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Two-year anniversary


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May 8 will be my two-year anniversary of taking the LSD that gave me HPPD. 

I remember when I first got HPPD thinking the acid was just hanging around in my system, sorta like a hangover, and that I just needed to give it a few days and it'd be gone. Then days turned into weeks and after two weeks I started to get a bit concerned. I saw a local therapist who had no clue what to do with me and then I eventually saw a psychiatrist who tried to help me with meds which didn't work either. I remember, despite being in a completely surreal 2-D world that resembled a video game more than real life, that I was always hopeful. I thought even though meds didn't help me that there was no way I was going to let this condition beat me, that I'd recover by the end of the summer. 

Then the months just kept adding up, one after the other after the other. I thought at first six months would be more than enough time to heal, then nine and then a year passed, and now here I am at two years. And I just can't believe it. I truly look at the last 24 months and they seem more like a dream than real life. But perhaps this is because, thanks to DP-DR, it's as if I've been living in a dream every day. I even remember when I first got HPPD actually thinking I was dreaming when I was awake -- that's how bad it was. 

I've had classic HPPD symptoms this whole time: palinopsia, visual snow, DP-DR, brain fog, tinnitus, etc. Some symptoms, however, are far worse than others. Even though my snow is still fairly prominent I hardly care about it. It's the DP that's the worst, without question. Anybody who doesn't have DP symptoms should be thankful because I'm here to tell you it's a nightmare. I've also had terrible macropsia where objects that are closer appear bigger and my eyes can't really focus on them without getting double vision. Thankfully after two years I've made more than enough progress to be in a position where I can cope day to day, and in general I'm able to go about my day without thinking too much about my condition. When I first got HPPD I literally couldn't go a few minutes without noticing something. Human-to-human interaction was always the worst because not only did people appear lager and more surreal, but my brain couldn't handle back-and-fourth conversations, much less witty banter that I consider the foundation of my persona. 

I truly can't imagine anything more traumatic than going through severe HPPD. Trauma comes in many different shapes and sizes, but it's the severity and length of HPPD that makes it so unique. Even though I've recovered tremendously since first getting HPPD, even though I've run hundreds of miles, done everything in my power to stimulate my brain, entirely altered my diet and health, read numerous books on brain science and general health and recovery, and prayed to God even though I'm agnostic, it's just no match for HPPD -- not one single bit. And so I've often thought: This is not something we were ever meant to simply get over, to simply heal from after a given amount of time. This condition, whatever it is, is completely and entirely ruthless and stubborn and unrelenting. It just seems like a monstrous boulder that you can't move no matter how hard you push. Whatever it is that's gone wrong in our brains is really, really serious and really, really bad. Not knowing what's gone wrong inside your head and not having anybody to help you or tell you how to heal is a complete health nightmare, on top of the fact that it's so terribly difficult to cope with this condition on a day to day basis. I tip my hat to those veteran HPPDers who've dealt with this for decades. You poor souls are some tough sons a bitches and will likely never get the credit you deserve for having fought this day after day, month after month, year after year -- but I salute you, as do many on this forum. 

The phrase I keep repeating to myself right now is "I just can't believe it." I just can't believe this happened to me. I can't believe I'm still alive after everything I've been through. I can't believe this was possible in the first place. I can't believe, after two years, that I still have a long ways to go. But the good thing is I'm finally in a place where I can handle this condition. No, I'm not "recovered," but I've healed a lot and though I still have a ways to go I feel I'm finally over the hump, that it's mostly downhill from here even though I'll still struggle and have tough days. I guess after years of giving myself time to heal and understand what I'm dealing with I finally know. I'm one of those people who will take years to recover, maybe three, maybe five, maybe even more. But I still have faith, just as I did the first day I woke up in a totally different reality, that I'll one day be me again. 

In closing, I'd just like to say, to all those who are in the darkest place imaginable, darker than anything you ever even thought existed: keep fighting. Keep going. Don't stop. When you stop, you die, maybe not literally on a macro scale, but certainly inside, somewhere in your soul or deep inside your brain. I've been there, as have so many others with this condition, and I'm here to tell you life goes on. It gets better. And given the seemingly exponential development in brain science, you should have more hope than ever that someday soon we'll get treatment. Perhaps no cure for a while, but I have great faith we will be anonymous no more, that we will soon see our day in the sun. 

Sending love to all those who are in pain,

Keep fighting and never give up, 

It will get better, 

It will get better,

-- K.B. 

Edited by K.B.Fante
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