Dying

I’m crazy.

I thought for a while that I might be okay. I thought I was getting better and managing.

I am. I really, truly am. Compared to how I was, I am doing so fucking well.

But even when I’m better, I’m not. The thoughts don’t go away. The thing that changes is the immediacy; I am suicidal, yes. I don’t want to be here. I don’t want to live day after day after excruciating fucking day, I don’t want that, nobody would.

I spend every single day fighting the desire for things to fucking stop.

I do not want to live a life like this. I feel like a burden. I feel like the thing that holds back the people I love.  I feel like without me, the people I love would be so much happier, so much freer. My partner could find somebody else, somebody able to look after her rather than her constantly needing to look after me. I wouldn’t be the focal point.

I want to vanish. I want to stop hurting every second of the fucking day. I want to say “I’m okay” and actually mean it. Just for once.

Because I don’t. I’m never okay. I am never, ever okay. I am managing, I am coping. Even when I’m “well” I’m not ‘okay’, but I have lived and survived and even occasionally thrived while not even a little bit ‘okay’. I know how to deal with my life and my world while so not-okay it’s not even funny. I live my entire world and life and future knowing there isn’t a huge amount of it; I don’t see my life spanning that far. I do not see myself with a ‘forever’ and that’s the hardest thing in the world, trying to plan for a future that is not mine.

Now, bear in mind that I’ve drunk alcohol tonight. That anybody with half an ounce of intelligence will look at somebody with mental health problems and alcohol and go “well it won’t be that bad in the morning” but they do not understand.

It is precisely that bad in the morning. It is always that bad in the morning. I am just as close to killing myself the next morning as I was the night before, I’ve just had more time to think about it, more time to be subtle. More time to work out how to do kill myself where nobody can see it. Where nobody can interrupt or stop me.

If I decide not to, that is a success.

And every single fucking morning, I make that decision, and that is my success. Every. Single. Morning.

I make the decision to wait it out another day. I don’t decide to not kill myself, and that’s the thing I cannot express: my decision is not to stay alive. My decision is to wait. Another minute, another hour, another day, another week. I decide that I will keep myself alive just a little bit longer, and hope that something appears that makes my decision worthwhile.

And I live in constant terror that tomorrow morning, it will not be enough.

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Self Harm and Addiction

(Or: At Home – Day Four)

I had my support group today. It’s not therapeutic but offers practical and emotional support, and it’s useful for that. It informed me about a lot of options locally for help etc so it’s a thing I go to, and will do until I’m in proper therapy.

Today, I talked a lot about my personal experience of crisis, including self harm. I was told I was extremely verbose about how it feels being in crisis, which was a lovely compliment, and apparently I should do a TED talk on self-harm which to be honest, I’m now thinking about quite a bit.

Self-harm is often countered with the questions of ‘alternatives’. Ice cube, rubber band, felt tip. They’re admirable ideas, but don’t understand the full experience of self-harm. It isn’t just about pain. It’s about permanence. It’s about establishing your relative reality in a world that you’ve lost. You do it, it hurts, it’s there, it exists, you exist. The hurt reminds me I’m real. The permanence reminds me that I stay real.

An ice cube doesn’t hurt in the acute, breathtaking way that real harm takes. The snap of a rubber band is a sting on a finger, when you’re desperate for a stab in the heart.

Hurting yourself tells a story, acknowledges that there is no replacement but to hurt yourself. Sometimes, of course, it is attention-seeking, and that is massively important in itself. But often it is about no attention at all, or attention from yourself, or attention from anybody who will listen to your story. It isn’t about saying ‘look, I’m hurting’, it’s about ‘look, I’m desperate, and I don’t have words that cover this’.

I hurt myself when I’m in crisis, almost like a note for my future self, to remind me of where I’ve been and where I will be. It can tether me to a time and place. It is real, it is utterly and unequivocally real, when my reality is so often pressured: I am too emotional, too extreme, too raw, too up, too down. Hurting myself is a categorical statement of constancy, and I love and loathe every single scar for what it gives me (and what it took away, when I first etched them into my skin).

And sometimes, it really is just about pain. It doesn’t even necessarily imply self-loathing. Sometimes it implies nothing at all, but it hurts, and sometimes I need to hurt. Even in the smallest things, like biting my fingernails down to the quick because when I type, every single letter sends small shooting pains up my fingers and it’s cathartic and infuriating, and it’s not simple.

Like my eating disorder: I binge, and I throw up. I force my body to do something utterly wrong, something that contradicts every aspect of my normal world. It hurts. Bulimia hurts. It hurts everything from my bank account to my teeth to my blood pressure. Every time, it is physical and mental torture, and that is no exaggeration. I say this after thirteen years of making my body do things it desperately doesn’t want to do, after learning every comprehensive way to hurt myself, both transient and constant.

I cannot explain, to somebody who has never done it, quite why I do it.

Even when I’m well, I love and loathe every scar I have. They were vital when I made them. They are painful, horrible, excruciating to remember. They are ugly and they are immediate. They pose questions, even when I’m not ready to ask them aloud. I don’t believe I could have done anything else than what I did, but at the same time, I wish beyond words that I hadn’t.

I doubt I’ll ever quite be able to kick it. Once you’ve started, it is like any addiction; it serves so many, too many purposes to really let it go. Even now, I have only just brushed the surface of what self harm does, for me, and for others I’ve discussed this with.

No addiction is simple. No addiction can be easily understood, not unless you live in it. Many minimise it; alcohol gives you a high, helps you relax, uncomplicates things, gives you bravery, gives you peace, gives you a social life, gives you amnesia, gives you anything. Everything. Self-harm is another. Bulimia another. Addictive and wonderful and perfect and evil and awful.

I’m making peace with it.

And one day, maybe, I’ll even manage to beat it.

Stalemate

(Or: Acute Inpatient, Take Two – Day Six)

The psychiatrist who has previously been an absolute tool was quite nice today. Probably because my seizure scared the hell out of staff, plus I got my arm bandaged up from my last self harm venture via scratching and it looks hilariously dramatic.

Looks like I’ll be discharged on Monday. Sertraline has been increased, I’m not on carbamazepine any more, so I can start orlistat when I get released.

Big meeting occurring tomorrow which will dictate a lot of what follows this admission, I’m hoping for some straight answers and, God forbid, some help. Let’s see.

Anger Stays

Anger does not go away. It has been easier since my mood plummeted – and I’m sure my partner will agree – but anger still sits in me and festers. My anger has been turning directly inwards recently, and it was actually something of a relief to lose my temper. It shouldn’t be, but it was. For once I didn’t want to hurt me.

This is not, by any means, to say that I want to hurt anybody else, especially not my partner. But I am so, so tired of wanting to hurt myself all of the time, that yes it does come as something of a relief. And if that makes me a shit person then there we have it.

But hey guys, hey guys, I made another day. Day after day after day. I managed to get through another day, and my urge to kill myself is manageable and my urge to hurt myself hasn’t been acted upon. Hooray. Days.

God I’m so tired.

Considering Options

Today has been a better day.

It’s not amazing, but it’s definitely a start. I went to a flexibility-based class and that was fine, and saw my mother-in-law (almost), her partner, her brother and his girlfriend, and her parents. So some new people, but very relaxed and really nice to meet them. It was excruciatingly hot, but I coped. #copingwin

I self-harmed yesterday quite badly for the first time in a little while. In slightly less positive news.

I’m struggling with what to do, and how to get what I need. Let’s unravel this a little:

  1. I want to go onto an inpatient programme. This is because I’ve spent around 11 years in various form of outpatient, both intensive and otherwise, with very little impact. I spent six weeks in an inpatient ward two years ago, and that was the only thing that really has made any headway. Plus it was compounded by 1:1 DBT, which was undoubtedly helpful.
  2. The NHS are extremely unwilling to fund this.
  3. They want me to go through the rigmarole of the Complex Needs Team. They primarily offer MBT (which I’ve done before), psychodynamic psychotherapy (again, done) and cognitive analytical therapy. This is not to say they won’t work; rather, I’ve DONE OUTPATIENT FOR ELEVEN YEARS WITH NO EFFICACY so FORGIVE ME, but I think inpatient is a far stronger option.
  4. I cannot be left alone, at the moment. Eventually my partner is going to go back to work. And I am self-harming with her in the same room as me. I’ll last about twenty minutes on my own. I’m terrified of being looked after by my parents because I know full bloody well I’m going to get worse, and there’s nothing anybody can do about that.
  5. So, shortcuts to getting the NHS to agree funding. There aren’t many. I am going to talk to my GP to discuss my concerns, but I tremendously doubt there’s anything they can do.
  6. I personally reckon it’s about a week or two before my brain plummets me straight into acute inpatient. Which is a separate issue, but might play into the inpatient argument.
  7. Or I’ll end up in A&E.
  8. I DON’T KNOW WHAT TO DO.

Struggling

Had an excellent conversation with my partner, trying to voice some of my fears and somehow describe the things that are hard to describe. The difficulty is partly in voicing them in the first place, and partly in that it is indescribably hard to tell somebody you love more than life itself that you genuinely wish you had never been born. That you had never existed.

And more than that, that there is an increasingly loud voice in your head – not an unpleasant one, but one that seems so comforting and so kind, that lulls you to sleep and promises an end to the constant drowning of thoughts in your head – that tells you it would be so much better for everybody, including (especially) the person you love, that you were dead. Because they’ll heal. Because I’m hurting her more and more with every passing day. Because I’d prefer her to grieve and heal and find somebody who can love her and give her the world, rather than give her the mass of desperation and pain that I currently feel.

Every fucking second I get hit with a new intrusive thought. Methods. Cooking, and debating holding my arm to the flame, or just the edge of the pan so it can look like an accident. Shaving my arms, and pressing it too close to my legs. Sharpen the one knife we have in operation, and glide it over somewhere inconspicuous. Stash meds. Steal matches. Scratch my skin to ribbons. Another one hits me every single fucking second and I am so, so tired of tackling them, I’m exhausted, more and more so every single second that passes, even when I’m happy, even when I am loved and safe and cared for and will never be abandoned I still hate and love her in equal measure for keeping me going and keeping me here.

I am trying to internalise the potential necessity of needing to go into acute inpatient care again at some point in the (not all that distant) future, because there’s going to come a point where I simply get too tired to keep batting them off.

Deep breath, and here we go again.

Hopeless

I didn’t know my mood could physically go this low. I don’t remember the last time I was this bad.

There aren’t really many options. I firmly believe that inpatient- bearing in mind my extensive history of therapies – is the only intelligent option. I can’t afford it. The NHS refuse to re-assess my case. I have months of fucking about before it becomes an issue.

Although to be honest, this may get altered, simply because my mood is so low that I am seriously wondering whether I’d be safer going onto an acute ward. I am spending a lot of my time trying not to cry, hurt myself, or ruminate on suicide options. I am not quite dissociating – I fucking wish I was lucky enough to dissociate, which is a pretty frightening realisation in itself – but I’m just empty. I stare into space trying very hard to return to whatever is going on around me, to not drown in constant pain, and I’m not doing well.

My time is quietly running out. I don’t know whether I’ll kill myself (which I am trying desperately not to do, for the sake of my partner) or this pain will get so much that I check out mentally, if not physically. Where I reach a point of simply not caring any more, and basically become a shell of somebody that could have been happy.

I don’t know. Neither option appeals.