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

 

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