Why I went away *TRIGGER WARNING*
after a short social media break, I am back (at least for now). Thank you so much for the messages you have sent me while I’ve been away. I’ve felt a lot of love and it’s made my return to the internet very bloody easy.
I am determined to put my recovery first and not to cut any corners, so I am easing myself back in - but I will be getting back to all of you EVENTUALLY.
I have included a post below that I wrote on Thursday last week. I had been feeling unwell for a couple of days but on Thursday I REALLY hit rock bottom.
I think I always did know that I’d be sharing this post with you, but it is a bit scary sharing it so soon - so I’d ask that you are gentle and respectful of the seriousness of how I was feeling and how many others still are.
I do talk about suicidal thoughts in this post and it is not suitable for anyone who may be triggered by this.
This post contains thoughts of suicide and self harm (specifically cutting). If you think these topics could trigger you, please do not read the post and just know that I am sending you a lot of love. Thank you for supporting me.
With all that being said, please also excuse the grammar/spelling and underuse of caps in this post. It was written on my phone, and it has been a long time since I used uppercase letters on my phone because, despite being a hot mess, I am also a hipster. Please respect my culture.
Also, I am reluctant to edit something that was written in the throes of so much emotion.
i wonder if anyone can tell that i’ve only come to homebase so that i don’t self harm.
i woke up yesterday with brain fog - and thought it might be down to the two glasses of prosecco i drank the night before. i woke up this morning with suicidal thoughts and knew that it was not.
i’m gonna go right ahead and reiterate a fucking MASSIVE trigger warning right now - if you aren’t in a safe space mentally (and maybe even if you are) and self harm is a trigger/risk for you, then i am sorry but this really isn’t the best post for you to read. try my open letter to stephen fry instead.
I say i woke up with suicidal thoughts but, strictly speaking, that’s not true. i woke up with thoughts of cottage pie leftovers and working through my blog related emails.
i didn’t start the day with a shower - just a coffee and a tana mongeau video. i half thought about watching some netflix, but thought i better crack on.
doug (my labrador) knew something was wrong before i did - i could tell this because, when i sat on the sofa, he didn’t try to stand on my head. he sat quietly at my feet and chewed on a leftover fragment of bone.
i had leftover cottage pie for brunch and then abandoned doug and lay back down on my bed. i opened my laptop and shut all the tabs in the browser other than my mailbox. 478 unread emails. IN A WEEK.
once again, i realise i have a to do list longer than my legs. i realise that i need a pa. i realise that i’ll never have the money to pay for a pa because i literally can’t do any administration work. i wonder if i’ll ever be able to do life like a real grown up.
i haven’t been for a smear test. ever. i was with my abusive ex when i turned 25 and should have gone for my first, but looking after myself wasn’t a priority. it has since grown into a balloon of fear surrounding the fact that going means making an appointment and waiting for results that i am scared will be bad news because i have put it off for so long. i haven’t even fucking registered with a gp yet in cardiff.
thinking about doctors is incredibly triggering for me. i do worry a lot about medical things, but only in abstract. actually GOING for tests, check ups and procedures has never really been too bad for me. and contrary to how i used to feel, i am no longer all consumed by the fear that i have all the conditions under the sun. maybe because i’m on the edge and right now THIS SECOND i am in way more danger from my mind than i am from the rest of my body.
thinking about doctors is triggering for me because it reminds me of all the conversations i’ve had over the last 2 years; all the times i’ve asked for help; all the times i’ve had to relive the very worst moments of the abuse i survived; all the times i’ve jumped through their hoops, only to be told that i’ve been sent through the wrong hoops and i have to go back to the beginning.
the deep anger and frustration i feel is too heavy for me to carry and i become increasingly claustrophobic. i feel totally fucking trapped in my life. i’ve never wanted to get out more. i just want to hit escape.
i was never suicidal before i was beaten and bullied and traumatised by my abusive ex. i had an anxiety disorder that i managed through self care and now i’m lost in this hellish system that i just don’t know how to navigate anymore. i don’t have the energy to explain to these doctors and various other professionals that SEEING AS I AM LIVING WITH UNTREATED PTSD every single time one of them lets me down or turns me away or passes me on, i feel like they are siding with my abuser. How do they not already know that? Aren’t they supposed to know that at the very least i need to be handled with care?
Am I really the first victim of domestic abuse that feels like this? Surely I can’t be.
i realised that I had absentmindedly locked myself in my bathroom and that i was in danger.
i have a history of self harm and, although i’m no regular anymore, it is only a couple of months since my last relapse. i forgave myself so readily for the last time i cut myself, but it feels so incredibly shitty and sad to relapse when you’ve come so far and achieved so much and i really really don’t want to fall like that again.
(trigger warning: graphic - scroll down if necessary)
the thing with self harm is that it produces an overwhelming sense of release and for me that release comes only when i see blood. for me, when the urge hits i feel like my blood is literally boiling and bubbling over and that i can’t contain everything that’s bad inside me AND the boiling blood and so (a bit like a geyser) some of it has to be let out.
it is all consuming.
for the first time in my life this urge is accompanied with the knowledge and foresight that i don’t want to deal with the aftermath of the self harm. in the past, this has always been such a huge impulse and i’ve just gone for it. for some reason today was different.
i don’t WANT to have to deal with the clean up. i don’t WANT to have to dress the wounds. i don’t WANT to have to wear long sleeves for weeks and live with the fear that one of my friends or family will see and that they’ll worry. i don’t WANT to explain to people that the fact that i HAVE cut means that i’ve released those bad feelings (in the WORST POSSIBLE WAY) and there is nothing to talk about now. i don’t want to deal with the stares of strangers.
( /end of graphic description)
i’m suddenly very very scared. please, god, don’t let me self harm.
i head back to the laptop and think that busying myself with the emails will curb some of these urges. but as i click through my inbox (mostly deleting stuff without reading it by the way - useful!) all i can think about is that there are so many objects in this house to fear in this moment in time.
the urge to run away is overwhelming. what i want is to escape but, seeing as it is myself that’s scaring me, running away means somewhere in between dying and disappearing forever.
these are not thoughts i want. i stare myself down in the mirror; mentally saying “pull yourself together.” and then watch my own eyes start to cry.
oh fuck. what is this? why am i in so much pain? i don’t want to be in pain and i don’t know what triggered me.
i have no time to figure it out though because i realise that if i don’t do something i’m in serious fucking trouble so i chuck on yesterday’s clothes (seriously the only clean thing about me is my knickers) and some shoes, grab my headphones and i’m out the door.
i walk. i make the decision to listen to some taylor swift and i have no idea why. it’s not that i dislike her music, i’ve just never been into it either. i keep walking.
i pass a guy at the end of our road, who works there and is always about, and he smiles at me. do i look different today? i wonder. can he tell i am suicidal? i smile back.
now i start walking with a split agenda. part of me is walking with the end goal of walking for as long as it takes to walk it off. part of me is looking at the flyover (about 2.5 miles dead ahead) and is focusing on some darker objectives.
crucially though, and this is important, i do not want to die. i want to get away from these feelings of rage and fear. the suicidal thoughts come because, in the moment, they feel like the only way to get out of a bad place - most people who feel suicidal don’t actually want to be dead.
i actually love my life. i have awesome friends, the most loving and caring family and the best dog in the world. i’m really proud of myself for how far i’ve come in recovery (so far). i have lots of things in my life that i enjoy. and if you asked any of the people who know me, particularly sarah (who i live with), they’d say that i was almost annoyingly positive.
it’s very rare that i’m not singing either the harry potter theme tune or the muppets tv show song. i’m usually the “come on, we can do this” girl, when one of my friends is having a bad day. i’m certainly regularly bounding around the house WITH doug, while sarah pretends to be exasperated that there are basically two labradors. i really do feel deeply happy - to my very bones.
i suppose my point is, that someone who is experiencing thoughts of suicide or self harm isn’t necessarily “sad” or “negative”. in fact, the only guaranteed thing about them is that they need help - and that you should ALWAYS ALWAYS take it seriously.
fearing the busy roads that lie ahead, i duck into t k maxx. i methodically walk every aisle of the shop; picking up items and inspecting them as i go. i gather some great christmas gift ideas. i text sarah “i’m not ok.” i continue my walk around the shop.
shop after shop goes by, until eventually i find myself in homebase; well enough to wonder whether or not people can tell i’m not well. hmmm.
I chose to share this with you because, despite feeling like I had hit my lowest point, despite the fact that - at the time - this felt like one of my biggest failures; I look back NOW and I realise that this is one of the biggest successes of my recovery journey and here’s why:
1. I am fucking ill. I can’t STOP my symptoms existing. I can learn to recognise them, which I did.
2. For the first time in my life EVER, I had an intense urge to self harm, recognised the danger and managed to avoid it. This is HUGE for me. My urges come few and at between, but I have ALWAYS succumbed to them.
3. I avoided being alone and focused my attention on something other than the intrusive thoughts.
4. I expressed myself through both writing (which to me purges the bad feelings) and then later in the evening through painting (which soothes my mind.)
So there you have it. Sometimes a successful day is just a trip to homebase.
Thank you for taking the time to read this log and messy post. I really do appreciate all the love and support you give me.
I’ve been blogging for 18 months now and it’s the first time in a looooooooong time that I have been nervous about sharing a post ❤️