I don’t polish my halo,
You mean more to me
I can’t disrespect that,
I don’t think you’d care,
when you see
right through me.
I leave everything tainted,
None of it matters.
always meant more to me.
The drugs just aren’t doing it for me,
chemical sleep has lost its appeal
and I confess, I considered tonight
that it might be easier just not to feel.
To slip away, to take a bow,
Admit defeat and fall from my grace
and would you miss me, would you notice;
how long would it take to forget my face?
You forgot me once, you can do it again,
after all, this is only a release
breaking free from the prison we built together
in the hope, of maybe, one night of peace.
I confess, this is serious,
and if I had the strength I would leave tonight
I wish I was brave, that I wouldn’t miss you
that this time I could really give up the fight.
An empty bottle in front of me,
and pills I know I’ll never take
just further proof of my personal failings
evidence of the depression I could never shake.
Another scar to my collection,
a canvas I paint to remind me of you
to prove this reality was never a nightmare
but a waking hell, which I’m still going through.
I confess, it would be so easy,
Just a slip of the hand, just one step too far
but I’m not brave, I feel too afraid
to let myself go, to reopen these scars.
Yet I fantasise of how easy it would be,
for you to live your life without me there
I confess I think of setting you free
sometimes it’s the only way that ever seems fair.
If I left today, would you notice?
Would you realise, I did this for you?
If I slipped away past an exit sign,
would you see it as failure, or something I needed to do?
I try to remember every word you ever said,
the times you loved me, the times you were sweet
I confess, I want to forget
to make this easier for me to leave.
But how can I go when you hold me like that;
when you whisper so quietly only I can hear?
I confess, you keep me from dying,
from collapsing under the weight of my fears.
“Suicide” is a word I don’t like typing. It’s such a final solution, and the word itself makes me feel uncomfortable about the actions I’ve taken in the past. I may occasionally mention my flirts with causing my own death, but I try not to go into much detail because, in truth, I’m ashamed.
I’m ashamed to know I even tried, mostly over such trivial things. New colleges and threats of break-ups. Arguments with my mother. They seem such petty reasons but back then I couldn’t judge whether an incident was serious or minor, and everything felt like a horrific attack on everything I am. The panic and psychosis (for there was psychosis; hallucinations and imagined conversations) drove me into a ball of fear and confusion and, somehow, I decided that suicide was the only logical answer to a world of horror.
Last week, a man lay down on the train tracks between my house and Z’s, and killed himself. I heard the sirens and saw sketchy details appear on Facebook, but I still can’t let myself accept that somebody was in so much torment that they felt the only way to solve it was to climb over the barriers as traffic waited at the crossing, and wait for the train to hit; somebody just a couple of roads away from where I was sitting was going through something most people never – thankfully – have to experience.
I find myself wondering what he was like; why he felt he had to take that step, and do something so damn final. I wish I’d had the chance to know him, somehow.
When you have a fear over something – be it general anxiety, agoraphobia, spiders or – in my case – being sick – you’re often given the advice “remember, you won’t die”.
On the surface it’s good advice, and very true. CBT (or my experience of it) focused on that a lot, and I can imagine most people who don’t experience such extreme fear see it as perfectly sensible advice which can really help. So I don’t begrudge those who tell me this; apart from those in the psychiatric profession, who should know better, because it’s all well and good saying “it won’t kill you”, but anyone living with fear knows that there’s absolutely nothing rational about the red-hot tangle of despair and terror.
But, I didn’t die. I stopped being sick once the anti-emetics kicked in, and I’ve been able to eat without feeling nauseous. I’m still scared of the idea of it starting again, and there’s a huge bruise on my hand from the IV, but I didn’t die. I’m okay.
Somehow, it always ends up okay. I don’t know how.
I hate hospitals.
Really, really hate them.
Since childhood, I’ve been paraded around them for various reasons; hooked up to so many machines I hear the beep in my dreams. I’ve been sick on so many hospital floors, and each and every single hospital visit – be it a planned appointment or a trip to A&E – has left me a nervous wreck.
I’m not ashamed to admit this: I just can’t cope with it. The smell. The horrible lights. The feeling of vulnerability and the worry you’ll never sleep properly again. The strange faces and unpredictable noises… and the memories of the times I’ve been really, really ill. Vomiting up black stuff all over the polished A&E floor, tripping on morphine and hooked up to every piece of machinery in the world. Happily floating on a cloud of prescribed IV opiates, not giving the slightest damn about anything but going to sleep and not waking up again.
I really hate hospitals.
But I also hate being sick. Admitting to a phobia of vomiting sounds weak somehow; it’s hardly the worst thing to happen to a person, but it utterly terrifies me. I suspect it stems from years of bulimia; controlled vomiting is entirely different to actual sickness, and it’s the lack of control I can’t cope with. Vomiting for days on end and being unable to take my meds, wash, dress myself, eat, drink, or even sleep in the same bed as S… it all took its toll, and I ended up in A&E this morning, wired up to a drip and covered in heart monitor pads.
I admit, it wasn’t the plan.
I had an appointment with my GP this morning – to check up on my medications, which need to be raised or changed, how the pain is going… I didn’t make it, because I was busy concentrating on not vomiting in the taxi on the way to hospital.
If you’ve never been scared of being sick, you can’t imagine just how terrifying it is. Every movement, every sound, every thought even… if you feel nauseous, anything can and will set you off, and it’s utterly horrible when it happens. I’ve never vomited as an adult and not had a panic attack during. It’s not a pretty situation.
So I lay there. Sat up. Lay down again. Went to the toilet a million times. Couldn’t get comfy. The only time I’ve been on my own in A&E before is when I took an overdose – the latest in a line of them in my later teens – and my mother flat-out refused to accompany me. I resented her at the time, but I understand why now. I tried to quell the panic by browsing the internet on my phone, reading boring BBC news stories about absolutely nothing, trying to pretend everything’s okay.
Also, there was an added fear. One I haven’t mentioned to anyone, not even the doctor; I figured anything abnormal would show in the blood and heart tests. A few days ago I was in so much pain – agonising, screaming pain – that I caved, and begged everyone I know to find me some ‘proper’ painkillers. Z turned up with some 30mg co-codamol and, later, a strip of tramocet. Now, I’ve spoken about my little opiate problem before, but recently it’s been pretty dormant. I haven’t felt the need to self-medicate or block things out with tiny white pills.
However, fever doesn’t work well when you’re trying to be sensible. I accidentally took far too many painkillers; I don’t know how or why I did it, just that I took more than three times the recommended dose. It was in no way a suicide attempt, because I wasn’t truly aware of what I was doing. I just wanted the pain to stop, so I could finally get some sleep.
Then, days and nights of vomiting. Sweating; that horrible chemical-tinged sweat you get with opiates. Hallucinations and awful nightmares.
So that’s how I found myself curled up on a hard bed in A&E, trying to explain my ridiculous medical history, clutching an emesis basin and hating everything hospitals are.
I just can’t cope with them.
They scare me.
Lighthouses, they don’t bring you to me,
my torch burned out and lights always fade,
I’ve told this story, I’ve walked this line,
this path of betrayal which we both made.
My touch, does it mean little to you now?
I stand on the sidelines, too afraid to speak.
Always the one who stood in the background,
you’re seeing strangers, but do you ever see me?
A new world, one I can’t bear,
cast out to sea with no strength to swim,
not waving, not drowning, just watching the lighthouses,
throwing their lights on everywhere we’ve been.
Beacons, they never clear your path,
and too many obstacles for me to remove,
a tiny flame long since snuffed out,
the control of strangers with their arms around you.
I draw maps, but they just lead you astray,
who’d ever think you’d be the one who would leave?
So strong, so solid, a thing of perfection,
something of envy, at least that’s what I believed.
Lighthouses, they can’t ever bring you home,
sex destroys everything and love always lies,
strangers surround you and I crash with the waves,
you’ll never come to me first; I’ll never shine.
was a myth I never quite
was a lie, a few
was a story I wrote
and you took it away
I turn the pages
but you changed the ending.
When I met O, I had such hopes and dreams for us; just as I had for every other past relationship. He was to be my saviour, a knight on shining armor to rescue me from every mistake I ever made and every man who ever made me feel worthless. At the time I believed that nobody – not a single other person in the whole world – felt as much for somebody as I did for O. I adored him. Clung to him like a limpet. Demanded his attention 24/7; at the time, I honestly believed I was doing the right thing. I thought he appreciated knowing just how special he was to me.
And for a long time, we wrote a love story together. O was just as attentive and clingy; demanding to know who was texting me or why I’d not answered my phone. We were perfectly destructive for each other, but the constant friction created a passion which kept us coming back to each other, time and time again.
Then it all changed. He broke free of the bonds we’d created and walked his own path. I thought I had the ending all worked out, but he added his own epilogue.