical altercation also brought up a lot of those old feelings and memories I had when I was a kid.  I was completely and utterly terrified for the next two months or so until I finally lost my mind.

I was doing everything I could to make myself feel safe and to stop the anxiety and panic.  I got an alarm system, convinced my mom would try to come over and do something to me, my house, etc. (she had come over once before after a fight we had, but I wanted nothing to do with her, so I changed the locks – she was more than pissed, threatened me, called me names then too).  I wasn’t sleeping well, I was under a lot of pressure at work being a barely licensed attorney and dealing with another less than kind boss, I had just started a new business with a couple of friends.  My life was supposed to be good, but my childhood was crashing back down upon me.

I tried to keep it together when I went out of town for the first time with my boyfriend for Christmas in 2011.  I tried to keep it together at work.  By mid-January, I was failing miserably.  Thankfully I had a great mentor at work who helped me.  I took a couple of weeks off and thought I was okay.  I was wrong.  I tried to continue working, but the anxiety just kept piling on.  I wasn’t sleeping, my medications weren’t working well, and I was not holding it together anymore.  When I first had that moment of clarity that what my mother had done to me was a form of molestation, I went to the hospital.  I should have stayed there, but didn’t.  It wasn’t long after that that I lost my mind.

There came a point in March when I finally broke.  I didn’t sleep for a week straight; I was hallucinating and having delusions.  I did plenty of weird things, got dumped, freaked out my best friend and lost her for a while (she’s back in my life thank goodness).  The worst for me personally was when I asked my brother to come over and give me something to help me sleep.  When he got to my house, I had just gotten out of the shower and I quite literally could not force myself to get dressed.  I was convinced he had brought my mother over, and she was going to come upstairs to see me naked or hurt me or something.  Every time he would try to come upstairs, I would scream at him to take her away.  It makes me sad to think about it and I hate that my brother saw me that way.

Things have not been the same for me since early 2011.  My career has not suffered in the long run, thank goodness, but learning that my brain could fail me in that way, discovering that even I could lose touch with reality and be without control of my emotions, thoughts, mind and body, combined with the fact that I am finally suffering the real consequences of my childhood abuse has been gut wrenchingly difficult.  I hope I don’t go back to the dark scary place that is psychosis as I start working through all of these issues with my new therapist.  Only time will tell.