Jan. 2nd, 2016

rachg82: (Default)
It's about that time again -- time to look back at 2015, say goodbye to all the memories, and attempt to gather from them some semblance of meaning. For my new friends, an explanation: this post will contain significant excerpts from entries I wrote or vlogged throughout the year, kinda like a wordy time capsule. LJ has put stricter limits on entry lengths though, so I had to split this one in two. Turns out I had a lot to say in 2015. (note: there'll be pictures as well)

Gathering these quotes together, I couldn't help but think to myself, "Goddamn, the last six years have been brutal. I'm still here though. How am I still here?" It's really kind of remarkable. I have to believe 2016 will be easier in SOME way. I have to believe it so I can keep putting one blind foot in front of the other in the meantime. I realize life is full of ups & downs, but seriously, I have had enough downs since 2010 to last a lifetime. Day after day after day. That being said, there were also some positive developments in 2015. Somewhere along the way, I decided to try to commit to living -- not just until a certain date, like I usually did in the past, but for good (until the universe decides to take me out, basically). That doesn't mean I don't still get suicidal, because I do, and sometimes it reaches dangerous levels, but I think it matters that I at least try to tell myself it's not an option anymore. As Dar Williams sings in "After All," "And when I chose to live, there was no joy -- it's just a line I crossed. I wasn't worth the pain my death would cost." So I try my best these days not to consciously let myself go down that road, thought-wise. The intrusive, compulsive thoughts & graphic mental images still come on their own, uninvited, of course, which sometimes makes me feel like I'm being stalked & attacked by my own brain (the black dog of depression, as Churchill once said. It bares its teeth & nips at my heels every chance it gets, waiting for vulnerable moments to drag me down with it to Hell), but I make a concerted effort to let those ugly thoughts & images simply pass by without me being taken along for the ride.

Similarly, I threw out everything in my home that was sharp this summer, and I've only self-harmed once since then. There was a time when I couldn't go two weeks without cutting. And while I became extremely isolated this year--in part because of not working or attending school, in part because of overwhelming changes in my mental health which I'm still struggling to find successful coping mechanisms for, & in part because my migraines worsened--I didn't get admitted to a psych ward even once (in comparison, I was admitted once in 2013 & *three times* in 2014), I survived a lot & did it while tapering down off a high dose of Klonopin (a highly-addictive anti-anxiety med for those of you not in the know). I did it while I was hallucinating from stress. I also went back to my roots & began to express myself creatively again, writing more fics & poems than during any previous year. I began listening to Al-Anon podcasts again, opening myself up more fully to what that program has to offer. I stopped missing so many psych appointments, enough to where even my counselor noticed it & remarked upon it. So there are some good things to be said here in retrospect.

On the other hand, this year was incredibly challenging. That's painfully clear, reading all this. After a while, I began to feel like life was trying its very hardest to chip away at me until there was nothing left. Every time I began to find my footing, the ground beneath me was swept away again. Today, I really don't know what to expect next. I keep thinking things can't get worse, and then they do. But I'm still here, and I'm just trying to focus on The Next Right Thing. Trying to let go & get out of my own way. Trying to act as if I have hope -- to act as if I can handle what's around the corner when I'm honestly not sure. I think at this point that's all I can ask of myself.

But enough of all that, and on with the path down memory lane!

Life will find a way )
rachg82: (Default)
Darling, don't you close your eyes )

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