Trigger warnings: depression, self-harm.
I fucked up again. Fucked up like I haven’t done in years.
The monster that’s lived in my head for as long as I can remember can’t be killed, but from the total breakdown I had a few years ago I learned a measure of control over it. Control which I lost this last week, in a way I haven’t done since that time.
I went AWOL, didn’t show up to day job, worried the crap out of everybody, and royally pissed off some people – whose friendship I’m not sure I’ll ever get back. And good for them, because I’m not sure I should.
The simple answer to what happened is: the net I’ve been keeping around myself to try and hold myself together, I lost my grip on it. Most of the day is blank, but I remember the feelings. Feeling like I was supposed to be somewhere, supposed to be saying something to someone, that I was doing something wrong somehow. I remember blackness, emptiness, taking over every time I tried to remember, shutting it out. I remember getting to my phone at one point, around the middle of the day maybe, forcing some words out to the one person who has always been able to get through to me. I don’t remember why or how my phone wound up wrapped in a towel and hiding in the oven – although I can surmise now that the effort of forcing out those words had a backlash which sent me even further into the darkness.
I remember I thought I heard the door (I found out later that I did hear the door), and the mere thought of somebody – anybody – nearby, trying to get to me, quite literally paralysed me.
I remember that the only way out was to do the only thing in my life that had always been a way out. I remember that the only thing which allowed me to move was to find a razor, extract the blades, and use them – for the first time in over 6 and a half years.
After the pain from that began to clear my head, I remembered that one friend, and I crawled around the flat – crawled because I was terrified somebody, somehow, would see me if I was visible at a window – until I found my phone.
I found calls, texts, messages. And I found something from that one friend. Her – her I could respond to, even if only in brief.
A few hours later, I was fighting the urge to go back into hiding by apologising. And failing to fight the terror that I feel when I know I’ve angered someone.
I used to dissociate from the stupid crap I pulled. I never told anyone, until typing these words right now, how badly, I’d leave the impression that I stayed home and just blocked everything out, but the truth is slightly different. I’d wake up somewhere. At home. In a pub. In a park. Walking down an unfamiliar road in the dark. I’d wake up and I wouldn’t know how I got there, or why, but I’d have this almost physical pain in my gut to tell me that I’d done something stupid, something bad, something wrong. I’d fucked up, and I had to beg forgiveness for it.
It wasn’t until a few years after I got out of that particular hole that I started to actually remember everything. I wanted to hurt myself a few hundred times over, one for every stupid thing I said or did. Instead I apologised – again – with full knowledge of what I was apologising for.
Sometimes the only thing – quite literally the only thing – that I can do is apologise. Not ask forgiveness. To offer the reason, perhaps, but never to excuse it. Just. Say. Sorry.
One of the hardest things in the world, for me, is to apologise to somebody who I’ve successfully made hate me. That shit sucks, believe me, but it doesn’t matter how hard it is for me to do, even if it means nothing, helps nothing, fixes nothing, it’s the absolute least someone I’ve upset deserves from me.
Still, there was a time when anyone I cared about, I tried my hardest to make them hate me. And when I succeeded, I was disappointed because I’d succeeded, but I also felt justified. It was what I deserved, after all.
I occasionally have to fight the urge to do that again. And I occasionally manage to do it anyway without even trying.
For some people, it really doesn’t take much. One look at the monster inside, one or two times when I say something wrong or don’t show up when I’m supposed to. A couple of times when I screw up is all it often takes.
But I figure fair enough, course it doesn’t take much – cos who in the world would actually give enough of a crap about me to put up with my shit? I’m not worth it, and those who stick around really should learn to see that at some point.
If my history continued to serve, the other day is the beginning of a few bursts which make up a longer episode. Mania, depression, some messed up combo of the two – the monster will come out for a while, recede a little, then come out again, every few days for the next few weeks. That’s terrifying to me, but even though I fucked up the other day, knowing that much gives me some measure of control. I can make reasonably sure nobody else is gonna see it, until the episode is over. I owe that, at least, to the good people around me. I just wish I could take back the times when I fail.
To end a very dark piece of writing on a slightly better note: I have a new psychiatrist. She is tripling my meds (I’m currently on double, for one more night, then up to triple), so the time I’m taking to write this is the time at night after I take them, and before they knock me out. I’ll get to spend my days in something of a fog, until my system readjusts, but in the long term it should help. They did help before this, they helped to chain the extremes I go to where the monster gets loose, but I’ve spent the past few months edging a few floors past the place where they were doing good. Higher doseage should mean stronger chains – that’s the theory, anyway. We’ll see. First I have to get through the dopey, stone, loopy, all over the place part while my brain readjusts. And I have to find a way to climb back down from the manic high I’ve been trying – and quite clearly failing – to control.
If nothing else, at least while the increased doseage is knocking me out, I don’t have quite so many nightmares.