For most of my life I made it possible for myself to pay attention to what was happening in front of me but also be in this well designed, heavenly, whirl-wind sort of fantasy world that I had created to save me from myself. Of course I did not realize this until recently but I think it is important to write about the unimaginable because these things happen to people and they are embarrassing but they sometimes have a purpose. I realized we have to recognize when this purpose has passed and when we have to move on without things that create a comfort zone.
My fantasy world was my security blanket. I was married to it and it was the only thing that I could go to, even while I was in therapy and treatment that made me feel like medication was working faster than it really was or that my diagnosis wasn’t my fault.
I lied a lot during my worst episodes undiagnosed because I was able to imagine situations like going to the University of Cambridge or being madly in love with a so called boyfriend. It is hard to describe but everything in my mind seemed real in which I lied about. I could feel touch, hear things, and envision things and I was able to do this while I was in class, driving, or talking to people.
It is embarrassing to confess to what I did on the internet, the lying, and the fantasy world that I invented but I know this happens to other people and I know that I did it for a reason.
At its undiagnosed worst I would make myself believe someone that I loved had died so the unexplained sadness and depression that I was feeling would be defined. I would imagine these grandiose thoughts of making it into the University of Cambridge, having the best boyfriend that I have never had and getting proposed to, or traveling to some island that I have always wanted to go to and from there traveling the world until I wanted to stop.
For the first time in one therapy session I realized that if I really wanted to experience life I had to drop my fantasy world that I thought was saving me. It had saved me up until I was diagnosed but life had given me my life back without me even recognizing it. Life gave me the doctors, the support, and the medication that I needed that was going to give my life back but I had to do the work too. I would have to give up what was making me feel like I could survive in the world and be okay with hurting a little more.
Sometimes we have to make ourselves take a good look at ourselves in the mirror, harder and harder each day and truly ask ourselves if we are going down a road that will make us live a life that we want to live. I was forever in an intense day dream and that was okay with me. As long as I had a way of ignoring how much I was hurting and how helpless I was I was okay. I struggled with my intense unexplained mood swings from age 13-I never once thought about getting help. It was too scary. I was willing to lose my sense of reality until I died rather than confront my problems. I wanted to think everyone else was the problem preventing me from getting better, but as I progressed and went through more therapy I began to see that I was at fault. To get better I had to give up things that were making me feel good. I was giving up things that were making me feel good that were getting me nowhere.
We have all heard that we have to face our fears. I thought for the longest time that my therapists, my parents, my family, and the few friends that I had would help me get better by accepting that I simply lied to survive, and that I was frail and would need to be babied until I eventually improved. If they had done that I most likely would still be severely suicidal and possibly off and on in hospital half day therapy programs.
It is legitimate to be scared of the stigma that we all have or will experience. It is hard to feel alone but I think we all have more control of the state of our mind and life than we may think or perceive.