At times, I’m aware that I’m not always “with it”; I acknowledge that what I hear and see are sometimes voices and hallucinations. Other times, it’s impossible to pull me back from a delusion into reality. This is the space between reality and fantasy that I live in.
I begin to treat life like a business transaction. I’m drafting a business report that states the psychotic symptoms are a “non-issue” since I’m aware of it’s presence. However, the final report is sent out to my safety net of family and friends, psychiatrist, therapist, and family doctor that states that these psychotic symptoms are in fact an issue. Treatment is then issued and charged to my account and well, now it’s finally being treated. There are two giant hills to overcome before treatment can commence though.
Part 1: Convincing a high functioning bipolar person like myself that they are actually sick is a very tall task because life has always been relatively “normal”like everyone elses. The slow crumbling hill is quiet and unnoticeable unlike a giant avalanche sliding down a mountain. So all the internal voices, hallucinations, and delusions are “cancelled out” as long as they can continue working and interacting with the real world.
Part 2: Trying to convince someone like myself that they are in a delusion when their delusion overlaps with reality. Begin understanding this by asking yourself this — If you could live in two realities – one with real responsibilities and the other with cool nonjudgmental friends and non-adulting responsibilities – would you want to leave? It’s like a getaway into another space in time where your internal voice allows you to abandon chores like cleaning or cooking. Instead, you could submit to all of your wants. I mean, don’t people take drugs and become addicted to feel this way? Certainly it’s hard to say no once you’ve had a taste of it.
The truth is that the space in between reality and fantasy is not safe and I learned the hard way. The first time I really sought for help was after my incident with April, who is a friend of mine in my head. She visited me a while ago and was sitting all cross-legged inside the lobe of my brain. She pretended to be a southern belle with cowboy boots and all. Later on she took off her costume and it made me laugh.
Meanwhile, I was tidying the house and became superbly annoyed at my husband when he kept inquiring about my conversation with April. She convinced me that he was just trying to ship me back to the hospital so I wouldn’t be a burden to him anymore. I believed her and we began to bitch about him. She told me more jokes to lighten up the mood. We laughed. It was fun. And I wish that was how it ended.
The fun turned into terror when she grew ten sizes and ate out my guts like it was guacamole. As she ate, she told me how stupid I was for believing her and that nobody actually loved me because I was worthless. I screamed for my life while my husband tried to convince me for the millionth time that this was not reality but I was so far gone into the fantasy that waking up was… Difficult.
See what I mean when the two realities overlap and betray you when all the fun is over?
I didn’t believe him because I was aware enough to know that I was in my house and on my bed, yet in too deep to know that April wasn’t my friend.
Dear family and friends: Please, please, please be patient and do not snap because you will become the enemy and they’ll complete cut you off . There is no way to convince a drug addict that they’re addicted to drugs, and this is no different. For example, I still refused everything my doctor “passively” advised me to do because it only went sour once. That was until the hallucinations gained Lightning McQueen speed. Then again, pushing a little too hard can also make you the enemy. Basically all you can do is wait for the crash and be there to catch them when they do. I’m sorry if that’s not the answer you wanted but it’s the reality when you live in between two worlds.