Off and on for as long as I can remember, I have gone through phases that I don’t understand. I have been told that it’s depression, anxiety, bipolar 2, stress, ptsd, attention seeking and even seizures. I have been told that I am just too sensitive or need to grow up or just think too much. Even a spiritual awakening. I have had physicals and bloodwork and ct scans. I have gone to therapy off and on since age 12 and taken numerous medications. But I always end up in the same dark place, lost, weird, confused and off. Not myself. Not how I know I should and can feel. Not my best self. I’m tired of focusing so much on a diagnosis or an answer. I really just want to focus on what I’m actually experiencing and express it correctly. That’s something I’ve never been able to do. As I’ve gotten older I can look back and say that it’s always the same. I recognize this place. I just never connected with myself enough to really describe it. It’s mental, physical, emotional and spiritual. And it ruins my life every time and I think if I could put it in to words, I may have a little more control. A little more chance of rising above it. Or at least not be so overcome by it and know that it does eventually go away. As I’ve said, it’s a phase. I’m not always this way. People who know me can tell before I can that it’s coming. It starts with waking up in the morning to thoughts so loud and overwhelming that I hear them before I’m fully awake, eyes still closed. I’m angry, anxious and confused. My heart is racing and I’m pissed at the world. The thoughts are so mean and cruel. Always negative. I don’t want to face the day. They are about the past or some event that was negative. I am scared. Reminding me that I’m a piece of crap and that the people I love hate me. Reminding me of mistakes. It’s already hard not to believe them when they are so loud and present. My brain isn’t awake enough to choose them or ignore them. They suck me in. They attack me so fully that I become them. I have physical reactions. I become shaky, tense, on guard, dizzy, disoriented and like I’m not even in my body sometimes. I also get strange sleep disturbances around the time this begins. I’m woken up from my sleep by electric zaps in my body, feeling like I am vibrating, sleep paralysis accompanied by a dark shadow that chokes me. I don’t want to be bothered by anyone. Things from the past that I swore I was over come busting through my memory and feel like they are happening again. I get angry and scared all over again. I feel worse because I don’t want to be mean or grumpy. Now I’m a mean person. People ask me what’s wrong. I don’t know. That’s what I always say. I just want to be left alone with my thoughts, stuck in my head. I can control them. I just have to ignore them and let this pass. But my reality gets more and more distorted. The things in my mind are partly true. They aren’t lies. They are related to real events that actually happened. They are reminding me that I am not worthy and that the world isn’t safe and that I am not loved and everything is bad. I try to fight. But my mind closes in around me and suddenly I can’t trust anything anymore. Except these thoughts. They are my friends. I don’t realize I am holding my breath and walking fast and not looking at anyone. Just leave me alone. I will hurt you and you will hurt me. I usually have at least 1 panic attack during these phases that causes me to pass out. I can either cry at the drop of a hat because someone looked at me wrong or suddenly get so offended by something that I lash out and want to fight someone and actually have. When that happens the surge of adrenaline that hits my body scares me. But I black out and don’t remember anything until I’m being pulled off the other person. I isolate, I push away, I give up. In school my teachers would notice this and be concerned. My grades fail. I stop being friends with my friends. I break up with whoever I’m in a relationship with. You can’t ever trust a man anyway. I dropped out of college where I had a full scholarship. I suddenly quit great jobs. I’m usually abusing drugs or alcohol just to feel calm and relaxed physically and not care for a little while. Pain pills and Adderall were my favorites. 4 of these attacks have ended in attempted suicide. I steal. I’m just gone. I’m reckless. I’m everywhere. I run from every responsibility. I run away from home. I left my daughter with my parents when I was 21 because I was convinced that she was better without a piece of crap like me. I just run. I go. Wherever my thoughts lead me. I don’t think about any of the things I’m doing at the time. I don’t think I’m wrong. I don’t think I’m committing a crime. I don’t think about anything except the reason I am justified in doing it. The anger. The darkness. The past. The unfair shit in my life. The pain that I refuse to feel again. The victim I refuse to be to anyone. I have stolen a lot during these attacks. From the thrill of shoplifting as a teenager to large sums of money from jobs and family and friends. It’s strange. I try to look back and understand my frame of mind at the time and not once do I stop and think about it or evaluate that this is wrong. I just know that I feel like I have control for once. For once I have a little power over something. It’s a release of sorts that only lasts until I’m back to my “ healthy” self at which point I feel horrible and scared of myself. Ashamed. Strange. Who is this person? I have a whole other personality when these attacks happen. I’m always afraid of when she will come back and ruin the normal me’s life. It’s as though a veil or shadow of haziness and confusion comes over me and any clarity or sense of self and groundedness and stability is lost. I am just lost. Gone. Stuck in my weird, strange thoughts and behaviors until the light and love and softness returns. The real me. The me who is still inside. Who’s brain is quiet. Who knows who she is. I’m here. Present. Able to tell the past from the present. Able to relax and trust and forgive. Able to make good choices that support my future self. I wish she would stay around more.