Saturday, 4 April 2009

Reaching Out = Reaching In

I am feeling very disconnected right now and wanted to write in the hope that my thoughts will start to make sense again.

Today is the first day in a while where my thoughts have been entirely focused on food/weight/calories. Literally nothing else has come into my brain- I haven't been able to answer my phone, talk to anyone, do *anything* except obsess about what I'll eat and when and how. Normally days like today drive me insane, but it's been an almost welcome relief today.

Before I continue, I want to say that I am going to be talking pretty openly about suicide/urges/thoughts, so please don't read if this stuff triggers you. I am 100% safe right now but this is my blog and I need to use it to "think".

This week has been rocky to say the least. I am being seen daily by the Home Treatment Team and have been discussing the thoughts and feelings I have been having around suicide. It is something I have tried before, but always in an impulsive way. This time has been thought about, planned, mapped out- details figured out, everything put in order, etc. I also wrote, for the first time, a letter.

I wrote it a few days ago, tucked it away and haven't looked at it since. This evening when the nurses arrived, I spoke about how my focus has shifted today and I'm not quite sure why- perhaps because there was nothing left TO plan/organise, or quite possibly a survival mechanism (things are getting into dangerous territory = switch back to what's familiar/safe/comfortable). They asked to read the note I wrote- I wasn't entirely comfortable with this (is this "okay"? There's no "suicide planning etiquette" handbook). I sat there while one read it and passed it silently to the other. We talked a little about it before the conversation shifted. I made it clear that I am not IN that place tonight...next thing I knew, we were joking around trying to fix my TV.

After they left, I picked up the note to read. I don't really remember writing it. I remember trying to condense the zillion things I had to say into a short space, highlighting things I REALLY wanted people to know/understand, yet knowing that they may never understand and I wouldn't be there for a "question and answer" period.

One sentence jumped out at me:
I'm doing this NOT because I want to die, but because I so
desperately want to LIVE
This pretty much says it all. The depression, despair, anger, frustration- it stems from wanting, so badly, to be a valuable person, a worthwhile member of society, a good friend, a close sister/daughter/niece...and yet feeling like I stay so stuck in the same patterns of doing well for a while before falling flat on my face.

The note doesn't make pleasant reading. It's pretty jumbled with appalling spelling and grammar- there is a sense of urgency in my writing that I don't recognise. Perhaps a reflection on the mindset I was in when I wrote it, but also so desperately wanting to cause minimal pain to my friends and family, explain to the best of my ability why I reached the conclusion I did.

I feel very disconnected right now. Very much *here*, in this present moment and detached from who I was when I wrote the letter.. I want to write a new note. A response to the exhausted, scared and frightened person who wrote the note. Not some Pollyanna-style "things will get better/hang in there/keep fighting" stuff, because as much as that helps at times, right now it doesn't feel enough. I imagine reading this note if someone else left it. I imagine all the things that would jump into my mind that I wish I could have asked them or said or talked to them about. I don't know. Maybe writing a response to my own letter would be helpful?..

6 comments:

Katie said...

I think I know what you meant. I have been driven to despair in the past by desperately wanting to have a life but feeling like it's such an impossible wish that I'd just as well give up and die. I don't want to say anything that sounds trite or patronising but my first and overwhelming reaction to what you wrote was, but you ARE a worthwhile member of society. You have made a difference in my life, and probably there are probably quite a few other people who would say the same thing. Neither of us are terribly functional in the traditional sense at the moment, but that doesn't mean that we have no value at all to humanity. It also doesn't mean that we will always be in this situation. I know it's been far too long that you've been suffering like this, but you are still only in your 20s, your life still has so much potential. I'd hate for you to think that I'm just resorting to impersonal cliches - I honestly, genuinely believe that's true.

I think writing a response to your letter could be a good idea. Please try and stay safe <3 the world would be a lesser place without you.

Lexi said...

When I read this:

"I'm doing this NOT because I want to die, but because I so desperately want to LIVE
This pretty much says it all. The depression, despair, anger, frustration- it stems from wanting, so badly, to be a valuable person, a worthwhile member of society, a good friend, a close sister/daughter/niece...and yet feeling like I stay so stuck in the same patterns of doing well for a while before falling flat on my face."

I immediately wanted to jump through cyber space and tell you that I've felt the same exact way. I know not exactly how you feel because, well, I'm not you, but I have had these same feelings in the past. I'm trying very hard at the moment to tell myself that if I want to live the life I'm dreaming of, I need to quit dreaming about it and start doing it. It's so hard, I know, but we just have to try. Try to reach out to the people around us, form real relationships, be who we are without judgement. I have faith that we'll both get to this place.
Love always,
Lexi

Lauryn said...

ellie, im not quite sure what to say to help, but please know that im thinking and praying for you, you're SO WORTH IT and you deserve to fight and to live -- i know it's tough, but hang in there and stay safe and know you have the support of everyone here!

maybe writing a response is in fact a good idea to try to get in touch with your rational, thinking side. you are a wonderful writer, just let those words flow.

thanks for your honesty, and i applaud your courage -- HANG IN THERE! xoxo

Cacti Don't Cry said...

I'm sorry that you're feeling this way, as trite as it sounds, but I'm not really sure how else to put it!! ... I think I do know how you feel (which I know doesn't really help at all!), especially about wanting to live so badly but not quite knowing how to do it. I don't want to give you a "pep talk" about how everything will be fine, because like you said, that's just Pollyanna-ish.

Doing well is scary. It makes sense, in an odd way, to fall back into what's familiar. I just wish you could see that you're worth so much more than that.

aussirish said...

hi hun
im sorry youve been focusing on ed related topics today like weight etc, i think we can all have those days and they are not easy...its usually a sign that somethings not going the way you planned and you resort back to ed thoughts to get through. youve come so far though hun so dont let it pull you back. you can do this :)
keep fighting hun
xxxx

Sheena said...

Hey sweets~

I do know where you are coming from. I have actually had my suicide planned for years -- the style, actions, ambience, background music, everything. But I would never actually act on this plan.

There is a single reason for that, and I explained this to my boyfriend last night. I have always seen suicide as selfish. I might hate myself, but there are others that care for me deeply. I cannot imagine inflicting so much pain on those I love, and then not even being around to comfort them.

I know you want to LIVE and be a significant part of society. And you have been such a good friend and source of support to so many online, and I am sure many in your life.

You have so much of your life still ahead of you, and your life is so precious. Just know that you can always change and you make a difference every day.

Take Care and stay strong!