I still remember driving to work for my first day at the first job after my psychotic break. I was so scared. The night before I had laid out all my clothes and taken my shower to be as ready as possible. I got up extra early to have time to “just be ready”. My mental illness caused the psychotic break two years earlier. Since then, I have been rebuilding myself, overcoming a gauntlet of “first” fears.
My mental illness and my psychotic break
My psychologist explained to me that having a psychotic break is like having a psychological house with a cracked foundation. In addition, there’s a pit underneath your house. So, when the foundation breaks, your entire psychological house falls down into the pit and breaks into a thousand pieces.
Picking up the pieces
Well, my house fell into that pit, and it fell far, shattering my whole world. As if you are experiencing a fit of Vertigo, eyes dilated, attempting to pick up the pieces of this abstract puzzle. Among the pieces, you find a few which look ominously familiar: the corner pieces of your puzzle.
- Grieving the loss of your own identity
- Acting as an experimental guinea pig for doctors, who seem to be playing Russian Roulette to find the right cocktail of medications for you
- Opinionated friends telling you, “Now that you are home, why don’t you clean out those closets you never had time for!”
- Family unsure of how to act around you, not knowing how to best support you
It’s my job to put myself back together again. After my break, working full-time again was my goal. I was so afraid that my whole brain would turn to “French blue cheese” filled with striated blue mold, rendering it useless. I was afraid that I had lost my intellect, my creativity, my ability to write, and the power to communicate with others. But my puzzle is nowhere near being complete.