Overstimulation and mental hoarding; Saturday night.

Full, full, full. Overfilled. It is a feeling with no words to act as a launching pad for description. Full isn’t right. Racing? No. It hurts, it’s painful. There are things that need a way out, but can’t come out with only words. That may not come out at all. It’s the feeling that a blanket is wrapped around my thoughts, trying to contain them and keep them from taking over, but they push through the prescription medications like weeds – determined, aggressive. A sign of a problem, right? Weeds don’t belong? I wonder who decided something like that.

I have tried to remember how I became this way, when it started, if there was any way I could have stopped it. I don’t know. They’re sick of hearing about it – I think – everyone’s so sick of hearing about it. I remember feeling life in an overwhelming way from the beginning – all the lights, sounds, facial expressions, voice inflections, energy in a room, energy around a person, even an awareness of what a person was, what they were made up of at the core of their being. Intent to do good, intent to harm, intent to hide secrets. As far as I can remember, that sensitivity and intuition was always part of my life.

But when did I become this way? This way? This unwell, volatile version of myself? I can look back at my early teens and clearly see the moment I began to split myself, the moment I realized I could think one thing but say another – give in on the outside, but remain defiant on the inside. What a beautiful concept. Stunning. It still takes my breath away. I used it to live in our house, and sometimes I wanted to scream from the pain of my mind being torn apart, but it made me survive. It made me feel victorious. The splitting, that’s how I think of it. Maybe that’s when my mind really started to become something difficult to control. The splitting.

Is it the brain injury? Something went wrong after that – am I experiencing long term effects? It has been 13 years. Will I eventually lose my mind? Is this how it will leave me? One overwhelming day after another, until all the lights and sounds and emotions blot me out, make me disappear like a dark flicker in the sun?

I read about it sometimes, others’ theories on my mind’s experience of life. Some people say creativity, high sensitivity to surroundings, and high verbal intellect are seen often in people with mood disorders – but they can’t say that one is caused by the other, only that they are linked. As if madness is the price to pay for a brain that does more, or maybe not even more than others, but just different things than others. I only feel different, not superior, and not handicapped. Different. Like an alien. Alone all the time, trying assimilate to my surroundings, failing in the moments when I need to take pills, or get taken to the county psych ER. Failing when my husband looks afraid for me. Always failing.

Tonight my thoughts are piled up and blanketed in my head and it hurts in my mind – the strain of a day’s work. I sit down and wonder how I’ll survive feeling this way, which one of us will outlast the other. I am afraid that the mentally ill side of myself is the one that has kept me alive, and if I do away with her there will be no edges left to grip life with, nothing to stab at the cliffs and pull myself to safety when compliance threatens my existence. How can I medicate and destroy the wild mind that found a way to drag me this far? You don’t have to live like this, in their house, you can get out. I can hear Josh tell me this, how many years ago? So many. So many years. ​Why am I still trying to get out of their house? It hurts so much when I look at his picture, it hurts so much and I don’t understand why I feel so delayed, unable to move on, stuck. 

When did Fix You come out, I think, 2005? That song is 15 years old? I sat down tonight and heard it like it was the first time, because sometimes that’s what my brain does. It takes in stimuli at high, intense levels, levels that hurt. How can this song break my heart after so much overplay, for so many years?

Lost. Lost, lost, lost. Lost in my overfilled mind, like a hoarder unable to walk through her own junk, keeping it all just in case. Lost. Lost is the word.

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