I’ve reached a weird space in recovery, where I can sense the old patterns of thought and the new, almost simultaneously. It’s like wiggling a switch with loose wiring: the lights flicker on/off, on/off, without the switch ever fully flipping to either one.
On—and I am flooded with an almost unbearable level of feelings, sharp and bright and overwhelming. Off—and the emotions are replaced with the sensation of razor blades, cutting deep into my forearms or thighs.
On—and I am filled with plans and goals for my future. Off—and I am certain I already wear a corpse.
On, off, on, off, on, off…
Nights are the worst. Nights are when the “on” thoughts are hardest to reach, and once reached, they feel almost unbelievable regardless.
I got badly triggered about a month ago and am still in the process of coming back to ground, which makes a “good night” anytime I sleep more than about 3 hours total. (I’ll leave it to you to imagine how soupy and unreal my days start to feel, after weeks of this.) When I went to bed last night—at a time actually already this morning—I tried to set an intention of committing to the “on” side. Felt more desperate wish than hopeful action; I’ve been here before, after all, and I am bone-tired in more ways than one.
At just-before-5 this morning, my first thought on waking was not hallucinating my flesh in ribbons—but enthusiasm for the day just about to break. Curiosity about what she’s going to do today, this new person I am building myself into.
She has plans, you understand. She has a future I’d like to see unfold. (She may even be working on a book I’d like to write, though only time will tell.)
And I got four and a half hours sleep last night, to boot!
Maybe this latest round of inner-demon-battling is finally winding down. Maybe I made some progress out of it, after all.
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“Home Improvement Project” is part of an ongoing memory project.
Additional installments can be found here.