Spine serpentine snakes coils flicks rigid
crawls through skin this
sweated penance crawls
into the heart
Remember the difference between arteries and veins:
veins go ve(IN) towards the centre of you
trying in vain to send a message of warmth to the core
Skin is permeable paper membrane
pierced by the faint glimmer of stars
the sharp ends of the moon’s whetted sickle
hundreds of hypodermics
Pierced by need
coiling kundlini rising from its fetid nest at base of spine
mouth agape fangs snagged on raw nerves
constricting crushing stomach ribs lungs liver to
from which it has sucked the stagnant blood
Serpent tongue flicks forked into thoughts
adrenal glands spasm faced with
horror. hardwired. primal.
A predator is close,
you are hunted
twitch like a rabbit. Break-
Dart free of your body, if you can –
O serpent of starvation, you will never be fulfilled
This is part 2 (Day 5) of the NaPoWriMo Poetry Dump. Read the first part here. It continues here.
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.
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.
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?)
And ain’t none of them good for parties.
Amoxycillin, prednisolone, ranitidine.
Ibuprofen, echinachea, evening primrose oil, herbal sleep aid (hops, Valerian & passionflower – about a quid from Wilko. I prefer something stronger but I do appreciate this stuff too. It do work.)
As seems to happen lot these days, I went to London, had a intensely excellent time, Anarchist Bookfair then catch up with mates I haven’t seen for ages. Of course I must pay for all my joy, so i came back extremely sick. I blame the cat. I am so tragically allergic that I generally require medical help after staying with a kitty for over 36 hours. I spent 11 hours behind enemy lines this time and and was destroyed.
Some of my friends were already so busted that they were trying to carry out a clandestine (sorry for busting your cover guys) antibiotics swap to try get at least some kind of help for everyone’s chest infections and fresher’s flues, so I assume I caught something from them in a perfect timing to combine with the cat asthma Catsthma? Can I call it that? Or is that too cute for a disease that had me coughing up blood and for once in my hypochondriac life, actually wondering whether to call 111 or whatever.
Learning curve: asthma is scary as fuck. Pain crushing your chest, gasping for breath through the froth and gunge that suddenly seems to be filling 90% of your airways. You’re dizzy and confused from lack of oxygen, trying to keep talking just to prove that you still can and that means you can’t be dying.
Next day, along with the pills up there, the nurse gave me my own inhaler, and may we never be parted.
So this weekend was a mad adventure of concordance and coincidence, facilitated greatly by Hels being lovely and loved; whenever I go out with her, we always find friends. Two nights of partying and sleep deprivation, and we also ended up spending a day at Breaking Convention, the psychedelics conference in the insanely regimented surroundings of Greenwich University. Many neat grass squares and white stone columns.
We were taken there to help out a beautiful old lady who dresses like a shaman and sure as hell knows how to draw people in and create powerful rituals. Honouring the life/death aspects of the sacred feminine, running around screaming ‘CUNT’, and people really wanted to join in, there wasn’t enough room for them all at once to touch the life-size female form, they were really getting into that cunt. Seems like there is a great hunger for that kind of thing, at least amongst the seekers and scientists of that day.
The actual very important point of this post maybe:
I met this guy! David Graham Scott, who is actually a Scot, and a film maker whose work I know from years on Youtube. Though he has been shown in more selective places like the BBC. He’s a really really nice guy.
Here is his first documentary, which was one of the catalysts to bringing ibogaine into more mainstream awareness. David was a heroin and methadone addict, but he got clean with this plant and ritual. It’s been over ten years now, and he’s not gone back, he’s making his art and spreading the word, trying to help and inform other people. Ibogaine has been reported to help end addictions to opiates, cocaine, alcohol, and even nicotine, as well as offering insight and recovery into past traumas in a way that can offer a pathway through PTSD and depression. It’s not a magic cure though…
Warning: this documentary is intense.
Seeing someone who’s come so far, from way worse shit than I ever had to deal with, is inspiring. I think this is the first time I ever met someone internet famous/a creator of work I admire, and he was so friendly and caring and genuine that it’s like I actually feel like a better, happier person. Maybe because I disproved my evil internal voice, which says that no one would possibly ever want to meet me, and especially not someone well known who has useful things to do and more interesting people to talk to.
I don’t know if it’s just the antidepressant effect of sleep deprivation, or the effect of spending time with two real close friends and meeting many more new friends as well, but I feel good, still 3 days later, though it’s starting to fade now I’ve fully caught up on sleep. Maybe I just sleep too much…