TW: SUICIDAL THOUGHTS, EATING DISORDERS, SELF HARM, SEXUAL ABUSE & OTHER SENSITIVE TOPICS
I’ve kept the title vague because I want people to read this. I’m done keeping quiet.
Over the last month or so, I’ve let little bits of me not coping show. Mainly on Twitter. But I haven’t been open about how much I’ve been struggling. I make out to everyone I’m in recovery, and I am in some ways. I haven’t self harmed in a year and a half. I haven’t purged in a couple of years. I haven’t tried to kill myself since September 2016. Actively, anyway. That’s a massive improvement considering I can’t actually count the amount of times I’ve overdosed. The first time was when I was 13, I think. I’ve blocked out so much of my teenage years that the bits I do remember are a blur.
The thing is, it’s never been this massive planned out thing for me before. It’s always been a reaction. I’d do something awful, or something awful would happen to me, and that would be it. I couldn’t face people ever again. The only way out was to die. I know that that’s probably because of my BPD and CPTSD. It was impulsive, I wouldn’t know what I was doing and before I knew it, I’d taken loads of pills and was about to have another painful 48 hours. I’d let everyone down. Again. I had to watch my mum be angrily proactive and know that she was angry because she was hurt, and I’d caused that hurt. That’s why I stopped letting myself get to that point; I couldn’t hurt everyone around me anymore.
I’ve been open about the fact that I’ve slowly learned to manage most of the toxic traits related to my mental illness, and I have, that’s absolutely true. I don’t have emotional outbursts that often anymore. I don’t get uncontrollably angry and I’m not as needy- in fact, I’ve kind of gone the opposite way and tend to isolate myself instead. Abandonment doesn’t scare me as much anymore. Instead of focussing on one person and loving them unconditionally, or what is referred to as an ‘FP’ in BPD terms, my dog Yogi has become my FP. I mean, if I ever lose him we’re going to have a serious problem, but it’s better than being needy with another human.
But as I’ve learned to manage parts of my BPD and CPTSD, my depression has become more and more severe. I may not have tried to kill myself in over three years, but now I do have plans instead of doing it impulsively. I know how many pills I have. I know which of my pills is most likely to be effective if I want to end everything. I’m not going to say which because I’d never want anyone else to be given any ideas from me. I know the exact time of day I’d have to do it in order to not be found soon enough. I’ve considered going away from home to do it so that my family don’t have to be the ones to find me. Because I’d never do it when I was alone with Yogi. EVER. And honestly, he’s the main reason I haven’t yet. I know that if I was suddenly gone from his life, he wouldn’t understand and would probably be mentally distraught as I’m usually with him 24/7. My family could cope. It wouldn’t be nice for them but they’d get through it. I don’t have that certainty that Yogi would.
It’s not just the suicidal thoughts. Most mornings when I wake up, I start off with the intention of starving myself or eating very little food. I don’t make myself sick anymore. Doing so for so many years, so frequently, has severely damaged my teeth and when I started getting work done to repair them I promised myself that I wouldn’t let myself do it anymore. But that doesn’t mean that I’m better. I’m not. In some ways, I’m worse. My eating disorder was always a way to feel like I had some control over my life when it felt like the rest of it was spinning out my control. As an adult, I know that that is completely wrong. I’m not control of my eating disorder, my eating disorder is, and it is not my friend. Knowing that doesn’t make it any easier to recover though. I hate eating and I always have. It’s a chore to me. I’m not one of those people who enjoys the whole process and I don’t think I ever will be. I eat the same things over and over, mainly because I’m in too much pain to prepare meals for myself, and I can’t do any of the things like chopping, slicing or peeling. Obviously I couldn’t stand for that long either. But it’s also because the foods that I know are safe foods. Unknown foods make me anxious. This is part of the reason that my transition to becoming a vegetarian is being such a long one. I can’t risk fully relapsing again, I can’t let it have even more control over my life than it currently does. But because I’m not completely meat free yet, and because I know I will never be able to be vegan, I feel even more guilt around eating than I did when I was younger and my bulimia was at its worst. All anyone talks about on social media now is how if you claim to love animals but aren’t vegan, you’re a hypocrite. You can’t care about koalas dying in bushfires and certain types of tigers and elephants going extinct if you aren’t vegan. And if you are hurt by the dog meat trade in China, you’re an even bigger hypocrite. I care about all of those things. I’m horrified by the meat and dairy industries, I truly am. But I’ll never be able to be fully vegan because of my stomach issues, because the only proper meals I eat are cooked by my parents because I can’t do it for myself, and because of my eating disorder. I understand why people are so passionate about wanting people to stop eating meat, but the way that things are means I’m told I’m a hypocritical, shit, evil human being every day because of what I eat. Which leads to my eating disorder thoughts spiralling and relapse only being an inch away from me at all times.
I absolutely hate my body. It goes way deeper than just my body dysmorphia. I hate that it won’t work properly for me and that it’s ruined my life when I should be working and enjoying my youth. I hate that the fact it’s caused me so much pain that I’ve spent almost all of the last year in bed has made me put on weight. Body positivity doesn’t feel like it’s a movement for me. I can’t see a future where I even like my body, let alone love it. It probably doesn’t help that I can’t see a future beyond the end of 2020 at the moment.
I don’t really cry anymore, only over animals being hurt (even animated animals), the people I love hurting and very occasionally over my pain when it’s really bad. I physically can’t cry even when I want to about how much I’m hurting, how lonely I feel and how scared I am because I know I’m going to die, and the truth is that I don’t want to. I just want the pain I’m in to end, both the physical and the mental. But because I can’t cry, it means that everything builds up until my brain feels like it’s unbearably full. It happened yesterday, over me realising that my mum had bought me a pot with a “grow your own mini herb garden” in it last summer and I still haven’t done it. I felt horrific and devastated over something that is easily fixable and not a disaster. I managed to force myself to go to sleep so I didn’t have to deal with those feelings, and honestly that’s what I do. When my pain is bad, especially my stomach pains as they’re the hardest to cope with, I try with everything I have to make myself sleep.
There’s a worse way that I deal with shit though and something I’ve sometimes been honest and sometimes been dishonest about- alcohol. I don’t use it to deal with my physical pain like I used to, which is a big deal really. My drinking used to be way out of control. I stopped doing it as much and fully stopped binge drinking eventually because I can be a horrible person if I drink too much alcohol or mix my drinks. I can be nasty, but it also really triggers my CPTSD and I have full breakdowns where I have the most real flashbacks to being sexually abused that I’ve ever experienced, horrific anxiety attacks and I spend weeks after dissociating. However, there are a couple of things I use alcohol to deal with, the main being the loss of someone who I loved in 2018. I’m not ready to discuss it yet really for a lot of reasons, but I’m still grieving and honestly, it hasn’t started getting easier yet. So when I feel the tears or emotion coming, I have a drink so that I don’t get upset. It’s really fucking unhealthy and I’m really ashamed of it. Even though I only have one or two drinks, I know that it isn’t the amount that’s the issue, it’s the behaviour of turning to alcohol when I don’t want to, or don’t feel able to emotionally deal with grief. I also tend to turn to it when my stalker re-emerges because it’s the only thing that makes the desire to kill myself go away, because it feels like the only way to get away from them.
It’s funny really how much mental pain and physical pain come together to really fuck your life up. Those with mental pain think that they can relate, and they can in some ways. But it makes me irritated when they try to fully relate because they don’t get it. The reason that I’m so depressed is because I was almost fully housebound for an entire year and still can’t get out much now, even though I have my power chair. I can’t do the things I love anymore because my body won’t let me. In 2018, I used to do a new makeup look every single day. I wasn’t as good at it as I am now, but now I’m lucky if I can manage to do one once a week, and that’s only because it doesn’t take any physical strength to create a look. It just makes my back, hands and wrists incredibly painful. I can’t take anti depressants because because of my health, my body reacts severely to them. The last time I tried to take them, I blacked out at the place I was working at the time and fell face forward off my chair. I felt like I’d been drugged for days. I can’t just go to therapy and talk about my shit because it isn’t going to get better because my physical health won’t get better- it’s just deteriorating. Normal therapy wouldn’t even work for me anyway because talking about shit just makes me really ill, and the type that would help me I was told I couldn’t have because I wasn’t enough of a risk to myself. Even though I know that people who don’t have chronic illnesses but have mental illnesses are in a lot of pain too, I wish that they’d stop trying to relate to me, and I wish that there were services specifically for people like me who are physically unwell as well as mentally unwell, because a lot of us have different needs.
I realised that I needed to write this post when I was trying to write a life update and I just couldn’t get out the words that I wanted to. I even wrote the sections I wanted to include out in my notes, but it didn’t help. I tried having a drink and then writing it, but again, it didn’t work and I just fell asleep. It’s become clear now that I can’t because I’ve been putting up a mental block on my feelings and thoughts, not letting anyone in, because I haven’t wanted to be honest about how much I’m struggling. I have this really strong feeling that I’m going to die this year, and whenever I’ve had these feelings over my animals dying it’s always happened. Because I’m stuck in my body that won’t work properly for me, it’s like I can’t even make an effort to achieve the things I want to before I die so I’m literally just sitting around waiting for it to happen. I don’t want to die, I just don’t want to suffer anymore. I’m lost. It’s like I’m not even a ghost of my former self as I can’t relate to that person at all. I know I’m never going to get it back and even though I know others can, I’ll never come to terms with that, and I’ll never come to terms with my life pretty much ending when I was barely 20. I go over it again and again in my head, trying to work out why this has happened to me, even though I know that bad health isn’t a punishment. It’s not being disabled that bothers me at all, I’ve accepted that and I don’t love myself less for needing a wheelchair and a walking stick. It’s the constant pain and the limits that it puts on my life that bothers me.
So I don’t really know where I’m going to go from here. I wanted to make a bucket list, but realistically, am I going to be able to achieve anything on it? Probably not, especially without help which I probably won’t get because barely anyone in my life gives a fuck. Thankfully, it doesn’t really matter what I’ve said in this because it’s way too long so it’s likely nobody will read it in it’s entirety. I had to get it out though and I kind of hope that someone does so I can stop keeping how much I’m struggling such a secret. I don’t really want to directly talk about it with anyone so I hope that anyone who does read this can respect that. I don’t know. Thank you if you have, I guess.