“Loosen up for once!”

…my co-workers say. Because I don’t want to drink a beer, for instance. Or because I leave early when there’s a dinner. Or because I react harshly when someone is standing behind my back while I’m working.

“I’d love to!”, I think.
“I do!”, I say.

It’s the crunch question about where self-care ends and stuffiness begins.

Most days I don’t mind being “reasonable”: I am used to drinking alcohol only after thoroughly concerning whether my mental state allows it without unnecessary risks. I’m used to not being the last one to go home at parties because I “snap” after a certain amount of time. I don’t even think about grabbing my emergency bag when I leave home and I plan my escape route automatically when I enter a restaurant as if this was a perfectly “normal” thing to do. I put oil on my fingertips several times a day in order to prevent me from biting them until they’re bleeding and I hardly ever wonder if it would be nice to do spontaneous things more often. Instead of blades I now use porcupine balls to stay in touch with reality although they’re only half as good at defeating fear.
I am so damn REASONABLE!

Only sometimes I can hear a little voice in my head that asks where the fun is. If I really want to end up as a seventy-year old, trapped inside a twen’s body after missing out on my youth already. Cause wouldn’t that be nice:
Just staying for one more little beer without thinking, just like everyone else? Being the last one to leave the party and pretending that the next day is far in the future? Wouldn’t it be nice to just leave the house without the heat cream and the porcupine balls, without any clue when the next breather will be and without a phone with the emergency number on the speed-dial key? Wouldn’t it be nice to live one day just like everyone else seems to? To not actively decide to act in a constructive way but just doing stuff for once? Just one day long?

I imagine it. Being “loosened up”. Just like I used to…ignoring the unpleasant feeling when someone is standing behind me. Drinking one more beer. Staying for one more hour. Pretending that my mood is not changing rapidly. Laughing louder in order to drown out the roaring in my head. Maybe going home on my own, the way one can walk alongside the railway tracks…or on them. Not being able to tolerate the silence at home and punishing the body for the fact that it will be exhausted the next morning. And for the fact that it show fear. Just for once, after all it’s just one night…maybe going outside into the rain once more. Breathing the cold air, looking for people again. Letting someone kiss me just so that I don’t have to be alone. Feeling even more worthless afterwards. Getting home and to bed one way or another. Getting up, carrying on. Smiling. Saying “Yes, it sure was a funny evening!”. Ignoring the unpleasant feeling when someone is standing behind me…and starting all over again.

It sure would start all over again. I cannot afford to “loosen up”, not yet at least. I still need my rules and reasonable decisions and all my skills, no matter how little I feel inclined to use them. My Black tells me I should just let it be, after all it used to work somehow. My White says being reasonable all the time makes complete sense. My Black answers that, unfortunately, this isn’t any fun at all and that only a blade can conquer fear this well. My White repeats everything my therapist always says. I sit there and wait for the two of them to mix and become the Grey of which everyone says it’s real life. There is colour-blindness; I seem to be grey-blind, but maybe what I learn in therapy provides me with some kind of glasses…

Today I used my skills as usually although I really didn’t feel like it. It was the 111th day I didn’t cut my body. It doesn’t feel like a success at all, more like an admission of guilt, as weird as that may sound. I wasn’t “loosened up” today. Pity for my colleagues. Nice for my therapist. All the same to me. Because tomorrow it will go on. Totally un-loose and stuffy.

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