Cracks in Fragility | Article

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By Raquel Lyons


Unhealthy attachments have become the bane of my existence. I have only, thus far, had two unhealthy attachments in my life. One was my student therapist named “Steve.” The other a friend named “Luna.” I have yet to burn the bridges with my friend Luna, but I fear that burnt bridge will be coming for me soon.

 

By unhealthy attachments I mean attachments that have become excessive, obsessive, and draining. I do not know what root cause it circles back to; maybe it is the borderline tendencies I have tentatively been prescribed to, maybe it is having exposed all the shadowy and ugly bits of myself to these two people. Whatever it is, wherever it came from, I wish it would go away.

 

Instead, I seem to be stuck with them. I seem to be unable to pry my fingers away from its cloudy, black, needy stench and silhouette. I suppose I have to first identify what exactly I mean by an unhealthy attachment, then I have to recognize what problematic behaviors I am engaging in (or not engaging in) that I believe is fueling the fire, and then address it head-on even while it is painful and use therapy and coping skills to divert my attention from the rest of the issue while I attempt to solve it.

 

That sounds like a lot of work and it probably will be. It will likely take a lot of personal insight, self-awareness, redirection, radical acceptance, dialectical behavior therapy skills and pounds of coping strategies, patience and self-love. Because my first encounter with Steve is in the past I can only learn from my previous behavior to help guide me in addressing the current issue I am having with Luna.

 

I suppose I will additionally have to set aside my doubts and insecurities onto some blank journal paper. These doubts and uncertainties revolve around whether I am becoming “too much” for Luna to handle. Maybe I am “too needy.” Maybe I am draining and exhausting and incapable of being pleased. Maybe Luna does not want anything to do with me and I am just fooling myself into thinking that they do. And, of course, maybe I should just do everyone a favor and end my life because I will never be able to handle this level of rejection while also taking everything extremely personal. Maybe I was not cut out to live this life.

 

I cannot tell fact from fiction. And these doubts are extremely painful because maybe, just maybe, they might be true. Maybe I am just fooling myself to think any differently than what these thoughts are implying.

 

I can recognize the thoughts as irrational even as my emotions become rampant and my mental state decompensates. The childlike yearning that arrives when I enter these crises is exactly the issue that results in problematic behaviors with the people who have chosen to be around me. I recognize that I have the urge to dispel these mistruths by checking in with my friends to be reassured that my brain is just making a mockery out of me.

 

And there lies the fear that maybe, just maybe, these thoughts are true. At the same time, I do not believe I have surrounded myself with people who would ever dare to say it was true or even believe it to be true themselves.

 

The need I have is to reach out to Luna, and others. And I know at the same time that I cannot. Because the reassurance cycle will return in the future and I need to not act out, to not reach out for that reassurance, because no matter what Luna or anyone else tells me it will come back again and I will just have to repeat the cycle all over to momentarily feel secure and at ease.

 

Instead, I think I have to feel the pain and the emotional turmoil. I have to feel the pain in order to get past it. I have to utilize my coping strategies as ammunition against the BS in my brain. Because they are just thoughts, they only hold as much power as I give them, and I am really tired of giving them free reign.

 

Robert Frost is quoted to having said that “the best way out is always through.” I have to believe that I can withstand these thoughts. I have to believe that I am strong enough, that I am worthwhile, and that my life is important.

 

I do not know why this has happened. But it has. And I can either accept that and move forward or let my mind obsess about it until I act on some outrageous suicidal thought. And, even if I did, I know that it would never be enough. Maybe, just maybe, that’s a place to start.

 

Stay safe.


Written February 1.2018

A little about this piece:

Just wrote this today as a vent art when I re-entered crisis. It actually helped a lot to get it out of my system and I think I am working now with more than what I had before. Of course, if I could take back all the crying and snot dribbling that happened, that’d be great, but for now I think it IS a good place to start at. This is my “second” article but I think the first I will actually keep and submit. I fear that my previous article “The Calm Before the Storm” will be scrapped or edited and altered, I’m not sure yet. Thought this picture would fit best with the working title, although I do quite like the title as it is now (it’ll probably change in the paper though).

Any who. Sorry I’ve been away, I got hospitalized again. Overall, doing a bit better now. I’m secure in the fact that I don’t want to self-harm or die, so, that’s some progress! I have an intake for a partial tomorrow, bright and early–“yay.”

More to come in the following days. Photograph is from circa Spring 2014.

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