Monday, March 10, 2014

Coming Clean

So, several people have told me lately that they wanted me to start blogging again.  And I'm honestly not so sure if I want to or not.  Because while I like a lot of what I wrote, it didn't necessarily go all that deep.  But I'm going to give it a try.  And though I doubt anyone will even read this.  I'm going to start with why I stopped blogging in the first place: because I didn't like my life.  Not much at all.
See, over that first summer I could blog about all of these things that I loved and the passion that I had, but the problem was....all that passion went away.
And it was replaced by something else.  Debilitating panic attacks, haunting thoughts, and increasingly isolationist and self-centered behavior.  Life just hurt.  And books and movies would seem to suggest that the people around you will support you and care for you during times like these.  They forget to mention that it doesn't really happen like that.
And that is not in any way to accuse anyone around me.  Because everyone tried to help.  I wouldn't let them.  Because the really sick thing about mental illness is that once you're deep in the middle of the pain, you don't reach out for anyone's hand.  Because it starts to feel safe.  It was as if I was in a pool of quicksand and the hands were outstretched but I wouldn't take them because at least I could understand the quicksand.
And what scared me the most is that I dragged a lot of relationships down into the quicksand with me.  Friends could not understand why I avoided spending time with them.  Or why I didn't tell them what was going on.  It's a pretty simple answer.  I was scared.  I still am.  Panic attacks, depression, destructive and obsessive thought patterns aren't pretty.  They aren't nice to watch.  And once someone wanted to help, I had to get better and I didn't think that I could succeed at getting better.  So, I avoided anyone who might push me towards a solution.
Because even though what I was feeling was unhealthy and dangerous, it became familiar.  It became dependable.  And I hate admitting this to you reading this, to anyone.  Now, I'm not saying that I could control it.  Of course I could not control it.  But in some sick way, I welcomed it, and allowed it to stay.  Because maybe, maybe if I hurt bad enough, I would deserved love.  Maybe if I was really broken, people would want to put me back together.  And if things were really bad, if I was broken to the nth degree and everyone knew that I was a mess, then maybe I was allowed to act in stupid ways.  To make mistakes and fall apart and even to be selfish.  And it turned into this cycle of pain and then wanting more pain so that I could be allowed to feel the pain and then despising every selfish action that I took and yet thinking that maybe if I fell deeper into this disease my selfishness would be excusable.
But that's not how life works.  You don't get allocated your certain amount of pain and then people suddenly care about you.  Instead people just sometimes feel pain.  They have mental illnesses, bad things happen in their past.  And they still need to be decent people.  And people will help you, but you can't ignore hands reaching out to stop you from drowning because you aren't sure you can stand on the shore when they pull you out.  At least, I can't do that anymore.
I will in no way pretend to have pulled myself out.  I haven't.  I have been supported countless times by an incredibly loving boyfriend and friends who have supported me, even when I have isolated them.  And I have been getting other help from a counselor, with the support of my family.  I cannot credit this to me.  But I am trying to take the hands around me.  And I am trying to stop with the excuses and I am trying to stop seeking only what is safe and familiar.
And I don't know if I am at all succeeding.  Because at the core there is still that person who doesn't want to face up to the reality of my mental illness and to a lot of the memories that tend to trap me.  And  inside, I still am, in a lot of ways dependent on those around me to do more saving then they should ever have to do.  And I am sorry for that.  I will keep trying.
There's my explanation.  There's last year, last summer.  I know this isn't what I used to write.  I'm still compelled to end them hopefully though, so if it's any comfort to the reader, not all of the hope is because I can't end my posts negatively.  Enough of it is real.

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