Ugh! Personal stuff…
Choking on my umbilical cord in January 1994 at Berkshire Medical Center, my first breath of air wasn’t the smoothest. Born into a heavily religious household where both sides of the family were very devout in the beliefs. During infancy we struggled to keep a roof over our heads, we found a home in Lee for a time. Attending elementary school there was two assaults to my person, constant money worries and the complete disregard from the landlord we learned about a nonprofit in a city north of us. Central Berkshire Habitat for Humanity in Pittsfield and they were building a house in Westside.
Two years of blood sweat and tears, the house was finished and soon it was a home, our home. Learning from past mistakes, homeschooling became the necessity. Feeling lonely, unwanted, worthless and filled with a large unnecessary amount of guilt for a belief I wasn’t sure I had faith in, I attempted my life, alone in the home built by my family. I didn’t commit to pulling and those feelings within only continued to grow within myself.
I began working in the southern part of the county in a large restaurant and stepped into the culinary arts in community college Stepping away from the constant family and religious life was an immense relief for my soul. I committed far too much than I should have and my stress was never worse. One day at work the power went off and it was mute of all sound except within my mind, screaming, yelling and exclamations of great pain echoed in my ears so loud I could almost not stand it. My voices only worsened from that day. They would start around an hour after I woke for work and would refuse to stop until I passed from exhaustion. It begins again and again for another year until I could take it anymore. I quit my job, not that I was wanted there anyway and secluded myself in isolation for two months arguing with the voices about way I should or shouldn’t attempt at ending my life again.
Psychological Hospitalization and Medication.
I voluntarily went to my local Psychological Hospital, known as Jones 2. the first two days were ok, on the third my new antipsychotic medication kicked in. As though cotton was shoved within all my joints and my sight and hearing were filtered by some kind of black and white view of emotion, music just made a sound, movies were just active images. The emotion was gone and in it place a size 42 waist and the feeling of wearing a tight snowsuit fro every waking moment of my life. Along with hearing voices, visual perceptions was common for myself and as I told the support group I was in about what I have seen the night before I was stopped and taken away, my medication was strengthened. The day after the half Mg increases my body began to shake awfully, drooling and stuttering I began to feel like I was truly going insane. The Dr’s and nurses noticed this and told me I may be suffering from something called Akathisia, -“It’s like restless legs syndrome but for your whole body.” This is what they told me, what I felt was not the same. As though a colony of fire ants burrowed their way into my body and made their home in my bones, a constant tingling blazing fire stewed within me. Another medication was prescribed, I was told it would help. I took them, the next day I felt exactly the same with one exception, I no longer had the strength to move as before. I inquired about this feeling with them they said this is normal because the new medication was sedative/tranquilizer. Now I had the feeling of cotton in all my joints, a massive weight gain, a tight snowsuit on, fire ants in my bones and now feeling like I was being continually hindered by unseen forces. I decided for myself, recovery with medication was not working for my well being. One month of tapering off and I was done with it.
Hearing Voices Network and Peer Support.
One of my family members heard about an art group, drawing had always been healing for me. We went to the center, it was called the Western Mass Recovery Learning Community’s Pittsfield Center. There they held and facilitated peer groups of all sorts with openness to create almost any group people wanted, needed or desired. The folks shared their experiences with coming to the group like Alternatives to Suicide and Hearing Voices Groups. The Hearing Voices Group (HVN group) peaked my interest immediately. I began attending groups…