Taking Control

Taking Control

06.05.2019

It’s likely to be a hospital trip after all. Maya has persuaded me with her persuasive power to take care of a stationary admission. Sure, I’m feeling relatively well right now, but she pointed out that this is not a decisive criterion, as this mood can also quickly turn upside down again. When she reminded me that she had been with me for almost ten years now and had seen what this disease was doing to my life, I simply couldn’t disagree. All my knowledge, all the advice I give other people, I almost never use for myself. She said that my arrogance would eventually kill me because I am so presumptuous to believe that I can cope with this disease alone and overcome it on my own. I think it is time to admit to myself that I am unable to do so. I have tried it over the last few years, but if the last few months have shown me one thing, it is that this attempt has ultimately failed. I advise anyone suffering from a mental illness to seek professional help, but over the last few years I have done everything but listen to this advice. Maybe, no, no more maybe. Something definitely has to change. I have to change. Change my behaviour. One more time. If I want to survive the next few years, then I have to acknowledge that I need help from a doctor. That I can no longer do it alone, but better sooner than later do everything necessary to get along with myself and my life. I don’t know at this point how it looks with medication, because as far as I know there is no effective medication for the treatment of borderline and the last time I tried it (and when the diagnosis was not yet made) the consequences were rather unpleasant. Therapy will be absolutely necessary, so that I will learn strategies to deal better with the effects of the disease. I had always assumed that I only needed to read enough research to know what to do, and maybe that’s true. I probably have enough theoretical knowledge to actually know how to behave during these periods. However, it seems that all this knowledge is not enough to enable me to actually implement it. Or I overlook something essential. In any case, it is necessary for me, through professional care, to achieve the stability needed to restructure my life and live an organised life. Completely exaggerated, fucked-up characters are usually only exciting in movies, because we know that they fulfill their role within the structure of the movie and therefore work. But nobody sees how these people live their everyday lives. What daily challenges they have to struggle with and how difficult it is for them to get anything done in a reasonable way. I have felt this more than clearly in recent years. I have made so many mistakes, claim an unbelievably crappy impulse control to be my own and regularly lived a life to the limit and beyond. Of course such extremes are very attractive for an audience that sits comfortably in the cinema armchairs and is amused or repelled by the peculiarities of these people. But actually experiencing these excesses yourself is not necessarily the most enjoyable experience. I am not a movie or book character, rather I have a very real life. But living this life like a movie inevitably causes problems. If I ever write a book about how such a life actually feels, other people might understand that this is not a desirable state. Or maybe I’m also writing that book right now? Presumably, at least some of these thoughts will flow into the plot, for that they are too genuine and simply reflect too well through which extremes one walks almost daily. So there is probably something good about the fact that I take the trouble to write down this chaos. At some point I might actually be able to capitalize on it. A big toast to my materialistic worldview. It would be too bad, if I would use all these hours of writing only for myself, but nobody else. If I succeed in benefiting from it in a sustainable way, it would have its upside.

Light and Darkness

Light and Darkness

05.05.2019

The advantage of extreme mood swings is obvious: As fast as bad episodes occur, they can disappear. Today, especially in comparison to yesterday, was actually quite good. Although I didn’t get anything productive up and running, I wanted to take some rest after the stress of the previous day. This may sound a little like a vindication, but at least I keep the routine of daily writing, even if it’s just these thoughts here and I write them again at night and nothing in the morning. Nevertheless, the deed itself counts, the when is secondary. Because I have decided to write regularly in the evenings, I somehow feel forced to go to bed earlier, because the silence for writing with pleasant music takes place in the dark on my laptop. There are no streams or games to distract me, but I have complete focus on what I’m doing right now. If I can somehow manage to get my crazy sleep rhythm back on track, then that’s fine with me. It’s the small steps that establish our habits and ultimately shape what we perceive as life. Here they are again. The Instagram slogans. Very good. Another sign that things are looking better again. Fortunately, Word has a practical search function that allows me to find these placative statements later and perhaps at some point actually give them their rightful place. If I then become a mega hip influencer, because all sorts of people like my super profound thoughts, that wouldn’t be without a certain irony. Then, out of the suffering, which is often part of these words, came something good in the end. I don’t want to die. In spite of an experience like yesterday this decision is certain for me. I didn’t finish it then and I won’t do it now. I believe that my struggle, my experience is too significant to give up. Not only for myself, but also in its symbolic effect for others. If, at some point, I finally decide to publish these lines, other people may be able to draw new courage from them. You will see the unfiltered abysses through which I sometimes walk, but also the way out. Or at least some valleys and oases that promise improvement. Perhaps this linguistic picture actually frames life with mental illnesses very well. While some people walk the sunlit cliff street of life, some of their fellow human beings fight their way through the abyss right next to it. But while the sun is making its way, for a few moments it illuminates even the darkest abysses and sometimes this brief moment is enough to awaken new courage, new hope, another attempt to escape from this abyss. Perhaps someone throws them a rope which they can only see with the light of the sun and can now finally grasp, or a few protruding stones bring a strenuous but promising ascent into the realm of possibility. Whatever it may be, these short moments of light can mean the decisive difference between life and death. I know I am just writing these words because today I was lucky enough to wake up with this light, but even during my darkest hours in the past months, I never wanted to put an end to my life. I knew that my head was telling me lies, that I was not this completely incompetent loser as it would like to portray me. That there are many people who care about me and value my work. I know that it is possible for me to help many people with my words. To give up now would be to destroy the work of years and possibly cause a reaction in others like “Well, even this guy gave up at some point because he had no strength left”. I don’t believe that living with mental illness means eternal agony and damnation – or even a death sentence. I believe that it is possible to immerse the abyss in glowing light and see hope where before there was only darkness, pain and despair. A better life is possible.

Pleasures of Self-Destruction

Pleasures of Self-Destruction

04.05.2019

Today was…extreme. In many ways. The fact that I write these words in the middle of the night before going to bed and not, as usual, in the morning after waking up, already speaks for itself. I actually wanted to go to the ASP concert and meet Alicia. Instead I struggled half a day with panic attacks and spontaneous howls. I tried to get rid of my ticket so that at least somebody would get some joy out of it and so I drove halfway through town to give it to somebody who wanted to try to get rid of it on-site. People were everywhere. So many people. I could literally feel my pulse accelerating with every second I spent among them. I just wanted to scream, wished they would suddenly disappear. I had to think of Dr. Manhattan in Watchmen. There’s this one scene where he’s pestered by a crowd in front of a running studio camera and confronted with a situation he can’t control. A quiet “leave me alone” is followed by a louder one, then another, until he finally uses his powers to teleport all the people away from the TV studio. Unfortunately, I am not Dr. Manhattan. Although that’s probably better. Otherwise, many of the places where I find myself would very quickly be very empty. As long as I was outside, I could still keep myself under control, but as soon as I had returned to the safety of my own walls, these powers left me. Again and again I had to pause because emotional pain took my breath away and I lost the fight against tears every time anew. The desire for a few milligrams of Tavor and a knife had rarely been so strong. I haven’t felt this extreme despair for years. For so long I thought the worst was over. I had hoped that I would never have to go through these extremes again. But now I’m not so sure anymore. The desire for nightly excess returns. Drugs, sex, alcohol, no matter what, as long as it simply destroys me. Anything is fine by me as long as it numbs my feelings. I miss those days. When nothing mattered. It was only the rush, only the excess, only the countless nights in a state of altered consciousness. Sure, now I live safer, healthier, better, fitter and all the other beautiful, shiny depictions. But with every day that passes I feel more fucked up than ever. What do I care about alcohol poisoning if I feel at least for a moment a bit less? My best friends have been trying for weeks to persuade me to go back to therapy. Fuck, I admitted it to myself a few days ago. And now what? Now I want rush and a knife. Life at the crossroads. I have to decide how I want to spend the next few years. Either in excess and die before I turn thirty or listen to the advice of wiser people and seek professional help. My mind knows exactly what to do. My completely crazy emotions are not so sure. They love the rush. They remember the intensity of those nights back then. How reckless I was then. Nothing was important, just the moment. Night after night spent in crowded clubs and bars, sweating, drinking people around me and for a short time, the pain disappeared. But when it came back, it was all the more violent. It was also the time when I was repeatedly driven to the clinic by ambulance because my mind could no longer bear the strain. Or I myself drove to the psychiatric emergency room with my roommate in the middle of the night to get some Tavor which at least calmed me down a bit. The excess and its drawbacks. There’s always a morning or night after, but it’s usually much worse than anything that happened before. So I’m lying here in the middle of the night wondering what to do with myself. Therapy seems to be the best of all options. Would at least increase my chances of survival several times over. But will I be able to wait at all for months? Do I have the strength to wait so long for help? Maybe a clinic would be better. At least for a while. Until I have regained some stability. Oh, I don’t know either. My thoughts are confused. I would love to cry again. But I probably won’t find an answer through that either.