This evening, I was lounged on the couch nursing myself from my crash when I started running my finger down the bridge of my nose. It was a tactic used as a source of comfort when I was a child.
These days, it’s a subtle reminder of the horrific night of my first Blackout. The feel of the scars that run across my skin tonight made me finally decide to bring my shameful episodes out in the open.
I still remember the panic on my friends drunken faces as they suddenly sobered up and picked me up off the street. They got me inside to clean me up, and tried to calm me as I was frantically begging them to tell me what had happened.
“Please don’t panic, it’s not as bad as it looks…”
There was blood everywhere, all over my clothes, all over the tissues they cleaned my face up with. All over the kitchen knife I’d just had confiscated off me.
I was having one of my house parties, having a good time with my closest friends. And then all of a sudden I was sat on my doorstep sawing in to my face.
That was the first time it happened. I call them my blackouts, and to this day even my Psychiatrist hasn’t been able to tell me exactly why I repeatedly go through this. For ten minutes to a whole 12 hours I lose my memory and end up in an absolute mess.
I have a theory. I’ve began to predict a pattern that the blackouts only occur when I’m suspectedly high in mood. I’ve started to convince myself that when I am high, these emotions just get too intense for me that I lose control. 80% of the time I have ever engaged in a self-harm act – whether that me slicing in to my skin or taking an overdose – I have no recollection of it. My memory is always fuzzy up to a point, and then nothing. And when I’m down? Yes I used to SI when I was depressed back when I was at college (and addicted to it by then), but it was in a controlled way that I can honestly say my actions were of my own accord. I knew what I was doing and I put up with the consequences afterwards.
But when you feel you had no say in your actions, like someone else takes over your body and puts your life at risk then its a completely different story altogether. The amount of times I’ve woken up in bandages, bruises, nauseous from the amount of pills I’d taken the night before and not had a clue how I’d gotten in to that state is frightening to me. Waking up in a locked bathroom alone and scared in a pool of my own blood, with the last memory I had of me frantically cleaning the apartment at 2am in tears of joy at how lucky I was to have such an incredible life and how amazing I felt! I was scared of myself, and throughout my teenage years, when the number of these episodes increased and got more severe, I began to hate myself.
And so, that’s when I decided to start taking over and I began to self-harm in a controlled way.
The blackouts still happened, but this time, I was addicted to the sensation of the release it gave me. When I’d ran out of room on my body to hide it, I’d stopped caring. When The Boy begged and pleaded me to stop punishing myself, I started to cross – addict in to other hidden ways to hurt me. The painkiller addiction started. I wanted to stop this behaviour, but I was hooked. Relapse after relapse after relapse pretty much sums up my life from ages 16-21.
These manic blackouts obviously have some kind of dissociation/amnesiac explanation to them. And I am yet to find someone who can eliminate them completely from my life.
Of all the posts (yes, even The Wolf one!) This has yet been the hardest post to write. I hope something will come of me getting it all out in the open as yet another secret of my subconscious has been unlocked.