I’ve discovered something about shame involving mental illness: it’s a lot easier to shut down if you tell yourself – and everyone else – that the worst is behind you. That you’ll never hit rock bottom again, that you’ve Been There, Done That and will never be that sick again. You tell the world that Suicidal Territory is officially off your map.
Well, I’m discovering that there are an infinite amount of rock bottoms.
I’m trying to remind myself that even if you’ve hit rock bottom for the 50th time, you are farther along in your recovery than that first time you hit rock bottom. There is wisdom gained in time passing, in hitting that bottom and saying, “Yep, I’m here again but last time I climbed out from this place so I can do it again.”
That’s when the shame comes in. Shame says, “You shouldn’t be down here! You’ve gotten BETTER!”
Shame has been tying me up in knots.
The police investigation into my childhood abuse ended three weeks ago today, the same day I wound up in hospital for the zillionth time. I don’t feel like talking about specifics, but let’s just say it was one giant trigger.
After being discharged on Monday I’m just starting to pick up the pieces of my life. Again. So if I’m slow to respond to your emails, that’s why. If I don’t respond to your texts, that’s why. It’s nothing personal, I’m just trying hard to cope and I can’t juggle as much as usual for the time being.
I’m posting today because I realize I need to keep creating through this rough patch. If I’m not going to die I have to live. Living means connection and creation. Even when the only feelings that come out of you are dark as night.
I used up an entire black crayon while in hospital.
(click on the photo to see it bigger!)
I’m still recovering, apparently. Still learning, still processing.
Once I’m feeling well enough, I have a ton of new things to blog about, mostly hospital related. Maybe my experience can help you with yours. So expect more from me in the coming weeks. Until then, I’m practicing cutting myself some slack. Telling shame to shove it, even if I have to battle it all day and night.
I miss you. Please know that I’m still here, on my way back to stronger footing. Then we can pick up where we left off, with a little more experience under our belt. ♥