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grasping at straws

i am sorry i haven’t written in the longest time. it has been a trying time, but i guess for very different reasons.

i just spent my 28th birthday a few days ago. in the state i am in right now, it was reminiscent of my 2lst birthday (when i had to spend it going through those awful currents).

with every single day that i am living and breathing, i wish that i am better in my journey to recovery. and more and more, with each day, i hope i get closer to living a full life. in my journey to recovery, i understand that it is really just a journey. but living a fuller life, i have achieved nothing.

it is usually on hindsight that i find out that things i have been doing (or seeking) to cope are just my frantic efforts to fill the bottomless void in me. and it’s always just as i start to feel that perhaps i am starting to cope, that i realise it’s all so futile.

like right now, i am writing at a psychology conference. it’s always been my dream to have my paper (it’s my honours dissertation in this case) presented at an academic conference. and today i finally did so. i was even privileged to chair a session. yet at the end of it, i still felt empty. i questioned myself why i even bothered doing this. it’ll look good on my CV, but so what? in the end I still feel like a blank, bottomless void.

i spent the past 6 months working a job which i do not enjoy. i’ve had 3 crises and thus 3 emergency room visits and 30 odd stitches in all. i’ve been frenetically trying to avoid triggers and anxiety. i am still trying to cope with chronic pain. and i have never ceased to wonder if i would be better off someplace else than this earth.

i feel like i am drowning on dry land, and no one can see nor hear me. i feel like this effort to just exist is draining. and funny thing is, everyone gets fooled just because i put on a face of make up and a bold lip. somehow a groomed appearance confers the notion of wellness, even to my mental health team.

it’s been 8 years. i have loved, but i’ve lost much more. and i feel like i never really did recover anything in these 8 years. i am pretty convinced that all i have been doing, is grasping at straws.

and i don’t want to do this anymore.

(the photo is of my newest tattoo which i got for my birthday. it is an ode to Clover, our doggie who passed away last July. she is the one on the left, while Poppy our 8 year old toy poodle is on the right. i miss Clover so fucking much.)

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dear stranger

i wished you knew how burdened and alone i am, how pained and anguished i am, all at once with each breath that i draw. how excruciating it is to stay alive… and i wished you knew how unimaginably superfluous my existence is.

everything is futile. i need this to end. asystole. 7 years has been too long, hasn’t it?

opened heart



it dawned upon me that my memory has been deteriorating further, because my word-finding difficulty is now at its peak, and my memory recall is terrible despite having some time pass from my last currents. and then… i am reminded that everything that transpires in this long journey from nothingness to recovery has a lasting impact on this temporary body which i abuse pretty much. this was something that i might already have known, but was too defiant to recognise and acknowledge. and alas, this leaves me with some regret.


it’s been 7 years at the brink of hell, i’ve always said i’m on the threshold of giving up, and it never seems to be getting better. what gives? i don’t know. the people around me don’t know what to do. they either stay silent, or comment nonchalantly. why are you still like this?; it’s been so long!; you are like that because your faith is not strong enough (i lost a friend for that because it was totally inappropriate);  huh!!! you cut again ah!!!; what did you do this time??? (must i have done something to be not feeling well or admitted???); aiyah i think you really need a boyfriend (overwhelmingly popular comment); etc.

but at the sidelines have been my family and close friends (NO boyfriend), cheering me on in the ways they know. this however, was hard for me. most of those who loved me didn’t know how to support me, and all i could perceive was silence and isolation. the loneliness i felt all these years, imposed by myself and wrongfully felt was crushing. it took years of therapy and retrospection to realise that my family all had their different ways of expressing their love for me.

i isolated myself nevertheless, and took down the facade i worked hard to maintain once i’m alone. i could trust myself most times, but i can say right up till today, i cannot trust a single person. not even my parents. and it actually aches right in the heart to know that. it is hard to put it in words, but the psyche of a chronically depressed, a bulimic, and a chronically suicidal borderline who severely self-harms, is hard to understand (and that is already discounting the fact that i also cope with RA and fibro at the same time, complicating everything!). and even that is a terribly sore understatement. i spent the last few weeks in much agony (although i had all these 7 years to explore this) trying to accept that maybe, just maybe, i am just one who cannot be grasped with the mind and the heart. or maybe i could tell you everything, but would you be able to take it? *hmm* it was difficult to accept this as i repeatedly spoke to my psychotherapist about this. i’m a borderline. i am needy. i thrive on being understood (or seemingly being understood). even as we tried to rebuild relationships, my parents and i, as we continued family therapy, i had my separate life from them when i’m alone. i couldn’t find the courage to integrate the self which i’ve relied on for 7 years and carried the painful pasts, weaknesses and unforgivable failures, together with the fake and detestable self that is fronted by a facade which was built upon lies and lies and lies, but also successes that felt unmerited (and layers and layers of defense mechanisms). how could i ever tell you, or anyone for that matter, that when i’m with you i am not entirely genuine? how could i ever tell you that my lack of authenticity with you at times might be because say, you were talking and i was listening and nodding my head, but ‘because i felt so dysphoric all i was thinking of was cutting’.  (i’m a terrible person. i know that, and i believe that most times. and perhaps i really do deserve all of these.)

anyhow, at the end, i think the goal is that i’m alive. i don’t necessarily agree with it. but no one can say that i’m not trying. dysphoria, anxiety, triggers and chronic suicidality are a lot of factors to deal with when it come to the causes of my self-harm. and more so when my self-harm has escalated in the last 2-3 years. i’m not proud of it. no no no. but i’m here. i’m still here. although i’m merely existing, until i figure things out and recovery becomes a real possibility. i recognise that life still goes on, so in doing so i’ll make sure i’ll finish my honours degree by December. it is one of those times in these 7 years where i have to tell myself “Steph, you can’t afford to fall during this period. You just can’t.” and there were no buts. because i knew the consequences of falling during crucial periods. you fall, you end up in hospital much to the dismay of your teachers, you end up deferring your module/course/graduation (yes graduation, fuck it), you repeat the module with strangers while you see your friends on social media graduating or progressing on ie. you got left behind, and teachers all start asking what happened to you, or what happened to you, or heaven forbid, things like why are you so fat, why are you so weak etc. and the thing is, i already fell so many times during this school year, and only got out of the hospital a few weeks ago. many rules and sanctions have been placed on me to make sure i’m safe. everything was fixated on my crazies. but i think no one thought to make sure i was a tiny bit happier or pain-free?

i’ve tried. i really have. doctors in the e-rooms always ask me if i’ve gone off my meds, and i wish i have, but i have never gone off my psychiatric meds (so why the crises???). i’ve always found it an insurmountable task processing the sinking sadness of depression, BPD’s ricocheting, instability in affect and interpersonal relationships, neediness, self-mutilation and suicidality, emptiness that can never be filled, the deep ache that is so visceral, the rage, all of it even until today. yet somehow i’ve allowed some of it to take over. may there be a day, like the psychiatrists say, that my symptoms (or BPD) may be ameliorated. Dr G (not my psychotherapist) once told me that borderlines usually take 5-10 years with psychodynamic psychotherapy. i’ve hit 7. i guess 3 more years to truly see if things really get better? (then again, psychiatrists have told me i’m the worst case they’ve ever seen.)

at this point where i am ending this post, i am feeling quite sad and it feels quite visceral. but well, i’m just gonna try to smoke it off.

 

 

 

too much

somehow it keeps piling on, as if i had the capacity to carry them all. i don’t, and i can’t.

  1. depression relapse (acute on chronic i guess???), but the ECTs did not help and i am again left to wonder if i can ever regain even a bit of normalcy.
  2. the stress from school is really breaking me apart. a dissertation, its literature review and its quasi-experiment (i still need 10-20 more participants by 4th September). plus 3 papers due from now till September 15. what would i do without Ritalin???
  3. Clover, our Pomeranian who was 13.5 years old, passed away from cancer (Transitional Cell Carcinoma). Our family was so broken by her death, and although it’s been almost 4 weeks since she left, we are all still grieving and aching. We were just glad she spent her last moments in the cradle of my brother’s arms (her favourite human and default owner). 😥
  4. Acute bilateral shoulder flare RIGHT AFTER i saw my rheumy. Arcoxia 120mg does NOTHING for the inflammation and pain, and it has been an excruciating 2 weeks. My anaesthetist is away, but i am FINALLY seeing his colleague in 2 days. Although i think i short burst of pred will just do the trick. I really need some relief. Fibromyalgia has been giving me signs it’s gonna be flaring soon too.
  5. the coping mechanism i’ve known so well for 7 years has been taken away from me after an event and admission. there wasn’t even a plan to cut down or something like that. cold turkey. it’s not going to end well, i assure you.

 

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i love you, and i miss you so much, Clover… run free and bark as much as you like ok? i thank Papa God for taking away your pain, for giving you comfort, and for holding you in His arms. i love you to the moon and back, and i’ll see you on the other side, my dear doggy…

 

6 feet under

as i walked into the consult room, i saw Dr T looking at the computer screen. he must’ve been reading my psychotherapy notes from the day before. i sat down and i passed him an envelope. “would you please certify me fit and sign it???” i said, in much desperation. it was an Advance Medical Directive, for in case you are unconscious and incapable of making any decisions, such as life-prolonging decisions… my lawyer friend was dead sure my psychiatrist would never sign it because of my chronic suicidality. but he was wrong. Dr T talked to me as he signed it. he wanted to be sure that i knew what it was.

we talked for awhile, and even though i am not actively suicidal, he says that i am. i showed him the cuts. the cuts i never had before, but have now because this is not living. so he gave me 2 choices at the table. 1) admission. 2) ECT. i conceded to ECT. but later decided that maybe i’m better off inpatient. did some paperwork, found out my ward had no beds available, so i backed out. took my meds, smoked, and went home. might as well. i have too many obligations with school. i really cannot afford to take that time off. not it again.

i don’t like my family and friends to know that i’m in a crisis so bad that i’m 6 feet under. so i try, you know. i really try to seem better (without feeling better). yay.

and oh yes, i’m so fucking hungry. sigh.

no. i’m not ok. i’m not ok at all. and i don’t want to talk about it.

 

all i really wanted was a friend who was willing to sit beside me and listen to me. that’s all. i don’t want a friend to analyse what i say and rationalise with me. i don’t want a friend who tries to cheer me up or tries to be optimistic (which i can never be). i don’t want friends who tell me it’s gonna be ok, or that i should try harder, or that i should trust in God, yadah yadah yadah. and i have MANY friends who do all of these.

i just need all of you to shut up. i know you have good intentions. but just shut up.

because i DON’T NEED all these. and i DON’T WANT all these.

and so from here on, i know what to do. i really know what to do.

not alright

and the truth is, try as you might, you will never be alright again.

you feel like you’ve died inside, although you know you’ve died a thousand times. not again? you ask. but again you know you’ll die a thousand more.

you’ll never be alright again, against everything people around you hope for you, pray for you, or tell you. they don’t have the foggiest idea.

so why are you trying so hard to hold on?