I’m in that funk again — it’s been a while, but it’s back with a vengeance.
Can’t sleep, can’t eat, headache.
I can hardly remember the last meal I had. Aside from a poptart Thursday morning, it was dinner Wednesday night. Since then, it’s been Gatorade G2, coffee and diet coke. Nutritious, I know. At least I’m hydrated?
It’s like a self-perpetuating problem. Feel stressed, eat less. Eat less, feel depressed. Feel depressed, can’t concentrate. Can’t concentrate, feel stressed. Repeat.
So that’s why I’ve been starving for the past three days. Except the hunger doesn’t even hurt anymore. What does hurt, though, is the thought of future and all the what-ifs that loom on the forefront of my consciousness, preventing me from living in the present moment.
I had a thought, though. More like a realization — why school so stresses me out. As per most causes, “mommy issues.” As you may (or may not?) know, I almost lost my scholarship after last year because of grades. I had a GPA of 3.41, less than a tenth of a point below the cutoff of 3.5; the folks in the financial aid office understood my situation though, and gave me another chance. Lucky me, I got a 4.0 last semester, so I’m good to go — unless of course I flunk my exams this week and get bad grades and suck at life forever. You know, the usual.
Anyway, so why am I so damn stressed about these two exams? About my measly 15 credit hours? About my life? Will it all go to crap if I flunk these exams? If I get a C on these exams? If I suck? If I’m not actually good at chemistry? If I’m not actually cut out for college? If I really don’t deserve my scholarship? If I really am worthless? Because that is what my mom taught me — if I’ve got nothing to show, I’m useless. She always told me, “You’re not a fucking princess.”
My sister? She isn’t perfect, either. In high school, her grades weren’t the best of the best of the best, she was depressed, my mom was horrible; yeah, she had it rough and she struggled to perform at her best. My mom obviously wasn’t understanding of the situation (and of course was unaware that she was the main cause) and so screaming and hitting and grounding and abuse devoured countless nights. Fights about grades, work, money, scholarships, college, “You’re not going to that fucking expensive out-of-state school,” etc. My sister? She told me that if I got a scholarship, if I was Valedictorian, I could go wherever I wanted, that I could be free. Most importantly, she helped me believe I could actually get there.
So I made it my mission, I set my eye on the goal, and I worked my ass off. I earnestly thought the reason I was doing all that was so I could be free, and I truly believed it would set me free. It didn’t, though. And that is because I didn’t realize until recently that freedom wasn’t all I was hoping for — it was acceptance, too. So what was viewed as perfectionism, obsession, A-type personality, was really just a scared little girl who wanted to be loved by her mom. It worked — sort of.
So as it was, my mom couldn’t hound me about grades (I had straight A’s), she couldn’t call me fat (I was anorexic), she couldn’t call me lazy (I made it onto two varsity sports teams as a freshman), she couldn’t guilt me about college expenses (I received a full tuition+fees scholarship).
But as it is with personality disorders and alcoholism, of course there was much more that could go wrong with me than just grades, weight, accomplishments or money. My mom still made me believe that I was useless, damaged, dishonorable and unworthy. She still screamed at me (including the day I received said scholarship), she still wasn’t proud of me, she still hit me, hurt me, made me cry myself to sleep every night. But at least I wasn’t completely hopeless — I still had hope for the future because of my grades, my scholarship. I’d be secure. Yes.
Then I almost lost it all.
Then I didn’t – phew.
Then I had a great semester!
Now I’m struggling again. If I do less than perfect on an exam, will it mean I’m useless? a failure?
Will it cause me to get horrible grades that make me lose my scholarship?
Will it mean I’m completely hopeless, without a future?
Will people still love me, even if I do end up in that despicable scenario?
Will I still be able to go to college?
Will I make it in this life? No matter what? Scholarship or not?
Breathe, breathe, breathe. I just need to remember that if I have God, I’m golden — right?
Sometimes I recognize that rebellious appeal, the ghost that tells me to go to sleep early, even though I’ve been awake far too long. To caffeinate my veins and fuel with pure adrenaline. The burning desire to do what I shouldn’t, to disastrously succeed better than ever before. Push the boundaries of worse.
And when others can relate? It becomes a comradery. Noiseless.
I used to fear the silence, but now the emptiness crowds even the fullest of rooms. All I can hear is the buzzing quiet of my own thoughts, even though cars hum past on the highway, my sheets rustle, my breath sweeps softly past my sinuses.
Even when I walk, plod, press through the day, the emptiness consumes me, too. And while it’s so much more than a hollow feeling, it’s easily filled for a moment with something as superficial as sweat, food, sleep. But they all drain each other in the end.
I’m a storm, a storm inside my head, finding appeal in what steals life. The intensity of the moment, the escape, the numbness, the disregard for future goals, the struggle. The tears that well in my chest when I envision myself barren in the future, but the comfortable massage lettered keystrokes, pressing against my hips, reverberating through my bones. Pretending to sleep and ignoring the beacon of the living night, because I’d rather close my eyes and absorb into the darkness. I am already half way there.
I can’t help but remember the other times, too, thinking more of the onset and less of the enduring discomfort of progress. Now watching the progress without judgement, encouraging myself to disregard the timelines that don’t exist. Wondering how blood ever gave me the same high. It never did, really. It just distracted me temporarily from the fact that I was full beyond capacity with feelings I refused to acknowledge, with choices and misfortunes and uncertainties. Is the emptiness really better? Do I need to choose between extremes.
But in this moment I’m just battling myself. I want to. I don’t want to. The moment is glorious. The future is fearsome. They fight each other, rioting in my brain,, rampant thoughts. I wish they would settle somewhere comfortably gray, because numb isn’t comfortable, but neither is pain. I’m alone but I don’t feel it. And when I’m too full, I feel alone even when I’m not. One week after the other. Doubled the medication. The struggle between revealing the self, hating the self and embracing the self.
To everyone who isn’t reading this, you don’t know what so crushes my heart right now. Not metaphorical. The weight on my chest that squishes the air clear out of my lungs. Stops the electric current in my heart. Breaches neuropathy. Makes my metaphors.
But that I so fear the honesty because it’s a story so extraordinary I can hardly believe it myself, and at times I even don’t. A reality so hidden that even the scars can be explained away. A disconnect from the fullness of my body and the hollowness of my soul.
I don’t understand why there must be such a separation, but at the same time I think it is the very force keeping me alive.
Well, it’s not that late, but it’s pretty darn late. I would ordinarily be in bed by now because I usually aim for like 10, 10:30, etc. Now it’s quarter after 11. But oh well. I’m “meh,” a rebel against my inner control freak.
I’m feeling better and can say that I have sufficiently recovered from last week. That was a bad week. My brain went to dangerous places. But then I survived yesterday’s debilitizing, can’t-get-myself-out-of-bed depression, finally ate breakfast, did some homework and art, felt better. Things are looking brighter, I think the increased drugs are kicking in. Three cheers for Prozac.
I feel better, and I feel more motivated to take care of myself. I am taking my vitamins, exercising, taking some “me time,” all important things. I talked to my aunt today — she will be joining me in Poland this summer, yay! She is so amazing. I talked to my sister, who finally is back from her honeymoon in the Dominican Republic. It was a long week without being able to reach her. The internet on her phone was being funny and obviously she doesn’t have service down yonder. Just knowing she is only on the other side of my phone is really quite comforting.
I also have gotten used to the insanity that is my class schedule. I hardly had time to recover this weekend given yesterday’s drama and the woes of getting homework done, tomorrow I have to do the homework I didn’t do today, go to research, etc. It will be an adventure to say in the least. I was kind of banking on a snow day — but then the major snow storm veered south and left us with cold air and another day of chem lab. Joy.
But anyway, obviously last week was hard. It took so much mental energy to keep my mind from going to horrible places, to keep myself from losing it. To try to keep it together. Starting with skipping biochem class on Monday to study for TWO biochem exams on Tuesday, plus a microbiology lab quiz that I didn’t study for because sorry, biochem > micro. In any case, I got an A on biochem so it was worth it. But of course I was stressed. Wednesday was worse, I had to go to the Dairy Farm and get stinky and dirty and it was awkward and made me feel weird, in microbiology class we learned all about parasitic worms, fungus and insects in humans (that is one thing I cannot tolerate the thought of. I almost vomited. It was horrible) and in research I accidentally aspirated my cells after detaching them from the plate. Then I got home and was freezing. It was just an all over rough day, ending with me laying on my floor, wondering what would happen if I was dead. I finally called my psychiatrist and he increased my drogas. Thursday was therapy (my therapist is so darn good). She knows what’s up. Anyhow, that night I hit a wall and crumpled at the bottom with a bag of sugar free candy, razor blades and the pile of bricks that was crushing my lungs all week.
Friday I got sick. Somehow got a 4/5 on a quiz I should have failed. Killed my cells in research. Ate too much chocolate.
Saturday I couldn’t get out of bed. I literally could not pull myself up. Hours. I laid there, blankly, wishing I could cry, wishing I was somewhere else. It hurt so much, being alive that day.
Throughout last week, I honestly wished I had the balls to kill myself. I knew I was struggling, too. It sounds horrible to say that, but I feel comfortable just writing it on here because I feel so much better right now. I can breathe. It’s nice.
I was hanging on though, fighting. Fighting the urge to give up, to lay on my floor, skip my classes, and starve myself. But then a piece of me wanted just a break. Can’t I just take a break from all of this? Check myself into a mental hospital or something? Or a regular hospital? Hold my breath until I faint and get taken to the ER? Three peaceful hours in a hospital bed. Force dehydration by drinking only coffee and no water until I pass out? That’d buy me a few days in the hospital probably. But, my biochem exams. My micro lab. My research. My quiz. I couldn’t afford to miss class. I drank my water, though secretly wishing I wasn’t.
I also drank water today. After my elliptical session, I re-filled the green water bottle and took a long drink, zipped up my hoodie, and walked back to my apartment. It felt good to hydrate, to exercise, to feel good. Yeah, it feels good to feel good. And only days before now, I was at the brink of throwing away my health and purposefully making myself ill so I could step out of my rut for minute and just breathe, or cry — or both. But now, now I can breathe, and I don’t feel like crying, and I am tired. So I’m going to bed, healthy, alive, and proud of it.
The Kitchen Catch
I am sorry.
I am sorry this blog is so damn depressing. I feel like I rarely write on here when I’m feeling good. Why is that? I don’t know. But I want to bring light into people’s lives, not spread my own darkness. “Misery loves company.” I don’t think that is true, but I think sharing the darkness is an attempt to let people in, a cry for help of sorts.
I recently when back through some of my posts and removed the password protection on ones I had blocked. Why filter myself? If I don’t want it on the internet, I shouldn’t put it there — but I put it there, and this whole living honestly ordeal is the type of thing where I actually need to take chances, put myself out there and be honest — otherwise I’m still hiding and my efforts are futile.
Anyhow, I feel better now than I did earlier today. That was a scary feeling. I don’t know if it had something to do with the fact that I was about to get sick to my stomach — joy to the world, I then spent like an hour in the bathroom with stomach death, oh well! Dually noted, I get very anxious when I have an upset stomach. I also get an upset stomach when I am anxious. It’s a vicious cycle. However I know that this was not anxiety-induced illness, but more likely illness-induced-anxiety. I’m a strange person, I know.
After my classes and bathroom expulsions ended and I managed to make it through my microbiology class (and quiz!) without losing my shit, I hopped on the bus (which thankfully wasn’t too late) and came home, drank a cup of broth which helped my tummy feel better, then a diet coke, which made my tummy feel worse, then I went to bed. I laid in my bed and slept until like 6:00 pm when my roommate came in. She’s pretty amazing, ya know. Personable, caring, hilarious, a good listener — but she’s also just a really nice person to be around. Like, I never feel lonely when she’s around. And she laid by me and we talked for like half an hour about a dream she had involving homeless men and Morgan Freeman (or something) and various other random things — then my other roommate came in and we talked more, then she left to make Chili Vacio (Chili Relleno that was not, in fact, stuffed with anything) and I did homework, ate popcorn/various other carbohydrate-laden things, then did our own homework/craft/TV/etc. Basically how we do.
I finished one microbiology packet, and now I’m typing. It’s 10:19 and I’m SUPER tired. Should I be tired after laying in bed for like 4 hours? Oh well, I don’t feel like judging. I’m just tired. tired. tired.
I really want to feel better. And I’m glad this week is over. It was a rough one. Why oh why do we have those rough weeks?
The Kitchen Catch
It’s been one of those weeks. One where I feel so disconnected from myself, I don’t even know where the past five days went — I blinked once and it was Monday, I blinked again and now it’s Friday. That thought is a bit scary.
I don’t even remember what I had for breakfast this morning — oh wait, that’s because I didn’t have anything. A whole box of band-aids, some blaring alarm clocks, taking double of my Prozac because my psychiatrist agrees that I need more help.
A-la Forrest Gump, one day I started running (metaphorically, of course) — what was it, five years ago? — and I never stopped. I had all kinds of excuses — running from my problems, running to change myself, running to be healthy — but I realized that none of those are true. I’ve been running from myself, because I don’t know who I am. Or rather, I’ve failed to acknowledge who I really am for so long, and I don’t want to stuff it down any longer but the thought of breaking free scares me. I feel stuck, suppressed, like a liar. What if I finally told the truth? I NEVER want to hurt myself again.
What if I said I don’t hate my mom, I’m not mad at her — in fact I miss her? I want her to love me? What if I said that it isn’t that I am so self-conscious because of what others think of me, it’s that I don’t like me, and I want ME to like me? I don’t want to go to medical school because I’m sick of the pressure to get good grades, the constant stress, the feeling like I’m going to throw up because I have so much to do and I don’t know how to get it done. That I feel alone, why do I feel alone? That I’m grateful for my scholarship, but I don’t think I deserve it because deep down my goal isn’t to be famous, acknowledged, or a world-renowned nobel-prize winning researcher? That I don’t actually like spinach. I deserve more respect than I give myself. I hate cow poo and don’t want it anywhere near me.
I don’t want to lie anymore, to hold back. I don’t want to lay on my floor and count the cracks in the ceiling, wishing I was dead. I don’t want to wander around Walmart, wondering what would happen if I pretended to be somebody other than myself. What if I told the truth to all the people who think highly of me that I’m actually damaged — a liar, a cheat, a cheap-skate, dirty, worthless, stupid.
Is it true that I’m not smart because I have to work hard to keep a scholarship that was given to me — harder than I’ve ever worked before and I don’t want to do it anymore? I don’t want the pressure. I love learning, I really do, but I am so scared of losing everything that I don’t enjoy it. What if they find this out?
What if people knew that I can’t really afford a kindle fire, a car, gas to drive to and from Illinois, that I’m scared I won’t receive funding to go to Italy this summer and I’ll be drained of money, ashamed, and nobody will be left to help me?
What if I get a B in every class this semester.
What if people find out how much I think about boys —
“He is cute, he is sexy, I would date him, I wouldn’t date him, that guy is nerdy, I like nerdy.” I’m supposed to think about…well I don’ know, other things. Not supposed to be boy-crazy.
What if people knew that I have wanted to skip my classes this week? Chem? I want to skip — I’m behind. I went anyway. Micro? I skipped two review sessions and left the third early, went to class and was preoccupied. Biochem? I want to skip. I currently have ten minutes to print my notes and get to class.
I want to scream, beg for help, tell people I’m not okay but I don’t know how to snap out of it. It’s scary, I’m shaking, and I don’t want to be this. I’m supposed to get over it. I’m being dramatic. Everybody has stuff.
I wish I could start over — but I don’t even know what I’ve messed up.
Am I struggling, is this normal? Or am I just fucking crazy?
shit shit shit shit shit shit shit shit shit.
I am scared of myself. scared of myself. scared of myself. scared of myself.
I cut again.
I snapped my wrist with a rubber band again.
shit shit shit shit shit shit shit.
I almost made myself throw up. It was only 2200 calories. It doesn’t matter. I am more than the calories. My arm hurts. It accomplishes nothing to cut. Fuck. Fuck fuck fuck. I don’t want to do this anymore. I don’t want to have this secret. I hate it. It sucks. People see my scars. My forehead is burning. I am sweaty Why do I feel so frantic. I am scared. I want to tell my psychiatrist to up my medication. I don’t know what is wrong with me.
I don’t want to do this. I don’t want to be mentally ill. My aunt is amazing, can’t I be like her? Diana is amazing, she went through anorexia, can’t I be like her?
I am proud of myself for not throwing up. I want to be a recovery warrior. I want to type louder so people hear me. Can they hear my thoughts? Do they know how crazy I feel right now? What is wrong with me? What is wrong with me? Fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck. All I want to do is say fuck. I hate that I ate too much food but I feel a bit better after pooing. I did not throw up. I am not bulimic. I did not binge. I just ate more than usual. I will feel better if I take better care of myself. If I make exercise and health and sleep and school priorities, which they are. But exercise has been taking slack lately. I don’t want to have scars on my wrist. I don’t want my research grad to know I cut. What would she think of me? She probably already does. And then there are the times when I deliberately make them visible — why do I want people to know. What do I do when I am suffering so much inside?
I am suffering I am suffering I am suffering. I am suffering. It is okay to suffer but I don’t know what to do about it.
fuck fuc fukc ufkcufkcukfudsf idfuckfu kfuckfu kf a;ofh
people don’t notice. do I even want them to?
I suppose this post is 20 days late, considering most people write about their new year’s resolutions on or before the onset of the new year. While I made these “resolutions” before the clock struck twelve, I obviously haven’t posted them anywhere except the Word document on my desktop where I continually write the ideas/goals/thoughts/reflections to remind myself of good conclusions that I reach. But, I digress.
There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under the heavens:
2 a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
3 a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
4 a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
5 a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
6 a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
7 a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
8 a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.
Side notes: There are two other things I’ve started up pretty recently (on or around the new year) that are pretty consistent with the two resolutions I made. The first one is a morning meditation. Across the board, doing this is really encouraged by professionals and religious groups. From AA to eating disorder recovery, to Christianity to Buddhism, it’s good to take some time every day to read, think, write and plan. My morning meditation has consisted of choosing a quote from a book of positive quotations, writing a short paragraph about it in the context of my own life, and then writing a short goal for the day. This helps reinforce my two resolutions and also helps me connect with myself and prepare for the day — in only 5-10 minutes each morning. I also do a daily reading that gives me a quote, explanation and goal for a boost if I’m feeling it.
Here’s an example of a morning meditation that I did on January 13th, 2014.
“To love others, we must first love ourselves.” – Anonymous
I know myself better than anyone else. I know that I have both flaws and beautiful qualities, potential and imperfections. I know almost ALL of my imperfections, or at least more than anyone else does because I’m so hard on myself. If I can’t love myself despite all of those, how can I accept love from anyone else? I donn’t even know how to accept love from myself! If I can’t accept love, I don’t know how to give love, either, because that means I don’t know what it means to forgive flaws and love unconditionally.
GOAL: For today, I will love myself and others. I will look for a way to bless someone else and I will also treat myself.
Simple, to the point, and very helpful.
The second big step I’ve taken recently is accepting treatment for depression. I struggled with depression in high school for a variety of reasons, and then again when I came to college. Last year was really difficult, and yes, things improved, but deep down I knew I wasn’t well, even though I kept making excuses and brushing away my feelings. I told myself to “buck up” and “get it together,” but what I really needed was to be honest with myself and take care of myself. After a really bad day in December, I talked with my sister, went to the doctor and sought some help. I’m now taking Prozac and starting cognitive-behavioral therapy. It is scary, but I’m proud of myself. Four weeks in, I feel markedly better. I’m looking forward to learning more!
So, that’s that: me, 2014, honest and well — or getting there, at least!
The Kitchen Catch
The sky was beautiful this evening. Dusk. The sunset. All shades of blue and gray, streaked with darker shades, clouds, airplanes. Dull pink and yellow, maybe orange? Lights in buildings speckled the horizon. Old Christmas lights: yellow, blue, red. Driving over the icy hills with snow, in sub-zero temperatures.
It made me do some thinking: time. life. interest. art. Keep calm and carry on. What’s beneath it all?
Song lyrics I’ve written most recently:Map of the world, lampshade to my soul green paper and curtains of gold So many people, but I’m still alone All my life, just footprints in the snow But I’m not falling, I’m not falling ’cause even the rain stops sometimes Still deciding, redefining I know that there’s more to this life This life on the line Fame fashion freedom, American dreamin’ Hot shots, movies stars and people like, we don’t know But I don’t want to be anything other than the little girl locked up inside of me ’cause at the end of the day, she’s all I’ve got But I’m not falling, I’m not falling ’cause even the rain stops sometimes Still deciding, redefining I know that there’s more to this life This life on the line I walk the plank with a bird’s eye Waves crash and I still can’t fly But I’m not falling, I’m not falling ’cause even the rain stops sometimes Still deciding, redefining I know that there’s more to this life This life on the line But I’m not falling, I’m not falling ’cause even the rain stops sometimes Still deciding, redefining I know that there’s more to this life This life on the line