I can see colours again

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Journal entries above say ~ 

28th February 2018: 
"I'm now officially 30.
As I'm nowhere near where I planned to be at 30, this birthday was actually quite a painful one.
I'm feeling less suicidal but I'm still extremely low and weak and tired."

2nd March 2018:
"I miss the old me so much it hurts.
I just want something to kill me now. I'm tired and I'm done with this mental and emotional pain."

Journal entry above says ~ 

28th March 2018:
"Things have changed so much!
Since my Laparoscopy and removal of Endometriosis, I've actually been feeling so much better.
For starters, I'm no longer feeling suicidal.
I have energy.
I feel like doing more.
I've managed to start volunteering.
My anxiety is much better.
I don't feel depressed.
I'm doing another Mindfulness course.
I'm feeling hopeful about the future.
I'm doing okay."

Can you spot the difference between these journal entries?

As you can see, I wrote the top/first and second entries on 28th February 2018 and on 2nd March 2018. I remember feeling so overwhelmed, exhausted and fed up of living with such mental ill health, I just wanted the pain to end, I just needed for it to be over. A few weeks before I wrote these entries, I took an overdose and prayed that it would end my life. I so looked forward to not waking up ever again; I so needed a fucking break from feeling pain all the fucking time.

Then a month later - the bottom/ third entry - on 28th March 2018, I wrote about starting to feel better. Within a month, my world changed. Don't get me wrong, it didn't take a month; I have been in therapy and living a recovery focused lifestyle for over three years now. But I noticed a big shift within that month - from 28th February to 28th March 2018. It's so surreal. Even though it happened, I feel the change, I still can't yet believe it; I just can't grasp how my years of constant agony changed so much within a month. It was years and years of hard work on healing and recovery, but within that one month, life changed for the better.

I came across these journal entries recently and it hit me just how little time there was between suicidal and genuine joy & stability. I didn't go from suicidal to manic, I went from suicidal to a stable level of emotional; I felt okay!

I go through old journals a few times a year now, I started this ritual during my mental health crisis when I noticed from my words - past & present - how my moods and beliefs changed drastically very quickly; I could go from manic to suicidal so suddenly, often within the same day (I can feel all my fellow Borderline Personality Disorder sufferers out there nodding along 'cause SAME).

This past year has been my biggest shift though, and I wanted to share these entries here to remind myself and others that things can change in a positive way; the constant pain and torment can pass. With the right treatment, help, support, love and self-care, we are able to heal. We really can survive that which is trying to kill us.

And it is not beautiful and it is not easy or simple, like some Hollywood movies make it seem. It's ugly, it's dark, lonely, terryfying, it hurts,it is the hardest thing we've ever had to do, it can kill, but at some stage of recovery, we can wake up and there are colours again. It starts to move in slowly; for me the world seemed less grey and painful, then it was more colourful, now it is bright - but not too bright that it blinds me, bright enough that I can bathe in the brightness of colours and look at them without being blinded or overwhelmed.

(Trigger Warning ~ Self-harm)

Everything seems grey during a mental health crisis. Do you know what I mean? Colours just are covered by a layer of greyness. Actually, everything - even black and white - has a grey cover over it.

Everything tastes and smells different too. Like ash. It's like everything turns into different forms of grey ash.

I used to keep razor blades hidden everywhere; in different corners in my room, in my hand bag, in my purse, in my underwear drawer. And I always reminded myself that I was never too far away from a pharmacy or supermarket; places where I could get razor blades for 99p. This thought was comforting to me then.

One self-harm episode though, when cutting my hands and arms didn't do the trick, I then broke a frame and used the glass to cut my face and neck.

Cutting my neck felt so satisfying. It helped soothe the intensity of my emotions. It's like when you take a deep breath "Ahhh. The release and relief. THANK YOU!"

In hospital later, I felt annoyed when I noticed that as I'd used glass rather than the razor blade on my face and neck, it didn't cut as deep as my arms."Gggrrr, you can't even harm yourself properly" that mean voice whispered.

A doctor sorting me out with stitches said "You will get through this one day, try not to cut yourself but especially not your face and neck as you'll be reminded of this dark time every time you look at yourself".

I remember feeling numb. So numb. And thinking: "Get through this? I'm not gonna survive this, let alone really look at myself again, you fool."

But I said nothing and just cried. Quietly. I can still feel the tears streaming down my face after what he said. The silence was deafening, and my tears rolled down my face as if they were so heavy they were carving paths in my skin.

Even with my disbelief in what he was saying, his words did leave a mark: "You will get through this..."

It's been around two years since that episode, and this morning I re-read the words from the above journal entries and I looked at my face in the mirror and was reminded of what that doctor said. I saw a beautiful soul, a kind, honest, open, brave, soul.

And I thought "I am no longer in that place; he was right. I am getting through it, every day. I survived. I'm surviving, I'm actually thriving."

It's been over a year since I last self-harmed, and over a year of stability and balance. It still feels surreal, I feel nervous about how well things are going. Don't get me wrong, things aren't perfect; there is struggle, there is pain and difficulties, but I manage. I can manage now, my emotions no longer control me; I can pause and feel and find comfort in dicomfort. I can explore why I'm feeling or thinking certain ways, and I can sit with what comes up without reacting. It is constant work, but it feels easier and I am so much better at doing the work. I am still messy, but now I get that I am magic and that I am mine; I belong to me and my life is mine to lead.

I can see colours again. And food tastes good again, and I can smell Lavender and Patchouli and Jasmine again. The great tastes, smells and beautiful colours are still here; they never left me after that month. I burn incenses and candles every night now, as if to remind myself of what I missed for so long and to bathe in that wonderfulness. Oh the smell is so glorious, and the colours. Have you seen the colours?!

I like to call this photo 'All the Colours'. I took this whilst out & about in beautiful & bustling Brick Lane - during my mental health crisis I thought I'd never enjoy walking around London again. I'm glad I was wrong about that.

Now I really believe anything is possible.


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