I want to keep this post simple and straight to the point, so I am not going to bore you with what I have been up to these past few days and how a walk in the rain traumatised the hell out of me, I save that story for another day. Instead, I want to talk about how we got this shit. Things in life can get complicated with social issues, family issues, relationship issues and so basically just a ton of fucking issues. Those things that are floating around us from the past and present can feel so heavy and make you feel so weighed down. It may feel like you have more than your fair share of problems and that everyone else is living their best life while you are stuck dragging your suitcase of issues trying to get through each day. I have wished at times that I could just leave those issues somewhere where they can’t find me, but it doesn’t work that way though. I think many of us have truly had times where we have felt like giving up and feeling hopeless because it’s just so fucking heavy.
But we got this shit, we got this far with that heavy weight and so can you imagine how far we can get when we learn to handle those issues better so they are not so heavy. I say this to myself a lot now, during the good times and bad times, I got this shit. Life will throw curveballs and will cause issues but I got this shit you got this shit we got this shit!
What can I say, apart from right now I feel so sad, something I was really hoping was going to happen this weekend, didn’t. I now have the choice of do I carry on living with this sadness in the hope that one day things may change or do I just let it go because that pain go is so heavy to keep carrying? If this gets back to you somehow, just know I will never stop hoping you will be in my life again.
A Christmas cry.
Many of us grieve this time of year for people we have lost both passed and living. Many of us are hurting while trying to keep a smile on our faces. So about 7 years ago I decided to do a Christmas cry near the beginning of December. I watch something that brings all those feelings to the service, I let myself grieve for those I love that are no longer around, I grieve for the pain I feel this time of year and I grieve for that inner child who just wants to be loved. Now I have had so many funny looks off people when I tell them I do this but it is therapeutic and way better for the soul than trying to stuff those feelings down. So my advice is if you are missing someone this holiday season, don’t push those feelings away. Maybe do something that reminds you of them and have that Christmas cry. Those feelings are a part of you and those people you miss are a part of you. Now that I have acknowledged that sadness, it doesn’t feel so big as it did when I was trying to stuff it down. Christmas is about memories creating new ones and remembering old ones. Some of those memories can bring a tear to your eye, you don’t need to wipe that tear away because it is Christmas.We all need a Christmas cry.
One of my favourite songs is “Don’t let me be misunderstood” by Nina Simone, that songs speaks to every fibre of my soul. It speaks of the internal battle we can feel going inside us all. The blurred lines of feeling good but bad at the same time and the worry of our internal struggle is having an impact on our surroundings.
Most of us have felt misunderstood, not heard or not recognised. Most of us have tried to change who we are to fit in with our surroundings because we didn’t want that feeling anymore. It doesn’t take it away though it is just a bandaid for a deep wound and sooner or later that bandaid will no longer be able to hold that fakeness and who we are together.
Changing who you are to fit someone else’s narrative doesn’t make it your narrative, that is not your story.
A star is born when atoms of light elements are squeezed under enough pressure for their nuclei to undergo fusion. All stars are the result of a balance of forces: the force of gravity compresses atoms in interstellar gas until the fusion reactions begin.
Your story is what makes you who you are, the pressure, the changes and sometimes the total destruction of who we are to become who we need to be. Remember stars didn’t just appear in the night sky they are formed over a period of time and that goes for us too.
We go through changes, ups and downs in life to form who we are. So next time you are worried that you don’t fit someone else’s narritive, remember you have come so far to not let your story be your own story and to be that star.
There is a Christmas story that many of us know but don’t share. It is a story about feeling lonely because we don’t have that many people in our lives, it is a story about feeling anxious because what if you don’t buy the right gifts and it is a story about feeling utterly hopeless when everyone is happy and laughing. This story is the dark side of Christmas. So why am I starting off this blog post on such a “happy” note? Well, we can just talk about the tinsel, the christmas cookies, the lights and the presents. All that sparkly stuff is not the only thing the Christmas holiday brings. There is a dark side of Christmas that many of us try our best to ignore because it doesn’t fit in with the sparkly holiday season.
Mental health issues and mental illness does not take a vacation because it is the holidays. If only it was as easy of wrapping them up in Santa covered paper and shipping them off to the north pole! Many of us will be dealing with the dark side of Christmas as well as the sparkly side and trying to figure out a balance between the two.
It is easy to not get swept up in the holiday spirit and to feel like a grinch because of that, to feel like there is something wrong with you because your social media isn’t filled with picture-perfect family moments and to feel lost at Christmas. This holiday season is about giving and that includes yourself, self-care is a gift that can go a long way. So remember if you are dealing with the dark side of Christmas, take a break from social media, focus on your mental health and give yourself time. You don’t need to be Santa you don’t need to be the grinch, just be you.
For the last couple of years, I have done blogmas, where I have posted Christmas themed posts every day. This year after much debate, I have decided that I am not going to do it. There is a lot of of work that goes into each post, and I just don’t have time this year. I will still be doing some Christmas themed posts and will be posting more than I usually do (hopefully), but I am going to take the pressure off and enjoy each post instead of just trying to get one out every day.
So today is the 1st of December and my first Christmas themed post is –
Christmas comes in all shapes and sizes.
Some of us have real trees, some of us have fake ones, some of us go all out and can’t wait to get in the festive spiriT, some of us want to avoid anything festive,some of us celebrate it for religious reasons, some of us don’t and some of us don’t celebrate Christmas at all! Christmas comes in all shapes and sizes, and most of us have our own traditions that we follow, so why can we accept that so easily but not accept that we come in all shapes and sizes?
There is a lot of people out there who will be worried about what they are eating and how they look physically over this festive season, including me. “I just want to lose a few more pounds before Christmas”, “I can’t wear for that jumper with my belly because it will make me look like Santa?” and ” Christmas is so difficult for me, so I am going to eat my feelings away.” I am guilty of saying those things because weight and Christmas are starting to become so intertwined. Instead of focusing on creating healthy habbits, Christmas can cause a lot of bad habits around food and weight. Triggers for people with food issues and eating disorders can increase around this time of year dramatically. The more focused we become on what we weigh this holiday season more weight will appear not physically but mentally and that weight is even harder to lose. So remember this Christmas season that food is there to enjoy and enhance the holidays, not to make you miserable and cause you mental distress. We all come in all shapes and sizes, we all celebrate the holiday season differently, and we are not defined by a number on a scale.
Lately, I have been thinking about that funny old thing we call life and all the fun stuff that comes with it. You know what I mean, the heartache, the love, the pain, the laughter, the memories and all the bits in between.
I have been thinking about how introverted I have become and the effect that has had on my life and this is what I wrote:
I drown myself in words and pencils, drawing and writing about my emotions in the hope I don’t have to feel them anymore. I say fuck you to the world around for not accepting me at the same time knowing I have struggled to accept myself also. I am so embedded in my shell, where it is comfortable but lonely as there is only room for one. Over time the layers have slowly become undone. The layers of shame, anger, sadness and pain are being stripped away slowly. Hiding underneath those layers has been layers of kindness, sensitivity and happiness. Right now I feel exposed to the flame of life, scared to touch it in case it burns my fingertips but fearful about leaving its warm embrace and going back into the cold. So what do I do now?
Some of us are naturally introverted, and I think some of us become introverted as life goes on. For me, it has definitely brought some positives but mainly negative things to my life. I am starting to take steps forward into trying to be less introverted because I think that it is what is going to be best for me in the long run. I think my anxiety may improve, my depression and my general mental health will improve, with being a bit less introverted.
This week I have been dealing with a lot of negative thoughts but its during a time of my life where I feel things are slowly slotting into place and positive things are going on.
So, I thought I would share a small part of a journal I have written this week and I how I feel about it now.
Wednesday the 20th of november 2019.
I can’t help but think that every day is the same, I wake up to an overwhelming rush of negative thoughts, I shower, I eat breakfast and then I go to work. What people don’t realise is I am currently working two jobs at the same time. My normal 9 to 5 job and the job of keeping those thoughts at bay and stopping them from spilling out. I can’t have them spill out, I can’t be that vulnerable because no one can handle that vulnerability. People just either don’t see me or they choose not to see me because it is easier than dealing with me and my shit. I just don’t know how I am going to move forward, I can’t even cry over this anymore. I am not sleeping well because I know that I am going to start the cycle all over again when I wake up. The thing is, my life does have a lot of stuff going on, but it is both good and bad. I am not in a low mood but I am not in a manic mood either, I am just living my life. So why do I feel like this? Why do I feel like my life is better off not existing? Then in the same breath, I know that I am happy and I know I have overcome a lot this year that I should be proud of. No, I am proud of. It is so confusing to know I am doing well but still have suicidal thoughts come flying in and making a mess of my mind. I just want peace, but I am starting to think that I am asking for the impossible. I am dealing with a sense of loneliness right now and my mind doesn’t know how to deal, which is making me feel disconnected to my life.
Re-reading my journal was hard but it has helped me see things that I didn’t see at that moment. What I can take from it all is I am sensitive when it comes to feeling ignored. I end up blaming myself, thinking I have done something to cause this or not doing something like I have shared too much or not enough.
So this week I am glad I took a step back from social media because having that need to feel noticed paired with social media doesn’t mix well at all. It is a quick fix for a long term problem.
This week I took my mask off, yes it was in private and in my journal but it allowed me to work through those feelings instead of letting them build up. I understand now what the root cause of this wave of negative thoughts. I felt triggered this week and there was a running theme during this journalling, feeling ignored.
It is important to know that it is not as simple as thinking positive and things will be positive. Mental illness or mental health issues don’t just go away because things are going right in a person’s life, it can still be there during the good days as much as it is there during the bad days.
I have had one of those days when I can’t help but think about where I am in life and with just over a month to go until a new year, have I just circled the drain? The bad points can have a habit of jumping out at you like a bad meme but the good moments can be very subtle which can lead them to be overshadowed by those loud bad points. I also think it is easy to say don’t dwell on it, but as you get older it can get harder to not to dwell on the time that has passed by. Then to add anxiety on top of that, it can be crazy and can put the spotlight on something that doesn’t need all that attention. This year has been so fucking hard and it is still fucking hard, there have been points where I thought that’s it I am done, there is no more fight left in me. I have questioned my sanity, my ability, my strength,my relationship and whether I should carry on blogging. I have learnt a lot about myself this year and learned a lot about the people that surround me. So basically, I have questioned my whole life!
The tip of the day is –
It is not too late and it is not too early.
We could easily wish the days away until the new year and start that bollocks of new year new me. What is the point in that?
Instead, it is time to focus on ending this year on a high note instead of wasting time on a low note and waiting until 2020 to turn it into a high note.
Planning can only get you so far, it is the action part that makes the difference, and turns a plan into reality. It is scary, it is hard and will probably involve that dreaded thing a lot of us like to avoid… Decisions!
So don’t wait until the new year to stop taking shit off people you don’t want to take shit from, don’t wait to try something you have always wanted to try and don’t wait until next year to start learning to love yourself, inside and out.
Don’t wait until next year to start moving towards a healthier mentally and physically you.
Have you ever felt that you stick out like a sore thumb, have you ever felt a spoon that was in with all the forks, have you ever felt like you just don’t quite fit? I know a lot of you out there have felt like that. We take on the labels weird, odd and different before we label ourselves – just me. Hey don’t get me wrong, I can wave my weird flag with pride. Sometimes though, I don’t want to label what I am and who I am as weird, because, to me it is just my normal. If we just accepted each other’s differences, would there be such a thing as weird?
Stigma is a sticky word, as it is something that is not easily gotten rid of. We are all guilty of judging, there is no one out there who has clean hands. We live in a world where we can compare our lives to one another so easily and that can form a judgement. We either can feel less than or better than by a click of a button.
So what is weird?
It is just a word, a word that can empower people and take power away, a word that can change your life for the better or change it for the worst. Weird is something that is not normal, but what is normal anyway and aren’t we all weird? As we all have a different idea of what is normal.
It has been quite a positive weekend. I even went and got my eyebrows threaded, I did not only shock myself with that but my partner as well. As I am not a fan of people touching me, and for me to let a stranger be that close to me is a big step. It was definitely worth the pain of getting the hair ripped out of my face and the anxiety of wondering if she will ask me if I want my top lip doing as well!
I am really trying to work on myself and to be honest I think it has been a year of 2 steps forward and 1 step back. That’s ok though because at least I am trying. I think this year has definitely made me see my issues are deep and there is no quick fix to solve them because they won’t ever be solved. I think once you have you have suffered with mental health problems you are not cured of the issues, you just work on learning to deal with them better.
I think for years I was hoping there will be an end to this pain that lives deep inside of me, and the more I realised the pain was not disappearing, the more it grew.
Pain lives in our veins.
We all go through shit in life, some of us have past trauma, some of us have a mental illness, some of us have issues and some of us just don’t know how to deal with life. There is one thing that everyone in the world can relate to, that is pain. Pain is something that reminds us that life is not a fairytale, that things can not just hurt you physically but also mentally and can shape who you are as a person. Drawing this picture was my way of excepting that the pain will always be there, but it doesn’t always have to hurt.
I don’t believe pain can go away, I think it lives with us always. I think the key is, learning how to deal with that pain, so it doesn’t grow and spread and take over your entire life. Pain can be a motivation, it can help us understand how things affect us as a person. It can show us who we are and what we want in life.
Pain is more than a four-letter word and it can mean something different from one person to a next. Pain is a part of life, but it doesn’t have to be the only part.