As I left Wyoming, I did my best to convince myself and everyone else that it didn’t bother me. And I think I was really able to believe this for a while, despite mounting evidence to the contrary. The reason I was able to believe it was because I’d convinced myself that everything would be fine as long as I continued to lose weight.
Everything’s cool as long as I’m getting thinner. That’s what I told myself. I felt pretty clever; I could lose anything else, but my body, that’s something I’d always have, for better or worse. That was all that mattered.
And as strange as that might sound, it was very comforting at the time. I was losing damn near everything else that mattered to me; of course I would cling tighter to this, which it seemed no one could take. And no one /could/ take it; I had to be ready to deal and come to terms on my own. Nothing anyone else could do could change that.
It’s important to me to work through this. I get the sense that actually processing it, as hard as it is now, will ultimately do me good. But I can’t articulate how bad it hurts.
I can tell myself and almost believe that there is hope for me yet, with philosophy and everything that connects with it for me, but the flashbacks still wreck me. When I’m in a depressive episode, there are times when nothing feels real. I feel like I’m drowning and suffocating at the same time.
When it’s bad, I feel like even I’m not real, and the solution (to me) seems to be cutting. I haven’t done it in years, and I don’t particularly want to, but in my crazy brain, it seems perfectly reasonable in the moment.
Saying I want to deal with all of this and get through it is easier said than actually doing it. However much I want to, I still don’t know exactly how to do it. Dealing with symptoms as they happen hasn’t been working. Flashbacks don’t happen on a regular schedule. Dissociation doesn’t, either. Sometimes they’re triggered by one thing or another, but not always. Sometimes they seem to happen at random, no trigger necessary. And in the middle of these things, it can be hard to think clearly and objectively. So, some sort of preemptive measure is probably the more efficient way to handle things.
And the only thing I can think to do is to intentionally bring my mind to the memories and whatnot and go through them bit by bit in a mindful, nonjudgmental way. I’m going to try journaling about them, possibly on tumblr, at least in part. I started talking about it for the first time, really talking about it, in therapy a few months ago. And it was horrible at first, getting the words out. I was shaking, and I wanted to cry. But then I realized there was some relief afterward.
It’s possibly not a great idea. This stuff fucks me up on a regular basis; not running from it anymore is one thing. Running intentionally into it seems like it could go badly.
But what else do I do? Not dealing with it hasn’t been working, and letting symptoms smack me upside the head as they will really isn’t, either.