Walking Through Hell.

WinstonChurchillQuote

You ever taken a trip to hell in your brain?
Played in the darkness, relished it, feared it,
wanted it to engulf you, wanted it to shatter and leave?
Ever wondered if you were crazy?
Not the ‘oh I’m a bit crazy!’ hahahaha way, but the
certifiable kind of crazy. The kind of crazy that rips through your brain, your
body and drives you deep into a pit that you can’t climb from. Ever.
The last few weeks took me, kicking and screaming back
to the bad place. The place that I thought I had locked up inside my head. I went
screaming back into the darkness of my illness’ and fell off the cliff into
oblivion. Shattering and shredding.
As I sit here, finally safe at my desk, in my room, my fingertips attached to the keys of my keyboard. I’m trying desperately to make sense of
the crazy that has invaded my ever waking thought and moment.
Crazy. I’ve felt it. For weeks, days, hours,
minutes, seconds. Until I can’t stop my heart from racing, my skin from feeling
like its being ripped from the sinew and bone beneath it, with razorblades sewn
beneath my skin. In a constant state of panic and anxiety. Until I’m shaking
from the constant fear and constant need to dig a hole and bury myself.
Suffocating and drowning on my abnormalities.
Almost three weeks ago, I went to Mexico and fell
into a dark hole that consumed me. I feel like it took my fragility and
shattered it, until I’m just a bunch of broken pieces strewn about, and stomped
on.
How do you open your eyes to knowing just how far
your mental illness is capable of taking you. The fear, the anger, at knowing
that you aren’t and will never be ‘normal’.
It took less than a week before I watched in horror, what had taken me years to fix, fall down in flames. Until I stared back at what watched me,
recognizing the girl who looked at me and wanted to scream until my throat
ached.
Here I was, in a hospital in Mexico trying to get better. Trying to
allow them to do what they could to fix the problems that lay beneath my skin.
Fix the physical issues.
And bam! Splat! I started screaming down the mental break from reality
path. The panic that consumed me. Oh dear Lord…only he can really know just bad
it was and is.
It took me off guard. Like being punched in the face by someone you
trust implicitly, someone you know will never ever, harm you. And then they do.
It leaves you reeling, curled up in yourself trying to fix the world around
you. Trying to understand how everything could go so wrong, in the space of a
moment, a blink of the eye.
I thought that I had my illness’ under control. And I think I did for
the most part. But mostly it was because I lived and breathed in a very
controlled environment. I know and knew what could set off my issues like a
bomb and a kick to the head. And I did what I had to, to push and close out
anything and everything that could tip the scales.
Going to Mexico opended up a can of worms, it was like letting the cat
out of the bag, and that cat wasn’t going back into the bag. Not without
scratching the hell out of me. Leaving bloody ribbons of where my skin used to
be.
My Grama was with me in Mexico and got a front row seat to my
unraveling. I’ve unraveled on multiple occasions. And for the most part, I can
look back at my life and point each and every one of them out. Easily. It’s not
hard to pinpoint each episode of breaking.
Every time it happens, it feels like it steals something from me.
Carries it away, and I’m left with a blank hole. Never quite the same. Carrying
a new fear, a new obsession. A new scar beneath my skin, where no one else can
see it.
No one has ever seen me unravel before, I hold close to myself. But she
got to watch me, struggle, fall, bruise, and break.
It was terrifying. I ended up medicating for the entirety of the two
weeks while I was there. Hopped up on meds, to calm the beating of my heart, to
fill my lungs with oxygen, relax the need to scratch beneath my skin.
Xanax, Hydroxyzine, and Ambien.
Over and over, I took the pills, and then I crawled into the hole of my
mind. The darkness consuming my every thought and action. I felt the rocking of the drugs as they seeped into my
consciousness, stealing even more of me away. Dulling who I am in an effort to dull the mental illness’ that have
become such a part of me, that it leaves me stunned to look back on it.
I medicated all the way home, through the border, and two airplane
rides, to get home to Alaska. It’s weird, but I think that my Agoraphobia
covers a state, not just a room. Because the moment I glanced out the window of
that plane, to see the snow capped mountains of Alaska, the sun sparkling
beautifully off all of that white.
You know what I could do for the first time in two weeks…
 
Breathe. I breathed.
I finally breathed. Oxygen and peace rushing through my lungs, seeping
into my pores, through my body, my heart, my soul. My mind calming like it
hadn’t for so many moments that I thought I would never breathe again.
And when I got off the plane, I stood in the airport, still and calm,
staring out the giant picturesque windows at the mountains. The sight of them
and the snow covering them. The blue sky surrounding them. I was finally home.
Finally safe. Finally able to breathe.
Mexico broke me, or I just had the inevitable fall that comes when you
have what I have living and breathing inside of their brain.
Regardless, I felt another piece of who I was break off. I can’t get
that piece back, can’t glue it back on. Moments, episodes, adventures,
catastrophes, love, grief, pain, reality…it shapes us, breaks us, puts us back
together, but always re-shapes us into something different.
It’s been just shy of one day of a week of being home. And in that time,
I have fallen apart, and re-knit. Over and over. Until I feel like a jittery,
shakey mess, craving an ending to the panic that courses beneath my skin.
Can you crave death and life at the same time?
Can you seek out light, while running through the darkness??
Winston Churchill said a whole lot of things in his life that have
always stuck with me, but this one quote repeats in my brain. Over and over
again.
“If you’re going through hell, keep going.”
I take that quote to heart. I keep running through the darkness, to play
in the snatches of light that breaks through.
Because when you are walking through the darkest parts of yourself you
don’t stop, you don’t quit, you don’t give in and allow it to win.
You keep going. Eventually you’ll meet the break, where the light shines,
outshining the darkness in a kaleidoscope of color. You’ll walk out of it, catch
you’re breath and look upon the new you. The you that survived the fall, the
walk and the overwhelming consumption of darkness.
The you that makes it through isn’t the same you that walked through it.
Stronger, sharper, maybe a little more tarnished, but even more beautiful than
before, because you just did something that not everyone can, you kept going through the darkest parts of yourself and you made it through. Even if the moment of making it, is just that, a moment, it’s still a success, it’s still something to be proud of. When you don’t succumb to the need to make it all stop, you’ve done something amazing. And when you keep going even when all you want to do is curl up on the floor of your brain and just stop being…anything. You win by pushing through and continuing on. 
It’s a hard path that a person with any mental illness’ lives, breathes, walks, runs, breaks on. Our paths are forged with twists and turns, dark nights, and an inevitability, of the light turning grey. When the light begins to turn grey and you see the encroaching darkness, close your eyes, take one last lungful of the clean air filled with
drifting sunlight, and then forge ahead.
The next few weeks are going to be rough for me, I’m getting snatches of
sunlight, but mostly I’m stuck in the darkest parts of myself. Dealing with
triggers, and things that I thought were buried. Learning that there are new
things in my path, littered with old threatening to pull me to a stop, pull me under and drown the oxygen from my lungs.
I have a devastating blow to myself to deal with amongst all the other
devastating things consuming my brain. And I know it’s going to be hard. Every breath I take
reminds me how hard the next few steps I take will be.
But we keep going. To stop would be to drown in hell itself. And I don’t know about you, but I want to look back on my life when I’m old and grey and say that hell choked on me rather than I choked on it. 
 
If you’re struggling or falling or getting ready to walk back into the hellish darkness, keep going. Don’t stop for anything. Find your way back to the light. 
 
xoxo, 
Black Sheep Girl 
 
“The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” John 1:5

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