Hello Darkness, My Old Friend

Falling Apart

Last night, I crumbled. After a *really* rough few days of everything going wrong, I gave into temptation and downed some co-codamol. Not to kill myself this time (and clearly they’d do fuck all for any mental pain) but I just needed to get away from the present. Quite simply, I can’t cope. Everything is too much right now. Partly my own fault for having this dilemma, partly others for what they do, or don’t do. I guess some people will never fully realise the impact they have on others, even if it’s just for a split second. Now my focus, my relationship, my life…everything is falling apart. I thought I was doing ok with coping but clearly not. With no alcohol or any way to talk about it, I got desperate and returned to old ways. I do feel a bit of shame and guilt for taking them but…I don’t know…I have ways to justify it, so it’s ok? There was no hidden agenda or cry for help (not that I know of anyway), I just needed to zone out before I ended up doing something really bad. The first thing I thought was this isn’t going to be anything like when I carved up my thigh and washed down a packet of diazepam and codeine with Jägermeister. So if it’s nothing like that, then it’s fine right? No blood this time and no intent to kill myself. Just to a way to get myself through a few hours. I remember the soothing wave washing over me as everything started to go fuzzy. When I couldn’t even feel my face anymore, I finally felt calm and happy. This is the peace I long for. I wish I had some co-codamol with me right now actually. Despite being at work, today is really fucking tough.

I’d like to think I’ve got this under control. No overdosing, no risks or reckless attitude, just a measured, sensible approach. Just a little something for to soften the edges. The worst experience I had was knocking back an entire supply of dihydrocodeine with some paracetamol for good measure. I was in a really bad way then and, once I’d downed my hidden stash of painkillers, I ended up scouring the house for anything I could get hands on. Anything in a blister pack was potential. I vaguely remember finding a little tub of tablets with a blurred label. They seemed to be prescription painkillers, so I took those too without hesitation. Sadly it didn’t go the way I expected. I’m still here. After throwing up and some seizures, I ended up in A&E before being admitted. During my stay, I remember a psychiatrist having to interview me. At one point they asked if I’d do it again. Obviously I told them no…but deep down I wasn’t ready to make any promises to anyone. Besides, I couldn’t guarantee it. Sure enough, shit hit the fan and I tried suicide again. That time I ended up being taken to the local mental health unit under Police protection. Not sure if they were there to protect me or the ambulance crew from myself. The way I see it, if I don’t let it get that bad again then I’m ok to keep taking them. Many would say it’s wrong but I don’t care. I need to.

Just before I was discharged from the eating disorder unit (the most recent time), my therapist suspected my eating disorder was a secondary issue and that the main cause stemmed from something else (which I’ll explain more about that in another post). If that’s the case then whatever’s going on has had a knock on effect. After not eating for the past 2 days, I’m now determined get my body into some kind of shape. Not sure what shape, I just know I need to have control over it. Now more than ever. The idea of not eating has been with me for a long time. Despite giving up my relationship with my eating disorder, I found it was quite welcoming and happy to have me back. It felt familiar and reassuring, not even giving a shit about why I parted ways with it previously. That’s the unconditional love that I want. Into day 3 of not eating and I’m doing ok. Yes my mood still controls my food intake, as opposed to my actual need for food that’s determined by my body. To be perfectly honest, for most of my adult life I’ve not known what it’s like to “feel” hungry nor do I actually know when I am hungry. The feeling of hunger is so alien to me after years of restricting. Now I just go through the motions of eating when it seems appropriate to or because people around me want to eat. I still can’t eat in front of people I don’t know though. Being back in control of m eating is the one thing that’s giving me some kind of happiness at the moment. A sense of being useful and being something.

For all those who think therapy fixes you, it doesn’t. It gives you the ammunition but ultimately it’s down to you to get through it. I’m under no illusion that I was “fixed”. Since being discharged, I spend each day battling internal conflicts and disputes. It’s hard work. On the outside, people just see somebody calm. If only they could see experience what’s going on inside of me. Maybe there wouldn’t be such a stigma attached to mental health? Then again, I wouldn’t wish this kind of life on anybody. Not even for a minute. It’s crushing. Which is probably why despite going through various experiences and so much therapy, I find myself relapsing slightly and going back to old ways right now. This is life-changing stuff with the potential for me to lose absolutely everything – especially if I make the wrong decision. Right now, my ammunition is dangerously low now and I’m desperately trying to grab anything I can to use. But is it a relapse if you’re still in control? Am I even in the driving seat? I tell myself this time it’ll be different. This time I know what I’m doing and it’s all under control. Or maybe it’s me that’s out of control? No. I hope not. I don’t know anymore.

Featured image: via Imgur

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