Rapid Cycling


I’m writing you this in a chemically induced calm state because that’s what it took to make the war stop. A dose of a benzodiazepine was my last resort to end, or at least pause, the hell waves washing over me all in a short hour.

It started while I was sitting on my couch on which I assumed was just a lazy quiet night. I knew I had to start making my meal preps for the week but I got this sadness itching at the back of my mind. I ignored it.

Eventually it got stronger and louder. I went to my husband and told him that this was starting to come over me and I didn’t know why. He knows about my mental diseases. I held my puppy, I held my man but it kept coming - faster and harder.

As he left to take the dog out for a moment I sat on my bedroom floor staring into the night out my balcony. That’s when the immense sadness shifted to horrible fear. I imagined creatures crawling up the balcony who were coming after me. I fantasized about evil beings creeping into my room from the closest and taking me hostage.

He returned from outside and when he found me curled on the floor he brought me to the bed. He tried to cuddle and love the irrational, horrible prison my mind was becoming as I cycled so quickly.

I call my baby sister back home even though I know it's late. I just want to hear her sweet voice. Something to remind me of innocence and joy. I ask her about her day eager for a distraction. I can't hide my tears while I'm on the phone with her. She knows that I struggle because she does too - I do my damnedest to mentor her but tonight I just needed to hear the voice of someone else. She was worried. I do love her for making sure I was at least safe while struggling through this. We hung up and I promised to text in the morning.

Next came a feeling of drowning. It’s like I was on a small boat of rationality and happiness that I very quickly was pushed off of. As I started to tread water through the waves of sadness and paranoia I get more and more tired.

I can tell Zak is getting upset. Not at me but at the fact he can see me drowning but he can’t help. He doesn’t understand and that’s what scares him the most. He’s powerless right now. He is scared.

Does it ever feel like you're making all of this up? That none of this is real and you're manifesting all of this insanity? That's the worst. I always repeat this to myself "I can't trust my brain, I can't trust my brain". That's the scariest thing. You live with this thing in your head your whole life that you're supposed to be able to trust but me, us, we can't. Not always.

I’m still treading. I’m dizzy and confused from the sudden shifts in emotion. I try to explain to him what’s happening inside of me. How I’m slowly drowning in this ocean. Below me is a deep depressive episode. My ultimate hell. My ultimate fear. It’s what I fell into this past summer and it almost got me killed. I know that’s his worst fear - to see me like that again.

So here I am, with this unimaginable darkness below and currents trying to pull me down. I’m hanging on to a life saver that is my last sliver of positive emotion. That light is growing dimmer by the second, it runs to hide in a far corner of my mind that I cannot reach. My fingers grow weak and start to slip from the life saver. The current grows stronger.

I go to the kitchen and start cooking, trying to distract myself but it fails. I fall to my knees crying. I’m not in control. He holds me in the kitchen after picking me up. My crying becomes hysterical as I grab him tightly like something was trying to rip him away from me. My love for him is the strongest emotion I know of and I felt something on the other end of my life saver, pulling. All I could feel was my love for him fading while I frantically try to tighten my grip. Why is something trying to rip away my love?

I cried and cried hanging on to him, certain that if I loosened my grip for a moment my love for him would be torn from my concisouness. I couldn't fall back into that hell I was trapped in over the summer. Where I looked him in the eyes and felt nothing. When I became a lifeless zombie intent of ending my life. That’s what’s below the surface of the water.

I put on a song with a strong sax solo. Somehow that sound can help when I'm suffering like this. A glimmer of hope? Is that what I'm feeling? I listen to the saxophone and smile for the first time since this all started half an hour ago. I gain a stronger grip on my life saver. Yes! I can do this. I'm in control. But as quickly as that comes - it disappears. My life saver slips, my mind is teasing me as I cycle into intense anger. 

Now I'm infuriated. How could I see hope and a second later have it torn from me. I start losing traction quicker and quicker on my sanity. Zak can see it in me. The blank stare. The tears stop. I’m then at the crucial moment where there’s no guarantee that I can find my way back from this.

It’s hurting Zak to see me like this. He admits he feels helpless and scared that he doesn’t know how to stop it, how to fix it. I don’t know either. If anyone knew there would be a rule book of how to take care of the person you love when you’re watching them cycle through these episodes so quickly. 

He’s angry, I know it’s not at me. People aren’t meant to deal with this. He never signed up for this. I never blame him for snapping. He’s stuck by me through worse and he sticks by me through it all. I don’t expect it not to phase him. I actually feel horrible that I’m the woman he fell in love with. That I’m a monster he has to share a bed with. He tells me otherwise. That it’s through better or worse, even if the worse is this.

All the happiness I knew yesterday, all the previous hours of today which were great were a ship I had fallen from. It sailed far out of sight. Now I’m exhausted. I can’t tread anymore. I can’t keep my mouth above the black water for another moment. I have no options but to take something to give me time to grasp my life saver tighter. Or I could just succumb to the water and take the easy way. To sink to the very bottom, breath in the coldness and lose all will to live.

So I took the benzodiazepine. It took effect quickly. It gives me the ability to climb into the life saver and float above the water for a bit longer. I’ll fall asleep before the effects wear off and hopefully the chemicals in my brain will be more in order by the morning.

I know when I go to the gym tomorrow it will help regulate my brain. I know the boat of reality and stabilization will come back around eventually to get me. But for now I’m going to float here and try not to look at the prison that awaits for me in the water below.

I'm going to relax until I have the strength to continue fighting. I'm going to indulge in a psychedelic tomorrow at home. I've noticed I cycle much more severely and quickly when I don't have a regular trip at least once a month. I need to be centered. Tomorrow I'll work through this.