30 July, 2007

For those who so love to complain about the infrequent updates

Shannon, this one's for you. :-P

It's come to my attention that my picture(s?) may be circulating the nets, specifically certain livejournal comms, as thinspiration. ...No, screw it, no, I don't want to write this update right now. I'm too tired and still way too conflicted about this issue to think it through clearly. I guess, can I leave the subject with the words 'cognitive dissonance'? Because that epitomizes and summarizes how I'm feeling right now. I feel guilty, hypocritical, flattered, guilty again, jealous and triggered by the thought of my own image as thinspo. It's doing quite a work on my head.

The rest of my body is sunburned.

The rest of my thoughts are tired.

And all of me is going to bed now...

22 July, 2007

Entry in Brief

If you'll take a look to your right at the Etsy widget, you may notice a new picture. This is because the self-injury awareness/recovery design is done!!! Yay!!!

...Not sure what all to say about that other than yay, it seems.

Actually, I mainly just want to get my butt off the computer and back to HP and the Deathly Hallows. I'm about three hundred pages in and want to plug away at it some more before working tonight... Harry Potter Harry Potter Harry Potter ZOMG!! LOL. Ummm, yes.

16 July, 2007

Idle hands...

It's odd how days off actually seem to be what kill me a little.

Working thirty-five to forty hours a week exhausts me on every level, but conversely it gives me a reason to get out of bed in the morning, shower, dress nicely, and generally pull myself together. I've lately had a bad habit (tongue in cheek on that 'habit' part) of dissociating somewhat throughout the work day... I'm the dead-end job zombie on so many levels. Is it better to go through a series of depersonalized days, but to get through them nonetheless, or to be like I was in DC and fall apart all the time at work? I'm starting to think the reason I never was promoted to a trainer position was that they couldn't trust my emotional stability... God knows how many times they had to send me home because I couldn't stop sobbing.

When I've got a day off, though, it tends to be bad news. Work keeps me busy, work keeps me distracted. More importantly perhaps, it keeps me talking to people and smiling a lot (even if the smiles are fake - fake it 'til you make it?). Days like today, I'm bogged down with household chores and domestic errands, like three hours at the DMV and hundred-dollar grocery trips. By the end of a 'day off' I'm more tired and emotional than a work day. More prone to sobbing and manic cleaning sprees as a method to hopefully ward off self-injury.

I play with my keettens and try to channel the emotional tension/energy into art projects, but more often than not I get frustrated with the whole affair and stare hopelessly at a blank page for hours. I try to read, but internal chaos can be unbelievably distracting. It's like being on a poorly fitting medication; the words jump on the page, lines blur and buzz, my eyes read and reread and generally can't stay focused for sh-t.

Being alone while Crystal's at work is especially bad. I talk to myself, I talk to myselves, I talk to the kittens, I talk to the walls. I fall silent when I feel especially crazy. The silence hems me in and makes me feel crazier. I turn on the TV for company and get angry at the characters for always saying the same things, never varying, never wavering or blinking if I scream at them. (Film characters are quite pretentious that way, it seems. Worst of all, if you watch the same movie twice, you'll notice no one ever does anything new, not so much as a sigh or a sneeze. ) So I turn off the TV and am again stuck with that god-awful silence....

Come August first my new insurance kicks in. God help the man who stands in the way of me and a psychiatrist... First thing I'm going to do is get on some meds.

Don't get me wrong, I still think medication tends to be overprescribed. From what I've seen, too many people are on it who don't need it, and the stigma surrounding medication because of that means that too many people who legitimately need it are afraid to take it. Our system is completely f-kd up. I want to slap every media guru who's referenced happy pills and made derogatory comments about crazy people, therapists, Freudian psychology, psych meds, and on and on and on. All this stigma and negative stereotyping doesn't make our lives any easier. It's hard enough to get onto medication because of personal fears; external derision helps nothing.

....Can you tell I'm a little out of focus tonight?

That's why I need medication... To calm the racing thoughts just a little, temper the moods, ease the rumination, soothe the reason-less hurt. Medication really does exist for a REASON. It really is meant to help, not stupefy or control or drug you happy. It doesn't work that way, for one thing. Medication isn't going to cure me in the slightest. It's just going to help calm me enough that I'll be able to get a more solid start on recovery.

14 July, 2007

Reflections on self-injury

Sigh... After an eight AM meeting, I opened this morning... And now, coming on briefly after I got off, Crystal closes tonight. So no baby all day. Makes me sad.

Feelings of instability have increased markedly lately. My feelings about eating (if not quite my habits themselves) have begun to improve, but the depression and anxiety hang around as they always have. It's been about four or five months since I last cut and the urges are strong again. They never really go away.

I don't talk about my cutting much. I guess that it's something which feels like it's always been with me and still feels more like a friend and companion than a bad coping mechanism or dangerous, destructive habit. It's one of those things which therapy has yet to talk me out of. So far most, if not all, of my previous therapists have wanted me to go to an inpatient facility to tackle the issue.

I've always argued around aggressive treatment/inpatient as primarily a matter of affordability (after all, right now I can't even afford therapy in and of itself) and secondarily as a Not Really Major Issue. Somehow the infrequency of my indulgence makes me think it's less of a problem. (Isn't it?) Things have never been so bad that I'd cut multiple times a day (well, not usually) and as a general course have been once every few weeks at most. Over the past year and a half or so, once every few months. That's not a big deal. Right?

Of course... There is the porning. Like I used to food-porn with anorexia, I cut-porn now. Most recently, the scenes in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix with Professor Umbridge's wicked little quill have provided both a trigger and feelings of satisfaction, at least to some degree. The internet teems with triggers and 'porn'. The imagination fills in where my physical actions continue to refrain. While physically I may not have cut for months, I guess you could say I'm a total porn addict. A few times a day, maybe. Constant daydreaming, sometimes.

Here's the thing, though. Technically, I'm not harming anyone by this. Beyond that, I'm not sure how to stop it. Beyond that, I'm definitely not sure I WANT to stop.

I never 'gave up' cutting as a personal resolution or a decision to recover, heal, overcome. I never have wanted to stop. (This was another reason I argued against inpatient: most places, unless you're a serious medical harm to yourself/others, require that you sign a contract certifying you're entering the program of your own initiative and with a strong desire to recover.) I suppose it's a sign that my thoughts in this area are still ruefully unhealthy or something, but no one's ever managed to convince me either of how cutting hurts me or how I'd be better off without it.

The reasons I've physically stopped are simple: other people. Namely, Crystal, my little brother, and total strangers who see my body and look horrified. Were I completely alone and able to ignore others better, I'd probably continue to self-injure on a weekly or daily basis.

I don't know how to deal with the sense of loss. I don't know how to cope with the feelings of self-hatred, anxiety, loneliness, emptiness, self-loathing, inadequacy, helplessness, mania - even just boredom. These are all some of the things which drive me to self-injury, physical or imaginary. When I'm not self-injuring regularly I feel a loss of identity and a lack of completion. Something is MISSING. I grieve for it in a way usually reserved for close loved ones. In the same way that I get confused about who I am if not an anorectic, I don't know who I am if not a cutter. (God, how BDSM does that sound?)

There's a hotline that I've often been referred to and never called - 1-800-DONT-CUT. It's supposed to be really good; I've read much of the book written by the people who started the line and they actually run the only inpatient program I've so much as considered for self-injury. (The reason I've never called is that when I'm to the point that I want to actually self-harm, I don't want anyone to talk me out of it, deter me, or break my mood.) Lately I've been wanting to call them just to talk about this in lieu of a therapist: how do I face the sense of emptiness that comes without cutting?

I wonder a lot if this is a normal feeling. More and more the Powers That Be are looking down on calling self-injury an addiction, opting instead for a more learned behavior, benefits/rewards approach, but I still feel like 'addiction' may be the best term. After all, don't recovering alcoholics, smokers, drug addicts reference this feeling of confusion, lack of direction, etc? (Hell, isn't that part of what AA and its higher power teaching is about? Just redirect that passion!) I don't know. It's one of those areas that I'm left aware both of my personal lack of knowledge and the communal lack of understanding in this area.

Therapists have given me dozens of worksheets and thought pattern charts and you-name-its to fill in, to understand the thoughts and emotions that drive my urge to self-injure. These charts often backfire and, instead of helping me to break it down and understand my feelings, lead me to think that I'm either too damn crazy for a chart or just plain have a glitch in the system. I've got so many filled out charts with reasons ranging from the classic 'anger at' whomever to things the docs can't understand (or accept as truthful) like boredom, feeling 'too' happy, feeling distractible, and missing someone.

Several docs have been adamant that all my urges are simple: anger turned inward. ...even though anger is rarely a motivating feeling.

Several tell me it's frustrated sexual energy, or sexual fear, or sexual something. (Freud is aliiiive!)

Others still insist I just want attention. (After all, I gave up a long time ago on trying to hide all the damn scars where most cutters will still opt for long sleeves no matter the weather.)

In the end, I often have to wonder if anyone truly has a solid understanding of self-injury, its triggers and motivators. Maybe that's why it's so hard to want to give up: if no one can help me understand what it is and how it works in the first place, how can they convince me it's an altogether 'bad' thing?


In other news, August 1st my new insurance kicks in. I stopped seeing Shelley about a month ago and have been (again) out of therapy since then. I've been unmedicated since February due to the whole insurance cut-off fiasco. All improvement, stagnation, or backsliding has been the result of lack of any sort of treatment whatsoever beyond the self-nurture I've learned to give myself.

I have the number for another therapist with whom I'm supposed to call and set up an intake... She has a lot of extensive, varied experience and works with an organization which seems to have really good policies toward medication... So I guess that once August rolls around we'll see what's what with that.

11 July, 2007


It's a bit of a weird day... I'm really homesick for my alma mater (which technically isn't, since I dropped out. but I'll always think of it that way), to the point that I've been sitting around studying textbooks for the hell of it and accidentally typed in my school e-mail address when trying to access my blog account. It's bizarre and painful to think it's only been seven months since all that sh-t happened. I'm all droopy and benadryl-groggy, too... Wasn't feeling well earlier today, took a pill, slept all afternoon, and now just feel disoriented. Hooray! >.<

'Lots been on my mind lately. Not updating makes me feel like a heel, but then when I open ze laptop I have no idea what I want to say. Usually ends up I say nothing, as you've seen. I wonder then if anyone still reads, (remind myself there have to be updates before there will be readers), wonder whether I've said so much as ten meaningful things in the last few months, wonder why I bother. Recovery lately has very much been a story of stagnation. Perhaps my thoughts and entries (i.e. the lack of content in said entries) merely reflect that.

The past couple weeks had me worrying quite a bit about Frank Warren, the PostSecret curator. There was a week's lapse in secrets for no explanation; the only change made to the site was to remove the link to the suicide hotline and one of the encouraging survival stories that's been there for ages now. Being the anxious sort of person I am, I e-mailed him a few times and when I didn't receive a response went so far as to find where I'd put his contact information ages ago and called him. If you followed the facebook drama especially, you'll know that hundreds of people were worried something seriously wrong had happened to him or his family - I include myself in that number.

Thankfully, he reappeared this Sunday with a new batch of secrets and a brief message of explanation. I gotta be honest, though: as a long time blogger, xanga-er, livejournaller, I still feel kind of hurt at the way he disappeared. I mean, a leave of absence is one thing. I've done it myself numerous times when things have gotten really bad. When you've got a huge crowd of readers, though, who have come to anticipate punctual updates, you can't just stop without any sort of reason. In the lj world, that's called pulling a limeybean. It's akin to internet suicide.


To transition to something less angsty and pissy... I give you CAT MACROS! We got our two little kittens last Thursday and they're the cutest pains in the ass you'll ever meet. Frankie is a grey tabby, Tallulah is a black-and-white 'socks' kitty. Unfortunately, my bluetooth receiver isn't working (i.e. no phone pics) and I don't have a digital camera, so I'm trying to figure out the best way to tell you what it's like with teh kittehs. Cat macros are my latest obsession and so, without further ado, here's my Life Wif Kittehnz post.

Approximately what Frankie looks like. And yes, that would be Frankie as in Sinatra, because this boy is the loudest whiny little brat EVER. He is a little more grey than this kitty, with more moozlepoof (see the rules of cuteness at cuteoverload.com).

Did anyone ever doubt the trouble and naughtyness of a kitten? Or two kittens...? Yes, they is naughty monkeys. But oh so cute.

Especially at night. When I'm trying to sleep. Only, imagine vampire cat attacking YOUR neck, ot the other cat's.

Tallulah has a problem. She begs. Shamelessly. FOR PEOPLE FOOD.


Aww squee. See, at the end of the day, THIS is why we got kittenz. (Cheaper than therapy and meds?)

OH YEAH, and, P.S.

We saw Harry Potter and TOOTP last night!!! God was it awesome. Yes, there were flaws... I mean hell, they turned the longest book into a barely two hour movie. But STILL, it was awesome. Go see. I will see it again.


For more cat macros, go to www.icanhascheezburger.com. Kthxbai!

05 July, 2007

Huh? Whazzat?

God, has it been a week already? I'm such a neglectful blog-mommy.

It's been quite the busy week. I've not put a pen to paper beyond shopping lists or taking orders at work... Forget journalling, writing, or any other form of creative expression. The art supplies remain packed. The shirt that needs to be shipped still has yet to be painted. I've been reading a good bit but that's about all the self-nurturing/development I've been up to.

It seems like I'm in one of those rough points in my life where I'm too busy scratching a living to get to enjoy it. Basically, this sucks. Waitressing really doesn't offer much by way of satisfaction and a sense of accomplishment at the end of a twelve hour double shift (re: today). I'm tired, drained, and brain-dead, but have nothing to show for all my work but swollen feet and a wad of ones and fives. No provocative writing or pleasing artwork. Hell, not even a clean house.

I'm too emotional to write well about anything related to mental illness. I'm too tired to research something to write a stimulating entry. Underweight girls, depressed, cringeing girls, girls with scars on their knuckles made me cry today. The weight of the world feels so, so heavy right now...

This entry is making no sense...


Sleep?Yeah... Sleep good... Tina go sleep now...