Dissociative disorders. They are dangerous and terrifying and confusing. They are not ‘oh I’m just dissociating’ or a funny joke like ‘haha I just dissociated for like 5 minutes’. I am diagnosed with DPDR (derealization-depersonalization) and it is pure and utter grief. It’s acting like another person entirely because you’ve lost your presence so much that all you can do is make physcial contact with people and say unusual things. It’s waking up in the night and sitting for hours not sure if you are real or who you are anymore. It’s hurting yourself because you’re not sure if you’re real anymore. It’s not knowing if your voice is yours or someone else’s. It’s like my body is completely disconnected from my mind and sometimes I have no idea whether the cracking of my knuckles is the sound of someone clicking a pen. It’s so much more than just feeling spaced out. It’s being stuck in your mind for hours not knowing how to get back to reality. I find it so scary that I could live my whole life with this response to distress just because of traumas and traumas that have built up in my life. It’s not a joke, it’s not something to be taken lightly. It’s a serious mental illness and it’s hell. I’m fighting it with all I can but it’s fucking hard. I am determined that one day I will be free of this. 💙
I love showers in the morning
I love being too cold and then too hot again
Watching the silver dirt run down the plughole
Running off my cheeks, lips and neck
Washing it all away
Washing the dirt out of my hair
Washing all the dirty dirty flowers out of my hair
Tangled ivy stripped off my scalp by the chemicals and water
I’m uprooting and I’m regrowing and I’m drowning
All of my dirty dirty flowers.
Exactly one year ago, give a day or two, I relapsed yet again, hopefully for the last time ever. I have lost 5 years of my life to this illness and I refuse to listen to my anorexia. Since relapsing I have developed and intensified my countless other mental illnesses. But I will not do this anymore. I hope I never relapse. I don’t want to be anorexic anymore, I don’t want to be skinny, I don’t want to sick and I definitely don’t want to waste anymore of my life. I am so much more than my anorexia and each day I get stronger and it gets weaker. I look back on my relapse with sadness. That I thought that was the answer to my misfortune. I am recovering (almost recovered from my anorexia) because I love laughing, I love writing, reading, being cosy and warm, comfortable, safe and happy. I am recovering and I WILL recover. Goodbye anorexia, this is me finally letting go.
Some days recovery is a field. And a yellow weed is growing in a beautiful ploom in the centre.
It takes your energy and all of your strength to pull the weed (as beautiful and wild as it seems) out of the ground. But when you turn around there are hundreds of new weeds, some of them yellow, some of them green and blue and purple and crimson, sprouting up from the earth.
Then you realise you need a helping hand to get rid of the weeds. You enlist family, friends, therapists and doctors to help you clear your field. It feels good to have a helping hand.
From time to time weeds pop up here and there but now you have a team to help you pluck them away and help the earth beneath you heal. As seasons change and sun shines the condition of the field changes and varies but it always remains your field.
And soon you see flowers blooming on the grass in vibrant colours and shades. A fiesta of energy and life.
Other days recovery is a battlefield.
~We often find that, although we hate our mental illnesses with a passion, there are moments when we can feel in love and deeply attached to our illness. I have experienced this with my eating disorder and self harm, and to some extent depression too. This can make recovery from these issues particularly challenging~
“I feel like I belong in my illness.” It is where I’m meant to be. The real world is too hard to cope with and I am left with my poor mental health and unhealthy coping mechanisms that I can just sink into and soothe myself, escaping from the world around me. Sometimes relapse can feel like coming home.
“My illness is the only interesting thing about me”. Often we feel as if we were chosen to be sick. It sounds bizarre but sometimes we can feel special for having an illness. And once we are deep into it, it is so all-consuming that we don’t have anything else going on in our lives to love. And we may have distanced our loved ones so much that we are isolated and alone with our illness. It feels as if it is the only thing we can rely on.
“No one will care when I’m better” Being sick often means lots of appointments and much intrusive therapy and social care. The attention, although sometimes unwanted, reinforces the idea that being sick means we are more loved. This is not true, but when our perception is poor, it can feel like it.
“My illness is my friend”. Mainly applies to eating disorders but I feel this when everything thing in my life seems to be going wrong and my ED is the only thing I have. It is a constant. It feels loyal when everyone around me is not. But it’s fake. It’s a lie designed by the illness to make me fall in deeper and trust it. And it’s not true at all because, even though you may be unable to see it, it is not your friend and you have plenty of people who love you and care about you in the world. Your illness is not one of them.
~in which I share my own experience of emotional abuse through signs that I noticed on reflection of my childhood~
- Being ignored, unsure of what I have done to deserve this, for extended periods of time, meanwhile parental roles were neglected. Often Y was left to look after me while X refused to acknowledge my existence, even while I was very young.
- Fear and anxiety when X is talking to me or nearby, I find myself wanting to keep any contact to a minimum.
- Discomfort and unease with any phsycial contact.
- X was often found to be reading my diary or searching my bedroom while I was not there- this was a strong breach of my privacy. X often looks through my bin.
- X often would control how much money I spent and what I spent my money on. Y was often not allowed to spend money unless it was approved by X.
- X controls and decides for me some of my major life decisions, such as what options I was taking for a level and what degree I would like to take at uni.
- Y feeling like she wants to escape the partnership, yet feeling powerless to do so.
- X often expresses anger undirectly through sarcasm, slamming of dishes and talking down to Y and I.
I feel like I am falling in love, over and over again, every minute. I am submerged beneath waves of happiness that I can quite literally feel flowing over my body. I am perspiring and shaking. And although I am in blissful beautiful Euphoria, it’s agonising, painful, uncomfortable and frightening.
Being at such extremes of mood means feeling out of control and spiralling. I’m not sure I’m in control of my limbs or speech. Things come as bursts or explosions rather than flows of water in streams. These rushes of speech can have consequences but when your manic: actions have no consequences.
Time to stay up till 4 in the morning, I guess.