Taking my own advice: 03 June, 2017

A. 3 things I need to let go of:

  • the resentful, regretful, and shameful cocktail I feel over not having lived a normal childhood, adolescence, and/or early adulthood
  • the damage of interpersonal debris
  • that no matter what I do, this body will never be “enough” for my disorders

B. 3 ways to let go:

A.

  • learn to value the lessons and experiences I’ve gained through my unique journeys. Journal what I’ve gained from my life and note what is important to me and what is of great importance to me and what has made me better as a person. Evaluate the strengths and traits integral to my identity and virtues because of my experiences and learn to see them for what they are.
  • perhaps give support groups a second chance and find others who have struggled with similar experiences in which they also have not undergone normal lives. Commiserate and provide comfort to one another in ways we could not get comfort from people who do not understand.
  • recreate some childhood, adolescent, and early adulthood experiences. When I get my GED, maybe have a graduation party of some sort. Plan a party for one of my birthdays, etc. Try to have a “normal” experience, even if it is a couple of years “too” late. Maybe it is never too late.

B.

  • stop holding onto irreparable relationships. Let go of relationships that are draining, toxic, or whose problems outweigh the benefits. This is something I am getting better at but still need to work on.
  • like with point A, try to value the lessons I’ve learned, the wisdom I’ve gained; try to seek the light that the darkness may shed. Write down positive things I’ve learned and positive things I’ve gained from my experiences, positive or negative, with people from my past, and how they have shaped me to become a better and more multifaceted person.
  • surround myself with positive people. Seek positive interpersonal relationships that help uplift and motivate me. Join Meetup groups. Start clubs, go out. Do things. Meet likeminded people who are kind and supportive.

C.

  • Focus on my health and take the numbers out of the equation: Try to weigh myself less, count calories less, and stop doing “skinny mathematics.” Instead, focus on getting the appropriate amount of fuel, motion, and love this body needs.
  • Try very hard to integrate this body into “my” body; try to feel united with it and make peace with it. Stop fighting a war against myself. Think positive thoughts. Post sticky notes as reminders in the mirror if I have to.
  • Be mindful. Drink water when I’m thirsty. Pay attention to hunger cues. Eat until I’m comfortably full. Eat healthy meals. Put good fuel in, not “junk” fuel. Do good things for myself.

Throughout the course of this entry, I already cut off my hOMETOWN. I’ve started on this. I’m doing this. I have to.

hOMETOWN blues (TW)

I know I’ve written about my PTSD before, but this is something I want to continue elaborating on because it haunts me in more than just the way of sexual trauma. I have let it ruin so many of my interpersonal relationships and have gone charging, barreling through red flags because of it. I have compromised myself more than a thousand times; belittled myself, pleading on my knees to the wrong people for things I didn’t even want. I am still so caught up in a cycle of self-abuse that it is hard for me to understand what to value, what to drop, and how to manage either/or.

I am deeply sad tonight. I have made a trip to the hospital this year already and have already relentlessly put myself in bad situations. Being assertive is difficult. Being honest and being clear are difficult, too. I am often, in many cases, neither/nor, but I am working on developing ways to cut through the bullshit and be honest and clear with myself and other people.

I still hurt a lot. My memories still hurt a lot. The wash of hopelessness once I cross that stateline, that pain of reliving every object, word, and trauma that had hit me and shocked me in that town.

My suicide does not look like razorblades or cocktails of pills. It does not look like a noose. It looks like a town in western Pennsylvania, made of bland, collapsing houses and trailer parks on grassy hills. At times, I feel like my suicide was sown there; handcrafted by the children and adults of that town, who tried to rob me of my dignity, strength, and love.

I met a few good people there. But while I was there, they could not unstitch the fabric that was sewn for me. Even after, they could not retrieve all of the seeds that were sown. Besides the sexual assault, other things festered in me. Ugly, gross, sad, miserable things. I felt hatred and loathing towards myself and the world. I did not have a normal childhood. The friends I made and in early childhood were sick people, and the things that happened in my childhood were sick things. I did not have a normal adolescence. I had no dates, was invited to no parties, didn’t get a job, didn’t go to prom, didn’t graduate from high school. I was, however, abused. I was raped. I starved myself. I self-harmed. I purged my meals. I attempted suicide. I was hospitalized. Out of those few good people I had met, every one of them had their own hell to go through, too. I felt really alone, even in the company of my own little “group.” There was one particular person who went to great lengths to help me, and she did, but I still felt so alone.

I feel bad, because I cannot make it there for weddings. I cannot make it there for funerals. I am not okay with that town. I am not okay with what the people there did to me and what I did there to myself. Every corner, avenue, and structure teems with horrors I’ve memorized and relive on nights like these. Every slam to my psyche. Every rock to my legs, every plush animal thrown over the fence, every threat, every rumor, every lie, every jeer and jibe and rejection and bruise.

I have not come far enough to really handle a recovery blog. Let’s just be real. I thought I was, but I’m really not. I tell all of you that this blog is part of my recovery; that I’m still recovering; that I’m still not where I want to be. All of that is true. It remains true. This blog is a work in progress. It is the story of my journey. Part of my PTSD is realizing how much power I have to relinquish to people and events to feel this horrible way, and to do horrible things to myself. That in itself is too much for me tonight.

Sleep well. Let’s make tomorrow a better day.

 

V.

The Why

Update 18/12/16 20:03: My friend is alive and okay. 🙂

It is 02:14. I cannot sleep. There is noise in my head and at my fingertips. Voices in different tongues, languages that cannot speak of happiness, where “happiness” has no dictionary wedge, no page, no meaning. I may have lost a friend tonight. So this will be about things I should have told him.

For those of you who have been reading my blog, you know that I suffer from chronic suicidality. I used to tell my therapists I have four “moods:” 1. mildly suicidal, 2. moderately suicidal, 3. severely suicidal, and 4. urgently suicidal. #4 is hospitalization. #2 was the most typical on an average day until April. Now, the urges are less violent, less loud. I sometimes get caught up in those four “moods,” but there are days without urges now.

Even so, every day, I have to make the choice to survive. If you’re familiar with mental illness, this may ring too true. I say “too” because this is a reality many of us must brace ourselves for each night we fall asleep. We have to say, “If I wake up tomorrow, I must continue the fight.” How hard it is to sleep when that echoes in you! It is even harder to get out of bed and face the day when you’re disarmed for the battle.

That’s why the word “why” and its answer are so important.

What is purpose?

Continue reading “The Why”

NOTE TO SELF (Read, reread, rereread, and rerereread, PRN)

Dear Crashing Me,

As routine in our illnesses, our moods will often shift like tectonic plates, leaving earthquakes and casualties and violence in their wake. Sometimes, these moods are forward-thinking, alight with possibilities, effervescent with energy, beautified by determination, and brave and faithful in goal-setting. Sadly still, however, they often brim with shrieking and violence and sometimes bodily harm. They’re the wingéd sicknesses crashing into the thin and delicate skin of our sanity, leaving potholes and puddles and shaping our landscape into valleys without mountains, destroying our interpersonal relationships, our wonder, our love, and our purpose.

During this, you must remember our purpose.

People who have not suffered these global quakes might take my description of them for melodrama; a self-pitying maudlin romance with our own diseases, perhaps. But you know better. You know what you are feeling at this moment. You know what you are thinking. know death and despair are overtaking you, accruing you like a stray and feeding you more reasons to be wild and untamed. Here, the term “broken” seems paradoxical, but we know what I mean when I say “broken.” Not “broken” in the sense of a monster of mediocrity, not “broken” in the sense of a domesticated horse. “Broken” here means “hopeless;” “unable to continue;” “lost;” and “better off dead.”

These crashes are becoming less frequent but are gaining in gravity. Have you noticed? Sometimes for hours you will weep in our bed, unaware of where we are or who we are, full of distrust, frustration, and confusion. You will confuse our mother with a prison guard and our body a jail cell. You will throw our things against the wall because you will not know if they even exist in the moment before the fractures.

I know what you are feeling. I understand. I am the only one in this world who can tell you this, because we are the only us in this place. You can trust me. I promise. Nothing is hunting us. No one is testing our responses. We are not hooked up to a machine. We are loved. We are treasured. We’ve been hurt–and brutally–to the point at which we can’t turn back, but we will be okay. We suffer because it is important to suffer. We suffer because we grow through our suffering. We suffer, because that is how we learn what we want to teach: Love. Tolerance. Respect. Honesty. Responsibility. Solidarity. Greatness.

I am happy we have lived this long. I know you aren’t. I know your mind is terrorized with the regrets of not jumping off the Hilton Hotel when you had a chance and not swallowing all of the pills in the cabinet when we were 40 lbs lighter and so much younger and so much more naïve. I get that. know. But you must understand: We are learning the lessons of who we are and what we are capable of achieving despite the bellies of the beasts we have had to claw our way through. There are monsters in us but also the greatest capacity for creating safe spaces that I’ve ever seen. We have helped so many people. We have touched their souls in ways no one has ever touched ours. Do you understand me? We have a reason to live because we have the tools and experience to give. We will leave the world better than when we came here, but we have got to get through this.

The depressive episodes are hard and heavy. Maybe not as awful as they once were. The psychotic episodes are getting almost unbearable. You see things in ways we cannot forgive or understand or tolerate. But do you know why?

I am developing a resistance to our depressive symptoms. Last night, we slept all late afternoon, and I still got us into bed early. I awoke early, despite wanting more sleep in the pursuit of rest I realized I will realistically never have. I got us to wash our face and brush our teeth, despite feeling like falling over. We were hurting and tired and we are kind of bored with the mundane goal-setting, but I set goals anyway. I cleaned the litter box and did some cleaning with the thoughts of living better in mind. Bored also with music, I made the decision to run while we watched Penny Dreadful. I chose to pay full attention to the poetry, expression, and cinematography instead of withering in the characters’ conversation of death. I kept running. I ran through two episodes. I made breakfast. I ate breakfast. I cleaned up. I showered. Was any of this easy? No. But it’s getting less difficult. It’s getting less difficult for me to take care of us. To love us. We have a lot to give to the world, and you can’t bail on it now. Not after all we’ve been through. Not after all I’ve learned to feel. We are sick, but we are not dead, and as long as we are alive, we are a part of this world, even though we feel we are not. Let us not be afraid.

The psychotic components of our disease are trying to tear us down. My defenses are getting tougher, and I am learning to fight off the infections of sorrow that break into us. The intensity of these new hallucinations and delusions present a new(ish) challenge, then. But I am not scared, and I want you not to be scared either. We are paving our way through the world and no longer is this world paving a way through us. Do you understand me? We are freer than we’ve ever been. I’ve got this. I’ve got us. We’re not going to let our diseases destroy us. We are better than that. We are better. We deserve to win this war.

Fight with me. In solidarity, despite our sadnesses and our sicknesses, let us be the hero of our story. You and I are nothing less than brave. That violence that is inside of us will be the determination that saves us. And remember,

you are not alone.

 

With indeed great love and warmth,

 

Happy Me

 

How to Start Changing

Examining Real Evidence

Ask yourself what your five most intense strengths and five most intense weaknesses are. With examples. Bonus points if you’re specific. I’m not in this instance of this exercise. Write them down. I’ll do this too so you can better understand the process. It’s some brainwork, but it’s worth it.

Continue reading “How to Start Changing”