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  • Robin Kastengren

The Reason They Sent Me Back to School, I'm Guessing

is because the mood stabilizers were coming soon? idk.


I've taken mood stabilizers voluntarily twice in my life. Both times with disastrous results. Mood stabilizers have been everyone's drug of choice for me because they made me stop asking for help and nobody ever knew wtf was wrong with me. Probably too ashamed to admit it, too.

Mood stabilizers make me feel sedated in my body and wide a-fucking wake in my head. You picture what that might be like as a young woman in her 20's who had absolutely no parenting whatsoever past the age of 14. Only people who kept her fed and medicated.

My brain is not presenting me with my 20s to enjoy on repeat like late-nite reruns, thankfully. You’ll have to use your own imagination here. I’m not willing to go looking for those experiences again, tysm.

But on the outside, mood stabilizers allow everyone ELSE to stop being uncomfortable. And when I complain about how I feel, they get to use words like "paranoid" and place them on me. That's called "projection." They are paranoid because they can see in my eyes that I'm scared to death in my head and I need the fuck out of here because scary things are happening to me out in the world and I can't seem to do anything about it.

But if they let me out, what will happen to THEM? What will happen to their diagnosis? What will happen to their pride, dignity, and agency as an adult human when it's discovered how long they've let this go on to me? Well, it's easier to leave those consequences with me is my guess.

I do not have a single shit left in my well-hydrated body for anyone who finds the above text paranoid. I do not like people having the freedom to violate my body out in the wild just so you don't have to keep looking for an answer that might take a few minutes.

Maybe it's the adult thing to do to take a breath after a catastrophic and terrifying event like this before shoving pills down my throat? I mean, I've certainly checked in with all my medical and mental health professionals to make sure I'm not in imminent danger, and Eric knows what to look for on a day-to-day basis should that change without me noticing, and he knows exactly who to call about what.

Maybe take a minute to let the ceaseless panic attacks calm down from the comfort of my own home instead of the terrifying hell that is a psych ward? An outside observer (who was not party to any of my terrifying texts or emails) would see someone with a mild flu who has to stop and think for a sec after opening the fridge to remember what they wanted. Don't talk to her, either, or you'll get stuck listening to about 4 hours of jumbled childhood memories mixed in with singing and dancing to the songs that went with them.

Confusing and scary for the kids? Absolutely. But they have a good dad instead of a monster. A dad who knows how to keep things together when the wife is ill and manage the kids' support networks to keep them as stable as possible.

Have any of YOU ever spent a few involuntary nights in a psych ward and involuntarily administered medication that makes you barely able to complete basic tasks with your body while remaining rather awake and terrified on the inside?


I don't want my kids to ever know what that's like and you can kiss my ass if you think I belong there right now. And the fewer people I have screaming into my face that I have bipolar disorder, the fewer panic attacks I have and the better my written words become. (No dice on the talking; more about that later.)

Call 911 if you're that scared. Do a fucking load of laundry for me while you’re at it.

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