pain Archive

You Don’t Have To Forgive Your Abuser

The rhetoric of forgiveness in this world today is such that it can be employed as a bludgeon against victims of abuse. “You need to forgive your abuser so you can both move on with your lives.” “You’ll feel better about yourself if you forgive them.” “You’re too invested in your victimhood to see the bigger picture.” “Your abuser is a human being too, with feelings.”

Ooh-Rah

Your pain is in my DNA,
Father,
As real as the shrapnel
Still in your legs
Decades later

Damage

I want to put my best foot forward, but I only have two feet with the same mind. Can’t move forward, can’t go back, can’t stop what’s going to happen and cannot change what already has happened. And my past actions have made huge holes in my life, and my thoughts and emotions have minds of their own and take control, leaving me with a vague feeling that something happened, I did or said something and I cannot put my finger on the insanity that is driving my life.

Confessions of a First Time Cutter

I just cut myself, intentionally, for the first time, perhaps only 10 minutes before I started writing this sentence. I am now a cutter. I don’t know if I’ll ever do it again, but I needed to do something, I needed a release. Pressure has been back building in my life for a little bit now, and lately it’s like someone opened the valves wide open. It’s… unpleasant. After a conversation with someone, I hit my limits and I felt outright suicidal.

The Window At Night

Trigger Warning: alcoholism, addiction, mention of drug use

How many of my own garments shuffle
with the scrubs and hospital gowns
They feel disposable
But so do mine
As I prepare
As I prepare to leave the hospital
As I prepare to go to rehab
I listen to Amy Winehouse on my headphones.
She is dead.
That is enough
I say yes to everything but is it enough

My Experience With Anorexia (Yael)

Trigger Warning: Mention of suicidal ideation

I don’t recall exactly when my battle with anorexia started, but I seem to remember other people noticing it when I was about fourteen. Maybe the fact that I had always been unhealthy due to multiple medical conditions that caused me to have to travel to Vancouver, British Columbia, almost monthly for often painful or at least uncomfortable tests to try and give a treatable diagnosis; a process that seemed to always be in vain.

Crisis Checklist

Inspired by work people have done on madness maps and mental health first aid kits, I decided to make a checklist/flowchart to use when I am having a particularly hard time or am in crisis. It was a good process for me to make because it helped me to really think about what has helped me or caused me trouble in the past. I really like that we can make these sorts of tools for ourselves instead of relying on more general (often judgmental) dos and don’ts or advice from people who never know us as well as we know ourselves.

My Experience With Recovery (Breyonne)

Seven years ago I got tired of living my life the way I was. I couldn’t stop drinking, smoking, eating or doing drugs. I was sick constantly. I was living in harmful situations with toxic people, and each and every day was exactly the same. My only respite was to go out and get loaded again.

Sick of capitalism: The chronically ill body as a site of resistance.

I’m sick. I have chronic illnesses which cause me lots of pain and fatigue. The specific names and causes of my illnesses are not important (and not even totally known by me or my doctors). I spend a lot of time in bed. Sometimes even weeks at a time. This is not something I have […]

Emily Carr, I Love You

I would like to welcome the newest member of our writing team, Winter Hammell. Her first post with QMH.org is an elegant story about pouring her feelings about mental illness into a single portrait.

i drew the #6 sable brush across the canvas with the steady hand of a cartographer, laying down a bold stroke of phthalo blue lightened with a tip of titanium white.

Holding the palette on my left thumb, clutching three brushes between my fingers, and one clenched in my teeth, i could taste the rich, luxurious oils. Drunk on the exotic perfume of linseed oil and rectified turpentine, i stroked and dabbed the canvas of gesso-primed Italian linen.