Four Days No Sleep

Due to mania and, I don’t know, God’s deep-seated hatred of me, I haven’t slept properly in four days and I’ve officially reached my limit. It’s five in the morning, I just baked seven different deserts and a few main courses after working out for a couple hours to try and make myself tired and now I’m stuck in that zone where my body is so tired I can barely move but my brain is so alert I am struggling to put these sentences together. I get three words in and then it’s like someone with a humungous lung capacity sneezes in my direction and scatters all the letters. On top of that, I can hear this high pitched whining noise that I’m assuming isn’t real cause otherwise everyone else would have woken up and it’s making my head pulse. At least I have the 24/7 live Simpson youtube channel to get me through.

Watch this space.

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My Last Trip

When people ask why I don’t drink anymore, they are usually taken aback when I feed them some line about the calories in alcohol being second to that in fat. You see, I didn’t drink until I was 18 simply because my doctors had warned it wouldn’t be smart and could hurt my psyche further but once I started drinking at university it was a regular part of my day. And not just one or two ciders, I mean proper university drinking, drink until you pass out and then keep drinking when you wake up kind of drinking.  Sometimes even day drinking to get through bad hallucinations or to write an essay that I knew none of the content for. I was known for drinking basically so to suddenly stop the one thing I am good at has shocked a lot of people. While it is true I am no longer drinking because of the calories, the main reason I’m not drinking is that it stopped helping my brain and started making everything much worse, it stopped making me sleepy and instead kept me up for days and so on. So, to be sensible, I’ve cut it out meaning the only other drug I have available is weed. Yes, I know, for a lot of people weed makes paranoia worse, it increases anxiety and can even worsen hallucinations but for me, all it has ever done was mellow me out and give my brain room to breathe. Knowing this, I thought nothing of having a few pot brownies with some friends yesterday just to try and calm my mind down and allow me to enjoy the sun. We left the house, walked for a few minutes and finally lay down in the warm grass of a big field and waited for them to kick in. One of my friends felt it there and then and was quiet and calm next to me, the other didn’t really feel much of anything and after a few hours, we returned home. As I was dropped off at my house I couldn’t help but feel disappointed, it had been over five hours and I had felt nothing but oh well, there was always next time. Fast forward an hour and I am gearing up to take the dog for a walk when I suddenly feel reality slow down like it mattered not how quickly I waved my arms and clicked my fingers, everything was going at less than half speed. Realising what was about to happen, I texted a friend to come walk with me, hurried (well, not really) past my mother and headed outside. At first, it just seemed like the weed had hit me pretty hard all at once but it soon became apparent that actually, it had triggered a psychotic episode. Fantastic. I am lucky the guy I texted knows a little about schizoaffective disorder because I have spent years teaching him so he knows that the only thing to do when I start having a really bad episode is to either let me burn myself out or call my doctor if it gets too bad. We walked around a field for a while as it got worse and worse until I had to sit down on a nearby log to prevent myself from running off. It felt like we sat there for years, his face morphing and melting, sliding off and decorating the grass over and over before I closed my eyes. Reflecting on the incident, up to that point it was pretty manageable, just hallucinations, loss of time perception and I couldn’t feel anything below my neck, all fairly standard. Hallucinations are a part of my everyday life so they weren’t too hard to handle although they usually aren’t that grim, dead bodies dragging themselves about in front of me and the trees being full of hanging children etc. Then, just as I thought I had sorted out the worst of it, a helicopter started flying above us and every word that came out of my friend’s mouth was suddenly about convincing me that it was the police ready to get me. It started with just a simple, ‘I think the chopper’s circling, don’t you?’, then ‘I heard the police are out tonight looking for someone, someone who’s done terrible things, maybe they killed a family.’ and so on until he said, ‘Nate, I am telling you, it’s the police, they’re coming for you, they’re finally going to lock you up again.’. After years of living with psychosis, I have learned techniques to combat this sort of thing so the whole time I was only replying with simple friendly statements like, ‘maybe it is, that’s okay’ and ‘I’m sure I haven’t done anything wrong but if I have then they’re just doing their job’. Internally, of course, I could feel the panic rising with the bile in my throat and I knew that if this went on much longer I would lose my composure completely. Luckily, after asking him several times on a timed schedule if there was a helicopter above us, it left. By this point, I was only hearing half of what my friend was saying and only half of what I thought I was saying was getting out to him but I knew I had to reassure him that everything was fine and that he was doing a great job because one of my habits while deeply psychotic is to ask people to kill me while repeating how bad everything is, something people tend to find rather worrying understandable. It took all my effort to get out something about what I was currently experiencing so he could understand what was happening and words trying to get the message across that I would be fine in time. Eventually, it got too cold to sit in the dark anymore so we went back to my house to drop my dog off and then continued to walk around the area where we live until I asked him to go home because it was midnight and he had done enough for me already so, after some convincing, he left and I walked myself home, still with no feeling in my body. I really detest not being able to feel below the waist because I don’t know if I’m wetting myself the whole time. Not that I would, but I just have no way of knowing. I was still a bit doolally when I put my head to the pillow but I knew when I woke up I would be back to ‘normal’. It’s currently about 7.00pm the next day and although I can now feel everything again and I can pretty much tell what’s real and what’s not, I have awoken with the bell jar surrounding me on all sides once again so I guess it’s back to waiting for mania as I spend my days glued floor. Unfortunately, this all means weed is off the table from now on so who knows how I am going to cope.

Watch this space.

Moments We Never Speak Of

(Note: Sometimes I write slam poetry and songs and what not. This is one of those poems. Enjoy.)

 

Moments We Never Speak Of

It was two in the morning and my breathing was so even you thought I was sleeping

I wasn’t sleeping, if I had been then maybe none of this would’ve happened

You ran hot so when your clammy hand slid between the sheets to snare mine I could feel myself melting into you already

Slim fingers wrung my wrist and lighting fell heavy in the air

At the time I remember thinking this was chemistry, science project, first prize to make my parents proud

Now I know this was the lightning before a storm that makes dogs run and quiver in their beds

You lifted my hand gently still playing the role of loving boyfriend, understanding boyfriend, respectful boyfriend and the spaces between my fingers screamed ‘somethings not right here, somethings not right’

I like to think you hesitated for a moment, felt the silence of your room pressing down on my windpipe, taking words I wouldn’t have dared to say even if I could conjure them

But I know your pause was simply to check I was still sleeping

What followed would ruin the relative peace of this poem and to be honest I think you have ruined enough so I’ll let this ink spill on a black page somewhere no one would ever think to look as I’ve done so many times before

For you

To allow you to remain an innocent bystander in your own mind

As soon you left for work I ran to the bathroom, tripping over the regret and horror that had somehow wormed its way out of my chest and crystallised on the floor

I was still in the shower, mind god knows where, lungs so full of steam I was sure I’d never breathe normally again, when you returned nine hours later and asked loudly, in between tuneless whistles, where your dinner was and why I hadn’t made it yet

This was the first time I remember not being able to look you in the eyes over the dining table and the first time I cried myself to sleep with you lying next to me

 

Flash forward weeks, months, days, time passing, on and on ticking

I had pushed that day so far down into the pit of my stomach that I hadn’t been able to finish a meal since

I still have trouble finishing my meals, finishing anything really

You’re drunk in this memory but you were drunk so often that it almost became our normal state of interaction

You, childish, confident, greedy, limitless

Me, two steps behind holding a sick bucket and your wallet to make sure you’d have enough money left to pay for your bus ticket into work the next morning

We left the club together, shouts of faux congratulations you’ve pulled, get your coat, got a condom, get a number, raining down on our backs like lead bubbles, glass bullets

It took me by surprise when you shifted from leaning on me to dragging me into that shadow-drenched alley that I see in my dreams more nights than not

The steam turned steel wool in my lungs slithered up my throat and pierced deep causing me to yell out

Your still clammy hand was already over my mouth

I tried to catch your eye, catch your wrist, twist, move, do anything at all but you had me pinned like a piece of evidence against the brick so hard I could almost feel myself phasing through, through to the living room on the other side so that at least someone could see how much fear was pouring out of me

The fact the next thing I can recall is me sitting on the floor, in the dark, with my back against that same wall is almost as commonplace as the fact you were gone and so was my underwear and my ability to hear rape jokes without feeling the steel in my body slide into my organs a little deeper

 

When you messaged me over Facebook the next summer as if you’d messaged me every day that you hadn’t, meaning everyday since

I replied politely, let the veil of normality act as a sounding board for the things I know I should have said and even agreed that it could be fun to meet up for coffee only to message you on the day saying how sorry I was but I was simply too sick to make it

Have To Be More Careful

Usually, when I wake up on Sunday morning, it’s to the smell of a roast dinner wafting up the stairs and with a rested smile on my face. This Sunday morning I woke up feeling very, very uneasy. I could feel my heartbeat in all my extremities and honestly thought I was about to have a heart attack; it didn’t matter which side I lay on or how much cover was on me, I kept shaking and my heart rate would not slow which was weird considering I had just come out of a very deep, long sleep. Right on cue, my father demanded I stop being so lazy and finally clean my room, a task I’d been avoiding for a few days simply because without a little clutter the box room I’m staying in, while on break from university, looks very empty. After taking a few minutes of shouting I gave in and, once he had left the room, I tried to sit up. Big mistake. Immediately the uneasy feeling morphed into that pre-pass out feeling where vomit starts rising in your throat and pulsating spots appear in your vision. While stumbling to the bathroom, I wondered why this was happening now, I mean my caloric intake has been low for a week now but surely it’s too early for my body to start failing? Then I realised it’s probably my fault, all I had to eat yesterday was half a salad on a day spent walking around shopping and exercising. Waking up at one in the afternoon was probably the final straw, it means I only ate about 200 calories over the space of two and a half days. Oops. Anyway, after passing out in the bathroom for a short while, I dragged myself back to my bedroom, sipped some water and necked the only food I could find: a small Graze box of corn snacks. Thank god I’d flung them into the basket just as we reached the checkout yesterday. It’s been about one hour since all that and in that time I’ve cleaned my room and got dressed, both hard tasks for one because of the whole pass out thing but also because some mean shadowy hallucinations have been berating me for eating 125 calories right before lunch. If this is what the next two months are gonna be like maybe I need to rethink my strategy.

Watch this space.

So What’s Going On Then

I was 14 years old when I was first diagnosed with bipolar disorder. This later became bipolar disorder with psychotic features. Then bipolar disorder with psychotic features and anxiety. It was a whole year later when my psychiatrist finally settled on schizoaffective disorder. I’m 19 now and in the 5 years since quite a lot has happened which, at the time, filled diaries and MSN messages but with my new journey ahead of me I’ve decided to upgrade to this online journal. What new journey, I hear you ask. Well, dear reader, my first year of university changed me in many ways; I became more confident, more educated and a little heavier. Only a couple pounds admittedly but as someone who has always been careful with their weight, I was sad to discover this. Initially, I thought I’d just stop eating so many pizzas and that would be enough to get me back to my comfortable 120lbs.  But, things took a weird turn a few days ago when my hallucinations started focusing on scolding me about my weight, what I was eating and how little I was exercising so after some consideration I’ve decided to get back down to 100lbs. See, I used to weight just shy of 100lbs but unfortunately, doctors decided this was bad and made me put the weight back on. But won’t that just happen again, I hear you cry. The answer is perhaps but I think it’s a lot less likely this time around as I no longer live with my family and it was they who dobbed me in the first time. As you can imagine this isn’t going to be a very healthy journey so maybe don’t stick around if that sort of thing upsets you but I don’t intend to talk about numbers and calorie counting, that’s what my Tumblr is for (xanthouus.tumblr.com), more about how I’m feeling and what’s going on in my life. Anyway, I think I’ll leave this post here as I can explain other things in other posts and I don’t want to bore you too much too soon.

Watch this space.