Select Page

Day After Day

Writing has always been cathartic for me.

When I write, somehow I am able to process it in a way that makes more sense. And yet I have been avoiding putting pen to paper, or fingers to keys. I’m not sure what this means, except that I have not wanted to let go of some things that are still percolating upstairs.

The mind is a dangerous place, my mind especially. Neurons form associative pathways based on past experiences, and it is extremely difficult to reprogram them. Add to the mix…well, we’ll call it background noise, and some days I feel like the top of my head is about to explode outwards in a shower of gore and fire. I am a person who takes medication to keep things manageable, and I make no apologies for this. There is a marked difference in my mood and tolerance for everyday stumbling blocks when I do not have them, so I have chosen to keep taking meds. Even still, I find myself ruminating on past life experiences more lately, and I think maybe it is time that I purge.

I know part of it has to do with the weather. It’s fall, and warm with a cool breeze, the kind of day I used to hope for when I was running in Baltimore. That way, you see, it’s not too hot or cold in the abandominium hideouts where the other junkies and I liked to sit and hoard our meager scores. I miss sitting on scavenged milk crates, avoiding foul-smelling piles in the corners, and talking big with random people. I know it’s somehow disturbing that I miss the griminess, the feeling of being bad, the rush of my heart when a cop drove by (”Will he stop? Does he see me?”), and I want to leave it behind. It seems to dog me, waking and asleep. It would be so easy to slip back to that life of running and hiding and dealing with nothing.

So I guess I keep putting one foot in front of the other, having little community meetings in my head, and trying to concentrate on the good in my life now.

Some days it’s just really fucking hard.

Hi, I Used To Cut Myself

Clench my teeth
brief sensation of pain
Wait for it to come
it takes a second
Bringing with it relief
here it comes
Pain flows out
trickling down my arm
In little red rivulets
so warm and wet
I have no problems

That cheery little poem is mine. Oh, it’s from many years ago. Back when I was still living with my parents, in fact. That last line? Is total crap. Yes, the blood brought relief of some feelings, but the guilt and anxiety that was left every time I looked at the scars….yeah, sometimes even THAT was enough of a trigger.

I’ve been pretty up-front about dealing with Postpartum Depression, Generalized Anxiety Disorder and major depressive disorder.

But, to add to the list of things that I don’t talk about, I’m also a cutter.

I probably ought to say “was”…..because I haven’t actually cut myself in years. But you know how some people say that they will always be a recovering alcoholic, and never recovered. It’s like that.

The urge to give in is there. It’s not my first reaction to bad news, anymore, but when I’m at my lowest, or most anxious, I still want to.

There are certain movies that I couldn’t watch all the way through for a long time, like Thirteen or Girl, Interrupted because they make me want to cut myself.

This is a big step for me. Other than my parents, one or two friends from way back then, and my husband and now half-the-freaking-internet, no one knows this. Come to think of it, I don’t know if I bother to tell my therapists. Yes, I know. I’m a horrible patient.

After I decided to stop, which wasn’t until I was pregnant with my first, AND it was totally selfish at first; too many doctor’s exams that required getting naked. I kept waiting to outgrow the feelings. You know, the way I outgrew angsty poetry, and emo-ish music? But I’m still waiting.

Still fighting.

Still coping.