Posts tagged “Psychotic Break

At the Brink

This excerpt from Chapter 2 of my Biolar/Asperger’s memoir of finding love shows the beginnings of a psychotic breakdown.

I feel the electric light glowering at me.  I look around the room in my basement apartment.  The men following me.    The phone call from Yvonne.  Nothing is making sense.  Obeah island witchcraft?  Danielle’s thing.  Danielle is the island woman.   The room spins again.  I feel like someone is watching me.  I feel someone here— looking in the window.

Jumpy thoughts.  Buzzing mind.  I know the signs.  Feeling the victim of a plot.  Fear of being followed— of being watched— of evil spells coming out of an inanimate object— panic—  magical thinking— paranoid ideation.  I have made the break with reality.  I have entered the deep, dark hollows of the paranoid’s world.  Terror!  I pick up the phone and dial.  242-6637.

“Hello, Dr.’s office.”

“Hello, may I please speak to Dr. Agostinucci?”

“Hold on a minute.”

“Hello, this is Dr. Agustinucci.”

“Hello, Joey.  It’s Ellen.  I’ve got to talk to you.  Can you talk?”

“Yeah, you got me at a good time.  I’m just in between sessions.  What’s up?”

“Joey, I don’t know.  I’m flipping out.  I can’t sleep.  I called Danielle last night and told her.”

“You told her what?”

“I told her what I told you— that I loved her.  And then she told me that she wasn’t ‘that way’.  And then . . . ”  I start crying.  “Oh, Joey, I’m so scared.  I mean it means that all along I couldn’t see reality.  I’ve been living in this fantasy world all this time, thinking Danielle’s in love with me and gay, and I’ve been drinking and drinking because I haven’t been able to sleep.  And then today I started thinking that spells were coming out of the elephant that Sundra gave me.  So I took the bus up to Columbia to throw it away.  And then I thought two men were following me home.   And Yvonne called me up from work and, Joey, I think it’s all a plot . . . ”

“Wait a minute, calm down.  You’re all upset!”

I continue.  “Yvonne and Danielle are in cahoots.  Maybe they’re both testing me to see if I’m gay.  Joey, I don’t know how I’m going to go to work tomorrow and face Danielle and face Yvonne . . . ”

“Calm down.  One thing at a time.  You’re overwrought.”

“But, Joey, I don’t know what is real and what’s not real anymore.  I can’t sleep and I can’t stop crying.”

“Okay, look, I’ll give you a prescription.   I’ll call in the prescription to the pharmacy.  They’re probably still open.  I’ll have it delivered.  Just give me the name of the pharmacy you use—  the one nearest you.”

“Uh . . .  I’ve got to look it up— just a second . . .”   I run to the bathroom to find a prescription bottle.

“Joey, it’s Rexall on 76th  Street.  The phone number is 663-7684.”

“Okay, look, I’m going to give you a prescription for Valium, 2 mgs.  Take one pill and see what happens.  If you still feel very anxious, take two.”


“Listen, I think you should go to work tomorrow.”

“Joey how can I?  I keep bursting into tears.”

“Look, the Valium will help calm you.  It’ll be a whole lot worse if you stay home.  I suggest you call the Health Service first thing in the morning and make an appointment to see someone.  Tell them it’s an emergency.”

“Okay, Joey, I guess you were right.  You always told me I needed therapy and I always told you that I felt I’d go to pieces one day and now it seems that day has come.”

“Listen, you’re extremely upset.  Take the Valium and try to get some sleep.  If you need me you know where to reach me.  And if things really get bad you know you can always go over to the emergency room in Lenox Hill.”

“Yeah, that’s right, I can always go there.”

“Listen, when I call in the prescription I’ll arrange for them to deliver it, too, so you don’t have to do anything.  You have enough money to pay for it?”

“I don’t know.  Let me see.  Yeah, I think I do,” I say as I scramble through my purse.

“Okay, look, are you going to be able to answer the door?   Or are you still scared of those men?”

“No, the doorbell only rang twice.  Whoever it was is long gone.  I’m not scared of that anymore.”

“Good.  So just wait for the delivery.  I’ll tell them to speed it up.”

“Thanks a lot, Joey!  Thanks for everything!”

“Okay, take care, get some rest.  I’ll call you tomorrow to see how you are.”

“Okay, thanks a lot, Joey, bye.”

“Bye, Hon.”

For information on the memoir see:  The book is also available on Barnes & Noble Nook, iBooks and Smashwords.