I’m feeling directionless and aimless. I’m going to have my dosage of Quetiapine upped from 100mg to 200mg tomorrow just gotta pick it up. I’m hoping it will help cuz my brain is all over the place. I catch myself stuck in a mental fantasy constantly and I’m able to drag myself to reality. Them ones were your dreaming of a scenario that you’re in but it’s so strong it feels real, even though I know it’s not. It’s entertaining at times, but it’s taken over my life so much. Makes it hard to focus on what’s in front of me, especially when it’s so powerful that I forget where I am and don’t see what’s going on around me. Is that normal? Is that another mental illness thing or does that happen to everyone else, but no one talks about it? Like I’m genuinely curious cuz I’ve had it all my life and I really wonder if other people get it. Like my brain can never stay still, there’s always something going on and distracting me, constantly. I haven’t spoken about it to services cuz it pales in comparison to the other stuff I have going on. It just doesn’t seem as serious, but it does have a detrimental effect, I realise. Makes me hope to see or hear from people I’m never gonna speak to again, makes me dream of very unrealistic scenarios and it feels true, so I don’t approach real life with as much direction and energy, cuz I’m spending so much of it in my head.
The Quetiapine does help and without it I have to work very hard to remember I’m around other people, so I can’t go off talking to people in my head. That’s just embarrassing. I still have it obviously, just not as bad. So, I’m hoping a stronger dosage will help even more. Maybe with my brain producing less random shit I can work and produce more content. I dunno maybe it’s not far from psychosis, cuz psychosis is having delusions and talking to things that aren’t there? I’m not entirely sure cuz I don’t know much detail about how it effects people apart from the general things like voices, hallucinations, delusions etc. But mania also brings on a lot of delusionary thoughts, as well so I feel it could be a lot of that. My housemate asked me if I’m psychotic cuz my medication is an anti-psychotic, but also, I have had voices and hallucinations from time to time, but I never thought that much about it. I mean they do have an impression on me it’s just that… I feel like it’s real in a way. Like as in, I was not imagining, those people really were there. Like if I go to a religious building, a spiritual area, or certain parts of nature, I feel a very strong, overwhelming connection to deities. I dunno who they are, I used to think it was God as I had a very strict Christian upbringing and I spent most of my childhood involved in ballet, music and the Church. That was my life as a kid ha. You could ask what the hell went wrong?!
I don’t really care but I still feel a connection to these spiritual beings, and I’ve had three out of body experiences in my lifetime as a child. I genuinely saw my body lying on the bed and could see my room from a bird’s eye view. It was amazing it was like living in ecstasy. Everything was so gold and bright and shimmery, like the whole world was sparkling and it felt like I was drinking nectar of the Gods. And someone went to wake me up, and normally I am a seriously deep sleeper and people have to proper shake me. The person in question, literally brushed my shoulder and I felt a massive crash, as if I was slamming back into my body, and I was instantly awake. That person I saw when I was ‘asleep’ was wearing the same clothes and same makeup, hair etc as she did when I was awake. I knew it had to be for real, and that’s happened a couple times yeah. I’m sure it’s for real cuz how could the details be so accurate, and how could I possibly know what the person I woke to was wearing? The other body experience I had was when I was five years old, and it’s probably my second earliest memory too. I remember I was suddenly up in the air, hovering over the stairs in our house, and I was looking directly down at the floor at the bottom. I remember very distinctly floating down the stairs, hovering in the air and flying down the stair very slowly. But it gave me such a rush I loved it. That’s all I remember from the experience but it’s very strong and stands out from most of my memories. After that for a long time I genuinely believed I had learned to fly and was determined to remember how to do it again, but I didn’t know how I’d done it. Looking back now I’m sure as hell that was out of body experience, it’s too strong and real to be a dream or imagining. One person said that most people that get spiritual or out of body experiences are changed for life, and often throw themselves into their personal belief even more or convert. I don’t feel that way cuz it’s always been there for as long as I can remember. I feel already very close, so why would I change when they always been there?
But yeah shit like that makes you think of the spiritual side of the world and your connection with them, whether it’s God or otherwise. I have had an up and down relationship with them, I’m gonna admit. There’s times when I’m convinced it’s all real and there’s times when I’m too nervous to go near the thought. But I can’t control it. If I walk into a religious building (regardless of the religion, it doesn’t matter) and it hits me. I don’t have an out of body experience in that situation, but I have a very heightened awareness where I can suddenly feel other beings are with me. And it always feels like a ‘they’. It’s never just one being (like God) for example. I don’t know what they are or what role they play, but they’re powerful. I don’t exactly ‘hear voices’ but I get encouragement and ‘feelings’ that are not coming from myself. I dunno if it’s that thing psychic people get when they can feel other beings around them in the room. It’s kinda like that I guess? If I speak to them in my mind, they are overwhelmingly positive and it’s like the kind of love and support I really need, in a way it makes me emotional. I dunno if you’ve ever felt that? I just find it hard to see as a psychosis because they’re there when I go to them. In religious buildings or certain parts of nature, they’re there. That’s how I usually met them, but as soon as I leave the building or setting, they’re gone. I don’t feel them with me from that point onwards.
But recently a week ago I reached out to them for the first time. I was in the bath and was going through a low episode. I was reflecting on the trauma and the violence I dealt with just playing it over in my head and it just wouldn’t stop playing. Just on permanent replay, just painted in my eyes in detail. It just puts you on a massive downer, especially cuz I was agitated and restless. I was just feeling negative and low about life so I just put my hands together and prayed to them. I addressed them as ‘Stripper Gods’ cuz I’ve seen loads of other dancers post their stacks and rewards by thanking the stripper gods and it was something I really connected to. I don’t know if it’s literal for them but I kinda want it to be for me. I just prayed and asked for help, I didn’t know what else to say but I just decided to try reach out. And they responded, much to my amazement. Suddenly it felt like my emotions were lifted straight out of the low borrow I was in and the violent images in my head disappeared. I felt suddenly a strength inside me that I didn’t have before, reminding me to finish washing my hair, to get out of the bath and moisturise. When I’m low, as crazy as it sounds I find those things difficult. Suddenly all the things I forgot and didn’t know, I was being told about. It’s like that voice people talk about that reminds them of what they’re doing, is it good or bad, what’s the best decision, etc. Most people say it’s their mums voice reminding them of basic things, but I’ve never had that. I just do things without giving shit a thought. But they were guiding me through it and telling me the things I needed to remember.
It just gave me the lift and mental support I needed. I get very defensive and angry when people tell me what to do, or try guide me. Even though I need the help, I can’t take it cuz I’m too proud and I find it insanely embarrassing that I have to be reminded of the basics all the time as if I’m a child… But if I don’t take the help, nothing gets done and everything falls away and becomes impossible to adjust to. It’s so hard though. It’s harder than you can imagine.
I’ve been struggling a long time ever since I stopped practising Christianity. And there’s no way I could go back to it cuz there are fundamentals in the religion and how it’s practised that I disagree with. But that’s not why I left in the first place though. I was a very strong believer until I turned eleven. And then my mental illnesses kicked in. My mental illness killed my belief and in a lot of ways, my trust in God. I wasn’t manic at that point yet though, I was experiencing a disorder called depersonalisation. It’s a dissociative disorder brought on by trauma, where the mind feels separated from the body and everything is very hazy and unreal. It is pretty much like being very high on a lot of weed. Everything feels very strange, you can’t move your body much and it feels like some one is controlling you. You can’t connect with reality, everything seems fuzzy, strange and far away.
Dissociating is what the brain does as a reaction to trauma to separate the brain from the reality of trauma and it can happen during or after a violent experience. It leaves you feeling far away from real life so it’s a way of protecting you from what’s going on. But like most mental illnesses, it doesn’t just disappear. And from that point onwards I was just dealing with it 24/7. I was just thrown into this hazy, foggy, cloud and everything became a blur. I had that for an intense period from the age of eleven to fourteen years of age. Why did that break me away from Christianity? Well honestly, I was fucking terrified. Remember I was eleven years old, I was not very knowledgeable of mental illness and what I had heard of, I didn’t really understand it yet. The only explanation I had was that it had to be spiritual, and that demonic beings were taking over my mind and fucking things up. Or worse I was abandoned by God. And I mean some people might laugh but when your young and you go to Church and practise a lot I guess you can see why I thought it was that, which severed my relationship with religion and spirituality for many years.
I got older, I was assessed and diagnosed with depersonalisation and depression at fourteen years of age. By that point I understood it was a mental illness and a reaction to trauma, and not God and demonic spirits trying to get at me. But by that point I was long gone from the Church and I was a teenager and a lot of teenagers in religious backgrounds can get doubtful and question religion, so I left it at that. I still got the spiritual experiences at points, but I was heavily in denial and just thought I was just gassed up. I’ve slowly started to accept them and pay more attention to it but I’m still confused and a bit scared. Do I go on to establish a relationship with them and let them guide me, like I did with God? Will they just disappear again like it felt like he did? What will listening to them lead me to? It’s very weird for me to be openly writing about this. Most of the time I’m very quiet and keep pim about these experiences. Most people don’t really understand what I’m saying or think I’m crazy so I dunno how people will take reading this. But I genuinely miss being part of a religion. I miss having a community around it, hearing the stories and being part of something that’s bigger than you and otherworldly.
What I don’t miss about religion is the strict rules, the misogyny and its treatment of women. I don’t miss feeling like I must dress modestly cuz clothing has never seemed like a moral issue to me anyway. I don’t like the fact that most religions preach that theirs is the one and only holy religion and everyone else’s is not acceptable for heaven. I don’t like the hypocrisy that exists in it, where people take sins like divorce very seriously but seem to turn a blind eye to greed and adultery. These are things that just don’t sit right with me. The other fact why I’ll never go back is, I’m a sex worker. I don’t feel comfortable practising a religion that supposedly rejects and despises me. I know Jesus’s best friend was a sex worker, but he still told her she had to give it up for forgiveness. And sex work isn’t an immoral thing to me, so I don’t see what I should be forgiven for. But I’m still left with those spiritual experiences and a longing to be under a spiritual guidance again. The things I liked about being religious was having a relationship with God and being able to turn to him over shit that was bothering me. Like it might not have always been sorted and I guess maybe I felt supported by him cuz I was traumatised and dealing with trauma regularly, but I didn’t know it at the time. And in the hard times I’ve had lately, I so need that support again. I don’t like being alone in any shape of form, so I guess I don’t like being alone in my mind either, it’s a difficult place up there.
But I’m scared to establish that relationship. For one, I dunno what I will get out of it, and second I dunno what they want in return. You don’t mess with deities without thanking them properly. I don’t oblige with rules personally, I think most of them are a refle ction of the cultural period and socially acceptable things of the time. Cuz like religion itself is kinda a touchy subject for a lot of people at the moment. A lot of people will deffo say I’m delusional or psychotic or weird. But if I said I was experiencing all those things through Christianity then they might not be so judgemental. But I dunno why I’m so concerned what other people think cuz it’s between me and them, but I still feel that way. I Just feel lonely up here and I’m struggling with direction. When they helped me pull myself together in the bathroom and clear all those violent memories, it was like magic. That’s why I can’t shake this. But I close it down at times cuz I feel awkward talking to them all the time if they do. They don’t make me hear literal ‘voices’ as such but they tell me things, a hundred percent. Somewhere they’re reminding me of what I have to do, all the little things I forget. Did I wash my hair properly, did I sort my washing, did I eat, am I feeling okay? Literally when I have a question they always answer. Like they speak but it’s still a mental voice in my head like when you say something, but you say it mentally and not out loud. And I can’t control it, it comes randomly but they don’t miss a second.
So, I guess maybe they’re always there with me, I’m just not opening my mind to it? Or is it all a load of fantasy and psychosis in my head that I’m using as a coping mechanism somehow? That’s the thing I don’t wanna jump down this route if it’s gonna be my head making it up to me. I don’t wanna follow it if it ain’t real. I need genuine support and understanding more than anything. I do have support around me, but I am embarrassed to ask for help with my learning difficulties and other mental stuff. I am weirdly open about it on here, but I guess I needed to vent. I have been holding an unbelievable amount of craziness in my head. I don’t know anyone who’s mind is as complicated as mine. So many people that get to know me are very wowed by the shit I tell them and that’s often just my mania. It’s impossible to bring this kinda thing up.
I’m sitting here having a long think about it and well… you know what, if I am experiencing this so much, maybe they’re there for a reason. Maybe cuz I’m slyly vulnerable, I need protecting. If it’s a psychotic coping mechanism fuck it. It’s been mainly a positive experience, I’ve just had to battle with my understanding of religion and the real world. If it helps me to remember the little things, the stuff I need to do and lifts me up when I’m down then, why not allow it to be there for me? I need that very badly at this point. I think I’m just gonna take it very slowly and not rush into it with enormous expectations. And maybe it’s time for me to forgive God and let go of the resentment I’ve held up about Him and Christianity for a long time. I think it’s time to let go.