Despite the Snow…

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I haven’t posted in a long time. I love my blog, and usually I find expressing myself in words on here to be supportive, but there just haven’t been any words.

I’m suicidal.

I’ve had thoughts before, many times. Usually the thoughts happen when I’m stressed and feeling trapped – they almost seem to be a coping strategy for when I have to stay in my body, but I can’t stand the pressure any more. Maybe that’s all they are now, but they feel so much more intense. I know how, I know who I’d write to, I know what I’d want to do on my last day. And whereas before, they came and went with as much fluidity as my breath, now they are solidified. For all the other thoughts in my mixed up head, these are a constant.

I’m angry. Things were bad before this week, but this week something has kicked off at work that has been so unfair. It’s not my fault, but I am the one taking the extra pressure and that’s impossibly hard to sit with. This month was awful before this happened, but I’ve been finding it harder and harder to see a way out of these really low place. This stuff at work guarantees the next six months of my life are going to be incredibly hard work, and I truthfully don’t know if I’ve got it in me to succeed. I am trying to balance my career and my mental health, and quite frankly it’s feeling impossible.

I’m sad. Really sad. Sadness is all over my skin, digging under my nails, pulsing through my bloodstream and it’s settled deep within my bones. I am sad in a way I have never known before – sadness that cannot be cured, cannot be soothed or lessened by the love around me. It is the most unbelievably painful emotion and I am finding it impossible to look after myself through it.

I’m disappointed in myself. I haven’t eaten properly this month, but since this problem at work kicked off a week ago, I have barely eaten at all. My self harm is awful. My sleeping habits are messy. I haven’t been taking the anti psychotics I was prescribed a few weeks ago. I know how to look after myself – I have been given so much education in the last few years about how to support the needs that my body has. But when I am low I just stop caring and and start self destructing. And though the people around me love me and want me to do all these kind things, I cannot. I wait in this perpetual way for someone to come and save me. It never happens. I know better than to wait… but yet, I still wait. Every single minute of every day. I wait for the day someone will let me curl up inside their arms, someone who will feed me their love and help me drink safety inside me until it is something I can truly hold within me. But it doesn’t happen. I am disappointed in myself for destroying myself, and I am disappointed in myself for continuing to hope beyond all rational knowledge that my saviour is going to come, in the form of arms that smell like fabric softener and a rhythm that can calm even the mania of my heart.

Yesterday was a breaking point. I sobbed to T for the half an hour we were on the telephone. Unusually for me, I wasn’t particularly comforted by her voice. I get so wrapped up in the sadness encompassing me that it sort of felt impossible to let her in. Little was very present, particularly towards the end of our call when I could feel her beginning to separate from me. T asked me to stay in my bed, take my meds and look after myself – but I didn’t. I wanted to see my dogs, give them their Christmas presents and just feel the labrador love. I did go and see them, and they were gorgeous, but when I got back in the car to leave them, I knew things were really bad. I spoke to the Samaritans for about two hours – a lovely lady called Leanne stayed with me whilst I howled and screamed myself hoarse. She was a good listener, and seemed to have an understanding that this was the lowest I was going to get without something drastic happening. Together, we made a plan. Drive home. Take meds. Don’t go into work tomorrow. I spoke to my incredible GP at 10.30pm last night who confirmed the plan.

I rang in sick this morning. It is hard to explain to a boss what it feels like for every cell in your body to be in crisis – and of course, I didn’t try. I explained that my head hurt, I had the shakes and a migraine and I wouldn’t be in. Considering the week I’ve had, he took it well and told me to rest. Although it is true that I felt too physically ill to be in work, it is hard to be off sick when the root cause is the inner, twisted up workings of my head.

I feel like I might have begun clawing my way back up that long, painful road to being ‘okay’ again today. I have slept for most of the day. I have eaten some food – not perfectly, but I had something this morning and I have had a proper tea for the first time in days. I booked myself in for a massage this afternoon – and I think the wonderful way in which S manages to hold all of me in her safe hands might have been the trigger point to change the direction. 

I have done a lot of talking, this past month. A lot of trying to put words to the turmoil inside me, a lot of sobbing whilst trying to choke out words. But today, lying in the cocooning warmth of S’s room, I finally felt in such a profound way that I was being heard. Maybe not the adult, rational side of me – but the broken, young, heartbroken side. S is exceptionally intuitive – her hands speak with my body in a way that I cannot adequately describe but she obviously gets.

I mostly hold emotion in my hips, shoulders and neck. Usually, pressure and strokes in these places are enough to calm me. Today, S seemed to pick up on what I needed, even though I had no words. She steered away from pressure on specific places, instead focusing on long strokes and holding me. There isn’t a single other person in the world who could hold their hands around my neck, let alone make me feel safe doing it. It was incredible. When I lay on my back, she repeatedly put her hands under my shoulders and lifted my shoulders, neck and head. Hard to explain, but being held in her hands was profoundly healing.

I am covered in self harm wounds at the moment, but S manages this so gently. I also realised today that the youngest parts of me, those feelings of helplessness and true agony, are held in my left hand side. All my self harm is on my left – although I am right handed I am pretty ambidextrous, but choose only to harm my left side. Though it felt nice when S touched my right side, my left hand side holds a whole different meaning and experience. It brought with it a truly profound sense of being heard, and I felt for the first time this month that this really young, left handed side has been heard. I’ve used the word profound far too many times in this post. But that’s what it was. Profound.

When I mentioned this to S, she suggested that we have different sides. She mentioned that our left side is feminine, creative and soft. Our right side is more masculine. I can definitely connect to this and today felt this so strongly. That today, my soft, sad part has been heard. Heard, held, supported, comforted with touch and loved. The immensity of today is really hard to put into words.

Maybe this is the beginning of the climb back up. Maybe it’s not. But I’m about to fall asleep in the lasting comfort of my youngest, most vulnerable parts being held today. Tomorrow, we’ll try to face the world again.

I saw a beautiful performance by a lady called Emily Barker and her band, the Red Clay Halo. Looking back, it was almost certainly the first weekend that things started to get bad. I really connected to her music and lyrics. The title of this post comes from one of the songs she sung. Here’s the link:

Despite The Snow – Song by Emily Barker: http://youtu.be/Fk7eqp0z8n0

The lyrics are beautiful. In the dark hours of morning in half words she whispers

Confessing her love through a light sleep in winter
While outside the rain melts the falling white snow

As dawn approaches with sorrow I leave her
But I will take with me all those sleepy confessions

And her words will thaw me like rain melts the snow

She tells her love half asleep
She tells her love half asleep

Through the white morning my mind lays with her

Watching her sleep and hearing her whisper
And I am not lonely and I am not cold

She tells her love half asleep
She tells her love half asleep

Despite the snow I am so warm

Despite the snow I am so warm
Despite the snow I am so warm

Despite the snow, I am so warm. So warm. Thank god for the warmth of the people around me who love me. Without them, the snow would be winning right now. I would be buried in the cold.

x

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