The past days have felt blitzed with anger and hate. For the world and for myself. In my eyes, there seems to be two types of anger. We all have those ‘natural’ anger states that kick up as a result of our thoughts/thought processes about something, be it in the present or in the past. But then there is the other anger that follows something like PTSD. It is the anger that rushes through your body, knocking each cell into a raging frenzy. It is this anger that is triggered. ‘Flooding’ happens. Flooding of rage, fury, hatred for yourself and others. You literally can only see red. All you can do is ride it out, bring yourself back to the Earth, let the thoughts just be thoughts (no matter how intrusive they are) and grip onto the glimpses of calm, rationality and light that flutter in, in the midst of this Angry/Hating Flood.
I was trying to work out where all this anger and blinding hatred was coming from. The triggered kind, but also the other in parts too. For me this is rare for it manifest as all-encompassing as it is now. And then it clicked…
As I’m dwindling off these disgusting drugs and into the delicious reality of my own complete emotions: pure and un-tainted by chemicals, so many feelings have surfaced about my overdose back in April. It has now been almost a little over 9 months, and I see how the journey of healing is so closely linked to the journey of time. With the months that pass, so do feelings about what happened. And new ones come in their place. And then the circle begins again, and sometimes those old feelings are revisited, only to be found wearing slightly different jackets.
When I first got home from Cali (where It happened) I remembered feeling a TIDAL WAVE of guilt, shame and embarrassment for what I had done: I had attempted suicide…what the HELL? What the hell was I thinking? How could I be so stupid and SO selfish? How could I think that was a good idea? How could I put everyone through that? What. An. Idiot…What a Selfish Idiot.
For a long time afterwards, and still sometimes since, I felt so much guilt about being happy or having any spell of comfort, joy, or ease… Because of what I did I had a deep feeling of only deserving the worst for doing something like that. This is something I have had to work on since: this inner dialogue of deservability. The foundation of this Inner Critic’s theory of mine, is actually a LOVE FOR LIFE. Because I love it so much and feel it has to be embraced, LIVED, honoured and valued, the fact that I actively tried to take mine away makes me feel (in the eyes of my Critic) as though I should be shamed forever more. My inner critic’s theory goes a little something like this: no one should live a happy, lucky or blossoming life if they have tried to end theirs. They simply do not deserve it.
For the record, this is a load of bullshit. It’s just the way the critic speaks right now. Anyone and everyone – suicide attempt survivors or other – deserve a beautiful life. ALWAYS. We all have our inner critic and inner dialogue of self-hate-ridden theories…and this, sadly, is one of mine.
But, I’m working on it.
These feelings of guilt for what I put my friends through, embarrassment for what they may think, shame for what I did have continued to come in gentle (and at times, not-so) waves for the last nine months. And right now, I am in a roaring tussle with this tide of emotions.
There are other waves that come through, and have always. The more beautiful and loving kind, of self-compassion, forgiveness, understanding, sorrow, pain, grief and my utmost gratitude for my friends and all that they did around that time. But right now I am wearing the Self Hatred wetsuit, and those gentle waves feel far on the horizon, with the ripple of shame closest to shore.
I hate myself for what I did. So I want the world to hate me too. For the first time in my life I notice myself purposely wanting to PISS those around me OFF so they don’t want to be with me. So they hate me as much as I hate myself. So those that loved me and were there for me unconditionally over the initial overdose aftermath, and all these months following, realise they made a mistake. So they realise they don’t actually love me like they say they do, and then they’ll stop being so damn loving and supportive and wonderful. So that me hiding myself away from the world, will mean people will forget me and will see me for my true Selfish Ugly colours. So that by me swimming in this wave of self hatred for myself, I will turn into an Ugly Duckling, with no shine, no spirit and no lovability left.
That would all be so much easier, wouldn’t it….? NO. No it wouldn’t. Yet no matter how much I remember that I actually know this is a load of trash, my mind becomes distorted with past trauma and a post trauma state. Emotionally and physically it just feels as though it would be so much easier if the world hated you and everyone in it did too.
Because, when you hate yourself so much, why should anyone love you? The truth is though Friends, that is a big load of bullshit too. No matter how much you hate yourself or you feel determined to push friends away because of what you did, they are still there.
Splash in the Shallows of Self-Hatred if you need to (I do believe that sometimes we need to feel whatever it is we are battling against, so we then realise how much we hate it), but please allow yourself permission to refrain from diving into the Tidal Wave of Self-Hatred. This can so easily turn into the Sword of Self-Destruct, and nobody deserves this. Or the self hatred bit either. For me it hasn’t become self destruct the past few days, and for me this is a MEGA, HIGH-FIVE WORTHY, achievement. Hell yeah. This is healing, baby. However, self-destruct does appear in subtle ways, not just the literal physical ways.
This shame that follows a suicide attempt, can become self-destruct in Splashes of Self-Sabotage kind of way. All the hiding yourself away, hating the world so that it hates you back, hating those around you so that they hate you back and abandon you like you so desperately want, is ALL self-sabotage. But just notice it. Don’t give yourself an added brick of weight to your already bulging rucksack of guilt. Just notice that it is what you are doing. Just notice that this becomes your ‘pattern’ at times of Self Hatred. The power of Noticing, not Changing, works wonders. And it will pass. I promise.
Suicide attempt survivor, witness to a loved ones attempt, or any other sweet soul reading this, know that all the emotions, feelings, conversation topics, that follow something like this are Bitching. They are intense. They are seemingly chaotic. They are painful. They are scary. They go against the sheltered grain of society. But they are beautiful. They are life. And they need be heard, welcomed and honoured. For they are healing.
As I get my surfboard out and try to ride this bitching Wave of Self Hating Shame, I hope you can do this too, if you need to. I hope you can find whatever it is that becomes your board, and ride it. For me, right now, my board is Writing, Mindful Meditation and Moments in Nature.
What is yours?
All my love to you.