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Three Years On.

Three years ago at this very moment someone I loved died in a car crash.

This was the boy I was going to a gig with on the 21st of December. That was his funeral.
There are so many things I want to write down but don’t have the emotional energy.

Three years have passed since he stopped breathing. Three.
I messaged his sister with my true feelings for him, called his mum. Called my mum.
But he’s still dead.

I don’t know when I’m going to come to terms with this and I don’t know the point in this blog.
Much love

Laureljane x

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Depression, Mental Health, Self harm

scars, out there in the darkness.

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You got ’em?

Mine have faded over the years, but the little white grooves are still there. I’m still a stripy tiger. Rawr.

Some points on self mutilation –

Please note this is nothing profound quotable or beautiful.

1) Does it matter if it’s made with a blade or a safety pin? Whether you’re bashing your wrist repeatedly (if you haven’t noticed, Girl, Interrupted is a common theme in this blog) or just hitting your hands of things as you go to get a twinge? What about pulling your toenails off? Is it the same as taking 12 ibuprofen instead of 2? As far as this is concerned I take it on intention. Which, is indescribable. Why did I leave a flat party when I was 18, take the razor blade from behind my phone case and hack my arms to bits? I don’t know. But it sure as hell wasn’t for attention, but unfortunately I have met some people who think I am simply a wilting flower crying for help, perpetuating the stigma that it is a cry for attention. Making people who perversely want to seem like they are crying for attention engage in it to do just that. It’s confusing but I have met those types. Which brings me on to

2) Who sees them? In my life everyone apart from my parents have seen my arms. At the gym I don’t care, at work I wear short sleeves, when I perform I don’t wear a cover up any more. I used to spend a fortune on camouflage make-up but now I am beyond caring. Some may say that it is distracting, but I consider these to be my birth marks. However, I cannot show my parents because they actually created me, and I ruined myself. Which neatly brings me on to

3) Am I ruined? Which I can confidently answer with, fuck no. But I am aware not everyone sees this as the case. I never know how to feel when people say “that looks amazing, you can hardly see your scars at all and you still look good!” Are my scars like bingo wings? But should we be ashamed of the podgier or less firm parts of ourselves? I answer, hell fucking no – so should society view remnants of self mutilation in the same was as overweight people? I have no idea.

4) When a boy sees them. I have had sex with fresh scars, it did not put them off, but then again I’ve dicked some fucked up characters. Now I am healed over my boyfriend will never treat me any differently than if my arms, legs, shoulders, thighs etc. were clear. The first question he asked me wasn’t “why?” it was “why so many?” and this was almost a bonding experience because I couldn’t hide from who I was and he accepted it. So are my scars a screening process? What? I should probably redraft this or do a more detailed one later. I probably will, I just want to get these thoughts out there.

5) Ambulance chasers. You know the type, possibly a more archaic term is “white knight” types. I see them in the same way and boy do they love a girl with dead pupils and gnarled arms. They are easy to weed out though. The second they ask to see you take your medication or say they want to help you tell them to fuck off. This deserves another blog later on.

I should probably go to work now.

To finish I should say that my closest friends don’t make me feel any different for having a visible bruising from the past, and they understand that showing it isn’t brave or beautiful. It’s just a thing, aside from what makes me brave and beautiful. That’s a nice way to end it.

All my love

Laureljane x

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Bulimia, Mental Health

My friend, Mia.

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I never get much post at this address, unless it’s my mother sending me letters that are addressed to my home. My second name was spelled incorrectly, naturally, so it could have been anyone.

After completing a six month course of psychiatric counselling and they think you’ve made sufficient progress they abandon you for six months before they ask you if you still need help. I had to count months to realise six months really had passed since I last sat in Louise’s office, counting the charms on her bracelet and wondering whether she took a ten or a twelve as she asked me whether I thought I’d be okay in the next six months. I told her I’d be just fine.

Amica mia, my friend.

Mia was my best friend.

Upon waking my insides were clawed at. Sometimes it was the type that felt like flaming ants parading through your insides, sometimes it the type that churned with a dull thud that I preferred. You teach yourself that hunger is the best possible feeling imaginable. Avery’s mantra was “Better than anything you’ve ever tried, better than sex.” Jane’s was “Hunger hurts, but starving works.” Mine was a little lengthier, but it flew through my head like a “Hail Mary” every time an ugly temptation would come over me – “to live is to suffer, to suffer is to be beautiful, to be beautiful is to live” I made the mistake of sharing it on the internet, and some girl stole it and put it in her book about her recovery. Some girls would call us weak for finding pleasure in anything, it was a contradiction, you had to be thin to enjoy things. To find pleasure in the process was as much a sin as finding pleasure in food. They were my only friends, and I still don’t know whether they existed or were just dark little figures I created myself, that would upload when I opened my computer, filling their fangs. We would have contests, how many days you could fast, how quickly we could empty ourselves. We would buy our favourite food, the thing we missed the most, and compare how long we could stare at it before wanting it. If any of us caved we’d open a topic about our own failure and gorge upon the hundreds of posts taunting, shredding and ostracising the person who failed. I only made one, and only ever had to make one.

Some of the girls had boyfriends, the rest of us found it hard to believe they’d let anyone have sex with them until they’re perfect. That was considering we used to hold the mentality that we would be golden gates for men, when we were perfect all we would need to do was to simply let them in, and we would be so goddess like we wouldn’t mind.

Sometimes I’d forget there really was a world outside. I’d ignore it by characterizing people’s houses by the toilets you purged into, characterizing restaurants by how many calories you managed to dodge, characterizing people by their measurements.

My mother started to suspect so I had to be more creative with where I purged. I took up cycling, and cycle into a nearby village three times a day to use the toilets at the village hall. Once I walked into the forest and purged into a rabbit hole when they were locked and I was desperate. I thought of Lewis Carroll and a dainty little Aryan-like girl falling down it. When I was nine I had a little blue dress of Alice in Wonderland style that I wanted to fit again. Hanging at the back of my wardrobe like an echo it still is a teething disappointment, that I fear will break through my skin again one day.

I’d spend money I was given for lunch to buy magazines, Vogue, Tatler, Harper’s Bazaar, Cosmo, Glamour, Marie Claire, even the cheaper ones. I read interviews with celebrities about how “they couldn’t bring themselves to make themselves sick” and I wondered why the hell not. No one knows until they’ve tried it.

“Better than anything you’ve tried, better than sex.”

Then there was blood in the bowl and something changed. When I was another doctor’s surgery for something unrelated it spilled from me like in some sort of Seppuku ritual. I started seeing Louise the next week.

I got about 40 emails when I didn’t turn up to the forum for a week, 60 after another and 70 the next. Soon they stopped. They ranged from Constantine raging at me for failing, to Jess wondering how I was doing and girls I’d never even talked to wondering if I’d reached my T.W. None of them actually knew me, it all became a little odd after a while.

The website is closed now. I searched it out of curiosity a couple of weeks ago. Avery, Jane, Constantine, Jess, Sally, Autumn, their wavy faces disappearing. I wondered how many recovered, how many still suffered and if any had died. There was a rumour that Jess had the week before I quit, and I hated myself for not checking.

Laura emailed me a few weeks ago, she sent a picture and she looked beautiful. I could understand entirely how Susanna felt when she met Lisa at the underground in Girl, Interrupted, after recovery.

The letter is still virgin-pure, unsure whether further treatment is necessary and I don’t really care. 

Much love

Laureljane x

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Depression, Mental Health

Ramblings from the ward.

The Note

In November 2012 I tried to kill myself. The picture above is the note I left next to my bed. “I’m sorry you ever thought I was getting better. Maybe I was, maybe it was fake. I think everything is fake. I thought I would make this more poetic. I guess life isn’t poetic. Don’t miss me, I’m happy here.”

I’d been sick for a long time, and I knew it. A mixture of a shitty childhood and troubled adolescence doesn’t make for a stable young woman and my kicks came from masturbating my self destruct button. I was in a sort of hiatus from life, I’d lose my keys and think it was a perfect time to die. I’d hear someone sing perfectly, and just know I needed to die, somehow. I’d had a great day with my friends, so it seemed about right to do it then. The morning of the day I lined the pills up wasn’t like that, it was a billowing dark, with a centre of lazy melancholy. It crushed me but kept me hollow and I knew it was going to happen. I suppose on the surface it seemed pretty standard, my family weren’t talking to me, I was in an unhappy relationship with some who wouldn’t let me go but didn’t have the energy to care, my course was getting stressful, but inside the only reason I could care about was that there was something WRONG with me. I saw people at work in my shitty retail job kicking up a fuss because the home delivery would take three days instead of two and mattress toppers needed to air appropriately and I just wanted to pull them closer and seethe into their ear about the things I saw. So if they were normal, I was sick.

I saw myself hacked to pieces, I got the razor, and I made some pussy scars over the healing creases in my arms, and it didn’t help. My flatmate was out, I wasn’t, the thought of spreading my darkness made me sick. I called my boyfriend, he didn’t pick up. I didn’t think he would, but wanted to be surprised. I remember disappointment, feeling like I would never be surprised again. Like some child.

That’s when I started to take pills. As a suburban junkie and painkiller addict it wasn’t hard to find them. I was throwing them all in my mouth, even things that wouldn’t make a difference. I just needed the feel of them. This is when things get strange. The same darkness that whispered “die” laughed in a triumphant sort of sickening way “and now your mother will have a dead daughter.”

That was the first time life seemed an option. I left a message on the table for my flatmate, telling her  I was feeling dizzy and needed to get bloods taken. With my history this was a regular occurrence, she wouldn’t worry. Then when I died she’d think it was natural. But if I didn’t, I had cover. I went to A&E. I waited for two hours. I took some sheet music out of my bag, to just go over and learn it. I put it back, I was going to die, I would never sing again. I worried about an upcoming piano exam, but I would never have to sit it. But then I remembered if I died I’d never get to play Rach 2. So it was breaking even in my mind, so it wouldn’t matter if I lived or died, right?

A nurse pulled me aside, she took my blood pressure, temperature and asked me questions. I just didn’t speak and she didn’t care. That’s when they put me in the ward. That’s when a doctor told me he I was going to be okay.

I cried for the first time.

I didn’t sleep, the counterpoint and cross rhythms of separate drips and machines just haunted the backs of my eyes and all I could see was red. Someone started rustling a bag at 3am and I whispered “Shut the fuck up” (thinking there were about 10 people in the room and she wouldn’t know it was me, turns out I was just one of three, awkward.) Nurses don’t look at the suicide girls. They can’t smile at you. You have to be followed everywhere. They can’t close doors.

I stayed there for the week, I don’t remember a thing. Apart from a doctor telling me unless I quit painkillers, drinking and started taking better care of myself I wouldn’t see 25. I went to three different psychiatric evaluations. I couldn’t tell you what I said in any of them. I didn’t care, this was another hiatus, I was going to die.

I got out on Friday, I went to work and planned to take more next time. I knew it for sure now, but I just didn’t know when. I was an abortion, just trying to get an appointment that suited my schedule. I had to help a friend for her exam, couldn’t do it then. My shitty boyfriend was coming over, I couldn’t die before I broke up with him. I had gained two pounds sitting in hospital for a week, I couldn’t die fat. I was serving customers and seeing my colleagues and just wanted to tell them that the darkness wasn’t gone. They didn’t even know it was there. Turns out I was yellow, maybe they did notice, but didn’t say.

Something has kept me alive.

So, that was more than half a year ago.

Today I found my note and wasn’t afraid.

I have found the HERE where I am happy, or at least getting there. I am alive. My friends haven’t abandoned me, I have a boyfriend that loves me, my family are speaking to me. I think I have a future.

That isn’t to say it isn’t a struggle every single day. Which it is.

And this is why I am here.

Much love

Laureljane x

 

P.S

If you’re from my real world, feel free to ask me about anything you read, see, whatever, but please don’t talk about me to others. Don’t be concerned for me or ask people “how I’m doing.” It will surprise you who knows about these things and who doesn’t. Just be the same person to me and I will do the same.

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