Saturday, 30 July 2016

Do you even remember how you felt?

For me, the biggest life-threatening symptom of BPD has been experiencing unstable and intense emotions.
The reason this was so unsafe for me was because it often meant that I'd have these very negative (sad, hopeless, angry etc.) intense moments as a result of a situation but I would still go and put myself in that same situation. There's one incident/example of this that really sticks out in my memory; it was in the weeks just before my 2 year-long admission; when I was probably the most poorly and would be overdosing around 2 or 3 times a week. Since I always took the same tablets, I always needed the same anti-dote: a lovely little medication called Parvolex. As it needed to be administered intravenously (through your veins) it meant a lot of needles and at one point I had medical professionals asking if I took drugs because I had all of the needle stick marks and useless veins. And so, there was this one admission where the A&E staff couldn't find a single vein so they decided to administer the treatment by drilling straight into my shin bone. Apparently it wasn't going to hurt because the area that was drilled into was numbed with lots of anaesthetic but when the medication was being pushed into it I was screaming in agony. And here's my point; I can remember my reaction but not how I actually felt in that moment. I know I was in pain but I can't remember how much it actually hurt. I can remember that it wasn't for another four hours that the Doctors and Nurses finally looked into why it was causing me so much pain, but I can't remember how angry I felt towards them for not listening to me. I remember that after they realised the pain was because my bones were too dense they removed the tube, but I can't comprehend just how relieved I felt. It's like I know these things happened but I can't remember how I felt during any of it. I know I was sore, angry, and relieved, but I don't remember what they felt like. And so, within a week I was back in A&E having taken another overdose. I think that it was because of the two adjectives I used in the first sentence of this post; 'unstable' and 'intense.' 
These intense emotions were so completely overwhelming that it felt like they consumed my entire body; like they were all I was. I had no bones that would break from jumping, no organs that would fail from overdosing, no skin to bleed from cutting and no life to lose. And so, I could react however I chose to; but it also meant that because it had been so overwhelming, I'd had no room left in my head to remember the feeling. And it was all so unstable that the emotion would be gone before I had a chance to even try and acknowledge it, let alone process it.

Looking back, I can't believe that I could ever have forgotten those feelings and put myself back in the situations that had caused them. But having realised the exact same had happened during my trauma, I can see that perhaps it has been a positive thing; a way of protecting myself. Because remembering them would've made it so much harder to experience any positive one.

I saw Andy Murray winning Wimbledon this year and the look on his face looked like something I'd experienced. I can remember being on the dance floor with two of my bestfriends, Kaiser Chief's Mr Brightside was playing, there was cameras flashing, I could hear people laughing, and I looked up to the ceiling, closed my eyes, and spread out my arms. And I told myself to enjoy that overwhelming happiness and stay in that moment. It was at my 100k party to celebrate having 100,000 readers on I'm NOT Disordered.

And I remember that exact feeling and that exact moment. Seeing that on Andy Murray made me realise how lucky I am that after everything I've been through; all of the hurt, trauma, tears, anger, screaming, needles... My greatest memory is a positive one, it's of the happiest moment in my life.