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“You are not trapped, you just need to relearn a few things. We all have doubts that make us feel trapped at times. If you doubt your ability to make a life-altering decision, to take on a new chapter in your life, or to fend for yourself after years of being overly fostered, consider this: Surely if a bird with healthy wings is locked in a cage long enough she will doubt her own ability to fly. You still have your wings, but your muscles are weak. Train them and stretch them slowly. Give yourself time. You’ll be flying again soon.” (p.60 “1000+ Little Things Happy Successful People Do Differently”).

I included this quote in the beginning of my blog post because it inspired me to write about how I feel like I have been a bird locked in a cage for years, half a decade or more. I did not recover swiftly from my first and then second manic psychosis. If I could fly before than I could not even walk after my psychotic breaks. My brain with all its chemical imbalances, shock and trauma, and inability to accept what had happened to me, firmly locked itself in a cage and refused to fly. I once was a bird who not only flew but soared in the open skies that was life. I had it all then I lost it all (same old story I know its a cliche for a reason).

After my first psychotic break I was unable to continue school which is where I truly learned to fly. I fell into a depression deeper than I could ever have imagined possible. Hours were spent laying curled in a ball clutching my head begging the tormenting thoughts to stop, “Your life is over now, you might as well end it too.” I cried all the tears I had and then some and when my tear ducts were dry, I shook uncontrollably. I was in misery. My brain had broken down and decided it had taken enough. I could not wrap my head around the idea that my dream of being a professor was over, that I had a mental illness and was not “normal” (whatever that means but I struggled with the definition of normal for awhile), that my brain devoid of all alcohol and drugs in its system hallucinated and deluded itself. It was too much to bear because deep down I realized my life would never be the same and that I was always going to be different (I had not yet learned that’s okay).

I would be hospitalized two more times after this for depression and another manic psychosis. I felt like an alien, like “less than.” My brain started to self-destruct and simple things like reading I could not do. I literally tried reading a paragraph in a book during this time period and could not remember even the first sentence after reading it, let alone processing it. I went from being an A student in a competitive program based on reading and analyzing texts to not even being able to read. Y’all I cannot even describe how heart wrenching this was. The thing I had been doing since I was a child and that came so easy to me became unfathomable. I began to panic and wonder if I could ever revert to myself, if I would ever be able to fly again.

Years went by on Welfare and then disability. I did not attend school and I could not hold on to employment and rarely sought it out for my mood was detrimentally low. My wings were not used for years and I definitely was and am still doubting my ability to fly. That being said, the past two years or so I have begun to flex my wings, trying to train them to move again. It has been a slow process and this blog has helped a lot. I can now read books (several at a time) and write coherently about them. I may be doing this on my own and not in a formal academic setting like before but it is still a major triumph in my books. This year, as of 2020, I have faced my fear of being unable to learn in a formal setting anymore following my psychoses and have registered for one course at the local college and am auditing one. It might not seem like much but it takes everything in me to do this because I have convinced myself from being in the cage so long that I can never get out. I have also just started (one shift down) volunteering at the local food bank and am exposing myself to the community which I have shied away from since becoming psychotic (I feel I am too different). I am also now deciding to set and attempt goals. Before I decided I could not possibly succeed at anything and so why try and why set myself up for failure by focusing my energy on a goal.

The point is I may have been locked in the cage for a long time doubting my ability to fly but I now see the possibility of it. I am still weary but I believe there is more potential within me. This WILL not be IT. I have more to give. I will fly again. But for now I will stretch my wings until  they are ready and you know what, that’s okay!

5 thoughts on “You’ll Be Flying Again Soon…

  1. When I manic or stable, I am all about being out there. But 8 months a year I am not stable and I self isolate simply because it is easier than trying to explain to people why I am so sad and ;’a downer’. The same people who adore me when I am manic cos I am fun.
    That is my version of spreading my wings, when I put myself out there during the up cycles. And this winter even though I’m not feeling great, I’ve had a friend come over a few times so I am trying to keep the door to my cage open, so to speak.
    As long as we are trying and making progress, I call it a win. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Glad to hear you’re leaving the cage open! And you’re absolutely right long as we’re moving forwards regardless of how fast or slow, its definitely a win!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I recognize this so much and I wish I didn’t. I struggle still with reading books, I panicked very much when the ability to read or to concentrate left me.
    The weird thing is that now I can read a little and write a little, it doesn’t cost me all my energy, I don’t read. I punish myself for falling ill by not allowing me to do the things that I like. I don’t know if that makes sense.
    Oh, I actually was also here to nominate you for the Liebster Award 🙂 I wish you a nice weekend.

    Like

    1. No I totally understand what you mean by punishing yourself for being ill by not allowing yourself to do things that you like. Also what is the Liebster Award? And thanks for the nomination. I’m just not sure how to accept this nomination and what to do next? Also as always thanks for taking the time to read my blog, it means the world to me 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I like to read your blog (when I put my mind to reading blogs). Books is something else…
        The Liebster Award is something that is passed around, it’s a recognition-thing for bloggers. It’s totally up to you what you do with it.
        You answer questions and then pose some questions yourself and pass them on to other bloggers. I can be fun to discover new blogs, other people don’t like it because it can feel like a chain letter. I do them sometimes, when I feel like it. The rules and more are written on my blog, if you want to have a look 🙂

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