Although in saying that, it really sounds like it is. So please don't read ahead if you aren't into reading ego-feeding blog posts from emotionally unstable twenty-somethings. If you do enjoy that kind of thing, then please take what I'm saying as a reflection of my own experiences, and in no way a generalisation for everyone who has experienced anything similar.
Provided everything goes ahead, especially under our current circumstances, I am (soonish) to be on the property ladder at twenty-one. With my partner, and with help from my parents. Which is pretty mad. And has added to the long daily lists of things for me to think about, reflect on an react to - particularly with regards to how I have got to this position that I am in now from where I was.
At this stage of my existence: I no longer have a dependence on alcohol and don’t have to count how many days I’ve been sober, I haven’t got high in well over two years. I’ve been medication free since eighteen when I chose to come off of anti-depressants completely, and have also been out of services since this time too. I'm with the love of my life, and hope to be for the foreseeable future.
I chose to take action. I am learning to trust, and I am finding it hard, but it is the right thing to do.
And whilst these are all 'achievements' on paper, and we could all talk about how 'well' I'm doing and how much I've 'grown', in reality, they are not all as clear-cut as they appear - or without their problems. These hollow boasts can't gloss over what I am still going through, or what I have had to go through to get to where I am now. But at the moment,
I feel like sending a big fuck you to the girl in nursery, who had her first feelings of being bigger than the other girls.
And to the ten year old, who actively turned that dislike into hatred.
Or maybe fourteen-year-old me so consumed with obtaining perfection - in all aspects of her being - and so scared of being incurably incapable of having friends, she moved schools in a desperate attempt to 'find some'.
To the fifteen year old too selfish to see outside of herself and who tried to take her life for the first time.
To the sixteen year old who repeatedly got black-out drunk to dwell in her own depression at the expense of everyone who had to look after her (sorry doesn't cut it; I have no excuse for this and I am deeply ashamed of my lack of awareness and insensitive actions).
To the seventeen year old who tried (and failed) three times in as many months.
To the selfish eighteen year old that needed to change and learnt to with her partner.
To the selfish twenty-one year old who still needs to confront her issues and sort out her anger; finally let go of branding herself with memories from what she was, heal her relationship with food - and numbers, and exercise and the scales. (I think this will take the time more than anger)
To the girl who is so insistent on dying, remember why you are still here and what you have to live for. Cherish the time with your family before they won’t be here. You cannot pay back the years of neglect, ill-treatment and anger towards your parents, but you can work on the relationship you have now, and try to better other people's lives.
To the inpatient, crying in a clinic bed and barely sleeping. To the girl who stashed then took the tablets, repeatedly. To the girl who stood emaciated from relentless tiredness and self abuse, so devoid of joy. To the me that stood in front of the kindest nurse I had ever had try to help me when I was told ‘it doesn’t have to be like this’ (to which I defied her and said, ‘yes it does').
To the maker of my misery, fuck you. We've been back-and-forth and round in circles - sometimes holding hands and sometimes with knives to our throats - for too long. I'm fucking tired now, something's got to change.
There is a reason you are still alive. And you may not like it but that’s what you've got to work with. There is less positive than negative, but the positive outweighs the negative in the end. It has to be enough; you have to find a life where the little positive there is is enough to keep you going.
There’s a difference between thought and action - and you can chose whether to bridge this gap and which side of the river you choose to stand. You will cross over from time to time - and you may not always stand on the right side - but when you get all fired up, you can channel that instinct into determination, rather than into anger, spite, bitterness or an all consuming disregard of others.
Emotional fluctuating is normal and you have to give yourself the breathing room for it; you have to prepare and you can only do that through experience, listening to others and not being too proud to accept help.
I still wish I had been successful at fifteen. But there is a reason I wasn’t. However small that is - whatever minute fraction of hope there is in that - I have to learn to hold onto this when there is no light. When darkness and a comfortable familiar is all consuming to the point where you've accepted it; no one else can 'save' you, but you are stronger than you think. With God, you are stronger than you could ever possibly imagine.
I haven’t had to fight through hard times or real issues because every 'bad' thing that has happened to me, I've let it happen. Or I've manufactured my issues into worse than their realities. But I'm trying now. I won’t be able to try every day, but I will get to a point where I am trying more days than not.
I feel I have lived so intensely so far in my short life. And whilst I remain an intense person, an over-thinker and someone who will always get things wrong, I am slowing down and I am working towards balance. That is the goal now. Not 'death and depression' or 'life and happiness', a medium where the two can co-exist with each other. The prospect of both are in me and the aim is to sit with that.
Just turn your back on everything you once were. You don’t owe that person, or that version of yourself, anything. You owe it to other people to get better - not just the people around you or the ones you love or are closest to, but to every other person because we all experience our own issues and all are equally valid as each other; we cannot compare one person's problems to another because all are relative to so many factors and variables relative to our own lives (please wait whilst I go re-align my chakras and talk about how grounded I am to the Earth on my 'journey'...and proceed...).
And whilst I'm not well, and me being all 'fuck you' to teenage me doesn’t make all the problems go away - I'm not better and I'm not worse, I'm different. And as much I hate that because it is so uncertain, it will have to do right now. Because it doesn’t always feel like a possibility, I don’t deserve for things to change, and it doesn’t fit with the version of myself that is comfortable. But I need to find space for that feeling, and hopefully overcome and accept it.
And I also need to go and listen to a lot of Simon and Garfunkel, Bon Iver and maybe a little Iron and Wine to calm the fuck down.
Until next time, H.M.
I originally wrote this post a little while ago, and deliberated over whether or not to post this (whether it would be insensitive towards those who are or have struggled). But at the moment, however selfish it is, I felt the need to share it. Somehow, writing it down for me keeps it secret, and means I can fall back on what I've said and just delete how I was feeling (inevitably, falling back to old habits). 'Hope' is a very strange concept for me, but somehow having this posted online makes me feel more accountable to the person that wrote this. So maybe (definitely) this post is more for me than others, and that is something else I need to work on.
References and Further Reading:
- All images are taken from my personal VSCO here.
- Please seek help if you feel you can. You have no reason to listen to me as I'm just words on a screen, but Samaritans have always given me help I need when I've been brave enough to ask. Please talk to someone you trust if you feel comfortable doing so.
- 'I very badly reference, 'Put a knife to your throat if you are given to gluttony' (Proverbs 23:2); maybe I'm stretching this a little when I also liken 'gluttony' to 'vanity'. For me and my experiences, the two are very similar, and all too quickly filter in to ego-feeding and placing myself at the centre. I want to move away from 'I feel this' to 'S/he feels this way, I can help them by doing [xyz]'.
Please don’t hesitate to get in touch with me if you want to be featured, have new ideas or want to write for The hmrwrites Blog; I’m always looking for new people to collaborate with. Feel free to drop your own blog/website/socials in the comments.