Blog John, Mental Health

The Manic Elation (John)

I’ll probably come back to these stories at another time, I’m sure you get the picture by now.

A few blogs back me and Elle were describing our first encounters with psychosis. I’ve put a link to my last blog on this above. I thought I’d like to come back to those stories and chat about the first (and probably only) time I had a full blown episode of elation. I’d been in hospital for a couple of days and was phasing in and out of various moments of delusional psychosis. Despite this I was fairly settled but could become a bit disconcerted during the night.

One morning I woke really early around 5. a.m. My memory of how I felt on waking is vague, but by the time I was dressed and down stairs I was experiencing a full blown elation. I still remember the feeling of it. I remember thinking this feels like all your greatest childhood Christmases rolled into one then multiplied by ten. It was a feeling of absolute bliss. I was also delusional and felt that today was going to be the day that my notions of world changing events were going to happen. I didn’t know what was going to happen but I knew with great certainty that it was something wonderful. Then I went about building a monument that would convey all the information of what was going on…once I figured it out. I set about building this sculpture of books, vases, plants, anything I could get my hands on in the ward. A bit like Richard Dreyfuss when he builds the sculpture in Close Encounters. All of this was monitored by a friendly member of the night shift who just let me go about my business. In fact when the rest of the staff arrived for the day shift it was decided my monument should just be left up, for the day at least. That gives you an insight into the pro-patient way things can run on a psychiatric ward.

I think I remained in that elated state for a good seven hours or so. I remember watching the news for information on my delusion, and the fact that Europe had won the Ryder Cup and that it was the 10th anniversary of Live Aid were all positive signs that a bold new world order was imminent.

When I eventually came back down to earth I’m not sure. But I remember us all having a good laugh on the ward, between both patients and staff, as I tried to explain what the monument meant. Please understand my insight had returned so were sharing a good humoured moment as to what my delusions had created. I think that was a really healthy way to address such stuff. All I can remember now was that the whole thing was topped off with a Bonsai plant that I’d placed a Rich Tea digestive biscuit in the top off. When asked to explain this particular enigmatic image I laughed and said, “Oh dear, that was meant to represent the fact that the English are stealing our water.” I find it hilarious that Scots nationalism can even manifest among the deluded. You can make what you will of that statement lol!

I’ve never really experienced a high like that again, and that was over twenty years ago. But such experiences do help me understand why some people go off meds to experience them. Hell, it’s better than any drug and it’s free!

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