Recovery? For me, recovery means being free from the constant irrational thoughts, being able to take criticism without harming myself for it, being able to appreciate food and enjoy eating without having the fear of gaining weight.
Wearing short sleeves in the summer, being able to sleep for more than 3 hours a night, being able to walk in public without feeling like everyone is laughing at me, taking pain killers without getting the urge to swallow each and every pill in the packet, and so much more.
To anyone else who doesn’t suffer from a mental illness these things are taken for granted. Most people want money, a car, a fancy house… me? I want to recover.
I’m always being told that I’m in ‘recovery’. This is something that I really do not understand. I’ve been in recovery a few times throughout my life, but at this very moment, I am far from it.
In fact, I’m probably in the grips of relapse, but somehow I manage to stay alive.
Almost every day I ask myself, ”why am I still alive?” I have this constant battle in my head and it’s exhausting, it seems so much easier just to give in to it.
But I’ve never been the kind of person that gives up easily.
One of the hardest things I ever had to do in life was continue to live when I no longer wanted to.
Right now all I see is a lifeless girl staring back at me. Blood streaming down her arms. This girl is confused, sad and has no idea what is happening to her.
This girl is me.
Depression. It’s overwhelming.
Spending another night in bed, fighting for my life, telling myself to hold on for one more night, that tomorrow is a new day.
I feel like crying but nothing comes out. It’s just a sort of sadness where you feel numb, when you can’t feel any worse. When the mental pain becomes unbearable. I feel that I simply cannot endure this for another day. It’s strange that the most comforting thoughts I have are those of my own demise.
Having a happy personality and a sad soul is just confusing.
Why is it so hard to be happy? Why do I do this to myself? Why am I even here? … ”You don’t deserve to be happy! Look at the size of you, you fatty! Make yourself sick or at least hurt yourself, you deserve it! If you eat anything today you will be a big fat failure.”
My head reminds me of a cartoon, where you see the little angel telling the person good things on one side and the devil telling them the opposite on the other! It’s a total mess and a horrible place to be, yet I can’t seem to get myself out. I do all the things they tell me to, the ‘distractions” and whatnot.
GO FOR A WALK, DRINK TEA, HUG A TEDDY, WATCH A FILM … the list goes on!
I try my hardest and I don’t feel like people realise the humiliation of having to pick up the phone and almost rely on that person to help you, because you’re ready to give up, even though you know it won’t help. But it might? That’s the chance you have to take. It’s so very unpredictable.
But then again there’s only so much you can take before the thoughts just shut down every single positive thing you have in your life, the things that keep you going stop, it feels like there’s been a light switched off in your head, its just darkness.
You stop thinking of recovery and life all together.
You cry, but no tears come out so you just sit there on your bed staring at the wall, emotionless. I’m scared of all these voices, they could bring me to death. I can’t let them win but I’m just so tired. So tired of this life. So tired of this fight. I just want to take a deep breath and sink into unconsciousness. After all, wasn’t I born to die?
But, something stops me from reaching for the pills I’ve been collecting. I can sometimes disconnect from my thoughts and tell the part of me that’s left to pick up the phone and ask for help.
But it’s never easy. Especially just now. I have to have an argument with every little thought in my head to be ‘allowed’ to ask for help. Even at that I’m constantly being told not to listen, that the professionals are lying.
I feel trapped. It’s so hard to figure out what’s real. But hearing someone else’s voice, a real life human voice on the other end of the call brings me back to reality. Reassuring me that I’m going to be okay, that I NEED to get better.
Words by Becci Paxton