No, not like a tiger.
Or maybe. Maybe, a little bit like a tiger.
The last time I wrote, I was telling you about the foot surgeon. I saw him the day of our anniversary, and afterwards my beloved whisked me away for the night. We went to the Hunter Valley for the night, and I fell in love with her all over again. We visited one of her favourite places, the Tunnel of Beer:
We had such a great time away.
Then… the next day or so happened. The guts of the drama is irrelevant here, but the point of what I am writing is that it left me feeling so raw. And it was a spiral of emotion that just got worse… and worse… and worse. After three days of raw, I woke up in tears today and before I knew it, I was gazing at a craft knife and contemplating.
A mind collapsing from the inside.
And I thought about it. I admit it: I held the craft knife and I felt every single bump on the handle. I saw the way the steel of it glinted under the light. I recalled the bite of it, the burn of it, the release of it. I stood, transfixed in a still, deep pool of memory and temptation and rawness.
And I put it down, turned, and walked away.
Outside, followed by my furry tribe.
This isn’t a how-to of avoiding self harm. This isn’t a yay me! post.
This is the reality of mental health. The reality of how a bad day or a few bad days can spiral out of control until you’re facing a coping mechanism you thought you’d left behind. Just as an asthmatic can have an attack after months and years of wellness and treatment, so too can someone with depression. And it might just be a one-off. It might be based in a perfectly logical reason, but sometimes those perfectly logical reasons grab hold of perfectly illogical self-talk and together they combine to create a beast of a tiger; a tiger that might have been crouching and appearing tame behind the bars of a zoo, but a tiger just the same.
The fact? I didn’t do it.
But god, I wanted to.
What does this mean now?
It showed me how deep I slipped. How raw I felt at my very core. And that it’s time for some increased self-care.
I need to remember that the guilt of it and the shame of it – they’re not me. That the people who love me and the people who are in my life – they’re not conditional. They’re forever. Whatever. Forever.
Even as I write this, there are people in my exact situation who don’t know these things. I’m going to be fine. And I know that because I realised that what I was feeling wasn’t normal for me. That is a skill and it is so, so helpful.
Know yourself. Recognise your raw.
See it, and walk away from it.
How do you do it? Do you get raw?