Doubt

There’s a little bit of doubt rumbling deep in my heart. Normally, I’m pretty rubbish at working out my emotions. This time, I think I know what it is.

I’d never ever admit it to anyone in the real world, but I’m rather worried about my progress on my uni course. I’m trying so hard to hide it, to make everyone think that I’m okay, and that I’m holding on, and ready for the ride. I’m not.

The thought of exams in January terrifies me, because I’m convinced already that I won’t pass them. I’m only five weeks in, and I already have over ten lined pages of new vocabulary. My head can’t compute that, it just doesn’t have the capacity.

I’m not ready for this take off, because it’s going to result in a crash landing. If I don’t get a first or a 2:1, nobody is going to want to employ me. I just don’t think I’ve got the knowledge to do that.

I’m getting stuck into a rut, and right now, I’m not sure that I have anywhere to turn for help. I’m enjoying my course, and I’m making some great friends, but I’m just not sure that I’m going to make it beyond first year. And that’s rather scary, because failing would kill me.

I’m even lying to myself, trying every day to tell myself that I can succeed. I’m afraid though, and the fear is slowly crushing me already. I’m not allowed to let my stress get to me, and I’m trying so hard, I really am.

There’s so many things that need my time, and energy. There’s so many things that I have to try and work hard at, and I’m struggling to balance it all.

I’m going to collapse if I’m not careful. For the first time in my life, I want to talk and come up with an action plan, because I do enjoy uni, and so it’s okay. But sadly, I have to hide from everyone for all sorts of reasons, and so I’m feeling rather alone in the big wide world.

Too many worries, too much doubt, and a little bit of fear is not a good combination.

I should go to flute group.

How to choose your friends.

Really old friends? When they skype you for a gossip and to laugh for hours, tell you how to reference your essay, and have a moan about how uni is corrupting your other friends, they’re worth holding on to.

Best friends? They’re the ones who will hold you for hours when you’re crying and wipe your tears away, but also have an amazing ability to make you laugh at the same time. They’re the ones who pick you up, take you for a coffee, and give you the best memories.

Unusual friends? Perhaps my flute teacher isn’t my ‘friend’, but when she sends emails to remind me that breathing and sleep are good for us, Bach is calming, and it’s raining at home, it sure makes me smile.

And new friends? If when you walk slightly nervously out of the door to go to a pub golf social, the person who says to you ‘Have fun, okay? Just enjoy yourself, and if you need me to get the bus down and carry you home, just text and I’ll be there.’ is usually worth keeping.

Friendship is a bizarre invention, but I love my friends. They make me who I am, they make me feel safe, and they make me very very happy, no matter what category they fit into.

Wandering Wonderer

I wonder how life would have been different if my best friend had eaten her meal at leavers?
I wonder how it would be if I’d just let her not eat anything, without comment?
I wonder what would have happened if she didn’t suggest that we went for a walk and a talk in the rain?
I wonder if things would be different if my favourite teacher hadn’t caught me on the way back in, angry and crying?
I wonder what would have happened if he hadn’t bothered to stop me, to calm me down, give me his jacket, and fetch me water?
I wonder if the outcome would be different if my biology teacher didn’t catch my eye on the way back in, forcing me to sit with her and asking if I was okay?
I wonder what I’d have said to that teacher if my other best friend hadn’t been sat with me, feeding me alcohol?
I wonder what would have happened if after my friend left, my chemistry teacher, sat on the other side of the table hadn’t tried to call me over?
I wonder if things would be different if I hadn’t had a silent conversation with her, trying to tell her that I couldn’t sit with my best friend in that close proximity after all that had happened?
I wonder about if when she did eventually persuade me to move, would the outcome have been different if she hadn’t clarified for certain my silent meaning, and beckoned my best friend over?
I wonder if things would be different if when I realised and tried to stand up, that teacher hadn’t grabbed my hand and pulled me back into my chair?
I wonder what things would be like if when she sat us face to face we’d have actually looked each other in the eye, instead of at our laps?
I wonder what would have happened if she hadn’t tried to obliviously rectify the mess with the words ‘You too are so close, you’re such good friends, you can’t fall out. You two need each other, and it’s leavers. What’s happened?’?
I wonder about the outcome if she’d had left it at that, and not marched us outside to ‘sort it out’?
I wonder what would have happened if when we got out there, my best friend hadn’t turned her back to me? What if I didn’t put my arms around her? What if when the chemistry teacher asked ‘So what’s going on then?’ I hadn’t answered with ‘I don’t know, because if I knew I’d have done something about it before now.’?
I wonder what would have happened if we didn’t cry?
I wonder what would have happened if my best friend hadn’t given me whispered permission to tell? What if I hadn’t told? If we’d lied, smiled, and skipped back inside?
I wonder if I would have spoken if my best friend hadn’t been clutching my hand?
I wonder what would have happened if I hadn’t told her the second bit, too?
I wonder if it would be different if she hadn’t told the biology teacher, who by this point was standing nearby?
I wonder if it would have changed things if I’d been allowed to sit with my best friend on the bus, instead of at opposite ends with my biology teacher by my side, and the chemistry teacher by hers?
I wonder how that teacher would have reacted if I’d just ignored her presence instead of reluctantly leaning on her and being dragged into deep, deep conversation?
I wonder if it would have changed things if when we got off, I’d have skipped straight off to the pub with my friends like nothing had happened?
I wonder what it would have done if I hadn’t stayed until I knew she was safe?
I wonder what would have happened if I’d stuck to the intentions as I watched my best friend climb into my teachers car, and gotten drunk as I swore I would?
I wonder if the next day my best friend and I hadn’t sat on the bus to dofe and talked, things would be different?
I wonder if it would have changed things if when we got there she’d have just chosen her dinner instead of flitting around the menu for a good hour saying that she wouldn’t eat any of it?
I wonder if I’d have been as calm that evening if the biology teacher hadn’t cornered me in my bunkhouse room and checked how things were, giving me yet another pep talk?
I wonder what would have happened if they didn’t check my best friend’s food supply and make her buy more?
I wonder if things would have been different if she’d eaten all her food on dofe?
I wonder what the school would have done if she didn’t get blisters, and have to miss tour? I wonder if they’d have told her mum anyway?
I wonder if things would have changed if her mum had listened, and acted a little more appropriately?
I wonder what would have been the outcome if she did just go to uni and not eat?
I wonder if she does eat as she says she does?
I wonder if she’s going to get hospitalised?
I wonder why they didn’t just listen?

A lot of decisions were made by many on that night and the days that followed. Recently, the memories have haunted my dreams, and I can’t help but imagine how one little decision may have changed things for the better or worse.

But we’ll never know, and so we must make do with what we have, and the situation we’re in.

Everything will be okay in the end, somehow.

Missing the Music

I’ve joined orchestra, concert band, and flute choir. I’ve made a few trips to the practice rooms, too. My flute definitely isn’t missing out on the uni action, and it’s providing vital breathing space for me from work.

One thing is simple though, it’s just not the same. I may be playing my flute, and things like playing Alladin might take me back to my solo in year ten, but it doesn’t mean it’s the same.

I want to be back at school, so I can have flute lessons. I want to walk into that room every Wednesday and know that for fourty minutes, I can be me. I can be quiet, refuse to make decisions, and laugh when I struggle with double tounging. I can say what I need to say and even if I end up crying, I won’t be judged. Nobody will be told about what I say, and I’m safe to let down all my guard and let the music swallow me.

I miss my flute teacher. I think about the day my best friend took me to her, crying my eyes out, and she just arranged for us all to have coffee so that we could talk properly. It was a fairly horrible day, but she reacted in the way that I never expected her to.

Often I wonder if it would be okay to just drop her a text. Say hi, see how things are going. I don’t think that’s appropriate though, is it?

I just want to escape back to that little room, and let the world swirl around me in a few moments of blissful ignorance.

‘That’s not even anorexic’

“I tried to go anorexic for three hours. I ate celery and ice, and that’s not even anorexic, but I quit. I was like ‘mum, can you make me a sandwich, immediately?’ She was like ‘are you okay?’ and I said, ‘yeah just feeling a little light headed.’ I was too hungry. I don’t care, I wanted pizza instead of starving myself.”

Megan Trainor, you are someone who doesn’t understand eating disorders. I’d probably go as far as to say that you don’t deserve the praise that you’re getting for your song. You’re all about ‘promoting positive body image’ but I’m not sure if that’s what you’re really doing. What about accepting everyone no matter what they look like? What about promoting self confidence and a caring personality?

You don’t choose an eating disorder. Nobody chooses a mental health issue. Yet again though, we can see someone that doesn’t understand. She thinks she gets it, but she doesn’t. Anorexia is about much more than just wanting to be thin. It’s not about choosing not to eat, or trying to fit. Eating disorders are a cycle of self-hatred and loathing, and there’s all sorts of reasons for it. Mental health isn’t a choice, and it can be just as life threatening as many physical disorders. Just because you can’t see it, it doesn’t mean that it’s not real, or that it’s not there.

Maybe someone needs to educate Megan instead of her trying to educate the rest of the world.

15 Things We Forget To Thank Our Best Friends For

Sometimes, I forget to say thank you. Other times, the words simply escape me. To my best friend, I say thank you. I miss you, I love you. Keep smiling, and I’ll see you soon!

Thought Catalog

Parks and Recreation: Season 3Parks and Recreation: Season 3

[tc-related post=267318 align=right]

My best friends are an extraordinary group of people. They are all so different, yet so much alike. Some friendships I’ve had for years, some are new and growing stronger by the day. Either way, there are some things they all do for every day that I forget to thank them for. I feel like it’s about time to start, because without them, I wouldn’t be who I am today.

1. Thank you for being there not just when it’s convenient for you, but when it’s not. I know that I can call you at 2am and you’ll come running to my side. We all have our own things to deal with and adjustments to make, but you always take a break from your hectic life to make sure that I’m okay. When I need a shoulder to cry on, I know…

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Distracted

I’m glad that he’s going to email me those links. I’ve just had my training for my new ‘job’, but I didn’t really concentrate. I’m not sure what it was, but I’ve narrowed it down to a few options.

a) I’m shattered and haven’t recovered from the weekend yet.

b) I was still trying to digest what the lecturer had said in the lecture I’d just been in. He went to fast.

c) I was thinking about my best friend and her exam and how she’d coped (I soooo want to text her but I daren’t)

d) The guy taking the training was really quite attractive. Perhaps he had too much of my attention aside from what he was saying. One for a girly gossip right there!

e) I’m having a panic because I’m miles behind on my uni work.

I’m not sure, but I’m in a muddle. I’ve been back for an hour and still haven’t done any work. I really cannot afford to write off today on the work front as well. The doubt is creeping in again. And when I’m behind, I don’t want to face the reality of the situation.

Come on, keep going, it’ll be okay. Someone special says that if it’s not okay then it’s not the end. It’s about time you started listening to them.

Runaway

I used to read endless stories when I was younger about children who ran away from home. They always seemed to have such fun, and adventures, and would eventually be picked up and taken back to safety by someone who truly cared about them.

I’m currently sat on a platform in a train station, three hours away from university, crying my eyes out. No, don’t panic, I haven’t run away (just yet, anyway!), I’m simply on my way back after a weekend at home. I’ve had a lovely time, but now I’m just a fizzy mess of emotion.

I can’t see from here what the destination of the train on the opposite platform is, but I know this much: that platform goes North. And Scotland is North. And I’m rather tempted to pick up my bags, jump across the tracks, and board whatever train is due to arrive.

I’d like to know what it’d be like to runaway. To on a whim, pack some bags and just go to wherever I wanted to. Maybe when I (hopefully) head to Turkey in the summer, that’ll be like a runaway mission. Only that would be a lot more fun than if I ran now. The rational part of me knows that jumping on a different train would be the worst idea I’ve ever had. I’d end up curled in a ball at some random train station, and there would sure as hell be nobody there to rescue me.

I’m really happy as of recent, but for some reason, these little moments of doubt keep slipping in.

Instead, I’m going to hold out until the next station, get a hot drink, board the final train, and go back to my uni bed, where I can hide under the covers.

Hiding is a much more sensible option. Just till morning, and then I’ll be back to my usual old self again.

I’m too old to runaway. And it must just keep telling myself that the fantasy and the reality of doing such a thing would be like two trains running on opposite tracks.

Is it lack of care, or understanding?

A friend came to visit me last weekend, and she told me the unfortunate news that her grandma had died.

It got me thinking. It got me thinking about mental health. I was thinking about her mental health and how this death may have affected her. The day before, I’d also written to a friend who has just been released from an eating disorder clinic. All this thinking got me down, and a little worked up. I got home, my flat mate text me, and I told her that I was taking a little time out to be in my room.

She continued to text me. I told her about my four friends. I told her about the eating disorders, the depression, the self harm, the attempted suicide, and the rape. I mentioned no names, and I wasn’t specific about who and what. The talking didn’t help. I got emotional, and I got worked up. She just didn’t get it.

I’m slowly realising that sometimes, it’s not that people don’t care, they simply don’t understand. ‘Why would anyone self harm?’ she said. ‘It’s just so selfish.’ I wasn’t in the mood to explain, but I tried. Explaining by text isn’t easy, and still, she didn’t get it. Unless you’ve lived through it, I’m not sure you ever can get it. Even I, as someone supporting people going through it, cannot ‘get it’ completely.

It made me realise though, perhaps those people who don’t do anything do care, they just don’t understand. They don’t understand that this isn’t chosen, and that it’s not something that will cure itself.

I told her about leavers and I told her that I’d tried to tell adults and I told her how worried I was. Still, I said no names. I told my flat mate about the mother who denied her child’s eating disorder. The people that didn’t believe me when I nearly messed up my friendship by making a desperate cry for someone to help her.

My flat mate couldn’t understand why the adults wouldn’t listen. But I think that my flat mate has helped me to understand. These people are just not sure what they can do. It can be tricky to help someone when you know that in all honesty, they don’t really want to be helped. It can be tricky to try and help, because in helping, you take some responsibility. Taking responsibility for something that is so destructive and you know that you’re going to struggle to change can be hard. I know. Because I’ve been trying to help for months.

Five minutes later, after drying my eyes and breathing deeply, I walked out of my room. It just so happened that my flat mate walked out at the same time. She smiled. ‘Ready to make dinner?’ ‘Yeah,’ I said.

We have an unspoken rule, I thought. We only have deep conversations by text.

And this could be very dangerous.

Wishful Thinking

I did something stupid this evening. It was so stupid, I cannot believe I did it. And my response when I realised I’d been stupid was even more shocking. I’m not quite sure what my brain is doing today.

There was someone walking in front of me, who looked quite lost. She had flowery doc martins, brown hair of about shoulder length that fell in loose curls at the bottom, and a dark coloured outdoors-y rucksack. I was just rushing to my last lecture of the day, and without even thinking, I ran up behind her, tapped her on the shoulder, and whispered the name of my best friend.

How could I have been so stupid? Of course it wasn’t my best friend. For starters, she’s not talking to me right now, for seconds, her brother is visiting her, for thirds, it’s midweek and she’s at uni, and fourth, she’s the other end of the country! After hastily apologising to the now very flustered looking girl, I raced off as fast as I could, to escape the moment.

I didn’t ask if she was lost. I didn’t ask if she needed help. I just burst into tears.

Whoops.

Better stop the wishful thinking. She’ll contact you soon, so chill.