This weekend was incredibly difficult, despite the sunny smiles in the FB pics of me larking around.
My head started going to shit on Thursday, the ‘bad bile’ crept in, as one friend calls it, a ‘chemical betrayal’ says another. I don’t know what triggered it exactly, but I felt anxious and scared and isolated and alone and I was generally crawling out of my skin by Friday afternoon.
In the evening I went and danced for a few hours with some lovely friends, I hugged some familiar faces , chatted with some new ones, and enjoyed the music. I left early with a friend , we went shopping and in the car I confessed I was having suicidal thoughts. Not that I was planning anything, just looking for the off button. I went home and I binge ate and I cried and I confided in them about how bad I felt about myself, about the self loathing I carry. They held me and comforted me and stayed the night with me.
The next day I write about it, to try and let some of it out, to reduce it somehow, to clear some space in my head.
My mum phoned and can tell from my voice things are not well, that I am not well. She asks has something in particular happened, can she do anything to help, will I come and visit her, am I able to get a taxi there, so I agree to get a taxi. A short while later my sister calls, she asks if she needs to call the taxi for me and I say yes because I’m still in bed and haven’t moved, and also I have no money so she offers to pay and calls one for me.
I put on yesterday’s clothes and throw some things in a bag. I feed the cat, she watches me crying as I pack and I feel guilty for leaving her. In the taxi I don’t speak, I wear my shades and I cry the whole journey. I badly want to drink and nearly ask them to stop at an off license but I know I can’t do that to my family, to myself. But I just want the pain to stop, I want to be numb or be dead.
I get to mums and I cry, heaving, ferocious, heart ringing tears. I hate them seeing me like this, hate anyone seeing me like this but them especially. Because they care the most and are completely powerless.
When u feel this low, like a piece of shit, you can’t feel anyone’s love and acceptance of you. You are unreachable.
They encourage me to take a walk with them in the early evening by the river, the fresh air is good but my legs feels like jelly. They feed me, buttery toast and a smoothie and a delicious salad and frittata. I ask for some paper and pens and do some art.
There are hugs there are talks about what I’m feeling, nothing is forced, it is gentle company but my brain is savagely whirring away creating doomsday prophecies, killing off friendships, torturing my relationships, watching my future go up in smoke.
I take a sleep tablet and the next day there is more nutrition, walks and art. There is love and oracle cards and laughter, tea and homemade fruit cake. It is cosy but strained. The hours are either slowly crunching by on stiffened cogs or melting away, lost in a hazy blank daze. There is comfort in hearing familiar voices and laughter even though it feels I am observing, like an outsider looking in, from a great distance. My sister tells me she is proud of me for the ways I cope now, for doing my art, for opening up, for joining in walks, for not turning to drink. This is progress, no matter how small.
When I think of going home I get angsty, my friend offers to collect me and I gratefully accept. She is a hero in these times, offering the little things that make all the difference. I am so blessed with love and kindness in my life. I can see that now, even though I can’t process it emotionally, can’t quite use it as proof that I am loveable or worthy of their care.
I go home , feed the cat, then collect my friend from the train station and we go and eat pizza in our onesies, it is afterall a Sunday. But they can see in my face , in my eyes, that I am different today, not my usual self, it is not even sadness, nor a wildness, they cannot quite place it and neither can I. I feel lost, exhausted, heartbroken. There are reassuring hugs and they listen to my fears. I feel safer but I am still not sure what is real anymore, where my toxic thoughts and feelings begin and end and what lies beyond my perception.
I attempt another early night and even though I am tired my brain is buzzing. I take a sleeping tablet but am awake an hour later still. So instead I write this.
Tomorrow I will get up and wash for the first time since Friday and my friend will drive me to College because she knows I need it, both the interaction and the encouragement to get there. She will light the path for me because we both know I want to be there but will struggle to get there and if I can convince myself to stay home I will. And that’s a slippery slope to nowhere. I have to keep going because if I give up today I will die soon.
I let so many people truly see me this weekend when I would usually hide away and isolate myself further, to my detriment. And today I’m exposing myself further on here. And as scary as that is, I feel I must be honest, be real.
Mental illness is all consuming at times, it steals minutes, hours, days, weeks, years of people’s lives, even during the best of times. You don’t get a choice when it poisons you, and you don’t always find yourself around the right support or making good choices.
This weekend was the worst I’ve been in a while and it was pretty scary. I was lucky to have people who love and care for me even when I can’t feel it.
I need professional help badly and it’s been lacking for months. I have fallen through the cracks of an overloaded system. This weekend real life earth angels stepped up and helped me through. And all I needed to do was allow myself to be vulnerable and ask for help.
I wish that option for everyone, although I wouldn’t wish this mental instability on anybody. I am so very tired of it all. Those of us with long term mental illness know that we don’t need more ‘awareness’ being spread, even if it is changing attitudes, and highlighting contributing factors, what we really need is more resources, we need help. This weekend I got lucky, one day my luck might run out. That’s not a threat, or a cry for attention, or even a plea for help, it’s a reality that I face. And I know I’m not alone in that.