(Trigger warning). Shortly after writing my last post, I began to question everything. Mostly the point of my existence. At first, only that. I got desperate, I was scared because I couldn’t talk myself out of a route that I don’t want to take.
I was so scared that I messaged My Fellow Third Wheel (who was seriously alarmed because I never reach out to people or start conversations like the ones we had). He was so concerned that he called me in the early hours of the morning on his way home from work, and we both sat in out parents’ living rooms on the phone to each other. I told him everything he’s missed during my withdrawn lack of communication. He’d bailed on our plans to meet this Tuesday (as he has with all of our recent plans to meet) and my brain couldn’t handle being let down again, so I had given up on the idea of contacting him.
I woke up at 5am, still in the living room, with my dog (who didn’t ask why we were going downstairs, and didn’t question why I decided to turn on lights and sit on a bean bag in a cold room instead of on my bed, and sat there pawing at me and nudging me when I didn’t move for a little while as if he could tell that I was sinking and he didn’t want me to drown. He just wanted to be there. No conditions to his affection. Just my existence. I needed to feel love like that right then). My Fellow Third Wheel spent most of the day with me today just hanging out (by “today”I mean Friday 6th, which is when I started writing this.). I needed a friend today. He knew that. There were several hugs, and as he left told me to please never do that again – to talk to him instead of shutting the world out, but it wasn’t voluntary (and by the time I realised the spiral had begun).
When I catch my little brother alone, he wraps his arms around me in a great big sibling bear hug and we attempt to walk around like that, one of us having to walk backwards, like we used to when we were little. He’s taller than me now I think, and rarely spends any time with me (or even any time noting my presence) because I cannot compete with my nephew for his acknowledgement. I walk into the house after almost dying and spending time in an ICU and usually he won’t even look up from his games console, and if so it’d be to tell me to get out of the way of the tv. But recently he’ll hug me. And he’ll let me walk over and hug him. Turns out he’s more soppy than he’ll let on, and when my mum remarks that he doesn’t let her hug him he just smiles and squeezes me a little harder. And after a day of fighting with my own mind – exhausted by how much of an effort it was to stay on the planet when every thought told me my presence was of detriment to it… When he pulled me into a silent hug I couldn’t escape from, he didn’t have to say anything at all; he doesn’t say a lot to me when my nephew is around (or most of the time, actually), but that hug reminded me that occasionally he gives a crap about me…. And he picked the right moment to have such an occasion.
Today I tried to do whatever it took to hang on. I wanted to take whatever risk I had to just to find some sort of anything that gave me a break from the hurt and the urge. And I miss running. People tell you not to miss who you were after circumstances change, but you do. I miss sport. It’s a stupid time to yearn for it so badly again after so many years without it in my life (ok no I never stopped missing it, after my brain crawled out of the void it was lost in it threw itself into blogging and then uni)… I don’t want to run for the sake of running – nor to achieve something or to be who I was.
I want to run because I remember how it made me feel. I want to run because when I ran late last year (for the total few minutes I was able to that entire three times) I could deal with things that I hadn’t been able to cope with; I thought through them and processed them while I ran and I felt like I could handle life. I felt like I could get through that entire day. On all three occasions. And that’s what sport used to give me. Not a reason to go on, but a means to go on. I have plenty of reason to continue with my life, and my mind just cannot find the method. I am so lost and hurting that I cannot figure out how to carry on through this state of mind. I don’t want to try and run from my problems – that got me here. I want to try and run with them. But my mum was highly alarmed. Everybody says no. Not until my heart surgery is done, not while I’m so unwell because of Skippy.
I decided I’d go to the shops. I had a delivery of a bunch of books I’d ordered online the day before because I thought reading might distract my brain and maybe progressing through a book might feel like an achievement. That didn’t work as planned because I lacked all motivation, so I thought I’d try to buy something that might make my mind feel less awful. That plan was going well, until I put on my running shoes and filled myself with this buoyant hope that I could RUN there. My nephew went to the shops with me in the end, which forced me to walk. This simply meant that instead of taking a risk on one health hiccup, I took it on another (I am aware how destructive this sounds. Unfortunately a lot of the stuff I want to do, my body doesn’t want me to, but I was desperately trying to appease the biggest monster, and I was so desperate I was willing to cease existing to do that, so compared to that, stupidity was a good job. If that makes sense). I bought all the comfort food I could find. Screw my non-functioning beta cells, I was going to binge. I thought nice food might make me feel better. It didn’t. I bought cream cakes and sweets and I couldn’t stomach any of it.
I am willing to do anything to try and find a way for my mind to hang on. Such stupid things (running, binge eating sweet stuff). I am at the stage where I am so desperate I am considering really, really stupid and reckless options to stop me giving in to my thoughts. (As I write this I am suddenly considering drugs, alcohol, anything that might stop me feeling. Anything that might pick me up).
But earlier this evening I was at break point. I was caving, and ceasing to exist felt like the only way to make this stop, which was such a tough call because I don’t want to go. I was scared because I was being deadly serous. So I did something I rarely let my mind do. I let it hope. Or rather, I let it hope unrealistically; I let it dream dreams that will probably (and some almost definitely) never come true. I let it fill itself with imagined versions of those things, in hope that it would pointlelssly try to chase them and in doing so lead itself out of this pit of danger it has thrown itself into.
I am usually realistic in my aims – I try to be because optimism is as damaging as pessimism – the higher you lift yourself up, the further you have to fall (I learned that during the years I lived in paediatric wards. Every day I convinced myself I was going home tomorrow and every tomorrow I fell apart. So I started telling myself and learning to accept the idea that I would be there for ever – anything less than that was a huge positive, there could be no negative, only an improvement on the situation I was prepared for. So when I was told “weeks” it was suddenly a huge advance instead of a huge step back from my “tomorrow”). Anyway. I let my brain run, just to see where it would go. And it went here:
- I want to go to a trampoline park, because my heart has never been in a happy enough state to let me to go to the ones near us, and I used to LOVE the trampoline my parents got rid of (my 10th birthday party was trampolining). If this heart surgery works, once I’m all back to normal, I’m celebrating by going to a trampoline park. (So many unrealistic expectations right here – normal, for starters. It’s been years. Years, since Skippy let me exercise without a tantrum).
- I want to run. Everywhere. I’ll run to the train station (about 5 miles away from our house) instead of getting the bus there when I need to go to uni. I’ll run every morning through the woods or round the roads I used to run with my dog, and I’ll take next door’s puppy because I like to run with a dog and mine can’t any more. I’ll run everywhere. I’ll never walk again. I’ll feel so free and so happy and so… Me.
- I’ll join a gym with a pool and swim every day. Every day. Like when I swam for a club. Nobody will know me or be able to talk to me because my head will be underwater in this totally separate world where reality cannot touch me.
- I’ll sail again. When I last sailed my laser, my heart freaked out and I ended up unconscious in a river. So I tried again. And the same thing happened. Three times I ended up being hauled into a rescue boat with a doctor in it (sans consciousness) before I was banned from sailing or even camping out for the rest of the regatta, and my heart broke, because the people are all so posh and rich and have designer everything and I do not fit and never have… But when in a boat I had their respect. I don’t even want that. I miss sailing. I’ll sail again and I’ll get qualified as a sailing coach and I’ll spend my summer somewhere hot teaching people to sail. (Hahaha leave the country – no. I was told I’m not well enough to do that, and NO health insurance company will insure me for more than one seriously serious thing, and I can’t afford health insurance even for one major hiccup because it costs more for me than the rest of my entire family all added together). I’ll race again. Sailing used to make me feel like I was good at something.
- I’ll go abroad on holiday.
- I’ll get a dog to train as a service dog, and I’ll feel safer in my own body and I’ll get my independence back and live in less fear. And it’ll help with my PTSD and also give me purpose.
And do you know what, a few years ago all that list said was
- I want to go back to school. And I’ll get into a university, and I’ll go to uni.
That’s all I wanted (well, and to be a doctor). I wanted to go back to education and have something to show for my days instead of sitting in a hospital room tied to IVs. And at times that seemed BEYOND impossible. There were days then where that young teenager saw no hope in anything and no end to the hospital admissions and no way. But I got to school. It nearly killed me, and I got rushed away in ambulances a lot because my heart was unimpressed, and they wanted me to leave, and my attendance was AWFUL and I would go straight home after a half day and sleep and never did any homework as a result. And somehow despite all that I got to uni. And I stared getting a degree. And my hopeless dream came true. I hate myself that living my dream isn’t enough. I hate how ungrateful that makes me.
But that isn’t life. That isn’t joy. That used to be what I lived for, and throwing myself into uni work and focussing only on that masked the destruction going on in my crumbling mind. It shielded me from stuff with family and my health and what a poor excuse for a human being I was. It was all I was good at. The only thing I could do. It was my coping mechanism. And now I find myself wanting to bail on my existence even more than before because I realise that uni starts on Monday, and I will have to see the person and collective people who broke me last night with their ironic insensitive… (Not going there). I cannot face people. I cannot take any more hornets or even any ants (see yesterday’s post if curious). They are all so oblivious to every aspect of me. And I am the only one to blame, because after my past I am incapable of letting people in.
Literally. What. Was. This. Post?
My sincere apologies for it. You deserve a medal for making it this far.