"You're going to die." Hands began to close around my neck.
My heart was racing.
Panic welled up at the back of my throat, my breaths coming faster and shorter as fear consumed me.
I could feel them. On my neck. The hands. Closing off my air supply.
"You're going to die."
Black. Everything was black.
Just as I opened my mouth to scream, I heard his voice next to me.
"So you want me to heat this up in the pot, here on the stove?"
I stared at him, my panic subsiding as I realized where I was.
"Um, well I burned some of the rice yesterday, so some of it is stuck to the bottom. You might just want to scoop some out-"
"And nuke it? Ok."
I quickly turned my back to him hoping he wouldn't be able to see the terror in my eyes.
There were no hands choking me. I was standing at the stove sautéing a pan of penne pasta, vegetables & sausage.
I was in my house. With my kids. With Bertski. Safe. The evening sun eased its way through the kitchen windows, reassuring me that nightfall was still a few hours away. It was light where I was...not dark.
As I gripped the countertop my mind swirled with too many thoughts and questions about what had just happened.
Did I black out? Was I hallucinating? Delusional? Am I insane?
I turned off the stove, mumbled something about needing to sit down and sank into the sofa, my face buried hands as tears stung my eyes and flowed down my cheeks.
"I'm not going to die," I heard a tiny thought whisper.
Instead of hands closing themselves around my neck, I felt arms, strong and comforting pull me in close as he sat next to me, holding me, rubbing my back slowly.
No words. Just silence punctuated by stifled sobs.
I've been hypomanic for 8 days. It's the longest episode of mania I've ever experienced. I usually cycle through it pretty quickly with it only lasting 2-3 days tops.
The first two days are full of euphoria, restless energy, impulsive compulsions, and racing thoughts. The third day tends to be where the racing thoughts become frantic, and I'm on edge; agitated and irritable. I lack patience and the slightest thing can send my anxiety through the roof.
But this time, it's lasted longer. I've been turned all the way up and moving faster than normal the past 7 days. Searching for a place to live and preparing to move cross country has had my mind and body on fast forward, propelling me each day toward the edge. I've had fun. I've enjoyed my family. Was spoiled rotten for our anniversary and I soaked up every drop of love being poured over me.
But today. Today it was too much. Too fast. Too loud. I was on sensory overload. I couldn't keep up. My mind moved at such a dizzying pace concentration and focus were foreign to me...so much so that trying to focus on things like changing diapers and being peppered with questions about the Bubble Guppies overwhelmed me.
My thoughts were erratic. Chaotic. Running together, and bleeding into one another. All over the place.
I felt like I was spinning. Out of control. Twinges of panic gripped me all day and I felt nauseated.
I reached out for support. I text Bertski. Called my psych. Took my meds. Got the boys down for a nap.
I even painted.
But it wasn't enough. By the time he got home, I could feel fear grabbing ahold of me but I had no idea why. There was nothing to be afraid of. I was safe. In my house. With my kids.
But as I stood at the stove finishing dinner, my mind slipped off the edge, time stopped, and I felt the flames of madness hot on my face.
On the outside I appeared to be functioning normally but on the inside I was being deconstructed, my mind completely unhinged for a few brief terrifying seconds.
I'm so glad his voice, his touch, his strength, his presence brought me back before I fell too deep.
He took care of the boys and dinner while I laid on the couch, crying and desperately trying to grasp reality, trying to comprehend what had just taken place.
"I just want to be better," I told him.
"You're getting there baby. You've been doing really well the past month. It's okay. I think the move triggered you. It's okay. You have support. We're right here."
I'm safe. In my house. With my kids. With my future husband and best friend.
It was just a moment of madness. Terrifyingly real and something I hope to never experience ever again.
But I'm scared it will. What if it does? What will happen to me?