I joined the dark side…well temporarily, but in those moments, I did something unforgettable and cruel to myself: I self harmed. I normally don’t write about my struggles here with the dark side, but with so much going on with the settlement, and me missing meds for days due to not just having any money to getting them, even with insurance. My meds are costly, regardless if they are generic or not. But the matter is, I’ve been on the road to the dark side before and while I never stayed, there were times I did, and sunk lower than before. I don’t know exactly how I got out, but after this last time, I did.
While it isn’t easy to talk about mental illness and the dark side of it, I know a lot of people can’t handle the negativity and want me to just stay positive, but that’s not how depression or even my Bipolar Disorder works. It affects the mind in complex ways that a simple phrase won’t do a damn thing, but there’s always hope for change, because last night, I was talking with a good friend of mine, Mary, and while she’s full of good advice and believes in the bible, she’s realistic too. I try not to be so pity party on my blog, but I want others to know my life isn’t about sunshine and rainbows but mental illness and my struggle to get through it and live a productive life. Yes, I’ve been in a psych hospital before, and yes, it’s been tough, but I learnt so much from those days, and while I slipped and fell this time, there’s no ending to my recovery.
There’s always hope and dreams for me to live a life without it, but I know the reality is I am in control of my reaction to things and that I should find more productive ways to try stress free things but don’t worry, the self harm wasn’t too bad but they served a reminder of how vulnerable I am/was, but how much stronger that I have to become in order to manage it. There’s no real conquering it, but rather living with it harmoniously and being functional. Functional to me is important, and to be honest, I’ve been grieving over the fact of the loss of becoming functional with the job I had, before being fired. Sure, I’ll get those lost wages back but the fact is I lost something I was aiming for, and I don’t know if I can go back into the work force with school, but I’ll see. It’s never too late for anything in life, to be honest.
Mental illness isn’t me, but rather a part of me, and while I don’t exactly love myself, I know I find strength in myself and the hopes/dreams that I have. That usually gets me through with the efforts of taking meds and going to therapy every week. I’m still doing things I shouldn’t, but I’m trying my best to control it and know that I am better than all that, it is just that life isn’t that easy. I’ve been abused in every which way growing up, but I knew that it wasn’t on me, but on them, and that is how I remained solemn and grounded to earth, through the strength I had from within myself. People call me the ‘rock’ for a reason and admire my will, but I can tell you, that I get scared/terrified/lonely, and all those emotions all the time, but the fact is I face them.
I am now facing the fact that I hurt myself for no good reason. Never self harm, it isn’t worth it. You are beautiful, and you are all worth no amount of inflicted pain on yourself. I can tell you that much, to be honest, I’ve been self harming since teenage years, off and on due to various reasons and I couldn’t once explain WHY, it was happening only the fact it kept happening, but as I got older I understood better. I understand my mental illnesses and realized that I am not it entirely. I am my own person, I am me, Michelle. I am myself, regardless of what labels people put on me.
That life may not be sunshine and moonbeams, but life is definitely worth living and functioning in, and that’s my great goal, not resolution, but rather a goal I am working myself through. I find the strength just not only in me but people around me that tend to stick around. That’s important in growth and change in someone, that others support and that is what I have. That support system and while there are a few toxic elements that I am ridding myself of, I feel more and more better about myself. But the myth persists that I “must” be suicidal if I self harm, and that’s further from the truth than ever nor do I need to be locked away. In fact I just needed some kind of unhealthy distraction from the emotional pain that I inflict physical pain on me, and it’s not right. Never do it. It’s almost like an addiction/obsession to do it, but the fact of the matter is, it isn’t right in anyway. It hurts mostly yourself and then others, but what I can do is stop and reevaluate myself and realize that it’s never a moment to do those things, and let people get to me that bad, but nothing is ever easy is it? That’s just life, but the fact is, I can do better, and I can make it better, by not hurting myself anymore. It accomplishes nothing in the end, and sooner or later, luck runs out for you, and I don’t want to die in any capacity, when I’m not ready to. I want to keep living. I’m not wholly afraid of death, but afraid of not living. It makes sense to me and that is all that should matter. So the best you can do is acknowledge my struggle and stay by my side through the worst of it. Stay and realize that I am worth it as a person and worthy of love and happiness. Just know there will always be a hand reaching out to you.
So if you save a life, you save a world of hopes and dreams.