It’s a shame I can’t be more consistent with my blogging, but I try not to be too hard on myself. My moods have been all over the place lately. Most recently, yesterday, I was paranoid, suicidal and dissociating to an extreme. Derealization and depersonalization became a constant. At one point my vision became blurred and I felt content to sink faster into nothingness, let my body go vacant. Wait for someone more capable to come and take over.
Have you ever felt unwelcome in the body you’ve always been told is yours and yours alone? The anxiety builds and my skin crawls, like I’m an intruder in this place and it’s real inhabit is ready to return. It’s an uncomfortable feeling to know you should be breaking through this shell, content to be weightless among a dense sky, brilliant and fleeting. But something went wrong, you can’t seem to break free. This heavy flesh weighs you down and you fear it will become your tomb. Each day your brilliance shines a little less, each day you pick hopelessly at this pelt, pinching, biting, scratching. Knowing it’s not what you were meant for. Knowing you are alien to this body and it wants you out of it just as much as you do.
Until one day you just stop shining all together.
Hello to all of you! I wanted to start off by saying that I am eternally grateful for all the love and kind words I received from you guys on my last post. Not a single one of them went unread or unloved. Thank you. <3
In my flighty and nonsensical mind I made a decision to start up a line of sugar and salt body scrubs that have a focus on good mental health. I’ve been doing my research and there isn’t really anything of it’s kind out there, as in a line of bath and body products that’s pro-mental health awareness. I’d like my line to evoke good feelings in those of us who are over stressed and different than those weird normals around us. For example, I plan on making a body scrub that uses calming scents and colors to use during a time of great stress or anxiety with uplifting messages on the bottles.
Would you guys, those with mental health issues, be interested in this type of product or would you not care about the mental health spin on it? Is it something you would buy? Also, I’m at a loss for a name right now so any ideas would be great!
I thank you all for your feed back. I’m definitely in an upward slant right now, which is evident by my incessant questions and sudden decision to start a business. I am praying that this time I don’t lose my passion as I always seem to. I’m hoping this can be something that holds my heart and my attention.
I am unhappy with myself right now. I can’t explain what came over me the other night besides that it felt as if another person stepped inside my head and filled it with rage. I remember fighting with my parents, but the exact trigger has escaped me, if I ever really contemplated it at all. Death threats were screamed and accusations hurled. I told them they were the reason I have borderline personality disorder, that raising me in a bar fucked me up.
My mother’s response? “A lot of people are alcoholics now a days, it’s not a big deal”. I don’t remember much after that either besides more blood curdling screams escaping my lips. I barricaded myself in my room, as if they would try to come up and check on me. Spoiler alert, they didn’t. And then it happened. I relapsed. In the past three years I have cut myself maybe ten times. I can’t account for the other ways I harm myself, as those are much more common place. I bite and scratch and tare and bruise, but I hardly ever cut. That night I cut myself six times on my thigh and jabbed a pin so hard into my wrist bone that it got stuck, twice. It’s still sore. I couldn’t really move it for an entire day.
The physical pain is nothing compared to the guilt and shame I feel. Shame that I suffer from such a strong inability to control my emotions. Guilt that I don’t try harder to hang on to my sanity as I watch it slip away. I just let go and let the rage boil my blood til it’s all I can see. Til I have no filter, til I’m spilling out every painful word I can muster up in my convoluted mind.
I wish I wasn’t me.
I have been a very inconsistent blogger, this I know. You can’t hold it against me though, I am very upfront about my short comings.
I have allowed myself to wallow in my depression for the past few days. Some may say that is unhealthy, but I find it’s important to let myself indulge in my misery or else I will constantly be anxiously fighting it and losing. I just need to succumb sometimes, let it wash over me. I have immersed myself enough for now and I am now ready to clear my head of negativity.
There has been some minor setbacks on my road to success and I am attempting to not let them overcome me. I have this voice in my head, I suppose it’s me. I’ve heard it referred to as negative self talk and it’s a bitch. We all do it, we curse ourselves a little after having that second slice of cake. When it comes to people with borderline personality disorder we do it so often and so viciously that it becomes more reality than our subconscious mind. When the stress becomes too much, as it had this week, a voice berates me on a constant loop. “You are not good enough” “You should just kill yourself” “Grab that razor and punish yourself, you don’t deserve to be happy”. It’s not pretty and it’s hard to control. It depends how badly I’ve fucked up, though my definition of fucking up is anything at all. I am astronomically hard on myself and I know it shows. If my outsides reflected my inner struggled I’d be covered in lashes and contusions. You’d see every little mistake I’ve made magnified tenfold on my self esteem, what little there is.
I am trying my best to go easy, I am trying my best to love myself. How do you go about minimizing self hatred that’s been boiling under your skin for two decades?
I’ve been thinking quite a lot since first reading the writers challenge on the daily press. It was something to the effect of an origin story on how you became a writer. I don’t actually consider myself a writer, just a girl with a laptop and too much time on her hands, so I thought it’d be improper to try that out. It did get me thinking of my beginnings as something I most definitely associate with, being mentally ill.
If my mental illness was a super hero secret identity of mine I’d be probably be insecure girl. Insecure girl, able to take your words and twist them into horrible slights directed solely at herself..in a single bound! The first time I can remember these amazing super powers surfacing was in elementary school. I remember being seven or eight and being remarkably paranoid, you know just slightly more paranoid than any other normal seven year old. It was extraordinary how quickly I could convince my underdeveloped mind that every other person in my classroom hated me and was quietly plotting against me. All super heroes need to have an arch enemy, mine just happened to be my entire second grade class. I have not so fond memories of angry outbursts and frenzied whispers to myself that I would leave all these awful people behind and change schools.
I never did change schools. In fact I stayed in the same school from kindergarten until my senior year of high school with roughly the same people I called my villains. Along the way my alter ego came out quite a lot. I barely had time to hop into a telephone booth and put on a costume before I was carelessly accusing friends of devising some sinister plot against me. Every one was a suspect and nobody was save from my wrath. When my chummy alter ego appeared I lost friends, I started meaningless fights, I cried in bathrooms and cut myself with the metal linings of pencil erasers. My kryptonite was everything and there was no telling when I’d change forms.
So there it is, the origin of my super awesome super power, being mentally ill! My dysfunctional powers include, but are not limited to:
The ability to make everything about myself!
The self esteem of a wet noodle!
The ability to cry and plead for forgiveness after spitting venomous insults only thirty seconds prior!
Amazing vision that only see’s the world in black and white, it’s really useful because everything is either all good or all bad. I don’t have to worry about that useless in between stuff!
A super cool and effective side kick that takes the form of a voice inside my head that constantly tells me why I’ll never be good enough!
Since first starting this blog I’ve spoken a lot about my depression, my mood swings and my personality disorder, but I haven’t really touched on my most recognizable characteristic.
I am extremely, very, profoundly anxious.
When I tell people I have generalized anxiety disorder I usually get a puzzled look. “Aren’t we all generally anxious?”. Sure, yeah, of course. I can’t imagine though that the world would function properly if every one was as anxious as me. In fact, it’s amazing I haven’t demolished civilization all on my own with the amount of neuroticism I posses. See, I have a constant sense of foreboding. I don’t think it’s possible for me to name a situation or a concept that hasn’t made me anxious. If I momentarily can’t think of anything that I’m worried about, well gosh damn it that makes me anxious. I convince myself that there is absolute doom approaching and I’m just forgetting about it. You’re probably thinking I’m being melodramatic, no one can be anxious about everything ever. Well, after careful thinking I’ve finally been able to come up with an example that expresses how very anxious I am.
You know how some restaurants offer you the choice of soup or salad with your entree? Simple choice, right? Shouldn’t affect your life in anyway, correct? When I know I am going to a restaurant that offers me this straightforward choice (you see, I can’t go out to eat before carefully studying the menu a plethora of times in order to avoid the anxiety provoking notion that I won’t be ready with a choice when the waiter asks) I will agonize over the decision for days. I once spent an entire week constantly making pros and cons lists of choosing soup or salad. To this day I am still haunted by the anxiety that I made the wrong choice.
Yes, I know..it’s a fucking soup or a fucking salad. My brain doesn’t see it that way though. My friends, this is what it’s like for me having generalized anxiety disorder.
In October of 2013 I started 100 mg of Sertraline. I had previously vowed that SSRI’s were not for me after a horrible year on Lexapro, but I was vulnerable. I had just lost my best friend and I craved something to depend on, something stable. With Zoloft re-arranging my brain chemistry I was able to make it through my final semester of college, with honors nonetheless. On the suggestion of my therapist, I continued taking medication after I graduated. I was in transition, it wasn’t the time to stop and I agreed with her.
After graduating from college I was hit with the apparently very common existential emptiness. I was not proud of myself for graduating or for having my grad school applications in. I was angry with myself for not doing so sooner, for not having a full time job lined up. I felt scared. I had identified myself as a student of psychology for four years and now I had no idea who I was. I felt anxious and unsure of myself or my future. I began musing with the idea that I should just end my life now rather than continue into uncertainty. This listlessness was compounded with a constant headache and severe migraines. It felt like my brain was merely held in my skull by cheap store brand glue and it was past it’s prime. Suddenly I remembered that I experienced these same headaches the year I was on Lexapro, so I made the decision to drop my Zoloft to 50 mg in a desperate attempt to alleviate the pain.
It worked for a while. The headaches subsided and felt happiness again. I am pessimistic by nature, in fact if you look it up in the dictionary I will be there frowning up at you. My happiness is not like many others, but it’s all I’ve got. This lasted for a month, perhaps it wasn’t that long. I think I was unhappy again for a lot longer than I cared to admit. My constant taste for alcohol and numbness went on for weeks before I gained the courage to see it for what it is.
I was no different on medication, in fact I believe I am worse. When I am not on medication I have no crutch to fall on, I am completely responsible for my actions. If I start drinking too much, if I start hurting myself, then I am forced to face these actions. On medication they don’t look like problems. How could it be a problem? I’m on medication I can’t be behaving badly because I am mentally ill, it must be normal. This must be normal because I am medicated and this is supposed to make me like every one else. This uncaring numbness must be how every one else felt. In the beginning of March I made the educated and well informed decision to taper my Zoloft to 25 mg. As of March 18th, the day before my 23rd birthday, I quit taking my medication all together.
The past week has not been easy, I can guarantee you that. I’m still experiencing the electrical shocks so lovingly named “brain zaps” and I’ve thrown up a few good meals. I have cried at the drop of a hat, I have felt apprehension and misery, but the biggest thing that has happened is that I have felt. I remember now that this is who I am. I am hyper sensitive, I am emotional to a fault, I love too hard and I worry far too much. I don’t want myself any other way.
I’m currently on a very special journey to being free from anti-depressants. Seven months ago when I started SSRI’s again after a three year break I had no intention of using them long term. They were merely a crutch, a fair weather friend.
Am I scared this choice will cause my brain to become overwhelmed, breaking into tiny pieces of well positioned glass severing the functionality of my mind? Of course I am. I have been down this road before. I remember my brain’s slow journey back into it’s own brand of normalcy. I remember almost being mowed down by a eighteen wheeler because my brain wouldn’t react fast enough to tell my body to move. I remember the anxiety. I remember the brain zaps.
But I also remember the beauty and freedom I felt being one hundred percent me. Knowing my emotions were my own, my decisions were my own and not some product of an altered brain chemistry. I am clearer off medication, I am happier. My intense craving for the constant companion of alcohol diminishes. I do not need to be called three or four times because I am in zombie land. No relation to the film. I spend less days perpetually fatigued, praying for the moment I can slip into my sheets only to find myself with eyes wide for hours.
I know I am making the right decision, but I can’t promise myself it will be pretty.
Have you ever woke up from a night of indulging far too much and sworn off alcohol for good, only to drink the very same night? Have you ever done this for a month straight?
I’m not sure what’s gotten into me. I can be a completely different person for months at time. Though I wonder if the starving addict is truly who I am and the dedicated sobriety is only the fevered dream of a mad woman. Perhaps that stable and put together girl hovering above her books, planning for her future, is only an illusion I maintain. Maintain might not be the correct term, since my mask is perpetually slipping.
I’m mixing medications, I’m finding it difficult to spend a night without a Xanax or a few beers. Most nights I allow myself both, just to be sure I don’t feel a thing. The days aren’t bad, because I wait patiently for the moment I allow myself to lose control. The moment when I let the anxieties slip away, the responsibilities, the care for my well being. My addiction gene is strong, perhaps that’s all it really is. Perhaps I am making excuses for my complete lack of restraint. When does this monster on my back become an issue? One I truly need to address, that answer hasn’t come to me yet. I still wake up every morning and I have been through these phases before. Ones where a sober mind is poison, leeching at my very soul. My blood turns to pessimism and my heart beats only for punishment. I live each morning only to forget each night. I lose my emotions in a muddle of toxins, silencing each doubt with another well placed sip. I sink my anxieties into a crater that lies dormant in the corner of my mind. Each morning they return with full force and each day I become more weary, less able to face them.
I contemplate how many days left in this body I can face.
I spent most of last night dissociated. I enjoy these nights, though I hate to admit it to myself. Hours pass in seconds, I’m absolutely blank. You wouldn’t guess there was a girl in that body at all. My body is boring..but my mind..my mind is expansive. I could live in there forever, eyes glazed over, body feeble and sluggish.
At some point in the night my boyfriend turned away from his video games long enough to reach out and touch my leg. I cringed, recoiled, pulled back. Hostility boiled in my blood, in an instant I was brought back into my sickening body. It’s painful to have to worm my soul back in between my anatomy. I stretch back into my fingertips inch by inch, my blood flows faster to make up for the lack of movement. My eyes burn from the long vacant stare, my pretty little world where nothing is real and I am weightless, where I feel nothing but a fuzzy warmth is shut out. My synapses fire rapidly, making up for lost time, shoving in violent thoughts, painful memories and suicidal ideation. The vacation is over. I am here once again and I am angry. I lay silent, slipping back into each vein. Then I fumble for my pills, benzodiazepines. Some times I can say goodbye to my pretty world until next time, some times I can let go. Last night I wasn’t ready, I opened the door back up with my chemical key and slipped into darkness again.
I find it safe to say I have a problem, but I’ll deal with it another day.