Rock Bottom

I’ve hit rock bottom. It’s strange, and it’s scary, and it’s a place that I’ve not been for months and months. I don’t like it, I don’t like it one bit.

I’ve been confident and happy since I came back to university. I’ve tried and I’ve worked and started every day with a positive attitude, and it has gone superbly. I cannot believe the change within myself, and I love being so happy and carefree. It’s been beautiful.

Last week, I started exams. Exams have always been a rocky subject for me. They’ve always been the thing that has ground me down and broken me into tiny pieces, crushed me so that I am no longer able to think straight, reason straight, or even eat straight. Balls of stress build in my stomach and take over me, and every second of every day is ten times harder when fighting back tears and forcing myself to eat when I feel the constant queasy sensation of nerves for weeks and weeks upon end. Spending time with other people is simply not an option, and I find myself slipping into a dark abyss, screaming and struggling for someone to rescue me.

But not this time. I’ve done very well so far. The positivity has reigned, and I’ve made it through with hunger pangs, heathly snacks, regular meals, lots of sleep, evenings with my flat mates and revision. I took my first two exams, the second of which I was extremely confident for. I’ve never gone into an exam feeling confident, or gone into an exam with no nerves at all. I was surprised, so surprised. I was struggling with tiredness before I got there, but I was confident and a day in bed didn’t seem to matter, like it would have ripped me into guilt before. It was weird.

The exam didn’t go so well, and I left in tears, my confidence crushed. That was Thursday, and I’ve still got the hardest two exams ahead of me. I feel defeated, and I’m not sure what to do. I’ve tried to carry on, but eating is getting harder, and whilst I enjoy time with my flat mates, the pit of nervous guilt I feel later has been haunting me. I’m not sleeping well, at all, and slowly but surely the familiar ache of the exam season has returned.

This evening, I hit rock bottom. I feel like I’ve fallen to the bottom of the pit. I can’t see a way out, and I know that if I took the two exams I have this week right now, I’d fail them. That’s not just the pessimist in me, that’s the whole and honest truth. And I’m terrified, because academically, I’ve never failed. My academics have been something I’ve been able to rely on, results, whilst terrifying, a strange familiarity in my often crazy life.

Now, I’m not so sure, and for the last few hours at least, I’ve not been coping. I’m not sure how to change that, and I know I won’t wake up tomorrow being the confident one again. The pit is back, the fear is back, the guilt is back, and I have no motivation. I can’t make myself work, because it’s then that I remind myself of just how little I know. I’m very very afraid, and I wish there was someone who could help me.

I’ve realised that I’m very alone. In my waves of confidence, I’ve forgotten how to speak out to those who mean the most to me. I need to talk to my best friend, and I thought I had tried but I’m not sure that I have. Maybe I wasn’t clear enough, maybe she too was fooled by my recent waves of confidence and thinks this is just a wobble. Maybe she’s just busy.

I don’t know. I don’t know how to feel about this. Life isn’t as easy when your confidence is gone, and I don’t like being rock bottom.

Five days and two exams to go.

Help me, I’m terrified.

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Regrounding Myself

I’m one of those people who finds social situations difficult sometimes. Equally, I’m someone who loves to be busy, and never to miss out. And of course, that leads to a girl who is always sleepy. I’m trained into early nights, deep sleeping, and naps. I can sleep through almost anything. I self regulate really well. I get nine hours of sleep per night, and I’m generally really good at making sure I keep on top of it, because I know that if I don’t, I simply won’t cope, and then I won’t achieve anything.

There’s some times though that it doesn’t quite work that way, and the result usually goes one of two ways – either I find the free time early enough to sleep for a long time and catch up, or I just power through for weeks and months until I am mentally and physically about to break from exhaustion, and the first second that I’m left alone with nothing to focus on, I break down.

That’s what’s happening right now.

I’m lucky in that tonight, I’m simply overtired from a very non-stop summer and now four days of constantly being surrounded by people who I haven’t seen for months, and thus needing to be social 24 hours a day. I’m not a naturally social person, and so long in the company of others is exhausting. But I’m not shaking uncontrollably or sick with worry, because there’s nothing to be worried about right now. I just need to cry myself into an early and deep sleep, let myself go a bit, ground myself, remember who I am, and I’ll be okay tomorrow.

I need some time to just be me, not the social butterfly that I need to be in order to make the most of and enjoy my time as a student. I need to enjoy the silence and listen to my own breathing because the real work starts next week, and I can’t afford to have this much stress built up in my system.

I can’t afford to bottle, and I’m feeling more and more every day like that is what I’m doing now. I’m starting to bottle again, and that beginning to worry me a little.

It’s nights like tonight, when I’m having my moment, that I really miss home. Most of all, I miss my best friend and her words of advice, and warm hugs. I miss my old life, when I got tired and stressed but I wasn’t worried about my friends from home telling me they are okay when they’re not, because I saw them every day and knew when they weren’t okay. And I didn’t have to be social quite so much and exhaust myself quite so much because more people accepted my need to sometimes be alone. 

But then I remember how hard things were that year, and I don’t want to go back.

But it’s nights like tonight if I question if things are any better now, or if I’m still ignoring the truth and keeping it all closed inside me?

And then maybe I’m just overtired, and that’s why I feel like this. 

I appreciate time alone though, I know that much. I have to ground myself, and whilst a small pang tells me I’m missing out by not going out tonight, I know in my heart that this way, tomorrow night will be so much more fun when I’m well rested. Alcohol and stress are shit, because nobody wants to watch me cry all night, and I want to have a good time if I get drunk, alcohol causes enough anxiety as it is.

Sleeping tonight will make tomorrow better. I’ll be so excited!

The World Is Busy

I’m hot and it’s dark. It’s getting late and I need to sleep. But I’m stressed and I’m struggling. I need a friend, but there’s nobody there. I’ve been forgotten and it’s breaking my heart.

I’ve not had a panic attack for months. I cannot remember the last time I cried myself to sleep. I’ve been coping amazingly.

But tonight, I’m not. I tried to reach out, for someone to talk to. I realised that I have nobody. It’s gotten me into a mess. Today has been tricky. I’m stressed and unmotivated, and this evening I’m disappointed in myself. I need a friend. I need someone to be here for me, to care about me, someone to be positive for me, to tell me that it’ll all be okay. I need someone to believe in me. Because today, I cannot believe in myself. For me, that’s something that I haven’t asked for for a while. I need someone to love me. But there’s nobody there.

It’s strange how there’s people there to answer the messages they want to, or to be free when they need to, but not to be there when you’re screaming their name. There’s not many people I trust in this world. I don’t have many friends. Tonight, I need ones that I have. But I can’t find them, I can’t find any of them. I can’t find her.

I don’t want to cry myself to sleep tonight. But I can’t stop myself, because I need to talk. I have things I need to say. I need to let go. It won’t take long, it’s not serious. It’s silly, it’s exams. It’s ten minutes.

People can’t find ten minutes. The world is busy and the pace is fast. For me, time is slow. I need someone to talk to. But I’m alone. So the tears will fall, but I must sleep.

I hope tomorrow will be better. I hope that friendship and love can be found. It’s ten minutes. It’s a few simple words. It’s a text message.

But the world is busy.

The Things That Make You Strong

I heard a song today that contained some lyrics that hit me, and hard.

‘You could be doing anything you dream of if you believe in the things that make you strong’

It made me realise how much hope and belief I’ve lost over the past few days and weeks.

There’s another song, that has these lyrics:

‘You don’t have to do this on your own’

At one point today, I found myself pausing it with a muttered ‘But I do, I’m sorry but I do have to do this alone.’ It doesn’t matter how much I’d like to talk about how I’m feeling, it’s not an option. I can’t tell anyone because it’s so weak. It’s only uni, and I should be able to hack it. Instead, I’ve spent a lot of today crying, and looking up the procedure for dropping out. Whilst I’ve done huge amounts of work today, it’s not enough, and I’ve never been so far behind on anything in my whole life. It’s terrifying. I don’t think I’m ever going to be able to catch up, and a combination of long hours, few breaks, little sleep, no interaction with the outside world, and eating too much sugar has left me in rather a mess.

But I’ve got friends. I’ve got support. My friends make me strong. They may be rather busy, but they’re there. I can do this. People believe in me, I’ve just got to try my very hardest to learn to believe in myself.

Is the silence really that safe?

You’re right, sometimes there is safety in the silence. Sometimes, to sit and ponder with your own thoughts can be a blessing, but many a time, it can be deadly, even if you don’t realise it until afterwards.

I read a post yesterday that got me thinking. After just a few mere words, I was questioning everything I’ve ever known, and everything I’ve done over the past years, months, and weeks.

I know, that for me at least, the silence isn’t safe. The silence is scary, the silence is dangerous, and the darkness is full of creatures waiting to jump out and grab you.

The silence isn’t about wading through the sea of emotions, because the water is too deep to wade. You think it’s okay, because you know that you can swim. The comfort that you can do it alone is always lurking, but all too soon, you realise that the current is too strong, and you cant swim in this sea. The silence is about spluttering, coughing, and even drowning in my own thoughts as I am dragged under the waves and plummet to the bottom of the ocean. Talking can often provide a lifeline. Breaking the silence is like seeing the life buoy being thrown out, and reaching up to grab it. It takes every bit of energy you have left to lift up your arms, and for a split second, as you’re stuck under the water, you think about just surrendering to the waves, but slowly you realise that it’s going to save your life. In the moment of struggle, giving up is easy, and the peace of drowning is tempting. Fighting the silence can be difficult, but taking that life buoy, and grabbing an opportunity to talk can be what saves you. Time to think is important, but it’s all too easy to be swallowed by the silence.

For me, someone who fights a constant battle to break a lifetime of silence, I know that entering it is something that I would never wish upon anyone else. It doesn’t matter if you have to because nobody cares; you want to, to be alone and left to make your own decisions; you don’t want to waste anyone’s time with your feelings; you don’t want anyone to know that you aren’t okay; or you just can’t hack talking anymore. It doesn’t matter, because each can destroy a person. Left with your own thoughts, your mind spins and the same endless pattern slowly drives you insane. Bottling it up, over thinking, they’re so dangerous. More dangerous than most people ever care to realise.

Maybe I’ve missed the point, and there are more types of silence than I realise, but although it horrifies me to admit it, the danger of silence is just too great. Once you’re under that wave, it’s so hard to break free into the open air once more. Oftentimes, a break to the silence is necessary, but never ever is prolonged silence important, it’s simply a death trap, always on the horizon and ready to pounce.

Just remember, it’s okay not to be okay. There’s always someone who cares, you’ve just got to find them.

Living. Laughing. Loving.

alex122rw

No Longer Alone

Sometimes, it’s hard to believe just how much your opinion about someone can change. Two years ago, I really didn’t like one of my new teachers. I found her annoying, and just couldn’t get to grips with her teaching style. As the first year of A Levels progressed, and she found out about the illness of my grandad, my opinion changed to ‘nice person, bad teacher’, and in January, when I was really struggling with her subject, and she wanted to tell my parents that I was underachieving, that opinion rapidly deteriorated to ‘good enough person, going about it completely the wrong way’. Six weeks ago, at leavers dinner, that became ‘nosy, but I like you’, and today, it changed once more. Now, my opinion is ‘you’re completely amazing’.

This of course, is the teacher that I met for coffee yesterday. However awful it made me feel, I knew deep down that saying yes I’d meet her was a good idea. At the same time that meeting a teacher for coffee in town was rather awkward, I also felt an overwhelming sense of relief upon seeing her. Since leavers, I’ve tried not to talk too much to my best friend about how I feel about what happened and her health. I’ve tried to agree with the comments she makes whilst not making too much of a commitment. I knew that this coffee would be different, because I could say exactly what I wanted to. This time, however, it would be safe. In the past, I’ve wanted to talk, but I wouldn’t for fear of letting the secret slip. Now, there is no secret. And talking made me feel amazing.

The teacher told me that at my age, her best friend went through the same thing. She told me that she felt like the weight of the world was on her shoulders, and she didn’t want me to feel the same. She said that she was so proud of me for telling an adult, because it’s the one thing she could never do. She told me that moving away to university wouldn’t mean that I lost my support network, and that they’d always still be here for me. Finally, I no longer feel alone.

She told me not to worry, and for what feels like the first time ever, an adult told me that my grades don’t define me, and I’m much more of a person than those three little letters on Thursday. It’s a shame my parents can’t think that too.

I’ve still got everything crossed for Thursday though, I’m keeping busy and distracted, and I just pray that it’ll all work out okay.

Living. Laughing. Loving.

alex122rw