Know that everyday you are not alone. 1 in 5 Canadians if not more experience mental illness in our lifetime including myself. The conversation, may it never end, let’s keep the dialogue ongoing and open. Although Bell may be operating on potentially a double standard, it is truly amazing how many people I have seen sharing their personal stories & know that there is support and ears that are open to listening. There is no health without mental health so I thought I would share a snippet from my walk last week on the river. Practicing self care is important not just looking for what will raise our self esteem but also how we can practice compassion towards ourselves.
Since I am not brave enough to share with my main go to’s of social media I thought I would share this very personal piece on this blog. The following was written a couple of years ago I was slipping in and out of depression and struggling with bulimia. In 2012 I sunk to a low pit attempted suicide. Not long after the attempt, I was diagnosed with Bulimia, 2013 I did 6 months of therapy, in 2014 I was sought counselling for CPTSD (Complex post traumatic stress disorder). For 6 years I actively had an eating disorder and harmed myself in anyway I could except mutilation. Often people assumed I was too happy, high functioning, normal sized to struggle with mental illness. It was often invisible unless it was someone who had lived with me. It was not until around the end of 2015 where I began to seriously overcome it I like to think now I have recovered, built a strong foundation, and have acquired the right life tools. But then again life is a journey , I slip up from time to time, and I can’t do anything more than expect the unexpected and live day by day.
Anyways, here it is:
Ballerina Tea Bags and Self Loathing
My eyes open at face of dawn, the sun pushes its way through my blindness windowsill. I lay stagnant as my mind processes the day ahead and the wind brushes against my naked body. The blankets leave imprints upon my skin, the proof of a long slumber, My eyes scan my cluttered surroundings, I then look below to see my face, the tip of my nose, following my large breasts, flabby belly, hip bones, furry pubic bone all radiating heat. It was as if all the warmth had left my heart to console my body in my already warm room.
Before I sit myself up a plan has already been made, half already set out with work the rest left to my insecurities. The free time ahead brings a pending anxiety because I know as soon as I get up the mirror awaits me. I look at the mirror, and it tells me the answer. The same answer it is every time, that the world awaits, and I am not worthy of it. So my body falls to a made up string of false impulses, and my mind can’t help but to follow. A set of invisible challenges, falling to hours of self-destruction, time passes and the only clarity I get is the inevitable self-hate and the reminder that I picked it over my friends, I picked it over a nice cup of coffee, I picked it out of being productive, I picked it over my family. My eyes tear, fighting, falling, crying an invisible struggle.
Mindful stability alone has become a myth, a fallacy ruled by inconsistency. Years of the same old self convictions of being unlovable, intangible, too much to handle, another troubled soul. As result, I’ve created an iron cage of my own sickness inhaling the red dust, delirious from the thought of my own sadness and loneliness. As time passes, I will grow too large for this cage, and will inevitable sink in the soil, like an elephant in quicksand.
The line between yearning to be alone, has faded into my own bottomless pit of social anxiety, isolated by my own thoughts. The pacing within this head is tiresome, weak from the knee down, bruised from the waist up, disintegrating from within.
The ebs and flows of these tidal waves have become erosive, rolling away with fragments flaking away with each tide. Scattered reflections of a depressed self is seen by the way the clothes lay across my floor, a cupboard, a fridge of food half empty, and a toilet bowl full. A pile of empty laxative bottles, and over used three ballerina extra strength tea bags in the trash. Leftover remnants of a sexual escapade, or a computer filled with erogenous triggers. The only source of comfort received is the concrete that meets my feet and my arms that have the potential to wrap around my body. Hugs are painful a reminder to keep running shoes near in fear of another quick leaving soul to come and go through this broken door. My dreams keep this soul alive, awaiting sleep to awaken to a hope that maybe one one day the sun shine and bring my body and mind back to life. That one day I will heal and truly learn to love me.
Yesterday was really rough, but anyways here is a poem I wrote this week, a sunset, and a wishing for better days…
Dibble, dabble, babble
Silly tongue, it runs short of words to create
My eyes flood this interpersonal landscape
Throat dry, CO2 what have you
I tried to take you in but you were too hard to swallow
Your body a roadmap with endless trails to follow
So it slips my lips
Fall of the jaw
Uneasy fingers fidget
While these legs wobble ready to fall
Knees ready to kneel
And my heart coincidentally has plunged to the ground
But these eyes can’t help but wonder away
Out of your face, and ready to hit the hay
I guess it’s been a day
Closed my eyes, drifted away,
Is this all a dream?
It’s been a while, hands curled on the paddle
Cold breeze blew itself through the open cracks of my stern
And the city glowed with every stroke
Far away, my hands dry, old relics of some place I once called home
Cracked and bleeding, my fingers crawled around my empty pockets
Gazed at my bow, my belongings gone
Still water mirrored the peaking sun,
My eyes they seared in awe of it all
The loons they hollered
An eagle swooped past
My belly ached shaken by the sea water
And I looked at the water and to the sky
It was then I had fallen to my knees
A sudden urge of freedom crept upon this broken sail,
A gale force of epiphany
It was all blue,
So I guess this is what they call the lovesick, seasick, water locked blues
Maybe we can blame it on mercury in retrograde or perhaps it was the hangover. Anyways, this week starting from January.1st has been a complete write off.
It all began when I awoke to the New Year after a night of heavy drinking. It was Sunday morning, I sat up beside my partner the bed felt abrasive against my skin, the air was dry and stinging. I walked outside dreary eyed and mentally tired, my mind half asleep dealing with the alcohol and the constant social events .My body called a quits, and I hollered for alone time but off I went to work. The only thought I had clung on to was that work was 5-11 and soon enough after perhaps after some writing, my ducks would be back in line. Six hours passed, and so did my thoughts while my hangover improved throughout the night. It was 11 and off I went to bed, to the staff room preparing for a night of soothing solitude, to write until the early hours or maybe until the dawn. I whipped out my laptop then all of the sudden there was a hard knock on my door, it was a staff who was supposedly starting his shift. I was misinformed and told I would not be working the overnight so there I left.
With empty pockets and a pleasant surprise I hopped into the car with the intention of writing the night away. I went to the furthest Tim Hortons I could find, antisocial and ready to rumble. I passed the perimeter on an empty gas tank and into suburbia I went. A Tim Hortons was in sight. I parked my car and walked inside. I scanned the shop for an outlet, no plugin. So I bought my coffee and left. My mind was already scattered from the day that was so very disrupted.
Overtired, fears about my mother amplified, she did not answer her phone since 11am and it was already well past midnight. I tried to call her, still no answer. I drove around the hospital she frequented and looked for her car, nothing. So I went into the car drove some more, drifting into panic mode to a panic attack. Breathing became hyper ventilating imagining the worst case scenario I began to cry. I thought about who I would call but could not bring myself to phone anyone. I pulled over and stared at my phone, I slipped into an episode then I caught my breath. Emotional flashbacks replayed in my mind and the outcome was the growing notion of responsibility for my family that I have to take on. Suddenly a night craving solitude took a 180 to a stressful event.
I ditched the idea of writing that evening and continued driving to my Moms, I sat in her house with the dogs. It was almost 2am and still she was not home. I then left hoping for sleep. Luckily the next day she called me to let me know she was safe but ill. In relief of it all, in the morning I was ashamed of the feelings I had and could not bring myself to tell anyone at all. And as each day ended the next day has so far only gotten worse.