Although I have been well for weeks a little trigger – a word, a gesture, a phone call – is enough to make me fall. One second I’m fine and the next I feel like I can’t cope with anything. There are so many appointments, so many people who want something from me and so many occasions where I have to function. I feel as if I always have to fight for what I need: Rest. If I don’t get a few evenings or days where I can just be at home and nobody wants to interact I’ll lose it (I should mention that my partner and cat don’t count concerning this).
Over the last few months I’ve realized something terrible:
When I self-harm prior to social occasions (such as parties, celebrations, going to restaurants) I am the extrovert, talkative version of myself everyone knows. Without any problem I interact with lots of people, communicate and act like everybody else.
When I don’t cut I can cope for a certain amount of time and then I’m just gone. Feel like I’m not really there, have a hard time talking to people or (if I stay although it’s hard) I get a panic attack.
Before anyone starts talking about self-fulfilling prophecies – this isn’t just what it’s like since I’ve realized how “preventive self-harm” lets me function better in company, I found this pattern when I read old notes.
And so I feel as if I have a choice for the next few weeks: Cut or fall. And yes, of course there are alternatives, of course I have to care for myself, of course I have to talk about it. But as much as I try not to land to much on myself – after all there are things I can’t or don’t want to cancel. I would just like to undestand how people can recover strength in noisy restaurants and feel that this is recovery – the more I go out the louder people seem to me, the more I feel that rooms are crushing me, the brighter the light is. Recovery is darkness and silence and warmth.
Apart from that I feel so confused by people. My partner still can’t believe that all my questions aren’t jokes: “Why are you laughing?”, “Was that serious or sarcastic?”, “Do you still love me?”, “Why did he just say that?” – again and again. Because way too often I fear I’m being laughed at even if that’s not true. Today my boss praised me and I apologized because I thought she was being ironic. On days like this one I feel like an alien. I just want a break from all the people, simply go home, cook, drink tea, stroke the cat, maybe watch a movie – and that’s exactly what I’ll do tonight!