I have felt sorry for myself. Happy for myself. Proud of myself. Angry at myself. Sad for myself.
Sometimes I felt nothing at all.
A parkour of emotions.
Not many people talk about the complexities of a dual diagnosis. I have felt so low that I did not even feel real. At the same time, my mind was like a washing machine: thoughts and words and ideas and intricacies, tumbling over and over.
I was, and still am, so sensitive. I would break down over not being pretty enough, skinny enough, clear skinned enough. Happy, bubbly, intelligent enough. I would pick apart my flaws day after day, figuratively, and literally (sorry pores.) I would cry when I looked at my red skin in the mirror. When I saw the stretch marks and the fat and the acne. When I was sad, because I was angry that I wasn’t happy. I saw them all as flaws, things that shouldn’t be there, that made me not want to be there.
And then I would feel stupid, for being so superficial and vain. So I would stop caring, because I thought that not caring would make me not see all those things I didn’t like about myself. I still saw them, and I still cried. I struggled for so long to find a balance between sensitivity and ignorance.
Now I know that pretty is just a word and that just being in enough. It’s also okay to care. Having sensitive, acne-prone skin has taught me the importance of skincare and routine. Having stretch marks and fat reminds me of how I am learning to be kinder to my body, and that it is okay to eat and nourish my body. Feeling so low, has made me appreciate my highs and my baselines, and I have never had such an incredible understanding of my own emotions.
I also never praised myself for progress I have made. I always thanked my psychologist and my medication and the doctors and the nurses. Of course they deserve praise, but I do too. Help can only go so far without subjective input.
Now I don’t think I would be able to live without my complexities, because they have taught, and are teaching me, so much. Pretty is just a word. No definite line can be drawn between sensitivity and ignorance. Being is enough. It’s okay to care.Return to issues