Not cat scratches.

I went to work this afternoon and went for coffee with a coworker on the advice of my nurse. She has suggested some things that don’t seem a good fit, like taking something over to the girl who is looking after the cat. Yes, I could buy something and take it over to her house but she is already spending a lot of time looking over the cat and it feels like it would be weird to impose on her time further by “buying” small talk with a gift. I mean, of course I am going to get her something to thank her, but I’ll probably get something that can be emailed (gift card) or a subscription box that goes straight to her.

Anyway, this coworker only has until the end of next week before she goes on maternity leave and I’m not really close with anyone else, but she said we should go for coffee every day which will at least ensure that I take some kind of break. She was filling me in on work gossip and I asked her if I could pass these off as cat scratches, and rolled up my sleeve to show her the cuts (now bright pink scars) on my wrist. Her eyes went as big as saucers and I knew right away that the answer was no, it looks like I slit my wrists. She exclaimed “Did you do that to yourself?” and it felt like she was taking my depression more seriously all of a sudden.  And maybe that’s one of the points of cutting yourself – it feels good (in a way that you are getting to release and focus some of your pent up emotion), it makes your pain visible via the blood, and it leaves a history of your pain with the scars. Then it isn’t such an “invisible” illness anymore:


The thing is that I heal so slowly that I think it will be months before these fade. Part of me thinks that I might as well keep cutting in the same place then, and part of me wants to rub creams in or get a coverup tattoo or wear long sleeves forever. I have two pairs of wrist warmers; both were made from old sweaters. One is from cashmere and I don’t know if it is from bleaching it when I washed everything after moving from the mouse house or if it’s just because it’s so delicate, but it’s getting tiny holes everywhere and won’t last much longer. The other are quite a bit heavier so won’t really be suitable for wearing much past the spring. I went down to the hospital lobby and found a beautiful pair of wrist warmers (“fingerless gloves” or whatever) with satin lacing on them on Etsy. So I guess I’ll just keep buying some and then it can be one of my fashion signatures, like wearing hats. Not that I am all fashionable, because I’m not, but if I wear wrist warmers or long sleeves all the time people won’t think anything of it.

I’ve wanted to write a lot more but it takes so much energy and starting back to work and having a weekend pass has taken it out of me.  I’m terrified of going to work full-time next week — I almost said “going back to work” but I haven’t worked full-time for a year, so this will be more than I have been doing and I’ll have ketamine on top of it as well as, potentially, outpatient groups. I’m supposed to meet the outpatients group nurse tomorrow, and I’m kind of anxious about the whole thing. If it takes 1.5 hours a day, let’s say from 9 to 10:30, then by the time I drive to work I won’t start until 11:00 and will have to work until 7 at night. I am really worried that it won’t be doable. But on the other hand, I agree that it would be a good thing to be seen or connect 4 days out of the week as opposed to once every couple of weeks.

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