It's been a while since I've written a post at 3:00AM....however last night and tonight I was awake for the majority of the time because of pain. So here I sit, hurting, and sending my lonely voice out to your 'ears' with the hopes of somehow connecting. Do you have nights when sadness keeps you awake? or Anxiety? Years ago I had many nights like that. In fact, every night was like that. In those nights, I journaled, or drew but more often I lit a cigarette and burrowed it into my arm--or took a razor blade and carved up my arms. I think about that now...now when pain doesn't have to be sought; it seeks me...and those nights, that pain, seems like it was another lifetime...and yet, at the same time, if feels like just moments ago I marred the surface of my arms yet again. And I feel the failure. The bitterness of loss.
It's weird. I do not often allow my mind to travel along these paths. But it was a big part of my life; a large chunk of time that we are talking about. Many years. Now I sit, burdened by my pain and I wonder why I sought more pain out when I was already in such unimaginable mental pain. To me, it used to be an expression of the pain I already was feeling. A means of bringing it out of the corridors of thought into the open air. Excising it. Releasing it. It said to me and to the world, "This is a bad person who deserves to suffer." And that indictment has followed me throughout my life and God has carried out that self imposed sentence and given me great suffering to bear that wore different coats at different time.
Mental pain is no picnic. It can drive you to do terrible things. Just ask Matt Warren. If I'd have had a shot gun back then, I would not have hesitated to use it. Instead I carved minideaths on my body and lied to cover them up. I wore long sleeves in hundred degree weather and told people I was cold! Now, rather than scar my arms, I make collages of health. Pictures of people who look like I'd like to. PIctures of vegetables and fruit. Pictures of people exercising. Now today, I try to care for this sick and pained body. I bathe and clothe it. I feed it healthy food. I'm committed to health.
But I'll be honest, in spite of these healthy gestures, there is, at my core, a woman who still struggles with that self inflicted pain. A woman who still symbolically cuts and carves and scorches. Will someday, she lay down the instruments of harm and lose this weight and stop torturing herself? I hope so. I think so. Maybe I just need to revert to the trick i learned those many years ago. "ACT AS IF." Act as if you cared about your self...about your body, about your future. Act and the feelings will follow. And largely, they did. I have to realize that that sad, angry young woman has been put to bed and she will not have a say anymore in how I live or what I do. It is only on lonely nights like this that she stirs in her sleep and maybe talks in that sleep....reminding me that she is there.
Goodnight Cynthia. Go back to sleep. Put your pain aside and rest. Tomorrow is a new day.