Walking The Line / by Charlie Francis Cassidy

Trigger warning: Self harm and Suicide

I’ve always lived my life at extremes, to one degree or the other. I suppose that’s why being diagnosed with Bipolar made a lot of sense to me.

One moment everything can be clear as day, the next nothing makes sense. I spend 2 weeks too depressed to bother with anything, then I spend 2 or 3 with more energy than I know how to handle. I’ll feel hopeless, then like gods gift to the world. All it takes is a heartbeat and I’m someone else, something else.

I once had someone who was once a close friend, later call me out on not being the person she knew. At the time I was confused, I was exactly the person I thought I was. But I think maybe she was right, I had flipped. Of course while she picked up the change, she wasn’t about to believe a mood disorder was the cause. She believed that in my depression, I just wasn’t picking myself up and getting it done. Getting what done? Life, uni, everything. But that’s not the point right now.

I’m on the edge. I know it. I’m being so much more reckless with where I hurt myself.

When I get really bad I just get into this state where I can’t think properly, it’s like a fog or haze in my head. The only thoughts that get through are telling me I just need a release, something to get me to focus.

In high school self harm was mostly viewed as the person seeking attention or wanting/trying to kill themselves. As a result there was a lot of bullying that went down towards anyone who visibly self harmed. Across the street to the hospital, down the road to the morgue. If anyone just cut across their arm they were bullied about attention seeking behaviour, or bad at killing themselves. Anyone with obviously bandaged arms and a history of finding their way to hospital, well unfortunately they were often told they should have done the job properly.

I was quite good at hiding all of my scars. Thighs, shoulders, arms, hips I tried it all. Sometimes the best way to hide a scar is in plain sight. I learnt early that mostly, people are much less observant than you think. Except the people that care about you, they are the most observant. They also know when you’re lying about why you have that band-aid, or that scar.

Tangent aside, I kind of feel like I’m barely holding on here. I’m so caught up with my companies new direction, my other job and the job I just applied for that I think I’m actively avoiding the idea of hospital. Then I have my head that can basically talk me out of or into anything. Mainly out of hospital and taking my meds on time. Should have taken the Seroquel 2 hours ago, but here I am manic and awake as anything instead.

I just don’t know if I should be in hospital, like maybe my head is right or maybe it’s tricking me. Even when I’m in a state and kind of know, this is the time you call the ambulance I realise - I have a pill that’ll knock me right out in an hour. I’ll then wake up next day, while not fantastic I’ll be alive and I’ll be at least a bit further from the edge than I was. So why, when I get worst at night and have this pill, should I need to be in hospital. It’s not just me avoiding it, I somehow feel less entitled. Like I don’t want to take up a bed that someone else needs more than me. Maybe actually, I’m not really having any problems. I’m alive despite it all, I’m stubborn as can be and I’ve got a lot going for me.

I’ve taken my Seroquel now so it should bring me down in an hour. While they’re so far not really helping with the extremes of my mania they’ve certainly made my bed time far more reasonable. Had I taken it on time I’d be asleep round 11. Even now, a 1am bedtime is far better than my usual 3am onwards. Of course that still happens, though far less regularly.