What I want is freedom, independence, happiness. Joy. Love. Peace. All that good stuff. I'm done with nightmares, internal screams. External screams. White walls/ white pills, injections monthly. The forced injections where they held me down. I want to leave the past behind, mourn it, and move on.
I've suffered from mental illness for twelve years now. I was never the same after the anorexia, I was forever changed. Different. Haunted by it. One person told me that they'd never seen me smile, or heard me laugh. Partly it was because I was never happy, also because I hated my smile and my laugh. The worst of all my mental illnesses was the psychosis, where I was institutionalised. Being in hospital for months at a time teaches you a lot about yourself, you grow as a person whether you want to or not. I went from girl to woman fast.
Yet I am not a mature adult. I have never held down a job; or earnt a wage, lived alone. But I slept in that small room, studied the white walls, took the pills, made friends, and acquaintances and learnt a new way of life for the time I was there. You're not well, you're in survival mode.
I will talk more about the psychosis in later blog posts but for now I want to focus on the identity disorder. Baby. It may not make much sense to you, but it does to me. Most of it. And even if it doesn't, I have to talk about it somehow.
In Long Live, Taylor Swift sings, "I had the time of my life fighting dragons with you," and I did, it was painful and complicated, but I loved being Baby rather than Caitlin. I was her, she was me. Twisted sisters, alter ego, identity disorder. It has never been diagnosed, but it makes sense to me.
If you can relate please get in contact as I would love to know more people who have suffered from an identity disorder.
In hospital I went by Isobel, then told my mum I wanted to change my name to May. I thought Caitlin was lost forever, because I only named Baby on the psychiatric ward. By then I felt it was too late. She had been Caitlin too. The name was tarnished, didn't feel like it belonged to me. My face was unrecognisable.
But these days, my face feels like mine again, so does my name. I fought for them back.
"See the luck I've had can make a good man turn bad,"
I love this line because I choose to be good despite my painful experiences, sometimes you have little room left for other people, but I try to make room, otherwise I feel guilty for not caring as deeply as I once did.
Other Smiths songs I recommend for those reading this blog are Pretty Girls Make Graves, There is light that Never Goes Out, and How soon is now?
Another mental illness I have suffered from is body dysmorphia, but I have recently made huge progress and despite working on losing weight, I am trying to go about it in a healthy way and love the skin I'm in in the meantime.