Junky boy-man in the toilet of an aeroplane sticking needles into the left of his testicle- the one with the cyst in it. The last time I saw her, she’d said she wanted me to come all over her. Even the face? Especially the face. So I did as I was told and spread […]
Solipsism: (noun) The belief that all reality is just one’s own imagining of reality, and that one’s self is the only thing that exists. 1871, coined from Latin solus, “alone”
***SHARE ON WORDPRESS THIS WEEK FOR A CHANCE TO WIN GIFTCARDS TO BARNES AND NOBLE, COFFEE BEAN, AND MORE!!!
I will be sending out thank you gifts to randomly selected WordPressers who share my book on their blog! Please be sure to link lazarusandlithium.com so I can include you in the prize selection! I will be sending the gifts on Friday, January 8th, so please make sure you share and link my blog before then!***
For those of you that don’t follow this blog, in 2010, I hit rock bottom. After struggling with crippling depression throughout my adolescence and heavy drug addiction, I attempted suicide. Thankfully, it wasn’t my time to leave. It has been an uphill battle towards recovery ever since. Every day I needed to make a conscious decision to hang on and get better. Slowly, with the love and support from my family and friends, I began to rehabilitate spiritually, emotionally, and physically. I am very grateful to say that I have been sober (and plan to be!) from the drug that had nearly destroyed me.
Through my arduous recovery process, I had turned to writing for healing. These poems that I have published in Solipsist were deliberately handpicked, as each one was written during a crucial point in my therapy. They are raw, unfiltered. I understand that some of them can be hard to read. They are difficult to share.
So, why open up to the world? Unfortunately, suicide is such a stigmatized topic in our society, along with mental health. I painfully remember not wanting to reach out for help for this very specific reason. All too often, people who are struggling with the above mentioned are labeled as “weak” and “attention seeking.” Then, when someone we love takes their own life, we wonder why we never saw the signs.
I lived through my experiences and I know that my purpose is to spread awareness. If I am able to save one life, my purpose is fulfilled.
That being said, I am VERY excited about my first published book. I am inviting you all to share this moment with me!
In dedication to:
American Foundation of Suicide Prevention
The Trevor Project- providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) young people ages 13-24.
RAINN- Rape, Abuse, & Incest National Network
Thank you all in advance!!
I had been anxious all day since I had woken up yesterday. Although, I’d say I was more depressed than anxious. The more depressed I became, the more panic-stricken I became. My thoughts quickly twisted into severely suicidal daydreams- how, when, where to do it. Multiple times throughout the day I found myself in the oh so familiar restroom stall at work, clutching onto my knees, silently sobbing. The voices were incessant. Allie was around in the morning time, as she had been before, commenting on the weather, the way I was writing, etc. Then, the visual hallucinations kicked in.
I felt foggy. Somewhere towards the end of the day, I could hear Senka in some recess of my head. My boss had asked me to gift wrap a giant box for our annual toy drive at work. As I was wrapping the box, I could hear Senka get louder and louder. I think I was panicking. I don’t remember what she was saying. It also didn’t totally sound like her. But the walls became very blurry and wavy. I lied down on the floor, trying to catch my breath and stop hyperventilating.
Next thing I know, I’m on the ground, my coworker has my head in her lap and she’s trying to give me root beer to drink.
This has happened too many times to count, unfortunately. The only thing my doctors ever chalked it up to was hypoglycemia. However, each time I was ever taken into the ER or paramedics came, my blood sugar was almost always normal. And like those times before, this wasn’t a sugar thing- but what am I supposed to tell them?
As I tried to sit up, my coworker encouraged me to hold the cup and keep drinking. My hands felt small around it. My eyes focused onto the CFO of the company unwrapping chocolate squares. “Here, eat this. Dark chocolate is good for you.” Then, another woman chimed in with a glass of some organic bubbly, kombucha. “No, have some of this. The sugar will hit your system quicker.”
My VP came over and let me know that the paramedics were on the way. I instinctively slapped someone’s hand off of me. “I don’t need paramedics. Seriously. I’m fine.” I tried to stand up and someone forced me back down.
In what seemed like seconds, paramedics were in the building. The wonted snapping sounds of latex gloves welcomed me back to the present. I answered the hello, how-are-you-doing, what-is-going-on-today questions. I was still shaky. My hands, my legs and lips were quivering. The voices were melting together and I had trouble deciphering which were in my head and which belonged to the EMTs. They pricked my finger- my blood sugar was fine. I was fine. End result: low blood pressure and I had a panic attack.
My friend drove me home. I crawled into bed, still feeling weak and took a moment to process everything. As I was falling asleep, I started having tactile hallucinations of hands on my shoulders, throat, and then I drifted off.
Her name was Ally. She was my best guy-friends’ sister. She was older than I was by two years. Ally carried one of those black messenger bags adorned with pins, buttons, and patches. Her jeans were always ripped and her Slipknot shirts were always one size too big. I never spoke to her much. Her brother, Jose, adored her.
Jose and I met in seventh grade in drama class. I was sitting in the second-to-last row and Jose sat directly behind me. Our first day there, all of the students had to whip up a comedic skit and present it that same hour. Jose and I were paired. I forgot what the skit was about, but I do remember it being hilarious. We were friends ever since.
Being the 13-year-olds that we were, we shared secrets, feelings, dreams, and confessions. By this time, I was already being abused and was having an understandably hard time with life. I told him one day on the swing set that I wished, more than anything, to find a way to make the pain stop. He held my hand and thought very hard for a few minutes. Then, gently, he offered a possible solution.
“Ally cuts herself.”
Surprisingly, I had never heard of such a thing. I had self-mutilated my body before in different fashions, but I never knew that there was a name-not only a name, but an entire subculture. I looked at him inquisitively.
“I don’t know. She says it helps her go numb or some shit. She uses a razor blade.”
And just like that, I had found my solution.
That same night after our long talk on the swing set, I retreated to the safety of my bathroom. My grandma was sound asleep in her room and my grandpa was watching telenovelas. I carefully pulled out a razor blade from the medicine cabinet. Sitting on the toilet seat, I raised the left sleeve of my pajamas. My hands were clammy. I rested my arm on the porcelain, pressed the blade against my skin, and pulled. At first, I had only made cat scratches. But as I went on, the deeper the cuts became. My pajama bottoms became stained from the droplets of blood.
I felt an empyreal high. Jose was right. It had brought me great relief. I washed the blade off, and tucked it in a lock tin box I had, where I later kept an arrangement of blades, gauze, a small pair of scissors, and tape.
Now, I know how awfully clichéd this story is. I get it. Half the school, it seemed, listened to My Chemical Romance and wore black and pink checkered wristbands. The campus was full of them: emo kids flipping their bangs out of their face just enough to be able to see the dark poetry they would be scribbling on their hands. For a period of time, I was one of them. I purchased a God-awful amount of merchandise from Hot Topic. Chokers, black and green striped knee-high socks, black bracelets, safety pin earrings.
Cutting was a thing. It was subculture that quickly bloomed like red plush beneath an Exacto-knife. It gave people a sense of community. Misery loves company, I suppose.
I admit at first that I had felt some pride about being a “cutter.” As the scars developed, I was satisfied with myself. It wasn’t until my cousin draped my body over the bed that I realized I had a problem.
It was just like all the other nights. It was 12am. My grandparents were asleep. My cousin, who worked from home nocturnally, took a break. I had done this several times before. I knew exactly what to do. I escaped my body momentarily and watched us from the ceiling. Watched numbingly as he peeled articles of clothing off of me. Off came my pants. A gasp escaped from his lips and he pulled back. I was jolted back into my body. His face softened and I felt a lump in my throat. I had missed this tenderness.
“Baby, what did you do?”
It had been fine before. The cutting, I mean. I never thought it as dangerous. He ran his fingers over hours-old welts. He was shocked. I had at least 300 cuts on my body… my thighs, arms, hips, stomach, chest, anywhere I could reach. “Why did you do this?” I had no words for him. I knew he knew why. He wasn’t stupid. He’s a rapist, a pedophile, and a destroyer- but not a stupid man. He pulled me into his chest and I could hear him begin to cry.
A seemingly juvenile coping mechanism had turned into a ten year addiction.
Despite the countless nights of enduring my cousin, I had missed and longed for this paternal part of him. Perhaps it was Stockholm Syndrome. I let him cradle me and I felt safe. Little did I know that this act in itself was potentially more dangerous for me then the abuse; I quickly learned that my self-inflicted wounds served as a protective shield. The cuts bought me time. With each gash, he took on the paternal, caring role. Now, I realize that this was HIS game. I would take my clothes off willingly, because I was under the notion that he would check me every night out of concern. I thought that he cared. I often look back on my very visible scars on my thighs and remember that night on my bed, as my cousin held me, weeping.
I’ve read somewhere that the victim of incest and early sexual abuse can become wildly sexually confused and could essentially muddle compassion with arousal, so on so forth. I am ashamed to say this, for multiple reasons. However, I will say it in hopes that A) I’m not alone and B) maybe someone could know THEY’RE not alone. During some of these nights of check-ups, cuddling and “therapy” talks, I became aroused.
The cutting continued. Slowly, my family members began to notice the scars and long sleeves. Multiple interventions were held in my living room in efforts to get me to consider going to a adolescent rehab facility. While each person read words of concern from tiny sheets of paper, my cousin sat next to me, hand on my knee, making sure the family knew that he was my foundation. And no one suspected a thing.
This post was inspired by this Tumblr pic:
I am still addicted to cutting. The blade, ironically enough, has saved my life on many occasions. I struggle with it nearly every day. It does bother me that cutting has been equated to a fashion trend. It’s not. It’s cunning, dangerous, and destructive.
If you’re reading this and you also struggle with self-harm, I’d like to personally let you know that you are worth more than this addiction, and I love you.
It was a rather dangerous few days the past week, mentally speaking. I felt MUCH better yesterday, and feel entirely more put back together today.
Everything is quite jumbled in my head regarding what the hell was happening in my brain. At some point, I had taken a razor to my skin again. I remember crying a LOT. I slept beneath blankets, clutching my dinosaur, Chompers (my girlfriend endearingly nicknamed him Charles Buchompskis, and I think it’s fitting), and staring vacantly into the bedroom wall in front of me. I found myself lurched into a research project of how I could possibly end it all. There were moments where I would “wake up” in my car, shaking and crying from hearing voices. Something was dying inside of me and it was imploding.
Depression, a break down, what have you. The point is, it was a fight for my life, in a way. It seems dramatic, yes.
On Saturday, I went to therapy with my girlfriend. She expressed (again) that she wants to know how I’m feeling, or if something is going on. I seem to have forgotten this. It made me feel instantly better being reminded of how supportive she is. And protective. I also made a reminder for myself to make an appointment to get on birth control… I also tend to forget that I was diagnosed with PMDD about 3 years ago, so a quick fix for my intense mood swings can be as simple as a little pill. Sorry, babe. Here’s to better months..
Sunday morning, we went out to breakfast. It was BEAUTIFUL outside. The entire day was cold, rainy here and there, and the clouds were large and white. I felt as if I had just come out of the rehab center. It’s hard for me to articulate what I’m going through as I’m going through it. All I know, usually, is I don’t know who I am, where the feelings are coming from, but I want to die. It’s awful. I don’t wish it upon anyone.
Anyways, after breakfast, we stopped by her parents’ house to pick up a few things. She led me upstairs to her grandmother’s room. Aligned across the walls where pictures of her as a child: wide-eyed, dimpled and adorable. We sat on the floor as she carefully opened a box full of ceramic pieces she had made. I think she assumes she has no talent, but I was greatly impressed as she pulled each piece, one by one. Her eyes beamed with a hidden pride and enjoyment while she explained the process of making them. Each bowl, cup, pitcher, all seemed to sum her up in some way. As some of my poetry paints me as I am, so did her pottery. I loved each second of it. I began to cry. I love to see her like this: happy and nostalgic of a time in her life that she valued so much.
As I ran my eyes over her childhood, my heart swelled at the thought of her letting me deeper into her past- allowing me to experience her. In moments like these, I fall more in love with her than I thought possible. My girlfriend is beautiful. I’m already in love with her eyes, her nose, her lips- all the things in which lovers find divine in the other. Then, slowly, she unwraps herself with new, incredible truths and stories and I fall even more in love with that. It happens all the time. I am very fortunate, especially as a writer, to have such a mysterious and wild creature sleeping next to me at night. Even the way she sleeps makes me happy.
So, I reveled in this dopaminetic state for quite a while. A few hours later, I met up with cast members from the play to run some of our lines. My girlfriend helped us stay on book. We ended up at Denny’s, drinking iced teas and hot chocolates, burning the midnight oil at 7 pm, putting in our efforts at memorizing. We did well. Rehearsal tonight.
Finally, the day came to an end. On the drive to her house, I noticed orbs of shadows and people in my peripherals. I drove a little bit faster than usual to make sure I could make it home. It felt as if a flashback was coming on.
I found myself on the edge of her bed. I think she was brushing her teeth. She walked into the room, asked me what was wrong. At first I said nothing. Then, I told her it was loud. She held my head in her hands and told me it was okay. And it was. I fell asleep next to her, despite the weaving of the voices, and I was happy at this. When I had begun to suffer from daily hallucinations and break downs just a year ago, she was always there, walking me through it.
I fell asleep, content with her comfort and the knowledge that everything would be okay by morning. And it was.
And thank God for medication.
I was spinning through that same thick, depressed depersonalization. I clutched a small little tablet of Ativan (we have a love/hate relationship, this pill), and about an hour later, I felt so much better. I felt a helluva lot better actually. Not to mention that I FINALLY slept like a normal human being after taking my Seroquel. I had kissed those 50 mgs and smiled with relief, ready to knock the fuck out.
Lorazepam. I left the pharmacy, got in my car, opened the paper bag and held the orange bottle. I stared at the words. Take 2 tablets twice a day as needed. October 2010, I got married to Ativan. We went to parties together, ate together, took drugs together, slept together. We even overdosed together. It was an abusive relationship, to say the least. But people change, right?
Now, as I promised my psychiatrist, things would be different.
As I held the orange bottle in my hand, I couldn’t help but laugh to myself. You fucked me over, I thought. If I promise to be good, you gotta promise to treat me right, too. It was like facing my mortal enemy after years of thinking they were dead, and there’s this weird sexual tension between us.
I feel more present, though I can’t say I totally feel like “myself.” I feel like there’s someone else resting against the back of my eyes, swinging their feet against the back of my throat.
October. I am enjoying and loathing the plethora of nostalgia seeping out of the ground.
It’s almost over.
Last night, we had a little going away gathering for my girlfriend, as she is moving on to greener pastures- a new job. We all had a great time as coworkers. I’m excited for her. Good things are coming into her life.
Tomorrow I have a therapy appointment. My insurance has changed due to open enrollment bullshit at work. We switched providers. Meaning, neither my therapist nor my new psychiatrist cover that insurance. I’m losing her. I’m just not. I literally have the BEST therapist. I’m sure I’ll figure something out.
Overall, as of right this second, I feel stable. Just not, totally me… whatever that means.
I have been marvelously intrigued, and perhaps a bit preoccupied, with life’s small forms and their humbling moments of death.
My body seems to stumble upon carcasses on the road, limp corpses of moths and other worthy insects caught in the vents of my vehicle. Each and every time, I linger- almost as if I had just received news of a loved one passing on. I pause here in honor of their simple quiddities, laconicly spilling out a prayer so that they may reach their bug heaven, wherever that may be found.
It sounds rather trivial and puerile. Call it a fascination.
I talked to my grandmother this past Friday about my cousin and the incest. The conversation itself was a success. She shared with me that she had encountered a very similar circumstance with a much older male family member. Although justice was nowhere to be found, I did feel validated as her daughter and granddaughter.
The weekend came and went. Friday was difficult for many reasons. I mostly was triggered to relapse on a needle; I had to have my blood drawn for a lithium level check and the needle and rubber ties were too much for me to handle. I went spinning into a panic attack while in group. I could hear Senka crying over the bruised vein (he had to stick me twice). Overall, it was a traumatizing experience.
My appetite is still trying to get back to where it was. Last night I ate more, which is good.
Everything is okay right now.
Well, actually, I sitting here at my desk with a knife at arm’s reach. I came home about 40 minutes ago. I had turned the corner and saw that the backdoor was wide open. So, butcher knife in hand, I quietly swept all the rooms, closets, under-the-beds, and crevices. No one. I could smell my perpetrator’s cologne, but I think that’s just my go-to sensation when I’m scared. Nothing seemed to be missing or out of place. Still, I feel just slightly uneasy.
My debit card for disability finally came in the mail, so I feel very relieved about that.
No more to report for now. One more day of PHP.
Today during my third group, I was able to come to a very enlightening discovery about myself.
For 45 minutes, we worked on our vicious flowers..
My intrusive belief was, “Isolation is better than seeking help.” Many of petals explained how isolating was a form of self harm in its own, etc. Then, at the the end of the exercise, the therapist called on each person to say aloud to the group one truth about themselves that they have been ignoring. When it was my turn, the following words fell from my lips:
I am worthy and deserving of recovery.
I kind of caught myself by surprise with this one. Wow…I’m worthy of happiness. I deserve peace. The entire day of processing had revolved around my own feelings of inadequacy; many times I have felt that I am the world’s punching bag. I don’t actually deserve happiness, but other people’s happiness depends on me.
Never have I really sat there and thought to recover my own self.
I’m doing better today. The suicidal thoughts have been pretty consistent lately. However, today I allowed myself to just feel shitty. If I didn’t feel like smiling, it was okay. And fuck, the groups are SO supportive. The amount of love and reach I have experienced over the past 4 days is absolutely incredible.
I do notice that I feel very split a lot of the time, and even my speech seems to not be able to keep up with my lips. This should go away, though.
On a last note, I am stressing over my disability insurance. I’m stressing about finances.
I had a small nervous breakdown yesterday while at work. It seemed that the flashbacks came on unexpectedly. I was unable to hold onto myself. The walls begun to cave in and I was left pushing the trap away from my body. Unfortunately, the way I currently know how to protect myself is through self harm.
I numbingly hacked away at my thighs, my hips, my stomach, my ribs, some of my wrist and throat. All the while, I was not feeling anything- no pain. Just absurdity at one point. 250 scrapes, scratches, and welts.
(The night before that, I had experienced my first full-force panic attack. I thought I was going to either have a heart attack or stroke. My chest tightened, my body went numb, my eyes went black and I couldn’t breathe. I could barely stand.)
Without going into too much detail, I’m constantly recalling fractions and filaments of my molestation. Now the images are unfamiliar and very, very fucking frightening. Fingers pushing through until I see red. Pressure. “Don’t resist. It hurts more when you resist.”
My ever-wonderful girlfriend took us to a beginner’s pottery class last night. She is well-seasoned in the clay craft. I am not. However, I had tons of fun and it got my mind off of the inevitable suffering that is my mind.
I have another therapy appointment on Thursday. I feel that I have been shooting down the rabbit hole with such ferocity lately. My mind has decided to split into more unattainable pieces. I know that the only way out is through. I’m just having a really, ridiculously difficult time sitting with the pain. A large part of me wishes that I could package this all up again and tuck it away some place that I wouldn’t find it again.
Then, I wonder why I had spun out of control last year to begin with. I remember the day where my girlfriend plucked me from my bathtub, naked and partly lost in psychosis. I remember the several days where I would stay home from work; I’d pull the curtains shut, drink, shoot, crush and inhale until I was floating in my own delirium. I would lie curled on the tear-soaked carpet for hours, staring so intensely into the wall ahead of me, I swear I’ve drilled a hole in it.
Last night was difficult. I’m not even sure if I ever fell asleep. My body is tired, my eyes burn, I feel slightly off balance.
I sat out on my back porch steps watching the rain fall. I was on the phone with my girlfriend, sobbing, rocking myself back and forth. Just hours before, I was standing in the drizzle, talking to God like I always did, begging Him to please make it go away. I bent down to the floor and kissed the warm cement repeatedly, waiting to feel absolution.
I haven’t been this despondent since February.
I texted my therapist telling her I felt suicidal and I’m too scared to admit myself into a hospital. I don’t even know if that would be the right move. I keep waiting for this to go away. Tomorrow, it’ll be better again. I’ll be happy and cheery, this mess will be behind me. Yet tomorrow has shown its face over and over again. I’m not getting better.
I feel as if I’ve contracted an illness and all I can do is rest, try to recover. I know I’m not alone, but I feel like I am.
Perhaps going back to group would behoove my mental crises. I have no idea.
Last night was really painful.