And probably hard to read. Because watching someone struggle with "shameful" things like these is difficult for everyone. It just sucks, in general.
I fall into the category of "mental illness."
That's not news. Everyone already knows that. I haven't been secretive about it, nor do I feel I need to. But I also haven't gone into great detail about what that means to me...
I've had one diagnosis after another over the years, and to be quite honest, I don't really know which ones are correct, and which ones are bullshit. They all make sense in some form, and they all fit fairly well from time to time.
I've been "bipolar."
I've been "depressed."
I've been "borderline personality."
I've been "psychotic."
I've been "suicidal."
I have gone thru periods where I would recoil in disgust and fear when anyone tried to touch me.
I have gone thru periods where I might literally tear off my clothes and throw myself at the first person who tried.
I have suffered paranoia and anger, convinced that the people I love are all collaborating to trick me into thinking they love me.
I have been socially phobic, and terrified of my telephone.
I have been so hurt by, and angry at my mother that I would literally sit for hours, fantasizing about her violent and bloody demise.
I have attempted to cover my emotions with food, sex and the attention of abusive, shitty people.
I have intentionally injured myself.
Some of these are past tense, and some are very current.
It's a desperate feeling.
I want so badly for someone to know what I'm going thru. I want them to know, really, how I feel in the depths of these things. I want to be able to say "I am afraid. I am unwell. I am unsafe," and yet the thought of physically saying those things out loud to another person creates a warm little panic right in the middle of my chest...
Because, nobody likes an attention whore. Nobody likes a one-upper. Nobody likes "woe-is-me."
Asking for help or support is not "woe is me." I know this.
But god, does it feel that way.
And in feeling that way, it creates an even greater sense of alone-ness and helplessness.
Knowing that a person is not likely to even know how to help, if I did say those things.
Self harm has been a constant struggle for me since high school. I literally do not know why. It's just a thing I did one night in my room, and it escalated from there. It's soothing. It's healing. It's sometimes the only way I can calm myself when I feel the anger and sadness and helplessness welling up inside, to a point where I know it will end in hysterics. It calms me when I cannot calm myself. It comforts me when I cannot comfort myself. It helps me when I cannot help myself.
Until very recently, I had it "under control." I used past tense words to describe my uncomfortable "quirk" to people who were brave enough to ask me about the series of scars across my arms. "I was a cutter. I used to self harm. I had a problem." And now, after a decent stretch of "past tense," I am a cutter. I self harm. I have a problem.
More often that not, I base my self worth entirely on whether or not someone actively wants to have sex with me. I have had numerous sexual relationships, to varying degrees, with men and women who are able to quiet the hatred I feel for myself. I've used them to prove to myself that I'm lovable, that I'm fuckable, and that regardless of what ugliness resides within me and on me, someone still wants me. When I'm not immediately gratified by their lustful attention to my salacious text messages, or pictures of myself, I become overwhelmed with sadness and guilt and fear and embarrassment. The "good" or "bad" of my entire day can be immediately turned around based solely upon the reaction of someone to my body parts.
I am suicidal. Not actively, and not right this very second. But it can turn around in a heartbeat. My days feel like an endless procession of identical, gray strips of life, with no seasoning, no feeling, and no point. Some days I sink into what feels like an endless, horrible sadness, and I literally can't stop crying. And I want to die. Some days I feel bland and dusty, and wonder why it's worth it to continue going forward, when there literally feels like there's no point in continuing. Sometimes I feel such seething hot anger that I don't know how else to quiet it than to end my very existence. People would make the case that "your kids need you. Your husband needs you. People love you. What about XY and Z," and my response would be the same...I don't care. None of it makes me feel like I should "want" to live. In the past year, there has never been a moment when I was able to say to myself, "I'm glad I'm alive." Not one. And I realize how horrible this is, considering I have seen firsthand what sort of mess a person's suicide can leave behind. And it doesn't make me feel any sort of "oh my god, what was I thinking?! I want to live!" I don't. Each day is just a varied degree of how much I don't want to be here.
At any given moment, there are a stream of awful, wretched and disturbing thoughts and images playing out inside my head. People being slaughtered. People being raped and tortured. People being dismembered and destroyed in the most foul, unthinkable ways imaginable. The more I try not to think about things like that, the harder they force themselves to the front of my thoughts."
I sat down a few months ago and wrote this. I was never brave enough to publish it. These feelings are scattered, frightening, and embarrassing, and sharing that with everyone seemed to seize my bones with fear, and so it's just been sitting here, marked "draft."
I have since reached a very calm, very eerie state of mind. I am in crisis. I have decided. And I am afraid of the fact that I'm not afraid anymore.
In that last two days, I have reached out. I have told people that I am not well. I have made arrangements for my daughter and our home, and I am calling for help.
I hope that reading this gives at least one other person the bravery and determination to do the same.
I don't want to die today. And I hope you don't either. And I hope you know that if you do, it's ok. Those feelings don't make you bad or wrong. Those feelings are despair and helplessness lying to you. This can be fixed. You can feel right again.
I would very much like to feel right again.
Bumbling around today in an effort to pass the hours before my phone call, I found this. I found it very calming, very reassuring, and very helpful.
You are valuable. You matter. Please don't be afraid.