So excited to be published on TheMighty.com and be an official contributor! It’s obviously very personal to me and, I feel, really important.
2016 has been a clusterfuck, we can all agree to that I think. But in some ways, this year has been the best I’ve had in a long, long time… which is fucking sad, considering.
Let’s get the worst out of the way – my health, both physical and mental. At the beginning of the year, I was diagnosed with BPD and PTSD. Learning how to live with these and my other diagnoses continues to be a struggle. There are good days and bad days. Always will be. These things are not curable.
I did attempt suicide in April. Not awesome.
Other health stuff that’s going on physically, which are irrelevant for what this blog is about. But lots going on there… Though I will say – 2 days ago, the 13th, I was in the hospital again and finally got an answer to an ongoing problem I’ve had since I was a teenager – gallstones. Yup. One of the causes is rapid weight loss which is more than likely the case here.
Experienced my first real heartbreak, and fucked up my friendship with him along the way. Also not awesome.
But when I think about it…there’s actually been a lot of good.
Starting with reconnecting with one of my oldest friends that I grew up with. It was right at the beginning of the year and I honestly don’t know if I’d even be here right now if I hadn’t reached out to him. In fact, I think it’s safe to say I would not be here. Not enough words to describe how thankful I am for him putting up with me hah – he’s a true, genuine friend. He does his best to understand what I’m going through with my mental health and everything else, has supported and encouraged me with my writing. And it’s just been good to have that again – just having a friend, you know? Someone who has known me for most of our lives.
Getting to know a friend of sorts better – over skype and texts and online. She called me in the hospital after my suicide attempt and got me through that first night. She just has the kindest heart. We have some very big differences but that doesn’t stop either of us from appreciating eachother. I’m so thankful to have gotten to know her.
Another friendship this year. We’re polar opposites but similar in so many ways, and I love that. I’d forgotten what it was like to have a friendship like that – that girl friend all girls have where you just kinda click and it’s easy (for the most part lol, as all friendships go) and fun and special. I haven’t had that since highschool. I’m truly grateful for her. I’ve been burned so many times by people closest to me, and it’s been a challenge to put that trust in someone again… but no matter what, I can’t thank her enough.
DBT is another good thing. It made me nervous and I was skeptical but it really was one of the best things I could’ve done for myself at the time.
I started volunteering at the SPCA. Honestly, those animals probably help me more than I help them. The best therapy.
Kittens for days.
Me and the big grey one here had a bond. He thought he wasn’t gigantic and could fit in your lap like a kitten. That’s all he ever wanted – the comfort of contact. Didn’t take long for him to steal my heart. As happy as I am that he found a loving home, I’ll forever miss my huge lap kitty. Lol saying goodbye was emotional for me.
And then there’s my writing. This time last year, on a whim, I emailed one of my favourite authors about this book idea I had and her confidence in saying that I do have a talent and something important to say, a story to tell, completely blew me away. It took a while, until June, to actually start submitting my writing to places, but I did it. And it’s been terrifying and so exciting. My first publication in print was such a surreal time. Believing in myself is a very new thing…but I’m trying my best. Thank you Charlotte, for lighting that spark in me.
It hasn’t been an easy year but I have made progress. I can only hope my recovery continues.
Today is World Suicide Prevention Day. The slogan To Write Love On Her Arms is going with this year is I Kept Living. So I thought I’d share my story about someone who called me in the hospital after my suicide attempt.
I’m not entirely sure what to call this relationship. I don’t know what she classifies it as. Friendship? Acquaintances? We’ve never met in person. She’s someone I sort of know, I guess. I was blown away by how gracious and appreciative she was, that she wanted to get to know me. Each little interaction with her brought a smile to my face and it meant more than I’ll ever really be able to say that she cared to take that time.
I initially started writing this last week because I was feeling awful about the last time we talked. Of course my BPD jumps straight to, “She hates me”, etc. Yes, I have abandonment issues after everyone I thought was my friend just stopped talking to me. I am afraid of losing who’s left. So I couldn’t stop thinking about it and the stupid thing is is it wasn’t even a fight. It wasn’t an argument. We weren’t angry. It was frustration and misunderstandings. It bothered me because I got the impression that she thought I was ungrateful. She mentioned expectations which has never been the case. I was frustrated about something, which I expressed in not the best way, admittedly. I can’t stand the thought of her thinking I’m ungrateful or something because it couldn’t be further from the truth. What she’s done for me…it’s meant the fucking world. The most invaluable being the night she called me in the hospital.
Skyping with her lastnight for a bit was a relief, and very needed. Kind of perfect timing with this post and WSPD.
Before this, I’d overdosed twice just a week apart in January. Accidental. I think.
Accidental or not – it was nothing compared to April.
Back in April I attempted suicide and was put under a 72 hour suicide watch.The nurses working the night shift let me keep my phone for a bit and I just decided to text her what was going on, and almost immediately a bunch of messages came in.
“You deserve to live”, “I can call you”, “You are loved.” and more.
A new round of tears, and for some reason the, “I can call you,” text made me cry even harder. We’re in different provinces, I have no idea what she was doing, if I interrupted something, and yet she was ready to call me right then.
10pm my time. Alberta to Ontario. Her voice, sweet as can be, instantly relaxed me. After the day I’d had, being scared and alone – she’s something safe, familiar. And she just has a way about her – her gentle voice held all of the concern in the world. I told her what happened and I just wished so badly that I could actually have someone like her as my friend. She related in her own ways when she could but also made a point to tell me I was important, I was loved and capable and, “Do not give up.” Hearing those words from her meant more than I can say; always will. She let me cry it out, listened to what I was thinking – bad or not – and she always had words of love and wisdom to say back to me. She didn’t have to call but I think that’s just a part of who she is – kind and selfless. She said I have to get better for me.
There are certain things we have in common but faith is not one of them, and we know this about eachother. She spoke so honestly about herself, how her belief in god was the biggest thing that helps her. And even though I don’t believe in any god, I can genuinely say I’m glad she has that comfort to turn to – because I don’t. And I told her that.
For almost an hour we talked and we laughed and we (I) cried and we planned…plans I know, realistically, will never happen. But she honestly got me through that first night. I don’t know what I would’ve done without that distraction, that connection, even for just a little while. During our call, I realized I do still have some hope in getting better, that maybe I could have a future and life worth living. I can’t imagine what that would be – even now, 5 months later – but the thought is still there, and that’s what matters.
Darling, if you ever read this; thank you. I’ve said it before and I will keep saying it.
I am someone who has let their failures and mental illnesses define them. So when I go on and on at 4am, thanks to sleeping meds fucking me up, insinuating that you don’t care, I’m sorry. Learning how to cope and live with BPD and everything I have is no walk in the park. Learning how to deal with someone with BPD is just as hard. Please know in those moments that I don’t mean it. In fact the next day, because of the meds, I barely remember it. You have added hope and positivity to my life, not harm. I promise you that. Thank you for every little message that put a smile on my face when I could barely stand being alive. Thank you for the big things; the kindness, exchanging cell numbers and texts, the skype dates and most of all – the phone call that saved me during the worst day of my life. Thank you for caring.
Someone I know called me in the hospital after I attempted suicide. A beautiful person both inside and out was there for me in the best (and only) way possible. I will never forget it. I know for a fact I only found that little bit of hope left in me because of her that night. And I will always be grateful and thankful for her.
I kept living because of that hope she helped me see. A hope that it won’t always be this way, that I’m stronger than I think. That I have something important and valuable to share with the world. I am loved. I am capable.
I kept living because I know from that hope that I’m better than that hospital gown and the charcoal they made me swallow and the IV in my bandaged, bruised wrists. I’m better than that. I know it now. But I need to be reminded more often than I’d like to admit.
I kept living because though I’ve once again been in a low place lately, I know it’ll pass at some point. It has to. Recovery will always have ups and downs. It won’t always be like this.
I kept living because there are still so many things I want to do; I want to meet the girl that called me in the hospital when I was at my very lowest and helped me find that hope.
I kept living because despite those who have left, I found a few that either understand what I’m going through or try their very best to. They want to see me thrive and get better.
I kept living because everyone’s story is important, including mine.
I kept living to make sure others keep living, too.
“And to all the self-destructive people who feel they’ll never be themselves again,
just know I understand that self-inflicted pain is self-defense.
So don’t sell yourself short or label yourself as stupid,
because when you’ve hit rock bottom
every movement is a self-improvement.”
I have been a fan of Mitch Welling, aka flatsound, for a few years now. The guy just has a way with words that is so unique and often hits you like a ton of bricks. He gets into your mind and heart and his words have been an incredible help and comfort to me over the years.
This particular spoken word poem of his, “be yourself” is really special. I usually end up listening to his words and songs every day, but this one in particular is very important to me. I wish I had even half of his talent.
I spend so much time living in anger these days that I’m starting to forget the good things. And maybe should…but the thought scares me. It breaks my heart just thinking about it. I’m not sure if I should go on as best I can like you never existed, or just try keeping the bad in the very back of my mind and remember an old friend held so bittersweet in my heart. Because it had to have been real at some point, right? The first friend I made in highschool, just days before it even began at orientation. So here are the things I want to hold onto for as long as I can, even if they sadden me to think about at the same time:
- Your childlike sensibility; watching the cartoon network on your couch with your cats. Never thought I’d miss that innocence you’d held onto now that it’s gone.
- Your granola upbringing, courtesy of your hippie mother. You loved nature and would feed the squirrels outside your window. I miss you feeding the squirrels.
- Blue eyes. Beautiful.
- Your intelligence; the random facts and trivia, always something new to say.
- Unashamed, but quiet around others for the most part, like me.
- The texts you’d send when I wasn’t at school, asking where/how I was.
- Your laugh; contagious, and always made me smile.
- How open you were, how comfortable it was to be in your presence.
- Your forgiveness when I messed up bad… something I could never seem to do in return for you.
- That bond we had, like in the movies. Like sisters separated at birth.
There’s plenty more, but right now all I feel is this ever-present stabbing at the still bleeding wound from your silence from when you left.
Happy birthday. I love you. I miss you. Forever.
“I survived every one of your goodbyes.” – Della Hicks-Wilson
“Amazing, still it seems, I’ll be 23.
I won’t always love what I’ll never have.
I won’t always live in my regrets.”
23 – Jimmy Eat World
It’s my last day of 22. Half of it I spent sleeping, wanting to experience as little of the day as possible. I’ll do the same tomorrow. But I’m tired of it – of not living.
This song, by a band very important to me that I grew up with, has been on my mind lately. For obvious reasons. It’s called 23 and tomorrow that’s how old I’ll be. I want this song to motivate me. I want it to be a part of what gets me to really start living.
Because I have more bad days than good. And some days I can’t even get out of bed. Normal, every-day activities wear me out and I’m tired of wishing my life would just change magically. I know I have to do something about it. It has to be me. I can’t sit around waiting for someone to save me from my loneliness.
And I have been slowly making changes. Slowly but surely. DBT was a huge step for me. I’m writing a book. I’m submitting my writings to different magazines and sites – I’m no longer living stagnant.
I’m in need of a friend – of people – who understand. Where I’ve been, where I need to go. Because I can’t do this alone.
I’m trapped. All of my failures have caught up to me and I am stuck.
My day-to-day is full of nothing and I can’t break the routine.
Society would call me either lazy or a loner or shy, but the truth is I’m being held against my will by my own mind and body.
I want out. I want to wake up each morning with a smile and have a good day.
I want to live. I want to travel and meet people, create memories and experiences I’ll hold dear for the rest of my life.
I want adventure. Excitement.
But I also want stability. Comfort. Home.
I want meaning. I want to change my life and change someone else’s. I want to take risks and not be so afraid of failing. I already regret so much.
All of these wants I’m not sure I’ll ever have…I’m still finding the courage, and I’m afraid that bravery doesn’t come naturally to me.
From my art journal – “I Feel So” by Box Car Racer, always there for me in my angsty moments.