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Thursday, April 10, 2014

"My head is like a prison cell."

I'm going to say this right now.  I've never written about this.  I have avoided this topic like the plague.  But here goes...

Last night, I was struggling with body image.  I was seriously hating on my body.  I struggled with the way I look, and that just got me going even more than ever on one of the most personal issues I have with my body... my scars.  Sometimes it feels like my story is written on my body in such a physical way that there's no denying that it was real (not that I would want to).  I kept thinking that I wish my story could be written entirely on paper.  On paper, I can control what it looks like, and, ultimately, I can at least look away from paper.  Paper isn't a part of my body.  But my story isn't written entirely on paper... it's also on my skin.  My arms, my legs, it's there.  It can't be denied.

I always worry that when people see my scars, they judge me without hearing my story.  I worry that they see the scars and don't care about anything further than that because, hey, people who cut are all crazy, right?  Wrong.

So last night, I kept thinking about how my scars remind me of the battle I've been facing for almost a decade now (seriously... September will mark 10 years since the first time I harmed myself).  It hurts to be reminded of the pain of my past so constantly... and the fact that it hurts me made me want a distraction.  A physical distraction.  Quite frankly, it made me want to cut myself.

Which honestly, I realize, seems absolutely ridiculous, because the physical scars are what had me upset in the first place (among other things).

I think what it really comes down to, above all else, is that I don't know how to feel.  I've been numbing myself for so long that I don't know how to feel anything without being overwhelmed by it.  I can't feel anything without starting a fucking war with myself in my head.

So that's where I was at last night.  But I got through it.  And I got through it without harming myself.

I did a lot of writing, a little yoga, and I felt better.  I went to sleep, woke up this morning, and had a really great day today.

Sometimes, when I feel the way I did last night, I feel trapped, like my body is a cage. 

I'm feeling a lot again tonight again, so I've been writing again.  It helps.  I honestly believe that writing can be more therapeutic than anything else.

Today was a good day, but that kind of scares me.  I know that sounds ridiculous, but I've had so many experiences over the past couple years that lately when I have a day that's anything above "mostly okay" for no specific reason, I start worrying (yay anxiety....).  My mind goes to this place where I start thinking, "What if it isn't just a good day?  What if it's the beginning of a hypomanic episode?"

Sometimes, I miss being hypomanic.. because who doesn't love feeling like they have a ton of energy and feeling super productive?  I know I'm actually not at all productive in this state because my mind is constantly going and going so I can't really focus long enough to get things fully accomplished, but it's that feeling..

It's what comes after that that scares me, though.  It's the inevitable crash into depression.  It's everything that comes with the depression.  It's the not wanting to get out of bed... feeling exhausted despite having done nothing that day... the constant, persistent, never-ending negative thought patterns... the feeling of being out of control... the moment when I get so desperate to escape that I take apart razors to get to the blades.. the moment when I don't have patience for that so I use scissors instead.. the moment where I give up and stop caring about whether or not I continue breathing... the moment where I have to go to the hospital.  It doesn't always get to that point, that's worst case scenario, but my mind just goes there sometimes.  I worry about the possibility all those things happening again.  It's not somewhere I ever want to be again, even though it's happened more than once.

This is what goes through my head when I wake up and just have a really great day.  Seriously, I'm afraid of being happy, I'm afraid of being depressed.  I'm afraid of feeling because I've spent almost half my life trying to numb myself.

Ten days clean (yeah, I'm back to that, I know), and instead of being proud of myself for this small step forward, I'm scared of what the next big emotion I feel might be.

But... despite all this, I'm sitting here, I'm breathing, and I'm fine.

This is progress, because I'm allowing myself to feel these things as they come.  I'm not numbing it.  I'm not numbing it because I don't want to look back on my life someday to realize I never allowed myself to fully feel what I should have.  Because emotions are one of the most important parts of being alive.  They need to be felt.  The good, the bad, the terrible, and the absolutely fucking amazing.

I can't say I'll always be this strong, I can't say "forever"... because the thought of allowing myself to feel everything and not harm myself for the rest of my life, forever, is still seriously, completely, entirely, absolutely overwhelming to me.  I'm taking this one day at a time.  It's the only way.

But for today, or at least what's left of it, I'm going to try and just let a good day be a good day.  That's all it is, and it's amazing.  <3

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