What flows flows / This Week

Hello!

I have been in a very reflective mood these past few weeks. Maybe it’s because I haven’t had enough time to write properly, so everything is accumulating? So I apologise in advance, because I think this will be a bit of a jumble.

To begin with, I am so happy. Like so, so happy. Happier than I ever thought would be possible. It’s all this painful healing, I think. I think I am finally coming out of the other side.

Yesterday, I came across pictures from a few years ago, and they shocked me. There were photos with my arms showing, which was a very rare occasion, because 99% of the time they had to be hidden under long sleeves. I couldn’t understand the severity at the time. In these photos, scars littered my forearms in ways that I don’t remember thinking much of. What makes me feel worse, is that this was only the tip of the iceberg. I know that later my torso and thighs met the same fate. Hundreds of scars. And I know it was only going to get worse, and more dangerous, in the years to come.

These days are so foreign to me now. I remember having to be physically restrained so that I couldn’t hurt myself. And this happened time and time again. I cannot comprehend the pain that those close to me must have been experiencing. There are a few parts about my experience with self harm that I can’t write about. It’s too painful. Thinking about it hurts in ways that I never knew possible. These blurry memories are so painful. Combined with all the other things going on during these times, I barely even recognise that person as me. I feel so full now. I feel so alive, and worthy to be so.

There are years
that I cannot speak of.
There are stories that ache
in a purgatory between
mine and ours. I am choking
on a cotton alphabet
soaked in gasoline,
and the only way to save
my bloodstream from the poison
drip is to swallow
the flaming matchstick, so
listen. Catch fire with me.
There are years
that must be spoken of.

(Adira Bennett).

A song that has been helping me lately is A Rush of Blood to the Head, by Coldplay. It’s comforting in a way I cannot describe.

1000drawings: “ sunset by Loish ”

(Image sourced from: Loish, 1000drawings.tumblr.com).

University has been so busy lately. Classes are over for this semester, and now there are just exams left until next semester! I have written so many reports, so many assignments, and done so many tests. Compared to how crazy the past few weeks have been, exams feel almost relaxing!

Some things that have been making me really happy and feeling at peace lately are:

  • This quote: “I no longer force things. What flows flows, what crashes, crashes. I only have space and energy for things that are meant for me.” (The Artidote). This has been so peace-giving lately.
  • Spending so much time with the dogs, my husband, and my family. Right now, the sun is streaming in, a dog is on my lap, and I’m writing my final report for this semester. It’s bliss.
  • Spending time with new friends and old. I’m not exaggerating when I say that my friends are each amazing. It blows my mind every day.
  • Dreaming about the future, while trying to enjoy the present moment. We have so many ideas for our house that we are saving toward, and for our future family. It’s all so exciting!

1000drawings:
“by Ryo Takemasa
”

(Image sourced from: Ryo Takemasa, 1000drawings.tumblr.com).

Have a beautiful day, friends!

Love & light,
Kaitlyn.

One Year.

It’s hard to know where to begin.

When did everything stop becoming too much, and I not enough?

Is that when it changed?

Or maybe, it’s all still the same, but I am learning how to cope now.

Image result for self harm art hope

(Image sourced from: http://rebloggy.com/post/love-art-quote-life-happy-depression-sad-quotes-beautiful-motivation-words-pain/118689143386).

Today, it’s been one year since I last self harmed.

And, I am so, so happy.

A year ago, I finally asked for help. Seven years too late, but just in time.

I remember trying to talk my way out of having to go. I remember breaking down in the doctor’s office. I remember how much it stung. I remember reading what was happening off my phone, because I couldn’t trust myself to actually say the words instead of just running out of the room.

The first thing she did was make me write down the number for the mental health crisis team. Then we did the Kessler Psychological Distress Scale. This became a regular feature over the next few months. I have lost count of the number of times that good old Kessler has calculated just how awful things were.

Then we talked about medication. She gave me drugs to help quieten the thoughts.

Every few days afterwards, my doctor would ring, just to chat. She would send me TED talks to watch. I was told to come back all the time. And I did. The medication was increased to the highest dose.

After my brain, and all the things whirling around inside, began to stabilise, I was referred to the local psychological services clinic. I spent a few months going there.

My psychologist taught me how to breathe again.

She also had some pretty interesting theories about how things got this way.

I’m still trying to work them out today.

I also did an online CBT course. It helped keep me accountable.

After eight months, my husband decided that I was ready for all of our sharp things to return. I remember we would chop up all our apples into little pieces, just because we now could.

I was so proud that day.

All the knives, scissors, keys, nail clippers, staplers, razors and pins were unearthed. They were removed from their secret hiding place. I still don’t know where that was.

And I could be trusted with them.

It was really, really hard at first, having so much temptation around me.

Sometimes it still is hard. But I can never go back to how things were.

I can never let myself cause that sort of pain to the people close to me again.

At least, that’s what I tell myself anyway.

Because the thing is, some days I really can. But I won’t.

I won’t.

I am so thankful, thankful more than words can say, for everything my doctor, husband, family and friends did for me.

I am so thankful that they never gave up on me, especially when I did.

Today, I am free from the pain that self harm has caused.

Free for 365 days, after years of  not being able to go more than a week without. Free from having to self harm multiple times per day, just to get my mind what felt like under control.

Image result for recovery art

(Image sourced from: http://tobereal.org/whatyoufeel/karenjames).

The scars still litter my skin, but they don’t bother me. They probably won’t go anywhere for a while, but that’s okay.

They are neither good nor bad. They are simply etches from the past.

And today, I’m learning to live in the present.

It’s so hard to get through to people for who this is their present, that there is more than this. Something that sticks with me, is that each of us had every chance not to be us. In terms of probability, we shouldn’t be here.

But we are. And we all deserve so much more than a life of pain.

Sometimes, when it’s so painful that you want everything to end, it feels impossible to cope in any way other than old, destructive paths.

But when have these ways ever helped you? When would you ever tell your younger self, or a friend, to do what you do?

They don’t. You wouldn’t.

Because we deserve so much more.

Today, I’m still taking medication. I’m still trying to deal with the diagnoses. I’m still trying to cope with the past.

But today, I have hope. And this hope makes me feel free.

And that life is worth living.

Love & light,
Kaitlyn.