I think I am slowly emerging from the void, or that patches of it transiently become filled with something in place of the deadness.
Until a couple of hours ago, I was mentally dead. My mum started talking to me about having my furry dog put to sleep, and there was absolutely no emotional response from me at all. I didn’t even think about what she was saying. Usually I just have to look at him and think about taking him to the vets and I hold him and never ever want to let go. I hadn’t expected such heartlessness to ever live within me. I hadn’t expected it to stay this long once it arrived. But there are brief moments where the part of me that feels starts to live again. Not even feeling actually – I’m not there yet. But thinking… Yes. I’m starting to have thoughts, and until you’ve had no thoughts unless you sit down and force them… You don’t really appreciate how refreshing it is to have something inside of your brain.
This is where people are going to celebrate, they are going to think that I’m better or coping or whatever. And I’m really not. That gets frustrating, when people celebrate and I know that this is the calm before the complete breakdown. My brain is like a slipping bicycle chain. It re-engages, then the pressure going through it is too great, so it slips, and tries again, and slips, and tries again. There is movement now, stirring within… But it isn’t enough for the bicycle of myself to start functioning as it should, it’s just the monster in my head waking up.
I spent the past two hours laying on my bed. My dad got in and I knew we were about to partake in some sort of epic battle, so I removed myself from his company for everyone’s sake. I laid on my bed, and for two hours I did nothing. I stared at the same spot. Usually this would make me bored, or I’d fall asleep, or I’d overthink the entire universe. I laid there and just couldn’t find the motivation to even move. I felt like there was something inside of me telling all of me not to move. I didn’t even think, for a very long time. I was just empty. Time passed, but I wasn’t even aware of that. I stared at this one spot on my wardrobe and when I looked at my phone an hour and a half had passed. But eventually, I picked up the photo book that I made of my first year of university, and looked through it.
When I’m stuck in a rut there comes this pivotal moment when I decide that something has to change, where my brain has enough within it to propel itself back onto a smooth path. I haven’t reached that yet. I haven’t even hit the rut yet (this one will be a canyon, and I’m only stuck in a valley at the moment). I think what is starting to enter my brain is denial – I am so unable to cope with all the feelings my brain shut down over, that it is unwilling to feel them at all. That’s ok short-term. But long-term these emotions will rumble away silently until I fall apart with no idea why.
I picked up this book that I bought months ago during my first year of university (at the end of another rut) and flick through every now and then. It’s called Reasons to Stay Alive by Matt Haig, and I’ve recently been recommending it to my friends. I’d recommend it to anyone – people who’ve had depression and/or anxiety, people who have friends or relatives going through these things, or people who just want to understand it better. I started looking for another book I bought while I was still in sixth form (seriously whenever life got rough I’d go out and just buy a bag of books). I was looking for a non-fiction book which is quite frankly one of the best books I’ve ever read. It’s written by a psychologist, and it was the first thing ever to accurately describe how I felt about suicide – that I didn’t want to die, it just seemed like a coping mechanism. There were so many bits I wanted to highlight, but I’m obsessive over the state of my books (spines never bent, pages never marked or creased…). I couldn’t find it, which gave me an excuse to buy another copy that I can annotate and bend the spine of etc. I just wanted to read it again, because I remember that the book was so eye opening and fantastic and I just can’t remember why. I was sort of hoping I guess, that there might be some words within it that get me.
Most of the time I walk past my university work and feel nothing. But twice in the last 24 hours I’ve passed it and actually thought about it. Not a full thought. Not a detailed thought. Just a maybe I could pick that up at some point. Not should or must or or else or I’m a terrible student and I’m so behind and I can’t do anything other than work because uni is life, but maybe. There was no feeling of needing to do it. No feeling of wanting to work. Just a thought that I could.
I can’t stand humans. This is a problem. I’m not replying to any messages, not because I don’t want to, but because I don’t know how to. I cannot human. I can’t face humans and I don’t have the capacity to deal with normal conversation, it’s all too overwhelming. I don’t know how to respond to hey, I don’t know the answer to how are you? and nobody in their right mind wants to endure any possible answer I could give to how are things (also, they don’t seem to grasp the nature of my health and just how broken I am mentally at the minute). I don’t want smiles and warmth and laughter. I don’t want to be told to keep my chin up, or that I’m a fighter, or that I’ve got through this before and will again (all of which seem to be default responses) because I haven’t. I’ve never been here before. I’ve never felt like this before. I’ve felt numb, but this is beyond a numbness. This is ridiculous. And now I can say that, because thoughts are starting to occur spontaneously and occasionally.
Eating. Not something I’m motivated to do until I try a piece of food. And then I am filled with the hunger of a thousand nations and eat until I feel stuffed.
An unspecified but long period of time later…
Tiredness hit me and took me. Not due to my health this time (ok, so inevitably at least partly down to my physical health because that really isn’t great at the minute) but due to my mind. I woke up, and I read through what I wrote before… And it’s all… Lies? Not lies, because it’s true, but it’s worded wrong. I sound ok. I sound like it was easy for me to put those words together and not like I sat in front of a screen for an hour and a half forcing sentences out of myself with such difficulty it was like drawing blood from stone, words that felt wrong, words that didn’t say what I wanted them to (and I’m usually very good at making words paint accurate pictures) . There is no pain in those words because once again there is no nothing. I thought I had thoughts, but right now, in this moment, the deadness is here again. Maybe not complete deadness, maybe it is starting to transiently shift to numbness – an inability to feel, but a (significantly impaired but still there) ability to form the occasional thought. Nowhere near normal, nowhere near the storm of overwhelming feels that is about to come, but stirrings in the nothingness within – cogs beginning to turn and then stopping when somewhere further down the line a mechanism fails.
So excuse the randomness of all of this. These words don’t say what I want them to and I’m going to click post not because this post says what I need it to, but because I put too much time and effort into it to waste these words.
Narcissist nephew has been a complete brat today. Not only a brat, but spoiled – grumbling about the things people get him for birthdays and christmases. All day my mum made excuses for him. Usually I’d leave the house and get away from such rudeness. He spoke to me like dirt, he snapped, he sulked, he moped. There is a reason for it (his parents and a divorce), but no need for him to take stuff out on us. It isn’t ok for me to do it to people, my dad does it all the time, but my mum usually won’t accept it from me at all. And everyone is excusing everything he does. They’re making excuses for him. He’s let his school work slip because he’s more interested in friends and stuff. My dad just got in and I heard my parents have a discussion, I heard the he was so ungrateful, and that she almost slapped him at one point (she never would), and that he was a brat all day. My dad made excuse after excuse for him, spoke in an overly happy and dismissive tone, because my nephew and my brother are the apple of his eye (I mean, he has two eyes, clearly he has two apples).
My nephew was so horrible to me all day that in my usual state I’d have got super angry and super hurt and wanted to hit him and force a blade through my carotid artery all at the same time. Most of the time there was nothing. And then, there was a few seconds of mild irritation that told me my brain was switching back on. I knew then that this house is going to be the worst place to be when I start to fully think and feel again. I told my mum I might go and stay with Auntie Godmother for a few days earlier, and she got so angry at me. For doing what is right for myself. She was properly angry at the idea. She said don’t do this to me, he isn’t hurting you. Clearly though, she acknowledges that he is an actual problem.
I found some words that perfectly describe how I usually feel – the pain, the stuff behind suicidal urges, the just wanting the pain to stop… But that doesn’t apply now. There isn’t any depression, or any suicidal urge, because there’s nothing. And I don’t even know how to even even… Even.
And that’s the point. Because I’ve written words like this, and because I’m out of hospital, people are going to think I’m better physically and mentally. Only hospital friend right now understands that I am on an edge with my health, that my own body has a blade to its own throat… and that emotionally, mentally… I’m in crisis.
The stress around my health has gone. I think my brain has given up there. I can’t care. If I go, I go. But emotionally I’m about to walk into a part of the forrest so dense that no light will get through. And I have to do that, because it’s between me and the way out.