Something I’ve been struggling with lately, and I think is hard for others to understand is psychosis. Until you’ve felt the pull of an alternate reality, it doesn’t quite seem understandable to most people I think.
Wikipedia does a pretty good job of describing psychosis here:
I’ve been psychotic a few times in my life. It’s usually tied into a mania, and usually involves some fight between good and evil, and that I am somehow a magical being and I need to take part in this war and help good win. When I am fully in a psychosis, it is difficult for me to realize that is what is happening.
Recently I’ve started having psychotic symptoms, but I have avoided going into a full psychosis. So I have a new perspective on psychosis. Before psychosis was an all or nothing thing, all out crazy, or completely sane. Right now I am able to experience psychosis with part of my mind, but know that I am doing so with another part of my mind.
So I thought it might be helpful to share with others what this going into a psychosis feels like.
A couple of weeks ago, I started re-reading Twilight. I was having a hard time, and the escape of the book universe was welcome, just as it would be for any normal person. But then when I finished the series, I read it through again, and watched the movies, and then read the gender swap version, and now am re-reading the series again.
Right now to me, the Twilight Universe seems more real to me than what I know is reality. Instead of feeling like I’m escaping into a story, I feel that the story is my own, and my forays into regular reality are a dream. I am having a hard time not falling down the rabbit hole and going fully into the Twilight Universe. It is especially hard when there are uncomfortable or unpleasant things in reality.
For those who don’t know, Twilight is a series of books about vampires, werewolves, and the strength of true love. There are evil people, and good people (some of the vampires are good people, all of the werewolves are good people). This universe has captured my mind so that when I am going about my daily business I am thinking I am in the Twilight Universe. Instead of feeling my own issues, I am dealing with vampire issues.
Part of me realizes I am doing this, and so I have been able to hide it from most people for a pretty long time. I know enough to act as if reality really is reality when I’m around other people. But sometimes when I am talking with Brad or Linden, I get confused about which reality it is that is reality.
It’s very scary not knowing which reality is reality. You know there is potential for danger in both worlds. You know that you can hurt people in both worlds if you don’t keep them straight. You lose large blocks of time to the psychotic thoughts (mostly while reading Twilight or watching TV).
This time is different in that I am still aware enough to know which reality is real reality, and I’m able to separate the psychotic thinking into a large room in my brain. So I’m able to be both psychotic and not psychotic at the same time, or at least switch back and forth between psychosis and reality.
I think the thing that is really the worst part about being psychotic is that you are completely consumed by the alternate reality, in my case the Twilight Universe. When I am jostled out of it, by needing to do something for Brad, to talk with a friend, to take a dog training class, etc, it feels like the Twilight Universe is reality, while reality is a dream or book I’m reading.
Since I am self aware this time, I have been hiding this from pretty much everyone except for Brad and Linden. But it occurred to me that most people probably wouldn’t understand if I told them, hence this post.
I see my therapist on Tuesday, and my psychiatrist on Thursday. So I am hopefully getting some help. Plus today is the day I’m scheduled to increase the dose on the new antipsychotic that I am trying. So I am hopeful that will keep me in real reality.
In the meantime, Brad is doing all he can to keep me in real reality. I wasn’t sure about going to dog training class, but that was a great break in my mind from all of this Twilight vs reality. Pretty soon we are going to an Indian restaurant for dinner. Tasty food should help me stay in real reality, especially because in my vampire reality I don’t eat regular food, but the blood of animals.
I feel like this explanation of psychosis is woefully lacking, but it is the best I can come up with right now, mid-episode. I am open to questions, any questions at all (don’t worry about offending me or “asking a stupid question” or anything), so ask away in the comments, or feel free to email me privately if you are more comfortable.
Here’s hoping that yummy Indian food will fight for its reality more than the lure of true Vampire love does.