Tuesday, April 16, 2013

When I hit bottom, it started hitting back.

"There is a chance that the worst day might still be coming, but let me say, I will still be there. You stay there with me." -Andrea Gibson

"I wonder if any of them can tell from just looking at me that all I am is the sum total of my pain, a raw woundedness so extreme that it might be terminal. It might be terminal velocity, the speed of the sound of a girl falling down to a place from where she can't be retrieved. What if I am stuck down here for good?" -Elizabeth Wurtzel
My life as a play #31:
*A teacher and student sit across from each other. The teacher wears a blue and grey shirt and likes to discuss Game of Thrones and gender equality; while the girl hasn't submitted a single assignment all semester and holds a shaking hand up in class to ask questions*
1: So is there anything I can do to help? What are you struggling with the most for my class?
2 (already crying): The essay mostly...I guess I'm just struggling because lately all I am told is that my cognitive thought processes are wrong, this and that idea is distorted...
1: Cognitive behaviour therapy and, such...
2: Yeah, it's so great. It makes me doubt everything I think and feel; so writing a whole essay about what I think about something, particularly one of the only things I am passionate about (poetry), seems so fragile, it's like putting your heart on this podium and waiting for everyone to critique it...to tell you what you think is wrong
1 (short pause): Well, I must say, I can relate to what you're saying. My partner struggles with that a lot. Writing is one of the most depressive careers, you sit alone in your room and get lost in yourself (pauses again). Just let me know if there is anything I can do to help
2 (voice shaking): Thank-you, thanks for being so understanding. I just like coming to your classes, even if I fail on assessments, I just want to keep coming to uni...
*scene fades; panorama shot of the humanities building and surrounding features*
Dear Solo, Jackie Fairy & Leonard Cohen,
Please tell me how you made it through, please, please, please. You are even more inspirational now I understand what you fought/fight. If life is just a cycle of recovery, relapse, happiness and pain, what makes it worth it? How could you bear to let people know how much it hurt? How could you stand it yourself? Eternalising pain in words doesn't even seem to help. Won't bother asking you to write back, I know you can't/won't...
Sincerely yours,
Erimentha x
Things that make it worth it:
-Daily coffee (skinny cappuccino with one sugar, extra hot hot chocolate, soy chai latte)
-Sitting propped up in bed reading a really good poem or email
-Peaceful time spent with good friends (whether that be discussing fat shaming, eating chocolate pudding, drinking too many cocktails or darkly hilarious emergency room discussions)
-Animaux gigs (screaming "I will not go home" and "we should be moving on" while surrounded by happy, sweaty bodies is highly therapeutic)
-Tuesdays and Fridays with Physio Boy (I like to reassure myself that if he thought I was cute on our very first meeting when I had to run out of the room to violently blow my nose and cough phlegm, it can only get better...right?)
Mental health professional tip #56:
Don't tell someone who has lost all hope for recovery that it might take years of therapy to feel better. Don't tell them there is nothing else you can do but work hard to change the way you think.
Just don't.
"At heart, I have always been a coper, I've mostly been able to walk around with my wounds safely hidden, and I've always stored up my deep depressive episodes for the weeks off when there was time to have an abbreviated version of a complete breakdown. But in the end, I'd be able to get up and on with it, could always do what little must be done to scratch by." -Elizabeth Wurtzel
"It is no measure of good health to be well adjusted to a sick society." -Andrea Gibson