It’s December 2015. I’m lying in bed, alone, clutching my pink koala teddy. I’m wrapped up tight under my duvet. My body is freezing because I haven’t eaten, and truthfully I’ve lost count of the days since I last did. My calendar still tells me it’s October,…
When I was first admitted to day hospital they asked me if I could identify any signs or behaviours that were an indicator that my mental health was deteriorating, and at the time I couldn’t and didn’t even care enough to want to work it out…
The other day I sat in the office with my support worker discussing the way that my life has been going for the last few months, the things that have affected the direction of my life so far and my plans for the future, and while we were having this conversation she said something to me that really stood out.
“People like you go one of two ways. They either push themselves into being the best at whatever they do and become ultimate perfectionists, or they let themselves fall into a hole that they never even truly try to get out of until it’s too late, or until half of their lives have gone by already.”
For a long time merely surviving was a challenge for me, and it’s very true to say that I’ve only done so by living my life flitting from one extreme to another. I could very easily (and miserably) sink into a life essentially entirely controlled by substance dependency or disordered eating, as many people with my experiences do, and though a large part of me desires and tries to be the first person, the perfectionist, it’s also true that I have a history of not necessarily pulling myself away from eventually becoming the second person.
Really, I’ve already had many successes in my life. I got into a conservatoire to study classical violin, for heaven’s sake. But any successes I’ve had I’ve always sabotaged in some way, often by allowing myself to sink back into old habits or allowing mental decline to go unaided because truthfully, I’m uncomfortable with the feeling of being on top. I find it feels scary and wrong to believe that things really could work out for me, especially when I can still hear in my mind people telling me that it can’t, won’t and shouldn’t. It feels almost like I’m disobeying some law of how my life is supposed to be.
I can still find a million points to validate a belief I hold that I am worth nothing and that I should not be where I am right now, but at the end of the day if anybody else turned around and said that to me about themselves I would argue that they were wrong no matter what. Yes, I’ve been made to believe that I’m not worth anything and that I’ll never get anywhere, and yes, my brain can twist any slight thing into evidence of that and that’s not entirely my fault, but I’m not really always helping myself. I’m choosing to continue to believe this, and allowing so many of my behaviours to be almost setting myself up to be hurt, to fail, so that I can say that I’m useless and that I tried but it didn’t work out. Really, half of my life has been an excuse to remain in this state of what can only be described as “comfortable discomfort”.
Even though I’ve been set on recovery many times, I’ve never truly believed in myself that it was possible and this was the case until even now. With that mentality, this was only ever going to be another half-recovery, but I’m in control of my life right now and I’m still young, I need to get out of this cycle of self-sabotage.
I’ve already made the first step to actually recovering, and that’s to decide that I want to. Now I have to take the next step and decide that not only do I want to, but that I will, because I don’t want to wind up dead and I certainly don’t want to be the lonely, miserable, dysfunctional woman who could never escape the confines of her own mind to be able to take the opportunities she really did have right in front of her.
I would be lying if I said that I’m not seriously struggling right now, and if I said that the level of positivity conveyed through this blog was representative of my current feelings. Truthfully, positivity and motivation is like the sun peeking through the holes in…