Sometimes bad days seem endless. It's not day upon day like it used to be, generally now it is a couple of token days/week where I feel low. Somedays it's nothing more than a slightly grumpy mood but too often still it escalates into a more all encompassing experience.
Today is one of the more intense bad days. On these days I can just hope that the time goes by (as it always does) and I find rest and refreshment in my dreams when the day draws to a close.
I find it hard to hold onto the knowledge that tomorrow or the next day or the day after will be brighter. When I have a string of good days I feel on top of the world and am so amazed by my progress but then BAM it hits me and I am reminded of how far I still have to go. I have to hold on so tightly to the knowledge that things will get better and that this is all just part of the process.
I do expect life to be a kind of bed of roses...as I see that analogy. I expect it to be pretty prickly but above that discomfort, there is a beautiful aroma. Why not? My sense of smell is a lot more acute than my sense of touch and pain reception so I'll take the thorns for the experience of life in the beautiful smell. But my point is that I don't expect life to be perfect or to feel good all the time but I don't want my bad days to be accompanied with considerable urges to engage in self destructive behaviours.
I am approaching a particular anniversary I would rather avoid. Memories upon memories are flooding my mind...so many questions. Most painfully is WHY? And that's the only question that I will never have an answer to in this case. What's possibly worse than how much it hurts me is that I have many friends that will be experiencing the same grief in just a few days. *sigh* Together and alone we will get through this.
I had a day with many memories of my own experiences today. I had to ask myself if I wanted to write about them here. Am I ready to have people privvy to more realities of the past that I kept largely secret? What is my intention of letting people in now? I'm still not sure... but here it goes anyway...
The topic came about through a discussion regarding loneliness and being alone with personal suffering. Being lonely while in a crowd is worse for me than feeling lonely and being alone. I think that's why I kept a lot of my experience as quiet and as removed from those close to me as possible. The only people that I let in on nearly all things were those that needed to know everything in order to try to help me. Even with them, I couldn't be 100% honest because I was so overwhelmed by shame.
I don't think I need to go into much detail but I have an extensive log of nights spent in emergency, lonely. The nurses were there, my GP was there (95% of the time even when he wasn't on call), me and my eating disorder were there too. Often my family didn't know where I was. To them I was out with friends, to friends I was with my parents. I knew that people were at the end of their rope with me and I knew they didn't want to hear the same old stories again but that didn't take away the fact that I was terrified at times. Home alone with cardiac symptoms or losing consciousness from malnutrition or blood loss. When I was living with other people I was still scared to tell anyone what was up and would 'go for a walk' and maybe get 'picked up by xxxx and go for coffee' when really I had walked myself to the hospital because I was scared for my life or knew that's what I needed to do to keep myself safe.
But you know, now that I think about it, those weren't even the most lonely times. It was worse when I was lying there semi-conscious under a snow of sedation and seeing a parent of friend there looking completely helpless. They were there but I was so far gone, there was no reaching me in that pit of despair more often than not. That was loneliness.
Loneliness was also sitting by myself staring perhaps at three large pizzas on Friday night knowing what the next 4 hours looked like for me until I crawled (quite literally) to a softer place than the bathroom lino to try and sleep. Yeah...those were lonely days.
Let me try and flip this now...I am not consistantly lonely anymore. Not when I'm alone and not when I'm in a crowd. It still comes up sometimes when I feel misunderstood or unheard but never that ache and experience of existing in a seemingly completely different universe it seemed than anyone else. Feeling completely untouchable. No, now I reach out and invite people to be near me and join me in my fight against my thoughts or in my experience of something extremely beautiful. I want to share myself and generally it is well recieved, I am comforted and lifted up by people or a lovely experience is that much better because I have been able to marvel with someone else whether that be in thought and in a picture or in person. I feel connected...finally. I feel like a part of this puzzle of humanity not anymore crucial than the next piece but nonetheless the whole picture would be incomplete without me and without my neighbour. And without you.
It is not a strength to surrender to loneliness, the power is in reaching out and realizing that desperation can be shared and that there are solid people out there that will love to the grave with all their hearts and give 110%. By sharing our pain we can heal, we can rise above and go on to pay it forward in our presence with the next person (reciprocation is totally fine too!).
We need eachother and there will always be people that have some sense of aloofness that will deny this need for others but it exists whether they choose to embrace it or not!
I need people. People need me. And those are beautiful facts.