(tw depression and self-harm)
It’s been long, hard, all of those adjectives that are supposed to apply when one returns to something they left behind. Today, my great feeling is that I dislike myself, and much of what’s around me, but I stubbornly like and have hope in life. Hope and courage amid plumes of idealism that lead me on.
I’m stuck in a place where opportunity reigns, fear and confusion cripple, and annoyance is rampant in the everyday. I am frustrated with the workings of my job, but have few ideas as to where else I might feel comfortable and happy; besides, I have a twinge that I wouldn’t be up to these places’ par. I am annoyed with the brain patterns of my lovely lovely friends, which lead me to confusion and a compulsion to hide. I sense that I am grating to others, fear that this detracts from good favour at work, and from closeness in friendship. I feel so much love, spilling and expanding me; so many ideas, growing like flora in me; so much fear, cropping and twisting me; and so much displeasure, draping me with melancholy and lethargy.
I used to be unable to conceive of anger, but now I never don’t want to punch things, never stop biting or letting slip cold words, never feel peace. When I walk, I always want to stretch out my arms to my sides and tilt my head back and spread my fingers to feel the wind on my hands (like the Titanic, maybe, if that love were singular). Today I am wearing white because I want to feel new & bright, and my hair is flipping against my face and I don’t feel full or spirited, but I feel like I am part of this sun-hot world. Like I am moving on its current.
Almost all of the time, I find it so hard to breathe deeply. Sometimes I find it hard to breathe at all. But I do not know if this is because my scoliosis is causing muscles to wrap around my spine and lungs like alien vines, or if my heart has expanded too much, or if my binder warped my organs, or if I have forgotten how to be a human and alive, or if I am having placebo effects from cigarette smoke, or just general anxiety / anxiety based on [redacted], or why…
Now that I have fallen off the initial manic glee I had three weeks into antidepressants, I am far less afraid that they will make me happy, cause me to lose control, be mean, and release chaos into the world. Now I’m afraid they will not work – instead I will continue on these warped sine curves between hyper gladness and an inch away from death, with no solution. Now that I have fallen off, the simulation of happiness I recently felt appears a lie. All the connections, feelings, friends, choices I encountered in that space have snapped away.
Most of the time I want to die, but no one takes notice because we all want to die, and because I also want to live, and because I have not actually tried to die. I’m often too afraid to bring up this thought I have, swaddled in a sheet at night; I have talked excessively all day, I’ve tripped through rude words & cried across the back of my skull, and we all want to be alone and have nothing that will help me.
I fear I will not have enough money. I fear I will not have enough motivation. I fear I will not have enough patience or resistance (only the future will tell which it ends up as) for this person I now call and need as friend. I fear living in a space with him and loving him will be far harder than seeing him in confined times. I loved a boy once, and clung to him, and I silently clawed myself apart in the moments he was not there, for his sake (I’m more like Jenny “for-you-my-heart-ripped-from-my-chest” Schecter than I ever would have liked); I’m afraid I’ll do it again, for someone much kinder and far less deserving of insanity’s touch.
I fear few people care for me, or have the will to walk with me through my characteristic waves of depression & impulse & rolling emotion. I fear that my mental illness make me a good friend from across a cliff face, not often closer. Never intimate love. I’m afraid I create and ensure that distance sometimes. Not lastly, really, but last for now, I fear the emotions of anyone who does not straight up tell me what & how they feel.
Now that it has been some time, I realize how much I could have loved Lydia in a different context, and how much I couldn’t in the context we had. Today I walked all over the city because I wanted to be somewhere warm, dark, and cozy, but I couldn’t think of anywhere. I just kept going, following the walk signs at street corners, moving fast because I didn’t want to be anywhere and maybe if I went quick enough I could do that? But after a while I felt like I was everywhere, like I was a slug and there was a trace of me everywhere I walked, and eventually I slowed down & looped back & finally I stopped in Tim Hortons, where the music was calmer & less painful than most repeat pop, and the woman who served me was vaguely motherly, and I felt maybe okay.
Once, my father told me a short story he’d read, about a man who wanted to see an orchestra play strongly enough that he booked a concert ticket and a train to a different city. He went all the way there, arranged everything, only to realize outside the concert hall that he didn’t want to go in. Instead, he went to a park & sat there & watched the sunset. I don’t know why my dad told me this story – he told it to me like it was an especially wonderful taste on his tongue, but it reminded me that when he goes to other cities & writes me morsels of poetry describing these cities, he’s said he does it because he knows that I will read poetry where I may not read a letter from my father… I don’t know what it meant to him, but when he relayed this story to me, it felt like the closest thing to what I needed.
Having walked with my indecision and held its hand as we decided I was firmly ready to stay in Winnipeg, now I want so much to leave. I know this is fear. Even if I did not know I could pretty well guess, since everything is fear. I know that when I booked a plane ticket to Winnipeg after exams finished in Nanaimo last year, it was because I didn’t want insecurity. There were so many things I would have had to sort out and I left because that overwhelmed me.
I know this is the same. The only locked in choices I have are my job and my school, each in a different province, and the only one I still feel gratified by is my school. I know I just want to placate the tinnitus in my head, and the images of silver blades & skin & the blood of strangers that come to me, unannounced. I want to still the anger & sadness & itching discomfort. I want to lose the constant urge to cut. I want to not be alone, I want not to be without money, I want not to depend on my parents. I want to be responsible. I want to be young. I want to be smart. I want to create. I want to move & learn & feel & grow. I want to be responsible. I want to be young. I want to stop hurting.