It Comes Back

The thing about depression is that no matter how much work you put in, how far you come, it will come back.

I’ve felt it sucking at me again these past days. Felt it dragging at the corners of my mind. I woke up today and there it was. I am also in the grip of a Fibro flare. For those lucky enough not to know what that is, it basically means my entire body is in pain for no damn reason. Are they connected? Hell yeah.

Depression is a little parasite. She waits for something else to bring me down and there she is. Right on my life line, sucking all the feelings away.

Until I am not happy, or sad. I’m back in the grey wasteland of nothing. Everything is leached of joy. I am flattened. I am nothing. But I refuse. Im in a desert leached of all emotion. But I ain’t stuck here.

So I go to work. This is my job after all, keeping the Bonnie Bot alive. I watch my favourite shows. I reach out to my friends who get it. I tell husband. I get good with being sick. I do the things I like doing. I go through the motions. In my case, if I succumb and just lie down, I will get worse.

I start being kind to myself. I bring my best self talk forward. C’mon Bon, you know the drill. Are you safe? Do you need help? Is this manageable?

I take steps. If I want to get better I have to fight for it. I feed my face with good food. Listen to good music. Do things that make me feel… something. Hide the sharps. Put the razors away. Bury my face in my dogs neck and just hold on.

This is the price I pay to be me. My brain gives me creativity, it makes me different, intuitive, imaginative. And sometimes, it tries to kill me. Everything is a balance I guess. I still like being me. But the tax is bitch.

So I will hang on. I will hug my children and breathe them in. I will rest my head on husband’s shoulder. I will wait for it to pass. Hold on Bon, just hold on. Wait for the times to get better. Have faith that they will.

I will stay. I will not let this be the end of me. Because brain, you dear, fucked up mess, the times they are a changing. My smile will come back before you kill me. Just watch.

Stay weird peeps. Just stay.

X Bon

Nothing Compares

So in my mid thirties I finally figured out what I want to do with my life.  Spoiler alert – it’s actually not watching Netflix compulsively forever and ever. I mean, who knew?

I turned it over (and over and over as I am want to do) until finally something made sense. I’ve gone back to uni to study Community Services. By the time I’m 40 I might just be able to help peeps like me. Or peeps like you. Or just people really. I want to help, I think I can, I hope I’ve got the stones for it. Time will tell, she’s a real bitch that way.

Anyway, I’m often not ‘here’ in my blog. But I am still here and I do still give a shit.

You can find me more often waffling on in a much more casual way on my Facebook page. Sometimes I Tweet too – but mostly I just fall into the Twittersphere and come up for air hours later not really sure what I logged on for.

In the meantime I shared this on Facebook, but I think it was important.  So I’ll put it here too and I’ll see you soon.

Stay weird guys, and for fuck’s sake – please take care. Of yourselves and of each other. No one knows what we go through like we do, so reach out if you can. You might just change someone’s whole day.

Fellow black dog fighters… Nothing Compares 2 U. No matter how dark it gets, there’s no one else like you. The world does need people like us. Hold on. And if you couldn’t, I hope you know somehow that you were loved and we don’t blame you. 

I Lied and said I was Ok.

If I ever let you think this was easy, I lied.

If you look at me and think I won the war against depression, I lied.

If I gave you the impression that I’m ok, then I said it wrong. Because every morning anxiety still pries my eyes open, while depression wants them to close.

Walking into any room, any time makes my heart thud so hard I want to turn and run. It does not matter if that room is filled with loved ones or strangers. I want to run away, and I’ll feel good doing it. I like it better when I’m on my own, but I hate feeling alone. I need the people in my life so much that if they realized exactly how much, it would shock them. The people I love are my anchor. They keep me here. They make me want to stay. So if I tell you I can do this on my own, I’m lying.

BPD still wrestles with me, every day is hard. If you think I’m not holding a clamped hand over its mouth, just to hear you speak, then I’m telling it wrong. I’m straining against the claws of a monster just to make it through the day. Some days I lose. Some days it forces me to watch the world pass like everyone got a pretty invitation to stand in the sunshine, while I’m stuck behind the glass and can’t feel it’s warmth.

Some days are good days. I’m starting to be able to string more than one together at a time. I was starting to rock through an entire week…

Then Fibro came along to add her 5 cents worth to the whole mess. She is the fiercest dictator I’ve washed up against so far. She tortures so invisibly that no one can see the scars. She’s an expert in making you forget she’s got her chains around me every minute. She hides in plain sight. She sees my good days and she laughs while she takes my feet from under me.

I didn’t chose to fight these battles. I’m no angel through it all. I can be so cruel it would suck your breath out. I’m so angry I’ll scream at the sky when I run out of things to be mad about. Resentment is my poison. It shows on my face, in the holes punched through plaster, in the burned bridges I leave in my wake. It could be so much fucking worse, but that doesn’t help me on the days I want to bash my head against a wall just to make it all stop.

The damndest thing keeps happening though. I keep feeling my lips curling up at the corners, my feet keep tapping, my heart bangs and I rise again. I tell my wrong brain to shut the fuck up and carry on. I’m learning to walk without limping as Fibro rattles through my central nervous system. I tell depression to shove it, even when anxiety puts a tremor in my voice. I turn the key in the ignition with shaking hands. I keep on going.

Recovery looks different for everyone. And it’s not fixed. It changes as I do. It’s a god damned bloody spectrum, and I’ve learned to be ok with that. But if I ever told you I was ok, that it was easy, then I bloody lied. I didn’t tell my story right.

I don’t want anyone to stumble across my blog and go well look at that, we can be fixed. Because we can’t. But we CAN manage life with all this nonsense. A good life even. I can never go back to the person I was ‘before’. I can be happy. I’m facing forward with anticipation for the first time in years. But let’s none of us pretend ‘happy’ is an attainable, fixed state. Cos that simply isn’t how life works. Adjust expectations, get comfy with the new version, make peace with it. When you look at me, know how much I’ve had to fight just to be stood there, looking right back at you.

My smile is real. That part I never lied about. This world might force me to my knees more often than I’d like, but I still have no poker face. The laugh is honest, the grin pure me. My strongest feature isn’t something I expected. I thought my weapon would be humour. It’s not. The force that keeps me going is pure, bull headed stubbornness. I’m a sore loser, so whenever my ailments think they’ve got me, I’ll up-end the game board right in their face and walk on.

Every time something comes along and tells me it’s going to take something away from me, I get up and fight to take it back. I’m that plucky little kid in the school yard. You’re watching her drag herself up off the gravel, nose bleeding, to turn around and spit on her bullies. Just when you think she hasn’t got it in her, she throws sand in their eyes and runs away. I didn’t know I had this much fight in me. I’m not a brave person. I fold like a piece of paper. I hate confrontation. And it’s not because I don’t want to argue over my change, or send a crappy meal back to the chef. It’s because I’m already tired of fighting.

The point of all this work, this endless battle? I found something to fight for. I didn’t know that. I thought I had nothing left to lose. Apparently even in my rawest, most flawed moments, I won’t lose my grip on the world. I lift my bowed head, scream FUCK YOU at roaring volumes and I stay. Every blow I expect to be the last straw… somehow isn’t.

This is mine. My ruined mind and broken body. It’s Mine. This life I live is Mine. The things I seek are Mine. The people I love are somehow Mine too. So maybe I’m not that brave little girl wrestling with her bullies. Maybe I’ve had enough. Maybe I’m also that stubborn, tantrum chucking little shit in the supermarket. Jumping up and down, turning heads, shamelessly screaming MINE, MINE, MINE!

So yeah, I lied. I let you think I wasn’t completely broken by all of this. I showed you the days I found my reason to stay alive, and I hid under the covers on the days when I couldn’t. Some days I rally do want it all to stop.

And yet.

The world keeps spinning, and I keep spinning with it. I will fight, fall down, get up and do it all again. One day if you look over your shoulder and I’m not there, at least you will know that I never give up. I gave until I had nothing left. I fought for every day I had here. I tried.

Stay weird peeps, stay here.

X Bon

The sun will come out…

When the nights are long,

Listen to a song.

Because…

You can say hello darkness my old friend, and ask to go somewhere only we know, or admit that you’ve been waiting, and admit that sometimes your heart beats so loud you can’t even hear the beat.

You could get out of bed and be dancing on your own, you might know you’re beautiful just the way you are. Your doubt could suddenly go away somehow, even if you die everyday waiting for… something. Because every hour has come to this, one step closer. When you realize your eyes still smile from your cheeks and your heart could still fall in love in mysterious ways.

Tonight I’m thinking out loud. And I want to know that even though it’s based on your smile and I’m betting all of this might be over soon, please take what’s left of this heart and use only what you really need.

I can tell that I need to let it fade. So why don’t you be you, and I’ll be me and we’ll all be ok. Someday.

Because even though you had your maps drawn, and every road they led you down felt so wrong. You’ll be ok. Even though you’re scared, you’re stronger than you know.

So let something wild call you home.

Remember that the sun will come out tomorrow. All of this is one long hallelujah, and even though your faith is strong, you needed proof.

And you will find it.

Tomorrow.

Because baby I been here before, I used to live alone before I knew you.

All of you who make this trauma beautiful.

You keep my post traumatic bearable.

So fill your head with the ocean, fill your head with the sea, and dream of sailing with me.

I’ll pull you closer to my chest. Because I knew I loved you then, though you’ll never know.

Just say you won’t let go.

I am not the only traveler, who has not repaid his debt. I’ve been searching for a trail to follow, again. So then I can tell myself what the hell I’m supposed to do.

Take me back.

And meet me in tomorrow.

Where the sun will come out, and you can betcha bottom dollar that we’ll be ok.

Because I’ve had that dream a thousand times. A thousand times. I’ve had that dream a thousand times. My eyes are red, the streets are grey… but…

We will be ok. We will.

Just stay. One more day. Then another.

Please.

💙 Bon

Songs/artists/albums used hash tagged below…

#hellodarknessmyoldfriend #lilyallen #somewhereonlyweknow #lisamitchell #valium #kinagranis #christinaperri #edsheeran #thinkingoutloud #jackjohnson #cocoon #jamesbay #letitgo #somethingwild #thesunwillcomeout #tomorrow #kdlang #hallelujah #beautifultrauma #postraumatic #whenyoudream #lordhuron #thenightwemet #sayyouwontletgo #a1000times

Who Am I?

I’ve been wrestling with my demons over this again recently and these are the thoughts that I could grab hold of tightly enough to scribble down…

Who Am I?

Am I… Kind? Loving? Funny? Loyal?

I’d like to say yes… but does it show? Can you see it? Can I show the world what is in this poor old heart of mine?

Am I…

Just my rage and fury?

When I am the rage monster I whirl and twirl and burn the world around me. My hurt and pain spin around me like the fires of hell. I’m dancing with my demons and all we want to do is burn, burn, burn.

My anxious heart beats, beats. The blood in my veins is fire. It consumes. I feel powerful and free. The rage inside finds its way out and

out

it

pours.

I could light the world on fire when I am angry and happily burn myself right along with it.

But the fire never lasts. When I’ve stopped spinning, when I’m standing on the shattered pile of everything I have broken, what do I have left? Who am I then?

Deflated, deflating…

Breathe in, breathe out.

Look around. I’ve burned it all down, but I’m not rising like the powerful dragon I imagined I was. I’m standing here alone like a god damn fool. I haven’t set the world on fire. I’ve only hurt myself.

Who am I now?

Who am I when that anger turns inwards?

When all I can hear is my own voice lying in my ear…

Who am I when she whispers, whispers, whispers. She’s the hardest to escape. Is she me?

Is she me when she tells me everything I’m afraid of?

My own voice telling me I’m awful, ugly, unwanted, broken, useless, cruel.

Who am I when she tells me I’m no good, not worth all this effort, all this fuss. That my own children would be better of without me, that my husband would be happier…

Oh, how she lies, that voice of mine. Lies and lies and lies until it starts to sound like truth.

Until the only thing that will make her just SHUT UP is that cool blade across my skin.

Yet even then, still she whispers…

Coward, coward, coward. Deeper, deeper, deeper.

But I never can, because maybe she’s right. Maybe I am a coward.

Who am I now? When all I have left is trembling bones in the aftermath of her attack, my hands full of blood and an aching, sorry heart.

Who am I when she’s silent?

I am alone in the sudden quiet. Even more lost than before.

Who am I now?

I am a woman who made a promise to myself not to do it again.

I am keeping that promise I made. I am working my therapy. Working, working, working to be ok. I’m holding myself tight, keeping my head above water.

I am my own best friend and my own worst enemy. I’m one year down with no cutting, now I’m two…

I’m waltzing with my demons and I’m winning.

Who am I now?

After all of this fucking work and effort and trying and failing. After all of this falling down and getting back up again. Who do I see when I look in the mirror?

Who am I?

I am… that girl who flirted so closely with death, who thinks too much about the nothing. Who can almost hear the eternal quiet ringing in her ears. Forever peaceful, almost free.

I am… the dragon inside who roars. That fire breather who defends me from the body blows. I am the one who knows that sometimes only the loudest scream can soothe that old familiar heart ache. I am the roar. I am the quiet afterwards.

I am… growing with all my pain. I am taking it with me. I am still here living. Still searching. Fixing my mistakes. Forgiving and loving and learning to move forward.

I am… the mother that loves with her whole heart, who is trying my dears, always always trying.

I am… the wife that would hold up the universe just so my beautiful husband could stretch his arms wide, wide, wide enough to dance.

I am… the little girl who only ever wanted to see the beauty of the world. I am the woman whose heart broke when she saw the world had wounds she couldn’t love hard enough to fix.

I am the child, I am the mother.

I am human.

I bleed, I fight, I get angry, I get calm.

I am wrong, I am right, I am broken, I am mended.

I am all of them and none of them.

I’m still trying.

I am here.

X Bon

Sharp Edges

This should be the easiest thing to tell you.

But it’s the most difficult thing I’ve ever had to explain.

It’s hard enough to tell someone who loves you that you don’t want to be alive anymore, harder yet to try and explain why.

You ask me why celebrity suicides like Robin Williams, Chris Cornell and Chester Bennington affect me so much. All I can do is sit here with my useless flapping head, mouth open, gasping for words like a fish washed up on dry land.

I can’t understand why you can’t understand.  So I try to tell you another way.  And then another.  You tilt your head, interested, but not convinced.

I’m trying to tell you what it feels like to walk into battle, with a straight back and head held high, knowing full well that my weapon is faulty and I ran out of ammo about five fights ago.

What the hell would you do in that situation?  Becuase it would make sense to me to take a moment and look around you.  At the people that stand beside you on the battle field, the ones that are right there, fighting the same war you’ve found yourself in.

Yeah, ok, I know it’s important to remember the ones who love you.  The ones that got you here. The ones that stand behind you, hold you up and repair you. The ones that try and try and try to help. The ones who refuse to let you give up.

But in that moment the only people who really know how you feel are the ones fighting the same battle you are.  And if they start to fall down, even though they’re armed to the teeth with the exact same weapons you have, how much do you trust those weapons now?

Not working for you?

Ok.

Try this one.

We all have things that guide us in this world.  People we look up to.  Places that make us happy.  Things we surround ourselves with that give us strength.

Now imagine that you’ve invested EVERYTHING you have in those things that guide you, only to watch them crumble when the real shit starts.  Is it ok to panic yet?

Or people.  Do you have faith in people?  What if you were fighting an insidious, invisible, terminal illness with the highest success rate of them all?  Wouldn’t you want to pick up the weapons that other people have fought and won with?  Because I sure as hell would.  But what if those weapons you’re holding are only available because the people you looked up to, to guide you, have already lost their battle? How reliable do they feel in your hands feel now?

Would it be ok to pause here, to take a moment to think, if you were me?

Because I need some time.

Time to feel their loss. To acknowledge it, before I take the next step.  Because by now you can bet I have learned the hard way, that sometimes just putting one foot in front of the other will not take you to safety.  If you felt like your own feet were unreliable, watching your heroes stumble would cause the bravest among us to hesitate.

That’s ok. I’ve stopped running towards it now.

After all, there is no guarantee that the other side is any better than this one.

There is only hope.

So give me a moment, please.

To collect myself. To breathe in, then breathe out.

And hope.

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