Psychosis and the Environment

So right off the bat I want to tell you that when I had a loss of touch with reality it was very real for me, as crazy as that sounds. Some of you might wonder how I ever came to believe some of these delusions — and I hope to share all of them with you someday, maybe through my blog, maybe over a hot tea in a busy coffee shop — but understand that these were fundamental beliefs that I believed to the core of me and they guided all of my behaviours for nearly a year.

Though they do good things and help with a supervised environment and medication, the hospital can be the worst place for someone going through a psychosis, especially one as severe as mine, and I’ll tell you why.

The hospital is a very wasteful place. I would line up recyclable contents at the bottom of my bed and the authorities would say that I was living in trash. I insisted that I hold on to them until they could be properly recycled and I had janitors who I know were lying to me and telling me that these contents were being recycled. I would keep orange peels in a container and start petitions to have compost in the hospital. I would make art collages out of candy wrappers that couldn’t be recycled as a protest to the wastefulness. I donated Pringle cans to the art room to hold paintbrushes, and I used a smaller Pringle can to make a shaker filled with broken beads from the art room as a musical instrument.

I insisted that my family bring me environmentally friendly products and had a full blown panic attack when they used a regular Tide Pod in my laundry. I was given an Ativan and a “code white” and put in solitary confinement. I was HYSTERICAL. In that little room with nothing but a bed and straps on it — they didn’t tie me down this time though I have been at least 3 or more times before — I would sit on the window sill and sing out loud. I would watch the ambulances come in through the emergency right below the psych ward and I waited for the tears to calm down and to catch my breath.

Want to know something really crazy? Before my hospitalization I once held my gas in for three days because I thought that every time I let one out a bomb went off somewhere and the pain in my stomach got so unbearable that I had to be driven to the emergency room to get an ultrasound and nobody could find anything wrong with me. If that’s not a major delusion, I don’t know what is.

I tell you this to show you the extent of my mental illness, but I don’t think I was completely wrong! Somewhere deep down I know that the environment is in peril, and my delusions were only amplifications of this fact. I do believe that every day we are making active decisions that affect our planet. I have to shut it off and I can’t think about it too much or it makes me sick. I had a break down on Trump’s first day in the White House as he struck down all mentions to climate change on the WH website. I know that when I am more financially stable these are causes I will support full heartedly. I do my best right now and you better bet I use biodegradable laundry detergent, but I can’t afford vegan makeup and hygiene products. It shouldn’t be a PRIVILEGE to support our environment. It should be FUNDAMENTAL and so many of America’s other rights are being threatened!

So I leave you with this: Be conscious of where you put your dollars. Make informed decisions and do your best to represent the values you believe in. I used to donate to Green Peace and Doctors Without Borders and financial constraints and living on government funding has made that nearly impossible and not smart financially, but as I told them over the phone: I fully intend to come back when my circumstances change and I have not forgotten that promise

I have recreated for you something just now that I used to draw on my wrist every day while in there and thought I might get as a tattoo.

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Love = World Peace. Sometimes I would change it around and have “The World Loves Peace” but it was always some kind of arrangement of these three symbols.

I’m scared for the future, I won’t lie. Especially with the announcement of candidacy for our own tool of the Conservative Party right here at home in Canada.

I love you all so deeply, and I love this world. During my psychosis I literally thought the end of the world was coming in 2078 despite NO evidence to this whatsoever. I just thought it was one of those things we all knew but didn’t talk about. But that’s more for another day…

Love you babes, and love this world as horrible as it can sometimes be.

xo

Ashlinn

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