Sunday, November 11, 2018

Paralyzed By Fear for Months, I Begin to Claw My Way Back to a Rational Life

-A Limited Series with New Entries Published Each Sunday and Wednesday until No Longer Necessary

Prepare for my most personal and vulnerable entries to date.

Stepping away from the embarrassment and humiliation of recent events, I will attempt to step out of the shadows that have been engulfing me in fear and identify a path back into my life in this new series on Pinky Penmark Blogs.

Welcome to My Fear

Until today when this entry is published, no one knows the full extent of what has been happening to me in recent months. I've kept the secrets in order to avoid confirmation of what I had already convinced myself--that I have experienced some kind of mental lapse, a nervous breakdown, or late-stage schizophrenia. 

Whatever a doctor might call it, I have been convinced that a padded room was in my near future.  I am entirely convinced that some period and type of institutionalization may still be looming on my horizon.

I hear voices at times, see shadows and/or spirits spiraling around me when I lay my head down to sleep at night, words and phrases and series' of numbers regularly appear on my walls when the lights are turned out.  Pictures on the walls have rearranged themselves and even ended up hanging in different rooms on their own. And this was just the beginning.

This is not a Halloween story. It is merely a coincidence that on October 31, 2018, I packed everything I owned, placed it into a storage unit and fled my home of 11 years in fear. 

What was happening to me was real. Yes, I have been operating for two years at a very high level of stress due to cancer and chemotherapy and everything that entails.  My family doctor advised me recently that high-stress levels can cause the mind to "fill in the blanks in an attempt to make sense of traumatic events and even induce paranoia at times." 

"I have no doubt that my state of high alert has given more weight to some simple coincidences, but the vast majority of the happenings I will detail were as real as the ground beneath my trembling feet."

Making end of life choices is no joy and neither is being offered sudden life when you feel like you have nothing for which to live. All I had been planning for was a death with dignity after cancer finally left me feeling lifeless. No one had thought to remind me to plan for what I might do should I outlive cancer. My Google calendar was blank.

Then there's also been an onslaught of paperwork and court filings and appearances due to a lawsuit by a supposed friend who regularly claims "we are family." She, although clearly capable of causing me a great deal of stress,  is sadly, probably crazier and more afflicted than I, in fact. 

No amount of stressors that I have been navigating for the past few years, however, could justify to me my mind's manifestation of the seemingly unrelated and "unreal" events that have been occurring around me.

My mantra until today has been:

"You have gone crazy, Robert, but it's okay as long as you don't tell anyone about it. If you talk about it, that's when it will become real."

I first acknowledged that something wasn't right in my world in August when the occurrences around me became too numerous to ignore. In this series, I risk breathing life into what's been happening to me, but my hope is to take its power over me away as I write about it.

With your help, I hope this series of blog entries will be a useful tool for me in the process of reclaiming my life, my physical health, and my sanity. 

I know that the circumstances that brought me here today do not define me, but I am convinced that the process by which I recover and identify a path out of the darkness is going to define the rest of my life. I hope you will join me in this process, share any similar experiences with me or advice you may have for me and help me illuminate my way out of the darkness and back into my life.

So, please, comment with your advice, encouragement, disbelief, or what have you. I believe that writing this series in real time as I recover, along with your feedback, will end up being my saving grace.

Coming Wednesday, November 14 on Pinky Penmark Blogs

Remaining Rational Amid Irrational Occurrences Became Impossible,...

and then I Discovered I  had a Stalker.

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