CW: Discussion of self-harm, some explicit.
Yesterday, I had the most amazing morning. I hadn't slept well, but I got up on time. I exercised, did a ton of work including a submission (always scary), got some other errands done. I did everything right. I meditated and did my French lessons and was on point, with time to spare before I was due to start streaming. I felt awesome.
And then this knot lodged itself in my chest. My breathing got shorter, and everything got louder, and if I tried to talk about this out loud I started tearing up. The weirdest thing? My mind was fine. I didn't have intrusive thoughts, I didn't have anything racing there, I was just experiencing all of the physical anxiety.
The week before, I had a really bad panic attack (which you can, coincidentally, read about on the blog as of yesterday). So I was a bit more cautious about the chance of me pushing over into a full attack. I decided not to stream; going on camera might've been too much.
I got through the rest of the day okay. It calmed down after a bit, I managed to rest, still got some other things done. I went to bed before 11pm, knowing that the past few nights my insomnia had been very bad. At about 1am, I started having some really unpleasant thoughts.
I had done relatively well, I thought, at getting my brain to focus on daydreaming. This is how I fall asleep. But then suddenly I wasn't thinking about that, I was remembering the way I used to self-harm. I've not thought about self-harming in a while. I've not actually done it for...gosh, easily over five years if not even longer.
But I was remembering the thing I used to do where I would find the edge of a table and bang my arms against it. I don't know why. I don't know why I started remembering that then, when I was midway through imagining epic quests in fantastical worlds.
The thought/memory flashed through my head three times before I got up and went to my laptop. I knew there would be people there. I cannot tell you how grateful I am for my volunteer job family, who are there every moment that I ever need them. They were there, and I read some fanfiction, and I managed to then go back to bed. It took me a couple more hours to get any sleep, but at least the thoughts didn't come back.
And now it's Tuesday and, honestly, I don't feel a huge amount better. The knot in my chest isn't as pronounced, but my chest is still tight. I'm struggling a lot more with disordered thinking today. With the feeling that I am small, and worthless, and alone. I know it's not true, but the feeling is real.
I'm trying to work out why it's happening. I want to stop it. I don't want to be the person who's always sick, not anymore, not now I've come so far with it.
Because I'm not sitting here anxious about any one particular thing. It's...well, let's go through it all.
- The last time I took my medication was over a week ago - which, don't worry, is on schedule with my doctor's recommendations. I don't know if this is withdrawal. It could be. My GP says it takes a couple of weeks for the medication to leave my body fully. If it's that, then either it will get better in time or I'll have to start taking the medication again. Hopefully it's not the latter.
- People around me have had a lot of arguments lately. I've not been in any of the arguments, but it's hard to be around. A lot of them have died down, but it's still tiring. I don't like conflict, I don't like being near it, it exhausts me.
- I realised last week that Wednesdays have especially been shit for me for a few months. I wasn't sure why, like maybe it was a combination of midweek plus working more. Then it occurred to me that it was a Wednesday when we found out Jack had died.
Maybe the day has sucked every week since then. Maybe grief is a strange, pulsating thing, which makes you think it's ebbed away only to flow back unexpectedly. There was a fundraiser done for his family; they donated the money. It's being used this week to build something, and I'm going to help. I've been dreaming about him. Grief is strange. I thought it had gone.
- My partner is working more. I don't mind at all; I am so incredibly proud of him. He is so clever and talented and determined, and he deserves every part of the success he's having right now. Even if it is exhausting him. But it means I'm on my own a lot more. I'm never truly alone, thanks to the internet. But there's no one here in the house most of the time, and I miss him a lot, even though he's where I want him to be.
- I'm struggling still with my eating. I had a 300 day streak on My Fitness Pal when Jack died. I lost it the next day. Since then I haven't been able to fix my eating patterns. At times I've been binging and then feeling truly awful. I don't think that I have an eating disorder - I think I just have disordered eating, if that makes sense. But I've started to wonder if I should see someone to check. My relationship with food is a mess right now.
It could be any one of these things, or all of them. It's probably all of them. Everything combined into one intense too-much.
What I do know is that if it were anyone else, I would be telling them to stop trying to ridiculously push themselves through this. That you can't push through this, especially not if it's all of those things sitting on you at once. Honestly, it doesn't truly matter what the cause is. The most important thing is how I deal with it, right now.
I'm signing off for the week.
Everything that is scheduled - streams, the Patreon base tier change, Patreon posts, etc - will happen next week. The blog will still have posts on Wednesday and Friday because I do those in advance. I might be around on social media, and I might not.
Either way, I am going to do the thing I have to do right now. Which is stop. Stop, and get space, and let myself feel things and process them and let them go.
I love you all very much. I say that a lot; it doesn't diminish the truth of it. I would not be brave enough to do this if you weren't all as wonderful as you are. Thank you.