Sometimes I do things and even I don't know why.
Thursday, Day 10 of 30 in my diet:
Went to my volunteer place, did stuff fairly as normal mostly sitting and making up cottons & cookers bags until the arthritis said "no". Sometimes I push for 100, which is probably twice what I should really do in one sitting. But I wasn't pushing this time, just doing it leisurely, and it seemed every time I sat down a client walked in, so I have no idea how many I really did. Not one-hundred.
Ate leftover rice & beans, plus earlier I'd gotten my Starbucks soy latte and a banana. A pretty good day. Then I went on a binge. And I have no idea why.
Partly it was because a friend showed up, saying he "missed me" which was part true and part bullshit. We hung out for a bit, and then ended up getting something. But I can't blame him.
This is the thing, the entire time, I didn't even want to do it. At least, up until the time we got started. Not at all. I think the diet helps with this. Why do I do shit I don't want to do? What I really wanted was to go home and relax, and yet it's like I have dumb ass compulsions sometimes. Like when you see something out of line in the grocery store and spend five minutes fixing it, and you don't work in the damn store. It was a complete and total OCD habit, not any craving, not any desire, more like the counting how many times I chewed my food thing I had as a kid. Some of my OCD habits have been very beneficial to me at work, but mostly they've been harmful to me in my personal life.
It could be worse. I had a compulsive suicide habit for a very long time when I was young. I'm just pretty bad at it, and most of the attempts were literally not thought out and just as impulsive. That's not a recipe for success. I'd just decide, "hey, weather's great, today would be a good day to die", or "gosh I hate rain, if I was dead I wouldn't have to deal with it." Shit that makes very little sense. It was a random thought, and a random habit, like nail chewing only with a slightly harsher repercussion than raggy nails and fucked up cuticles. Or I'd do weird, dangerous things. Like, I'd be standing there and just do something, right then, right there. Which is why I monitor every action, every movement, every thought I have now at every moment of every day, and I'm always second guessing myself, and if you don't think that's fucking exhausting you don't have a clue. It's also why I grade myself so much harsher than anyone else. I have to be perfect now. Always. And who meets that criteria, really?
Lots of people have crazy thoughts, get really anxious because they go through a time in their life where they suddenly are worried that they are going to do something nuts out of the blue. And they develop this anxiety. "I'm worried because I'll be standing next to someone and I wonder what would happen if I just did xyz, and then I'm freaked out I might actually do it." The correct response is that no one actually does those things...except I'm the bonkers exception to this rule. Considering I've done things like, "hey, does antifreeze really taste sweet?" and "let's walk into traffic and see if this sports car's brakes are really that good", it's not exactly like involving another person in a way that could be really detrimental (okay, yes I realize that technically a car is involving another person) is that far different from things I've done in the past. I was a kid at this time; I actually made a game of it in middle school. Did it every single day for an entire school year--walked in front of traffic on the highway home...figured if they hit me it was the day that it was meant to happen.
So the bonkers self-harm addiction went from chronic suicide attempts as a kid, to things like cutting and/or other forms of self-harm that you couldn't see, but now it seems to be drugs. Or, maybe that happened after I decided to kill myself with drugs. That was a conscious decision actually. I'd taken some a couple of times in attempts, but there was a time in my life where I just said, "fuck it" quit my job, because a waitress in a shitty diner (shades of American Beauty) so I could have cash every day and no responsibility, and made the decision that I wanted to kill myself with drugs. I had literally had enough. Of life. Of the deaths. Of heartache. Of everything.
And boy, did I try.
The human body is remarkably resilient (and my liver and kidneys are apparently invincible, because they are both remarkably healthy). The psyche not so much. Even at my worst, I was still trying to talk to people about things like "love" and "hope" when I didn't have any. Also, the world is a very fucked up place indeed. I'd thought slavery was bad, but some of the nightmare shit from this world populated by the forgotten, the broken and discarded--some of the stories I heard still bother me. It's just a step a way, and yet so many people go on with their lives and have no fucking clue it even exists all around them.
I've done a lot of fucked up things in my life. Even to other people, sometimes because I had no choice, and sometimes because when you are trapped in the walls of your own pain you do shit like that. And heaven forbid someone try to help you, because it looks like an attack and you know to attack first is the best defense. I get that. And I know the horror that is out there.
If I spend the rest of my life atoning for the things I have done, even things that I had little say in, it will never be enough. If I could somehow turn around and be the Dalai Lama and Mother Theresa wrapped in one skin, it would not be enough. Not to me. Because for all the lives you help, if you help a thousand lives, it does not compensate for even one that you destroy. If you are a hero a thousand times, it does not negate that you were one time a villain. But I do wish I could stop fucking up, because even as I say that I know that what's inside of me, the pain and the PTSD, the monster that a life-long trauma person holds caged in their heart, does things that hurts the people around them. As much as I wish I didn't. As much as I would like to stop. As much as I am trying to stop.
With the meds. The therapy. The diet. The exercise. The meaningful work. As they say, right thinking, right speech, right doing. I try to be kind, to forgive, and I can forgive everyone but myself. That one still seems beyond me. And that's partly because I can't seem to change. If I could just do better....
Nothing works. None of it works. I've tried everything and even the doctors say that obsessive-compulsive disorder is really hard to treat. Although mine is more like impulsive-compulsive disorder. I made it work for me for so long. I found that I could push if I threw myself into projects, but that a steady nine-to-fiver was no good. If I switched departments, or picked anything I could immerse myself in completely, I could use my traits to my advantage, for good instead of harm, for a period of many weeks. But then you have to find a new project, or some other job, or it starts to grind, and when that happens, I started seeking outlets at home. It also helped if work took up everything, which made me quite the workaholic. I was always, always busy. At one point I held five jobs at the same time, slept in two shifts of four hours each. My "day off" was the day I only worked four hours. When I worked in the pharmacy I would come in on my days off and work for free, because then I could do the things that never got done during my regular time there, and didn't have to deal with patients or filling prescriptions ("it's my day off, I'm not officially here"). That, and I found looking for expired medications row after row and marking the ones that were close to be mindless and soothing (and quite necessary).
Now, with being disabled, my body doesn't let me do that anymore. I have way too much down time, and I can barely get "into" any project enough to really feel "at even keel." If my brain doesn't have something to do, it goes into a spin of boredom, depression, and generally unhealthy thoughts.
Having a self-harm addiction is even worse, especially as it manifests now in drugs. They keep trying to do traditional drug treatments, and those always make me worse. For one thing, my story is totally different, yet few people, including medical professionals, believe me at first. I never enjoyed this. It wasn't "at first it made me feel good, and then it didn't anymore". I always hated it, and persisted in doing it as I hated it, probably because I hated it. And inevitably, in any group therapy, it comes down to them saying, "if you continue to use, it will kill you." Um...yeah, let's talk about drugs for an hour and then you give me the reason why I use drugs, pound it home, and surround me with folks who have dealers on hand and can help me get drugs. This sounds like a totally winning recipe (not). When I've tried those groups and therapies, my use exploded, almost back to when I was seriously actively trying to kill myself. And this new doctor kept giving me drugs for addiction that didn't work, until he finally "got it" and now I'm on a vitamin supplement he recommended that seems to be helping, even though I have to buy it myself. Whatever it does, it blanks out some of the active running commentary, that constant sense of pressure for self-harm that lives in my head always. Too bad it doesn't stop random impulse as well. Maybe I should up it to twice a day at this strength (max dose).
There are days in which my miserable state really does make me wish I'd never been born. The two biggest things holding me here are a) what if reincarnation really does exist (the very idea of having to do this shit all over again just seems even worse that going on as things are), and b) that would just create even more misery in the people around me. So I'm stuck. But I wouldn't mind a direct meteor strike, or better yet, some last chance to do something good. Rescue a puppy from a burning building or something. Go treat Ebola. Having a good and honorable death has always seemed more important to me than a good life, or maybe I just realize that the latter simply didn't and isn't going to happen because of who I am inside, so I'll take the one that might still be possible.
While I was out I didn't eat much. Nothing Friday. Today so far I've had two apples, cheated and had a blue Gatorade, some carrot sticks with the hippie miso-ginger dressing, and now I've got brown rice done with chicken stock. And tea. I've got a bit of a sinus headache, and it's too much hassle to really cook. Fasting a little isn't going to hurt me anyway.
And that's Day 12 of 30 so far.