There Is More To My Story

Arm muscles tense, anticipating.

I look to the ceiling, focusing on the hanging light.

A brief distraction; the needle drags across my skin.

Fuck. My courage falters.

I couldn’t do this to myself.

ying yang semicolons

I got a tattoo today. Physically it is two separate tattoos on separate parts of the body, but I say that it is one; connected. It’s a strange feeling, being ambivalent about something that is permanent. It is still fresh, colour jarringly bright, not yet aged and faded. I don’t yet love it: I don’t know if I ever will. It’s not really aesthetically nice. A lesson on acceptance of permanent imperfection?

One on the inside of each wrist, a marker to remind me that when life is totally fucked up, there will be more. Just, more. Not a qualitative “more”, I don’t know if it will be better or worse. The important thing is that I don’t end my story.

On some  of the occasions that I have thought about harming myself or ideated on suicide, my mind has gravitated to my wrists. I would forlornly look at my wrists, images flashing through my mind. I would cover my wrist with my hand, close my eyes, willing myself to stop thinking. From now on, when I look at my wrists, if I be forlorn and desperate, I will be reminded that there is more to my story, more untold.

The semicolon, a marker at a seemingly end of a sentence, but indicates that there is more to come. Not only something more, but something that is connected to what has just been. I’ve liked punctuation for a long time. Punctuation herds words into ideas. It tells us when to breathe. My semicolons will remind me that there is more to my story; to breathe.

Tattooing, in a way, is a form of self-harm. A sharpness, running across the skin, drawing blood. Today’s act was a defiance to any future self-harm that I may do. And fuck, it hurt. I don’t think I could ever cut my skin with my own hand. If ever I wanted to self harm, my semicolons will remind me that there is more to my story, and the pain that I persevered.

 

Advertisements

Celebrating the Little Things, the Really Little Things …

Joel Robinson Photography

Joel Robinson Photography

This post has been itching to get out of me, but I would never be in the right mind to write it. The moment when this idea hatched has passed, now only, a light glowing through the fog.

Self-love can be a skill forgotten. The ever growing things that should be, filling the basket on my back, heavier, slower. Too often though, after I push and huff, make my basket lighter, I lament how heavy the basket still is.

I try to celebrate these victories. These sometimes very small victories. Yay! I folded the laundry! I emptied the dishwasher! And on my darker days, I will celebrate that I got out of bed. I don’t do a little jig, I don’t have the energy, but I look at my achievement through a microscope to see the strength I have. The more good things that I see through this lens, I can convince myself that I have a lot, enough to nurture.

The fog around obscures my vision, but virtue glows with a dim gold light. I seek out these small gold seeds in everything that I do. Collecting one in every meal that I don’t feel like eating. Every little damned thing I do. The basket on my back is still the same size, the things that should be still fill it. Golden seeds grow within me, my basket seems lighter than before.

Is It Really Any Better?

“I am not my thoughts.”

When I first came across this statement, I was confused; I even thought that it was ridiculous. I’m not religious, nor do I believe that I have a soul, so for a long time I had the cartesian dualist perspective that “I think, therefore I am.” The only thing that I was certain of was my thoughts.

Since realising how much of an impact the body can have on one’s mind (the brain is a physical organ after all, a detail I used to forget), this dualist perspective broke and melded into one. Why else have I been popping these pills everyday for the past 2 years? I do feel better (mood) when I do exercise, eat and sleep properly. But lately, I have been wondering, am I really any better than I was 2 1/2 years ago?

Sure, I’ve stopped smoking dope, which was had a major negative impact on my mood, but subjectively, I don’t really feel that much better. It is still really hard to maintain good lifestyle habits, and today at close friends’ wedding, I felt like there was a curtain of sadness between me and the joy around me. People noted that I was irritable and not being a part of the festivities. This is not the first time that I have felt like this, as I described in this post.

Maybe the anti-depressant medication isn’t working anymore. I don’t know, I will have a discussion about this next time that I see my psych. I have been rating my mood each day, and the same ratings are maintained, not getting better yet still the same as before I started these meds. Though I think that it is hard to compare over time, cause each day is so subjective, and my memory of when I was at my lowest is hazy.

I’m just so tired of it all. The constant tension in my jaw and shoulders. The feeling that my heart is made of lead and is weighing me down. Ah fucking damn it …

Energy Crash Part 2

Continuing my last post Energy Crash.

YouTube has been my symbiotic the last 2 days. I figured out that my symptoms/behaviours have been physcomotor retardation. Everything is so exhausting and too much. I woke up at 4am, exhausted and really stressed. I could feel my glands pump out stress hormones into my body, like I was constantly in the fight/flight response. These were the feelings why yesterday I felt the need to sleep so much, I was escaping away from the stress into the forgetfulness of sleep.

Anhedonia: the loss of being able to experience pleasure in life. Fuck, I have been experiencing this for so long. Food & sex = meh …

This is not the first time that I have realised this. This is not the first time of experiencing these. My doctors have explained it to me as well, many times. But I have problems with memory during a depressive state. I ruminate on traumas, not remember useful information that could give me an objective perspective.

Ergh, my mind feels like a thick cloud. I can hardly string a few sentences together.

Energy Crash

There seems to be a small window that I can write. One one side I have am busy and motivated; keeping on top of things and really not looking after myself nor giving myself the space to just be. I don’t really write, or, if I do write, it is only half done with no real conviction (I have 5 unfinished draft posts waiting on the sidelines). On the other side, I just can’t be fucked to do anything, anything at all: not eat, tidy my apartment, not dry the washed clothes in the washing machine, not get out of bed, not WRITE. That is where I am right now.

For the past 6 days, I have been very very busy. Something has always been there to occupy my mind and I had the energy to actually do things. Today, my first day off at home after the 6 busy days, I have totally crashed. My mood was okay when I was busy, but on this day of “rest”, my energy and mood have crashed. My mind overrides my body. I know that my body wants to eat, but I just can’t be arsed and weirdly I don’t feel hungry. It is 5:30pm, and the only things that I have eaten all day are a handful of sultanas and some chocolate (which made me sick). I have something in my freezer that I can heat up in a microwave, but I just can’t be bothered getting off the couch. Even to go outside for a cigarette just seems like such an effort.

Continue reading

Missing in the Future. A Small Dose of Generalised Anxiety.

The back of my throat, a tightening, in constant contraction, like I want to throw up. The back of the neck and head radiates heat. Arms, hands and feet tingle yet are still. I do nothing; fearing yet living in the future.


I am Missing In Action in my own head. Thoughts race around in a cyclone, ephemeral like smoke. I’m finding it harder to write this post, as thoughts are not structuring in my head, so I’m just going try to loosely stream my consciousness on to the screen.

I am not confident that I can handle this state of mind. Not that it is definitive, but my psych has not diagnosed me with generalised anxiety. Depression and anxiety mostly come hand in hand though, like the other sock in a pair. I’m not on any medication for anxiety, and most of the personal work that I have done if for depression. I am trying to use my mindfulness techniques for my racing mind, but it is like grasping at smoke, or trying to calmly watch whilst being in the centre of a whirlwind.  Continue reading

Part 2 Another Marriage, but Why Aren’t I Happy? or, Heterosexual Privilege in Marriage

2 days ago I wrote this post Another Marriage, but Why Aren’t I Happy?. It was written hurriedly between attending a wedding ceremony and the reception. I tried to capture my down mood and anxiety at that moment. Now, though, it is 2 days after and after travelling interstate, I am back at home. I haven’t read all the comments on the original post, nor have I reread it. I can’t even remember all that I wrote.


For the most part, I did enjoy the reception party. I walked into the room; a reasonable sense of control of my negative emotions. Over 200 guests, all dressed up, milling around or sitting, having pleasant conversation. I weaved through the small groups of people, found my table at the front, and poured myself a glass of wine. I was aware of my chirpy facade. People asked me what I did after the ceremony. I said that I tried to nap and did some creative writing – not quite a lie.

The night did become more enjoyable the more free wine that I drank. Speeches were emotional and almost brought me to tears. I watched the faces of the bride and groom, raw with joy, as their loved ones expressed their happiness of the union. In that moment, I shared that joy. But now, I wonder, if I was to marry, what would be said on that day? Would my parents say a speech? What would they say? I know that I am catastrophising in my head; my self-doubt influences my imagination. But there was such strong emotional and cultural significance reflected in the speeches, like the marriage marked the next stage of their life journey, almost akin to rite of passage that made them more “complete”. I feel like I am lacking. Maybe a lot of single people feel this. Maybe I feel this because of my mood disorder. But I feel that, because I am same-sex attracted and want to fall in love with another man, this feeling is different to my peers. I can not experience this rite, this cultural institution, and will not be complete.  Continue reading