Mention self harm and a third party suicide, so if those are triggers for you … you know the drill. Apologies in advance that this post is a bit all over the place.
Some of you know I’ve been going through something of a ‘dip’ lately.
It’s been great to exercise the skills I’ve been taught over the years, but sometimes things get a bit too much for my poor little mind, and it just goes AWOL – I go numb, to a greater or lesser degree.
This can be a very dangerous state, because it’s when I’ve been numb that I’ve stabbed myself or overdosed: it seemed like a good idea at the time. Of course, it’s not a good idea. In every case, it was a stupid idea, but in my altered state priorities get screwed around.
What’s numb look like? It can range from simply being devoid of emotion to full body paralysis, complete with lack of breathing. Nothing matters. Well, nothing except whatever’s on the TV or on the page in front of me.
A very important person in my life lost her brother to suicide on Saturday. She lives interstate, but she called and told me within minutes of finding out, because we had a phone date scheduled. I’m holding her and her loved ones in my heart. At the same time, I’m numb. The news triggered … nothing.
Well, actually, it seems to have triggered overload, and my mind’s run away to numb, instead of feeling the intolerable. I’m frightened.
I saw my therapist today. I was scared, because I thought he might start to unravel the numb, and then our time would be up and I’d be left trying to carry the overwhelming feelings alone. That’s what happened. Anyway, on the drive home, numb reinstated. It’s obviously my mind’s go-to defence mechanism at the moment.
So over the next little while I need to keep an eye on this numbness. I’ve asked to see my therapist for an extra session this week, because I want to be supported as I unpack it – after all, it’s there for a reason. He may or may not be able to see me. In the meantime, I need to make sure my mind doesn’t get stuck in some self-destructive rut.
I can do this. I can distract, improve the moment, self-soothe, write, watch, read, garden, sleep, be mindful, medicate if necessary.
And – most importantly – I can keep holding my friend in my heart. I didn’t know her brother, so it is for her that my heart is weeping. I love her so much, and I wish I could do more for her.
I’ve got to get away from this, so I’m taking sleepers and going to bed.