Episodes

[I edited and revised this poem and submitted it to this website insidethebelljar.com and hopefully they might feature it in their magazine 🙂 So why not share it here too. The website accepts writing submissions about your personal experience with your mental illness and I wrote this poem about my mood swings.]

 

It’s like a fist clenched around my windpipe,
like lava boiling underneath my skin,
static electric volts jacking my heart;
it’s like a lump residing in my throat
while a weight hits my chest,
striking a sharp pang that repeats
like hours tolling from the grandfather clock in the living room.
It’s when the tears won’t stay in
my goddamn glassy eyes,
and my face scrunches up to resemble
crumpled notebook paper,
my mouth contorting to a grotesque smile
as the pain shoots through my body,
and the hot tears melt down my face
like an erupting volcano.
And I know I better run for safety
as fast as possible,
for the shifting tectonic plates underneath
my skin and veins and muscles and bones
are unstable, and I know it’s all about to blow.
So I seek cover before I’m demolished with it.
And I take my pills, I slash through and singe my flesh,
and I binge on food and rid myself of the contents,
and I sleep for hours upon hours comatose,
until it’s safe to come back out
and return to daily living,
until the next natural disaster hits.

 

“How are you?”

You know when people ask you how you’re doing, whether it’s a family member or an acquaintance (because be real, Katie has no real friends in person at least). And you always say “I’m okay,” or “fine,” or “good” ?

Because what’s the point in saying how you really feel when it’s only a question that equates to “what’s up?”

Someone walks in the room and sees you and they say, “How have you been?” Well, I don’t think they really want to know the details or the truth. That’s not socially acceptable, and plus, who’s going to know what to say to the truth anyway?

Life’s every-day social-encounters are so pointless when I really think about it. But in a way I’m glad I don’t have an actual social life; I don’t have the energy for going out everyday and keeping up in-person relationships.

Just so tired.

Write About What Hurts [4.16.17]

Getting out some painful thoughts I’ve had since watching 13 Reasons Why.

“You know what gets me about my first OD in 2010? How I couldn’t tell anyone in the hospital why I did it. The fear of judgement, the fear of being told my reason wasn’t valid. So I told them, “because I feel like a burden to my family.” Which was only a half-truth. Yeah, what gets me is how they always ask “Why?” That’s the stupidest fucking question. No one wakes up one day and thinks it’s a good idea to kill themselves. There’s always something leading up to that decision to end the pain. And that is the main reason “why” I tried to do it. I was in pain and I was ready to die at 15 years old, when I was still basically a child. I mean, what did they expect me to say?:  {{{Trigger warning}}}:

That I got raped? My parents beat me? No. That wasn’t true for me. What was true then? I impulsively swallowed a bottle of aspirin because I lost my best friend, the only friend I ever felt a close bond with. But I couldn’t tell them that, because I thought they wouldn’t validate it since she was an *online* friend. So what could 15 year old me have on such a traumatizing loss when I never knew her in person, right? Well, try thinking about feeling alone in a sea of people to the point where you feel unreal, you float through the halls and you feel your brain vibrate in your skull. You see an undead girl crawling by your bedroom door and you turn to watch her but then she’s gone. You cut your skin open three times a day just so you can feel something. The entire class laughs at you as your teacher yells at you to stay awake. You stay up all night just so you can listen to music and not feel so empty. You slice your hip open so deep that the wound won’t shut and it continues to bleed for a solid week in-between bandages. You lose track of time and the days pass by your empty cage of a self so that you don’t have to deal with the pain. Your entire family yells at you to stop cutting when cutting feels like the only thing keeping you together. And then to top it all off with the big trigger–your goner friend sends you a message confirming in a seal of cement that you will never talk to her again; and you don’t have anyone left who will listen. So how’s that for my “reasons why?” Still not bad enough to warrant suicide? Newsflash, you don’t have to be raped or physically abused to permit you to finally kill yourself. If there’s pain, then there’s fucking pain. You don’t know what makes a person break to pieces. You don’t know what psychological problems someone is already predisposed to. And you don’t know how long it will take for someone to recover, especially when oodles and oodles of more problems are to surface further along the road.

So how about we validate someone’s suffering.

You don’t need a 13 Reasons Why story.

Just help someone in pain so that they don’t have the same ending as she did.

4.11.17

Recover, they said. 

You are worth more than this disorder, they said. 

I’m so proud of you, they said. 

Proud of me?

For what?

When they saw me eating my first snack

With tears running fown my face;

Is that what made them proud first?

Just eating my food so I could escape once my insurance saw how

Compliant 

I was and they cut my residential coverage?

Or was it when they heard me share

In group how I felt hopeless and alone,

And no one could really help

But they commended me for speaking up;

Was that what made them proud?

Or was it when I bullshitted positivity through all my individual and family therapy sessions,

Because I realized how honesty 

Wouldn’t serve me shit 

Because no one ever listened,

Or cared,

Or helped?

That obviously made them proud. 

And that’s why on my last day

During my goodbye snack,

As I ate my donut in disgust

And sat in the awkward silence,

I decided that I really don’t have anything

I feel I need to recover for,

And I felt so empty as I thought

About returning home to my quiet house,

With no more background noise of fellow clients encouraging everyone,

With no friends that were there for me;

And I finished my stupid donut and bullshitted positivity

For my last share in my goodbye snack,

And I left without saying goodbye to hardly anyone,

Really, 

Because what did it fucking matter?

As I drove home I reflected on all my 

Wasted time

At that treatment center

And I sat in all the fat I had gained–

The only thing I did get out of treatment–

So I told myself never again

Would I complain about my eating disorder, 

Or try to get help,

Because I’m fine,

And no one ever listens,

And no one cares,

And no one really can help. 

13 Reasons Why

sooo I watched it within three days as soon as it got released on Netflix and I didn’t think it would really affect me like it has. (But don’t worry, I’m okay, just feeling the feels.)

Tacking a trigger warning on this in case because I want to vent somewhere since I can’t say any of this out loud without getting too emotional. The entire show had me taking a trip down memory lane and I seriously got pissed that Hannah left everyone tapes saying they were all what led her to kill herself. Of course there was more to it than that but I DO NOT AGREE that anyone else should be responsible if you choose to take your life. I mean, if someone tells you to kill yourself then they SHOULD be held responsible, but if they just didn’t know you were in danger or if they didn’t catch on, then how can it be their fault?? The entire show I kept thinking to myself how selfish she sounded as she voiced over the tapes. Like, yeah just kill yourself and rub it in everyone’s face?? It just really grated on me. Even though I could definitely relate to her reasons that led her to end her life. It’s just that I felt she did it to make a statement to everyone, so that they would finally know that she was not okay. And she WASN’T okay.

And that’s when I see myself being a hypocrite since I attempted suicide so many times–but I was better right because I didn’t try to rub it in anyone’s face, I just wanted to disappear *rolls eyes* yeah right..

I literally am wondering why they decided to make that book into a show. It was extremely triggering, with the self-harm, suicide, sexual assault, bullying, trauma…

Like I thought I could be fine with all that, because it seems like nothing really triggers me. But that did it.

There’s so much bitterness looking into the past, so much self-blame. The other Sunday at church I got so worked up over it being Youth Day, where all the kids were going up front to share how praying to God helped them get through their struggles of losing a friend in elementary school, helped them feel a better connection to God on a busy schedule in high school, helped them get through a test. I know I sound like a bitch but I was sitting in the back thinking: yeah, and where was God when I tried to kill myself at 15 fucking years old? I was still a kid and I actually was ready to die when I attempted to slit my wrists and when I downed a bottle of aspirin. And when my dad drove me to the emergency room when he found out, he told me, “But we love you, but God loves you, why…?” And I almost laughed, thinking to myself “WHAT god?”

It’s really easy to get into self-pitying mode and getting angry over the injustice of your experiences. But right now I don’t care because I just need to write.

Ever since my first attempt I’ve always wondered to myself, fantasizing about what it would have been like if I’d really died. How I wouldn’t have had to endure 7 more years of pure shit, how my family would be better off without my chronic problems, how I’m literally a bad person and deserve all the pain and the death.

And with this show, these thoughts really came out loud and clear:

Yeah, high school really CAN lead teens to kill themselves. Parents wonder why, well it’s not that mind-boggling: imagine being completely invisible to everyone in the hallways, in the classrooms. Imagine no one caring or noticing if you show up. Imagine skipping class one day to lock yourself in a bathroom stall and slicing up your arms into bloody pulps while hearing girls giggle to themselves in the bathroom saying, “She’s still in here, what is she doing?” after sobbing about still being alive for over an hour, before going to second period once you’ve cleaned yourself up and put back on a blank mask.

And imagine trying to reach out in the only way you know how, through creative writing in class, poems about self-harm and suicide, no one batting an eye, all the while staring at a sign on the wall saying “What do you do if no one’s watching?” and smirking to yourself and saying: absolutely fucking nothing. Because you don’t exist in a school of hundreds and hundreds of people who’ve done nothing but harass you and ignore you when they get tired of you.

And then imagine going home after that little bathroom episode and your family not finding out until a week later when they make you take off your jacket, and your sister yelling at you saying she’s getting sick of your shit, and continuing to shut off your outside emotions and showing no reaction. And it only makes sense that you get so tired of your own shit you just don’t want to exist anymore.

And then imagine all this going on throughout high school and continuing after graduation. It feels like it never ends. But you still have to keep going because logically you can’t let your loved ones down after all the years of struggling.

So this show didn’t bring out the best in me. However I don’t mean to be downing it so much, because it does raise awareness to teen suicide and bullying. It’s just the triggering content and the method of telling the story (through a dead girl’s voice recordings in order to tell 13 people that they all factored into her suicide) that I wasn’t okay with.

And secondly, why people keep making shows and movies about depression, self-harm, suicide, and eating disorders for entertainment irks me. I feel like they romanticize mental illness for so many people. And trigger those who are already struggling.

So yeah I don’t know. Just some word vomit to help my raging head.

 

Dear eating disorder [3-9-17]

I miss you, I’ll admit it. I miss the false sense of control you give me. I miss the numbing of my emotions, the disconnect from the world around me. I miss the feeling of weightlessness you gave me when I had the courage to look down at the scale & saw that I hit my lowest weight. I miss the brain fog you put me under, & I also miss the power you gave me when I mastered the art of eating “good” & keeping my weight down. I even miss you killing my body, soul, & mind. I don’t know when I will stop missing you, & stop thinking of you as a best friend. Every day, I eat my food & I allow myself to enjoy it. I look at my face in the mirror as you inform me of my awful double chin, I look at my thighs which through your eyes are the size of tree trunks. I hear everything you say to me, but I choose not to give into your harsh demands. I know I have to suck it up & live life without you. You tell me how I will fail everything I do, but I can always return to the one thing which I won’t fail–restricting, losing weight, binging & purging. Every now & then I have a slip & I find myself with my fingers down my throat as you tell me I’m taking the first right step to Not Getting Fat. You tell me to look through my sick pictures, & you remind me of how much More I felt in control then. Then you tell me how beautiful I was when I was in your arms. I always hear you, but I always try not to believe you anymore. It doesn’t always work. But today I just wanted to tell you that I am grateful to be thinking clearly, & to not be living with you dictating all parts of my life. Now, I can eat fried foods, I can eat meat, mac&cheese, pizza, I can even eat a serving of dessert. All without compensating for it later, or binging/purging it. Yes, I did tell you I have slips sometimes, but that is all they are. You are no longer in control, & I thank God for that. I don’t spend half my days body checking in the mirror or taking “progress pictures.” I don’t judge myself anymore based on my weight. Yes, I’ve gained weight. A lot of it. You want me to believe this makes me lazy, disgusting, sloppy, pathetic, worthless. But I’m learning that none of this is true. & you know why? Because I said so. & right now that is enough. You aren’t right anymore. There are better ways to live life without following your strict rules. I want to keep being able to feel emotions fully, I want to be more energetic, have real smiles, I want to keep my cognition for school, I want to focus on my relationships more than on being your prisoner. I do have better things to do than to let you dull me, abuse me, & kill me. So, now you know. I’m not going to let you defeat me so easily. Ever again. 

–Katie