Social Decisions

I’m a bit of a social outcast, be to honest. Always have been, I think I’ve told you before. But I made a decision, recently. I decided that I don’t want to be a social outcast forever, and so through the fog and haze that has been exams, revision, and worry, I’ve found my positive mindset on one front, and I’ve tried to socialise. Lots. I don’t want to be the social outcast anymore.

Socialising, however, takes it’s toll. Until I get to know you, I’m very much the introvert. Decisions are a danger zone and direct questions terrify me, as my flute teacher must well know by now! So to be in a room with a group of people is hard. Not only do I have to think of the correct things to say, I also have to perfectly articulate answers which will be accepted by my peers and say them in a voice that is loud enough to hear. I don’t watch TV, and I don’t really listen to music, so in ‘pop culture’ topics, I’m lost before the conversation has even begun. I can’t explain exactly why it’s so hard, and once I know you, I can talk for England, but new-ish people, pressured situations, or direct questions in a one-on-one environment (particularly about difficult topics) are extremely tricky. So while sitting with those that I will share a house with next year doesn’t stress me out (I don’t overheat, which is my main sign of stress), it’s exhausting.

Working in a group is obviously bad because I’m rather the perfectionist, but even I don’t really understand my issue with just talking to new people. I don’t even think it is an issue, I don’t dislike it, I just subconsciously avoid it. Bizarre. Maybe it’s about worrying that I won’t fit in or will say something wrong? I honestly and truly don’t know.

Recently though, I’ve been trying to socialise, and I decided that if I didn’t jump head first into the deep end, I’d never get it. So, I did just that. With the people I’m living with next year, I went for tapas, stayed up really late and played cards, chatted, scrolled through Pinterest, watched movies, and played more cards. Every single night. On order to try to fit in, I stayed up much later than I would usually on a few occasions. I’ve also spoken a lot more and spent more time with my course mates now. I like them, we have something in common. Same is with the guide and scout society, they’re my favourite people at university. Again, it’s probably because we have a ‘weird’ interest, that doesn’t conform to twenty first century first world social idealism. I know they’ll accept me, and that’s important, because guiding is one of my favourite hobbies.

So I’ve tried hard, and I’ve learnt a lot. But it has tired me out, and I can’t keep it up. I’m always going to be independent and an introvert, and whilst I know it’s vital that I socialise for my health and well being at university (and to force me to take breaks from studying), I’m always going to need time alone. I haven’t had that this week. Now, I need to work on finding the balance. Making that decision can be tricky. Do I work? Do I socialise? Do I sit in my room and do my own thing? Do I run? Do I play my flute? But I can’t continue as I am, because I’m starting to loose sleep in order to be with just myself. I’m not getting the vital ‘me’ time that I need to function. I’m not able to ground myself, to completely 100% be myself, to let go, and to fully relax when I am around others.

I will strike the balance, I just need to keep making these social decisions, and keep that positive mindset. Now is the hard bit. Now, I have to make the decisions sensibly. It’ll be all too easy to slip back into my lonely cycle of work with no breaks, but however much I like it, it’s not healthy. So whilst it’s okay to say ‘no’, I need to say ‘yes’, too. I have to make those decisions. And I hate decisions. Even more than I struggle with socialising!

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Relief

Have you ever felt that it’s a relief to cry? To be able to let go, and to be who you really are, and feel what you really feel?

I never think I have. And then I cry, and I know what it feels like. And it’s sort of tears of joy and sadness mixing together, because you’re not quite sure if you’re happy that you don’t need to internalise anymore, or if you’re sad because you’ve done something impossible, you’re still fighting something deadly, or you simply don’t know how to cope anymore. It’s a funny place to be.

Because I’ve been afraid to blog. That’s why you’ve not heard from me in so long. I wanted to be perfect, I wanted to socialise, to work properly, to sleep and eat properly, to have more fun and do more work. So, I just haven’t sat down to blog. And I haven’t thought about what I’ve really been feeling. But the last few days I’ve had the odd stall which I’ve had to fix. It’s been fine, and the facade has stayed up, but now, I’ve decided I have to let go. I’m locked away in my dark bedroom, just me and my iPad, and several hours if I need it. I’ve been in a reflective mood all day, I nearly made myself cry in a lecture earlier.

I can’t put my finger on any one thing that’s making me feel uneasy, because I genuinely thought I was happy. I kind of feel like I tricked myself though, because to be alone and to really feel right now has made me remember that I’m not okay, and I don’t have to be okay. Yes, I can pretend to be okay in order to fix social situations, but I don’t have to be okay 24/7. I’m allowed to think, to feel, and to cry. Most of all, I NEED to talk and to write. So tonight, I’m forcing myself to do those things, and I’m forcing myself to blog.

Why? Because there’s a lot of things that I struggle with. Social situations, rational worry, irrational worry, stress, and probably a million other things, too. Whilst I like to think I’m quite capable of just dealing with them, there’s times when I’m not. And if I don’t write or talk, I’m at risk of going back to the place that I used to be. When you internalise, it’s too easy to feel alone, and I don’t want to go back to the habits that I’ve spent years breaking. It’s a lonely place, and I’m enjoying the friends and socialisation that I currently have. Not only that though, it’s fun to share some happy relief with the world, too. I love in a house with very pushy parents, and they’re not always as happy for me when I achieve something as I may hope for them to be. Blogging allows me to be me, and be as happy as I want to be. I got three firsts in my semester one modules. I’m over the moon, and I want to share those times, too!

So tonight, I’m going to take the leap that I’ve been trying to take for a week. I will force myself to blog, because once I’ve written one or two, it’ll be easy to incorporate it more regularly into my life. I need to remember why I blog. Yes, to an extent, I blog for you, but mostly, I blog for me. Blogging allows me to rationalise and organise my thoughts, to understand myself and the situations around me, and to cope with what’s going on by making a little space in my head.

So, I know I said this before, but this time, I really mean it. Here goes nothing, and lets get back to blogging!

It’s been a while

It’s been nearly two weeks since I last wrote a blog post. That’s an awful long time for me. But I’ve been very busy, and very happy, even if a little confused at times. I’ve come back today, with a desperate need to write, to find seven draft posts, each just a title. Most of them, I don’t know what I wanted to write about. I’ll keep them though because maybe it’ll come back to me.

But I am here. I never go anywhere. I’m always watching and reading, and whilst I know that with a free evening ahead and tomorrow off, I’m likely to get pretty deep tonight, there’s a chance that you’ll see the shining light of happiness that has been the last two weeks, too.

I won’t make promises. Let’s see what happens. I love reading about you, and I’m sorry it’s been a while, and I’m sorry for the onslaught that I’m probably about to produce.

Just breathe, relax, and remember, that everything will be okay.

No, I don’t know either. I don’t know if I’m talking to you or myself any more.

Sickness

I’m sick. I’m really really sick. And for a girl who doesn’t get sick, that’s extremely scary.

I’m waiting for the bus to guides, but The waves of nausea are almost too much to handle. Fatigue, diarrhoea and sickness is tricky, and I’m not sure what’s ongoing issues and what is new. I don’t know what to worry about, and what is normal for me.

I’m struggling to even stand for any length of time, and I can’t keep food down. Oh, and it’s a ‘food festival’ at Guides. Even better. My neck hurts, and my stomach is getting shooting pain after shooting pain.

So why am I going to guides tonight? Because I have a genuine fear that when I go to sleep tonight, I might not wake up. But nobody knows. And nobody can know because I’m probably just being silly.

I’m ill, I’m really ill. And I don’t think this is ‘just’ low iron and an ongoing stomach issue anymore.

A tear slides down my cheek, and my fears are just making my stomach flip faster and faster and faster. I don’t know what to do, I don’t know where I should go, and I don’t know who to ask.

Let’s Go Fly A Kite

Today is national kite flying day, apparently. I think it’s more of an American thing, and I also don’t think it’s a very well known celebration, but it’s kite flying day all the same, so I should probably talk about kites.

Flying a kite isn’t an easy task. It can take years to build the perfect kite and to master flying it so it soars through the air with grace, like a ballerina. It’s even harder to harness that power to pull a buggy, or to hoist a person into the air behind a boat (the latter of which I am very lucky to have had the chance to do).

Sometimes, friendship is a lot like a kite. Letting go and allowing distance to come between you can be difficult. Saying goodbye can be hard, because you don’t know what’s going to happen when they’re so far in the air. To let go of their hand is hard, because you don’t know if they’ll fall, if you’ll get tangled into a tree, or if the wind will break the line and take them away forever.

But a good kite flies well. Whilst you maybe a little nervous to set the line running, a good kite looks beautiful in the sky, and dances with grace. A good kite has all that it needs to soar through the air to the delight of the person flying it. A good kite has pretty colours, and was often hand built with love and care by the flyer. They love that kite, and so they made sure that the string was strong so it could not be lost. A good kite flips peacefully back into the arms of it’s owner when the wind dies down. Yes, there may be a bent pole or a little fraying at the edges, but it’s nothing that isn’t easily fixed.

Eventually, we must all learn to fly alone, just like the kite. We must learn to let go of our friends, and to let them soar, too. A kite that takes years to build is still no fun if it never leaves the house. One day, they will fall, and when they do, we will be there to catch them, as they will be there to catch us. But while the wind is strong, and you have the chance, soar through the sky together, at a distance, and relish the beautiful view. Appreciate the rolling hills and the blue sky. Let the wind take you, and let go of their hand for a while. You might find that you both learn, and that when you come crashing to the ground, you appreciate each other more than ever before.

Everyone has to learn to fly. For some, it can take years, but we will get there, so long as we have a crafted kite maker to help us along the way, and treat us with care. And when we do fly, it’s beautiful, and it’s something that we don’t ever want to forget.

When Thank You Isn’t Enough

It can be tricky to say thank you, sometimes. It can be hard to find the words to express what we really mean, because so often, when we say thank you, what we mean is so much more than that. Someone holds the door open for you, you say thank you. Someone’s says ‘bless you’, and you say thank you. Someone tells you that you look pretty today, you say thank you.

People always say that actions can mean much more than words. But in this case, that’s still not right, is it? Because holding the door open for someone is an action, but yet they still get the same response as those who spoke. That’s because it’s not about the actions just being actions, it’s about the meaning behind those actions. Someone holds the door open because they’ve been told it is the polite thing to do. When someone helps you confront your biggest fears, the sentiment is very different. For me, that’s a little tricky to cope with, because I want to say thank you. But thank you isn’t enough. But I struggle with words, and don’t know what to do, so I say thank you again and again. Now thank you means nothing anymore. It’s in the rut, with sorry.

But this time, thank you wasn’t enough. And I tried saying it again and again. But repeating the words didn’t make them mean any more. But maybe I can explain myself now. I hope so, because I need to say a proper thank you. And I need to explain why that thank you means more than any that I’ve said before. Because she deserves that much; what she did for me was really special.

A few weeks ago, my best friend allowed me to confront my biggest fear. For anyone who’s been around here for a while. They’ll know that I’m largely terrified of alcohol. Whilst I’ve come to university and learned slowly to cope and ignore, the idea of getting drunk was, and still is, very much a no go zone. But this friend promised me a long time ago that we’d do it together. And my lord, we did. Big time.

She’s always helped me with alcohol related fears. From just after we first met when she saw my terrified face at the concept of being asked if I’d like a drink by her mother, to an hour or so later on that same night, when in a room on our own, she made me take just a sip of that drink. A few years later, we ordered wine in a restaurant in London. Both under age (although me only admittedly by a couple of days), they handed us the wine menu, so I let her order, and I drank my first glass of wine. A few days later, I let her mix cocktails on my eighteenth, and feed them to me on the presumption that she’d look after me. My parents told her to watch over me. It was fine, I didn’t get drunk. I was too ruled by fear. Ironically, a few months later at her eighteenth, her parents said the same to me. Little did they know that the situation would be completely reversed. That night, her eighteenth, was the first time we got tipsy together, or as I kept saying ‘I’m just a little bit drunk’. My first ever jager bomb was bought by my favourite teacher, and we well and truly danced the night away. We crept into her house much later than we were supposed to and ate birthday cake before heading to bed, and waking up very early, and rather hung over the next morning to revise. There’s been ups and downs since then, which we won’t mention. But a few weeks ago, she came to visit me. She stuck to that promise that we made that when the visit happened, we’d get drunk together, and she’d keep me safe.

It’s fair to say that I was absolutely bricking it. Well, truly, and completely shitting myself. Somehow, she forced me to hold it together, and we made it down to prees and pizza. The rest, as they say, is history. Mainly because I can’t remember that much of it. From what I’m told, I danced like a complete idiot, was VERY stubborn that I would NOT get onto the strip pole, we stayed later than my course friends, asked for our favourite friendship song to be played – twice, and I spurted a lot of microbiology (I’d had the exam that day). Microbiology wasn’t all I spurted, either. I was six approximately six times over the course of three hours, and she made me change into a new set of pyjamas. We didn’t get to bed until half five, and I woke up at 8.30am shitting myself because I couldn’t remember what I’d done. Subsequently, I woke her up to ask, too. I was so so scared, it’s too difficult to explain.

But now, I can laugh about it. Whilst I’m in no hurry to tell my parents, it’s the kind of thing that happens to teenagers all the time, and I’be been told that it happens to everyone at least once. I’m just glad it happened when my best friend was there to carry me home, remove my necklace, put me into bed, and tie my hair back. And it sure as hell won’t be happening again. It’s the kind of thing that will be completely forgotten about until I ask her to make a speech on my wedding day. Which I will be asking her to do. My lord, she’s got better stories than anyone else!

And whilst I have begun to confront my fears, it’s plain to see that thank you is just not enough. She may be training to be a doctor, but this girl hates sick. Yet she propped me up at the toilet, and she made sure that I was okay. I know for a fact that I cannot think of one other person who would do that for me.

But she knew I was afraid, and she knew that I feared that I would get hurt, or do something that I would regret. But she made it safe. She made it okay, and she allowed me to do something that a year ago, I didn’t think that I’d ever be able to do. I’m so grateful for that, you cannot even imagine. She’s the only person that could make me safe enough to not worry about what I was drinking. Nobody else will ever manage that, I’m certain. I always struggle with words, and to say exactly how much it means to me. But it does mean the world. If she didn’t truly love me, she wouldn’t do that for me. They say that our friends are the family we choose, but it’s not just that. I don’t think we chose this friendship, because when we met, we seemed the most unlikely pair. We were thrown together on a school trip that left our worlds colliding, and we’ve simply never looked back. I’m proud to say that she’s the sister that I never had, and I’m finally confident that she will support me and care for me until the end of the world, no matter what choices I make or fears that I have.

And I’d do the same for her. Always and forever.

So thank you. And I really mean that, more than ever, and more than anything else in the world.

Second Marriage

Yesterday, my best friend’s mum got married to the man that I have always called my best friend’s step dad. I think for a long time, I didn’t realise that they weren’t married. It seems to make sense to me.

I wasn’t at the wedding. Heck, I’d never expect to be, are you crazy!? But while I’m very happy for them, and I hope they enjoyed their day so much, it’s left me a bit lost, and my emotions are up in the air. Seeing her snapchats throughout the day, I don’t quite know what to make of it all. No, I’m not jealous. No, I’m not angry. I already told you that I was happy for them. You forget that I’m not five, and my emotions just aren’t as simple as that!

You see, I think I’m the child of a second marriage. I don’t know that for sure, because my parents have never told me so. But I am. If I really think about it, I know I am. But I’m pretty good at hiding from it, because I don’t like to think that my parents lie to me. It’s not something that I think about.

But seeing and hearing of a second marriage has been enough to trigger those thoughts. To trigger the memory of the day I found the evidence, and to trigger that uneasy feeling that my parents haven’t told me the truth for my whole life.

And that’s a little tricky to think about, because it’s a concept that my brain cannot comprehend, and rejects. It’s a bizarre concept, and I don’t know how I feel about it. I want my parents words to be the truth, but I’ve seen with my own eyes that they are not. I’ve tried to think of every possible explanation for what I found, but there simply isn’t another, and that’s a bit weird.

And the more I think about it, the sillier I think I am. So what if I’m the child of a second marriage? I still know who my mum and dad are, and that’s more than many people in this world.

But I guess that I just don’t like the lies. What if I have a sister or a brother that I will never get to meet? That’s a very sad thought, because families are supposed to be happy, no matter how disjointed they can seem at times.

But I guess that I’ll have to accept that I will never know. Because I’m never going to look again where I looked before. But I want to know. I think I do, anyway. But I’m not sure, really. It’s something that I’d never thought about before. I’d just blocked it out, until the subject of marriage came up again.

And now it’s all over, I hope that I can go back to my world of pretend once more.

Back to School

There are days (although I’ll admit that they’re becoming less frequent) when I want nothing more than to go back to school. Today is one of those days.

The difference between school and university is that at school, there’s someone who cares. You may not always realise it, but there’s always someone watching out for you, making sure that you’re okay.

It’s not like that at university. To lecturers, your face is lost in the crowds, and when you’re feeling down, it’s all too easy to hide in your room. You can put on a smile when you need to cook, and blame the sleepiness on a hard night out to your friends in lectures. It doesn’t matter that it’s a lie, they’ll go for it. They don’t know you any better. It’s not their fault, I know that. I don’t want them to know that I’m ill, because I don’t like being weak and people fussing over me.

But at the same time, I guess I need someone to notice. Sometimes it makes you feel loved to hear someone ask ‘are you okay?’

And recently, I’m in more pain than I’ve been in for a long time. Some combination of on going problems, a new pill, and iron deficiency has left me in a pit of headaches, sleepiness, nausea, and other grim symptoms. I’m struggling to get out of bed in the morning, and not allowing my eyes to close in lectures is basically impossible. I should see a doctor. But I won’t go again, because he might tell me things that I don’t want to hear.

But I don’t get ill. I pride myself on how little schooling I’ve missed through illness, my ability to persevere and cope, unless I’m literally throwing up in the toilet (which hasn’t happened for years!). But I’m struggling right now.

But nobody knows me well enough. Nobody will check that I’m okay or make me stop for a few days, and so the cycle is endless, the headache is back, and I’m even more behind with work than I was before.

However much I may have hated the fussing over me, the endless questions in flute lessons about how I was coping, or teachers giving me a sympathetic smile after I messed up yet another exam, at least someone knew me. They knew when I wasn’t okay, and they didn’t always have to ask questions. Because I was not just another face in the crowd, I was a human being, and I’d like to think that they truly cared.

There’s some days when I plan what A Levels I could take if I went back, and what I’d do with all my time.

Tomorrow, I’ll probably wake up dreaming of the future, and so grateful that those teachers ever helped me to get where I am. To be who I am. To be studying this course. Tomorrow, I’ll realise that dwelling on the past helps no one.

But I think a part of me will always miss my school days.

Where I’m At

My head is a little jumbled. But I’m feeling positive. I think. I don’t know. I’m not really that sure how I’m feeling. I mean, there’s just too much to think about right now, and I’m struggling to break it down, sort and repackage it in order for my brain to process. However much I’d like to write something meaningful today, I can’t, because it doesn’t make sense yet. So, here’s where I’m at. Straight from my brain. Maybe you’ll understand better than I do. I hope that someone can understand!

I’m feeling positive. I’ve got a generally positive outlook (except for when I stop taking my pill) and I think that in doing okay.

But I am worried about my blood test tomorrow and the general doctor situation though.

As always, my best friend is on my mind. Right now, she’s really really on my mind. Recently, I’m pretty convinced that she’s lying to protect me. That’s consuming me. It’s a slow process, but if she doesn’t talk soon, I’m going to end up back at the place I was six months ago, and I know that it’ll be a pretty rapid decline to get there. She’s my best friend, I care about her, and I NEED her to trust me, especially given that she’s so far away.

My mum. Parents are always a worry, right?

I need a house for next year. I don’t really like the people I’m with or the house that I’ve found and it could mean a year of hell.

Uni has a massive workload. I don’t think I’m working enough, but I’d probably kill myself if I did any more. Getting back into the new semester could be tricky, and I’m not sure how I’ll cope.

Exam results. I still have a month to wait. Enough said.

I’m excited for my birthday trip to London in three weeks. So so so so so excited, and it’s keeping me going.

Alcohol. I’m always thinking about that one at the weekend. Limits, boundaries, plans, hopes, dreams, fears, and coping.

I need to go running because I’m unnaturally unfit and it’s bad for my health. I know running will help me stress wise too, but I’m afraid to go. I’m not sure why, or what to do.

And am I eating enough? Am I eating too much? Am I spending too much? Am I eating the right things? Do I get enough iron? What will the doctor say? What if I end up putting on weight? What if I loose weight? What if my friend looses weight? What if her flat mates don’t notice? Can I control something here? Can I find something to count, be it money or calories, when everything else goes mad? I shouldn’t though, should I? But I’m loosing control of everything, and that’s terrifying.

So maybe I should just clean more? Then I can take control. But I don’t have time to do that. I don’t know.

And my main issue, to be completely honest, is my lack of control over the whole thing. This time, I’ve even tricked myself into thinking that I’m feeling positive, but when I lie in bed at night, the demons hit me. All those things circle around my head. I have no control, and that’s horrible. My biggest fears are failure and a lack of control. I try so hard to control each of those aspects of my life, but right now, my brain is struggling to process and prioritise as it’s just screaming ‘DON’T PANIC IT’LL WORK ITSELF OUT AND BE OKAY’.

I actually think that this is just as hard and painful as my pessimistic state, where I get upset. At least then I can try to prioritise, even if my priorities aren’t always what they should be. Right now, I can’t do anything. I can’t cry, I can’t act to make it better, and I don’t know where to begin.

I guess what this really tells me is that the positivity that I thought I was doing so well with is all a lie. I need to find the middle ground, but I need some advice, because I can’t find it on my own. I wish I was strong enough to ask for that advice. Or I wish that someone would just book it in, sort it for me, and force me to ask that advice. Yes, I like to control my life, but I think I need to accept that I’m making a bloody awful job of it right now.

Perhaps it’s time to ask for help. Not big help, just some advice on coping with stress and prioritising problems so that I can deal with them properly.

But I’m not sure that I can even ask for help without someone helping me.

I don’t know.

I should ask my best friend for advice. But she’s busy. But she knows all of this. Maybe she’ll call me when she has the time? I can’t ask her for anything more, she’s amazing anyway. But I can’t call her, because she’s busy. I’ve had a lot of her time recently.

But maybe I can do this on my own.

No, of course I can’t. I need someone to hold my hand, because it’s weird over here.