On being a problem

Trigger warning: Self harm scar pics, mental illness discussion, eating disorders, general depressing shit really. 

I am pretty out and proud about the fact I have a mental illness diagnosis. The validity of that diagnosis, I could debate for days, but as things stand, I have Borderline and Depressive Personality Disorders. I also have hella social anxiety or you could call it Avoidant Personality Disorder, I don’t know. The whole diagnosis thing is fuzzy and vague and controversial.

What I do know though, is that I fucking struggle. I’m guessing/hoping that most people don’t have all the fucked up thought processes, bad habits, and maladaptive coping mechanisms I do. If you do though, props to you for making it this far while putting up with this bullshit.

I used to self harm. In my teen years, I made a good mess. It was the only way I could figure out to calm the overwhelming negative emotions that overtook me.

 

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My beautiful arm. Most people are actually decent human beings about my scars. 
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I’ve long since come to terms with my scars, but when it come  to employment and other people who are socially ‘above’ me, I know I am very much judged. 

I stopped self harming. I had some therapy, but mostly I did it by myself. Because I found that starving was better.

When it came to the eating disorder, the therapy was more important. I had weekly appointments with a mental health nurse who seemed real cool. It seemed like she actually understood me. She was pretty young and generally nice. Though she told me the real disgusting truths about eating disorders. About the horrible results you can get from fucking with your body so hard. I thought I was doing OK, but one week I fucked up and lost too much weight. This nurse who I thought was my ally, threatened to send me to hospital, get me sectioned where ‘they could do what they wanted to me’, and I caved. I ate and ate and never looked back. I ate myself into an amazing bulimia. The cure was worse than the disease. But I quit that as well, with no help from anyone. Except maybe my mum. My mum is the unsung hero in all this bullshit.

 

My Good Weight
Me at a low weight (<100lbs?) and standing on freezing concrete barefoot because I wanted to look dramatic or something. I was a stupid teenager. Sorry any teen readers, but seriously, it will get better, you will get through it.

 

I don’t cut or burn or poison myself anymore. I don’t starve or purge. I don’t attempt suicide.

I still think about this shit, but… I don’t do it. I just make myself not do it. Every single day for years I have thought about hurting myself and I haven’t done it. Suicidal thoughts haunt me against my will. The reason I can’t think clearly is probably because I am suffering decision fatigue after 90 times a day deciding to not die.

I know that people wonder why I haven’t done better with my life, why I haven’t achieved more. Well, sometimes just fighting myself for the right to stay alive is a full time job. I know nobody will pay me, but that’s the harsh truth. Mental illness has a real impact on my life, and it isn’t something that can be cured by exercise and healthy eating.

Believe me, I tried. Vodka works better. My official therapy starts at the beginning of next year, and a large part of it is teaching coping mechanisms that aren’t massively self destructive. I’ve written about it before, Dialectical Behavioural Therapy, and I do have real hope that this will give me a real chance.

Until then, leave me the fuck alone.

(This post prompted by my dad deciding that we need to have a talk tomorrow about my ‘future career’ and my ‘habits and lifestyle’. My career is writing this blog, and my habits and lifestyle are ‘not committing suicide’. Is that not sufficient? Can I not even have peace until January?)

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On being a problem

Social Networking

Find me on Instagram as Scabette or on Twitter also as @Scabette or talk to me in the comments. I don’t understand self-promotion on social media. I don’t understand self-promotion in general. It’s like everyone is running around with ‘personal brands’ and personas, joined up social media platforms, a life they project carefully and beautifully online and on stage. I feel like there is some networking thing I missed out on. Am I just not spending enough time on the internet, ‘liking’ peoples’ stuff so they will ‘like’ me back? Why would I do that? Is this whole thing really so vacuous?

I’ve found really amazing blogs and Twitter accounts and Instagrams. But it’s hard to find them, through all the other rubbish. I have no idea how to feel part of it. I feel alienated from the internet just as much as I do from regular life. Online social interaction is almost as stressful for me as real time. This blog is just me sitting in the corner, muttering to myself.

Edit: Since I wrote this post, I figured out some tech skills and added a link to my Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to the header of this blog. I have no idea if this was a terrible mistake or not…

Social Networking

Unemployable

3pm, the kitchen of a suburban home. I am in dressing gown making coffee and taking a stack of vitamin supplements with reheated pizza. Dad is standing there wearing a fleece and berating me about my low standard of physical fitness. The track of conversation suddenly changes:

Dad: You need to get a job

Me: Who would employ me?!

Dad: ?

Me: I’m disassociated half the time, can’t remember shit, have violent screaming meltdowns when things go wrong, and frequently am driven to run away by panic. Also I’d turn up drunk.

Dad: Well you need to work harder.

Ten minutes later

Dad: sternly
Why are you crying?

Me: Leave me alone!

Unemployable

Weekend was good

I performed and I sucked. But saw some amazing poets and artists. Spent time with a bunch of my bestest friends. Boat times, Hive times, flat times with little hypoallergenic cat so I didn’t die!

I didn’t take any photos at all. I never do when I’m actually busy having a good time. Hopefully someone else took some. Also I wish there was a video of Karoo Chanti, amazing spoken word artist who left the room weeping, I’m not exaggerating here, she bared her tears on stage and brought our tears out also, baring witness reading eyewitness accounts of genocide in Serbia and how the ‘International community’  and UN fucked off and left humans to be slaughtered.

LoudSpeka and Cosmic HipHop were brilliant, the whole night was amazing. Apologies, I know I’ve not mentioned some people but my brain is mush right now. I’ll just say that the performers were amazing, the space was amazing, and the audience was incredibly giving and inclusive. Such an amazing atmosphere, I’ve never seen anything like it. I’ve realised a whole other world exists, and it’s better than the one I usually inhabit. May there be many more events like this.

Just sad I didn’t stay to sneak into the Burning Man Decompression After-Afterparty, which from eyewitness reports was a sweaty glittery genderfuck unicorn fairy cuddle orgy.

***

Good news everybody! We raised enough money from Spoken Word, for the soup run to carry on until Spring, including some Christmas presents for these folks who would otherwise be looking at a pretty bleak Winter of fuck-all. It’s been blowing a gale with this Hurricane Barney or whatever  it’s called, but the soup volunteers went out last night. Nights like that, imagine living on the street. Just the simple gift of warm soup could save your life.

God Bless Brian, who organised the poetry night and who runs the soup run with his church. He’s fighting cancer and fibromyalgia and should be in bed but instead he is running about kicking ass and helping so many people, as well as being a good friend and looking after my stupid ass.

Thank you Brian, thank you Hive for hosting us and being generally cool, and thank you performers and audience alike. You made beautiful vibes, a night to remember, for a cause never to forget. Love. ❤

 

Weekend was good

#29 – “The Borderline States” – An Essay by Lloyd Ross, Ph.D., Therapist with 40 Years’ Experience Treating People Labeled BPD

Source: #29 – “The Borderline States” – An Essay by Lloyd Ross, Ph.D., Therapist with 40 Years’ Experience Treating People Labeled BPD

#29 – “The Borderline States” – An Essay by Lloyd Ross, Ph.D., Therapist with 40 Years’ Experience Treating People Labeled BPD

Not Very Shitty Craft #2: Earring Storage Box

I claim absolutely zero credit for this idea. It all came from a genious Redditor who did a vastly superior job at this project.Thankyou, u/allrattedup. You have genuinely changed my life.

But I tried it out, and didn’t make an absolute balls-up of it. That means that this must be an extremely easy craft idea, and more people should know about it. It’s also incredibly cheap, and actually very useful. It’s coming up for Christmas (I am SO sorry for mentioning that), but if like me you’re planning to spend zero cash of gifts, you should be taking a note of these budget handcrafted/recycled gift ideas.

I have 5 earlobe piercings, so I go through a lot of earrings. Studs are the easiest jewellery to lose. They are small and fiddly, and have even smaller, fiddlier backs to keep track of. There are plenty of hangy thingies to store hoop or hook earrings, but storage for studs is hard to find. You could just chuck them all in a box where they get all tangled and messed up and you can never find a matching pair and the backs all fall off and you don’t know which back goes on which stalk and everything is terrible. Or, you could make a box like this.

How to make a storage box for stud earrings.

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Firstly, take one box. It should probably be at least an inch deep inside. I used this cute wooden box with a butterfly on it that my auntie gave me for Christmas.

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Second, take a pack of foam bendy rollers. You can find them in the hair & beauty section at Poundland, 99p store, and other extremely cheap and nasty outlets. One pack should be enough, unless you’re making a fucking enormous box for a truly ridiculous earring collection. If that’s the case, I admit only partial jealousy.

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Three: dismantle the rollers. They have a wire through the middle of them, but it is easy to remove. Just push off the cap and pull the wire through from the other end.

Four: Now you basically have a bunch of squishy foam tubes. Cut them to the length of your box and squeeze them in. It might be a tight fit but they’re squishy, you’ll manage (hopefully, or you might have to start cutting things in half lengthways and that’s way too complex for me to offer any advice).

So, here is my box of foam tubes. Just poke the earrings inbetween the rollers and the foam holds them in place. The backs stay on, they don’t move around, and you can fit quite a lot of earrings in a pretty small box as well!

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Happy crafting, and thank you to u/allrattedup for the inspiration.

Not Very Shitty Craft #2: Earring Storage Box

More Earrings!

When I started this blog, I envisaged writing mostly about Literature, poetry, politics, psycho/neuro/chiatry and a sprinkling of aesthetics. Maybe a little magic. Instead, enjoy your earrings.

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I’ll not run out of earrings for a while now.

Some bought, some made by me, but most of them are gifts transported across the world on a complex journey from my Indian cousin, via Leeds, London, and several relatives. Uma, it was a journey, but we made it in the end.  ❤

I have 3 piercings in each earlobe, so I go through a lot of earrings. Before the beautiful blessing from my cousin, I was down to my last two rings. I’m terrible at keeping earrings. Every time I get drunk I lose at least one.

I do own some expensive earrings I got as an 18th birthday present, but I never dare to wear them. I just know the back will get caught in my hair or something, and then I’ll have to explain to my grandmother how I lost an 24 carat gold, sapphire and diamond heirloom. I have very few valuable pieces of jewellery, and I keep them locked away. I am not responsible with valuables.

So this is my stud/pin earring collection. Some just bought cheap off eBay, some exotic finds, some pretty expensive gifts (made of actual silver and everything!), and some handmade by myself with all the power that entails. If you’re really bored, there’s a fun guessing game for you. Which is which? What did I make, what’s Indian, and what is a genuine commercially available piece of jewellery? Answers in comments please.

I will soon write a post about the craft skills behind the earring storage box. Keep reading to discover that thrilling information!

More Earrings!