Currently Speaking.

Is there such a thing as a lucid coma? Because, I think I just woke up from one – a five year-long lucid coma.

Maybe I’m finally on the right meds or maybe my latest dose of sobriety finally woke me up. Or maybe, just maybe this disorder has finally run it’s course.

I don’t know, but I can’t say I like it yet. Everything is the same, but all together different. Many friends have come and gone, families being united and torn apart. Some friends and family have passed on. Jobs are being changed, promotions are being given, vacations have been taken, memories have been made, children have grown as if by magic, the war on addiction won for many and lost by the unfortunate ones closest to me.

I entered into the mental health system about 10 years back. It went into full swing about 6 years ago, when involuntary outpatient commitments were being handed out like candy; me, being the kid. I’ve been homeless. I’ve been 302’d. I’ve lived in government housing. I’ve been court ordered to take medications that never worked and only made me sicker. I’ve been through rehabs and psych wards and crisis centers, recovery groups, therapy, IOP, case management and recovery specialists.

That’s a long time to have zero responsibility and to feel like you’re incompetent to the point you can no longer work, have a social life or even go out without breaking down.

Just last year around this time, I put myself through rehab for 2.5 months and then lived in a beautiful recovery home in the country for about 4 months after that. It made all the difference, being required to get myself out there and push myself through recovery and into repair.

It worked so well, case management dropped my case, I was no longer living in govt housing and I won my disability case that I applied for 6 years ago to the day.

I’m now living in an apartment on my own. I haven’t had a car for 4 years and finally purchased a used vehicle which grants me freedom from isolation and the ability to live my life fully. As I said, some friends have passed on, some have had to say goodbye due to unfortunate circumstances and some I’ll never see again due to my manic spells and the chaos it brings. So, I now am dealing with a lack of that grounding or sense of belonging, other than my refuge recovery group. It’s a hard thing to cope with…so much loss.

Suddenly, life has opened up and I’m once again 100% responsible for what happens from this day forward. I am responsible for bills again, potential part-time work, volunteering, staying sober, keeping myself as stable as possible, bringing in healthy friendships and relationships and I’m also responsible for not allowing anything that may cause any of these things to unravel.

And that primarily means toxic relationships, platonic or not. This is my biggest downfall to date and it’s a lonely realization that I have to be wary about any attchements I may lean into.

In an attempt to counteract the loneliness, I am cultivating strong bonds with close friends these days. Primarily women and people from refuge. It helps to know we’re all somehow in the same sea, different ships. All righting our ways and taking responsibility for our lives and moving forward, proactively.

Yet there are still many days I feel very unsettled. And I’m not sure why. I have many things in line to keep myself busy and healthy. Volunteering, weight loss management and programs, art, writing, therapy, recovery groups, unconventional therapies, fun and travel.

But I’m not working. And this bothers me tremendously. I used to do it all…obliviously, as if on autopilot. I had the career right out of college, I had a vibrant social life, boyfriend, apartment, car, responsibilities, an exercise regiment, fun, vacas, travel, etc… everything anyone could hope for.

I had a bright future until this disorder took that all away. I’m still swinign back and forth between whether or not I can pull positives out of my experiences, because the deeper I go and the more times it happens, the more consequences, in every sense, occur. And after 10 years and 4 fully-fledged psychotic episodes later, I’m so beyond over it.

I will stop at nothing to protect myself against another episode, which for me last 6-9 months straight on through to the psych ward or suicide attempt. And, unfortunately, for me … this means I have to step away from romanticising mania and all its escapes from reality. And that, as a writer, is a very tough pill to swallow, especially since my book focused on the positives and the story behind the scenes of every episode.

As with most things though, I’m sure I’ll find a way. It will be written. Just not how I initially intended. That ground is like walking on thin ice and I no longer can afford another fall.

Until next time, just and update on how things are at the moment. Thank you for reading, folks.

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