I’m twenty one today. It’s not ideal. I‘m recovering from chest surgery, in the midst of a bad bout of IBS, and weaning myself off psychiatric medication. But I have so much love on my side.
When I was little, my mum used to read this story to me about Frida the fairy. Frida was very timid and was always being mocked by her more outgoing friends. One day she rescued a drowning ladybug even though she was terrified of water. I loved that story. Frida learnt that bravery doesn’t mean not feeling fear, but keeping on despite it.
Being brave isn’t a new concept to me. You have to be when you’re mentally ill. It takes a lot to hallucinate evil men standing around your bed, then get your ass out of that same bed and go write your final exams. But getting off the medication that has been my lifeline since I was 18 requires a different kind of bravery, one I am not sure I have.
My illness makes me forget. I can deal with every aspect of it except the Episodes, which I am afraid will return with a vengeance once I am off my medication. In an Episode, I want to jump out of my body, rip all my skin off. It is electrocuting, sickeningly heightened, torturous agony. During an Episode there is no before and no after, only the endless now. I forget feeling better exists. It is what I believe hell must be like, if hell exists.
Today I was talking to my Small Girl personality. Small Girl has little to no interest in eating when she’s upset, but if I talk it through with her I can make sure some food goes into my body. I made a peanut butter sandwich and Small Girl was complaining because it wasn’t the chunky kind. Then I went into a spiral that Small Girl wasn’t ‘real’ because I too prefer chunky peanut butter (a ridiculous argument if there ever was one). I swing from feeling close and connected to my personalities and hating myself for being ‘disgustingly delusional, faking and fantasising when I never actually suffered’. It’s utter shit sometimes.
Anyway, I need to go to bed. Hopefully the IBS will cool it. I don’t want to spend my birthday in the toilet.Published in