When you know you’re not well, but don’t have a diagnose.

This is something a wrote a while back, when my mental health started to go to shit. This is how I felt when I had to keep it a secret. This is how I felt when I didn’t understand. This is past and I’m proud of having been able to reach for help and work through my issues next to people who support me. This is not an issue that should be taken lightly.

 


 

I’m okay. It’s just that now I can’t feel like I used to. I used to feel the beauty, feel the music, feel the people. I used to feel myself. Now it seems that that part of my brain has decided to shut down.

In cases like this you would think that it must have happened slowly, one day at a time. You start feeling more tired than usual, then you don’t see the point of going outside, you lose your appetite, stop caring about your friends and finally you lose faith in life. Well, for me it was different. In my case it felt like a light switch going off. One tragic day I woke up and realised I had lost myself. It didn’t happen gradually like most people say, my depression hit me like a truck on a highway that you can’t see coming. I really don’t know what happened. I’m sure there must be a reason for what I’m going through, but I can’t find it for the sake of me. Nothing changed outside of me, but inside it is a constant battle, an endless storm that nobody can stop.

I’ve had good days since then, I must admit, but they were not the same as before. Now a good day meant not puking my lunch or maybe doing something as simple as changing the sheets in my bed. I have friends too, but as much as I have tried to feel the way I used to feel about them, I lost interest in what they say or do a long time ago. I also have a family who claim to love me and I honestly believe they do (only in their own bizarre way), but now everything they do seems to annoy me more and more as the time passes. I don’t think I could go back and live with them if I was forced to, but that doesn’t mean I don’t love them anyways.

The thing is I have a problem that no one can help me with (not even myself) and I don’t know why. That is the hardest part, I think, not knowing. I believe that if I knew what had caused this, I could at least try to sort it out, but of course I can’t have that privilege. Not knowing is what keeps me up at night, it is what everybody asks me once and again and I have to keep saying “I don’t know” until they give up or they decide I’m just another spoiled child who has a desperate need for attention.

I went to a doctor once and told her I was bulimic. She told me to drink some tea. Obviously, it didn’t help, so I restrained myself to go back there if I was not going to be taken seriously.

And you, who are reading this right now might wonder what it is exactly that is wrong with me. It is not easy to pinpoint the exact few troubles that are wandering around through my head, it is actually quite impossible, but if you must know, I self diagnosed myself with depression, anxiety and bulimia. These are only technical terms that don’t even start to describe how I feel (or how I don’t feel) and that only show the tip of the iceberg. I know what you are going to think: “if it’s self diagnosed it is not actually something we should worry about”, but I do worry about having an excruciating urge to vomit 75% of what I eat everyday, or staying up until 5am every night because there is something in my brain that won’t let me sleep, or having days when I can’t even convince myself to get out of bed because it’s not worth it, or hyperventilating for no reason until I end up in the hospital with a few sedatives.

I have been thinking a lot about when (or if) I get better. Maybe that is the first tiny step to lead me out of this. You would think that from now on I can start recovering and, step by step, I will get somewhere. But that is not how it works, apparently.

Thinking about what you want night and day will not take you where you want to go. Trying might, but it’s hard as fuck. I swear I tried, and when I think it is going so well, the switch in my head goes off and shit goes down.

It had been nearly three weeks of healthiness until last night, when my bulimia showed its treacherous face. As always, I couldn’t resist it. I don’t even know if I tried to avoid doing that thing that cannot be named -seriously, what’s with the taboo? I get it, it is shocking and it is not fun to hear, but once we admit our bulimia, why do we still hesitate about using the one word that describes it? We call it “it”, as if not saying what it really is will make it any better. We are scared of speaking properly and, as a very wise fictional character once said: “the fear of a name only increases the fear of the thing itself”. That being said, I embrace the wide vocabulary I possess and I refuse to be afraid of saying what I did last night: I puked. I puked, I vomited, I threw up, I shoved my fingers down my throat until my dinner came rushing out of my system. You can call it whatever you want, but it won’t change the facts. And for the record, I am not saying I’m proud of my actions; all I’m saying is that by enforcing a pointless taboo, we will only make communication more difficult, and so, since communication has always been an art that I am deeply fascinated by, I decide to honor it and use it accordingly to get my message through.

Anyway, back to the issue. I puked and it didn’t feel wrong. That is what worries me the most, that I don’t feel any regrets. I used to, when I first started throwing up, but now it’s just like an ibuprofen for my feelings, it soothes them. If only I could feel bad about it, recovery would be another tiny step closer.

I  started drinking a lot of water lately too. Maybe my body knew what was coming and decided it would be nice to get me ready for it so, when I finally purged, the food would come out smoother. I  do realise that it is a stupid theory, but I’d much rather think about that than about the other things that go through my brain.

 

-Inés

 

Announcement Time!

Exciting times come, since we are now officially taking submissions for this blog. The requirements of the submissions (there aren’t many at all) and the details of how to send stuff will be on our fleshly baked “Reach out to us” page.

We really hope this new project takes off and we can make Nêreis a place where young people can express themselves and show their art uncensored.

Thank you very much!

-Inés

We are breaking

We are breaking, but I didn’t notice until now. I knew this could happen, but whenever I thought of it, I always pictured it a lot more gentle.The reality is, as always, way more cruel. Reality is a dark monster that messes with our minds. Reality is the one that pushes two people apart when all they want is to hold on to each other. Reality makes you wish you would’ve been stabbed a hundred times. 

Trying to hold on to what we once had, we realized, is useless. We walked in two different ways that don’t cross anymore. I was the one who changed paths, and I don’t regret it for a second, even if that is what changed us. My path is rockier and steeper and will give me more that a few migraines, but I chose it. She chose an easier way, but I can’t judge since I sure as hell would have followed her if I could, but my soul didn’t let me. 

We are breaking, which means we are not over yet. She is trying to fix it, but I know that you can’t fix a demolished building with scotch tape. We need cement and brick, but all stores are sold out. 

She adds tears to the tape, but I know it won’t work because I am the only one who sees the truth: The building cannot be saved. She sees just an old inhabited building, but I see the wreckage. I see the truth, but she is blindfolded. 

We are breaking, slowly but surely, and I can only hope that the light doesn’t hurt her eyes when she is forced out of that blindfold. 

We are breaking.

We are broken.

Short Story: “Miranda”

 10 a.m.

  Ali opened her eyes to an unknown room. The walls were painted dark blue with a lot of pictures, famous quotes and posters all over them. It was a thousand times prettier than her room, so she felt a little ashamed. A soft, fine arm feel around her waist. Who was this girl laying in bed with her? What was Ali doing in her room? What the hell happened last night? She made an attempt to freak out, but that only made her headache worse and the room spin even faster. Even if she started to freak out, what was the point? Instead, Ali decided to relax and enjoy the cuddling while exploring the pictures and quotes on the wall.

  She could tell her bed buddy was still asleep. Who could she be? Maybe she was a total stranger she met at a bar last night. Or maybe it was someone she knew. Maybe it was Miranda… But no, she knew how cuddling with Miranda felt, and it wasn’t like this. This felt safe, and sweet, and free, and… happy. Cuddling with Miranda felt wrong, as if it was an obligation rather than a proof of love. Cuddling with Miranda felt dirty. This was only, of course, at the end of their relationship.

  Thinking of this made Ali remember her and Miranda when they first started dating. She was her first girlfriend, the one who helped her to come out to her parents. She  was her first love. Her true love.

  Why did things have change so much? When did Miranda to turn so empty and cold? Why? Those questions came to her mind every time she thought of Miranda. Her Miranda who wasn’t hers anymore…

  But this wasn’t time to think about that. She was laying in a strange bed in a strange house and couldn’t remember anything. At least she was dressed, which meant they hadn’t had sex last night. She felt relieved. Not that she hated one night stands, but this girl wasn’t a one night stand type of girl. Even if Ali hadn’t seen her face or had a conversation with her (not that she recalled) she knew this girl could never be just a one night stand. It would feel wrong.

  Ali noticed a picture of two smiling girls in a frame on top of a desk which had two names woodcut on it. “Sarah & Cara”. Either one of those names should be the mysterious girl’s. Ali hoped she was Cara. She loved that name.

  Cara/Sarah started to move with an strangely attractive groan. Ali couldn’t help but to get as stiff as a rock. She was terrified. What if the girl didn’t remember her? What if she did? What if she was expecting Ali to leave before she woke up? Now it was too late for that. She could pretend she was still asleep, avoid the awkwardness and leave whenever Cara/Sarah got in the shower. But that wouldn’t work either, the fact that she was awake was too obvious. She would have to face the embarrassment as a woman. She had to be strong. She had to be brave. She had to be mature about this.

  “Morning”, Ali said with a fake yawn.

  Cara/Sarah looked at her with a smile from ear to ear. Apparently she did remember. Or she just wanted to be nice. She was acting like their situation wasn’t weird at all. As if having a stranger in your bed was not a big deal. Maybe it wasn’t, and Ali was overreacting.

  “Hey you! I thought you were still sleeping.”

  She had a special glow, as if she hadn’t just woken up. She looked so pretty and full of energy compared to Ali, who was embarrassed of everything. She was embarrassed that she didn’t recognize that girl she slept with, embarrassed that she looked like crap while the other girl looked like a model, embarrassed of each drink she had had last night. For the first time in her life, she felt embarrassed of herself.

  “Please tell me I didn’t wake you up!”.  Ali shook her head and articulated a “no” with her mouth. “I suppose you’re having a pretty bad hangover, aren’t you? “

  “Not really”. She lied.

  “You sure? Because it looks to me like that’s not entirely true…”

  “You caught me”, Ali answered with a crooked smile.

  “Well, then it’s your lucky day because I have an awesome remedy for that”.

  Cara/Sarah lead Ali to the kitchen with a huge smile on her face. Now Ali was smiling too, feeling somehow pretty comfortable with this particular stranger.

  “Here”. Cara/Sarah handed Ali a drink she had just got out of the fridge. It certainly looked good. “It’s a strawberry daiquiri. It’s good”, she continued.

  “Sorry, but the last thing I want right now is more alcohol”, Ali said as she rejected the amazing looking drink and wondered why the hell did this girl have a perfectly arranged and ready to drink daiquiri in her fridge. But Cara/Sarah replied with a skeptical look.

 “Okay. I’ll drink it. I have nothing left to lose, anyways”

  “That’s the attitude!”, the other girl laughed.

  Ali laughed too as she drank the most delicious beverage she had ever tried. After a comfortable moment of silence and forgetting the drink for a minute, she decided to try to unravel the mysteries of last night.

  “Can I ask you a pretty awkward question?”

  “Is it my name? Don’t worry, It’s not your hangover, I just don’t think I told you last night”

  Ali felt a little better now, even though she knew she wouldn’t remember even if she had told her.

  “My name is Miranda Hamilton” She said with a smile while offering Ali her hand to shake in a goofy way.

  And at that moment, Ali’s heart froze completely. Of course her name had to be Miranda! This was destiny’s cruel way of reminding Ali that she was never going to get over the most traumatic experience of her life. This felt as if life was throwing bricks right at her face and then laughing merciless as it watched her bleed. This was Ali going back into the nightmares that haunted her almost every night.

  “I have to go.” Ali said nervously and hurried to the room to get her things.

  Miranda followed her with a worried expression on her face. Things were going pretty well from her perspective. What could have happened so suddenly that triggered such a reaction from the girl?

  “What happened? Did I do something wrong?” She asked while Ali looked desperately for her right shoe.

  “I can’t find my shoe!! Where is it!? I need it to leave! Where is my fucking shoe??”

  Miranda could tell she was having a panic attack. She was hyperventilating, crying, rushing all over the room… Her brother used to have this breakdowns quite often when he was younger. She wanted to calm her down just the way she remembered her mother calmed down Johnny. But what had caused this situation? She was confused, but still wanted to help and maybe, after Ali was a little more relaxed, she would explain it to her.

  “Here it is!” Ali put her recently found shoe on. “Goodbye”

  She ran through the bedroom door so fast Miranda didn’t even have the chance to hold her and help her. She just froze there and saw Ali freaking out in the hall trying to find the door that led to the street. She finally found it after three failed attempts and started running with no destination. She run with make up all over her face, messy hair, and last night’s clothes on.

                                                                          …

  Miranda. Why did she have to be Miranda? Why? It felt like all those months of therapy and all those drugs they made her take  were for nothing. All that work and effort to feel better after what happened were gone the second that girl pronounced her name: Miranda.

  She had heard it a million times, even after Miranda’s “transformation”; but this time was different. This girl was different. Ali tried to deny it from the second she woke up in that strange bed, but that woman reminded her to Miranda like no other. And when she said that name, which was also her name… She couldn’t ignore it anymore.

  Ali was still running. Now even faster. It was like she was trying to escape that feeling. That feeling that Miranda was still with her. Her Miranda, not the Miranda she had turned into last year. The Miranda she met in high school. The Miranda she vowed eternal love to. The Miranda who was gone and lost.

  Ali stopped. She was standing in front of that place. She was surprised she ended up there, even though she had been running in that direction for the past twenty minutes. She wanted to go inside, where she could see Miranda, but she knew it wouldn’t be her Miranda anymore. If she went inside she would be throwing away all those hours with Dr. Norton, all that time she’d been trying to get over Miranda’s transformation.

  But she wanted to go inside. She wanted it  more than anything. But she couldn’t… After her family had put her in this hospital, Ali had never had the guts to come visit her. She couldn’t… She didn’t want to… But now she did. She did want to see her love, her Miranda.

  Friends, family, doctors… all said Miranda wasn’t Miranda anymore. Ali knew it. She had to live with her for that one year and saw her change slowly. But something deep inside her told her that it wasn’t real, it was just a bad dream and Miranda was still the Miranda she once loved, and if she went inside that hospital she could rescue her and run away and be happy forever, just like in fairy tales.

  But this wasn’t a fairy tale. Nor a romantic novel, nor any kind of love story. This was real life, and in real life there is no happily ever after. In real life there are people you love turning into strangers, and anxiety attacks from hearing one name, and standing in front of a fucking mental hospital waiting for a miracle that will never happen.

  Covered in tears, Ali whispered the last words she hoped Miranda could hear.

  “I promised I would always love you, but I can’t.”

 


 

Hi guys! I know this is a bit different than what I usually post, but I am really proud of it, and I hope you enjoy it. Feedback would be very much appreciated. Thank you!

-Ines

You know me from school

The first time I met your new boyfriend 

You told him you know me from school.

I didn’t agree because I was only fourteen.

I couldn’t have known you at fourteen.

You argued, convinced I was fifteen.
I was fourteen when we met at school,

And I was fifteen when we first kissed.

I was sixteen that night on the beach,

And I was seventeen when I kept coming back

Even though I swore we were broken up.

I was eighteen when I discovered those long hours in your bed.

I was eighteen when they became my favourite.

I was eighteen when you said you loved me

And I was nineteen when I wrote it back.
But you never lied.

You do  know me from school.

Black Widow

Black Widow walks around the corner.
Bachelor spots Black Widow
.

Bachelor is up for danger.

Bachelor sees her body as public property
.

Black Widow’s screams are muffled by laughter.
Bachelor feels powerful.

Black Widow won’t let him take her.

Bachelor laughs.

Black Widow makes justice to her name.
Bloody knife in hand,

Black Widow hopes to never use it again .

Battlescars

Soft scars around her torso. Soft but dangerous, just like her.

Scars that cause other people’s pity.

Scars that show her strenght.

Scars that prove that worst has passed.

The storm inside her mind is calmer now; the beast is tamer. But even when you succesfully domesticate a lion, it can still roar louder than your whispers.

Still she doesn’t let it win. It can try, but she won’t let it harm her for long.

She doesn’t own it. She is not its master; if she aims to be, she is lost and dead.

Instead she faces it as a mutual. She realizes its nature and accepts it. But doesn’t surrender to it.

She becomes smarter than her demons and keeps them down until the next fight -because it sure as hell is going to be a next fight.

They will not win again. She got a taste of what that was like and decided it is no longer an option.

She will fight until the end because the battle is better than the alternative.

There will be the occasional truce, but the war won’t end.

So she gathers up her weapons and fights for her life.

 

-Ines

At the Crossroads

I am stuck. There are no other words for it. I am utterly and completely stuck inside my own head.

I am lonely and, arguably, throwing my life away. It takes time to accomplish one’s dreams, I know that, but I also know that if you want to make it, you have to seize that time. And I am not seizing shit.

I know I can become a lawyer, but I don’t think I want to. I know I want to become a filmmaker, but I don’t think I can.

So instead of following one path or the other, I stopped in the middle. I sat there at the crossroads having an existencial crisis and waiting for someone to pull me one way or the other.

I am well aware that that someone has to be me, of course, but at the time, I am too scared to move.

I have nothing on either side, but I have nothing here either. The only difference between staying or moving is that, if I move, I will build something. I just have no clue what will that be, and honestly, from here it looks like both sides are doomed to failure.

So what is there to do when you are terrified of moving along? Nothing. You do nothing and you feel nothing but shallow.

I can’t wait for the wind to push me to my happy destiny, because that will never happen. I have to reach for what I want and for once stop pretending I’m trying to grab it.

It is going to be the scariest thing in my life, but I genuinely believe that there is always a plan B. It is not going to be comfortable, and it will hurt, but so does now.

I keep giving myself little pep talks like this one and getting hopeful when in the end, it always seems like I end up hitting a wall.

I am divided and I can feel It coming back. Still, I do nothing to push It away. I subconciously encourage It, it seems.

It won’t ruin my life againn. That is the only thing I’m sure of right now. So wish me luck.

 

-Ines