Today is February 7th, 2012. Today I am phoning people and filling in forms regarding my new state of unemployment, sending a “coming out” email to my mum because I have reached the limit for secrets kept in one lifetime, trying to organise my EDA week schedule a little better as I appear to have agreed to about ten separate engagements, working on my next assignment for college, unfortunately due in during EDA week, and maybe I will catch up with some of the emails people have sent me over the last month or so. I am very sorry if you are one of those people waiting for a reply – I’m normally far more on top of things, but the last few weeks have been…interesting, to say the least.
But things are okay. I am anxious – particularly about my mum’s reaction to the email she’s going to receive later on, because our relationship has improved so much while I’ve been in recovery, and as much as it pains me to admit, I want her to keep approving of the way I am living my life. She is proud of me for doing so well, and after all the conflict over my illness it would be quite devastating to lose that. But the alternative is to keep living two lives, and that doesn’t work. I am not the sort of person who either can or wants to make that work.
The anxiety is productive. It is there because I’m making positive changes in my life. It’s not the sort of panic and despair I feel when I am trapped in what feels like an intolerable, unresolvable situation. And that’s how I felt five years ago. Entirely by coincidence, when I started my blog on February 7th 2009, it was exactly two years to the day since I had been admitted to hospital in 2007 for what turned out to be a three month stay, and the first of three admissions during that year. I wanted to write something to mark the third birthday of my blog, but before I can do that I feel I should also mark the fifth anniversary of that admission. I was so desperate and lost back then. I would almost say that you guys wouldn’t have recognised me, but I think you will. Even though I must admit I am slightly ashamed of the sheer amount of emotion and drama which somehow made it into the diary entry I wrote the day I was admitted when I was so unwell with depression, PTSD and the evils of venlafaxine, I am still in there – in the weird sense of humour and the nerdy asides, which given the context were rather inappropriate, although knowingly so.
For the perspective: here I am, five years ago today, in the diary I kept on a well known ED forum.
I am SCREAMING, WHY THE FUCK WON’T IT STOP?!
Technically I’m not screaming, because it’s 5am and my family wouldn’t be very appreciative if I woke them up by yelling the house down at this hour, but in my head…it hurts, and it’s loud, and it hurts, and did I say that it hurts yet? Because if I did, I haven’t said it enough yet – it HURTS.
I want to scream. I want to run, or cut myself, or get wasted, do something reallyfuckingstupid, self destructive not just in the sense of causing actual physical harm to myself but to humiliate myself, to prove to my tutors and the girls at uni and my parents and everyone else stupid enough to believe in me that I don’t deserve it, that I’m not worth it. That I can’t do it. That I’m not like them, I can’t be a normal, functioning member of society, I won’t make it. I don’t see how I can. It’s better not to hope than to be disappointed, so please, world, you’re confusing me, people aren’t meant to LIKE me, that’s the way it is and always has been, so make them go back to hating me and expecting me to fuck up and then I can relax.
Bizarrely, the brain is insensitive to pain. You can poke it with needles or slice it open with just the skin of the scalp anaethetised and the slicee won’t feel a thing. So to say that it feels like there is something in my brain cutting and burning raw nerves would be a contradiction in terms, because if there were, the neurons wouldn’t ‘feel’ anything. But if I did say that, and if it were possible to feel pain like that, that would be a pretty accurate description of how my head feels. There are spikes coming out of me. You can’t see them, but I can feel them. How can psychological pain feel so physical?
I just want to cry. I feel like I’m being held prisoner in my head – there’s so much anger and pain stuck inside me that I want to scream, I keep getting little flares of panic in class and I have to consciously stop myself from crying out, I want to cry and rant and rave and shout but I just keep telling people that I’m okay and I don’t know why, because I’m not. I keep catching myself rocking. It’s soothing, but not really something to do in public. I feel heavy and weighed down and compressed, like I’m walking through water. Everything seems to be coming at me from a distance, I’m removed.
It’s just depression. Just depression. I don’t want to be alive any more.
…but that would be a very manipulative line to leave this entry on, so I won’t, I’m adding the disclaimer that I won’t do anything about this feeling…I’ll just go back down to my class, sit there and try not to cry some more. And then I’ll go to the gym later, and that will make me feel more alive. And then I’ll have a shower, and my dinner, and I’ll take some diazepam and go to sleep. And then it will be tomorrow and there’s always a chance, however small, that tomorrow might be the day that things turn around. Maybe.
It did get better. I never would have believed it if someone had given me a run down of everything which would happen throughout the next five years, and where I would end up today, five years on.