Hopeless

Journal Entry December 29, 2012

Depression eats your soul and spits back shards too skimpy for even Barbie to wear.

I don’t do much of anything on any given day.  Or get anything done for that matter.  I am supposed to set a goal for the day and celebrate it when it is achieved.  I’m moving so slowly lately that just completing the goal exhausts me and then I don’t seem to have any reserve energy for the celebration part.  Not that I remember how to celebrate.  Believe me, my goals are myopically uninspiring and meagre in their make-up.  It feels dumb to applaud the fact that I got out of bed and maybe even got dressed, but that’s about the speed that I am operating at.  At least the course gets me going somewhere each weekday, difficult as it is for me to leave the house.

The hours of the weekend stretch endlessly before me and I become paralyzed from the anxiety of not knowing how to fill them, despite the plethora of chores there are to do around the house.  So back to bed or the couch it is for me.  When I am lucky I fall into a troubled slumber.  I don’t dream, or at least if I do I don’t remember any parts of the dreams themselves.  What I do have is an uneven collage of vignettes that cloud my brain and flash through my subconscious mind; present…past…future?  And that is an impossibility because at present I don’t believe in a future for me.  Heaven help me my present is nightmarish enough to hands down veto any possibility something worse may be awaiting me down the pike.  At least that is what my reality has been since 2007.  A steady downward spiral into the murky shadow of depression, which borders a crumbling precipice that leads to the brink of insanity and beyond.

When I don’t sleep I lay there and stare at the wall, or the bookcase packed full of junk that spills onto the floor by my bed.  Staring and thinking of what?  Nothing. Everything.  That is when it becomes unclear as to whether the voice I hear in my head belongs to me, or someone…something, else.

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October 22, 2016

I remember endless hours of lying awake, day and night, completely unable to motivate myself to do anything but lay there.  I lived in the prison of my mind, so completely incapacitated I was by anorexia and depression.  It seems so strange.  Now I am in constant motion.  A blur of activities constitutes each day, and it is hard to find time to slow down and cherish the moment as it passes.  But each moment must be valued as ultimately precious.  If I refrain from doing this, the fate that awaits me is one I have been all too familiar with.  The bleak and barren landscape of the arrested mind.  The imprisoned and censored existence of the tortured soul.  I choose now to be  grateful for the minutes in my day, even when there are times that challenge me and threaten to upset the balance I have worked so hard to achieve.  Each day that follows the next may not always be full of sunshine, but they can be full of hope, when I make that choice.

 

 

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A Painful Time

Journal Entry December 27, 2012

I slept all through the 26th.  Another day completely gone.  Lost.  As lost as I am.  Whereas many would lament the fact that a day of their life was wasted in useless slumber, I celebrate it.  Sleep is the escape that promises a break from the endless pain that self-hate inflicts upon its hapless victim.  A chance to be free from the shackles that threaten to squeeze every ounce of life from my body.  I have so long endured the agony of this reality that I embrace sleep with open arms.

Today I managed to wake up and get myself to my group for the afternoon sessions.  I dragged myself out of bed around noon and realized I had missed my morning classes. It was tempting to crawl back into bed and stay there, shirking all responsibility, but I remembered I had promised my group therapist at my last session before Christmas break that I would attend every day for the rest of the duration of the six week program.  I’m not sure why I honoured that promise.  In the past, promisees have meant nothing to me.  Making them; breaking them.  But somehow today it was important that I force myself to go.

This six week program is a course on resiliency and self-care.  Why I am attending this group is beyond me.  I wish I was no longer on this planet, and here I am going to a group that focuses on developing skills that will keep me here.  The irony of the situation is not lost on me.  My doctor enrolled me, and being the good little anorexic that I am, I allowed myself AGAIN to be forced into doing something I do not want to do.

I want to die.  Why can’t I be walking somewhere and a car smashes into me, ending existence altogether?  Any why have I lost the nerve to take my own life?  Although my past attempts brought me close to the brink of death, they were obviously unsuccessful.  The desire to put an end to my life far outweighed the will to continue.  Now the desire is as strong as it ever has been, but I am unable to follow through.

Incompetent.  Ridiculously inept.  I am an inferior figure bungling my way through life; inadequate in every way.  Depression cloaks me in its suffocating folds, and within, an anger burns so white hot it bubbles treacherously under my skin, threatening to burst forth at any moment.  The world is sane and I struggle to keep from pummelling myself repeatedly.  Just as I beat my face up with a baseball so many years ago in the Toronto Hospital.  How could I stray so far away from regular society that I got lost in the desert of self-hate?  Who beats themselves up with a baseball?  A kaleidoscope of broken bits of time where my sole intent was to hurt myself roll before my eyes.  Moments of insanity.  A life distinguished by them.

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October 2, 2016

I copy these words and my heart is filled with sadness.  I was lost and alone in my pain at that time.  Pain is an odd thing.  In the moment of its inception, it sears through my body and electrocutes my brain so that it is all I know.  Day after day after endless day it fills my being with excruciating suffering.  Enduring it seems like an impossibility unto itself.  But it is the reality that presents itself at the time.

Time is also an odd thing.  When I am invested in myself and enjoying each day as it comes, Time whips by in an intoxicating frenzy.  When I have struggled to survive and get through one painful day at a time, it crawls across the landscape like a dying animal in the desert drags itself towards a shade that never comes.  But Time has a way of moving forward so that realities change inevitably.  And as that happens, memories of pain fade.

Until I reread this passage I penned I had forgotten the misery of those days.  Despite that fact that Pain was my constant companion back then, accompanying me wherever I went, Time had stepped in and erased the memory of its presence.  Of the sensation itself.  Much like how I forget the pain I experienced after having had major surgery, once I am fully recovered.

Time has been a friend to me.  My pain no longer harasses me on a daily basis.  Although I know pain can never be eradicated from my life completely, it no longer rules my existence.  I am able to stand on my own in a world I want to be a part of.  I am better able to combat adversity when it reaches me.  I know that whatever else comes my way, Time will take care of it…and of me.

Hate

Journal Entry December 24, 2012

Today when I woke up I did not immediately HATE the day.  Loath and dread, yes.  But not despise.  I knew I had a lot to accomplish…wrap the gifts (which in itself is not a massive chore, as I have such little money to afford anything special for anybody this year); finish making my sister’s bracelet; toast the almonds for the salad I am bringing for Christmas dinner…to me, this is an overwhelming amount of activity.  That doesn’t include bathing, or bathing, brushing, and trimming my wee doggie.

I don’t think I will go to Mom’s for Xmas eve dinner, movie and a sleepover tonight.  I know I won’t get everything I need to get done before their 6 PM supper commences.  I will spend the night at home with my pets.  I must NOT sleep until I am finished all that I have to do.  That will be the hardest part of my evening to accomplish, as the sofa calls to me, promising a safe haven from my internal storm.  At least temporarily.  Sleep.  An opportunity to escape.

My group is about to start.  I am in my fourth week of this six week program.  Please may I learn SOMETHING that I can apply to improve the condition of my sorry existence.

***

In Community Group I learned today that in order to develop self-respect, self-love, and balance within my world I must make baby goals each step I take.  Then I must congratulate myself on the completion of each one.  One young guy gave the example of choosing one day in the week to read for half an hour.  Once he was done and had finished congratulating himself on his achievement, he then could reset that goal, extend it, or make a new goal.  For instance, he might now read for 45 minuets on a particular day; or read for half an hour on two prescheduled days.

I have never been one to make goals.  I have enough difficulties getting through one day alone, that setting goals for future plans is a moot point.  The Future is a black quagmire of swirling hurts and questions.  A place that exists to taunt me with a promise I do not deserve.  It is a place I have no desire to visit.

I have in the past, however, made lists.  Lists of things to buy; lists of chores to do.  My problem is that I write too many entries down, and then drown in my attempts to even accomplish one item.  Just this morning when I was looking for a notebook for group, I came across two that were dedicated entirely to ‘To Do’ lists.

The truth is, I loath the words ‘To Do’!  Just seeing them turns the insides of my stomach around.  It’s the same sick, helpless feeling I get when I look around my house and my bedroom and see all of the stacks of books, piles of papers, abandoned bags, and junk that threaten to devour all of the limited free space left within my house.  I want to vomit when I see that stuff, and yet I do nothing to alleviate the situation.  Instead I get a strangled sensation in my throat; my back and neck tense up until I can barely move my head; and my arms feel like they are going to flail out uncontrollably.  I want to wildly strike out at something.  At myself.  That is the better target.  I deserve to be flogged for the state in which I live.  I hate the condition my house is in.  I hate that I let myself exist in it.  I hate that I am unable to change.  Myself.  I hate myself.

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September 18, 2016

I transfer these words today and I am struck with the venom that infuses them.  “I hate myself.”  Not, “I hate myself and I want to change.”  There is hope in that statement.  A belief that my reality CAN change, and that I can be an advocate for change in myself.  “I hate myself” is a statement unto itself.  Period.  Yet it is one that commanded my consciousness and corrupted my unconscious moments from my earliest memories.  A statement that has imprisoned me and kept me from an existence based in self-respect and love for endless decades.

It is a statement I no longer embrace.  Although I have not yet achieved self love at this period in my life, I now know it is a possibility for me.  I feel like I am getting closer to it with every passing day.  It is just around the corner.  Occasionally showing itself to encourage me to stay on my new path.  It is almost within my reach.  I dedicate myself to discovering it with the knowledge that I DO deserve a fulfilling, rich life.  This is a goal I am determined to achieve!

A Place To Begin

Crying.  A life defined by a vale of tears.  But that is not so.  It has only been in the past three years that I have had access to my tears.  I shut my emotions down so effectively that I was unable to feel practically anything.  I was numb all over.  It was like my feelings were caged in a prison-like cell where the key hole was rusted and the key long forgotten as to where it was placed.  The numbness permeated my body until it became who I was.  The very essence of me.  Like a pinball on a table, I was buffeted by the paddle until I sank into the hole of despair, no longer able to play the game.  In that very hole, the depression would manifest itself until it took up my entire being.  The blackness in my soul was stifling and the Little White Guy, the me that was struggling to get out from under the massive weight of my self-hate, was all but obliterated.

Imagine a world without feelings.  No joy.  No excitement.  No curiosity.  No feelings of anticipation for upcoming events.  No anger expressed, although there was a multitude of it boiling under the surface of my being.  Not acknowledged.  Completely unaware of its presence.  Denied an outlet for expression for decades.

And then emotions did begin to burp into existence.  Sadness so profound it blanketed me in suffocating stillness.  It reached beyond my soul and paralyzed my limbs until movement became almost painful.  So still I would sit.  Statue-like amidst a world of perpetual motion.

And Fear.  An entity so gripping it squeezed whatever life was left in my skeletal frame and made a permanent home for itself with Sadness as its neighbor.  Fear and Sadness.  Sadness and Fear.

Then along came Guilt and Shame.  These two insidious friends intertwined with one another and snaked themselves in and out and in between the lots that Fear and Sadness neglected to occupy.  Guilt for being alive.  For taking up space on the planet.  Shame for who I was.  For all the exchanges I had with people in my world.  The numbness was replaced by four giant feelings that in turn became the entity I named, ‘The Beast’.

The Beast has had full range to commandeer my life.  The years of this occupation seem endless in their entirety.  Since the early eighties it took possession of my body, mind, and soul.  It ravaged me completely until the shreds of my dignity were all that remained.

But remain they did.  It is these remnants that bound together to make a fabric sturdy enough to withstand the continued lashings of The Beast.  With every slash endured, the binds in the fabric became stronger and it grew in width and length.  Today I stand victorious as the fabric waves in the wind; a victory flag of a battle fought and won.

Is the war over?  Have I successfully smothered The Beast in the materiel of my own creation?  I do not know.  Perhaps it is too early to tell.  In these past months I have made significant headway in regards to these questions.  As Time rolls forward, I will move with it.  I will no longer remain stuck in the negativity of my past, no matter how comfortable it is.  No matter how familiar.  I will not be seduced by the power of The Beast.  A power I gave it in the Dark Ages of my disease.

I now take the power back.  And with it comes the responsibility of choice.  I choose the new path I am forging over the old one I have known.  What awaits me down the road is a mystery.  One that only I can solve.  So on with the adventures I will discover along the way!  The Universe is with me, and I with it.

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The purpose of this blog is to document and reflect upon part of my journey, in the hopes that it may touch others afflicted in similar ways and let them know that they are not alone.