The last couple of years have been very interesting, since coming through another psychosis after a complete physical and mental breakdown, following years of campaigning and no justice:
End of July 2015 my body rebelled at the stress I'd been under, attending various events and meetings to speak out with survivor carer voice about the locked seclusion room human rights abuses in the Stratheden IPCU February 2012. I'd been continually bullied and silenced by various people, sometimes assaulted, badmouthed, threatened. Raised many complaints to statutory agencies with very little positive outcome. They defended the bad or poor practice of their staff and did their best to vilify me.
The psychosis I experienced following the breakdown was an escape, also an acute reaction to what my body was going through and I ended up with a bladder prolapse which I didn't get diagnosed until the March 2016. Wasn't strong enough mentally to face what I thought was cancer treatment, it looked like a tumour. I decided instead to get fit, went back to swimming and the gym, eventually took up cycling because of having to get rid of the car, couldn't afford to run it. Being a carer activist and campaigner is costly.
During my psychosis from August 2015 I began to engage virtually with a clinical friend, sharing experiences, someone who I thought would understand my psychosis. At some point I will write in more detail about these exchanges which became something of a counter-transference in psychoanalytic terms. [thanks to History Beyond Trauma for helping me make sense of it] The virtual reality engagement was both enjoyable and confusing, words without context can seem like double entendres, which actually helped me get stronger although it may have had the opposite effect. But I've always liked a challenge.
The thing about quips or jokes, on paper or in person, is that they are not always funny when it's a serious situation and there is a risk of hurt or misunderstanding. The joker in the pack is a wild card, tricky.
We used to play cards a lot when the boys were young, the Pairs game when I was pregnant with my youngest son, I remember us at Rigside all sitting down to play this, on the carpet, I could hardly get up again when nearly 9mths gone. Other card games included Cheat, Snap, Happy Families, Trump, Solitaire, Pontoon (21). We enjoyed the play and trying to win, being very competitive in our family! We play to win, it's not just about taking part.
I found that last psychosis or altered mind state experience to be unsettling and enjoyable, at the same time. The challenge was to reframe the shifting perceptions, to see them as something positive, an enhancement, and make the best of it, going with the flow.
For example, I thought, on occasion, that I was being watched and framed this as a bodyguard looking out for my welfare, protecting, and I felt safer. In psychosis, in my experience, it's like the outside world is coming in to my space, or I'm more aware of others, being there, around and about. I'm usually a sensitive person anyway, in terms of others, and in a psychosis it's just more so. The main thing was to get a good night's sleep and I got this sorted by twice taking one Lorazepam to regulate it, making my bedroom a place for sleep, no TV or books or any other stimulation, apart from my thoughts and imaginings, in dreams and upon waking.
[to be continued]