Really short tonight.
Am struggling with how to best support my friend and myself.
My friend/ adopted for life older sister/ roommate deals with severe depression and self injury as I do. However as everything is so individual it manefists so differently.
For me there’s a lot of anxiety I have. Why I started cutting was due to a ton of emotional abuse about it not being safe to express emotions and people saying I’m too emotional and hard to handle.
Plus growing up in an environment where my family had no skills in healthy emotional expression.
Coming here to Albany, finally I started learning how to express feelings safely and get connected with others. It took like forever. The harm reduction approach helped, giving me a boundary around the SI without saying stop right away. Making me feel better about learning new ways of dealing while still having this behavior I depended on to survive emotionally. . It was great in my situation as so many people before this plan was implemented were just focusing on the behavior in power struggles with me over it etc and not what was underneath it.
It’s taken a lot of therapy and ups and downs. I think a big realization too was learning my behavior had consiquences. Even if it was driven by my illness I still had to deal with the issues. For example in the hospital if I self injured or got aggressive (depression anger) I would be put in the quiet room and my stay would be longer. It was just the rules. I learned that as much as I was feeling like going off and a part of me wanted to it wasn’t worth the consequences. This applied to home. There were consiquences in my care plan for harm reduction that were things like the nurse needed to know about whatever injury there was. I had to have my vitals taken for three days something I hated! And just generally the feeling within me of falling back on a behavior I was trying to get rid of. Also not wanting to go to the hospital wanting to be home doing things I loved. Jonathan put it well when he said I built a life I didn’t want to lose finally.
With my friend it’s a whole other issue. Just a whole other bunch of symptoms that are so different from mine it’s like night and day. She is so locked inside herself emotionally that I don’t think she even knows what’s going on til it’s too late. I also think things hit her in a delayed way.
Sometime last week was the anibarsary of her mom’s diagnosis with Cacner. She seemed ok but really it’s been building up. It’s frustrating that she didn’t reach out at the very beginning. This is a pattern with her that so irritates me because the things that you’d think to suggest she just finds very hard. Opening up talking about her feelings, self reflecting. Those just aren’t her thing. While I’m anxious, she’s extremely angry and closed off which doesn’t help.
Staff say I support her beyond anything you’d think because I brought love into her life that she wouldn’t be able to form a relationship with anyone here because she’s so angry all the time.
So anyway she cut again today. We were in this place a month ago as I made many posts about it. Now at least it’s clear she is going to the hospital. Staff say it’s for the best just giving her a break from the stressful environment. And they’ll likely adjust her meds.
I just feel like it’s hard to stay hopeful because it’s definitely a cycle and one she seems to have no real motivation to break. It’s draining because she’s such a hard person to support. You could ask her all day how she is and she’ll say ok and then she’ll go somewhere and cut. It just doesn’t add up. I’ve known her for two years really known her we share the same room and are together all the time. I still don’t know even a little about how her mind really works it’s that hidden. I don’t know how to break down those kinds of walls and I’m not sure she does either.
Edith says we just have to love her through it and that hopefully something will happen that tips the scales where she sees it’s really important for her to try and turn the corner. I just hate the rollerfcoaster aspect, and the trouble of not knowing even half of what is in her head in order to help her.
It’ll be a long week. At least a week that she’ll be gone. I just hope this does truly help her.