Guest Posts, Mental Health, Young Voices

The Day You Lose Your Mind

August 2, 2018

Note from Jen Pastiloff, founder of The Manifest-Station. This is part of our Young Voices Series for Girl Power: You Are Enough. We are always looking for more writing from YOU! Make sure you follow us on instagram at @GPYouAreEnough and on Facebook here.

By Jessica Young

It’s funny what they don’t tell you on the day you lose your mind.

Rhyme, reason, it all just dwindles away and you’re left with the bare bones…the soot.
The soot that is left is all of the debris you’ve left “for later”,
the “I can’t possibly handle this kind of emotional baggage” kind of debris.
The particles of dirt that gather at the base of your neck, weighing on your shoulders,
tangling up and knotting the muscle so you feel bogged down… weighed down… too heavy.

It’s funny what they don’t tell you on the day you lose your mind.

The weeks leading up to my Bipolar diagnosis were some of the most agonizing moments of my entire existence;
dissociations, delusions and absolutely no chance of sleep.
Sleep never comes.
You want it, you need it, you beg for it, but it just never comes.
The effects of sleeplessness on most people include many of the same effects for a person with Bipolar.
If you take that period of no sleep, combine it with some over the counter sleep medication
(twice the recommended dose because that’s all that seemed worked at the time),
combined with a prescription for Celexa (a drug that exacerbates the symptoms of Bipolar disorder)
and you get a recipe for a Manic disaster.

It’s funny what they don’t tell you on the day you lose your mind.

25 years old, intelligent, successful, awarded a Master’s degree in Clinical Psychology.
Stable, steady, slightly depressed, but Bipolar? Never me.
Mood swings? Oh yes.
Bipolar? Never me.
“And we thought I was the crazy one” my sister said.
“I’m so sorry we should have seen this coming” says mom and dad.
I guess I was the only one left in the dark.

It’s funny what they don’t tell you on the day you lose your mind.

The date was March 15th, and I was sure I was involved in some sort of magical existence.
The hours spent not sleeping were filled with hours grieving for my dying grandfather,
setting up intricate altars in my home,  lighting way too many candles,
and believing I had ways of communicating with loved ones who had already passed.
I spent the hours not sleeping and scaring the dear life out of my boyfriend,
who to me at the time “just didn’t understand”.
In reality it was me who didn’t understand, oh how I didn’t understand.

It’s funny what they don’t tell you on the day you lose your mind.

They tell you “it’ll be okay”, “you can do this”, and “you are so strong”.
They tell you to put the psych unit experience behind you and “grow from it, never look back”.
They don’t tell you your world will never be the same,
they don’t tell you everything won’t in-fact be okay.
They don’t tell you that you will have to face all of the soot;
where all of the bare bones are raw and visible for the entire world to see.
They don’t tell you that breathing will barely be enough, that crying will not “let it all out”,
and that existing peacefully is the hardest feat I would ever have to face. 

It’s funny what they don’t tell you on the day you lose your mind.

Jessica Young, LMHC is full time Psychotherapist operating a private practice in Western Massachusetts. As a therapist Jessica specializes in Bipolar Disorder, trauma, anxiety and depressive disorders. As a healer, Jessica uses her own lived experiences with trauma, depression, severe mania and psychosis to make space for authentic, compassionate growth and healing. Jessica utilizes mindfulness based practices, Yoga and meditation to assist individuals on their own healing journeys. Aside from her busy practice Jessica also creates intuitive abstract art, writes messy poems and spends copious amounts of time in nature with her husband Kyle and rescue pup Zoey. Jessican can be found on Instagram at @jessicayoungart, and you can follow her online at www.jessicayoungartist.com and www.theviewfromabutterfly.wordpress.com.

Donate to the Aleksander Fund today. Click the photo to read about Julia, who lost her baby, and learn why we established the fund.
Join Jen at her On Being Human workshop in upcoming cities such as NYC, Ojai, Tampa, Ft Worth and more by clicking here.

 

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