if mental illness is a chronic illness that I’m going to have to deal with for the rest of my life, I don’t think i want to. I’m tired, i’m tired and it’s been 4 years (and maybe more) and I’ve already had enough. I see people in their 20s and 30s and beyond that, struggling with eating disorders and mental illnesses. I see mothers struggling in depths of their illnesses and i never want to go through that.

I don’t want to be a mother struggling, a uni student struggling, a wife struggling. i have spent all my teenage years struggling and i don’t want to waste my entire youth struggling, but how do i not? i need this to have an end point, but i see no horizon in sight and i could keep going like i always have, but long how until i say enough is enough?

i didn’t ask for any of this, i’m so tired. it’s no longer the kind of tiredness where the exhaustion runs in my bones, a weary heart fallen to the ground but the kind of tiredness that just is.

rag-doll girl

I feel like a broken puppet, barely held together with a thread

and if i let the thorny voices get any closer

my head cloudier

the cheap stitches holding me together will break

i feel like i’m this close to falling apart, any wrong move will break me, so i have to stay in control i have to not feel. i’m so sad inside but i’m trying to keep myself together, trying to keep holding on to the threads when i just want to unravel them all and let this rag-doll girl fall apart.

i have to keep going, find ways to stitch myself up and bury the pain and feelings and sadness deep deep inside. control will be the key- if the numbers are in control and the food is in control and the scale is dropping, everything will be okay. i have to believe in that. not in therapists who try to help you recover or friends who look out for you or family you want to have a meal with. nothing matters as much as control. 

maybe a part of me wants to get better but every time i do, something inside screams i don’t deserve it. and i don’t. i’m not sick, i don’t have a disorder. it isn’t a problem- i’m the problem. i can’t trust anyone or anything anymore so let’s build these walls back up and make the fortress impenetrable before it’s too late.

Don’t leave me

It’s so silly, isn’t it, how someone can come to mean so much to you? Someone who was never even meant to be so important. How much will therapy really help, if it will end in destroying the only safe relationship and safe place you’ve ever known?

Sometimes things are better- I can almost do without therapy/my psychologist, sometimes life is okay on the outside. But most times, the mere thought of leaving tears me apart inside because I cannot imagine a life without this safe haven. Most times I just shake my head fervently as if maybe it wouldn’t happen if I don’t think about it.

And times like now? Times where she isn’t just a safe place or a trusted therapist but the only lighthouse in an endless storm, the tiny whisper of hope when everything is falling apart. Everything hits me so much more- the next patient she’s seeing after my appointment, the girl she’s weighing in the clinic, the friend who has the same psychologist, even the random girl on Instagram who mentions she’s in the same hospital for an eating disorder. My heart stops. Because the realization hits that she is just a doctor and she see so many patients and I’m just another one of them. My heart stops because she makes me feel safe and understood, like it’s possible to recover even though I’m so far gone- but she says the same things to everyone.

My friend, who also sees her, posted this on Instagram- ‘today my psychologist told me I deserve better than self-destruction‘. It felt like I got kicked in the gut. My psychologist told her that (well, technically we do have the same psychologist but you get me). I can picture the way she would say it, the way she leans forwards and sympathizes and is always so sincere. It felt like I got a kick in the gut, to realize that my psychologist cares about her other patients as much, or maybe even more than she cares about me.

Of course she cares about all her patients (she’s an amazing psychologist, all her patients love her. she’s also a senior psychologist and specializes in eating disorders) and of course it’s just a therapeutic relationship and of course therapy is going to have to end. But these are facts I don’t want to think about, facts I simply cannot face. And it’s silly because at the end of the day she is just a doctor. But right now she is also everything and she is also the one who has saved me in all my darkest times, she is the first one whom I’ve told many things I thought I would never be able to talk about, the only person other than my grandparents who I’ve ever truly felt 100% safe and secure with, the only person who has made me feel good enough and loved and genuinely understood. She has always been so important, but she has come to mean more and more to me over the past 4 years.

But what if I don’t matter to her? What if I’m just a hopeless case? She has so many patients, seen so many sick girls, what makes me different than any of them?

So these things happen, and my heart stops, and then the tornado hits me. You’re not good enough, you’re stupid for believing you were important enough and cared for. You’re not as sick as any of her other patients, she has probably had many patients with dangerously low weights and real disorders. She doesn’t even like you that much, you don’t matter, did you really think she could pull you out of this mess? Did you really think you deserve to try to recover just because of what she says? She doesn’t care about you, you’re not special- you’re nothing. 

The whirlwind of thoughts hit me and I want to collapse into myself, a ball of self-destruction and self-hatred. I’m selfish. I want her in my life as a therapist or friend or mentor (I look up to her so much as an aspiring psychologist) forever, I want her to care about me, I want to stay secure and feel safe. I want to matter. I’m selfish, and I’m scared. I’m scared because I continually trust her with everything and I continually let her inside despite knowing that it’s all just going to tear me apart even more when therapy ends.

I’m so scared because I’m so lost and alone and struggling with all of this and she’s the only one who makes me feel like I’m not alone (heck, she’s the only one who even knows, nobody else has the slightest clue about my ed), the only one who understands and validates and sees all this pain I go through, the only one who makes me feel safe, the only one I trust and the only one who gives me hope for recovery. It’s taken years to slowly break down my walls & defense mechanisms, it’s taken years of talking and crying to get to where we are now. It’s taken all the times I’ve turned to her for help when I’m at my very last rope, all the times I finally broke down and admitted how tired I was, all the times she’s been there at my hospital bed. I’ve opened up about everything in my past, about abuse, about my disorder. I’ve even started opening up about shame, about feeling not sick enough. I want to close up and rebuild walls but it’s gotten to a point where I can’t even try hiding things from her anymore.

I’m scared because those fleeting moments of ‘maybe I’m sick enough to recover‘ and ‘she actually cares about me and believes in me‘ and ‘maybe it’s possible to try to get better‘- those precious little rays of hope that therapy brings, what if they’re all just in my head? It’s hard enough to believe them in the first place, but how can I even consider believing them if they don’t really matter because she probably just says that to everyone?

I’m scared of losing her, and losing everything. I know it’s not going away anytime soon, but right now, I hate to admit it- I need her more than anything. I need her because if I don’t, I will float away with my disorder and sadness and never return. So right now, every other patient she sees is a painful reminder, every other patient is a threat. Is it twisted that I once wanted to be ‘sicker‘ so that she would care more about me? That I wanted to be the sickest and thinnest of all her patients? That I have goal weights for every therapy appointment, that there is no point going if I’m not getting worse? That I still think if I lose more weight she’ll be more worried (and I’ll get to see her more often) and force me to get better and I’ll finally be good enough to get help. That my criteria for recovery is hospitalization?

I just wish it wasn’t all such a mess, I don’t know how to deal with it all, I really don’t. 

Swim

The waves are crashing down, all over again

All around

Those flimsy fortresses gone

fortresses of lies and restriction

fortresses of emptiness and numbers

fortresses that were never strong

I was never really in control
Sometimes

It’s easier to let the waves take over

Easier to submerge myself headfirst

Drowning was not feeling

Drowning was instant relief

Numbness that comes from filling and emptying and filing and emptying

Numbness, too, can be a lie
After the numb, comes the storm

Worse than before
Fortresses or not,

It never really ceases

sadness never stops

Never good enough

Always too much

Not safe

Sometimes not anything at all
Numbness or not,

Pain is pain

It’s all just anaesthesia

For something I cannot heal

A hole inside too big

Pieces too broken to stitch together
I need a fortress- my fortress

It might be broken but it’s all I have

It’s all I want (need)

Build a stronger lighthouse

A bigger lifeboat

The waves are crashing down

But I’ll keep Swimming
No more jumping into the deep end

I have to swim

Before I sink

into an endless ocean of self-hatred

Gone forever