Threshold by Julie Bradley

At a threshold in consciousness
an opening unknown, yet sensed as vaguely familiar
and here now
intense fear arising – cold chill, sweating palms, pounding heart—
ego in a blind terror
of not knowing,
of facing not being in control
of mind losing itself!

Gut-feeling: “I have been here before!”
​and, in memory, it was dark, vast, all-consuming
​a total stripping of mind’s
​​certainty, stability, security
​ego reduced to its bare nothingness
​​exposed as the illusion it is.

Then, diagnosed and under the watchful eye of psychiatry,
​for a long time locked up
​​with an incomprehensible experiencing…

Now, awareness
facing annihilation of ego-identity:
is this a threshold of the liberation and peace I seek?

“insanity” or “awakening”?

What else really matters?


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Mad in America hosts blogs by a diverse group of writers. These posts are designed to serve as a public forum for a discussion—broadly speaking—of psychiatry and its treatments. The opinions expressed are the writers’ own.