I actually wrote an entirely different post at first about my worries of self-insertion in the book I’m writing for NanoWrimo. Then I remembered who I’m actually writing it for and that I know I’m capable of writing a character without it being completely over powered and ridiculously good at everything! I’m not interested in flawless characters so I set aside those worries.
Instead, I’m going to write for a bit just as some more mental training and preparation for nano. I should really be plotting but if I can’t do that I need to be doing something to keep me busy that’s in theme with what begins on… uhm… Thursday? I think it’s Thursday. Wow, that’s come fast. Is this year moving at lightning speed for anyone else?
Honestly, mental illness kicked my ass a bit last night and so I’ve not been well all day. I’m hoping that no one gave it the memo that it’s mischief night soon. I don’t think I often speak about self-harm, do I? I don’t remember. I know I’ve written a lot of posts about it but I don’t think I often/ever post them. It’s got a lot of stigma attached to it and I think that sometimes it comes from a misunderstanding of what it is. It’s obviously never a good thing, but it also isn’t always someone just trying to get attention.
Trust me, if it was then last winter when I spoke about lemurs kidnapping me I’d have written what really happened. Did I ever write about that? I don’t think I did. No, I did, but I didn’t post it. Maybe I did.
Anyway, I’ve been doing reasonably well but at the same time not. I was coping okay with avoiding any downward spiral when it came to my body and those obsessions – sort of, but my OCD in terms of checks with the usual started to spiral instead. I know I’ve mentioned writing a post about OCD and my experience with it but I haven’t posted it yet. See, people sometimes call me brave on here – I’m actually not. I don’t like talking about what goes on. It’s very complicated but it’s often the battle of one voice accusing logic and truth to be a liar and another accusing fear and lies to be a liar and then everyone around me becomes a liar. I need to really ask people to understand here that this is not the same as a momentary self-doubt. This is not, did I lock the door? Check. I did. This is not a shitty momentary thought that is dealt with in a single action.
But that’s not what happened last night. I’d been aware that my time with the up was turning and I was having difficulty with taking in information. I was having difficulty with reality and I’d actually warned those around me that I was going to try my hardest but I could see how my brain was starting to struggle. And last night it really went all out with the: did I just do something I thought or did I think it? Is it a memory or a flash of an image? If you’re wondering what I mean by this I get refreshing images of hurting myself or others and sometimes I’m not sure if I’ve actually done it.
I was convinced I had hurt Dooks because my brain couldn’t differentiate between whether I was having an unwanted thought/image or if it had actually happened. – I think I’ll talk about my issues with reality another time in more detail – but for the absolute record I have NEVER hurt any of my pets. Ever. – should go to show the nonsense that can be put in my head during bad phases. But back to last night (I’m sorry if this is not a very coherent post) it got to the point where I became so paranoid and so angry and fearful and confused that I started to hit myself. This is something I had been doing really well with not doing because I’m not talking light taps – I end up with bruises across my head from how quickly I will lash out at myself when my brain isn’t working properly or I’m stressed. What a joy, and what a bloody stupid thing to do (I can obviously see this when logic is on my side) – my brain isn’t working properly so let’s bash it and make it worse!
I need to say that I tried. I tried hard to breathe, to tell myself I am real, this is real, that is not real, and it just didn’t work this time. That’s what I’m telling myself right now, this time it didn’t work, but recovery isn’t easy.
Sometimes I think of OCD and it’s checks a little like addiction, or at least I wonder at the similarities, the need to get that hit – the need to carry out that compulsion and the anger and discomfort that comes with not being able to. Anyway, that’s just something I wonder on a rainy day (and not really related to what I was just saying).
Back to whack-a-mole, see, I can make light out of what goes on with me. Not necessarily a good thing so I’ve been told but sod it, I cope with comedy.
I hit myself a number of times and then when I started to come out of that moment I sunk into the pain and the dizziness for a while, breathing deeply – we have to keep trying to calm down after all – until although still frustrated and obviously now more confused I needed to get up. I wanted to get water because for some reason that’s what often happens after a bad episode (that and an ice pack and a discussion of whether or not a hospital visit is warranted – usually after I’ve hit my head off something else). I stood up, I walked a few paces and I was dizzier than I’d expected and so I tilted to the right, tried to correct my balance and swung way too far to the left, I fell and smack the side of my head met with the corner of a bookcase. Ouch.
My fiancé was actually on the phone with me at the time, he’d been trying to talk me through things but I was an awful mess of paranoia and anger so even talk of being back in therapy soon was met with laughter and that is just dumb because therapy really was helping. He heard the bang, heard me cry out and then freaked out. Stupid bookcase. I think I was crying and muttering because I know I was saying I’m fine because eventually when he kept asking if I was okay I snapped and said please just give me a minute which I felt awful about. I was pretty much seeing stars by this point.
So, today has been a bit of a dizzy mess. I feel the familiar feeling after these episodes like I’m hungover and this post has taken far too long to write and it’s the kind of post I don’t even know if I will post. TMI, you know? I suppose this was an attempt at being honest. I failed in parts because I left some out. It’s just I get fed up of seeing the watered down nonsense of what people say is OCD and if I continue to be vague about what this illness is actually capable of then I’m not helping the problem. I’ve wanted to be more blunt about this but talking about self-harm is never easy. I’ve tried to a little here.
It’s really hard to be completely honest about what happens though and it’s also difficult to portray. People close to me have obviously seen it but even they don’t see the constant refresh and noise in my head. It’s just so loud. It’s an illness that there are a lot of misconceptions about but it is not a set of quirks, it’s severe. At times I feel like a malfunctioning robot, repeating the same thing over and over and over and over – like a computer constantly rebooting; and while that is happening I also feel like the frustrated person waiting for it to just bloody work.
Anywho, fireworks are going off and Dooks has just started to wake up from being a little donut on my lap. Thankfully she’s not too bothered by them but my poor cat is terrified of them! Will be making him a den under the sofa again.
Oh, and just an after thought and a fuck you to OCD and a reminder to continue with recovery. Last year at this time I was getting close to giving up. This year I’d like to remind myself that despite this utter rubbish that is mental illness: I’m getting married soon, I’m moving to a new country, I’m writing a new book, I helped rescue 5 kittens and plan to do more as soon as I can, and I am eating one dope flavoured jelly bean. So, yeah, OCD. You may have won the battle but you haven’t won the war.
What? If I’m going to be some general I at least want to be a cackling one with an eyepatch!