Saint Eric, Manic Episode

Manic Relapse, March 2016 (Photo from first year of college, 2008)

Around the two year anniversary of my hospitalization I had a manic episode that was triggered by weeks of stress and three days of forgotten medicine.

Something was after me. I had to run. I dressed in all black and filled a huge heavy duty North Face backpack full of clothes and toiletries.

Eric, I need your help can I stay the night with you? Eric is a close friend, trusted confidant and also my ex-boyfriend.

Of course, are you Ok? I have work tomorrow but come on over. Two years prior when I was in the hospital I wanted to talk to him. From a payphone I babbled my delusions. He listened patiently, encouraged me to take my medicine and checked in with my mom regularly.

You see, allegiance runs deep. We dated for ten years, falling in love when we were just 12 and 13 years old. Even though we broke up and got back together a couple times, we were dedicated. Finally shortly after college ended we called it quits for good. Stubborn as we both are though, our loyalty never really died.  A painful year of no communication passed before I asked him to be in my life unromantically. I needed him to be my friend. As it turned out, he needed to be mine too. Over the now six years since our romantic relationship has been over, Eric’s friendship has proven to be a pillar of stability for me.

The night of this manic episode I ran to him. I trusted him. He could tell I was stressed and sat on the couch listening to me for hours. He listed and tried to guide me through rational thought. For me ideas aligned, dots connected, the universe spoke in numbers. Energy was everywhere. At one point God and Jesus appeared to me in light form, brilliant and gold.

Eric was unsure what the hell was going on. He had never seen me like this. He laid me down and tried to get me to go to sleep. I tried but soon the Devil came for me. Dark energy pierced me from every side. Tortured, I sat up screaming in agony. My entire body was slick with sweat. Julia, just try and relax, you’re ok. Eventually I laid down and waited for morning.

By 6am I was plotting my next safe house and considering flights abroad. The dark forces had obviously found me. Eric couldn’t see it, he couldn’t protect.  I called a new friend who also happened to be aware of my illness. Much more experienced in the subject, he calmly suggested I call my doctor, he thought I was having a manic episode.

Not againOh no it’s not real. I called my doctor sobbing while Eric called my mom and his own parents. Soon everyone was there, supporting me.

Next I was home tucked into bed. My mom picked up antipsychotics from the pharmacy and I was asleep for a week.

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