Clarity

I did something bad, and I feel really guilty about it.  Not guilty about what I actually did, per se, but guilty over lying.  Or, at least omitting the truth and being otherwise deceitful…

Because of severe exhaustion, both physically and mentally, I have been really struggling lately to be an active participant in my life.  And, whether due to injury from 9+ concussions, lack of blood flow to the brain, medication side effects, not sleeping, migraine pain and cloudiness or simply a bad cold or a long night of vomiting, my brain fog has been absolutely debilitating.  Unsurprisingly, this has significantly impacted my academic standing.  I love my major and will study for hours on end, but I cannot seem to retain information no matter how hard I try. My short term memory is laughable, and I just feel totally “out of it” overall.

So…I took some Adderall.

One of my physicians prescribed me Adderall in 2014 to trial for hypotension and chronic fatigue and it worked beautifully.

However, the Adderall I took this time was not my prescription. I bought it.

Yes, I BOUGHT IT from a guy in our apartment complex who I knew dealt drugs. I’ve never done anything like that before. 10 little blue pills for $50.

It was almost as if a weighted, fuzzy blanket had been lifted and someone cracked a window to allow in some fresh air. My thoughts didn’t feel as loud and chaotic. I felt peaceful and calm, yet alert and capable.

$50 allowed me to catch up and succeed academically despite my broken body, saving my semester.

I didn’t experience any negative side effects. No nausea, no noticeable increase in tachycardia, no shakiness, no anxiety.

Those pills pulled me from the deepest pits of depression – both with happiness and relief over finally succeeding and getting caught up with school and the fact that I actually had some energy for once.

Sitting up wasn’t a chore. Writing an email or replying to a text message was no longer a daunting task. I looked forward to reading once again. Homework and studying didn’t feel impossible.

I experienced mental clarity for the first time since I can remember (ha ha, accidental brain fog/poor memory joke). That in itself gave me hope.

I was honestly starting to believe that I’d never be able to think again and that I was somehow past the point of fixing…but this experience has shown me that the person I used to know and love (or at least like, haha) is still in there somewhere. While I may live in a broken body, I am not broken.

I’m not sure if my moral compass was bruised along with my brain, but my feelings of relief and excitement are overshadowing my guilt and shame, at least for the time being.

I still have one left…

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Suicide

Suicide has always been a part of my life, long before I fully understood its magnitude or permanency.

Looming over my head, lurking in the walking-on-eggshell good days and overpowering all else on days bad, until it slowly seeped into every pore of my being.

Suicide taught me to drive at age 13, up and down dark roads at night searching for my mother. Peering down over bridges, terrified at the thought of finding her yet somehow more afraid I wouldn’t.

Mourning my father, trembling in his jacket as I inhaled the familiar mixture of leather and cigarette smoke. My heart leapt when he came home a few days later, my absolute elation masking my blood-stained bewilderment. Holding him as tight as I could until its next attack.

Suicide taught me the true meaning of fear.

Uncertainty. A chill down your spine.

A threat keeping me in line. A sense of impending doom.

Abandonment. Turmoil. Anger. Despair.

Is it any wonder tops of tall buildings mock me on my way to class and rusty dissection tools call my name?

Whether it resides beneath my skin, whispering in my ear or walks one step behind me, biting at my heels varies day-to-day…

But it’s always there. Waiting. Watching.

I long to be free of its grasp.  I envy those with a will to live.

And yet…
It’s comforting in its familiarity.

Like a childhood blanket, fraying at the edges, suicide wrapped me in its embrace through every dark night of my childhood– a twisted element of consistency through the chaos.

Without suicide, how could I face the past? The present? The future?

What would be left of me?

 

I Understand

I understand why you lied

Your story sent angry mobs after me

Death threats, mental institutions, hatred, and doubt

But I do not regret defending you

A missing patch hair is easier to grasp

than a broken soul and a crushed sense of self

Years of abuse and chaos had taken everything

And I get it, I truly do

I know right now you feel no guilt for your actions

Nor their repercussions

But if one day you do, just know:

While it still hurts and haunts me at night

Brelyn, I understand

Nobody Wins When Everyone’s Losing

You know those songs that just capture your attention, reach into the depths of your soul & hit you at your core?  Yes, that was a very dramatic introduction– I’m aware. 😉 But this particular song, “Not Meant To Be” by Theory Of A Deadman is definitely one of those songs for Keri, Bre & I. When everything was in a chaotic spiral & we would find ourselves so far in Borderland we didn’t know that we’d ever again see the light, there wasn’t much that could help us (or, anyone caught in the path of the storm). But this song– one step forward, two steps back– every single word is/was SO relatable & relevant to our situation. And I’m not sure if it’s that it empowered us or simply validated our feelings, but somehow, singing it always made it easier to breathe.

It’s never enough to say I’m sorry
It’s never enough to say I care
But I’m caught between what you wanted from me
And knowing that if I give that to you
I might just disappear

Nobody wins when everyone’s losing…

[Chorus:]
It’s like one step forward and two steps back
No matter what I do, you’re always mad
And I, I can’t change your mind
I know it’s like trying to turn around on a one-way street
I can’t give you what you want
And it’s killing me
And I, I’m starting to see
Maybe we’re not meant to be

It’s never enough to say I love you
No, it’s never enough to say I try
It’s hard to believe
That’s theres no way out for you and me
And it seems to be the story of our lives

Nobody wins when everyone’s losing…

[Chorus]

There’s still time to turn this around
You could be building this up instead of tearing it down
But I keep thinking
Maybe it’s too late

[Chorus]

It’s like one step forward and two steps back
No matter what I do, you’re always mad
And I, baby I’m sorry to see
Maybe we’re not meant to be…

“You’re So Brave!”

There are many instances of my life that haunt me. Rhetoric that plays over and over in my head like some sick tape I cannot escape. Actions that color my dreams, jolting me from nightly slumber. However nothing makes me quite as sick as the innocent words of my then 13-year-old sister, remarking on my self-harm:

“…I tried [to cut myself] but I couldn’t do it.  I wanted to but it hurt too much.  You’re so brave!”

Hearing those words took my breath away.  I was 14 when I started- not much older than she.  It was my heavy, shameful, long sleeves in July secret for 3 miserable years.

Cutting was not brave, and that self-destructive path was certainly not what I wished to model for my little sisters. It’s been more than 4 years since she uttered those words, and while they still shake me to my core, they also push me to keep fighting, to not give in to temptation, and to show her what bravery truly is.

Fear.

bipolar disorder.

manic crisis.

emergency.

i’m on my way.

daddy, are you in there?

daddy, please.

unrecognizable.

fear.

screaming.

wild eyes.

frothing mouth.

it’s a coin toss.

she’s pushed against wall.

pull him off.

back again.

he’s so strong.

fear.

nudity.

i’ll remove my hands.

violence.

out on the deck.

cool breeze.

hot breath.

penis against my back.

fear.

so loud.

where’s the dog?

fist fight.

neighbors scared.

quiet scheming.

police.

yes, we are safe.

lying through our teeth.

fear.

psychotic break.

smile and nod.

where is this coming from?

don’t take it to heart.

feel so shattered.

no sleep.

how many days has it been?

fear.

hushed whispering.

tiptoe.

crushing drugs.

spiking drinks.

laugh or you’ll cry.

share a blanket.

now he’s coming.

pretend you’re asleep.

fear.

sexual advances.

heart is racing.

vivid flashbacks.

PTSD.

not taking no for an answer.

daddy, please stop.

fear.

you don’t want to hurt her, daddy.

you don’t want to hurt me, daddy.

bruises.

run away.

no shoes.

hiding.

fear.

sobbing.

begging.

screaming.

please don’t leave me.

praying.

cursing.

is this really happening?

fear.

flashing lights.

police.

well-practiced lies

please see through us.

are we doing the right thing?

secret recordings.

so much unknown.

fear.

trapped.

no way out.

hopeless.

don’t touch her there.

don’t touch me there.

can’t breathe.

hold my hand.

white knuckles.

fear.

torn clothing.

haven’t showered in days.

mascara streaks.

scraped up knees.

red eyes.

trembling lips.

fear.

confusion.

pleading.

gotta reach him somehow.

it’s me, your daughter.

i love you, daddy.

bruises around my neck.

fear.

car rides.

alcohol.

trapped.

please don’t look.

don’t look away.

can we do this?

patient shows up.

no hiding now.

fear.

shattered glass.

my body, a shield.

please, daddy, stop.

don’t hurt him.

don’t hurt me.

please leave.

i don’t need your help.

fear.

911.

EMS.

strips down naked.

sir, please cooperate.

mom sent away.

daddy, i’m here.

daddy, i’ll stay with you.

daddy, please trust me.

fear.

raspy voice.

shake my hand.

talking in circles.

ambulance ride.

front seat.

monitoring his vitals.

god, can you hear me?

fear.

ER.

he pulls my hair.

grabs my arm.

just a rag doll.

stay calm.

steady voice.

talk to doctors.

fear.

 

(To be continued…)

I Excel In… (No Particular Order)

1.) Pretending to be happy

2.) Talking too much and too fast

3.) Smiling through pain that would cripple others

4.) Caring about and for others

5.) Over-analyzing like…everything

6.) Remembering things I should probably forget

7.) Forgetting things I should probably remember

8.) Isolating myself

9.) Staying up all night

10.) Navigating while blind (#MigraineProbs)

11.) Writing neatly

12.) Appreciating the beauty in the little things

13.) Mental math

14.) Holding back vomit while in public

15.) Adapting to my environment/life circumstances

16.) Making people think I’m crazy

17.) Getting concussions

18.) Swallowing my fears

19.) Getting overly-attached to people

20.) Learning and absorbing medical information

21.) Not texting or calling back for days on end

22.) Misplacing obligations

23.) Editing papers

24.) Losing everyone and everything I’ve ever loved…