Yesterday I wanted to kill myself. But I am still here. Somehow I survived that storm and crawled out the other side.
It passed. Because it always passes. When I’m in it though, it’s impossible to hold onto that knowledge. The light of imagination doesn’t break into that dark place. There’s only the torture of excruciating emotions, vile memories and vicious voices. I can’t grasp anything else when I’m engulfed in that. I can’t hold on to any hope or love.
The suicidal fantasies have slowly re-established themselves in my inner world. I’m not attributing that purely to the fact I’ve stopped taking my antidepressants. I think dreaming up escape scenarios is in itself a sort of coping strategy. It’s perversely comforting to know that my suffering can end.
And I am suffering at the moment. I keep telling myself it’s a temporary phase that will ease when my body adjusts to not having the medication it is used to. But I’m not sure how long I can keep doing it. Emotions are intense and overpowering. I’m tired. I can’t motivate myself or focus on getting work done. I’m increasingly drawn to self-harming and using substances to ‘take the edge off’.
Therapy has got so tough and painful that I’m finding it hard to make myself go. And when I do go, I don’t want to talk. Lately, all these raw, powerful feelings are being evoked in my relationship with my J. So my sessions with her seem to stir me up and trigger a lot of insecurity. I feel like the slightest comment, gesture or unwelcome response from J stabs at some deep, horrible wound in me. I don’t even know what it is.
I need J and I hate needing her. I am massively dependent on her and I can’t fully figure out why. I have this sense that if I couldn’t see her anymore, I would be completely devastated. It’s awful to be so afraid of her abandoning me. And part of me blames her for the fact that I feel like that. So as well as all the fear and the clinging and neediness, I’m angry with her. Part of me sees it as her fault that I am so attached and so scared.
It’s all incredibly confusing, and holding these conflicting thoughts and feelings leaves me tense, churned up and exhausted. I am desperate to ‘fix’ this and feel better about the relationship. At the same time, I want to push her away and cut myself off.
Leading up to the disaster that was yesterday, this has all been occupying my mind, as well as a load of other stuff I can’t even begin writing about yet. I think I was nosediving anyway, but then I had a conversation with J about her forthcoming leave.
It’s always hard for me when J takes time off. It always reminds me of the essentially clinical, professional nature of our relationship. I struggle to feel as though I am still important to her. Actually, I struggle to fully believe I will ever see her again. Plus, it inevitably touches on my issues around abandonment.
For some reason, J explaining her plans for her time off totally threw me into turmoil. She told me she is going abroad to see her new baby grandchildren and this hit me with an almost physical force. I can’t even identify what it brought up for me; but I guess that I essentially felt rejected. And lately I’ve had this constant fear of her giving up work to spend more time with her grandchildren. So finding out that there are now more of them has made that fear even bigger.
In an adult place, I am happy for J that she is spending some time with her family. Of course that’s a good thing. But the young part of me hates that there are always going to be people in her life who are way more important to her than me. That part is hurt and frightened at the thought that should these others need her, my need for her will be disregarded. The insecurity and anxiety around that is really hard to sit with. It’s hard to even acknowledge it, because it feels shameful.
Perhaps the younger part of me has too many memories of wanting or needing something from people that was never given. Maybe this has all just triggered that bleak loneliness and hopelessness in me. The desolate sense of giving up hope of being protected, accepted, heard and soothed. My whole body remembers the weight of being totally alone with that sadness. I think that to some extent, I ended up re-experiencing that miserable, lost sensation last night.
I’m feeling a bit stronger today, but still highly sensitive to all of this. To cope, I have contracted into a defensive, cut off state. I’ve wandered through my day as though I’m in some other dimension. I feel like an invisible shadow of myself. When I went out to buy food, I just couldn’t connect with the sounds, sights and people around me. I felt like it was all threatening, but somehow I could navigate it safely if I stayed in this dissociative bubble. Reflecting on it now, I really shouldn’t have driven my car in that state. I can’t even remember the journey.
The next challenge is getting to my CoDA meeting tomorrow. Even though I love the women there and I feel held and accepted by them, I am scared of going. Hopefully some of this fog will fade by the morning and I will feel competent enough to handle being at the meeting. I know it will be comforting if I can connect with people there. And I need that right now.
Photo: LetNoun, Creative Commons.