I’ve told my mother several times before that scaring me even more does not in any way help me come out of an episode. I’ve told her that what I need her to do is just humor what I’m saying and work within the reality that my brain has created, which pretty much always means acknowledging the things I’m seeing or believing and taking steps to vanquish them as if they were real.
My mother has an extremely selective memory. It’s not often that she remembers something that she didn’t want to hear when I said it. It’s a problem and it leads to stuff like this–stuff like prolonging anxiety attacks and psychotic episodes.
In the end, what calmed me down (significantly and pretty immediately) was that after my mother left, Bragi and Þórr (Thor), the two gods I’ve sworn oaths to, stepped in and took over my own efforts to calm myself down, framing the help they were giving me in terms that my psychosis-affected brain could understand. All I had to do was trust that they knew what they were doing, and the ease with which I could do that was what made the resulting calm so immediate. The relief was actually so powerful that my whole body slumped in my chair and I started breathing normally again as I felt my tensed muscles begin to relax.
Þórr sat in my doorway holding his hammer in his lap, effectively keeping the monster that I believed was there from entering again or saying anything more to me. While that was happening, Bragi talked about calming things, beautiful and peaceful things I would experience later, comforting statements sprinkled with helpful suggestions, such as that if I were to try and move my arms, I would find that they were back under the control of my own brain and not an outside robotic force.
Bragi encouraged me without any sense of urgency or harshness. His voice was soft and he never once insinuated that what I was experiencing wasn’t real. He and Þórr simply talked me down out of my panic and into a rational state of mind where I could decide for myself that the bad things weren’t real, which is so much more empowering and comforting than what my mother did. And this isn’t even the first time something like this has happened, nor did it happen with the same gods before.
Tonight I am offering Bragi music because he asked for it specifically, and for Þórr, who said he’d deal with [telling me what he wanted in return] after I was okay again, I will be offering beer if we have it, as I’m fairly sure that’s what he prefers tonight.
TL;DR There are two morals to this story, the first being that the extent to which neurotypical people do not understand very basic concepts about not making mental illness symptoms worse is astounding, and the second being that having faith and trust in my gods, my higher powers, has had immediate real-life benefits that in this instance saved me from being further violated by involuntary hospitalization, prodding human bodies, and my own illnesses.
If you’re someone in close proximity with a person suffering from psychosis, or you’re someone who likes to discount other people’s religions and the benefits of faith, I urge you to think on that more from the perspective of someone like me.