While I’m not sure what caused me to have an insane manic episode, I can tell you how it unfolded. This is just the beginning of the journey I took. The last blog post I wrote before my episode is here. I wrote that post at 3am and slept on the couch, sweating and tossing and turning throughout the evening.
When I awoke the next day it felt like any normal day. It started out typically. I drank my coffee with extra cream and sat at down at the dining room table to enjoy the music and pet the animals as they crossed by. I enjoyed a standard breakfast of eggs and toast, made by my husband. I felt like I had all the energy I needed. Even with little sleep, today would be a good day.
My husband turned on the music and I began dancing wildly. The mixture of energy and coffee made me feel exhilarated. Suddenly my stomach began to churn. I walked over to the sink and vomit began freely flowing from me. It did not hurt as it usually does, and the smell was intoxicating to me. I had never felt such relief. It was a cathartic experience. I hovered over the sink smelling it, something about it was unlike anything I’d ever experienced. I felt on top of the world, and un-phased by getting sick. I wasn’t sick, I was simply enjoying life – the good, and the bad.
I had plans from one until three o’clock. I had bought tickets to a talk on women’s vintage lingerie. I have always been obsessed with old Hollywood glamour and the beauties the graced the golden age. I had purchase tickets through my great aunt – the kindest lady you would ever meet. She is a petite woman, around five feet tall. She also has the typical hair of someone her age, a tiny round bunch of perfectly groomed gray hair. She is regularly awarded for her generosity and volunteerism. I’ve always admired her selflessness. I also had the added mission of picking up the big box of family photos. I had promised my father I would go through them and make copies so he could have them for his home in Texas. He felt he had lost all of his memories through the divorce and I wanted to help him get back a sense of his history, and his life.
At 12:40 I received a call from my sister asking where I was. I had forgotten our agreement to meet at my mother’s house and carpool together. I quickly got into my Mazda hatchback and sped down to meet my sister. I arrived with just enough time for my mother and sister to hop in the car and head over to the titillating talk. I would have to pick up the photos after the talk.
We entered the room greeted by handmade cookies and treats that some of the volunteers had prepared. The crowd was 90% over the age of 65 and they were very welcoming and excited to see some younger people. My great aunt smiled big and proud. I think she was happy to see us there, and excited to let the other volunteers know that history was still appreciated with the younger generation. I also saw someone I knew from High School and exchange a brief chat. We’ve both always had a fascination with pinup culture and beauty. I told her my name, “Look me up!,” I say with warmth and a smile.
The talk was about to begin when suddenly the woman at the table beside us shushed me and my sister because we were laughing during the pledge of allegiance. We didn’t even know it was going on. Sitting beside the woman was a smiling stranger. A beautiful woman full of gray hair and wrinkles. Her wrinkles are the kind that come from smiling.
The speaker approached the stage and setup her presentation. She was a distinguished woman, with a serious demeanor, and yet, she had a childlike curiosity about her. Her clothes were dark green and drab, she wore her hair in a medium bob. Her glasses gave her a professorial appearance. She was a modern day historian, and she looked the part. She talked about her career and her interest in cold cases. She clearly had a love of history, and the macabre.
The opening slide showed a vintage picture of what appeared to be a woman of the night. I thought I had seen the phone before, but something was different. I shouted out to the speaker “was her armpit hair removed?” She assured me that she didn’t Photoshop the image and didn’t know one way or the other. I just laughed.
She began her discussion with pre 20th century lingerie and undergarments. Much of it looked like torture devices and I openly laughed and had a dialogue with the speaker throughout the presentation. As she described the women of the times and how they would use such garments, I nodded. I couldn’t stop nodding the whole show. My mother later claimed my eyes were closed, by I saw everything. She moved on to 20th century undergarments. I no longer nodded, instead I made comments and answered audience questions. It was as if I already knew the material. It was all so familiar. She ended with the 1950’s era. When she mentioned the spray tan they used I couldn’t help but laugh. I felt like a woman of another era mocking “those crazy kids.” What were they thinking, I thought to myself.
The thing that interested me most about the talk, was one slide of the presentation. It was one woman. Frizti. She was a beautiful, risqué character, and she seemed strangely familiar. The speaker told us that Fritzi was alive in the 1800’s and very little was known about her, except that she traveled to Europe, and she was a belly dancer who performed at the Chicago World’s Fair in the late 1800’s. I immediately felt, this could be me. In my mind we both had the soul of a dancer. Plus, I loved Chicago. In my mind, it had to be a real connection.
I left the discussion feeling honored to have been invited. It was very fascinating and energized me. I wanted to learn more about the speaker and about Frizti. The speaker, now off the stage, was putting her things her briefcase. I approached her with a smile and told her how much I enjoyed the talk. “Can I have your card,?” I ask. She hands me her glossy business card and I thank her again. I turn behind me to see my great aunt speaking to the table that had been behind us. I approach her and introduce myself to the beautiful woman I had mentioned early. She puts her arm out to shake hands, “I’m Flo,” she says. I’m fascinated by her name because I had been reading so much about experiencing flow in life. Flow is when you are so immersed in a task that you no longer worry about time, you are just in the flow, creating and being. I give a warm smile and say goodbye. I give my Great Aunt a hug and head out to the car.
Following the talk, I headed home. On the way home I noticed the car in front of me had a license plate that read “CSLEWIS.” It seemed appropriate, given the fantasy world I was about to embark on.
I don’t recall much of the early evening hours, but around 6pm a dear friend stopped by. We talked about the material on my blog – the idea that god is in all of us and we must find our true calling. He seemed genuinely interested despite the fact that he is a Muslim and my views do not fit into any religion. I tell him I’ve been seeing shadows, everywhere. I had been seeing them out of the corners of my eyes, but never looking directly at them. I just let them be. They are a part of my vision, but they do not consume it. He sounds frightened, but intrigued.
He drew a picture for me of something he had seen in the sky. I was intrigued, and it led me to believe that people can experience alternate things, new and different realities that are just beyond the eye.
Just as we were getting into the discussion, my friend and my husband headed to a friend’s house to watch a sporting event. Alone with myself I decided to do what I always do – I turned on music and started dancing. I had been finding dance to be extremely therapeutic, and now that I felt I had Fritzi’s energy, I was dancing harder, more emotion, more feeling. I felt so at peace dancing to the music and feeling it in my core. Some of the music I was listening too was rather dark – rap music about Satan and death. It felt real to me. Raw. The music was either dark and raw, or light and inspiring. It all related to spirituality and life and death. Somehow in the course of listening to the music something changed in me. Something caught fire and began burning down my sense of self and my ego.
I decided it was time for the world to experience the love and oneness I had been feeling for days and weeks leading up to this moment. Twitter. I would tweet my messages to the world so that they could all see. I began using the keyboard as a Ouija board – not looking down, only letting my hands glide across the iPad screen. Much of it was gibberish but some real words came out. KFC. Eco. Big. #emailmarketing. I thought people would find my tweets and be awoken. I thought I was going to change the world through Twitter. I thought I was a mystic – suddenly seeing how we’re all connected. The world would hear my words.
When my husband returned home with our friend they could tell I was acting strange, but they didn’t know what it was. Soon it was bed time and I retired to the bedroom. I didn’t make it to bed. I stood in the doorway naked and exposed, in plain sight of our friend. My husband begins shouting, “What are you doing?! Do you know you’ve opened the door naked? TWICE!” I didn’t remember it happening twice and I didn’t know why I was doing it now.
The next thing I remember was sitting on the couch with my husband and our friend asking me things. I only had two phrases I could say. I would answer my own question. “Really?” “Shut up!” I said those three word over and over again. I also said “Holy Shit,” and I believed that meant what was being discussed was holy. Following my catatonic state I sat on the couch with my friend. He placed a pillow over my head and began reciting a prayer in another language I did not understand. I’m still not sure what it was or what he said, but it didn’t snap me out my state. I remember being free of fear and knowing it was part of life’s great plan. I felt at peace, not scared, not angry. Calm. Ready.
I don’t remember going to bed, but that night I had a dream. I dreamt that we were all one, all interconnected. I believed reincarnation was very real. It was as if I was downloading all of the information from the universe and sorting it out. All of the information from all of human history was being displayed right before my very eyes. I believed that everyone I knew was my muse. They all inspired me, and we were interconnected for this life, and for all of our lives throughout human history. Anyone I had met in this life, they were also a part of my past lives. We were all eternally connected, for this life and all lives. They were a part of my circle, as Laura Day described – they were the people who would make my dreams come true and vice versa. If they inspired me, I believed they would now be a part of my life. Deepak Chopra, Laura Day, Ron Paul, Damien Echols, they would all be a part of my life.
Everyone I knew – I now knew who they were in a past life. I believed I was God and that everyone I knew, they were the best of human history. Michealago, DaVinci, Poe, they were all people I knew. I believed my nephew was Jesus, my friends were Einstein and Vincent Van Gogh. That boss that tortured me – she was Pontius Pilate. My family, I believed, was filled with archetypes – my mother was Mother Earth, my sister – the devil, my other sister the yin to my yang, and so on.
I believed that all we needed to do was face our problems – which came in the shape of projections in our mind, we could travel through to a new reality, to a reality filled with love and peace. By journeying through the mind we would transcend reality, we would create a new world by using our minds. Each person would have to face their fears in order to transcend. If you were afraid of a bear eating you alive, you would have to encounter that bear and battle it with your mind, not with your hands.
My battle, I believed was with death and evil itself. I would have to fight the darkness inside me, and come out stronger. It was a lofty mission, and one I would fail at miserably.