Let me start off by telling you about last week.
The only way to describe it is euphoria. Finally, at long last, I’d found balance and happiness in my life. Or so I thought. I felt motivated and cheerful, so energetic. When I looked in the mirror, I saw a human being, not a whale. I ate more or less three meals a day. In retrospect I think I was a little bit out of myself. I didn’t really sleep and I couldn’t concentrate on anything for longer than a minute before my mind ran away with me.
On Monday, I woke up feeling strange. I was still on an unnatural high but I could feel a slight shift; as though I was gliding along a tightrope way up in the air but my safety net had disappeared. I knew I was going to plummet and there was nothing I could do about it.
I went to the gym, hoping that the endorphin rush I knew I’d get from an hour of hard work would stop me from falling. I went home, showered, and headed out to watch the fireworks with a group of friends on a hill. And as I sat there, drinking my horribly strong vodka and lemonade and chain smoking away my student loan, it happened. I fell. Hard. When your emotions are prone to shifting so suddenly, you know what to expect when it happens, but it takes you by surprise every time. It’s as though you’ve suddenly been kicked in the guts; knifed in the stomach and left to bleed. No matter how stable you seem on the outside.
I finished my drink in one. After doing so much exercise and eating very little, the alcohol seeped into my bloodstream almost immediately. The drunker I got, the more isolated I felt. I became impulsive, and a familiar craving for adrenaline kicked in. I wanted to run, jump, fling myself off the mountain and never look back.
Well, I did something stupid that night. Something I really regret, but looking back I suppose I could have done so much worse. I won’t tell you what it was – trust me, you don’t really want to know – but I wish the entire night just hadn’t happened.
Between Monday night and Wednesday morning, I got out of bed for a grand total of two hours, mainly to find food to stuff into my fat bloated face and then throw back up. My brain felt like it wasn’t working properly and I was in the worst black hole of depression I think I’ve ever been in. Emotions aren’t just described as ‘low’ in a metaphorical sense – it’s a physical feeling too. The sinking sensation in my abdomen was so intense that it almost hurt to breathe.
On Wednesday, I had an assessment meeting with a psychotherapist, which my doctor referred me for a couple of weeks ago. I walked there without really thinking about where I was going – I could only concentrate on my punctured sprits and the acid burning in the back of my throat. I arrived and signed in, my daze only permeated slightly by the acrid, clinical scent of pine floor cleaner which assaulted my nostrils. A small, chubby Pakistani lady in a lilac shirt strutted into the achingly peaceful waiting room, called my name, and led me off to a small, simply decorated white room.
She interrogated me for almost two hours. She dragged up so much shit from my past, things which I thought I’d accepted long ago and issues which I’d buried away in locked drawers then thrown away the key. She asked about my family, my degree, when my eating problems started, if I self harmed, about my alcohol intake, drug use, sexual activity – she pulled me apart. Bear in mind that before I walked into that room, it had barely crossed my mind why I was there. It sounds ridiculous now but I hadn’t considered the fact that she was assessing me, my mind, my health.
An hour and forty minutes later, after lecturing me about my alcohol intake and terrible lifestyle choices, she came to the conclusion that I have something called ‘emotionally unstable personality disorder’ – otherwise known as ‘borderline personality disorder’. I looked it up. It basically describes me. I won’t go into too much detail – if you want to know about it, you probably have a better chance of understanding it by reading Wikipedia rather than listening to an idiot like me ranting on. Basically, it’s summarised by a tendency to overreact, quick and intense cycles of mood swings, difficulty in relationships, extremely low self-image, impulsive and self destructive behaviour, eating disorders, substance abuse and a general overriding feeling of emptiness.
The emptiness is haunting me right now. I don’t know where I’m going to go from here.