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Musings of a Madwoman 🖤

It watches, it consumes, it destroys- A journey of soul searching and motherhood 🦋

Month

September 2016

Then I Relapsed…

****TRIGGER WARNING****

“We all get addicted to something that takes away the pain” – a quote so true 

I often used to wonder how people became “addicted to self harm”, to hurting other people through themselves. I never understood it until it was me that had collapsed into an untidy heap on the floor, crying and screaming  with the blade in my hand and blood everywhere ! After the first cut I was  taunted by  a lingering temptation after the second I was trapped in the vicious web. I didn’t realise I was addicted until I tried to stop.

I became seriously addicted to cutting in February this year when my life was seriously in the toilet, I have a bit of a past with self harm at primary school I didn’t have many friends and my only friend was 3-4 years older than me and was a self Harmer we both tried to break bones, in high school – my first year I realised I was confused about my gender, genderless but I went to an all girls catholic high school but was so was heavily in denial that I cut a few times nothing major though, its happened occasionally over the years since then but this year was so much worse – I’ve had more than 10 admissions to hospital and a night in crisis respite because of it! The most I’ve gone since that day was 26 days clean. It’s an addiction that will take over your life! 

Self harm is one of the worst things I’ve ever done, it’s hurt not only me but everyone around me and I rue the day I picked up that blade and made the first slice.

Then I relapsed

4 days ago I cut again, I am disgusted,ashamed and deeply saddened that I did that to myself after being 26 days clean! I became depressive and suicidal whilst at work. I saw some industrial grade craft knife blades in a box on the shelf  near my bench and those familiar suicidal thoughts and the never ending dialogue of Mia filled my head. I slipped one of those sharp little blades into my pocket when no one was looking. 

I felt like I’d been possessed by the thoughts and I’d lost what little control I had !! No one around me seemed to notice what I was doing. Moments later, I found myself In the bathroom as the adrenaline took over me as I repeatedly cut my thigh. Guilt and shame set in as the blood streamed down my leg. I ran back to my bench instantly regretting what I had done. 

The next few hours were pure hell. My jeans were soaked with blood and I sunk into a depressive state. When my girlfriend came to pick me up I just felt revolting. I hate making her  worried though. We arrived at the ER of the local hospital and I was still bleeding quite a bit. I climbed into a wheelchair and got triaged. Within 1/2 an hour a student nurse had me in a bed she asked me a heap of  questions then proceeded to clean up the bloodied mess. Another nurse inspected the depth of my wounds and concluded that gluing and butterfly at stitching them is the best idea.

My girlfriend held my hand as wounds were glued and fixed up! Whilst waiting I passed out!!! When I was ok I was allowed to go. I’m now sat looking at the aftermath of what I’ve done to myself and realised I’ve once again succumbed to this brutally destructive addiction. 
It’s 1am and everyone I love is sleeping and I’m breaking down again, it’s a brutal addiction and u realise I am both the victim and the abuser. This is reality for me now one cut was all it took for addiction to have me in its grip. It saddens me to catch my loved ones looking at my scars and they say that they’re ok. 

I remember when I was young and I thought when I was a teenager I would be pretty successful and happier than ever and how I’d be up till 1am partying it’s kinda ironic really because little did I know that at 1am I would be sat here in emotional pain covered in scars, really depressed and fighting suicidal thoughts!

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Letter To My Childhood Self

Dear Little E …

As I lay awake at 4am broken and in so much emotional pain I only wish I had something more positive to say to you. I wish was able to tell you that life improved and you got better. There’s so many things I wish you knew and only wish I could have saved you from such pain.

I look at you so young and full of ideas yet so naive. You were a dreamer and you achieved anything you put your mind to. You thought life was rough then but you had no idea of what lay ahead of you. You were such a happy go lucky little person who took everything in their stride it saddens me that I know where you end up!

 You often wondered how someone could be so sad that they could take a blade and slice up their skin? You never imagined that you’d be the one laying in that hospital bed as nurses glued and bandaged wounds. You wondered how someone could hate themselves so much that they would go to extreme measures to look “beautiful” and not seeing how beautiful they are ? You never imagined you’d end up so unhappy with your image that you’d be the one that binged till you purged which ultimately led to you being diagnosed as bulimic at just 18 years old. You often wondered how difficult it could be to talk about your feelings with those you love? You never imagined you’d feel so depressed, suicidal, ashamed and guilty that you’d fake smiles and lie just to avoid their questions. And you often wondered how someone could  be driven up the wall that they feel like ending their lives? You never imagined that at 18 you’d face body dysphoria so badly that you’d attempt suicide by overdose and fight suicidal thoughts everyday. 

I wish I could say you beat depression and made a miracle recovery but in fact you only got worse. The horrific voices of Mia run through  your head every minute of every day,  your arms and thighs scarred from those dark days and nights being left alone with blades and haunted by memories of a life you once lived and a person you once were.

Self harm is an addiction of the worst kind. It’s one you never thought you’d be trying to beat. It’s nasty game where you are both the abuser and victim, it’s the addiction that had me admitted to hospital more times than I’ll ever  want to remember, it ended friendships and my relationship, it forced me to lie to those i loved and me as a person changed. I became so ashamed of myself  that I stopped living the life i had and hid myself away and became withdrawn from those I was close to. When I had a bad day that blade was my crutch. I rue the day I started cutting because it hurt everyone myself included. I want you to know how much I regret it. I’ll be 26 days clean today and the urges only get stronger and it’s hard to cope without it. If I could turn back time I would. If I could change anything it would be that.

I wish I could hug you and tell you all will be ok but I can’t lie to you. It’s a bloody rough road but stay strong a very special person will walk into your life and save you from hell and you’ll know when you do because the soul connection is just so strong. 

Stay strong 

Love Em

 Dying To Be Beautiful ~ When Mia Takes Over

Last week I visited the local eating disorders unit to meet with a psychologist who diagnosed me with bulimia nervosa. It has been a long year for me and I’ve had some major life disturbances. My parents separated a week before my 18th birthday and I moved in with my father (by choice) and we have my 6 and 8 year old brothers live with us 4 days a week and they look to me as the mother figure of the house, my family had a huge bust up then my own relationship suddenly ended, I attempted suicide, depression kicked in, and I was still heavily in denial about my life decisions and my self harm escalated to the point I was admitted to hospital 5 times in just 4 weeks! I broke my arm, developed appendicitis and had to have surgery, damaged the ligament in my knee in an accident  And somewhere in the midst of all my issues I developed bulimia. One positive thing that came out of it was meeting my girlfriend Sophie who is  transgender and she’s been a huge support for me through all of this – hospital admissions, appointments, surgery and my constant moaning about my life!

I turned 19 yesterday! It’s such a milestone considering how much has changed in just one year. I have had to grow up a lot even taking on a more parental role to my younger siblings!! 

But my journey with bulimia started 6 months ago when my ex spent a lot of time wanting sex and putting me down but ultimately dumped me because of my looks – fat thighs, scars and being into the gothic/punk fashion. I wound up in bulimias vicious cycle of starvation, bingeing and purging. 

I became obsessed with my weight and dying to be skinny became a disease ! But despite all of that the voices are the worst – voices that play like a never ending series of dialogue that plays in your head telling you things like:

“You’re fat”

“You’re disgusting”

“You don’t deserve to eat”

“You’ll never be beautiful”

Just to list a few!

When Mia talks “she” takes over your mind and controls you. Eventually you have no control of anything you do and you’ll go to great lengths to avoid people noticing! You’ll hide food, eat in secrecy, lie about where your money’s going and steal food all to satisfy her and in turn for your actions she transforms you into her image  of beautiful – you become physically weak, tired, you adopt the vomit stench (despite chewing gum,deodarent) internally your systems become a train wreck, your hair falls out, discoloured teeth, scars on your hands and that’s just the start. 

When Mia takes over she warps your mind and leaves nothing but chaos,depression,emotional turmoil and destruction in her wake. 

The song “Courage”by superchick is the perfect song to describe my battle with bulimia though. Some days are better than others but now I’m getting help and my psychologist using CBT and  making me keep food diaries, and setting goals for my recovery.

I think a lot about the past and I often go back to the time when my life was perfect – I had everything going for me. I had my career sorted and I had a family I could rely on and I was happy. But now I look at myself I’m dependent on meds to function, I have no clear career aspirations, my family is broken beyond repair, I have more issues than I can cope with and I’m the shell of the bubbly person I once was. 

I look at the army uniform hanging in my closet now gathering dust (after 4 years in the cadets) and I realise what I used to be and what I’ve become.

I wish I could go back in time and tell my younger self to savour those moments of happiness because they won’t last and I wish I could tell my 16year old self not to give up because I look at my life and realise just how much I’ve missed opportunities and the day I stopped fighting for and chasing my dreams was the day that made me into this broken, downtrodden individual in so much emotional  pain.

 

Facing the Demon

It was one night in April of this year (2016) as I sat in a cubicle in the local ER having deep cuts glued  steri stripped and covered I was overwhelmed by guilt, shame and fear. I sat crying while being interviewed by the psychiatric emergency team. It was my third of 5 admissions to the emergency department in less than a month and my self harm was out of control! I had been on the downward spiral for a few months and my depression was at its worst. 

A few hours earlier .. 

My mate came over to find me sat on the living room floor numbed by shock with blood trickling from multiple slash like cuts down my legs. I scribbled a note to my father and then My mate rushed me to the local ER. And here we are …

So what was the result?..

The gruelling interview concluded after almost an hour and the psych team requested me to spend the night in a crisis respite/half way house. I said a tearful goodbye to my amazing mate who brought me here as he walked out of that hospital room looking overwhelmed as the nurse took me out to the car bound for the respite centre.

It was a sullen drive and I cried into my jersey sleeve the whole way ther and the nurse checked me in and left me in the care of the night nurse. I was shown the facility and my room, for the first time in my life I was nervous as hell as I wandered round the place. I spent the night colouring in a mandala picture that the nurse had given me and smoking my e cig with 3 of the other residents. Aswell as talking to my mate and parents.

Despite people asking me why I cut and what has caused my depression I’d shrug it off and act like I didn’t know but as I remember those nights I can now admit to others and ultimately myself  that I was and still am struggling with my life   as a result of parent separation and my life of being an outcast and I have done for the last 5 years since starting high school and it’s been watching  me since and it recently has been consuming me – my every thought and moment and its destroying me from the inside out. A counsellor I was seeing told me I need to tell someone what was going on and causing this otherwise I wouldn’t see my 19th birthday which was 5 months away! I was truly devastated by his remark but knew in my heart he was right. I was deemed a suicide risk from then on!!

I spent that night wishing I could be upfront with those I loved but still when people asked in denial and I said nothing. 
The next morning 

My father picked me up and not surprisingly it was very awkward. I have always been super close with my father yet when he arrived all I could do was hang my head in shame as he asked  me only one word

“Why?”

I shrugged and got into the car as he tried to ask the nurses the same thing. He was on a non disclosure so he got nothing. It felt like hours as I sat in the car overwhelmed by guilt and shame again as I traced the cuts under the dressings!

I wished I could tell someone why but I couldn’t. I realised though that I had to speak up before I ended up killing myself !

That night I learned the most important lesson of my life 

The only way to save myself and those I love is to face the demon within!

Otherwise it watches, it consumes and it destroys!!

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