Psychosis and Bipolar Disorder 2

I just rose out of a crying moment where I was hearing, seeing and feeling that I will never overcome my present circumstances. I mean my life is not that bad. I am 31, live in my mother’s home STILL, along with my daughter. My mother is elderly yet very active. By the time I get to completing my list of chores she’s already putting up the broom and finished cooking.

My day consist of waking up super early usually manic, smoking a couple of cigarettes like I feel I'm not supposed to and enjoying my “cafesito”. I wait till 7am to wake my daughter up and help her get ready for school. Then I come home and stare at my daily planner in spite of all the hyperness and excitement. Only managing to profusely pray for mental stability, strength and feeling accomplished even if the only thing I’ve done is worship my God in heaven.

Excitement for what you ask??? Usually in the morning I'm excited to be a living, breathing being. That God choose to wake up and breathe life into. I must mention God always for he surely is my rock. My only hope and company at times. I live very secluded, protecting myself from judgement and ridicule or maybe I'm just to busy enjoying my psychosis that day.

Who knows….

Psychosis is categorized by symptoms that include hearing and seeing things possible maybe or impossible but its still in your head. Mentalhealthamerica.net reports that 3.5% of the population in America struggle with psychosis. Mental health problems are very prevalent in the US with 1.5 million of the population having been diagnosed with a mental health disorder. That is 1 in 5 adults.

I was diagnosed with Bipolar 2 disorder with psychotic features. That is why I am making emphasis on psychosis. The one thing I can't deny is that at times it's beautiful. Being lost in limitless possibilities whether good or bad makes you selfish protecting it most times. It can be your best friend and your worst enemy. I have to fight very hard and center myself to write. Or most importantly to provide for myself and my child by actually keeping a job but it has not always been this way…..

Right before my diagnosis

I had just gotten out of a tumultuous relationship. A marriage that became very ugly. At 20 I was living in a small town, had a baby and was married to a man who was studying to become a pastor. I was proud of myself. I had also just finished completing my Associates degree very pregnant. Our marriage wasn't always ugly the beginning was great. Yet things turned for the worse when my symptoms started to display. I was usually very irritable because of all these “crazy” thoughts in my head. I also felt proud and at the same time, as a failure for having a baby so young. Little did I know that this baby would grow up to be an 11 years old honor student. Being at times my reason to live.

By 22 I was back home, back on my old “block” in NYC and that is when my life began feeling useless. Yet I kept the faith and took my daughter to free children events to give her a real taste of culture outside of that dreary Bronx, NY. Truth is I did not know how to continue with a small child. I was lost, a statistic I use to think ughh a teen parent, me???? The fact I was so broken would consume me especially with the fact that it should've been the opposite. My daughter should have been to me, a catalyst to progress. Not a hindrance.

The sentence, the diagnosis

After I failed two semesters consecutively I said that's it something must be wrong with me!!! For somebody to smoke as much weed as I did at 18 and get good grades, to not being able to pass my classes or concentrate was an indicator that something was up. Even though by then my poetry was getting published in my school newspaper as I usually would do. Something didn't feel right. So I decided to visit my school’s mental health services and she recommended me to go to the hospital. I went home gathered a few things let my mother and father know and I went to the hospital. There at St Barnabas in the BX, I was sedated with Seroquel, slept through the night and by the morning was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder of course adding to the pun Psychotic features. I was hospitalized overnight given a strong dosage of Seroquel and referred to outpatient treatment and off I went.

Dancing in the rain

That year was fun I can't deny. From dancing profusely to my own choreography. To taking many showers a day because of my sexual impulses. Right after I was diagnosed I had a life changing revelation. I heard in my thoughts “refrain from your impulses and develop an intellect” and immediately I became abstinent, stopped smoking weed or socializing (first attempt). I stood to myself a lot all the while taking my daughter to amazing events all throughout NYC. Struggling, managing to keep hope alive. At that point in my life I was stuck in my Psychosis and having a job or a “real life” was very far fetched. I didn't even think it was possible. I kinda regret not following up with the outpatient treatment I was referred to. My mental illness was concerning to my family and they arranged for a mental health professional who was very kind and off I went again to be hospitalized. Again overnight but this time they put me on the right medications and I followed up. My first psychiatrist, is a beautiful woman who allowed me to feel compassion and care. The look in her eyes made me feel her dedication and I knew I was on my way to being somewhat stable. A year later I was watching a documentary on Jean Michel Basquiat and guess who had been the love of his life. My doctor was “widow Basquiat”. Whoa! I kept replaying all of our encounters in my head hoping, reaching to see if maybe I myself could find approval in her as a fellow creative. That maybe all these topics, writing and creativity were not in my head. That maybe I'm “ok” because I am not. That I can pursue writing because I am not.

I had also made arrangements for my daughter so her father to came and got her. It was hard but I had to let go, take a breather and get better. Shortly after I enrolled into a school in Manhattan and did well, at the same time my weight was getting out of hand due to the medication. At my biggest I was 350 pounds. Making it very difficult to go to school and commute. Yet I became an intern at Latin Trends Magazine #dominicantimesmagazine, writing about free and affordable events in NYC. From then on everything in my life started to click and I was one with WordPress and accepted my calling. I am a writer.

Resilience

I dropped out of traditional school and continued on for my Bachelors online. Again I was thriving, again I was publishing poetry. Again I was working part time. So I arranged for my daughter to come back after a year and a half. Finally I was getting mentally stable and I wanted her to see that for her, anything is possible. Although my weight was out of control, became diabetic with high cholesterol and even had to sleep with a mask on for sleep apnea, I would never give up. Yes in life we face challenges but what has kept me going is the loving power of Jesus Christ, the holy spirit as comforter and God the father as triumphant in this performance as Astharte.

The 305

I finally made it to Miami. I immediately loved the weather and liked that it would be a fresh start. Away from that dreary Bronx that I obviously love so much. I thought it would be easy for me to live and raise my daughter. I lived in a bad neighborhood but made sure my daughter went to a good school. I finally got ready and had bariatric surgery with the infamous Dr Sosa. Within two months my ailments due to my obesity started to disappear. I was happy. I was also getting published online in numerous publications, close to finishing my Bachelors and finally landed a job with a real salary as a writer. It is sad how I quit that job due to allowing myself to be overwhelmed by not meeting deadlines. Yet God turns negatives into positives because there I wrote a collection of articles on mental health and substance abuse. I knew creating “social awareness” was my calling. I claim that term by the way! Now at 31 I have my Bachelors, write on a Christian publication and manage two blogs still not making any money from writing but still resilient with that belief that one day soon I will be financially stable and on my own.

Forgive……

I am who I am today because I let go. I accepted and forgave myself for falling short, for being mentally ill. Forgave myself for enjoying and being enthralled by my Psychosis. I forgave myself as Christ forgave me. I forgave all the let downs and disappointments along the way and in forgiving myself I embraced my creativity, my gift for writing, even my psychosis. I appreciate myself more because I have allowed myself room for growth.

So if I can so can you. Face it, breathe it, love it and even dare to hate it but always trust a doctor or two. Comply with your treatment. If you do not like being medicated seek homeopathic alternatives. Do not reject your diagnosis. Therapy can be extremely helpful in providing you with better coping mechanisms.

Most importantly, forgive yourself you struggle with mental illness……...Yes you just happen to be MENTALLY ILLZ like that accept it.

Author's Bio: 

This article is how a shift in perspective, a different way of thinking can ultimately lead you to a happier life. That being Bipolar, struggling with Psychosis and even Depression can be well managed with better coping mechanisms that you can learn in therapy. That God is there for you especially when you need encouragement and upliftment. Accept that there will be bad days but even more good days ahead.
Cheers to new beginnings! A new day. A chance to get it right and a new perspective.
So go on Forgive yourself.