number 16

i survived suicide attempt 16 a few days ago. it was an almost lethal one apparently.

i was in icu for about 48 hours. had a seizure or two. was restrained multiple times – by the police, in handcuffs, in the ambulance, by six doctors and nurses, in a four point fabric one at my wrists and ankles to the side of the bed. honestly, i would rather be restrained than get sedated. droperidol is a fucking nightmare. it knocks me out for a while and hangs around in the system for a day or so too.

i still have some drugs left. not much. but some. i checked against the lethal blood concentration (like, the mg/L dose) and if i calculated it correctly this will be 300x as much. still not convinced i did calculate it correctly cause that seems like a massive difference.

but that’s good.

i need to go.

so tonight i am trying again. using a combination of a few things + alcohol (gotta get that central nervous system depression) and i will probably self harm for good measure. i hit a superficial artery by accident once so i know where to aim. i can see the wonky scar because it was a tricky place to suture. a few parallel cuts along that and i should be fine. i hope no one finds me. i have no commitments until monday when i am meant to see my doctor and then wednesday when i am supposed to see my psychiatrist. i have no work commitments until next weekend because for some reason, despite all the covid stuff and schools closed, nobody wants tutoring right now, which makes me feel pretty useless. so my next shift at the pharmacy (lol, i find it super ironic i work at a pharmacy actually) isn’t until next weekend, which is plenty of time, if for some reason this attempt is unsuccessful AGAIN and i get the mandatory 3 day invol stay.

they didn’t admit me to psych this time which was kinda weird, considering how lethal everybody was telling me the overdose was.

lol.

okay, bye.

for real this time.

if for some reason i survive tonight, i’ll try and update as soon as i can. some of you guys have been awesome supports for me. thanks for everything.

sketches from the psychiatric word

disclaimer: this is a repost, from when i first became blogger in chief

i’m struggling to articulate the mess of my loud thoughts at the moment so i have decided to return to my most popular post of all time, sketches from the psychiatric ward. as you’ll read, this was the first time i had picked up a pencil for many years, and since then i have been doing more and more art. would you be interested in seeing more? leave me a comment below. so here they are, the first ever set of sketches i did to cope with my first ever stint on the psych ward.

they’re strangely aesthetically pleasing.


in 2017, i was admitted to three separate psych wards, for a total of six weeks. it might not seem like a lot, and sure i had 46 weeks of non-psych ward living, but these were my first three trips to the emergency (ever), and first three admissions to hospital for any reason. in my hometown back in regional western australia, it is much more difficult to seek help for depression, never mind bpd. if i had gone to my local emergency department before leaving geraldton, it is likely i would have been turned away, told to stop attention-seeking, or sent five hours away by ambulance to the nearest psychiatric facility in Perth.

IMG_2339

which is sad, because the psych ward is not what i had expected. And not what most people would expect, i imagine.

let’s talk about that third and final admission for the year. i was discharged exactly one month prior to writing this. i was suicidal, and this time i was going to do it. fortunately, i was already at the hospital for an eating disorder assessment, and was admitted from there, which made things simpler, and far less anxiety provoking.

being admitted involved a lot of tears, emotional exhaustion, silence, withdrawal, scratching (a form of self harm), anxiety, screaming (not from me), locked bathrooms (because of the bulimia), quiet conversations in side rooms, and meetings with various doctors, nurses, psychologists and occupational therapists. it wasn’t much fun, and hospital is certainly not a place I ever want to be, but it kept me safe. (and since then, further admissions have continued to keep me safe, as shitty as it is to have my rights removed as an involuntary patient, i can mostly see the benefits of hospital retrospectively). i gained a lot of insight into how my depression, borderline personality, self-harm, and eating disorder function and protect me.

the psych ward also involves a lot of dissociation, board games, card games, drinking tea, sharing with other patients, making good friends with other patients, watching television, doing sudokus and crosswards, and drawing.

drawing is my lifesaver. i hadn’t picked up a pencil or a canvas since year 10 of high school, because i channelled all my energy into the single most powerful distraction in my life – study (and i still rely on this distraction today). but now that i’ve picked up my pencils again, i can’t put them down.

these drawings are raw, they are real, and they illustrate my mind in it’s most distressed state. behold, sketches from a psychiatric ward.

they’re strangely aesthetically pleasing.


your primary herder of cats and struggling artist,

rosie bogs

i’m getting real tired of triggers

most of my triggers escape me. the only ones which i know for kinda certain are the ones which produce panic attacks: social situations and loud noises and being out of control and public transport.

i returned to my parent’s property (temporarily) because i was feeling unsafe and couldn’t get the support i needed while covid is already limiting resources. i wasn’t able to get an admission at this time, because the wards – even the psych ward – is quite restricted right now.

so yeah i returned to western australia for a little bit. it reminded me of all the reasons why i left. the suppression i must actively must force upon my own personality, because i am different to the rest. the words i must choose carefully, selectively, lest some intelligence leaks out to be taken as an insult. under this roof, i am reminded of emotional abuse. i am reminded that i will never be good enough, that i will never quite be enough – thin enough, smart enough, pretty enough, relaxed enough, happy enough.

i am reminded of every single moment that i regret, that i chose to leave behind on the other side of the country for a reason. i am haunted here by photographs in which a gaunt face stares back at me, the traces of a depressed, skeletal being who clung to life with only tea and fruit and vegetables. there are remnants of my past scattered everywhere: in the furniture, the garden, the boxes of books that i can’t bear to sell.

a wall of suppression hides painful times in my mind, but the past is being clawed out from the mortar. it is gauged from my soul even as i watch, dissociating impassively, and re-live all the anguish hidden beneath the surface.

even just being here causes my eating disorder to flare up. i return to old habits. i cry into plates of carrots. i hurt myself the way i used to: secretly, shamefully. i hide the bloodied towels. i flush used dressings and bloodied guaze down the toilet.

i keep dreaming about my trauma. i can’t outrun these triggers, even in sleep.

they’re inescapable.

a long overdue update

it’s been a few months. a lot has been happening. i need to vent, and this blog has become a safe space for me to do that, even if i have been away for a while. i don’t know if any of the friends i made through the blogosphere will see this, or even care if they do see it. certainly none of my friends irl give a shit about me right now, which is exactly why i am venting here, instead of screaming at them. also because it’s shitty of me to scream at other people when i can scream somewhat anonymously into an internet abyss instead.

i lost two very good friends. and i don’t mean lost to suicide, although honestly, that is still a likely possibility, in both their cases. more accurately, i hurt two very good friends, and they abandoned me. isn’t it ironic that i never thought i experienced abandonment issues until somebody decided to abandon me? only now am i truly a fully inducted borderline, i guess.

another central irony: i haven’t been this small since i was sixteen, but i have never felt fatter. my boss noticed my forearms cuts / scabs / scars so i’ve had to go back to slicing up my thighs. i forgot how fucking easy it was to shred thighs to pieces.

rediscovered the best self harm quote on the internet: they see no scars, they think she lies. but they check only her wrists, and never her thighs.

made my own best self harm quote on the internet: i didn’t need to be told / that people were afraid / of those of us / led astray by blades. / it’s not our fault / we say. we’ll see / better days. / we’re braver than those / who avert their gaze.

i became an ‘insta poet’ (ugh, so cringey). @rosiebeepoetry. i was paid to perform some pieces of my choice. i was honoured to have others share their stories with me, in exchange for sharing my own so publicly.

i had two (three? four? i think four since my last post) quite serious suicide attempts. spent some time in hospital. and somehow i am still existing, even if i hate it.

i started uni for 2020. it’s probably the only thing keeping me alive and out of hospital, at least for the next seven weeks until break.

i am unsafe tonight. i want to slice my stomach off. it’s probably the only way i will ever lose weight since i don’t have enough fucking self control to do it any other way apparently. i’m not sick enough to deserve treatment, whether in hospital or out. i’m not sad enough, irrational enough, hurt enough. i’m not cutting deepest enough. who gives a fuck if i slice up my thighs, but don’t reach anything subcutaneous? they say all self harm matters, but does it really? i was convinced that some cuts recently (practically scratches) should be seen to by my doctor (who is great, btw) and all i could think was that i was wasting her time and resources on something a fucking cat could have done. i hate this. i hate cutting but i love hurting myself. i hate anorexia but i love being in control. i hate binge eating but i love losing control. i hate being alive but i hate failed suicide attempts. i hate hospitals but i want help. i hate hospitals but i need help. i hate myself and so i need help.

i was also reminded of this quote by blythe baird: when people asked what i wanted to be when i grew up, i said

small.

//

your blogger in chief

rosie bogs

bright girl, dull future

i used to be the girl who everybody talked about owning the world. the one who would be the boss of all her bullies one day. the girl who could be anything she wanted, with all the opportunities life could afford her. she could be a doctor, a vet, a physiotherapist, a surgeon, an astrophysicist, a chemist, a writer, an actress, a make-up artist, a painter… anything.

the world was my oyster, but the pearl never formed.

i think maybe, that the constant, relentless weight of expectation contributes more to my mental health than people may perhaps realise. it’s the sense of relief from receiving a high distinction, before realising that people will only ever focus on the 3% of mistakes, not the 97% of knowledge. i love learning. i love studying. i kinda even love exams, in a very nerdy way. but i despise the comparative competition.

it hurts.

for the 97% of my life to be ignored, and the 3% ostracised over and over again.

lately, i’ve given up on things. i still study, because who would i be if i wasn’t studying, but i no longer give a fuck about that 3%. it could be 50% for all i care. because i can be fucking anything. the world is my oyster and if it hasn’t formed yet then i will damn well force it to solidify.

i can sense the disappointment in the air. as if the bright girl has discarded her future for writing poetry, and body art, and self harm.

they think my future is dull but i don’t care. i have seen and done things in my short twenty years that most people will never experience in a lifetime (thankfully). i have been ridiculed, i have been restrained, and hospitalised against my will, and attempted suicide ten times, and am having a relapse with my casual love of self harm. and i’m trying to convince everyone that i’m struggling.

but all they see is the dull future. they refuse to see the bright girl down there. they would rather be disappointed than intervene. i have survived, and i am surviving, and i am slowly learning how to live and if that doesn’t make my future seem fucking bright then i don’t know if anything will.


This was supposed to be a city

synonymous with starting over.

Somewhere to reinvent myself

with ink and piercings and an undercut,

with the kinds of things a bright girl

would use to dull her future.

Not only did I remake myself,

I redesigned my body,

ploughing furrows over

the fertile flesh of thighs,

burning crop circles

into flammable forearms

and transforming wrists

into rivers and rivulets

running scarlet.

This was supposed to be a city

of embrace, of exploring

the beautiful brutality of being.

Somewhere to learn

that worth is not earned

with grades and blades

and perfection hunting,

with the kinds of things a bright girl

like me relies on to build her future.

Cuffed, battered, and bruised.

As with the other times I have been forcibly restrained, being handcuffed and held down by four (five? six?) police officers against my will was not a pleasant experience.

My hair is (still) full of leaves. My mind is full of trauma. Not only is my body a patchwork of pink and silver scars, but now purple and green and brown patches mar its surface too. There are rings on my wrists from fighting against handcuffs, before they were replaced with softer restraints in the ambulance. My eye is black from punching myself repeatedly in the face before the police held my arms by my sides. My elbows, sides and thighs all ache from attempts to wriggle free. My throat is hoarse from screaming at them to stop, to let go, to just let me die.

They didn’t let up, not until I was “more compliant” after being sedated.

On a somewhat lighter note, the police thought I was very strong, which apparently I was supposed to take as a compliment even while their palms pushed at my body and hands held down my head. I could hear them joking about it. It didn’t feel good to be laughed at, laughed about, while my rights were violated at the same time.

The next thing I remember is waking up on Monday morning, hungover, and drowsy from the remnants of sedative coursing through my circulation. I remember ambulance officers, but I don’t remember getting in the ambulance. I remember being restrained, but I don’t remember those restraints being taken off. I remember talking to the mental health team, but not what I said.

What I do remember, very clearly, is the anguish of being restrained once again.

Just another traumatic chapter added to my life story.

Scars, sisters, and scarred sisterhood

I have a sister. Although I don’t mind revealing my identity, I want to keep hers private, so let’s call her K.

K and I were never close. K and I never talked. But recently, K got engaged, and then her fiance’s dad passed away.

And, suddenly, I was receiving middle of the night texts when she couldn’t sleep, asking if I was up and wanted to talk.

For the first time ever.

Since she was having a tough time, I welcomed her into my life for a day. We hung out. It was nice. She has never been to Sydney, so in typical tourist fashion, I took her to The City, for some classic selfies with the Harbour Bridge and Opera House. I think she enjoyed it, but honestly it’s hard to tell. I always thought I was the closed off one, but maybe I retreated so far within myself I never noticed the similarities between K and I.

I haven’t seen her for nearly two years. And in that time, as regular readers will know, my mental health hasn’t exactly been great. I have been self-harming since I was fifteen or sixteen, but until this year, I never self-harmed on my wrists. So K was pretty confronted today, when she saw my scars.

Some of what she said upset me, and I could tell she was upset, as she asked me why with tears in her eyes. So I told her: I hate myself, and I hate being alive a lot of the time, and I deserve to be punished for making mistakes and taking up too much space.

Those aren’t real reasons, she said.

That hurt. (It also made me want to cut… which I know is the opposite of what K would have wanted, but it just hurt so much, and I needed to make that pain apparent. I didn’t though. I binged instead. Which will probably lead into some self harm later anyway, but then at least K isn’t directly responsible.)

But I suppose, seeing your younger sister for the first time in a long time, with her mental health finally visible for all too see, would have hurt too.

Like my flesh, I suppose our sisterhood is scarred in some ways. I know we didn’t get along well when we both lived at home, and I know I was often provocative. But I also know that I felt entirely inadequate next to her. I also know that sometimes, the things she said made it seem as though she knew my struggles and was just another person bullying me about it.

A sister, scarred, and a scarred sisterhood. Hand in hand, I hope we can heal each other.

Pulsating

Like the rest of the hospital, it’s unlikely that you, dear reader of this especially cherished corner of the blogosphere, will believe that I cut an artery accidentally. But it truly was an accident.

I bought better blades. Sharper blades. The best blades I have ever had – much better than the scissors I was unnecessarily attached to (probably destroyed by the police anyway after they confiscated them from me on a midnight manic suicidal run through a random suburb). These blades are sharp. They are so sharp they glisten in the light. When I drag them across my flesh, it’s so easy to draw hurt. It’s so easy to make a mess of my Frankenstein flesh. The beads of blood burst readily from beneath my skin.

Which makes these blades especially dangerous when I am particularly angry.

Dragging a sharply honed blade across your flesh with the same amount of force you once applied to do damage with blunted scissors will lead only to disaster.

To another night in the emergency department.

To another night questioned ceaselessly by the mental health team (who know me a little too well at this point).

And, to another night of self-harming, but this one with a terrible difference: there was so. much. blood. It poured from my arm. It made a mess of my carpet. It drowned the bathroom tiles with scarlet sludge.

It was scary, to have such a bad consequence to my self harm when (for once) I wasn’t intent on having consequences. I wasn’t wanting to go deep like at other times where I have need stitched up. I hadn’t decided, when I touched the blade to my skin, that I would slice an artery. But I did it. And, honestly, it was scary and exhilarating.

Self harm and I are having a moment; a relapse, if you will. It calls to me like a long-lost friend. I forgotten how much I loved it, and the emotional care it offered me in return.

But it’s okay. I have the best blades to keep me company, and a wealth of anatomy knowledge at my disposal with which to successfully avoid cutting anything crucial.

High Lethality

I think I was a cat in a past life. As of Monday, I survived my eighth suicide attempt. I only have one life left then, I suppose.

One of my obsessive anxious behaviours is that I cannot stand people knowing things about me that I don’t know myself, so I always, always, read my discharge summaries, referrals, notes… you get the idea. Which is how I found out that my liver is on the verge of death, after taking a high lethality overdose.

Still wasn’t lethal though, was it?

Still useless at killing myself, aren’t I?

Still worthless, failing at even the simplest tasks – like killing myself.

Things aren’t even bad right now. Mood is okay. Life is stable. Uni is great.

Thoughts are loud.

I’ve been working a lot on my poetry lately, and my book, so I haven’t really been writing much here. I’m still chugging along, desperately clinging to the bits of life I actually enjoy and self-destructively destroying everything else that doesn’t serve me well.

That’s the best I can do right now.