As I thought of updating this page after nearly a year has passed, I went to retrieve my laptop and as I stood up, a small feather floated to the ground in front of me. If that isn’t synchronicity, then I don’t know what is.
I can think of a few choice words to describe what is medically known as a “psychotic state”. So I’ll skip those and use one: FRIGHTENING. There are also words like “dreamlike”, “surreal” and “euphoric” that go some way to describe it, however, these alone don’t really cut it.
- I thought I was going to be murdered by a random stranger.
- I thought I was being surveilled and hunted.
- I thought I had died and was in some sort of afterlife, that I had left all my loved ones behind and not said goodbye.
- I thought a dark force was watching my every move and I was gearing up for the ultimate battle between good and evil.
- I thought, as I was escorted to the psychiatric ward by a nurse either side of me, approaching the double doors that separated it from the general hospital at 3am, that once I was through those doors there was no going back and that it meant passing on to the next life.
Phew! And all of the above only describes a small part of the experience. That is the “delusional” part.
Apologies in for use of so many inverted commas — I do this as the words I use to describe “psychosis” are only useful from a medical perspective and I would prefer to talk in my own terms. More on that later.
Being “psychotic”, for me, is like being in a lucid, or waking dream. I had a domain previously called ‘Awake in a Dream’ where I started to discuss topics around mental health and schizoaffective in particular, but let it go and the domain was taken by someone else. So, ‘Lucid’ it is.
Psychosis is like being awake in a dream and everything is sort of dreamlike where synchronicities and signs occur that further affirm my chosen path. It is like I am somehow being shown something that I cannot quite work out, but that was dangerous and not for the faint of heart. People take on significance, like they have messages for me and I get subtle visual and sometimes not-so-subtle auditory hallucinations that contribute to the overall story I am running in my head.
I was staying in APARC when I had been talking to my key worker about how synchronicities occur and how I had a deer as my power animal and it kept showing up for me (that’s another story). So I had explained all that, and then to go a step further I was looking in my phone to show her the deer picture that I had as my Home Screen, when I opened Facebook to be greeted by yet another picture of a deer at the very top of my feed, the first thing I looked at. It was funny at the time, guess you had to be there. I can think of numerous other synchronicities.
I got messages through the television. Some of it was very challenging and I was watching it all unfold in front of my eyes, like someone had created a show just for me. One of the most useful messages was the news presenter on morning tv telling me to go to the hospital now. “Don’t call ahead, just go now”. I had been awake all night in a semi-conscious state and emerged from my room. floridly psychotic to be confronted with this.
Mum drove me in her car whilst Dad led the way in his. The “Jesus saves” sign on the church we passed didn’t help — now I was dying in the passenger seat. In actual fact I was probably just micro-sleeping, but it felt like I was dying. Now I was JC in Emma form. We reached the hospital and even Humphrey B Bear on the TV in the emergency department was reaching out to me.
Hopefully, at least from the perspective of a 45+ year old woman, the above snippets offer some insight into what it is like to be in the mind of someone experiencing “psychosis”. I know my experience of this is mine alone, but I also know there are thousands of others who can relate to some or all of this.
What about you? Have you had an experience that was labelled ‘psychosis’? Were you having delusions (“false beliefs”) and/or “hallucinations” of any kind? What was your experience?