Warning: This will very likely trigger anyone who is sensitive to the topic of self injury.
My depression has not improved, my suicidal thoughts have not lessened, and I find myself returning to the behaviour that has seen me through for over twenty years. I find solace in the touch of a razor on my skin. I find comfort in the blood. It is a sick and twisted little dance I do with my mind, yet it keeps me from going through with the suicidal intentions when things get this bad. Proof of my life saves me somehow.
If you are an adult who self injures, please know you are not alone. Emphasis is always placed on teenagers, especially teen girls, but there are many people who continue with SI or even start it long after the teen years. It’s not talked about, because most of us are so ashamed of what we do. I couldn’t talk about it without the anonymity of this blog. If you want to talk about the issue, please leave a comment or email me. I will not discuss pro-self injury topics, and I’m not at all qualified to give mental health advice. If what you need is someone to share your suffering, though, I can be there for that.
It’s January. The start of a new year, full of promise and hope. So where does this leave me? Mildly suicidal and horrendously depressed. It started yesterday and has just continued to get worse over time.
It occurred to me that, whilst I am perfectly happy to spend the rest of my life at the side of my best friend, he might well wish to spend the rest of his life at the side of an actual romantic partner. My head spun as I realised that things could change in a major way. My entire lifestyle could be smashed. It would be a good thing for my best friend, and I would never begrudge him of that. I would just miss being centre stage in his life as opposed to an understudy. I like us as us. Not a couple, but definitely a unit.
So I recognise that part of this is situational; my big realisation isn’t helping my low mood. I realise, as well, though, that this is a bipolar depression. The sun is dimmer. That’s a sure sign to me that I am falling in to an episode. The sun looks noticeably dimmer even high in the sky. In short, I am depressed.
Fortunately, I see my therapist later this week. We will talk through my realisation, talk through the suicidal feelings, and make a plan for coping with it all. She’s patient but firm, and I know I can hold on long enough to make this happen.
This week has been great. I have worked many hours, completed student loan repayment applications, kept up with household chores, and generally felt well mentally. This has all happened for the first time in months, and it leaves me wondering where my mood has been. I feel good right now. I can concentrate again, and life doesn’t seem so overwhelming. I’m grateful for whatever shift has happened.
The one dark spot in this is that I have obviously been having mood issues without being aware of them. I’m usually good at picking up on mood symptoms and dealing with them before things get bad. The recent manic episode must have split what has been a months-long depressive episode. That’s all I can think of. Depression causes that soul-sucking overwhelm and inability to concentrate. I didn’t particularly feel depressed, but apparently, my mind was acting in depressed mode.
Whatever it was, I’m just happy it has passed. Does anyone else out there have mood episodes that you only see in hindsight?
I’ve been cycling. As a matter of fact, I’m still on the downswing. It started with hypomania that I didn’t even recognise. My therapist pointed it out to me. This went on for roughly two weeks (which is why I haven’t posted). My thoughts raced madly, and I wanted everyone to shut it so I could keep talking. *Nothing* moved fast enough.
From there, the mixed state set in. The latest DSM did away with mixed episodes. The disorder, on the other hand, did not. This is the dangerous stage for me. All the despair and suicidal ideation of depression with all the energy of mania. I had racing dark thoughts. I didn’t want to talk anymore because I didn’t want anyone to get in my head. My paranoia shot up. *Everything* was dangerous.
Now I’ve fallen in to a light depression. It’s inconvenient and uncomfortable, but I feel I can cope with it safely. If not, I’ll definitely phone up my therapist. This completes my cycle, though. A couple of weeks of mania, followed by a week or so mixed, followed by sometimes months of depression. Here’s hoping this stage passes as quickly and as easily as possible.
My thoughts have been going down that road all weekend, and it’s dangerous. I look back on certain situations in my past and wonder how they might have turned out if x had or hadn’t happened. This is futile at best and dangerous at worst. A decade ago, something happened in my life that lost me quite a few friends. It’s been an entire bloody decade, and the thought of it still floors me. I felt I had everything going for me. Then, one person and one event tore it all down. The logical part of me realises that means it simply wasn’t meant to be. The emotional part of me wants to stamp my feet and demand the chances back again.
This has left me quite depressed. I’m not suicidal, but I keep having these fleeting thoughts like ‘what would happen if I just slit my wrists.’ Maybe I just want a visible indication of how I feel whilst the smile sits on my face. I wish I could somehow communicate to someone exactly how miserable I feel, but trauma dictates that I keep smiling and avoid bothering people. Therapy this week. Hopefully, I’ll drop the facade there and actually process this stuff. In the meantime, I shall sit here typing away and trying to stay in the present. The past is just so hard to resist.
I’ve been in a bipolar depressive episode for five weeks with about two days’ reprieve. Things are black. The sun doesn’t even look bright. I’m so tired of feeling like this. My doctor is trying me on an anti-depressant with the thought that the potential for a manic episode is not worth letting the depressive episode carry on like this. In the meantime, *everything* is falling apart. I got in trouble at work, gained weight I’d lost, and just generally stopped caring enough to take care of myself.
This lands me where I am today. I feel disgusting inside and out. My disordered eating patterns are back. The self-injurious behaviour is back. I just generally don’t care what happens to my body right now. My mind is too far from settled to give it thought.
I stay around for those I love and those who love me back. I stay for my cats who are my little furry children. I stay for my family-of-choice who I couldn’t hurt the way being a survivor of suicide does. I’m just tired of staying right now.
I came home unexpectedly today. A few nights ago, I woke up unexpectedly in hospital after having taken what I thought was a fatal overdose. The combination of a lengthy depressive episode and a bad living situation that I can’t escape got to be too much for me, and I attempted to end my life. Yet now I’m here, typing a blog post I never thought I’d write on a day I never thought I’d see.
Even though the attempt didn’t work, I hurt a great deal of people. Most of all, I hurt my FOC. These are the people who taught me family and who expect me to be there for them. I let them down, and I’ll have to live with that. How do you apologise enough? How do you win back the trust of those who never deserved to be put in this situation? How do you learn to live with the guilt? I’m wrestling with these questions now. Nothing I can do will make up for what I put people through, but I’ll do my best.
There’s also therapy– loads of it. I’m having daily sessions, at least by phone, and working hard at setting things right. It will take a while; I’m not completely happy to be here yet. I can, however, say that I’m not a danger to myself. My therapist told me to hold on to the feeling of pain brought on by putting my FOC through this, and that is a great motivator for staying alive. In the past, it’s always been enough to see me through. This time, however, my current situation won out. My FOC do *not* deserve this.
I’m not sure how to move forward from here. Slowly, of course, but the path is unclear. I’ve given my word to two of the most important people in my FOC for the first time, and I keep my word. Suicide is no longer an option. In a strange sense, that leaves me feeling helpless. What can I do if things get to be too much again? That question might well go unanswered for a bit. Much therapy yet to come.
So I’m here. And I’m working on it. For now, that’s all I can do.
Everything feels unreal to me at the moment. The holiday season is so bittersweet, and whilst I’ve had a few triumphs this year, I still feel overwhelmed by it all. I’m really trying this year, but I truly do not feel connected to a single person, pet, deity, or object. I feel like I’ve settled in to nothingness. On the outside, things look fine. I function as I always have, stand in for friends when they need me, and take care of all the practical things that make a life. Inside, though, I feel a sense of blackness and nonexistence that’s so deep it’s almost an ache. Whatever this is, I just hope it passes soon.
I spent most of September in the haze of mania and depression, sometimes mixing the two. In fact, a great deal of the month is a blur. What stands out clearly is the fear, darkness, and complete overwhelm that followed me through rapid cycling and a meds change. Now, thankfully, I’m pulling out. I still feel somewhat timid and afraid, worried that the next step will take me back down *that* path. I’m also very easily triggered right now and trying to be careful in those terms. It’s hard when the world is filled with such bad news, though. I’m grasping at straws, albeit with more ease, at the moment and crawling out one more time. Hopefully, that means I’ll blog with more regularity again. Thanks to my devoted readers who keep coming back, even when there’s very little to see.
Lately, bipolar disorder is reminding me that it has, in fact, got a place in the chemistry of my mind. I work very carefully to manage the disorder. I take my meds correctly (with a few exceptions that we all seem to have), I keep appointments with my psychiatrist and therapist, and I am diligent about monitoring my symptoms. Lately, however, I’ve been riding through a chaotic storm of bipolar swings.
It started with irritability and restlessness that I didn’t put together as precursors. Last weekend, things started getting particularly interesting. The world stopped moving at the right pace; it was far too slow. Things started magnifying to the point that the entire world and everything in my life was a trigger. I just wanted to cover my head and pretend that nothing other than soft, plain dark colours existed. Evil voices kept telling me of horrible things I had done or would do, none of which were true. Things continued to decline from there, and by Thursday, I wanted to dissect the veins in my forearm to get out the shiny things in my blood that I knew would protect me.
Throughout this, I missed work which means financial problems abound. It’s left me feeling selfish, lazy, and more than a touch mad. Things are still big and mean and scary, in that the slightest thought of negativity gets magnified to the point that it seems a personal crisis. I’m not willing to spend a cent, simply because I feel undeserving of anything because of missing work. I don’t have the energy, really, to do anything anyway. I feel like staring in to space for the next few decades just to avoid anything that might send my mind back down the path of horrible scenarios and hallucinations.
Things have fallen apart, due completely to bipolar disorder this time. I feel incapable of do anything productive, as I feel like a complete waste of space and oxygen. My mind, when it does become lucid, takes so much time to process information. I fluctuate quickly between the depths of despair and the terror of psychosis. *Everything* is a trigger these days. Ironically, I have no idea of what actually triggered the bipolar symptoms, but I don’t remember purchasing a ticket for this particular ride.