I wrote this four years ago, on March 16 2003, and I’m reprinting it now because it is a reminder of how far I’ve come, and how even when I’m having a crappy day, at least it’s not like that. And because I feel really disconnected from the girl who wrote this, and that is a good thing.
Thank you two, I love you.
And so in the past couple of sessions, I mentioned to Kalpana that I’ve been having more down spells lately than I feel are right, given that I’m supposed to be on the mend, I’m swallowing my 20mg of cipramil every day, I’m getting my expensive therapy and I have a job that meets all the criteria that I realised through my sessions with her that I was looking for. I mention to her that maybe I should think about upping my meds, but then come up with a thousand reasons why I’ve been getting the down spells, and she defaults to my feelings, saying “well, we should keep an eye on it, definately”.
I ache. I ache all over, hollow and empty and just so fucking lonely, and it feels like nothing anyone should ever have to feel, but it’s very familiar to me, and it always keeps coming back, and I want to call out for help, but what can anyone do to plug the gap? Nothing. Nothing at all. And so I let myself sink lower and lower. I forget to fill my cipramil prescription and then it’s the weekend and my chemist with thelovely old chinese man who gets it faxed in for me is closed. I find myself on Saturday night sitting in the kitchen crying on Bopha and Allison’s shoulders, because even if this is PMS, I cannot go on feeling like this for a couple of days every month, and Allison agrees with me that I need to get my meds adjusted. I thought cipramil was great because it stopped me from feeling suicidal while still letting me have SOME feelings, unlike Fluoxtine, but then it came back. I could feel myself shutting down again as basic functions fell by the wayside. And each time I have one of these episodes, it comes on much much faster than the last.
Cue me today trapped in my room, crying my eyes out, unable to leave even to get tissues because that’s the form and shape that depression takes for me, trapping me, leaving me imobilised. I hate being fucked up I hate not being able to sleep I hate that when I do sleep all I have is nightmares I hate the whole body ache, I hate being the girl who always seems fucked up I hate relying on my friends I hate not trusting my friends I hate being unable to ask for help I hate having to ask for help I hate that most of the time it seems like no one is able to help me. And I hate that all I could think about was the codeine in my drawer. So I texted Tom, and told him I was scared. He called my landline immediately, and we talked for ages, me crying and blowing my nose intermittantly into a towel. He calmed me down some but at the same time, while i was making jokes about expired condoms, I was combing through my medicine drawer, making a tally.
The codeine would be enough to make me sleep almost instantly. The brufen and the voltarin would probably rip my stomach to shreds. Worse case scenario, I would down them all, and then wake up, crippled from damage to my internal organs. I just want to sleep, I just want it to stop, I don’t want to kill myself, but I want to be somewhere else, anywhere else. Maybe I want that cry for attention, the suicide attempt, I want the bed in the hospital for a few days, people by my side mending bridges and all that crap. I just want to not be me anymore, to not have to battle this goddam fucking disease which seems so totally incurable.
The afternoon stretches on and on and on and I desperately try to get ahold of Nikki. Of course, I have her cellphone and her new flat doesn’t have a phone. I call her mother because that’s where she said she was going to be. Her mother calls me back to ask for Nikki’s number. I call her friend Gina, whose number I find in Nikki’s phone. She tells me Nicola’s number. Nicola’s voicemail says her name is Hayley. I am trapped on the floor in the corner of my room by my door. I can hear Bopha walking around outside and I can’t call out to her, which is fucking pathetic. And then I hear her on the phone, dealing with her sister’s crisis. I definately can’t call out now. When she knocks on my door to ask if I want dinner I say I’m fine.
I have a sore throat coming on, and it’s dry from crying so I don’t know how I’m going to swallow the pills if I take them. Maybe if I wash them down with a bottle of something, they’ll be effective enough that I won’t wake up. But the only liquor in the house that I can think of is half a bottle of kristov. I might as well swallow a box of panadol. I don’t want to try and fail. I don’t want to leave my friends and family behind, I don’t want to hurt them in any way, I know that they love me, and if I could just reach out, they’d turn heaven and earth over to help me. But I don’t see how they can help, because I’m just too far gone, I don’t see any light at the tunnel,and I am so tired and so fucking weary of having to fight this all the time, I just want to live and be okay and not have to worry every fucking day if I’m going to go psycho again. I’m tired of inflicting that worry on the ones I love as well, I’m just so fucking tired. I don’t want to be fucked up, it’s not cool,it’s not glamourous, it’s just flat out fucking exhausting. I don’t see how I’ve been an awful enough person to deserve this. And I know that there are squillions of people out there who suffer a fuck load more than me.
There’s no razors in my room, and that doesn’t work anyway. If I was to try the hot knife on my leg again, that’d mean getting up, going into the kitchen, facing the world, and besides, there’s only so much relief that that amount of physical pain can give you. My new idea is to take the codeine. Six tablets won’t kill me, but it will knock me out. Then maybe I can wake up feeling better. But what if someone walks in, freaks out. That’s not fair to do to flatmates, it’s what has stopped me before. Two pills then. But if I take two, I’m going to take more. I can’t stop my teeth from shaking, I can’t fucking handle this, and I need Nikki to come and save me NOW. I am always waiting for the knight on a white horse, and it never shows up, and we can trace that back to being 14 again, and I am so tired of therapy and talking and crying and wondering what’s the root of what and I am so tired of thinking and I am so tired of trying to keep myself alive so maybe it’s the turn of someone else and I just want the pain to stop, and surely that’s what painkillers are for and I’m tipping the codeine out into my palm and putting them back in the bottle and tipping them out again and I’m terrified so I super selfishly call Tom.
He’s in Christchurch asking if I want him to fly up, because he’ll do that on a moment’s notice for me, but I can’t get him to do that. He says he’ll call me back on the landline and I say no, I can’t go out into the lounge to get it. What I can get him to do, and what I force myself to do is admit that I really need to see someone, maybe KateH, and I tell him that I can’t call her, because it’s too fucking hard to ask for help, and so he tells me that he’ll call her, and we get off the line and I sit here and shake and my teeth bang against each other and I try to keep my breathing at an okay rate and he texts me to say that KateH is on her way and I cry some more and rub my nose raw on the towel.
And 20 minutes later she comes in, and I’m still sitting on my bed in the dark, doors and windows open wide, shaking in cold and fear and sickness styles, and she’s brought me flowers and chocolate and throaties and so I cry some more, weird animal noises onto her shoulder and have a semi panic attack before I manage to breathe and blow my nose and hand her my box of pills and ask her to take them away and we talk about pill dosages and i reiterate everything I’ve written above, and it’s the first time that I have ever told anyone in so much detail – with the possible exception of Kalpana – about how suicidal I have been/am whatever tense you want to use, and so that’s fucking terrifying as well, even if I end up listing stupid reasons why I can’t kill myself (ie – we wouldn’t win at Quiz Night anymore and she’d have to give the QM one of her specialty letters saying “no Jo didn’t kill herself cos you have a g/f you pompous git” etc) and just when I’m starting to come down, Ammy comes in and I so don’t want to talk to her at that time, and so when I try to explain that basically, I need to have my meds upped, she says “well everyone has down patches”. Yes, everyone has down patches, true. I have good patches, sometimes. That’s the difference. That and bad patches should never ever feel this way. Luckily Ammy leaves pretty soon, and KateH says “she has good intentions” adn I know that, but I just can’t deal. KateH is wonderful and nice and calms me down, and we even get in a little gossiping before she has to go off to work, taking my pills with her – promising to return them to me at a later date, because really, codeine in one-pill-at-a-time is lovely, and she drops me off at the shops so I can buy dinner and avoid my flat.
And here I am now, having eaten, and read half of Metro, and having had big long lovely cuddles with Sebastian. My eyes and nose are still stinging and my throat is still sore, but I’m a fuck load calmer, and have been rendered incapable of doing myself any harm tonight, even if I wanted to, which I don’t think I do. I’m seeing Kalpana on Tuesday, and I will try to see Dr White ASAP to get a new med script. Why did I write this up here? Attention seeking, some of you are saying. Sure, why not. Maybe. Maybe because I needed to write it. Maybe because I’d like you to know that if you’ve ever felt this way, you’re not alone. Joanna the altruist, yeah, that’s me. And yeah, I still ache, and I guess I always will.