The Night I Lost My Mind


One night a few years back I lost my mind.

It was my first year of university. I was not enjoying my course, I had isolated myself from friends through a relationship with an individual they did not approve of, and that relationship was wavering across the border of psychologically abusive. I would stay up ’til 8am looking at junk on the internet, downloading etc. and then sleep until I just missed lunch. I wasn’t eating properly and I got down to 48kg, which for my height is really not good. A friend of mine along the corridoor had killed herself at the beginning of the year, and I felt incredibly guilty over her death in the way that suicide tends to make you feel.

My world revolved around this person (The Monster), he made me ridiculously happy and ultimately made me very sad. I was deeply unhappy. In what would become a theme of the years to come I would spend my time looking up the most effective and painless methods of suicide and scratch and cut myself when I was angry at my stupid, stupid self for once again believing his lies. It was easier to take out my hatred on my own body than to communicate with the other person.

I was effectively his mistress for years and years through two girlfriends; he would spend time with me before vanishing when I needed him the most. I was there for him through thick and thin, putting myself out for his wellbeing and his need for attention. I was sick of his behaviour, sick of constantly being teased with affection only for it to be taken away. I didn’t turn up for classes, I spoke to my friends less and less and I would imagine they looked down upon me for who I was seeing. Not that I was ever in a relationship understand, I knew I was important to him, but as he said to me once I was “not girlfriend material”. How those words haunted me.

“No, he is not so unworthy as you believe him.
He has broken no faith with me.”

“But he told you that he loved you.”

“Yes–no–never absolutely. It was every day implied,
but never professedly declared. Sometimes I thought it
had been–but it never was.”

Anyway, there’s the background. The night in question was a Summer Ball and the theme was James Bond. I spent a long time painting guns for us both, sewing a shoulder holster for him and sorting my costume (muy excellentay as per usual). So I’m having a good time, having a few drinks, people are gobsmacked that the messy be-combatted gal and the girl in slinky dress, suspenders and heels are one and the same, and The Monster is being nice to me.

I am going to go out on a limb here and say I’m not a demanding, high maintainence individual, but it was just a nice change for him to be paying me a little attention, even giving me a compliment. Whoa. So I am relaxed, with not a care in the world and I feel happy.

I leave The Monster and go back to my room for a few drinks with my previously isolated friends. We do shots. I have a few, but not so many that I am insensible. I tell them I’m going to change out of my outfit, so they leave and say they’ll be back in a bit. Now things start to get a little hazy on the recall…

I sat on the edge of my bed and stared at the junk-covered floor of my room. I sat, and I stared and then I started to sob. It just came out of nowhere; violent sobbing followed by a sense of detatchment from my surroundings. I stopped crying as abruptly as I started, changed into my regular clothes and went over to the sink in my room. I stared in the mirror at my tear-streaked face then roughly washed off the makeup and scraped my hair back.

I remember bracing myself against the sink unit and staring at myself, thinking how pathetic I looked. I picked up a scalpel that was lying by the sink (art requires such tools) and started to try and slice up the image before me, swinging wildly and slashing the artwork on the walls and tearing down my calendar- I was so angry. I can vividly remember half way through smiling at myself and thinking, “this is so stupid… such a cliche” before taking the blade up and slicing chunks out of my hair. There was a good handful in the basin when I heard a knock at my door.

I calmly put down the scalpel and unlocked the door. The Monster and some of my friends were there asking where I had been and was I coming up for another drink. He asked me whether I was alright and stepped into the room, telling the others to leave me alone for a bit and that I looked “off”. They laughed, and I got the impression they thought i’d had a few too many, and left. The Monster locked the door and sat me down on my chair. He asked me to sit on my hands… I remember one of my legs bouncing nervously up and down and me starting to cry.

He looked at the hair in the sink, scalpels and room destruction and went around the room collecting all the sharp objects he could lay his hands on and put them in a box on top of my wardrobe. He got out of his tux and into his street clothes whilst talking to me to try and calm me down. I can’t remember what he said, I just remember feeling really, really scared, like I had no control over my body.

I had problems with my hands- I can’t say ‘I made a fist’ because it honestly felt like someone else was in charge of me- my hand balled into a fist so tight that it was excruciating, then would spasm back whilst I grabbed at my fingers to try and stop the pain. The Monster would hold my fingers to stop them digging into my palm whilst I sobbed and shrieked that I didn’t have any control, was in pain and terribly frightened. He got me onto the bed and held me whilst I writhed around, having to kneel on my legs and put all of his weight on my wrists when I started punching the walls.

Next thing I remember was waking up in a tangle of duvet with The Monster asleep next to me, feeling like shit and incredibly ashamed. I wept whilst I surveyed the damage to my room and recalled the events of the night before. The Monster left soon after and I went back to bed.

My friends thought I was just drunk, and so did the GP when I went to see him a day or two later. He wrote me a prescription for a month of anti-depressants and said he saw a lot of behaviour like mine when he worked down A&E on a Friday night. I knew it wasn’t just alcohol and that there was something terribly awry; I knew I was severely depressed and I knew the causes behind the depression. I am greatful that The Monster effectively saved my life that night, but at the same time, I cannot help but think he was a major factor in my unhealthy mental state. I just couldn’t take it any more and cracked… The meds made me feel sick and didn’t do anything for my mood; a trip to Texas a few weeks later to see a beloved friend was better than any SSRI.

It’s taken years to be rid of my demons (mainly The Monster), and only now do I feel free. I was awkward and scared before I went into that non-relationship, and the experience hasn’t exactly added a whole lot of goodness. In the words of The Hurricane, “I have issues…”

I know I am a caring, giving individual with a heart who, if i’m going to be egotistical here, is of high value; of higher value than quite a few inhabitants of this planet. At the same time however, there are always going to be people who see the good-hearted amongst us and seek to take advantage- my problem is that I care too much. When not ranting I am pretty easy going; some people think I am childish and stupid, I’d like to think I’m not.

The night I lost my mind is something I hope never to repeat. Never done it since, and I can’t face going through it again. I feel happier now than I have in years- I’m doing something interesting and (usually) enjoyable, I may have very few friends but they are solid individuals one and all, one of whom tells me all sorts of horrible things that make me blush, feel mad and turn to goo all at the same time. I am female, so I multitask on that front.

Oh yeah, and don’t ask me what’s going on. Still don’t know. Frosty… stay frosty…

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