themis: a scale, a sword, a blindfold and a lion

i have always been fascinated by greek mythology. i would say greek and roman except we all know that the romans just copied all the greek gods and goddesses after overpowering the greek empire. anyway, i’ve always found greek mythology a really beautiful polytheistic conception of the world. (rick riordan’s percy jackson series anyone?)

themis is the goddess of law with the power of divination – she was an oracle, i guess. in her depictions, she is represented alongside four objects: a scale, a sword, a blindfold and a lion.

i don’t know where this popped into my head from, but maybe themis has something to say about where i am currently at. lately i’ve been trying to come to this blog with more stream-of-consciousness in-the-moment writing stuffs, so if it’s rambling all over the place know that my thoughts are probably in a far worse state. cool, back to themis.

the scales: not only a symbol of justice, of the balance of good and evil, but also a physical measure of an object’s weight. an object like, say, a certain bulimic individual who is quickly spiralling toward a relapse into her old anorexic ways. my scales were lying so i had to buy new scales, a better set, an electronic set but then i didn’t have any batteries and had a panic attack for the next two days until i went to the shops again since i had already ditched the shitty old set by this time

the sword: well, this should be obvious. i have a love-hate relationship with myself, my body, my scars and self harm.

the blindfold: themis wore a blindfold to judge things as they were, not how they appeared. but i think i am blinded by things as they appear. i am blinded by the sight of my body, which seems disproportionate and disgusting; i am blinded by the sight of food, which i will refuse to touch for days at a time or else gorge on until i purge or cut or drink or wake up in hospital with no memory of what landed me there; i am blinded to my own needs by the needs of others; and i am probably blinded by all the things my sick self says are good for me, that my sick self says keep me safe. here’s an example: i’m drinking as i write this. i was sober for such a long time and then in the past couple of weeks i’ve taken refuge again in the dull, fuzzy sensation that alcohol provides.

the lion: i want to say that i am brave, and courageous, but maybe the lion isn’t a symbol of my own spirit inasmuch as it is a symbol of all the shit barrelling towards me that threatens to hurt me, or else all the dangerous ways i self-destruct.

this was going to be a post simply about the whole scale/weight/fat-ass scenario and my current relapse (am i allowed to call it a relapse when i’m the one in the midst of it? is relapse a diagnostic word or a symptomatic one?) but then i thought of themis, and i realised i had an opportunity to go full nerd.

in other news,

the new rick and morty episode was pretty great (s4 e8).

in other other news,

my doctor threatened me with a schedule and a police search if i didn’t take myself to hospital after showing up at her practice needing sutures. so i took myself up to emergency, talked to the mh team, and was discharged 2 hours later. i don’t know whether to laugh or cry because the situation seems ludicrous, hilarious and also just really fucking sad.

every time i look at my thighs i cry.

i was trying to total the number of stitches i have had in my head, but i lost count, which is probably the worst number there is – infinite. i had 37 across two thigh cuts kinda recently, there are 10 in my arm as i write, and there were 6 last week. if i keep counting, i think there would have been about 30 on my thighs, and fuck knows how many on my arms. at least 40, maybe even 50? nobody will ever love me, not with this frankenstein flesh.

love, your very sad melodramatic bogs,

rosie.

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.

Feeling okay makes me not okay

This phrase we’ve accumulated: it’s okay not to be okay, has taken a unique turn in the general shittiness of my life. I’ve discovered that feeling okay, that feeling content, less depressed, more energetic, anything that goes beyond the usual neurotic distress, very quickly makes me not okay. I find it uncomfortable to the point that it becomes just as distressing as all the other urges I suffer through every day.

I can’t handle being okay. I can’t handle ‘happiness’. I don’t even know what that really looks like. Because, for the first time since I was a very, very little girl, I am having good days.

Today was a good day. I slept (properly). I ate breakfast (restricted). I studied. Cycled to the health food store. Studied. Practised yoga. Studied. Did some watercolour. Cooked dinner (deliberately portioned). Had a bath. Watched TV shows that make me smirk. Today was a day that has left me feeling content. But, there it is. That inexplicable sensation. The withdrawal. The beginnings of emptiness spreading outwards from my being, just like ink beginning to curl away on a page.

Why does feeling okay make me feel not okay? I feel so deeply that I am worthless and will always be worthless that I cannot account for these times where I feel okay about myself. Where I might possibly find life. Where I find balance in the things I must do (study) and the things I love (yoga, and art, but also study too tbh).

I don’t understand it. How do people tolerate this feeling of contentment? Is it the same as tolerating anger, when you’re not a borderline well accustomed to the tear of a blade across your own flesh to release it? Is it the same as tolerating anxiety, when you don’t knock hard surfaces so rapidly that the skin of your knuckles tears? It is the same as tolerating euphoria, when you don’t have manic episodes coercing energy through your veins?

Maybe, just as with all the other feelings, I need to stop thinking of them as obstacles that need to be removed. Just as I need to learn to coexist with anger and sadness and distress and anxiety, so too do I need to learn that feeling content is okay. It doesn’t diminish my struggle. It doesn’t weaken my fight. It’s just not something I’m equipped to handle yet, and I guess that for now, that will have to be okay.