Tuesday, 23 February 2016
Please, Take Some Diazepam (4)
I haven't written anything here in a while. Partly this is because I have, as longtime readers will be aware, increasingly been writing for other sites (like my review of Transparent Season 2 for Bustle, for example). But there's another reason too, which is that, put bluntly, I have not been well for a while. Not since August, really, not since I admitted that what I wrote about in this post was sexual assault and not just an unfortunate lapse in sexual etiquette on the part of the person involved.
It is hard to find language accurate enough to describe this. This isn't something I didn't remember until August, I always remembered it had happened, I just wasn't able to put it in its proper context until then. And I can't say I accepted it or came to terms with it because I haven't. In fact, since that day I haven't been able to stop thinking about it, this event that happened over fifteen years ago but is now suddenly, startlingly, stupefyingly present in my life. I keep flashing back to it. It consumes much of my thinking. I am nervous and frightened and so, so depleted. Sometimes my arms feel weak in the way they feel after an epically heavy workout, and I haven't been to the gym in months. I'm terrified of the locker rooms, and not just because I'm trans. People tell me I still look like I've lost weight, but in all honesty this is probably because I'm eating on a semi-feral schedule.
Sometimes, sensory stimuli overwhelm me to the point of panic: a crowded tube train at rush hour on the way to a production meeting. A room full of partying friends. A Five Guys restaurant in Birmingham. Four people talking at once. A noisy office. Sometimes I can conceal the fact that these things make me want to run. Sometimes I can sit and breathe and focus through it somehow. Sometimes I just run.
It's tiring, going through all this every day, and at night it's hard to fall asleep. I feel as if there is only so long I can keep fighting this before I don't have the strength to continue. What I do then, I don't know. Part of me is just banking on me not having the energy to do a thing about it.
About a fortnight or so ago, on the train to my day job, I began crying uncontrollably. I was unable to do anything without the tears beginning again. I hated this. I was angry about it. To say I couldn't understand why it was happening would not quite be true. I knew why. But what I couldn't understand was why that day and not any other.
But there's a simple enough answer to that question. There was nothing special about that day. Nothing important about it. Other than the fact that I'd held out long enough. I'd had enough. I'd been coping, for over six months, or trying to, and suddenly I couldn't anymore.
It probably doesn't come as much of a surprise to you that I've been diagnosed with PTSD, but I have. I'm on medication, and a waiting list for therapy. Writing, perhaps unsurprisingly, has not been much on my mind. I've tinkered with a few things, edited some older things, worked on research for a project which I'll talk about another time, but I haven't done much. This post is the longest thing I've written in weeks.
I would like to reassure you that I'm going to be okay. I would like to, but I don't know if I am. I know I want to be. I don't know if that's enough.
I want it to be.