I haven’t posted in a while because I couldn’t words. I couldn’t form thoughts full enough to pull words from, and when I did, I’d go to write and my brain would just shut down. After staring into space, absent minded (literally) (for what my brain thought was a second or two but turned out to be multiple hours at a time), I’d re-engage to discover that suddenly it was dark or light and a completely different time of day to that in which I had attempted to human.
I couldn’t deal with humans. It took me at least a day before I could even reply to messages, and my response would be one word. The happy tone of the responses, or questions asking how I was or what was up when I’d explained to those people the fact that I was basically breaking down… Would make me just drop my phone, crumble in on myself, empty of all thought and feeling, and occasionally a couple of hours later when my brain switched back on, I’d just sob. I have tried in vein to explain what’s going on inside of my head at the moment. And I fail every time. So I don’t want to acknowledge that. I’ll put up a smoke screen instead and shield the hollow void within me from view.
People I thought were my friends turned out to be so insensitive and selfish that other people were messaging me, outraged and angered in place of my own brain which remained incapable to feel anything at all in response to what it read. I completely gave up on people then. I wanted nothing to do with them, which may be a defence mechanism to compensate for the fact that people inevitably are exhausted with the effort of trying to handle me. Briefly, emotions occurred inside of me, with no warning but with total control, and I’d get angry and want to hit something, or just cry. This isn’t numbness. It is an emptiness. There is no heaviness, there is a complete inability to function, to think about even normal things like how to write or that I should probably eat at some point during the day. Guess my brain is just doing what it has to do to get by, and my mind is such a mess my brain just keeps switching it off before it just… I don’t even know. Had I not stayed in Kent, I’m pretty sure I’d have killed myself by accidental neglect due to my own mental incapability. Around my dog, I could at least function enough to maintain my own existence. I typed notes for no particular reason, and retained none of the information. I look at them and it’s like somebody else typed them because I remember none of it. I sat my online uni exam, but have no idea how I did, because I haven’t checked any of my grades since the star of the semester (apart from the exam I sat with a pH of 6.9, because I was curious to see what passing out multiple times and should-be-fatal blood acidity did to my performance… 41% is what it did). Since then I haven’t written words. I couldn’t. There was nothing. Words. Not even plural – one word, even – would just make my brain empty itself and deaden and withdraw and collapse.
But today, I have a mind. And comments saying that’s great and celebrating show me that nobody understands the true depth of the disaster in my head. They assume it is better, they relax a little and back away. Or worse, they say they understand when they don’t, or that they are feeling worse and I should count myself lucky I’m not them. I… Can’t words about that.
But anyway, today I feel like I have a subconscious again – something in the recesses of my brain slowly thinking and processing thought and occasionally throwing them forwards into the void so that something fills it. There is a mind – it’s small and damaged almost to the point of being beyond repair, but it has returned. I moved back to Kent yesterday knowing I will definitely be here for 3 weeks. With my dog. And that let everything settle. Because it gives me time. Time with my furry rock, safe in the knowledge that he’ll be right by my side because he refuses to leave me. We go everywhere together, he doesn’t need me to put things into words to know how I feel, and he doesn’t produce words that tear down any shred of humanity I manage to regain. He just loves. Constantly, unconditionally, and relentlessly. He doesn’t criticise or point out negatives or flaws – I don’t think he even sees them in me. He supports me in a way no human can at the moment, because he can’t say stuff wrong, he can’t be insensitive, he can’t be selfish… And so I genuinely think that’s what induced the change. What gave me a little bit of my mind. Because honestly, that’s what it’s been like. It’s like my mind flew out of my skull and left nothing.
I’m not fully switched on, the deadness seems to be a default defence mechanism and it settles within me 80% of the time. But today there is the ability for occasional thought – not an inward reflection or any thought at all about the cause of my emotional destruction or whatever, but thought in the absence of emotion. And thought in the absence of emotion is very helpful, because in the absence of emotion it is purely logical. In the absence of any ability to react to my thoughts, they can fully progress without being shut down.
Life has been happening. There’s stuff I want to share but my thoughts only function in the here and now – not in the past, not anywhere near anything that should induce an emotion, and not about anything personal. I functioned enough to wake up at 6:30 this morning and brush my dog and feed him and sort out his ear and let him outside (which he was very pleased about because nobody else got up until almost 9)… I can think about people that aren’t me. On Thursday it was Portsmouth Uni Friend’s birthday and she wasn’t doing anything. I couldn’t really deal with people, especially one that pointed out that I was walking faster and that I was clearly so much better (without understanding that my heart was as she said that in the middle of a very long run of arrhythmia, blissfully unaware that no, I wasn’t better, just broken in a different way). But I know what it’s like to have a rubbish birthday, and I also know that this person’s brain is very critical and would overthink itself into feeling neglected by everyone and end up drowning in hurt.
So I persuaded her and Italian Uni Friend to go to Nando’s for dinner, and then I took them to Harrods (I bought a book called The Happiness Project I’m a tiny way through it and I’d recommend it to anyone). And then she wanted to go to Winter Wonderland, which I was bored of (and we’d already walked from South Kensington station the very long way round to Harrods (we went the wrong way) with my heart stressing itself into oblivion and my requests to slow down or whatever overlooked because you can’t exactly see tachycardia or arrhythmia and so my level of “uh-oh” was not appreciated at all). But I went again because she’d never been. And then we got the night bus back to Mile End, and over and over again on our outing my brain just shut down at words that were said with no bad intention at all. Words that were said happily and meant harmlessly… But that were just… Not helpful. Wrong, to my brain at that time. Words that made it feel disconnected or misunderstood or just… Human interaction. But when she turned to me and thanked me, and said her birthday had been awful to start with but that the evening had been amazing and it wouldn’t have happened if it hadn’t been for me… A tiny part of me was like that’s why. I had only got back to London that morning, and knew I was leaving the next, so I was slightly more able to function, and that helped not only me, but someone else. Which is weird. That I helped someone else. Because I really, really can’t help myself.
This blog is dull and boring and full of chaotic post, but occasionally (so I’ve been told, but still don’t quite see) it contains a little wisdom. Unfortunately, it is also a place for all the crap in my head that needs a place to come out. It’s my safe place, my comfort blanket, sometimes my distress call, sometimes a smoke signal, sometimes just a place to be me when there’s nowhere else in the world that I can be. I hoped that someone might take something from it, that the words I wrote might resonate with another mind somewhere. I never imagined that anyone would take the things from it that people have. A couple of times, the wonderful human over at this blog mentioned words I wrote in her blog and the effect they had on her. Other people have posted links to my blog in posts before, but for the first time in my life, I was quoted. And that was weird for me. But… To read in words that some stuff I wrote to a person could help them, when I am powerless over my own self at the moment… That made those words mean something to me, which rarely happens.
Outside of this blog, the words say or message to people occasionally leave them lost for words of their own. One of my friends calls them nuggets of [my name] wisdom, and people come to me when they’re in a crisis, often providing a distraction from my own junk (which currently doesn’t work, so I’m pretty sure they must all hate me and take it personally, because I know some of them overthink a lot and take everything personally. I just can’t deal with that right now. I can just about deal with “hello” and that’s it. Last night I got completely furious and almost shouted at my mum… for no reason. That won’t be helpful to people who want help.) But anyway, one person started writing it all out and compiling herself a book of stuff I’d written to her in messages, for the times when I couldn’t be there. And other people started telling me to write it out properly into a book myself, expand on ideas, and to share the points that I made because apparently at the age of 20 I have somehow figured out a lot of stuff that people normally don’t until they are a few times my age. And that… Embarrasses me. All of it. It’s flattering, and I don’t know how to deal with flattery. My brain cannot associate anything positive or good with itself at all. It thinks it can’t do anything right, and it doesn’t have the capacity to be proud of itself, so it can’t digest stuff like this at all. If you’ve read this blog for long enough, you’ll have a pretty good idea of how little I think of myself, and nothing ever changes that (except ceasing to think or being in the presence of my dog).
But I started putting stuff into a word document a little while ago. And slowly, it has built up. And so I guess… I’m taking advantage of the presence of some sort of ability to function, and I want to start doing things that will make it easier for me to build a nice little nest in my head in which my mind can hatch and grow and develop. There is no desire, no fire pushing me to change stuff, but a little subconscious thought that knows that there are things I can do to make my mind less likely to crumble and dissolve over and over again. I’ll tidy my room (I also want to rearrange it). Hug my dog. I’ll make myself do stuff that doesn’t matter at all – catch up on uni work (but not yet, because just writing that made my brain stumble over itself). And… I’ll start a completely new project. It won’t be a book. It’ll just be a very long word document with no pressure and no deadline and no anything. Something to do. Damage limitation. Don’t really know what this post was. But hey. Now you know I’m still alive.
Finally, I am just about sort of almost in a place where I am just about sort of trying to get a life. In an hour, I’ll probably be empty again. Right now, I’m this numb, heavy, hurting, volatile emotional mess who comes extremely close to ending her own existence and then just becomes too dead to do so. But that emotional mess is a person (just). And people can human. And humans can salvage themselves.