For the last few months I have been doing an excellent job of “holding it together”. I smile, laugh and slip into a genuinely happy head space. I’ve been able to work (aside from my wrist injury), I’ve spent time with friends, I’ve kept in touch with family. Now – now things are falling apart. My capacity to keep appearing to be happy has greatly diminished. When I’m alone I don’t smile and can’t stop the tears from spilling over. In front of people I may appear a little quieter but I still smile, make jokes and seem okay.
I know I’m heading down.
For months I’ve been coping reasonably well. Using all the strategies and skills I know to cope and maintain my sanity. I think the issue is that the pain I have inside of me is now so overwhelming, and I’m so emotionally exhausted, that healthy coping mechanisms don’t work so well (or I don’t have the energy to use them). It means that I’m resorting to the not-so-healthy coping mechanisms. The self-harm, the restrictive eating, the binge eating. None of them will actually make me feel better long term but, for now, it’s about survival.
I am so close to crumbling. So, so close to not being able to get out of bed and face the world. My head might be a little fuzzy from lack of food and the urge to self-harm rarely leaves but I am still going. Pushing through and trying to be okay. It doesn’t help though, it makes it harder. No one is used to seeing me struggling. Until I’m acutely suicidal or physically unwell from eating disorder behaviours I’ll generally still be smiling and cracking jokes. I might have self-harmed just minutes ago but I’ll still answer the phone with a bright and happy voice.
I am surviving. I do think that things are going to get a whole lot worse before they get better, but I’m trying to hold onto the belief that I will come out the other side. Hope of surviving this episode of insanity is disappearing fast. I will. I always do. I just don’t know how.