Wow, it has been a while since I’ve ventured to this neck of the woods. Feels like I am in a room at a family reunion and not quite sure what to say to you all. Feels a bit awkward turtle in here. I know I keep having moments of being overly trigger happy on the typing front then I disappear into oblivion for a bit. I keep saying sorry for my lack of writing, but no one cares really, do they? And clearly I don’t mean my sorry because I keep doing it over and over, so sorry about that.
I wish I could say I have been absent for a good reason; that I have been happy, socialising, enjoying this thing that we call life. If I did say this, I would be lying. Not wholeheartedly lying but for the most part, I would be.
Life’s a funny old thing, isn’t it? Life with mental health illness is even funnier. You never know quite how you feel. If you’re coming or going. If you want to smile or cry. If you want to love and be loved or be alone. If you want to live or die. There’s never a definite answer to those conflictions.
I just want to write. I want to get it all down. Out of my head. I want to try to make sense of some of these thoughts.
The last what, how long has it been since I last wrote? Month? Month and a half? Well they have been a bit topsy turvey. Nothing significant has caused this to happen, I just don’t think I am handling things all that well and not really receiving much help when I do try to talk and ask for help.
I want to talk about my successes, because I have to at least have some positivism, right?
Where to start? There are actually a few good things that I have done, achieved and experienced.I have come out of my comfort zone, done things on my own that I never thought was possible and even dragged myself onto a plane and spent a weekend with extended family, when all I wanted to do was curl into a ball and not talk to anyone.
I went to my Best Friend’s wedding. On my own. And I only went and survived, didn’t I?! I got through it all, meeting her relatives the night before when I wasn’t expecting to see them, I went out to dinner with her and her family and I even managed to walk down the aisle with her and dance the night away on the dance floor! I was truly honoured to be so involved in my Best Friend’s wedding to the extent that I was but in all honesty I was stressing about it. I was dreading it at times, especially when I knew F wasn’t going to be there by my side for the whole day. I wouldn’t see his face across the room to reassure me I was doing a good job, I wouldn’t have him there to dance with, to kiss, to celebrate true love with. I wouldn’t have him to go to bed with and enjoy the novelty of a hotel room. I don’t think anyone realised I would find it tough or that it was those little things that I would struggle with.
I was also fearing the amount of people. The conversations that I would have to make with people I hadn’t met before. Walking down the aisle before the Bride. How I was going to get there and how I was going to get back. How I was going to carry everything on my own. Whether I would fit into my dress or if I had binged too much so wouldn’t. Who would I spend the evening part of the ceremony with. What would I talk to people about?
I know these all sound so irrational to most people and a lot of people out there wouldn’t even think these things before an event, but that’s what anxiety does. At times I get so angry at myself, because the anxiety is not only ruining it for me, but it affects other people. Leading up to the wedding, I just distanced myself from my Best Friend Bee, I felt I couldn’t talk to her because I didn’t want to distract her from the wedding. I had no one to talk to. But I don’t think I generally wanted to talk to anyone about it, because no one quite understands. They often just see it as acting irrational, and over thinking. Being dramatic. But it isn’t. They don’t feel the heart racing. Palms getting sweaty. The room starting to spin. The catch of breath. The obsessive thinking and overthinking of the situation, the outcomes, the possibilities. It’s a bizarre thing to face and no matter how much you try to tell yourself you’re being irrational and ridiculous, it doesn’t calm you down and doesn’t make it go away.
But, the event has passed, and I survived. I wish I hadn’t felt all that I did before the big day, but I did and I can’t take it back. I had a good time, got some good memories, and saw people I hadn’t seen since University. Conversation wasn’t always flowing and I wasn’t comfortable a lot of the time, but I did it. I got through it for my Best Friend and just seeing her as happy and as beautiful as she was, it was worth going to.
What’s the next thing that I have forced myself through?
I have always wanted to go to Belfast, More for the love of the accent of the people than anything else, but also because it is such a beautiful place. I finally got the chance to go and visit my cousin, who I haven’t seen in years with our Auntie for a quick weekend away. When I first booked this up, I was in a place where I wanted to keep myself busy and go on adventures, be sociable and be happy. The week leading up to the weekend, I felt low. I cried in work several times, I didn’t want to get up most mornings. I was struggling. I kept trying to think of ways to get out of going to Belfast. I didn’t want to see family. I was panicking about how I would feel around family I haven’t seen in a while. What conversation I would have. If I would have to talk about my job, which I was fully loathing at this point. If they would ask about my parents and how they were getting on. It was always awkward because years ago, my Uncle and my Mum fell out and we’ve never really spoken to him since or his family. The feud was between my Mum and Uncle, but I have a loyalty to my Mum and I felt guilty that I was going away for the weekend and spending it with her brother, who she despises. The only thing that I wasn’t worried about: was the flight. The thing that most people would panic about was the one thing I didn’t even care about.
It was obvious, I had no choice but to go.
The trip was very up and down for me, personally. At times I felt like I was doing okay, but other times, I just wanted to disappear off on my own and not have to talk or listen to others. That sounds incredibly selfish, and I apologise profusely for that. I am so grateful to my Auntie for suggesting the weekend away and to my cousin for organising things for us to do. It was great to see my Auntie and Uncle as well, and they really couldn’t have nicer or more welcoming and warm than they they were. I appreciated the beautiful city that was Belfast, but I just couldn’t shake that low, numbing feeling that kept cropping out.
I will do a blog post on Belfast, because the history, the people and the place are just incredible and I am champing at the bit to return and see all that Belfast has to offer. I will talk briefly of one thing that really spurred an excitement in me that I hadn’t felt for a while. I witness a protest. A protest in favour of pro-choice. Now, I have never done a protest, or felt passionate enough about anything to actually get involved in one. However, watching these people in huge groups peacefully marching along voicing their opinion, it made me really excited and warm and wanting to join in. I felt a spur of passion about a topic which I haven’t felt in ages.
I did Belfast. I spoke with my family. I even had to stay an extra day with them all because of Storm Ophelia cancelling all the flights back home. I smiled, I laughed and I did have good points. I made it through. Got some good memories and witnessed many new things. I dragged myself so far out of my comfort zone: I made conversation, got myself out of bed, plastered a smile on my face, did things I didn’t want to do and I had a good time for the most part. I even traveled to the airport on my own on the way back and got through the journey as well. TBH I think I relished on doing the journey on my own, I felt independent and liked having time to myself after a very full on weekend being surrounded by people.
Finally, the third thing that I count as a success, is me putting myself out there and meeting new people, doing new things and socialising. My October was a full packed month. I didn’t have one weekend to just relax and even during the week I was busy. But I wanted it to be that way. I wanted to be busy. I wanted new adventures. New people. New memories. But I guess there is only so long you can convince yourself you’re doing okay and that you are okay being surrounded by people and going out and doing things. This started of great. I loved going out. I went to a festival with someone new, I went to a show with another, I have been for cocktails, been cooked dinner, and even gone for a walk in Greenwich on a beautiful autumn day. I have made two people in particular who I have loved spending time with. Their conversations, their humor and their comfort really appealed to me and I was always so excited to go see them. I was seeing them every week and always had a laugh and came away smiling. Of course, I still had times on my own, when I would feel sad, alone and different. At times I regretted being as happy as I was and felt I didn’t deserve to be feeling that way. Other times my mind would wonder back to F, and the times we had together and the times we had planned for these next few months. Other times I just wanted to hide away, cut all communication and be on my own. I fought these feelings for the whole of October. I kept going out even when I didn’t want to and I am glad I did because I always had a good time. Yet, now I have sunk right back down. I have now cancelled three times on them and slowly reclining back into my shell. I know I shouldn’t. I know I should persevere and stick with this because I have been happy. I have laughed when I thought all I wanted to do was cry. I have met some really interesting people who have shown an interest. I just wish I felt more like I deserved to know them. That is deserved to have their friendship. That I deserved to be happy.
Please don’t misunderstand me, I am so grateful for my life and those that I have around me. I am grateful for the opportunities I have been given and those yet to come. I understand there’s a lot more hardship that others are suffering out there, and I am so thankful that I am fortunate enough to be who I am, where I live, Where I work and who I know, but no matter how much I try to remind myself and bring that to the forefront of my mind, I still just feel… how to put this politely… shit. I still, so much of the time find myself struggling to compute other thoughts that aren’t negative. I can’t help thinking at times that not to live would be a way to not feel the way I do anymore. I am tired of feeling so up and down. It’s exhausting.
Not Quite Made Girl