Over the course of my 100 or so blog posts, I’ve described a number of parallel realities that were existing in my mind during the time of psychosis. There was a the Nazi wartime scenario, the Satanic cult member scenario, the telepathic scenario, etc. All of these ideas about what reality was were ways for me to make sense of what was happening to me. Schizophrenia is often described as a split with reality – and I split. In many different directions. I’m going to talk now about another situation that I believed myself to be in at times during psychosis.
There was a time when I believed I was channeling a fallen angel named Isis. At first, I didn’t have a name for this being. She didn’t exactly walk up to me and introduce herself.
It first started the night after my high school graduation. My two best friends and I were driving around in a pick up truck, and my friend (who turned out to have schizophrenia) began talking about how she believed that she was a god. And that my other friend was a god, too. In fact, many other people from our gifted classes were gods as well. Then she looked at me and said, “I’m not sure about you. Sometimes you say things and I wonder…” I felt excluded from this insane (and fictional) god club and I mentally invited a god to enter my body. And while I didn’t consciously realize it, I immediately felt a shift in my personality.
I suddenly felt angry. Like I had been woken up from a long, deep slumber and found that my house (Earth) had been ruined in my absence. I was seeing the world through new eyes. I felt this righteous, maternal pull to protect my children (women, animals and nature), and absolutely annihilate anyone who threatened me or them. This anger felt like intense power. I felt tragically beautiful, and strong and dominant, And all of these feelings felt distinctly foreign to me. It felt like I was a different person.
If I could illustrate what I was envisioning in my mind it would be this: A celestial being fell from the sky and landed in my body. She stood up and looked around, saw the Earth and knew it to be what it was. And she said, “You will know my name. The world will feel my presence.”
This feeling of being a host to some entity came and went. It seemed to come out whenever I was in distress, perhaps as a defense mechanism. I often felt like I had been pushed out of the way. That I was resigned to the recesses of my mind as this being took control of my body. While this was happening, I also started to lose massive amounts of weight. So I really did feel and look like someone else.
I asked my friend (the one who was also experiencing psychosis) what was happening over coffee. I told her I didn’t know what was going on – but I didn’t elaborate. I just said I didn’t understand, but it felt like everything was different. It felt like the world was changing. And here is what she said to me: “It’s kind of like that Axe commercial. Have you seen it?”
In my mind, I immediately knew what she was talking about. And it spooked me, because it was exactly how I felt about the situation (at the time). The commercial we were both thinking about shows a ball of light falling from the skies and crashing into the earth, shattering the ground like a meteor. And a woman – an angel – rises and looks around with calm serenity. Then another angel falls, and another, until there’s ten or twelve angels walking through the streets. (The commercial then shows the angels confronting a man who had put on Axe body spray and smashing their halos…but that wasn’t the part we were talking about.) If you want to watch the commercial, you can see it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OqieLZ3UKP0
Eventually I made it to the hospital and I started to recover. Within a few days of being on antidepressants and antipsychotics, I no longer felt the being inside me. I felt happy, and gentle, and relieved…more like my old, human self. And for a long time I forgot that I ever thought I had channeled an angel.
Years later, I reflected back on those memories. I craved the sense of pure power I felt when she was with me. I wanted it back (without the confusion). I wondered what I might call such a being and the name came instantly. Isis. I felt 98% certain that was the correct name, but I wanted some sort of sign. So I went inside, turned on the TV and played The Daily Show. And that was the very first time that I heard about the terrorist group ISIS.
Make of that what you will. A fantasy story, a spiritual encounter, a tale of psychosis. The important thing to remember is that this Isis narrative was one of many storylines going on in my head at the time. I’m not making any claims as to what was true. All I know is that whatever that was – medication fixed it. And fixed it for the better.