Manic Depressive Illness- How Anxiety & Paranoia Control My Life Part 2
Although I was diagnosed with manic-depressive illness I also suffer from anxiety and paranoia. At times it feels like my life is being controlled by my anxiety. Most days I feel like some unknown entity is out to kill me, other days I’m convinced my mind is a living being that is trying to fuck with me and make my life miserable. Actually this is a major issue for me- as I have gotten older and my mental illness has evolved, I’ve become convinced that my mind is trying to destroy me. I know this might seem crazy, but it’s a real issue for me and one that I struggle with everyday. The problem is I can’t take anti-anxiety meds because of my addictive nature (when I left the psych ward I was give a bottle of ativan. Instead of following the directions I ended up snorting 6 pills, almost causing myself to overdose. It fucking sucks that I can’t take anti-anxiety meds to combat my paranoia, panic attacks and anxiety). So I’m stuck.
Even worse, my anxiety and paranoia usually morphs into a manic or mixed episode (manic and depressed at the same time. This is one of most dangerous states because you no longer care about life and your only goal is to destroy everything. I will come back to the topic of mixed episodes in the next few posts) making my life even worse. At times I truly believe that I’m a slave to my anxiety and paranoia- I can’t function, my thoughts race and my mind is usually out of control forcing me to believe that I’m worthless piece of shit. As a result, I’m scared to death to ask for help. I’ve been struggling with my mind for years, but due to my fear and embarrassment I’ve kept this problem a secret.
It fucking hurts. But I can no longer stay silent.
I’ve been struggling with this issue for so long that I truly believe my mind is creature that is trying to devour me. But I’m hopeful. I know that if I raise my hand and ask for help I can finally get rid of this paranoid thinking. I need to remind myself that I have made a lot of progress the last few weeks: I’ve been sober 22 days, I’m getting out of the house more, I spent a week in a psych ward which has helped me gain control over my mental state, I’ve met new people and I’ve gotten rid of all my drug friends and dealers. This is the most stable I’ve been in 7 years.
But my life is still being controlled by anxiety and paranoia. Every night before I go to bed I wash my hands at least 5 or 6 times, I check my front door and turn the knob at least 5-10 times making sure it is truly locked. I turn the lights on and off, making sure everything is in its place. Some nights I enter my bedroom and I have to go back out to make sure the front door is locked, even though I had checked it a half dozen times. My life is controlled by even numbers, because I am convinced odd numbers are evil. Although my apartment is messy I’m scared to death by other people’s “diseases.”
Last week my toilet broke. It was one of the most stressful periods in my life, not only did I have to use someone else’s toilet, but people I did not know entered my apartment. It got so bad that I made myself sick and constipated. For two days I couldn’t function because I was so paranoid and convinced that my body was going to die. Although I survived, it was still a very scary experience that took me awhile to get over.
I have to stop writing. This is a very hard topic for me to discuss because it’s unnerving as well as embarrassing. But I realize that I am not alone.