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Here be triggers

02 Nov

Actually, I know I have to write. I can’t put it off just because I don’t want to. Even if nobody ever reads this, I need to be able to pinpoint the times I struggle, and see if I can find a reason for it. I think the most likely reason is isolation; I’ve been indoors since yesterday, and I’m already experiencing full-on cabin fever. I don’t cope well with being indoors, and going into the garden doesn’t help (as my mother often suggests) – I need to be on the streets, I need to be able to see people around me and know I’m not the only person alive. I’ve also been told today that fibromyalgia is all in my head, and if I thought positively I wouldn’t be in pain. I think that’s why I want to cry.

I’m putting off texting S. He said to contact him if I ever felt panicky or alone, but I don’t want to start relying on him answering his phone. That’s one of the reasons why O and I failed. I know S is different, but I can’t allow myself to put pressure on him, I refuse to be a burden. It’s times like this I want to fall back on codeine, or at least dope, but I have neither. All I have is a few antihistamines, and they’re not particularly effective at calming me down anymore. Not much is, I have such a high tolerance to everything now. So, I naturally turn to harming myself… luckily, I don’t really have easy-access razors anymore, but I know how easy it would be to light a cigarette and hold it on my arm like I used to. I haven’t done that for so long (the last time I burned, it was with a piece of hot metal), but I can’t deny that the urge is massive right now. If I do though, I’ll have to explain it to S, and would that really be worth it for a few seconds of relief? No. So I have to hold back.

On a lighter note, S has been wonderful as usual. I told him that I was feeling under the weather due to fibromyalgia, and he took amazing care of me this weekend. He didn’t even complain when I had to leave early when we met on Wednesday for a meal. When I’m bad, he’s so, so gentle with me. I’ve never known a man like him.

The meal was lovely. We met at my favourite pub, got a bottle of wine and talked for a few hours about everything and nothing. I don’t always see him during the week; I can’t usually cope with the effort of leaving the house midweek, but I was feeling brave and wanted to see him. Sometimes, he’s all that can calm me.

Okay. So I’ve got the razor out of the plastic case. Doesn’t mean I have to do it. I’ll just keep writing.

I had problems with Z this weekend. I’ve spoken briefly about Z before – she’s my best friend. We met online, through a body piercing forum, and she started a relationship with one of my friends, so we got to know each other. She has bipolar II (originally diagnosed as BPD), and although I love her, she’s a constant source of frustration to me. She’s very hyper and proactive, whereas I’m laid-back and happy to spend time alone. To cut a long story short, she wanted to meet S and I in Liverpool, but S had planned the trip and wanted to spend some time alone with me because he knew I was stressed. I had no idea how to get out of the situation, so I ended up turning my mobile off and ignoring her, which makes me a terrible person. I just can’t deal with friendship, how does everyone else manage it? It’s the hardest thing. We’ve spoken since, and I lied. I said my battery died. Which makes me even worse. Sometimes I think I’d be better off without friends at all, because I just can’t cope with the whole friendship thing. I never can.

I also did something which disappointed me, this weekend. I stole something. Well, I found it, but the right thing to do would have been to take it to the police station. I kept it, and now I’m wondering… am I starting to do that again? I used to steal all the time. I got banned from shops for doing it, and only avoided the law by being young and having a history of mental illness. I don’t know why I did it. There was no damn reason. I don’t even want it.

I don’t know. It’s a confusing time.

One little cut won’t do any harm.

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21 Comments

Posted by on November 2, 2011 in Every day life

 

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21 responses to “Here be triggers

  1. Jess ME CFS (@Jess_ME_CFS)

    November 2, 2011 at 11:25 pm

    Hugs! I don’t think we’ve spoken before but I read this and had to respond: please don’t do it, you know you will regret it… I know how hard chronic pain is to cope with, but you can do this… XXX

     
    • halfwaybetweenthegutter

      November 2, 2011 at 11:37 pm

      Hi, nice to meet you. And thank you; I know I’ll regret it, and having someone confirm it to me gives me more reason not to do it. I’ve held off so far, and I’ve now told my boyfriend how I’m feeling so he can support me. Sometimes you’ve just got to swallow your pride.

      Again, thank you.

       
  2. brokenpenwriter

    November 3, 2011 at 1:15 am

    I am 59 and have struggled with recurrng bouts of blackness throughout my life; in my youth I found the only way to release the pain was to bleed. Somehow the blood released what I couldn’t – for a while. Later I medicated myself. That didn’t fix me either. One day I realised I can’t achieve 100% peace, not even 60% at times, Even so, these days I live pretty much in peace and contentment – usually. I have learned that it is okay to feel uncomfortable feelings, and after I acknowledge them, I remind myself that things will change and instant relief or gratification isn’t necessary. Today pain and sadness, etc give me fuel to write – a much less destructive way to transform those feelings. My step sister killed herself at 21 and so many times I have missed her and wished we could talk now. Humans do the strangest things, don’t we? I’m so glad you have your friend and especially your blog. Just reading your honest feelings and experience makes me feel less alone. Thank you halfway, and always remember how special you are.

     
    • halfwaybetweenthegutter

      November 5, 2011 at 7:16 am

      I won’t lie; your comment brought me to tears, but in a good way. I’m glad you’ve found a level of peace, I think it’s all we really want from life when we strip it down to the bare bones. Writing has helped me hugely with battling demons, and it’s the main reason I started this blog; to learn why I feel the way I do.

      I really like that you say you’ve learned it’s okay to feel uncomfortable feelings. I suppose that’s what I’m running away from, I’m denying myself the normal fight or flight response and instead retreating into a cave every time I feel unsure. Your comment gives me a lot of hope, and I thank you for being so honest.

      Humans do strange things, yes. Suicide is such a difficult subject. My best friend lost her cousin to suicide a year ago, and it still feels as raw to her as the day it happened. The one time I got that close while I knew her, she shouted at me until I cried; and it helped.

      You don’t know me, and I don’t know you, but I’d like to offer you an internet hug, for taking the time, and for caring. Thank you.

       
  3. judithatwood

    November 3, 2011 at 2:11 am

    The fact that someone so disrespected you that they would blame fibromyalgia on your MOOD makes me want to throw up. I understand the distress that stems from that encounter — I hate when people suggest that my diabetes is due to my inability to cope with the world, and I do cry, and feel awful just long enough to remember that whoever said something like that is the one with the problem. I’m always tempted to offer my condition to that person for a week, and then see what s/he believes.

    The vast majority of people in the world know that fibromyalgia is a physical problem and, like depression, is not conquered by thinking positive, by pulling yourself up by your bootstraps. When you are feeling stronger, you might remind yourself that whoever told you that bullshit cannot possibly know what he or she is talking about. And remember, most of your readers, myself included, are sending love and strength and joy in your direction, for you to draw on as you need.

     
    • halfwaybetweenthegutter

      November 5, 2011 at 7:19 am

      I’d say I can’t believe that somebody would say diabetes is a lack of coping, but sadly I know how ignorant and blind people can be when it comes to illness you can’t physically see. You’re right; they’re the one with the problem, and I really shouldn’t take it to heart. I agree with wanting to give them a condition – I’ve often wished that anyone who doubts me could feel the pain I do, just for a day, and then see if their opinion changes.

      Thank you so much for taking the time, and for your kind words. It’s so appreciated.

       
  4. I am Jane

    November 3, 2011 at 3:11 am

    I’m really glad that you reached out to S and you didn’t self harm. I really, really wish that my partner would talk instead of self harm, but he’s not a talker. On a postiive note, he hasn’t cut for quite a while.
    Ignore the morons who tell you pain is in your head. It’s ignorance, and arrogance, to assume they KNOW what’s going on for you.

     
    • halfwaybetweenthegutter

      November 5, 2011 at 7:21 am

      I’m glad your partner hasn’t cut for a while; it’s very much baby steps, and it seems he’s going in the right direction. It’s such a hard thing to talk about because often it doesn’t even make sense to me. You’re right; it is arrogant to assume they know how I’m feeling. They said they could ‘cure’ me with hypnosis because it’s all down to my negative attitude. I’d like to see them try to erase a lifetime of physical and emotional pain just by waving a watch in front of me!

       
  5. ColonialPunk

    November 3, 2011 at 4:28 am

    Your post really spoke to me, you definitely have a way with words.

    For the last few years the only thing that has kept me from self injury is the embarrassment I know I would feel when my partner ultimately found out. Somehow the promise of a little embarrassment has saved me a lot of trouble.

    I’ve only recently come to terms with my pain being chronic but I know how awful it feels to believe the pain will never end, and to be accused of imagining said pain. I think at this point I’ve come to terms with the fact that most people are ignorant about pretty much everything in the field of medicine (even some doctors), I just try to remember that for most of them it isn’t their fault.

    I also just wanted to say that I really like that self injury chart/graphic, I’ve never seen one like that before and I’m a visual person so that thing really hit the nail on the head.

     
    • halfwaybetweenthegutter

      November 7, 2011 at 12:33 am

      I think embarrasment is a key factor in recovery; when you start truly caring what others think is when you can start seeing self-harm for what it is. I didn’t want to let S down – I’ve harmed myself once since I’ve met him, and he asked me to try not to do it again… so I did, and I didn’t do it. It helps that he understands depression and anxiety.

      I like that you say it isn’t their fault. Before I experienced chronic pain, I had empathy but no understanding of the pain my mother faces every day (she also has fibro). You can only gain understanding by feeling it yourself, and I think it’s a lot to ask the average person on the street to know how you’re feeling. This is why I try not to take it personally, but sometimes it’s really, really hard.

       
  6. belfastdavid

    November 3, 2011 at 10:00 am

    You are a very brave lady.

    Keep talking about it instead of doing it!!!!

    My particular relief was alcohol but I haven’t had a drink in over 21 years. If I can do it so can you!!!

    One day at a time

    David

     
    • halfwaybetweenthegutter

      November 5, 2011 at 7:25 am

      Thank you :) I don’t often feel brave, I confess.

      Well done on 21 years without drinking, that’s an amazing achievement and you should be proud. I’ve experienced alcoholism myself and it’s a very difficult habit to kick. And yes, one day at a time.

       
  7. Kleshas and Tanhas

    November 3, 2011 at 3:54 pm

    Continue to value the positives you see around you! I have experienced incredible lows and it’s through experiencing what you find helpful! Please keep writing if that helps you. I personally find that a way to sort through (maybe rationalize) my emotions is to write. Always write to your audience. Someone is always reading/listening!
    Jack

     
    • halfwaybetweenthegutter

      November 7, 2011 at 12:37 am

      Thank you Jack :) I do have many positives, and on the whole I do try to value them. It gets difficult sometimes, but I always bounce back; it’s one of my talents. You’re right – writing helps enormously, and I’m glad you benefit from it too.

       
  8. strugglingwithbipolar

    November 3, 2011 at 7:01 pm

    I love your flow chart and your ability to document the struggle you clearly are going through. Have you succeeded in fighting the urges? I really hope so.

     
    • halfwaybetweenthegutter

      November 5, 2011 at 7:23 am

      The flowchart is great, isn’t it? I found it on a Google search, and it sums it up perfectly. I’m tempted to print it out and leave it in my Dr’s waiting room. I didn’t harm myself, which I’m pleased with, although I confess I still have the razor in a safe place just in case. I beat it this time though, so I assume I’ll beat it next time. I’ve been through worse, this is just a minor blip :)

      Thank you so much for your comment. I know I say this all the time, but it really does mean a lot to me that complete strangers are offering me help and support. It’s something I’ve never really experienced before, and it helps hugely.

       
  9. The Old Raven

    November 3, 2011 at 7:19 pm

    I really enjoyed your comment on my post (Machu Pichhu). I am sorry that you are struggling as you do. You write very well. Which is to say you wrote “your” story well. I believe that it was cathartic and assisted in preventing you from cutting at least while you wrote. This makes me wonder if “Guided Imagery Meditations” might be helpful to you in your bad times. They have always been able to take me out of myself. Good luck to you … and keep writing!

     
    • halfwaybetweenthegutter

      November 7, 2011 at 12:38 am

      Thank you! I’ll look into guided imagery meditations, I’m willing to try pretty much anything and I’ve meditated in the past and found it helpful.

       
  10. Hannah

    November 4, 2011 at 9:22 pm

    Sometimes the urge to SH can be overwhelming – well done for trying to hold out for a bit longer before acting on those feelings – you did well. I really relate to a lot of the things you write about, I hope you don’t mind me checking back every so often to have a quick read – you write so openly… Thank you for allowing others to share your thoughts, X

     
    • halfwaybetweenthegutter

      November 7, 2011 at 12:39 am

      Of course I don’t mind. Thank you so much for the compliment, it’s helped me see how positive it can be to hold back from harming myself.

       

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