Where Psychosis and Reality Meet

People tell me there’s no shame in my illness.  J tells me this when I’m grumpy at home, my therapists tell me this when I’m in self-pity mode in a session…someday, maybe I’ll believe them all.  But for now, I’m skeptical.

How can there be no shame in an illness that can greatly diminish my credibility?

It’s no secret anymore that my brand of bipolar disorder has psychotic features.  I’m lucky in that when I’m psychotic, I’m ragingly so, such that it’s a seemingly complete departure from reality.  But what happens when elements from my real life enter my psychotic episode?

This happened in my last episode.  I started talking and talking and talking and I just didn’t stop talking until I had no secrets left.

So now it’s been a year and nine months since that episode.  I’m much more stable on my medications.  But I’m left with the feeling, much like a bitter aftertaste, that no one quite knows what they can believe from what I’ve said because I was psychotic when I said it.

This is an illness that can feel like a thief in the night because, despite what my doctor and therapists tell me, I simply do not believe that the psychotic elements of this illness can be controlled.  I believe that the manic and depressive symptoms can be addressed to some extent.  But the psychosis comes on so quickly…so quickly.

So what happens when psychosis meets reality? That’s a question for which I suspect I may be forever searching for an answer.  In the meantime, it’s one of the questions that truly haunt me.


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