Madness collected by Alexandra Bălășoiu

Episode 1 / postpartum psychosis

I remember how I was sitting with my eyes closed when India was sleeping. I knew I had to sleep because it was my only chance to rest. However, I could not leave my mind. She was present and active, quick. I don’t remember what he had to observe, but he was awake.


At night, after everyone was asleep, I cleaned. I imagine it’s an elevated way to organize my thoughts.


I imagine it’s an elevated way to organize my thoughts. I thought that if I didn’t love him enough, he would break away from this world because he would have no anchors to keep him alive.


Denis’s voice, singing happy birthday or something religious, seemed to indicate to me a universal truth, a kind of divinity placed inside each of us that just needs to be activated, felt and expressed.


The letters each had their meaning, and the X in my name meant a meeting place. That’s what I thought I was.


In the hospital, I was looking for someone to recognize. Or more. As if the world there was a reduced universe of the world I know. A reduction in models, standard forms of people, which applied to those we knew in life beyond those walls.


When they tied me up, I felt like it was a test. I didn’t know if I should stay still and relax or escape. I didn’t know what the test was that I was being subjected to.


While I was locked up there, I didn’t realize that there was a world outside. I didn’t know that I wanted to go out, I didn’t know that time was passing, I didn’t know that I was a patient. I had no reference to the passage of time. The days and nights flowed identically because the sun did not reach us. Or I don’t remember it.


I went from time to time to talk to the doctors. I also told them about my ideas about lighting and they searched on wikipedia to understand me or help me. They were cute. But no memory contains the one who was supposed to be my doctor. The one who keeps in touch with the family, the one who decides how long I have to stay there. Did I have a conversation with her? Did he even try to reach me? It’s hard for me to imagine that he did it and failed so badly that I don’t even remember it. I didn’t know if I should stay still and relax or escape. Many girls from there have remained in my mind, but hers appears to me only after discharge.


I don’t remember a clear moment of lucidity and understanding that I gave birth, that Indie is my daughter, that I will take care of her forever and that she is a miracle. I was happy, I was in action, but I was numb and unconscious.


The healing sound, the sound with reverberation and truth that I heard that, released as if by me, I also managed to touch, was my path to God. Then all the sounds showed their meanings, articulations and ways in which they could be used. It was among the few times, if not the first, that I put energy, effort, and creativity into doing something irrelevant (placing stones). I was washing, sweeping, sorting and feeling like I was cleaning myself. I concluded that I had discovered active meditation. It was a movie I never got out of. Meanings, expectations, decodings were being constructed. I arrived at the hospital and did not understand: where is my ex-boyfriend, what should I do, who are the others? I began to search in them, to stir them up. I was convinced that there was a compressed truth there. Many people in the same man, common features, and similar looks. I wanted to save them. I didn’t wonder for a moment where I was. I never knew I was the patient. I was trying to understand what to do. Being tied I wanted to know if I should pull or I should stay. What was the test? What was the success? What was the scale I had to cross? Denis was in the red-haired “boy”. An actual girl, for sure. The hair color and the sparkle in the eyes were my salvation. They were my story of truth and happiness. There. Right there. The “boy” with black hair was the bad one. He would beat me from time to time, pull my hair and always stare at me anyway. I was afraid. I’m not sure I knew who he was. Maybe everything that didn’t work, maybe everything that pierced me when I loved.

Episode 2 / reverie and depression

A great sadness sat in me. It signalled the end of a fictional micro-history. I couldn’t be the artist, the choreographer that is wanted. I was just a secretary. A cocooned bunny hiding among the chairs of a huge place overwhelmed her. Every word I felt was addressed to me, every dialogue – real or from the show, was about me. It was time to die as an artist. To admit my helplessness.


Episode 3 / mix of sadness and ecstasy


Stateam in fata clinicii si te imploram sa mai astepti putin. I knew why I was crying. I wanted to confess something to you, but I couldn’t find the strength to gather myself to talk to you about what I was feeling. I entered the doctor’s office with fear of you. I was looking at you furtively, trying to show with my eyes what a danger you are to me. Then I would sit on all fours and cry, doing a kind of healing ritual. I thought that this is how my sins are forgiven. I felt obliged to pay for them.

Past continuous

I had lived illogical fragments that then seemed to contain the absolute truth. I didn’t know what to do with them, where to integrate them, how to understand them or how to forget them. I didn’t know when the tears or the abundance of energy would come over me again. The ecstasy of being or the pressure to admit resignation. Resignation from a role. O abdicare in fata propriilor mele asteptari si constructii.


Of all the states, the one in which I was under the effect of the pills was the least comfortable for me. I felt lost, empty of meaning and direction, without a trace of enthusiasm.


During the episodes, I was most often euphoric. All the banalities were filled with meaning, every look and every touch was an important fact in the history of the world and my life, a sign most often only partially translated into a bizarre meaning. If I wasn’t euphoric, I was full of tears. Dar erau lacrimile vietii, lacrimi declansate de o intalnire brusca cu realitatea, o detasare si o observare a ei cu aparent mai multa lucididate ca oricand. Like an unexpected head-on accident.


In the pill bubble, I didn’t know who I was. I felt betrayed. De ceilalti si mai ales de mine.




I spent a lot of time with these questions and stories. I wrote them, I read them, I rewrote them, I danced them, I said some of them standing in my head. Everything has settled quietly in me and I think that now I am ready to let them flow to the earth.


Thank you to all those who mirrored me without fear.


Thank you to everyone who took care of me patiently.


I thank myself for having the courage to address all this with both lucidity and unconsciousness. I threw myself into collective and individual work processes that would successfully dismantle the illusion of impotence. I created anchors in projects, goals, calendars and people.


Thanks to everyone who appreciated this effort.


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