Something changed last night. I had accepted defeat and let work know I wouldn’t be in today. I’d taken all my various medications to battle depression and the cold and I was in bed. My antidepressant makes me sleepy it feels kind of fuzzy as it starts work. It’s quite pleasant actually.
Anyway, I noticed a change in how I felt. It may appear that I obsess over every little feeling and you’d be right. It’s part of mental illness I think and described quite well in this passage from The Shock of The Fall by Nathan Filer:
“Worse than all of that is how I have become selfish.
Mental illness turns people inwards. That’s what I reckon. It keeps us forever trapped by the pain of our own minds, in the same way that the pain of a broken leg or cut thumb will grab our attention, holding it so tightly that your good leg or your good thumb seem to cease to exist.
I’m stuck looking inwards. Nearly every thought I have is about me – “
So with this constant self absorption I do notice when changes occur. Last night some strength came back and it was very welcome indeed. This will not kill me I vowed. The change was a sense that it was about more than just survival, now some of the fight was back. Just a flicker but there it was.
I lay in the dark and thought I saw something. I was a bit unsettled. It felt like a flashback might be about to happen but that little flicker of fight meant I was ok with that. If it happens then let it happen. It didn’t. Instead I saw myself. Not really. I wasn’t really there but I imagined my teenage self stood there and I felt calm.
This was remarkable because a lot of the drive to kill my self is because I want to kill her. (Hey, what can I say? I’m complicated! So they tell me!) I was totally fine with her being there. I mentally (I think…maybe I did murmur out loud, don’t know) told her “it’s ok”. “You’ve done really well and now it’s ok. If you want to come and lie here that’s fine. Do you want a hug?” The weirdness of the whole thing is not lost on me. I reassured her “we can do this. We can hang on.” And just like that a whole load of fear went away. It was a relief to make peace with her. I hope it lasts. She really is the destructive self-harming, self-hating, dangerous manifestation of this illness so having her at rest, my own demon, can only be good.
There’s no denying it’s all messed up. I feel like she’s here now. But, of course, there is no ‘she’. Really it’s just personification of a feeling, a sensation. When I slept (as well as I could full of sodding cold) I dreamt of being cared for. It was bloody lovely.
This morning I’m a mess with cold. It’s true about depression totally destroying the immune system. My sickness record will testify to that. Despite feeling total kak I went and got down the green box. I’ve kind of wanted to do this for a while but been too scared. The green box contains my past. Lots of photos.
Confusing to look at now but here it is.
And that’s the change. The teenage self can be soothed rather than exterminated and I can look at these photos that tell one story and know that it’s ok that there is a different story too. Not seen. One that doesn’t have any photos.