I smell of blueberry flavored water, peaches, soap, and clean clothes. The smell of coming home. I also smell of orange flavored condoms, cigarettes, toothpaste that is not mine, a banana, and sex. The smell of the night out.
Life exists in the day time, too. Over the years, that is something I have often forgotten, not only because I tended to sleep during the day, but because I lived such a separation in my head. During the day I holed up in my corner at the office or the store, at a friend\’s house or in my apartment, quietly living life with as little contact as possible. At night, I came alive. Donning my wig and my platforms, or later, my fcuk chic, or bondage bunny get up, I went out and painted the town crimson, when I was not spending my time hiding along the wall, petrified to talk to anyone, that is. Prompted by chemical stimulation, whether intentional or not, I would sashay my way out from beyond the wallflowers — whom I was too terrified of to associate with — and into the spotlight. I loved the spotlight, and yet I feared it when I was not there.
In 2000 when I was finally medicated, I could no longer count on my own chemical imbalance to drive me out amongst people. For a while I relied on a deeper force — my own irratic and deeply disturbed thought processes. Driven by the emotions of desperation and emptiness, I shut off my ability to reason and think defenesively and starting thinking and acting offensively. I had to be filled, I had to get my head and my body to shut up, I had to let loose of all the various emotions inside of me that terrified me. Things I was not able to verbalize and have perpetuated themselves physically since I was 12. Manifestations of impulsivity, compulsivity, addiction, obsession, and control. Manipulating words, sex, money, exercise, and food. Detrimental internet use, music listening, object collecting, trivial knowledge memorization, systematic uses of sharp objects across my skin, randomly breaking things, hitting my head on walls, secretive asphyxiation that was not playing with suicide, wrapping of my entire body with duct tape to make myself smaller and prevent me from eating, and abuse of controlled and uncontrolled substances. Intricately codependent and abusive relationships with every person I came in touch with. Well goddamn, I was a fuck-up, and I was not even trying to get better.
For two years I struggled in therapy, making headway in many areas but in others continuing to lead a destructive lifestyle. Last summer the whole world embraced me and said \”look how much better you have become!\” Everyone was so proud of me. There I was, out and about and socializing like a fairly normal person. I was actually going on real dates, versus \”let\’s meet and fuck\” or jumping into the first relationship that came along. I made friends and sustained those relationships. I enjoyed various healthy activities and went back to school. I had a schedule. I was facing reality and coming up with realistic plans for the future. I was letting go of megalomanic plans of domination. I was so on track. I was so improved!
At home, in secret, I had regressed to behaviors I had not participated in since I was 14. I was cutting myself, abusing ipecac, going days without eating, abusing alcohol and controlled substances, and restarted my 2001 pattern of promiscuous sex. I was so much better, but I had grown so much worse!
The pressure of having \”become better\” and finally living life looking steadily ahead was more than I could bear. On one hand, I was so unbelievably happy! I had not been that happy that steadily for as long as I could remember — for at least ten years. It felt fantastic and incredibly terrifying. This was not the me I knew. This was so easy, to live healthily, and it was fun, and I had lived all those years being fucked up and miserable. Why now? Why here? What if I fuck it up and never get it again? What if this is it? I\’m \”so much better!\” But I still feel fucked up! I am fucked up! I cannot handle this. I feel out of control. What do I do with feeling happy and satisfied? This is foreign! This comfortable state of relaxation is making me uncomfortable and anxious! Oh shit! Oh shit!
And so I started letting my fucked up behavior perpetuate itself to a greater degree in order to relax myself and keep me from stressing out. So-called healthy outlets did not work because I had not trained myself to allow them to work. Healthy behaviors, attitudes, and thoughts only made me more worried because I was so unused to them. I wanted them, but like most things I think I want, I felt like I was too fucked up for them, and given the opportunity to have them, I grew scared and rebelled privately.
This started in July and some of it continued through November. Some of the behaviors I forced myself to stop in November. That was the last time I cut myself, used ipecac, or had promiscuous sex. I sat myself down and said \”no more.\” Other behaviors, however, grew worse in order to take up the slack.
December, January, and parts of February were a disgusting downward spiral into self-realization. My physical self was sick and acting in a way that I did not understand and could not control, which only made my mental state worse. I was scared of every last thing in my life, scared of the future and of the past, scared of myself, and above all, scared of my complete and utter lack of self control.
A few weeks ago, my mental state started to shift. For some reason it occured to me that I no longer needed my acts of self abuse to get by. I had all the self restraint and healthy outlets I needed, and all I was doing was wallowing in, enjoying and exploiting the fact that I could still be fucked up, but in reality, I am far removed from the person I used to be. I have my demons, like everyone else, but all I have been doing is allowing myself to indulge in destructive behaviors. Allowing myself out of habit and out of the desire to make things easier in the short run. If I could satisfy myself momentarily without any work or confronting the actual issue, I would. But fuck. I did not need to be doing any of those things.
The other day I was at the store. I had gone to pick up a pair of shoes, sunglasses and a g-string. I ended up with a bra, eight g-strings, one pair of lacy boy style panties, two pairs of shoes, a skirt, a shirt, a dress, a purse, sunglasses, and two pairs of stockings. I was grabbing, not considering, just on a beeline to consume because when I was obtaining new items I was numb — not thinking of anything but the accumulation of physical materials to create a shiny new identity. Producer approved consumer improvement! Throw the money in the hole to give yourself some R&R, a mental idea of the person you could be.
Standing in the aisle between the shoes and the lingerie, I suddenly stopped and stared at the items overflowing from my arms. \”This is fucking ridiculous. Look at yourself,\” I suddenly thought. \”You don\’t need this. You want it. You didn\’t come here for it. You know what moderation is, you can see that line now when you couldn\’t before, but you just choose to ignore it. Fool.\”
I felt damn dirty. I had all the guilt and I had not even spent the money yet. Usually the guilt came after I had signed my receipt, returned home, put the items away, and was faced with the realization that now that I had used a few hours distracting myself, I had gained a lot of junk, lost a lot of money, but was exactly back where I was in the first place plus had guilt. And what the hell was the point of that?
I put everything back but the sunglasses, two sets of underwear, and decided on the purse over the shoes. I bought those, walked out of the store and felt free and fucking happy.
\”Hahaha, fuck you, oh demon of self-inflicted affliction! I don\’t need you! I never needed you! You\’re just there for me to be lazy and self-indulgent. Fuck destructivity, viva la creacion!\” And with that I decided not to be stupid again. I do not need it when I can see right and wrong and all the shades in between. I have choices. I do not need to run from myself or hurt myself further. I am not supposed to be a recovering fuck-up, I am a recovering fuck-up, and that means not willingly and deliberately indulging in self-destructive behaviors.
I have made empty promises to myself before. \”I\’m not binging anymore.\” That lasted a little while and then I just could not stand it any longer and began again. \”I\’m not going prowling anymore or having anymore one night stands.\” That lasted until my cunt felt like it was going to eat itself, it was so hungry for fulfillment. \”I\’m not spending anymore money.\” That lasted as long as I did not get online or step past a store. My word to myself has rarely been trustworthy these past few years. I realize this, so I realize how silly it sounds now to be taking a stand, but I feel really good about this right now. I feel resolved.
Before I did not have healthy outlets, or I had the stress of having to \”be better.\” Well what does it matter what I seem like? I am what I am, and I do make mistakes, but I do not have to make them on purpose. I can resist.
Once a fuck-up, always a fuck-up. Once an addict, always an addict. Once a slave to compulsion, always a slave to compulsion. But just because the thoughts are there to do it, does not mean the acts have to follow. I can fight the decline and prevent myself from slipping. Backward movement every now and then is inevitable, but I do not have to let myself crash to the ground every time it happens. I have control of my own head, my own impulses, my own thought processes, my own life. I make the decisions, I say yes or no. I mean those things. Unless you have been incredibly fucked up, you probably think those ideas are given and that there is nothing in the least bit revolutionary about them. I beg to differ. When you think you have no control, you have no control. This idea of being the one in charge is a whole new mindset to me, and it is one I adore and will fight fiercely to keep a hold of. Let us just see how long it lasts…