Time to Give Up.

When I was a kid, I used to dream of being an adult. I used to look forward to the days when I’d have freedom to come and go as I wished, when I could do whatever I wanted, when I could be my own person. When I was a teenager, I used to dream of being an adult, when I’d finally have my life figured out, when I’d have worked through my issues and I’d have a speck of happiness. Today, I’m an adult, and I no longer have dreams.

The freedom I always dreamed of was taken away from me by this illness that takes over me, that controls my every move and thought, even when I think the moves and thoughts are my own. Sometimes, I don’t even realize how I’m being moved by this, until I see how erratically I’m acting or how uncontrollably my thoughts are racing. It’s then that I realize that I can no longer make my own, free decisions. Everything I do, is, somehow, influenced by this thing that has become a huge part of me.

The life I wanted to have figured out never really happened. Of course, I can never get through with any plans, because I have become an insecure, weak person, with no will power to go on. Of course, I’ll never try hard enough for anything I really want, because I’m terrified of failing and just proving by actual facts how much of a worthless piece of shit I actually am. I’d rather fool myself by not trying and give up half way through so I don’t have to deal with failure and rejection.

And the speck of happiness I wished for? I don’t even remember what it is like, to be happy. Okay days are the best I hope for right now, and they’re mostly so rare. It’s been literally fifteen years I haven’t been happy, and I see no light ahead of me for that happening any time soon. All I feel is hopelessness, rage, resent.

I feel hopeless every time I feel like I do now, like my meds are stopping working. It’s what? The 8th time? The 10th? The 15th? I don’t even know anymore which time it is, but it doesn’t really matter. It happens over and over and over again. And all it does to me is prove that this will never end. The instability will never end, the pain will never end. I’ve tried DOZENS of meds that will eventually fail me. I’ve tried therapy, I’ve tried changing major, moving half a world away, I’ve tried EVERYTHING. Nothing. Ever. Works. This will never end. How can I feel anything but hopeless?

I feel rage and resent that no one notices. No one. Not my family, not my friends, not my boyfriend. I walk among them every day. To some of them, I talk about dying and suicide. Heck, last week, I wrote this long awareness post for Suicide Prevention Day and posted for everyone to see, talking about suicide and its facts and how you should pay attention to people around you. But no. They don’t see. They couldn’t see a cry for help if one bit them in the ass. Yet, when I kill myself, I bet I’l get a bunch of shocked Facebook posts on my Wall, “Why did you do this? You were always so happy and making people laugh.” I wish I would be around to see the repercussions of it.

I wish I knew what makes me so worthless and invisible to people, why is it that no one can spare some time, or no one can get into it deep enough to deal. I wish I knew why I’m not worth it, people’s time, people’s love, people’s care. I tried, you know? I’ve always been such a good friend. Everyone talks to me about everything, and everyone leans on me. But when I need someone, there is never anyone around. I just… I can’t.

I can’t do this anymore. I’m not strong enough. I’ve spent most of my life hurting. I’ve spent my childhood, my teenage years and half of my twenties. HASN’T IT BEEN ENOUGH? Can’t it just go away? Why do I need to keep struggling to go through every day? Why does this have to be my life?

I know, no one said it would be easy. But I didn’t sign up for this. I’m tired. I’m done.

Sad thing is, there’s so many things I want to do. So many things I want to say. So many things I want to be. But I can’t. I need to go.

It’s time to give up. It’s time to throw in the towel. I’ll see you next time.

Not that anyone cares anyway, no one reads this.


It Doesn’t (Always) Get Better

Don’t get put off by the post title, this post isn’t going to be nearly as uninspiring as it sounds, I promise 🙂

First off, this isn’t about sexuality, despite the obvious reference here. The title of the post comes from a recent argument I had with someone. It was the usual “It gets better” argument, something that has become a mantra to people, a way to comfort others, which started off from the advice to teenagers that will get out from a difficult situation on nonacceptance — whether it comes from themselves or others — and their lives will improve, and it started being used to people with depression from other sources, mood disorders, mental illnesses. Except people don’t seem to realize there’s a clear flaw there.

Look, I’m not gay or trans, so, I can’t say how hard it is, or how it gets better. But, from a stand point of view, and from numerous testimonials, I’m guessing, it does get better. Or at least, you have the possibility of getting better. At some point of your life, you can see the light. You can see a way out of the darkness, you can see happiness.

Which is leading me to the second part of the argument I had. It all started when someone said, another classic, “Suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary situation.” Again, flawed. Because not all situations temporary, are they?

I’m not here to condone suicide, though you know I’ve thought about it. I’m just saying, that while some things are temporary, some are not. While some things get better, some do not. And that’s where my problem with these motivational speeches lie.

When you’re Bipolar, that’s not temporary. That’s something you’re going to have to deal with for the rest of your life. There are meds that can help you manage it, but it’s always there. It’s always there when you snap at someone for no reason, when your boyfriend wants to have sex and you don’t because your libido doesn’t exist from the meds, when you feel yourself building up to (hypo)mania and see no way of stopping it. It’s always there when someone talks about Bipolarity and you can tell them all about it, and they look at you weird, because they have no idea how you know so much about it, “It’s for a story,” you say. It’s always there when you realize that you have so many drugs on you that you don’t know what’s you anymore. But you can’t quit them. Ever. For the res of your life, it’s going to be there. So, no it’s not temporary. It’s something you have to live with every day.

And some people, they go through every day. I do. Some days are harder than others. Some days aren’t even that bad. We keep going. Thing is, though, some people want to be done with it. Can we blame them? Can we walk up to them and say, “Hey, it’s a permanent solution to something temporary?” When you KNOW that they’l have to live every day of their lives… managing? How is that fair? That speech?

And “It Gets Better?” When I was 10, I started getting depressed. I didn’t understand it, but I get it now. When I was 12, I was thinking about killing myself. I don’t know much of what I thought back then, because I used to rip my poems (wish I didn’t!). When I was 16 and had my first very, very bad bout of depression that I remember, I waited for things to get better. I got therapy. I got meds. But they didn’t.

I graduated High School. Things still didn’t get better. College wasn’t all that great. I lived abroad for a while. Nope. I changed college majors. Maybe that was it, you know? Another very bad crisis. I got a job I loved. Still not better. I even got a hell of a nice boyfriend. Not. Better.

But, you know. maybe that’s it. Maybe realizing that things do not get better is a good start. Because when you stop expecting them to, you live each day, as a single day, you live each good isolated moment, and that’s it. Of course, there are frustrating days, and days I hate the world and lots of ‘why mes’. But… knowing that, that sometimes it doesn’t get better, it helps. It helps me enjoy the good, instead of looking for better. Maybe that’s it. The good and the bad, all rolled into one, in seconds, minutes, hours and days.

And I keep living. Until I don’t.

Falling off the wagon (AKA It’s never only one cut)

Eight years.

It’s been eight years since the last time I lay awake at night imagining the blade sliding across my skin, the blood dripping as it did. I was sixteen then.

A lot of people will tell you that thoughts of cutting will linger for a long time before you actually get to it. That wasn’t true for my first time. The first I did it, it was something so in the spur of the moment, I wasn’t thinking through it. I was so angry at myself I wanted to shred my body to pieces. So, I did.

What’s interesting about that impulsivity is that now, eight years later, I still want to shred my body to pieces when I feel that way. After that first time, I knew I wasn’t going to be able to stop. Cutting became a way of release, a way of feeling something when back then I didn’t feel much, and I suppose a way of feeling in control.

I didn’t stop until my friends found out. Once I had a breakdown at school and started scratching/hurting my arms in class, and, as I didn’t have anything to cut with I asked my fried to borrow her scissors and went to the bathroom to do it. As I walked out of the stall, a friend was there, and asked me, “What did you do?” I told her, “Nothing, there was a loose end on my pants.” But she didn’t believe me, so, I showed her my cut. She cried. She told people at school and threatened to call my mom if I didn’t stop.

I ended up at the principal’s office that day, begging them not to call my mom, saying I’d never do that again, promising to talk to someone. To my friends, I said if my mom ever found out I’d kill myself. They wrote me many letters, begging me to stop, saying they loved me and didn’t want me to hurt. After that, I was mostly scared to cut myself again. But, buy, did I want to.

I never cut on my arms because I didn’t want people to notice. I was never a neglected kid that could get away with it. I had to cut on the inside of my thighs. But I liked the pain of cutting on my arms better. I did, a few times, because once in a while you can say you bumped into something.

I didn’t want scars, either, though I guess if I’d done my arms over someday I’d just cover it with tattoos.

As you know, I’ve been having a really hard time lately. And it’s not just falling into this horrible depressive pit, it’s also the self-hatred that comes along with it. Did you know that self-harm is directly linked to sexual abuse? Yeah, not really the discovery of the century, I know. But, still, a great percentage of self-harm victims have been sexually abused. Like me. No wonder we hate our bodies.

For the past few months, I’ve been having desperate urges to cut. Maybe this is what I should have felt like years ago, the idealization before actually getting to it. It’s something screaming inside of me, something that tells me I need this to survive. It’s something stronger than me. Some days, I can’t think of anything else but a blade sliding across my skin. And how great it would feel, how much I deserve it, how badly I need it.

I look at my thighs feel literally disgusted. I feel fat and unfittig, and I want to slash them to shreds. I look at my body in the mirror and I feel like it shouldn’t even exist. And it needs to be hurt. And cut. And cut. And blood.

Eight years.

Gone down the drain as I slid a blade across my skin. It bled. I promised myself it would be only that just one time, but as someone who used to cut all the time, it feels it isn’t possible. I thought cutting once would make the urges go away and make me feel better, but they grow every day. And I don’t know if I can fight them anymore.

I’m bleeding so much inside. I need to make myself bleed outside, too.

I’m struggling.

I’m writing here because there’s nowhere else I could possibly share this. No one has any idea what I’m going through right now. Once more, I’m keeping this from my family and my friends, even from my doctor. I don’t know, maybe I’m just hoping it’ll go away, that I’m just going through a bad phase, and it’ll last just a couple of days. But I’ve been hoping this for months now. It’s been nearly four months, and I’m starting to realize it won’t just go away. And it’s not a matter of days or weeks. I’ve fallen into another pit. And I’m still falling. And falling. And falling. And, dear freaking God, I wonder, just how deep will the bottom be this time? 

You see, when you’ve lived with this for almost fourteen years, you’d think you’d get used to it. And, in a way, you have. Or I have. You get used to the daily limitations your depression gives you. You get used to shutting yourself out. You get used to faking smiles, laughs, (it’s faking until you make it, except you never do), you get used to not being able to breathe. You get used to not getting pleasure from anything. You get used to tasteless foods. You get used to self-loathing. You get used to thinking about killing yourself, all the time. Because, really, that’s no way to live. 

It’s exhausting. Faking. All. The. Flipping. Time. The pain is excruciating. And no one really gets it. You pull away from your friends, because you’re in so much pain, and you can’t tell anyone, because they just don’t understand. They want you to try harder. They want you to fight longer. They want you to *do* something, as if you haven’t been for over a decade (when you’ve only been living for 24 years). 

You can’t talk to anyone, because there isn’t much to say. It’s not like you broke up with your boyfriend or had a fight with your mom. It’s not like you’re having issues that can be solved. It’s the same thing, over and over and over again, and even though there are people that will say, “I’m always here for you if you need me.” and you want to believe them, you know that if you actually went to them *every time*, they wouldn’t want to put up with you. 

Because the pain has taken over your life again. The bad days have become more and more constant and have outnumbered the good ones. It’s so rare for you to be okay, or even normal, you dread people asking “How are you?” because you want to shout to the world just how not okay you’ve been. Because you’re so sick of it. So. Fucking. Sick. 

But you don’t. Because people can’t even see you’re sick. You have a mood disorder, you see, and since it’s an “invisible illness” most people don’t take it seriously. Won’t take it into consideration. They think it’s so easy to snap out of it. It’s not like you have cancer, right? (If I had a penny…) 

I don’t know what to do about this suffocating pain anymore. My last crisis lasted two years. Two whole initerrupted years. I don’t know if I can live like this for two years again. You must be thinking, what’s two years for someone who’s lived like this for fourteen, right? But that’s just it. It’s two MORE. It just tells me it’s never going to end. I’ve been on different meds. I’ve been to therapy. I’ve done everyfreakingthing I could think of. And it comes and goes. I’m never getting rid of this. EVER. 

And you know what sucks the most? I have a pretty okay life. I mean, sometimes I feel like a failure like everyone, and sometimes I feel like I’m not doing enough with it, but it’s not bad. I have a lot of wonderful people in it. I just… not all the external circumstances matter when it’s so hard to live with the inside of me. I think of killing myself every day once again. And I’m scared this time I could actually do it. 

And I don’t know who to go for help.

And I know, no one reads this, but it’s a safe place to vent, it’s anonymous, no one knows who I am. 

The Art of Being Bipolar

When you’re told, at twenty-two years old, that “People like you can live comfortable lives.” it makes you wonder, if comfortable is all you can ever strive for, if it’s worth trying at all, through all the pain you go through every day.

Let me tell you, some days are harder than others. But, so far, I find it that it is worth it.

I was twelve years old the first time I remember thinking about suicide, but I know I did before that, because I found my old journals and they’re full of whole pages in which I’d written in angry, capital letters and red print “I WANT TO DIE”. I don’t know exactly how old I was, but I must have been as young as ten. That’s when it all started. At twenty-three, it’s been more than half of my life that I’ve lived in cycles.

When people think about reasons for severe depression or a mood disorder like mine (it sounds better than mental illness), they think of someone who’s lived a very hard life and is in a constant struggle. Except, I had a very normal childhood. I was a happy, happy child, with a loving, caring family. There was nothing missing in my life. I had everything I needed and most things I ever wanted. When I was ten years old, I went through a bad trauma — I was sexually abused by a boyfriend of my mom’s — but, even that, wouldn’t cause a illness that doesn’t have a “cause”. (There’s no known cause for Bipolar disorder, only theories). It went on for about two years, and, after that, I went on to my normal life. Of course, then I was damaged, scarred, traumatized, broken, but my life went back to the way it was.

I was never bullied at school, I always had a lot of friends. I was top of the class smart. I didn’t show depression, on the contrary, I showed… light. I was always perky, fun, loud, talkative. I was sweet and kind and hilarious, in a way that no one could ever figure out there was anything wrong with me.

It wasn’t until that time I mentioned before, when I was twelve, that I was changing before gym, I so casually mentioned to a girl, “I’m going to kill myself today at 3pm.” And then I walked away, as if I’d just asked her the time. I know I skipped gym that day, and wrote my feelings out as a poem on a paper with a green pen. I really wish I hadn’t torn that paper. I know she told people, I know they asked me why, but I don’t really remember what happened much. I know they didn’t tell my mom, and I know I lied my way out of it saying I was fine. But I also know, that, at 3pm. I was looking down from my 8th floor window, trying to get the guts to end it all. I never had them.

I was never the same again, the perky girl that I was had been clouded by a darkness that insisted on not leaving me alone, no matter how much I tried. I tried therapy, and therapy, and therapy. And therapy. All the way till I was sixteen. That’s when my first real diagnosis came: ‘depression’. Of course, back then, for a kid who was completely alone, that was devastating and terrifying. I couldn’t accept. I rather thought I was going crazy. I wanted to die, all the time. I wrote poem after poem, of dark, dark thoughts of death and loneliness, knowing that no matter what happened, no one would ever be able to help me. When the poems no longer helped me, I started to self-harm. I felt so empty and numb, that sometimes, only the physical pain reminded me that I was still alive. I didn’t stop until my friends caught me. They cried, begged me to stop. They also told the school principal (out of concern!) and they threatened to tell my mom if I didn’t stop. So, I did. That was my first very, very bad crisis. It lasted about seven months.

Imagine my surprise, when, all of a sudden, I was “normal” again. I wasn’t great, I wasn’t happy, but I was normal and life wasn’t so bleak anymore. And I thought, “Hey, maybe I could live through this after all.” The worst part though, was the always lingering fear of going back to that dark, dark place. And I have. And it’s darker.

Luckily, I’ve found the light switch!

If I thought sixteen was bad, I had no idea what was coming at me when my my grandma died when I was eighteen. The downward spiral I went through was the hardest thing I couldn’t even imagine. I knew the unbearable pain well enough not to want to go through that again, and it was worse. This time, I’d replaced the cutting with bulimia, and that’d how I coped. And, when I couldn’t even hold food in my stomach anymore, I decided to see a therapist. And that changed my life.

When I told the woman I’d berely known what I was feeling, she immediately sent me to a psychiatrist, who, then, after a few tests and appointments, told me she thought I was Bipolar. I was so stunned with that diagnosis, I literally just walked out of her office and never went back. I just went back to the therapist and stayed. She DID help me. So much, I went abroad for exchange, I got somewhat better.

When I came back from my exchange, was that I clearly started presenting manic symptoms. Or that I noticed them anyway. I’d have crisis in which I wouldn’t sleep for days. I’d be erratic, I couldn’t even speak without stuttering. It was only then I started to wonder if that doctor could possibly have been right. Still, I did nothing about it. Not until I hit the bottom again, until I was so, so, so bad, I was thinking about killing myself every day, all day. And, I went back to my last therapist and said, “The thing is, if I don’t get help now, I won’t be around for long.” I really had nothing to live for.

She sent me to another psychiatrist, and, after a few appointments, she said the same thing: Bipolar. At first, I was… terrified. What goes through your mind is a mix of things that you can never truly understand. Because depression is curable. Bipolarity isn’t. Depression is understandble. Bipolarity has no known cause. My doctor said she believes it’s probably a mix of genetics, trauma and personality type (I just lucked out, didn’t I?). That’s when she said that “people like me can live comfortable lives”.

Comfortable. I was twenty-two then. I felt the world crashing before me. For more than half of my life, I’d been living with this pain inside of me, suffocating, debilitating. Yes, I’m fully functioning. Some days, I can’t even go out of bed. When it’s really bad, it lasts for weeks. BUT, I can get on with school, with family, with friends, everything. Still, I haven’t lived. And this woman is telling me, I have this uncurable illness, that ALL I can EVER BE is “comfortable”. Right then, I wanted to die, even more. I wanted to jump out of the glass window of her office (I know, right? A psychiatrist on the 11th floor with a ceiling to floor glass window?) and get this over with. But I didn’t. I listened to her. I listened to her talk about meds and therapy and what we could do for me.

And I was truly skeptic about it all. But I listened to her. And I started taking the meds. And, I can tell you, I’m… comfortable. I’m not doing great. I have really bad days still. Sometimes, I want to die, I want to kill myself. But I have good days. I even forget I have this thing hovering over me, haunting my life. The meds have made a HUGE difference, though. For the longest time, I couldn’t even breathe, and now I can. And it doesn’t even always hurt. And that, by itself, is a gift. They also prevent me from going full blown manic. Hypomanic is all I get, and it’s a rare thing.

My life is still normal. Most people in my life has no idea what I go through, including most of my family (not even my father knows). They can’t tell. Being Bipolar is a very invisible illness; or it can be. I’m very functional, but the pain I’m in is of a dimension I can’t describe. There have been many times I thought I wouldn’t live through the night, that I was so scared of myself. Being Bipolar, or having any other mental illness, inluding depression, IS scary as hell. And it’s a horrible, horrible thing to go through alone. So, if you need help, GET HELP. I know it’s hard, it sounds hard, and it feels like no one can help you, but there’s help out there, I promise. You don’t have to go through this alone. And, if anyone ever wants to talk to me, feel free to drop a line at edwardsoftroy@yahoo.com

You know, I always say I’d trade my mental illness for a physical illness in a heartbeat. I often feel sorry for myself. I get mad, for having no way out, for having something that makes me hurt so much, but won’t kill me unless I do it myself. But, you know, I think that’s what keeps me alive. I’m too curious and too perky to let go.

You should be, too.