It’s been a long time since I updated this blog with anything personal. I’ve been busy with school, I had an internship, then a reemerging back problem forced me to leave for the semester and quite possibly I will need a second surgery. Whether that ends up being a second discectomy or a spinal fusion I don’t yet know. I left school two or three, weeks ago. I’ve been spending a lot of time at home, by myself with my cats, considering many things.
I’ve been thinking a lot about myself. I’ve changed a lot in the last four or so years. When I think back on it now, much of this change has to do with adherence to antipsychotic medication. My brain likes to tell me that I was better before Seroquel. But in what way? I weighed less, which is a side effect many hundreds of people taking antipsychotics face. I was more spiritual, and I wonder if this wasn’t the psychosis that made feel closer to whatever it was that I believed in at the time. Was I better without antipsychotics? Or was I just different? I was surely less stable. I was in the hospital every five or six months. I had attempted suicide twice. I self-harmed regularly. I wasn’t better without them. So why do I feel that way?
Is it just my illness calling out to me from the back of my head? Maybe I’m only yearning for the positive parts of my prior self?
I remember the constant hum of words moving through me. Constantly, constantly rushing through me, like the current of a river and I was the river. But that was just mania, wasn’t it? And my art welling up like ground water in a flood. And I was the flood. But that was just depression, wasn’t it? And my huge, deformed reality, populated by visons and voices and thoughts that came and went without making any sense. Disorganization like the tide of the ocean, pulled by the moon. But I was the moon commanding an ocean of illness below me like an orchestra of auditory hallucinations. But that was just schizoaffective disorder, commanding me like a marionette who didn’t know she was a puppet in the first place.
Yet, I yearn for that chemical connectedness to spirituality, for a healthier body, for a wild and wonderful mind brimming like a forgotten tea kettle on the stove.
But which person is me? Am I me now, was I me then? Have I always been me? Or do I exist somewhere in-between both versions of myself? Not sick, but still creative, still active, still writing? How do I have both? A stable me who is on my meds but healthy, flexible, still gasping for breath at the beauty of the universe. How do I separate what was my illness from what parts are just me? I refuse to believe that I simply am my illness, or that it is simply me. There has to exist a middle ground. Where that middle ground is, I don’t know.
But I have decided to embark on that journey, on a return to self.
On October 7th, I will see my neurosurgeon again. We will discuss surgery, and perhaps I will go under the knife to ease the pain which has settled onto my sciatic nerve. After this, if I require surgery, I will commit to this journey to return to self. If I have this surgery then I will have to wait to start excerising until after recovery, other than this aspect, it’s full steam ahead.
I have, I think, identified the aspects of my old self which I want to reintegrate into my life. It’s going to be a challenge and so I will write the journey down and share it with everyone as I go.
These are the things I need to change:
- I will stop consuming alcohol.
- I will read more poetry.
- I will mediate once a day.
- I will return to a vegetarian lifestyle and eat healthier.
- I will exercise every day.
- I will embark to reconnect with yoga, starting again with beginner’s yoga.
- I will continue to take my prescribed medication.
- I will practice more self-care, even when my illness pushes for apathy.
Join me and wish me luck, as I return to a version of myself that has never truly existed, the truely stable self. The version of myself which I think is best. The person who takes her medication but resists the side effects. I must try to love myself harder and cultive true, honest respect for myself and my body.