I went into my major psychotic episode in previous episodes: 4, 5, and 6. I mentioned how I still remember things from that time, but there’s more to it than just that.
There are things I don’t remember. I remember some of the things the voices would say. I remember sitting up in bed but being too weak and exhausted to do anything but lie down again. I remember the few times I managed to sit at my computer, then the times I would get up to cross the few steps back to bed only to crumple to the floor, too weak to make it all the way. I would lay there on the floor in a heap, staring at nothing, and other times I would be in such mental turmoil that I would almost rip my own hair out, hit myself, silently scream because of how much it hurt.
I don’t remember the days I made it to school. I don’t remember how I would excuse myself from class to go to the nurse’s office to break down, what I’d say when I got there. I don’t remember eating, probably because I didn’t eat much at all. I don’t remember any individual experiences save a few. But the general things I do remember are bad enough that maybe that’s for the best.
Those days haunt me to this day. I am almost constantly afraid that they will return – the meds may stop working, I may not be able to afford them anymore because of insurance changes or something. I’m scared of the idea of getting married because that may disqualify me for Medicaid, from my understanding. Not that that’s an immediate concern, but it’s something I expect to be in my future, as well as needing these meds for my whole life.
When I remember those days, sometimes it scares me so much that I can’t help but break down. The idea of that coming back causes me to shiver and sob, uncontrollably, my body heaving and spilling out the tears I couldn’t spare back then. Eventually, I’ve dissociated to the point that I don’t remember what got me crying, but I still can’t stop, and I can’t figure out why. After a while, it all subsides, and I might be tired, but I’m back to “normal”. It’s gotten better over the years, but the pain is still there, fresh, waiting to eat me up if I let my guard down.
I don’t know what having PTSD is like, but I assume it’s a similar, if not worse, experience. People don’t talk about psychotic episodes causing things like post-traumatic stress disorder, but I’m sure at this point that it’s possible. It was a traumatizing experience that I wouldn’t wish on anyone. And while I’ve gotten better at avoiding the thoughts about it, they still sneak in sometimes, bringing with them the intense fear of losing myself again. I lost everything I had at the time from that. And I’m still recovering. Some days, I’m not sure if I ever will all the way. I try to tell myself that the experience didn’t make me “less” in any way, even though I lost all confidence. I have to convince myself that it simply changed me, as those experiences will do to someone, as is expected of someone at the age I was at anyway.
Silence makes me uncomfortable because I fear hearing things that aren’t there again in it. I always need music, or some auditory stimuli, in the background to calm me. I need my dog, or another living being, in the same room to sleep. All results of the entire thing, from hearing that voice in 4th grade to the bad psychotic episode in 10th with all of the others. It’s too easy to think about them when there’s no noise to focus on, or to imagine that I hear them again. Just some after-effects that can happen after a psychotic episode.