Numbers.

3 attempts by the time I was 19.

2 hospital admissions.

Countless visits to EPS.

5 weeks of daily therapy.

4 months of weekly psychotherapy.

1 year of taking antidepressants.

I can’t even paint my fucking nails I have such shaky hands. But if I stop taking the pills that make me shake, then who knows what might happen. This doesn’t feel like life. Having appointments every week with various doctors and therapists. Having to go to the pharmacy all the time and ask for anti-depressants. Having such a volatile and unstable mood that I can only focus on the next 10 minutes ahead of me. This isn’t life. This is premeditated and scheduled being. And it makes me angry. I’m so angry that I have to worry about what tomorrow is going to bring. I’m so so so tired of keeping my head above the water, even when there are tidal waves crashing down over me. It is exhausting. I am tired of having to make excuses for other people. I am tired of the way people look at me, and speak to me, like if they say something other than hello I might go and jump off a bridge. I am tired of hurting. Whole body hurting. My head hurting, feeling like it is about to explode. How emotional pain quickly manifests into physical pain. This isn’t life. I am sick of people telling me that disorder doesn’t exist. I am sick of trying to justify myself for their naive and happy minds. I am sad, because to many people, what I am going through is not real to them. I am sad when people tell me to ‘snap out of it’ or ‘go for a walk’. I am sad when people project their judgement onto me. When they say that I am not trying hard enough. When they say I have no reason to be sad. I can tell you how hard it is to wake up each day, but I won’t, because you won’t understand. Can you not see my shame?

If I could, I would click a button in my head and live a normal life. I would laugh every single day, and smile at stupid things. I would be able to say that I’ve had a good day and actually mean it. I would eat my favourite foods and not want to cry afterwards or be sick. I would feel alive.

This is a broken record spinning around in my ears, but I won’t say anything to you.

Coming to terms.

I am realising that maybe I am going through the motions. I am realising that the space between my ears is just that, and not a permanent home. I am realising that maybe this is all there is, this unsatisfying and unforgiving thing that is life, that ticks by in seconds and hours and days stretched in front of me and behind. I am realising that there is no meaning to it. That it just is. That you just keep going, with no incentive at the end for completion, no participation certificate. Maybe it’s just because I have nothing meaningful – or maybe I do, but it doesn’t feel right. I’ve always wondered about that cliche quote, that when your life flashes before your eyes, you should make it worth watching. I wonder if that does happens. Maybe it’s all you get. I’ve been thinking that all mine will be is an empty room. I am realising that despite what you say and what you do, people forget. They get on with their lives and do their thing, and I can’t help feeling like I’m the only one in the world whose feet are set in concrete. That I am watching people leave, people smile, people love, people move on. And I can’t. And I don’t know why. I have tried so hard to breathe these thoughts out of my lungs, and relax my shoulders and look into the sun. I have tried to talk it out, tried to work out why I feel so goddamn empty, and at other times too full. I have tried to love and tried to hate and succeeded in neither. But at the end of the day there is no fucking certificate to say well done, and I keep thinking that people die every second and I will never have known their name. And that will be me one day. Just another hole in the ground. My mother will read this and ask if I’m okay and I will say yes. I might read this aloud to my therapist and she will try to say that I think too much. I’m thinking about taking a holiday, and I imagine myself in sepia filtered photos on a beach. But this is just dreamscape baby, this isn’t real life. I know that wherever I go, I go. Words and thoughts included. I’m realising that leaving this town won’t let me leave myself. I’ve realised that I can’t live in a picture. I live in a long movie, extended version, bloopers included and I can’t delete any scenes. So maybe I’ll just keep acting.

Forgiveness

I’ve been thinking about this lately. And I think part of growing up is learning how to forgive. Forgiveness for me, is catharsis. It’s soul soothing. Holding in anger and hatred and sadness will eat you up inside. And forgiveness is letting that go. I once heard a quote, I don’t know who from, that childhood is holding grudges, and being asked for forgiveness for your own sake, but that growing up is seeing it from the other persons perspective and forgiving them. I think the message in summary is being the ‘bigger person’. Sometimes, people don’t know how to forgive. You can show them how. There are things that people have said and done that I have held onto for so long. But what is the point? In doing that, you hold onto the past, and the past is something that you will never get back. So set it free.

Recovery.

It’s been hard to get my head around what recovery is. And I think that part of helping yourself is being able to identify recovery. And I think it’s different for every person. I decided to write a list on what it means to me – as a way to remind myself that yes, I am still here, and yes I have come a long way.

 

1. Recovery is asking for help. No matter how stupid you feel for doing it.

2. Recovery is realising that life is transient and ever-changing. You are too.

3. Recovery is forcing yourself to get out of bed every day and achieving something. Whether that be doing a load of washing or writing that stupid essay. Small steps.

4. Recovery is being proud of your scars. I think that mental illness is so stigmatized by fear. Be proud that you won.

5. Recovery is imagining a future. To quote the movie ‘Side Effects,’ “depression is the inability to construct a future.” Recovery is realising that you have the drive inside you to fulfill all of your dreams.

To My 16 Year Old Self.

To my 16 year old self:

- Your hands will not find happiness at the back of your throat.

- The boy that you fall for, and you will fall for him, will not be your last.

- Do not spend so long being sad, there is so much to live for.

- Anger will consume you. Let it eat you up and then spit it out.

- You have many blessings. Count them, put them in a box and say thank you.

- Stop hanging out with people that don’t care about you. So many more will.

- It is okay to be alone sometimes, but stop having conversations with the voice in your head.

- You are capable of everything. There are galaxies inside of you.

- Life gets shit and then it gets better. Keep looking at the stars and tell yourself that life is transient and fleeting. Make it count.

Love.

I have told two people that I love them. Both of them left me. Is it love after all, if you are unsure they love you back? If they leave you? Is love unconditional? Have I said I love you for it to become an anchor to get them to stay? I don’t even know what love is. I don’t even know if it exists. Can you still love someone and let them go, watching them love someone else? My parents said they loved each other, but they broke up. Is it still love if it breaks? How can you not love someone if you share half of them with your children? Does that mean you only love half of your children, your half? I feel like screaming out and asking for answers, but I know that I will get nothing back. I don’t know whether love is a continuum, from the first time you say it till the last, or if there are different periods of love, different sorts. I don’t know if anyone could ever define love. How can you define something so transient and fleeting? Maybe I didn’t mean it. Maybe I said it because it was the right thing to do. Maybe I lied because lying to myself is better than losing someone.

quote of the day.

“I can believe things that are true and things that aren’t true and I can believe things where nobody knows if they’re true or not.

I can believe in Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny and the Beatles and Marilyn Monroe and Elvis and Mister Ed. Listen – I believe that people are perfectable, that knowledge is infinite, that the world is run by secret banking cartels and is visited by aliens on a regular basis, nice ones that look like wrinkled lemurs and bad ones who mutilate cattle and want our water and our women.

I believe that the future sucks and I believe that the future rocks and I believe that one day White Buffalo Woman is going to come back and kick everyone’s ass. I believe that all men are just overgrown boys with deep problems communicating and that the decline in good sex in America is coincident with the decline in drive-in movie theaters from state to state.

I believe that all politicians are unprincipled crooks and I still believe that they are better than the alternative. I believe that California is going to sink into the sea when the big one comes, while Florida is going to dissolve into madness and alligators and toxic waste.

I believe that antibacterial soap is destroying our resistance to dirt and disease so that one day we’ll all be wiped out by the common cold like martians in War of the Worlds.

I believe that the greatest poets of the last century were Edith Sitwell and Don Marquis, that jade is dried dragon sperm, and that thousands of years ago in a former life I was a one-armed Siberian shaman.

I believe that mankind’s destiny lies in the stars. I believe that candy really did taste better when I was a kid, that it’s aerodynamically impossible for a bumble bee to fly, that light is a wave and a particle, that there’s a cat in a box somewhere who’s alive and dead at the same time (although if they don’t ever open the box to feed it it’ll eventually just be two different kinds of dead), and that there are stars in the universe billions of years older than the universe itself.

I believe in a personal god who cares about me and worries and oversees everything I do. I believe in an impersonal god who set the universe in motion and went off to hang with her girlfriends and doesn’t even know that I’m alive. I believe in an empty and godless universe of causal chaos, background noise, and sheer blind luck.

I believe that anyone who says sex is overrated just hasn’t done it properly. I believe that anyone who claims to know what’s going on will lie about the little things too.

I believe in absolute honesty and sensible social lies. I believe in a woman’s right to choose, a baby’s right to live, that while all human life is sacred there’s nothing wrong with the death penalty if you can trust the legal system implicitly, and that no one but a moron would ever trust the legal system.

I believe that life is a game, that life is a cruel joke, and that life is what happens when you’re alive and that you might as well lie back and enjoy it.”

 

Neil Gaiman

Grey.

I have never known what grey is. For me, there is only black and white, two shades. There’s never been any in between.

I either feel everything or feel nothing at all. I love everything about you, or hate you. I starve myself or eat too much. Sleep for days, or sit up at night with endless energy. Give you my all, or build a wall so strong, you can’t break it. I will exist for one thing, or fail to exist at all. Surround myself with crowds of people, or be incredibly lonely. Be intent on self destruction, or protect myself with every bit of my being. I have never known what grey is. There is no inbetween for me. I need to go around with a neon sign over my head telling everyone to stay away – because I don’t think someone like me can be loved. Can be tolerated, wanted. Because when I want someone, I want to hold them so close that they merge with me. And when they leave me, because realistically, they all leave – I will wonder where my body has gone.

 

Regret.

I feel so full of regret. So full in fact, that I feel like it’s bursting out of me. It’s what I think about when I’m lying in bed, when I’m at work, when I’m watching tv. It feels like acid, eating away at me. I’m trying to say hello to it, and confront it face on. All I want to do is accept it and move on. But I can’t and I don’t know why. I keep beating myself up over things that I did years ago. Stupid things, but stupid things that I decided to do consciously. I wish I could detach myself from them, so that they would no longer be mine. So I wouldn’t have to look back on them, and look at myself and see ugliness.

How do I move on? Maybe I can’t move on until I know who I am. And knowing who you are is acceptance. But I’m fighting a full blown war with this body. This unknown, unclaimed land. I’m trying to get rid of it, and kill it away with thoughts, and words and actions. But it won’t go away. It never will go away. And I’m starting to accept that it is what it is. This is real life kid. This is who you are, this was who you were, and this could be who you will be. I’m scared. I’m scared that if I accept this, I won’t have anything left. What will I have to think about? What is left to hate?

 

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