Devils and Shamans be with You

After the fright of psychosis comes a bit of depression. I was wound so tight and so on edge, maybe this is my body’s way of letting go. Almost like a rag doll. I can follow you around. I can take direction. But, I cannot make a decision. I still have the nightmares. Literally jumping out of my sleep to fears of the devil seeking me. My husband corrals me and repeats I am safe. Falling limp over his chest I sob. This midnight escapade can be 2 minutes or 10 depending on how entrenched in the nightmare/terror I am. Last night I’d say 3 minutes tops.
There is no predicting it. I could lay in a bubble bath all day or have a stressful work day, doesn’t matter. I could be dead tired or wired having to take extra medication. There could be a reprieve for over a week lulling one to think they are over, only to writhe in bed with fear that next night. I’ve run to the kitchen grabbing a knife. I’ve cowered in the corner not recognizing my husband’s voice. I’ve raced to close all the windows as I feared the devil was trying to take all the air. It’s almost always the devil that is after me. Why? Why? What does that mean?
My loving, dutiful, patient husband suggests I need to look inward. Where is the discomfort coming from? I don’t know!!! I shout in my mind. I’m just trying to sleep. If I don’t sleep things get worse in my world and in turn his. It’s a big big deal to get proper sleep w bipolar disorder. I love to sleep, so it’s not for lack of trying.
I’m off work right now due to another psychotic episode. Devils and shamans this time. The symbol of shaman for me is a positive, as I have been tortured by only satanic hallucinations in the past. I still suffer through intrusive thoughts and voices telling me I don’t belong here. Suicidal ideation is a large part of my struggle.
I’m attending an outpatient program that happens to close on Thursdays. Having the whole day ahead of me on my own is daunting. I rely on structure. I typically have a full time job. I had some tasks to take care of today. Boy, did I knock them out in record fashion. Cleaned the kitchen, bathroom, folded laundry, worked out and completed a collage all by 10:30. Too early. With a full day ahead I just went back to bed. But sleep escaped me.
I filled my day with art. Something I haven’t done since the hospital. I listened to music in my headphones to help drown out the voices. I sat in the backyard w my coffee and walked around our garden foraging for “art supplies.” I pulled weeds, found bits from our pine tree, cut special words from a magazine. Feeling creative juices flowing I didn’t hold back.
Right around 3pm I found myself tearful, wanting to pull my hair out, AGITATED! How could this be? I had the most stress free day imaginable. I burst into tears. I tried to call someone on my clinical team but it seems everyone is off on Thursdays. How ludicrous. No groups and no access to someone to talk to?!
What do I do? First I bitch to my husband realizing that gets me nowhere. Then I take to typing my story. I lay it all out. I may send it into the universe. I may not. But writing, above all else, soothes me the most. I just have to sit still for it.
Nightmares, hallucinations, intrusive thoughts all claw at me. But when I choose the words I want to convey I am free. When I paint my story in type or black&white I am in control. That means the world to me.

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