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Courting Bedlam: Or, a Day In The Life Of The "Crazy Adjacent"

Back when I was younger, and possibly thinner, I used to respond the question of how I was doing with "Well, I'm not dead. So I must be doing something right." Laughs would be shared, good time had by all, yadda yadda. At some point in the last couple of years I started replacing right with wrong, and the laughs seem a bit more.. forced.

Growing up bi-polar was obviously not a cakewalk. Hell, didn't get any idea that anything was starting to go wrong till I was twelve. Before then I'd have these little moody spells, moments where I'd wander off and do my own thing for an hour or two, times where I'd bang my head repeatedly into a wall. Yaknow, standard kid stuff.


But something about age twelve, while going to a junior high where I was a walking target, just triggered progressively worse spells of what I sometimes call "bad brain time". Of course, one of the first led to me sitting on the floor of my bedroom while resting a rusty old butcher's knife on the pulse of my left wrist. Even back then, the mere thought of making that cut had an oddly soothing appeal. Almost as if part of me knew how bad I was going to get later in life. As I got older, the spells got worse. At one point, while at Job Corp for six months, stress from a hostile environment pushed me into something I can only call a fugue state. I remember kinda blanking out, only to be pulled back to reality by a Floor Adviser. My arms were criss-crossed with bloody gouges and scratches I had apparently made with one of those old p-38 military can openers.

When I was finally diagnosed as bi-polar, it wasn't as much of a relief as I've sometimes claimed. It's like a paranoid finding out people are plotting to kill him, finding out you're right just sorta pales in the light of being truly fucked. And to paint a picture of my childhood, I was misdiagnosed at a very early age as being ADHD. I was put on tranquilizers so powerful I wet the bed for months. I was stuck in special ed till ninth grade, despite showing a very high IQ. And I was put on a mood stabilizer that seriously buggered my body chemistry for five years. Safe to say, it was blind fear that kept me from getting help for as long as I did.


But here's the thing. The twitchyness, spikes in body temperature, urge to repeat words and sentences, and everything that comes with my upswings. The crying, suicidal thoughts, and profound self hate that come with the downs. They are nowhere near as bad as the middle state that I took to calling "courting bedlam" years ago. Courting bedlam is a bit like having your brain try to shake itself apart inside your skull. A million ugly thoughts ricocheting and grinding against each other like an a-bomb in your head. It's the urge to keep punching yourself over and over and over, both as a sensation to keep you focused on the here and now.. and because you honestly believe you deserve the pain. It's like tap dancing on hollowed out eggshells, some of which you know hide razor blades. It's inevitable and intrusive on everything you do. And you know the ups and downs will pass, but it always seems like they fall back on this one. Fucking. State.

And it's killing me. Slow and by inches, it's taking the very life out of me.

I've been taking meds for a week now. My prescription is set to start with a higher dose at the end of the week. I know I shouldn't have expected miracles right off the bat, but it would've been nice. Just to stop me from hanging from the rim of my own lubed up asshole by my fingertips.


Still, I'm not dead yet. So, yay?

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