Trigger warning: please be aware that this blog post contains descriptions of some of my darkest times, if you don't want to read personal details about me or feel you might be triggered by its content then please read no further.
I want to thank everyone so much for the really lovely messages people have been writing me since I wrote my last blog post, it has really impacted me positively that people are interested and do want to know more about my personal experiences and more about the illness, I feel encouraged to write more as I go on this blogging journey.
I was just having a rummage through my 'Psychosis Box', this is a pale blue cardboard gift box full of my own notes, scribbles, doctors letters, care plans and diary entries from when I was ill or recovering, I kept it because I knew I would want to look in it some day but haven't really felt strong enough to look properly until now.
One of the interesting things I found was a list of notes I had written entitled 'Memories from phsycosis' it must have been from early on because I obviously still hadn't learned how to spell Psychosis yet!
It is a very raw and honest list of all the delusions I had that I could remember at the time, I feel it is a real and very clear insight into what my state of mind was and how the worst of Postpartum Psychosis had its grip on me. By sharing this list I hope to raise people's awareness of just how lost you can get with this illness:
- Thought I was our neighbour.
- Thought I was a friend and had kidnapped our baby.
- Thought I was a man and had imagined having a baby.
- Thought I was a person with multiple personalities who was stuck on 'Claire Griffiths' and wouldn't move on from that 'fantasy'.
- Thought I was in coma and could only communicate with my eyes.
- Thought I was in a strange sort of game where I had to pass levels to give birth.
- Thought my baby would die soon.
- Thought a neighbour had killed my partner and baby and hit me on the head with something heavy but I survived.
- Thought my partner was poisoning me in my food.
- Thought my partner was giving me my medicine wrong on purpose.
- Thought my partner was trying to kill me and my baby.
Although it might not seem like it I haven't included some of my darkest and most painful memories. It must seem very strange that I thought all of these things were true even though they all completely contradict each other, this is the form the illness took with me, lots of constantly changing devastating realities on a very linear route, believing each of them and not questioning that any of them were not my reality at the time, throughout this time I was just trying to figure out who the real me was, I just didn't know at all, I had completely and utterly lost my sense of identity.