I literally just slammed my palm into my forehead and said “what’s wrong with me” outloud. It’s gone midnight, I’ve been tucked into bed since 9.30. Sitting on my bed since before 9. Probably with a glazed expression and down turned lips. I don’t know.

“I am done.” A line that goes through my head a lot, especially recently. Obsessing over that Saturday, watching me work myself into complete and utter hysteria, mania; screaming, sobbing, puking, hyperventilating, throwing. And then that mindless, terrifying takeover. Baby voices and singsong, dead eyes. Methodical, the switch of the sickening autopilot flipped.

I don’t recognise the Saturday child with her red face and pill chasing, but I don’t recognise the thinner face in the front phone camera either. One void closes, perhaps another has opened. I am so needy, desperate for love, attention, constantly needing to be held onto.

Attention. It’s the word that brings exasperation to the mental health community, and it’s a word I’m struggling with horribly. Sickness did bring attention, it’s true, it did. It brought many things, and many types of attention: worry, anger, whispers, teachers pulling me aside, emails reaching out, strangers reaching out. It brought me into the world of psychology and then later psychiatry. Labels that are ‘real’, no guesswork now. Mother’s word is made official. I have been seen by professionals, psychologists and counsellors, since I was 13. I was 17 when I was brought back before them and deemed not sick enough. 18 brought me my first psychiatrist, whom I ate like air.

I’ve met some atrocious professionals in my time. “You’re obviously not underweight, so there’s not much I can do for you” and “oh, the way she made it sound on the phone, I expected someone emaciated”. Lines that are haunting.

My favourite was my psychiatrist in Melbourne. He was fatherly – read into that what you will. He was also a friend. I walked in and declared, with passion, that I thought his profession was a waste of time and money and that I didn’t think he’d help me one bit ( – like I needed help anyway! – ). He told me he appreciated my honesty, and I went on to have the most subtle and brilliant counselling experience of my life. I adored him and he liked me, he told me I was a good person. A professional who tells you this, who does remind you of a father and who makes it clear they care about you, is wonderful – but also a problem. It meant a couple things. There were a few topics I could not comfortably talk about with him, sex namely. Which was bad because it was something that did need to be talked about. I also felt a great deal responsible, I was accountable to him, and I was terrified of disappointing him. I found it difficult to talk about Beau. I still can’t really, properly, talk about Beau because a lot of it I’m still trying to figure out, and if I can’t make sense of it in my own head, how can someone else?

I miss my old psychiatrist, and I think of him often.

I am so tired.


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