It’s OK

People. What makes a person? What makes man different from mammal? Emotion. Sympathy.

We all have those really bad days. Where all we want to do is crawl under the duvet, put on a very sad album (maybe Joni Mitchell or Nick Cave) and cry. Then more sad songs. More tears. And finally, we induce a worn-out/cried-out sleep. The kind of sleep that lasts for 4-8 hours, and we wake up feeling hot and confused about where we are and what just happened. Then, we remember we cried ourselves to sleep. So we cry again.

And that’s ok. It’s ok to have those days. And it’s ok to just want people to look after you: without having to ask. You want someone to bring you a box of tissues, without having to hang up banners that state “I’m feeling really depressed. Comfort me. I’m begging.”

It’s ok if the longing and the begging for sympathy is internal and unvoiced. It doesn’t mean you want it any less.

You always help out everybody around you. You love your family, friends, partner, and you do everything you can to cheer them up when they feel down, without being asked. Broken leg? Pizza night. Break up? Chocolate and magazines. Operation? Cards and flowers. Bout of depression? Little reminders that you care, post it notes, cards and more flowers.

But what about when the shoe is on the other foot? When you’re the one who needs cheering up? You can’t cheer yourself up with flowers, and you want someone else to show you some sympathy. But without having to ask, to scream, shout and beg. You don’t want to make a fuss about yourself. You say, “I’m fine” but anyone who knows you knows you’re lying. Yet they choose to beleieve you’re fine.

Or maybe they don’t. Maybe they cheer you up. Until they selfishly forget about you. “You are feeling depressed? And you feel a bit suicidal? You’re going back to ‘that dark place’? Oh don’t worry, I’ll look after you, I’m here- OH MY GOODNESS. I can’t believe my gas bill has gone up.”

And just like that, -poof- they have something more important than you. Again.

So, if you have one of those “leave-me-alone-I’m-calling-in-sick-so-I-can-sit-and-cry” days, don’t worry. Don’t feel guilty. Let yourself have the time you need. Bask in your sadness, wallow in self-pity: because perhaps that’s just what you need. So what if your doctor says it’s unhealthy? Maybe you just need that time to cry it out. To not feel anything for a few days. To let yourself go emotionally empty, before you get back on the horse and start again. Forget about everybody else, and listen to what you want, what you need.  It’s not a step back: it’s a time out.

Think about how you would treat those you love. What would you say? Would you tell them to just get over it? No. You would tell them that it really is ok. So I’m telling you, even if no one else does: you deserve to listen to yourself.

S x

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Moving Forward

Life often takes turns that are unexpected and out of the blue. We think that we are making the right choice, only to find out that we were wrong. Every experience that we have is of importance to our lives, but it doesn’t mean they’re all enjoyable.

For me lately, things have been very unexpected. I’ve had to move back in with my Mam for a while, which is not something I anticipated happening. But it won’t be for long: in about a month or so I’m moving out, and I don’t want to. Not because I want to stay, but more because I’m in my comfort zone here, trying to recuperate.

I’ve spent a lot of time recently with my partner: and although it has been so lovely and enjoyable, that hasn’t exactly been easy either. When you live with BPD, you struggle to see things the way everybody else does. Things become very black and white, and it is difficult to understand why others can’t see what you see, why you don’t all share the same perceptions. I have been crying a lot again, because I just don’t see that I add anything to anybodies life.

Unfortunately, I sometimes fail to see my worth in life: I feel that people would get by without me and that I am not a necessity to anyone. I don’t bring anything but problems, and I don’t feel like I have a purpose. It is difficult to deal with these feelings, because when these feelings surface, nothing that anybody says can make me feel any differently, and that is one of the things that makes BPD different from other conditions.

Another is, of course, the severity and intensity of these, and any other, feelings that may occur. They are so intense that sometimes they cause physical pain: my muscles spasm because they’ve been so tense, my eyes hurt, my head pounds and my stomach feels numb: it can be excruciating.

But even in the darkness, things can never get worse: it is difficult to keep moving forward, but that is the only way. Backwards is closed off, you cannot return to the past, even if you want to. And I am grateful for all of the support I receive during these times of difficulty, even if it meant having to return home and leave the big city that is London. Sometimes, you have to do what is best for yourself and your health, not just what you would like to do.

Sal x

Alone

It’s been a while since I last posted…

Things have been: hard. I thought that moving away would make things easier. Living in a big City, alone. Hiding in a crowd of people, alone. Living with no one, alone. Dealing with my problems… alone. It turns out that things are harder when you’re on your own: who’d have thought it?

Sure, I like the space. I appreciate being able to try and work things out in my head. But I’ve gone from being totally surrounded and suffocated to being deserted and abandoned, isolated and stranded. And I’m not sure which is worse.

University is horrible: I never realised that the North/South divide actually existed. I feel like a foreigner in my own country. I dread waking up, I dread leaving my room, I dread going out. All I want is to go back to where I feel at home, and that isn’t here. I tire of falling asleep every night, crying, and waking every morning feeling worse than I did the last.

I’m not sure how much longer I can go on this way, but I know one thing is for sure: I’ll do my best to see this academic year out, but after that, I’m going home. Real home, not just back to somewhere I eat and sleep. Back to where there are people who care about me, who love me.

I don’t have friends here. Not really: there are one or two people who I care for, and I’m so glad I met: but I need family around me right now. I fear that, once again, I’m slipping, and it frightens me. I fear for my health, being alone here. I’m not sure what else I can do anymore. But I know I can’t keep going this way.

The problem with people is that they don’t understand what they don’t know. They fear what they’re not comfortable with, and ignore what doesn’t concern them. I don’t have a voice here. I’m less than nothing. I’ve been back about two weeks, and already I want to leave again. Because I can’t deal with this. I just don’t feel like I matter, to anyone here.

My lecturers don’t seem bothered. Classmates don’t notice me: I haven’t “gelled” with anyone. I don’t leave my room, unless it is necessary. And even then, I avoid it at all costs.

Every time I feel like I’ve escaped the clutches of depression, they reach out, drag me back and consume me once more.

Circles and Cycles

Is this fog going to follow me wherever I go? Will this brush forever taint every picture I paint? Will this pen continually reveal my secrets without my consent? Is this ever going to end? I fear not. Yes, it ‘makes me who I am’. My journey through the darkness will never be over. The realisation of that is still too harsh, its too raw… it’s too real.

Just for a moment, I long to be basking in the luscious, warm light: to feel sun upon my skin and a smile across my lips. To let out laughter instead of a sigh, to feel good about myself and not guilty. I want to paint a picture, full of bright yellow’s and vivid green’s: no darkness, no shadows. But then, it would not be real.

Suffering is what makes a life reality

It is what differentiates us from one another. Our experiences are unique: we all inhabit the same earth, and yet not one person will ever live the same life; throughout history and far into the future.

So, that brings me to the question: how come I got the short straw? How come I don’t get a life full of promise? How come mine is not a life of purpose and of reason? Instead, I lead a life of despair and of pain. What good is a life that you cannot truly live?

Many people say I should be grateful for everything I have. Material objects. A warm bed and place to sleep. Food. Water. For those things I am grateful, and I show this gratitude through prayer mostly. But those things do not make me healthy: they do not cure my sickness. They do not rid me of illness. They do not allow me to live: they merely allow me to comfortably survive.

And there is a vast difference between living life and merely surviving it. I want to live my life: but I find myself incapable. Day-to-day, hour-to-hour: I exist. Time moves on, and I with it. But I cannot heal. Each time someone doubts me, the wound is reopened.

That is the problem with being a borderline: you can cover all your cuts with as many bandages as you like, but they will always open again, each time more painful than the last.

Hell, you could stitch up the deep wounds and they would still find a way to come undone. Because that is what borderline personality disorder is: it is reliving pain, and feeling things so deeply and intensely that you can’t escape.

I can see things that other people can’t: I don’t mean like a visage. I can see the pain others try to desperately to hide. I can see the lies that people tell. I can see the past repeating itself.

Or at least in my opinion. But what I can’t see is a definitive: I can’t see a rational explanation to things. All I see is past experience: “that’s what happened last time so it’s happening this time”. Love is not real. Not in my world. I am unlovable, I am not worthy. I never have been: I have conditioned myself to think this way so that nobody can hurt me: except it still does hurt. No matter how many times someone leaves me or lets me down, it doesn’t get any easier.

I am caught in a never-ending cycle, that I can never break free. Some part of me will always occupy this void, and that part will always see the past repeating itself. And, if the link isn’t so obvious, this part of me will find a link: because it does not believe in change. It does not see any self-worth, or reasoning to suggest any actions contrary to those of the past. And maybe that part is right: maybe I will never deserve anything other than suffering and hurt. Maybe it is what I am destined to experience. I just wish it wasn’t.

Sal

x

Never-Ending Day

Hand in hand we walk along
The cold, wet, shining pier,
A place where love should keep me strong
Makes me cry another tear.

Who am I, I ask myself?
And who on earth are you?
Who is this I’m walking with,
Old friend I’ve found anew?

I’ve known you for forever,
Yet we’ve never met before.
I’ve known you since the dawn of time,
And will forever more.

I look into my mirror,
And it’s you who’s looking back.
I stand beneath the burning sun,
You’re my shadow, all in black.

You are but a part of me
And I, a part of you:
And though we are alike
We still take a different view.

You say I should end it all,
I don’t deserve to live:
That they’ve all had enough of me,
Taken all I can give.

Taunting me with thoughts
That corrupt my very mind:
Poison me with sharpened words,
Use images to blind.

You cloud my world in darkness,
Eclipsing all the light.
But you say that it is good for me,
You’re trying to do me right.

I contend your opinion,

Say you want to see me die.

I tell myself I’m worth much more,

I say it: but I lie.

Thanks to you my world is black,
There is no state of grey:
I don’t trust anybody,
Even when I hear them say:

“I’m here for you, my friend”,
And put their hand in mine:
“I’m by your side forever,
I’ll help the hurt resign”.

I nod and smile to them,
But deep down I hear your voice:

“Don’t listen to them darling,
Out is your only choice”.

I leave a note one night,
Upon my bedside chair:
I pray to the Lord God,
If he is really there.

I ask him why he does this,
Why torture me this way?
Why can’t you just let me go,
End this never-ending day?

“You can’t escape forever”,
A grin says in the dark.
“You’ll succumb eventually,
But never leave your mark”.

It is then I realize,
That much as I wish I was,
I am not important:
Because I am a lost cause.

A Late-Night Meandering

My soul is no longer pure. It is poisoned.

Poisoned by hate.

The hate I feel towards my Mother. My Father. My Aunt: why did you have to die? My Grandparents: where were you, when I needed you? Myself: why am I so worthless?

My eyes no longer see the truth. They are clouded.

Clouded by Love.

Love creates false hope. Love builds a home, where not even a brick-house stood. Love makes a safe haven, Love protects it. And then, Love brings it all crashing down. Because it can.

Love hurts.

I can no longer hear the truth. All I hear are lies.

Lies like, “I love you”. Lies like, “I will never leave you”. Even my own words are lies: “I’m fine”.

I cannot smell justice. Instead, I am followed by a scent of deceit.

Following a scent that is sweet will lead to a sour disappointment.

I cannot feel life: all I feel is my grasp weakening, my hands letting go, my strength fading.

I’m losing my grip on reality and venturing, blind, into the unknown. What choice do I have?

There is no going back. 

I have passed the point of no return. No amount of faith can take me back.

I am so alone: but I must journey on, with no-one at my side, or I face hinderance.

Hinderance becomes Waiting. Waiting becomes Stopping. Stopping becomes Failure.

Failure is not an option.

I do not have a choice, but to battle up this hill, ever-increasing though it may be.

I do not need these people: I am fuelled by their ridicule of me. All those who doubted me were right to do so, when the odds were stacked so highly against me. But I am stubborn. It is stubbornness that keeps me going: that kept me alive.

Determination causes destruction, but it is for the greater good. If something is truly meant to be, it can be mended, begin again. If determination is enough to permanently destroy something then, trust me, it’s not worth having.

So what if no-body believes in you? They are not you.

You are Stronger than they believe. You Fight more than they see. And you can Dream more than they would ever imagine.

They are not you; because of that, it is them I feel sorry for.

You are Important, Determined, Stubborn, Brave, Alone, Fearless. You are Poisoned, Blind and Numb.

You are a Fighter.

You are Invincible.

Insight

Beat me ’till I’m black and blue,

Beat me ’till I cannot see,

I am not a friend to you,

So beat me ’till I cannot see.

Mock me ’till I cut myself,

Across my arm and down one knee,

It is not a cry for help:

I cut where no one else will see.

Taunt me every day at noon,

I can’t escape, I’m never free,

Scorning worsens in my room:

It carries on where no-one sees.

I am not afraid of you,

Even though you do hate me,

I share the same point of view,

Inflicted where no one can see.

You hurt me in the daylight hours,

With words, but also, physically;

I hurt myself when taking showers,

I hurt myself where no one sees.

Your actions have no consequence,

You don’t see that you’re hurting me,

Against your fight, I’ve no defence:

No-one can help: no-one can see.

No-one knew the pain you caused,

No-one knew, other than me,

That you were breaking moral laws,

By hurting me where none could see.

But your offence was not alone,

I am my own worst enemy,

I hurt myself in my own home:

In hope that I will cease to be.

Begin Again

Turn the page, start anew,
Craft a world with a pretty view,
Create a life, a new character too,
Then this new journey you can pursue.
Mould it all, shape it well,
Set yourself free from living hell,
You’re still trapped: I can tell,
Now to be free from the tolling bell.
Be unique, be yourself,
Put your old life on the shelf,
May your new life bring you wealth,
And help you get back your good health.
Moving on, don’t look back,
Just few belongings need you pack,
And put them in your shoulder sack,
Slung right behind, covered in black.
Cast a shadow, not a tear,
Be filled with confidence, not with fear,
For this will be a lovely year,
To set your new life into gear.
Close all the windows, lock the door,
Don’t do the things you did before,
Rewrite your rules and change your law,
And pick yourself up off the floor.

Dans la mort, nous vivons.

We hide behind a mask. We live life, posing as our own creation brought to life: we are both the puppeteer and the puppet. This allows us to feel. To show love. To inflict pain. Bring joy. Show hate

We hide behind an exterior, a shield, with human appearance, masquerading as the one we call ‘ourselves’. 

But our true self is never fully revealed through life: only through death is our true self revealed. In death, we cannot choose what to hide and what to reveal. We do not have the power of concealment. No longer can we pretend.

In death we reveal what in life we had to hide. 

In death, we live. 

The power of language, is a funny thing. I realised this when writing the above. When certain words are placed together, a sentence is formed. Alone, a single word is nothing: in terms of lexis, unity is everything. 

We underestimate the power of language: it is easy to overlook the great influence behind writing. It can move us. Stir emotion. Cause joy. Cause destruction. Words gain power in number, but also their formation: writing requires a formula, each equation different for each purpose. 

Unlock the power to write, and you unlock a great deal. Words hold no value: but they hold the potential of value. Like all good tools, when used correctly, the sky is the limit for the possibilities achievable, through the use of good writing. 

Some people keep their writing a secret: they write down their inner-most thoughts, things so personal that they have never revealed. Information that is top secret. When the person in question is alive, their privacy is respected. But when they die, their privacy is no longer an issue: and so, anyone is able to acces their innermost thoughts, if they’re written down. 

Like I said before, it all comes down to this:

Dans la mort, nous vivons. 

In death: we live. 

Sal x

Miraculous Miracle

I wonder… 

Did Jesus ever feel the way I do now? Did he too, in those fleeting moments, feel more alone than anyone had ever felt? Did he struggle to see love from those who promised him a better world? Did he feel abandonment, and disappointment? Or was he above feeling those things? He was the Son of God, but he was also human, and even he wasn’t immune to emotion. 

Did Alice really fall down a rabbit hole, or did she just fall deeper inside her own head, using imagination to escape reality? Were the inhabitants of Wonderland merely just representations of the emotion she felt inside, the fears she harboured? After all, the inhabitants of Wonderland are “all mad here”: maybe that’s because it was all in her head. 

Sometimes, I wish for an escape like Alice, and an immunity to emotion, like Jesus had. But even he doubted those who loved him, even he doubted his own Father, the creator. Momentary as it was, the doubt did linger. Maybe I’m just waiting for a miracle, that isn’t going to happen. 

I am hard on myself, that I know. 

When I first fell ill, nobody saw it. Instead, I was criticised, punished and pushed: it was my fault and I had to try harder. When my illness came to light, everyone eased up: but I just couldn’t. I don’t know how to go easy on myself. If I’m not at breaking point, then I’m not trying hard enough. I warn everyone if they get too close that they’ll get hurt. 

A rose has thorns.

Embedded in beauty, is pain.

That which is most beautiful, is the deadliest pain: it slowly creeps up on you before hitting you, all at once. 

The most beautiful flowers are the most poisonous. And the ivy that is most deadly has the deepest roots, because all the while it has been growing it had to adapt, to defend itself.

The tallest grass is that which harbours the most snakes.

And the secret garden holds the rarest of treasures, if you can find it, and persevere the many beautiful obstacles on the way.

Foliage, greenery: it is seasonal, it is temporary. It is ever-lasting; this is why it is so closely related to mental illness. Prolonged exposure to pollen will result in an allergy weakening. Similarly, prolonged exposure to suffering will make you stronger: but it doesn’t make it any easier, and it doesn’t make the pain lesser.