No Hell Lasts Longer Than You Allow It To
The first dominoes have fallen. The sound I hear is just precious. Let’s see how many more come down from now.
This morning I started reading my notes for inspiration — I have many journals and notebooks which pages are plagued with scrawls and thoughts. Heavy strokes, irregular handwriting. I changed my mind so much since last year, it’s shocking… but indeed, coming from me: highly expectable.
If you didn’t change in 365 days, something isn’t working.
What I love about journaling is that — in general terms— you document your life, with your own words. You create a guide, a map. In a world where to find truth is so difficult, your words can be your amulet. I really trust my feelings, mostly because of the proof I have from them. Stories and true intentions are what helps us not ‘lose it’ in this unpredictable era. So, why not honouring your existence by just drawing some words? For yourself. You don’t imagine what a relief it is to throw up all your worries in paper and how it can help you. It can’t and will never hurt you.
When I’m feeling strange, sad or lost, I like remembering what happened that “same day”, a year earlier. It’s profoundly relieving to see how things have changed for me since that day. Honestly, there was no way that it could have been worse, but yeah. Still.
So, basically; I went back ‘home’ — again (!) — to make things up for once. If there is trouble in your mind, escaping from it… is just delusional, an irrational move that will hit back, stronger every time. Your issues will always know where you live… You can’t escape your own mind. All over again, everything exploded on my face and for the first time in my life, I experienced real fear. Terror. I saw things on my mind that scared me to a point, that I had to get back to the origin. I was lost without resources, at the other side of the planet, completely alone. Sitting on the street, I cried so much, I felt like my tears came up from my stomach to my pupils; my eyes ended up red and little. I was powerless and angry, and I didn’t know what to do. Me, the inventor of ways, defeated on all fronts. I had to go back, against my will, against everything I stood for… “Me, surrender? Never”. But my anguish was holding me hostage, my eyes felt heavy as two bowling balls. I couldn’t see, I didn’t comprehend anything around me. When you want something all your life, so badly, and everyone around you tells you that you’re wrong, you live in war. But if you leave this environment and this war continues, you start feeling this thing… this pressure. Full-body discomfort. Always forcing locks, never in peace. I always go forward, never one step back. All this hurt myself so much… learnt it the hard way.
After all these years blindly fighting, I found myself in pieces; I didn’t recognize my own face in the mirror. So, after so many consecutive downfalls and my moral ripped off, bled out; I had to reconsider what was really going on with me.
I came back. Everything that touched my skin was cold, and I was afraid of everyone and everything. Had I lived in this place most of my life? I didn’t remember obvious, daily ways of my house functioning. Seeing my room again sent chills down my spine. I was afraid of saying what I was really feeling, they would lock me up directly. To this day, a year ago, I had kept detail out of the discussion, just in case. Their first move was to medicate me; the second, brain scans. After 24 years, for once, I didn’t hold resistance. I felt defeated and my arms were stiff as stone. I had agreed to go home to see a doctor, but my parents changed their mind when I was already there (!) and sent me to a psychologist instead: I’d go see her a few times a week, and she would drop a report at the end. Then my parents would tell me if I could continue with my projects. I didn’t answer, fearing that any false move would backfire at me. Psychoanalysis. Again. Everyone really thought I was out of my mind, and that saddened me deeply. I was a stranger in my own nest. My anguish was like acid, coming up my throat every time I had to explain something. As I always felt this, since I was very little, I thought it was normal.
Five weeks sitting in front of this always-late, too-smiley, overly-religious small woman, whom my parents had met through a ‘family contact’. I could see her skin crawl when I told her something I had done, her eyes getting bigger. She, trying in vain to hide her natural reactions, subjective opinion that I could perceive as the breeze on my face on a summer day. How many times I escaped my house, secrets I hadn’t told anyone. I felt like a criminal, confessing. Everything was clear on my brain but I needed to know what was this pressure on my chest, cold hands, when I couldn’t speak, what was the reason? Sometimes I could sit for hours on my bed, unable to stand up. Never a genuine smile. I was an outsider of my own body.
After this five weeks, my parents told me I wasn’t okay and that I had to stay home, that I couldn’t even see the report that was made about me. I felt something similar to what it would feel to swallow stones. Betrayed, again. So, I woke up.
I went to the kitchen, after everyone left, ‘to clean’, picked up the phone and called a psychiatrist myself. Again, one more time, I had to do things in secret. I called this man, colleague of my father, and told him I needed a real session. I needed to know if I was insane or not. I swear on my own life that if he had said I wasn’t okay I would have stayed. He told me to meet up in a café, because that wouldn’t raise suspicion. Finally, after so long, I found it: an ally. The first time we spoke lasted 5 hours. In general, overly-summarized terms, he told me I had scarily high levels of anxiety, anguish and panic disorder. I never thought all this I felt had names. I effectively needed a medication, but different from the one I got indicated when I arrived. I didn’t say anything. I changed the medication in secret and pretended to visit friends every afternoon so no one would suspect. I told this doctor everything. I swear I didn’t hide one single detail. All of it. He told me I was more than fine mentally, that I was sharp as a freaking sword on my brain and that my problems were specifically emotional. I needed to continue with the medication and phone therapy but that I must leave.
I was right, again. I knew it.
I spoke to him every day till my departure day, and for ten more months. This man gave me the answer I asked for my whole life while in a café, hidden among the people, as I lived in that city, for 23 years.
No words will ever come close to describe what I felt when this man told me I was fine. All my strength came back to my body and my eyes burnt.
With the help of a friend, I bought my ticket. My parents had left a few days before for a trip to Europe, so: no one could stop me. My sister Valentina brought me to the airport. She is the only person I grew up with that always was — even when we fought for real — there for me. Unconditionally.
A lot of detail is missing. It will come up in between lines in time.
To conclude, I could do all this because I wrote all my life and could show this ‘documents’ to my doctor. My writing set me free — once again. A year ago I wrote:
“Yesterday, after the psychologist refused to send me the report I decided to call Dr. “L” and talk to him. This waiting thing, we all know it’s not my thing. So, sorry I am — and not at all— I must get, once again, out of father’s protocol and take action by my own means. I know that my instinct is the only thing I can trust and what has led me to my objectives, always. Five weeks. FIVE LONG WEEKS I WAITED. I respected their time, what about mine? No more. I know I’ve always been impatient but this, it ain’t enough? I know the damn answer. I’m now in the living room reflecting about what I must talk about with the doctor. I have a hunch… Thank you, God, for always putting good, capable people on my way. This makes me feel not so alone and smart. I’m 24 years old. I am a WOMAN. Entirely. Do I need help? Yes — and I’m willing to take it. Thank you, God, again. I listen to music and the labyrinth unblocks. What else? I’m alive. I know I can fix this. War is over. The enemy never knew what I was doing. Julieta: Be smart. Let go. God and the universe* have shown you that every single piece falls at place at the right moment. Breath. And enjoy it. Note: God and the universe are the same entity.
If it wasn’t for writing — that has led me to build unbreakable self-conviction, I would probably be locked up and medicated right now, completely broken; and not in France, doing what I’ve been taught to believe was impossible.