Thursday, April 03, 2008

Burial of time

It's dark now when I awaken at dawn. The days are compacting themselves within. The sky was salmon-tinged and streaked with orange when I drove to work. Like autumn, sunrise is magical. Nature is one talented artist with an amazing palette.

The last week has been tough, and hence the silence of my withdrawal. I went through my journals from when I lived in Welllington around 2000-2003. V and I had started talking about that period of my life the week before, and I wanted to find out more about the details. And found out more I did.

The stats were staggering. In the first 3 months, I had gotten into trouble 7 times, 3 of which were major overdoses which landed me in Intensive Care. There was a period of 2 months where I'd taken 4 overdoses. Which also landed me in ICU.

There were other hidden details I'd forgotten. But even though some things are best left buried deep in memory, having to look at what I had gone through and how bad I felt back then, forced me to have a more compassionate view of myself. As V put it a few weeks ago and made me say it out loud, "I did the best I could at the time". I did the best I could and I didn't know any better.

And despite all that, I am still alive. V asked me if I saw the tenacity I had within me. Yes, of course I did. Those journals were letters to "Future me". And scattered throughout the entries over time were constant reminders - "I can do this". So yes, I knew there was a part of me that fought to live, battled for the right to live just one more day. It would be my saving grace. It would also be my downfall in my numerous unsuccessful suicide attempts.

We had to wrap things up before we could discuss at length the incident which led to my being fired from my job, but I said I still have anger issues about that and it would be hard talking about it.

Overall, I think V was pleased I'd gone as far as I did in "exposing" myself to a rather "traumatic" period of my life. Avoidance has always been more of my style. Even a few weeks ago, I'd argued about the point of this whole "history taking" exercise. But in a way, it is like watching a train wreck. It is a sort of morbid curiousity. I can't help gawking at the "Past me", such a spectacular disaster on two legs. But doing this raises so many negative emotions, it stirs up too much grit from the murky depths of memory - things better left at the bottom of the memory well.

So I've been letting things settle down. I'm trying not to think too much. After my session with V on Tuesday which I revealed so much of myself, I've closed myself down once more. I'm coping (as usual) by running. With the weather cooling down, it's been much easier to run. Just yesterday I ran through a carpet of golden yellow leaves on the ground. The colours of the trees are simply bursting with a richness you will never see for most part of the year.

V is away next week so I'm pacing myself. Already, it feels as though I have lost all connection with her. Losing strength, losing courage. It'll be a long week.


Aqua said...

I get that "Burial of Time" feeling when I go back and read my journals. I kept meticulous notes during the first 4 years of this depressive episode.

When I feel I am making no headway, or feel my mood is not improving at all my journals are reminders of the hell I was in and that even though I still feel like I'm in hell most of the's not as bad as it was. I see improvment overtime when I revisit what I buried.

Polar bear I love how you write. You reall have a sense of poetry in the descriptions you choose to use. I love that. Keep in touch with your blog community while your therapist is gone for the week. That might help you keep from feeling alone.
Take care,

Polar Bear said...

Yeah, I find it hard to see improvement too, but when you look at the details of the past, you can't help but notice small changes have already happened.

Thanks for your support.

Polar B.

James said...

"I did the best I could at the time". I did the best I could and I didn't know any better.

That is an important understand for those of us who are hard on ourselves.

I'm proud of you for giving yourself some credit. :)

All the best and big hugs...

Sid said...

I've seen your tenacity since I first started reading your blog. You're stronger than you give yourself credit for most of the time, think we all are.

I like when you write about your running. Each time you mention it I wish I could join you, it sounds like a magical escape from the everyday, even if just briefly.

Polar Bear said...

Thanks. Yes, we all try our best. We're all human.

We definately don't give ourselves enough credit most of the time. I've missed you, Sid. You don't seem to be updating your blog as often anymore. I hope you are doing OK.

Polar B.

butterflies said...

Hi Polar..
Just a thought..
The amount hurt we feel is determined by the amount of love we give..

Im beginning to realise after all these years that unless we feel something/anything we are unable to be a part of anything.
My grandmother always said that we only hurt the ones we love.
I have so many hurts *back there* that I would rather die than go back and re-live them.
So my only choice is the same one that you have chosen..Go forth my friend...with strength and dignity.
Great big hugs ))))

Polar Bear said...

Yes, I agree. The more we put ourselves out there, the more likely we are to be hurt.

I've lived a large part of my life being avoidant of just about everything, believing that nothing and no one can hurt me if I don't allow them into my life.

It's still a difficult lesson for me - learning how to do more of the "approach-type" behaviours (what V calls them anyway).

Zathyn Priest said...

Other than keeping a Blog I don't keep a personal journal. Perhaps it's something I should consider.

"Doing the best you could at the time" - I'm glad V realised that and ultimately made it something for you to acknowledge. So many people who don't face our day to day struggles see the 'crazy' things we do as...well...just plain crazy with no rhyme nor reason. Yet I know when I look back at the overdoses I took last year, and the SI, I did it all in an effort to find help even though it appeared totally self-destructive.

You do write beautifully and capture your thoughts and feelings in a way we can all relate to.

Stephany said...

you write beautifully, and thank you for ' doing the best i can', i think i'm learning i've got to stop and give myself a break and say this to myself. thanks for stopping by my blog and giving me support, it was timely, as i was having a very difficult night.