The Hell Butterfly

Hang on, didn’t this happen already?

The date is around the last week of October and the first week of November 2013. The latest coursework deadline was approaching like a freight train at full throttle and I was standing in the mouth of the tunnel it was passing through. These essays had to kill me this time. This time it would happen. It had to, right? That’s what it felt like at least. Every new essay wave brought about a new bout of stress crying, procrastination and angry brooding. Every time I thought it would be the end of me but this time felt different. I was sick of it. The train was coming, and this time it was going to crush me.

It didn’t.

It was close, but it didn’t.

It just clipped my ankle.

The lightness of sweet relief once the deadlines were gone, knowing there was nothing more I could do, washed over me. It was like I’d been trying to run through treacle and suddenly dry land was beneath my feet and I could fly. I forgot all about the stress, the worry, the pain. It stopped occurring to me that death might be the better option than putting myself through it again. Instead, I felt free.

In a quantitative sense, this lasted two weeks. Two weeks for me in a good mood is rare, and often actually dangerous. In these two weeks I began The Hell Butterfly. For those two weeks, I felt untouchable. Like an elastic band that, once stretched to its maximum, had been released and with it all the tension had evaporated. I could relax again.

It has been four months since then.

In those four months, my mood cycled again.

November was hard. The end of October and the start of November had tried to drown me in the stress of coursework and it had been difficult for me to get through. Two weeks of freedom, happiness if you will, and then I crashed. Hard. This is why I hate good moods. They’re nice while they last, but the come down hurts so much more in the fall. The end of November braced me for the impending disaster that I knew December would be. December is always bad. Last year was no exception.

I’m reluctant to reveal details in case someone I know is reading this and confronts me about it – that would be embarrassing, degrading, and ultimately damning. But this blog is mine, and I can say what I like. You, the readers, probably don’t care what I choose to do with my life, you just read about it. And it is you who will hit Like at the end of the experience.

I self-harmed in October. I stopped for half of November then did it again at the end of the month. I didn’t do it for most of December and the start of January. But that was mainly because I was at home, and I’d left my blade in Plymouth. When I got back after Christmas, I had hoped January would be better. But I was a fool to let myself believe that. More deadlines were looming, and with it the next freight train, and once again I had found myself standing in the mouth of hell. I cut myself in January once I was back in Plymouth. A lot. February wasn’t much better toward the start of the month.

But then there was a change.

I managed to get some work done early, and the stress of that deadline was released before it had had time to develop. And then I joined Kerrang! Dating. It was just a laugh at first, but it was a distraction nonetheless and I found myself in, not a good mood, but a satisfactory one. I was floating on the surface, not submerged by it.

And then I met M24.

For the first two weeks that we spoke, the last two weeks in fact bar the last two days, I was elated. Just like in November I had two weeks straight of good mood. And we know how that ended. During the last two weeks I have found myself grinning all the time, so much so that my face actually hurt. My muscles weren’t used to being forced into that position for so long and my face ached. I laughed at the stupidest things. I danced and bounced in my seat to cheesy love songs for Christ’s sake. But I was enjoying myself, and enjoying talking with M24 so I didn’t care.

The last two days have seen the shit hit the proverbial fan and I’ve once again found myself standing in that tunnel. I don’t know when the train is coming but I can feel it. The apprehension, the fear, is ever present. It will round that corner at full pelt any day now but I can’t know when. It could be tomorrow or it could be in April. But the one thing I do know is this feels awfully familiar. Two weeks of high spirits and then a puncture in my parachute. I’m falling now, and the ground is coming closer once again. Only this time it’s not just me that could get dragged down.

I’m crashing but I don’t want to take M24 with me. I like talking with him, and he seems to like talking with me too, but I can’t do this to him. He’s too nice to let him get involved in my shit. My ship is sinking, but it’s only the Captain’s duty to go down with it. I don’t want him to be caught up in it. I should tell him this. I should let him know I’m crashing and that this has happened, and will continue to happen often. I should let him decide whether to stick around, but right now he doesn’t know what he’s letting himself in for and though it would be presumptuous to believe there is more than a friendship here, I still can’t stand the idea of him wanting to be involved with me, as to be with me is to be with my problems. And I have more of those than I know what to do with.

Regardless of the situation with M24, I can feel things getting bad again, and with even heavier deadlines coming my way I can’t guarantee I’ll be able to make it out of the way in time. This time could be the one. The last time. I don’t want to do this anymore but the train is coming and I don’t have the time or capability to move.

There is indeed a light at the end of the tunnel, but it sure as hell ain’t no sunshine.


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