blogs, life, mindfulness, San Juan, Puerto Rico, self-esteem, writing

Psychosis Round 1 Story

It all began at a small liberal arts college in upstate New York–Ithaca College. 
I was in the first semester of my third year and I began to fall apart in October.
I started going on nightly walks to look at the moon and somewhere along the line reality and fantasy mixed and then I started thinking that the moon was affecting my fertility and menstrual cycle. This was one of my many delusions. I also believed that I was being persecuted by a friend of mine and that that friend (who had access to a gun) was out to get me. So I was experiencing delusions and I was also paranoid.
One night, I couldn’t fall asleep because I kept thinking about my friend who was “out to get me” and I had a panic attack. My roommate was very startled and it took me a while to calm down. After that, she didn’t trust me again and I felt terrible about what had happened. 
I began to feel restless every night (mania) and I would walk and go to the gym and walk more without needing any rest. I also developed a crush on a classmate when was gay and when he rejected me I immediately wanted to go back home. I decided to return home to Puerto Rico–things only got worse from there.
When I returned home I developed another crush on a person I who I had liked during high school. Even though I hadn’t seen this person in years, I was convinced that I was in love. This was one of my strongest delusions because I landed in the hospital because my psychosis revolved around obsessive thinking about X person. My experience at the hospital was a frightening one–I hope everyone knows that I’m talking about a psychiatric hospital. I saw all sorts of different people. Some that appeared normal to me and some with serious mental issues (even on my delicate mental state I could discern who was hallucinating and who was simply there because of other issues.) I was at the hospital for a week and then I returned home. I was prescribed a cocktail of Abilify, Celexa, Klonopin, and Depakote. My obsession with x person persisted for several months after but at least I wasn’t experiencing a full blown psychosis like I experienced prior to going to the hospital. 
My first psychosis was followed by psychiatric treatment (visits to a psychiatrist and continued medication) but when I was convinced by a family member that I didn’t need to take my meds, I stopped. Six months later I experienced my second psychosis. I’ll write more about that in a different post. 
My purpose in writing this is to inform others about what people with bipolar disorder and other psychotic disorders go through and why it’s important to follow treatment. I hope that I haven’t scared anyone although for me it was a scary experience. I could write pages and pages about psychosis 1 but I don’t think it would be good for an internet audience. 
So I’ve kept this short and sweet and if you have any questions I would love to answer them.
Stay tuned for psychosis round 2! 

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blogs, life, mindfulness, poems, San Juan, Puerto Rico, self-esteem, writing

And so it goes…

Universe, if by any chance you are listening to my words and prayers, give me a sign (ha! If only)

So I’m supposed to study, work, study more and more, study for your masters, study for your doctorate, be a professor, never find love. 

Never find love.

That’s how I feel right about now. Like he will never love me. Like he doesn’t know I exist. Like I will never see him again.

Sorry to wax poetic but love is love and love is everything we have in this world. 

“love will keep us together” goes that song.

It’s a great song but I can’t trust this to be true.

I will never find love, I think to myself. 

And I know I’m just being dramatic but I don’t want all of the fish in the sea. I want one special, lovely fish that is taken. Does that make me a horrible person? I don’t steal people from people. I don’t want to. I’ll let them be. But there is a tiny part of me thinking, maybe, just maybe, something might go wrong. Maybe, just maybe, things will be different. But that is unrealistic thinking, of course. But hey, I’m not a very realistic person. 

And so it goes that I am alone, and so it goes that I will never find love, and so it goes that I will write. 

“Love will keep us together”

But only in my dreams. 

blogs, books, life, mindfulness, San Juan, Puerto Rico, writing

What should I write my Bachelor’s thesis on?

A list of ideas that might work:

1. Are Puerto Rican’s violent?

2. The Phenomenon of Love in Luce Lopez Baralt’s “Luz Sobre Luz”

3. Puerto Rican Emigration: A 21st Century Phenomenon 

4. On Tuntún de Pasa y Grifería: African Culture in Puerto Rico

5. Guillermo Rebello Gil and Millenials in Puerto Rico… or something around those lines having to do with his writing 🙂

However, since I study at a university that is Spanish speaking, writing, etc. It’ll most definitely and obviously be in Spanish!!!

blogs, life, mindfulness, San Juan, Puerto Rico, writing

On my major

After two years studying English Literature in Ithaca, New Work, I returned home to Puerto Rico and began studying Humanities, I subsequently changed my major to psychology and then biology in an effort to please my grandfather. I quickly realized that what was truly for me was Humanities, so now my major is back to being what I knew, in the beginning, was my love. I aspire to get a Master’s/Doctorate in Puerto Rican Literature because that’s what excites me. I look forward to it if they accept me in the Centro de Estudios Avanzados in Old San Juan, Puerto Rico. If not, I’ll be doing my masters on something else, elsewhere, but my dream is to bathe in my country’s literature, history, and culture. I absolutely love it. So let’s see. I first have to get my bachelors and crossing my fingers I can get into my top school and master in whatever I desire. That’s my dream for now folks. Lesson learned: don’t change your major for anybody and do what excites you. Study what you are passionate about. Even though I’m not close to graduating yet, I’m currently thinking about my bachelors thesis and I have so so many ideas!!! I’ll later post a list of ideas that I think I might be able to go for as a humanities major. We’ll see.

blogs, mindfulness, poems, San Juan, Puerto Rico, writing

“I am sick with longing”

I feel sick to my stomach.

Is it my bipolar disorder? Is it you?

Am I using you as a license to wax poetic?

Perhaps. Perhaps not.

Maybe I’m writing because I have to—because all that is inside needs to come out—it needs to pour out of me (as we speak)

Maybe not.

All I know is that I look for you even in my dreams.

All I know is that I imagine you imperfectly, although you are truly perfection.

All I know is that I am alone but I know you are not. For some reason that is both comforting and uncomfortable.

You are with her. I am without you. You are not lonely. I am lonely as fuck. See how it works?

I hope that she is magic, because if she isn’t—babe, it isn’t worth it.

I wonder why I write as if I were speaking to you. Maybe I wish I were speaking to you. Maybe this is the only way I know how to communicate something about you to the universe hoping life is like that novel The Alchemist and the universe can conspire to achieve my happiness.

Maybe this is truly romantic—an unaccomplished what could be. Maybe if it weren’t all this pain and suffering it wouldn’t be true romance.

All I know is that I will write about you.

All I know is, in the words of the film The Piano, “my mind has ceased upon you.”

Perhaps something will happen in the future. Perhaps not.

Maybe we will be together. Maybe not.

Anything is possible and in your own very words,

“Never say never.””

So I’m not saying there will never be unity, but I’m not saying there will.

I’m saying I’m stuck in the unfortunate in-between, the already mentioned “what if?”

The very “why the hell not?” I ask myself every day.

Why the hell not?! I wish I could scream. I also wish I could scream your name to the top of my lungs. Maybe you would hear a ringing in your ears (ha!, if only) Maybe you wouldn’t hear anything.

I feel sick to my stomach because this reality of your existence without me pains me.

Is it my bipolar disorder?

Nope, it’s definitely You.

I wish I could Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind the hell out of your memories and you wouldn’t exist anymore but the memory of your voice is too sweet to forget.

Sorry to wax poetic but it is fucking lovely.

Sorry to wax poetic but you are fucking amazing

Sorry to wax poetic but I fucking adore you.

Finally, sorry to wax poetic but love seems too little of a word to describe my feelings for you.

Let’s just say there’s a beloved held within deep inside and perhaps in another life, we were together.

Let’s just say two souls entwined make One.

Let’s just say we’re twins—forever separated by Time.

blogs, life, mindfulness, San Juan, Puerto Rico, self-esteem, writing

Update: On Being Diagnosed

Recently I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder and I came to the conclusion that I have to accept the fact that I’m not normal. I’m different. I have a disability that is masked by the appearance of being an average person, but those close to me know what I’ve been the through. They saw me at my worst, when I was hospitalized for psychosis. They’ve also seen the great progress I’ve made since then. Following my hospitalization I was absent from university for a semester. I was on meds throughout that semester and continued to write through my recovery process. That summer, the summer of 2016, I stopped taking medication suddenly. I returned to school in August and finished my semester intact. The only thing (and serious at that) that happened was that I almost had another psychosis (I felt it coming) because I had been without meds for months. The moral of this story is, if you’re diagnosed with bipolar disorder or another mental illness and you think it’s ok to stop taking your meds without consulting a doctor, think again. I started taking my meds after I regressed and I’ve been on them for about three months. I have to say that I feel good. I feel healthy. And I owe that to medicine. There is a stigma surrounding mental health issue that we need to eliminate. I share this because I want others to know that we don’t have to feel sick–we can feel good–we just have to be open to help and getting treatment.
Today I feel like myself. I don’t feel manic or depressed–I feel stable.

I’m not sure what it’s going to be like tomorrow, or near week for that matter but I know that as long as I take care of myself, there is a good chance that everything is going to be alright. 

blogs, life, mindfulness, San Juan, Puerto Rico, self-esteem, writing

On Being Diagnosed

Finally I have an answer to the perturbing story that has unfolded before me this past year. I’ve been diagnosed as bipolar. I had a suspicion–all along–since my first psychosis–that I was not normal and that this was going to be a long and challenging battle. And it is. I’m going to have to continue to take medication for the rest of my life. I’m going to have to go  to therapy regularly. But thankfully, I am not alone. I have the support of my family, friends, and psychiatrist. 

What people don’t know about bipolar disorder is that it isn’t just mood swings, it isn’t that actually. It’s periods of mania followed by periods of depression. But mania can last months, actually. If bipolar isn’t taken care of a manic episode can turn into psychosis. That happened to me twice, in just one year. At first, I was open to taking medication but I angrily refused it months later, before I was diagnosed. This is what led to my second and hopefully last psychosis about two months ago. Now I am medicated and stable and I have to thank God for allowing me the opportunity of belonging to a privileged family that can afford to support my treatment. What I have to say to people diagnosed or those not diagnosed but perhaps struggling with another disorder is that it’s ok. It’s not the end of the world. And yes, it’s hard-but we can do it! We can become examples of mental health by taking care of ourselves and motivating others to do the same.

books, life, mindfulness, San Juan, Puerto Rico, writing

On Reading Frankl

Unlike Freudian psychology, which suggests that man is driven by a pleasure principal, Viktor E. Frankl suggests that man is driven by finding a meaning in one’s life. In his book, “Man’s Search for Meaning” a quote by Nietzsche marks what the basis of his theory–logotherapy–
“He who has a Why to live for can bear almost any How.” 
The author experienced a horrifying account of life in a concentration camp and how some (such as Capos) did whatever it took to survive. I’m just beginning to read this book but after skipping to the end upon temptation to find more wonderful quotes, I read this:
[A student of Frankl surprised him in class by saying, “The meaning of your life is to help others find the meaning in theirs.”] 
That is logotherapy, and for now, a new principle for which to live by. Something not void of life, but absolutely the opposite–
Enduringly full of it.