Getting new ink is always exciting. It perfectly combines two things I find soothing; painting and pain. Tattooing is a great pleasure for a self harmer. I get to embrace pain in an environment in which it is totally normal and acceptable. There’s none of the guilt I get when I’m alone in the bathroom with a razor blade.
The past week has been a tough one. I’ve been getting quite manic, hyperactively doing loads of jobs and then crashing into a vile black mood. Sleeping off that drowning feeling, only to wake up and begin the cycle all over again. So I’m trying to interrupt that manic phase before it gets into full swing.
Being manic is hard to stop. I’m an addict. I get a buzz from the adrenaline in my system when I am being frantically busy. I don’t want to slow down, because that racing feeling is exciting. I did manage it a few days ago, but it took enormous willpower and a stern word from my wife.
That energy has been channeled in productive ways. I took legal advice, had a difficult conversation with my mum, got loads done in the office, cleaned the entire house, rearranged the furniture, sold a ton of stuff on eBay, finally worked out how to use my sewing machine, the list goes on. Importantly, I also started working on a project to provide support for adult survivors of sexual abuse in my area. I’m cautiously optimistic about that.
My psych says these mood swings are a sign of recovery. But it’s like having the light makes it so much harder to tolerate the dark. While I am glad if that’s what these polarised experiences mean, I see a lot of danger too. When I exhaust myself being hyper, sliding into the darkness happens so much faster. And when I arrive there tired, I easily sink into despair. That’s the time I tend to harm myself seriously.
But it is Monday and a new week has begun. Maybe this one will be more level. I’m sleeping a bit better thanks to the Quetiapine, and that makes everything feel a whole lot easier.