Bittersweet.

For the past two days, I’ve been struggling with a horrible empty feeling. I was hyper aware of it today. I was teaching the little autistic girl, who is the sweetest, loveliest child I’ve ever had the pleasure of teaching. She needs a lot of attention and she is very affectionate, needing sign language to communicate, and she needs a hug to reassure her once in a while. She jumped into my arms today, pressing her cheek to mine and keening, and that hole was there, the hole in my chest. She loved me teaching her to dance and she loved spending time with me, and her simple innocence was so touching.

The world must be a very frightening and difficult place for her, but she has an anchor in her mother, and for some reason, she has found another in.my teaching. I felt like we understood each other perfectly in that moment- two girls who are cast adrift in life, and need support, find half an hour of solace in the ballet studio. She, with her lack of words and her sign language, and I, with my lack of sanity.

She is another ray of light for me. She just trusts me, and she doesn’t place conditions on her affection. Her mother said to me that since my sister and I have been teaching her, there is a marked improvement in her concentration.

It’s bittersweet. If I died, she wouldn’t have me as an anchor, but I know that I’m not a stable anchor for her. One day, I will sink to the ocean floor, and she will be left clinging in confusion to her mother, wondering what happened to rock her boat.

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Bad day.

Hi everyone… I’m sorry I wasn’t on here yesterday, things got very messy.

I hate my illness.

So yesterday was supposed to be a new start for me. I got out of bed, determined not to cut, got in the shower and got ready without a single slice on my skin. Mum drove me to my appointment and I went in, pretty nervous but nonetheless ready.

I wish I hadn’t got the memory I have. I’d mixed up the times and I had missed it- I thought it was nine thirty when it was actually 9. I made a new appointment, the disbelief and disappointment welling up, coupled with overwhelming panic and despair. I left the offices, knowing that I’d fucked up.

I had been setting a lot in store by this. It was only an assessment appointment, but I wanted to be on the first rung of the ladder so badly. I wanted to start getting better. I wanted to try and beat my sickness, but equally I just thought that this might be the start of me being able to stop living in my own head.

I ran away from the offices crying and ended up down a backstreet somewhere. I had left my phone at home so I didn’t have it as a distraction, and I was so sick and tired of wrestling with my own head that I just didn’t want to keep going. I sat on a wall, that emptiness filling me til there was nothing else left.

A rather strong reaction you might think, but I’ve been desperate to stop this for so long that it was a snapping point. I had a blade in my bag.

I was sitting there in the sun, several minutes later, no longer crying hysterically but watching the bright blood pour down my arm. And still it wasn’t enough. I cut again, the blade flashing in the sun. So deathly beautiful. I didn’t feel pain, and the first red drops hit the floor with such rounded beauty I had to slice again.

After a while I looked up, and there, across the way, was a set of train tracks. Oh how I wanted to go and jump. The slam of the train hitting me wouldn’t have lasted long, and I would have been a memory. No longer flawed, no longer causing pain to anyone, no longer the weak link, the disappointment… All pain would be gone.

I don’t know what made me do it. I got up, sat back down again, cut some more… There was an inquisitive fly that buzzed around my head, then flew away. I stood up eventually, bloody arm dripping a bit down my hand, and staggered into the street.

I think I’ve mentioned before how no one gives a fuck about a crazy girl wandering bleeding around town. This time round was no exception, even up North where people are friendlier. I was bleeding. I was freezing cold and in shock. I was flinching away from every man I walked by, and I was shaking obviously. No one stopped to help. No one even asked if I was ok. No one cares about a crazy girl. An old lady stared at me as I emerged shaking into the street, and when I was sitting on the wall, a guy actually watched me bleeding, blade in hand, and didn’t even ask if I needed help.

Walking back into the office was the hardest thing I have ever done. I had to actually go back onto a main thoroughfare to get inside, and people were walking by as my lacerated arm was still bleeding. I ran into the office, and the receptionist looked up.

She asked me if everything was ok, not having seen my arm yet, and I broke down in floods of tears at her kind, enquiring face, and showed her my arm.

She whirled into action, ringing people who could help, and gave me a tissue. I stood there, those awful sobs that rattle your chest forcing their way up, as she got me to sit down, and gave me another tissue to get a bit of the blood off. Eventually she took me behind the counter, and started the business of cleaning my arm whilst I spoke to a clinical psychologist. She was very calm and kind, and helped me calm down at least a bit. They were all fantastic in there, and after a while the prospect of A and E came up. I knew my mum was supposed to be picking me up, and I was meant to be ringing her to come and get me when I was finished. Instead, I was on my way to A and E, and I knew she would be so upset and angry. I hated the thought that I’d let her down so badly. Thoughts of the rest of my family, my dog, my sister, my auties and uncles, flooded my brain, and I just felt ashamed.

There was talk of sending me to A and E in a taxi, but I actually surprised myself yet again by asking not to. I said to them I couldn’t stand the thought of being in a taxi with a male driver, and I said to the receptionist that I’d been raped by my ex boyfriend, and that was why I couldn’t do it. Whilst waiting for the ambulance, the receptionist cleaned up what she could of my arm and kept talking to me. I was surprised when a family friend of ours turned up at the desk- he was one of the psychologists who worked there. He sat there, chatting to me, and after a while the paramedics turned up. Amazingly, they were two women- clearly they’d taken note of my anxiety. As I left, he wished me well, and the receptionist gave me a hug.

I was showed into the ambulance, and they sat me down and I waited for the lack of sympathy. After all, I was wasting their time, and I wasn’t bleeding to death. What a waste of space.
“Look what you’ve done to your beautiful skin!” the younger one said, and I had to laugh. She was lovely, and the two of them took my pulse and temperature, they bandaged my arm and kept talking kindly to me. I was wheeled into A and E, and I sat on an uncomfortable blue chair and waited.

I heard a voice and turned round- it was my mum. She flung her arms around me and said, “Why didn’t you call me?!” Tears streamed down my cheeks as I blurted out “Mum, I’m so sorry!!!” She just held me close, tried to warm me up and stop me from shaking.

I ended up in Triage, where they assessed my bandaged arm and my mental state, and my faithful mum was there all the way. They cleaned my arm again after removing the bandage, and then re-dressing it. Crisis team were called, and I told them once again that I felt suicidal. It’s true. Taking my own life still seems like the best option.

Life seems like it’s a long road with far more horrible shocks along the way than I ever anticipated. I never thought I’d get this bad- that urge to cut that much has always been there, but I have never been that low that I’ve acted on it before. Somehow I’ve always been able to pull back from that edge, and I just couldn’t. I was exhausted and worn out with fighting my head and my urges and my whole life, I’ve always wanted to keep on cutting, and that moment with the blade in my hand proved to me that when I think I have control, I don’t.

Crisis team are coming to see me tomorrow, and they came to see me today as well. They are tiding me over til I can see the psychologist on the 1st of July.

I’m really really sorry everyone. I have let you all down, and I have failed again. I am so sorry.

Abandon.

So, tonight, I was trying to act happy. I am really not. I wanted to let everyone around me in my family have one night where they weren’t worrying about me.

The last time I relapsed I was drinking, and the alcohol makes me feel strange. On these pills, I’m reckless and suicidal with alcohol, and I feel a weird compulsion to cut. Tonight was no different.

I drank my rum and I went insane.

Quietly, calmly insane.

I ran to the bathroom, razor in hand, on the pretense of putting my rucksack upstairs, and I cut. It felt like anaesthetic flooding my veins. The gleam of fresh dark blood on the blade was enchanting. I breathed, then promised myself more tonight.

Now I’ve sobered up again, I want to fucking die. Why is this such a godsforsaken struggle? And who ordained that my shoulders were broad enough to carry this?

I went dancing today, helping out at the school of an ex-professional dancer who knows me well. She was a principal dancer and is still completely fantastic. Her parents and daughter like me too, and the kids kind of hero-worshipped me. A strange feeling.

I can’t take their compliments. I cannot understand the children’s hero-worship. I don’t feel worthy of their praise, and I certainly feel half a dancer- I can’t jump, so now half of the repertoire I know is invalidated.

On my way home, I was wondering about how much my life has crashed and burned since this. Outwardly, to anyone else, I’m pretty damn functional. I do two volunteer shifts on a Monday: I dance all week apart from Friday and Sunday. I try so hard to be normal and functional that it leaves me, by the evening, exhausted. Completely drained. Some days I fall into bed and sleep restlessly; other nights I lie awake, trying to find something that will give me some sort of peace. Most nights I don’t manage that.

I’m sick of the charade. I’m sick of pretending I’m getting better, when I know I’m not.

 

The worst self-harm related thing I’ve thought of this past couple of weeks was when I was helping a friend out. She’d given me a pair of old pointe shoes to bash into oblivion (an exam requirement, called soft pointe shoes- supposedly practice for wearing pointe shoes full time) and I had the hammer, and wondered what it would feel like if I hit the back of my hand with the hammer as hard as I could.

 

For fuck’s sake, the thought of breaking bones makes me feel sick. So what the hell was I thinking?!

The psychologist cannot come soon enough. I need to talk about all this.

Words cannot explain how sick of life I am, how sick of myself. I hate the skin I live in. I hate the voice I speak with. Most of all, I hate the mind I have. I hate it.

I never used to want to overdose, but now I’m wondering what sixty ibuprofen would taste like.

Pre-crash mania

When I’ve written about being on a high before, I haven’t mentioned what I mean. I don’t do drugs: this is not a chemically-induced high I’m on about. This is when my brain, for some reason best known to itself, decides that I need a period of several months where I feel like I am totally invincible. I am deliriously happy, I am able to plan ahead and sort out contingency plans if things go wrong. I spend a bit more than I really should, I am sociable, I burn the candle at both ends and am so up for going out. I get speeded up, and I am promiscuous. I take stupid risks. I eat good food, and lots of it. I laugh a lot. I’m speeding at 2000 k/ph and loving it.

The problems start happening when I crash through the central reservation and into the wrong lane, my foot welded to the pedal. Life gets very frightening. I sleep even less. I hate how I speak. I know I’m going in the wrong direction and it terrifies me, but I have to keep going because that’s what is expected of me. But I am losing control, I’m starting to not text back, I don’t answer phone calls. I start to lose the ability to read and write poems and my appetite dwindles a bit. Panic and chaos sets in.

Then, I crash, and that is the start of bad things.

Struggle without an end.

Last night I was triggered as all hell and managed not to cut, but as a result I had sad dreams all night. I’m just worn out by this. I want nothing more than a break- one day where I can finally just be calm or a little happy without having to fight myself and without the dread and emptiness that is my constant bedfellow.

Yesterday I thought I was finally doing better. I felt happy, for fucking once in a blue moon, a spontaneous happiness that lasted all day. And now here I am again- irritated, triggered, and so sad that even the deepest of cuts might not anaesthetise it. I want to slice everything: I wrote in my journal that I wanted to cut my chest, my arms, my legs… Anywhere I can. I just need my anaesthetic so much. I don’t want to keep working through my emotions and breaking them down properly, analysing and then filing them away. My rollercoaster ride is full of broken tracks and loose screws. It is dangerous as fuck.

At sixteen I was taught how to deal with my emotions. Now I just can’t be bothered any more. That process absorbs more of my energy than dancing. It drains me; some sort of parasite leeching on my life force; a ghoul clinging on my back and pulling me into the ground. My early grave yawns: a plot dug by my own scarred hand.

I warned you that here would be dragons.