Scars

I haven’t responded to a Daily Prompt for ages. Ages and ages. Today I stumbled across it when I came here to write a post. It fitted my thoughts and feelings perfectly. It summarised what I wanted to write, so I am using the Daily Prompt today. It means I have to think a little less, and that will help.

I am revising for exams at the moment. One of my units is, essentially, about the brain. That of course means studying mood disorders: depression, anxiety, schizophrenia, the list goes on.

I find the brain so engaging and interesting and mind blowingly cool (excuse the unintentional pun). But that doesn’t make some of the topics any easier, when I have to revise them over and over again. Studying the brain makes me revisit memories, scars, I guess that you could say. It makes me remember things that I try my hardest not to think about. It pulls at my heart and pushes me over, and it breaks me. I’m trying not to let it break me. This is science, and it doesn’t have to involve looking back at the things that hurt me, but it does. I just can’t help it.

Leavers dinner, afternoon’s in coffee shops, summer drives, tears, late nights, fear, worry, love, pain, friendship.

It hurts. I’m trying not to cry. I have to take an exam on this. I have another three weeks of revision to get through before that exam. But memories are impairing my revision, and I need someone so badly to come and hold me and tell me that I don’t need to worry about the past. I want to be safe, and I want everyone else to be safe. But nobody is ever really safe. Everyone is haunted by their past, scars never go away, mental illness doesn’t go away, and it makes me fear for so many people in my life.

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Feeling Weird

I’m feeling weird today. I think I’m probably just overtired, but today, I don’t want people, I don’t want work, and I don’t want stress. Today, I want to sit on my own, in the dark. I’ve cried today. I cried at university, right in the middle of one of the eating places. I was on my own, in the sense there was nobody I knew, but there were plenty of strangers around to watch me.

I wanted to go to bed early tonight, but I have to wash up. Perhaps I’ll leave some for the morning. I don’t know yet.

I hope I’m just exhausted, I hope that this isn’t a crack in the beautiful positive life I’ve been building recently. Today, even my Rainbow unit didn’t make me happy. I had a constant ringing in my ears, a dizzy feeling, and as soon as I got on the bus home, I felt an overwhelming feeling of sleepiness.

I cannot do today, and I cannot do people. I can’t concentrate on work, and I’m afraid that this may be slipping back in as a habit. I know that this is anxiety taking it’s toll. I’ve been learning all about anxiety, depression, OCD, everything to do with the brain. The lectures make me uneasy, but I hope it will help me to accept some of my feelings, and some things about myself that are simply fact. I don’t know, I had been doing so well. I’ve been so positive and happy that this feeling terrifies my even more, and I can feel myself entering a cycle again.

I had been doing so well, but not today. You can tell, this blog doesn’t make sense. I’m jumbled. I don’t think straight when I feel this way, and that’s why I can’t work. It’s 7.45pm. I’m going to bed soon. I need to talk, to write, something.

Writing isn’t helping today. I don’t feel any relief when I’m writing this. I have a fear that I may just burst at any second.

Please, someone help me, before it’s too late.

Results

Yet again, that time of year has come around where we sit and wait anxiously for numbers on a piece of paper (or email, as the case is now). Today, at my university at least, was January exam results day.

My January exams were I mess. I was a mess. I didn’t know what happened, but I didn’t feel like I possibly could have worked hard enough, and time and time again I felt like I wanted to give up, and that it didn’t matter any more. Despite that, though, I wasn’t stressed. I didn’t have panic attacks, I slept at night, and I ate good food. It was a surreal experience for me, because that’s just not how I’ve ever taken exams. I’ve just never been chilled out about it. It was bizarre, so bizarre that I am struggling to explain.

My first exam went fantastically. I went into that exam feeling extremely prepared. I was very happy, and I came out feeling confident. That was new, too. No stress, at all.

The second was great, too. Not quite the same confidence, but still good.

The third, I was angry and frustrated about afterwards. I felt medioka before, but I didn’t think I’d have gotten a good grade. I didn’t think it would be good enough for me to stay on my course, anyway.

My last exam was a mess. I struggled to work for it, I struggled to remember the content, the exam was horrific, nobody seemed to have any similar answers, and I guessed 80% of the answers. After that exam, I cried when I got home.

I cried again a few weeks later, on a night out in a toilet with my best friend, drunk. I’d forgotten about that, it was otherwise an amazing but really very hazy evening.

I’ve had the odd thought since then, but I’ve tried to block the thought of exams out of my mind. I really and truly have tried to ignore it, and I’ve done very very well at distracting myself. I knew, especially after that last exam, that results day would ruin me. I would come crashing down, and burn, and all my hard work would be wasted, and I would feel like a failure.

This morning, I had a panic attack. This afternoon, while sat in a room with my two closest course friends, they pressured me to read the email that I had sworn that I would only read on my own.

That first exam, I got 78%. The second, 64%, the third 60%, and most shockingly of all, the fourth I got 49%. I passed them all. I averaged out at a very high 2:1, and I was absolutely over the moon. Of course, everyone wants a first, but when you are convinced you’ve failed and are about to be kicked off your degree (and I have had an extremely realistic mindset recently and know for sure that’s not just general worry and exaggeration), nobody is complaining about a 2:1. I can stay on my course, and go on placement, providing I keep it up this semester. I did really well, I shocked myself, and I was so so very happy.

My dad was perhaps not so enthusiastic. I played it down and laughed it off at the time, but later, when I was at home in the silence of my own room, I cried. I cried not only because he was less enthusiastic about my 2:1, but also because I was so shocked at myself. I did so amazingly better than I expected, and he wasn’t very enthusiastic. I’ve always relied on my parents to be enthusiastic about my grades and education, even when they couldn’t be about my other achievements. Now though, I’m not getting the 100% very best grades. University is a lot harder than A Levels, and my family don’t seem to get that. It’s heartbreaking, because everyone wants those closest to them to be proud of you.

But maybe, just maybe, it doesn’t matter so much. It hasn’t affected me as much as it would in the past. I didn’t worry about texting them, because I think (although I am a little afraid to admit it), I am proud of myself. I am proud of how far I’ve come emotionally with coping with stress, and I am proud that my work has paid off, even though I thought it hadn’t. I’d set realistic goals, and to think you haven’t achieved them is gross, but I did, and I am so very happy with that.

I guess I’m learning, at last, that paper and grades don’t define me as a whole. I want to work harder next semester to get a first. I want even more time working and to do that. But I want to do it for me, not for anyone else. My best friend has spent over five years teaching me to be proud of myself, telling me that she believes in me, and having confidence in me.

Maybe I’m finally learning. Maybe it’s time to take the self-confidence I’ve never had. It’s not easy, and I’m not there yet, but this is a massive step. She’s proud of me, and in terms of emotion and coping, I’m absolutely in shock.

I’ll go to bed tonight feeling a little confused, I will admit. I am upset that I haven’t pleased my parents, but I’m extremely happy with how I’m changing emotionally, and my results on paper. I’m glad I have friends around me to laugh and have lunch with after our results, and I’m glad that my best friend is always here for me. I can’t wait to see her again. Tonight, I really miss her. She’s done a lot more for me than she’s ever going to realise, and I just wish she was here so I could give her a hug, tell her thank you, and have a minor cry so that I can work out what the hell I’m really feeling.

Right now, I’m crying and hurting, but with a smile on my face. I don’t know if this is really me, or if I’m hiding behind a happiness mask. I’ve genuinely no idea, and it’s terrifying but liberating all at the same time. It’s new. I didn’t stress. I got 68%. It’s results day.

I think it’s okay to be a little confused today.

Alcohol

I’ve never been completely comfortable with the idea of drinking. When I first came to university, it was something that I had made an effort to actively avoid, and so the first few weeks were a bit of a shock. I remember standing in the queue for the main event at freshers week. Someone threw a drink over me. I was terrified. I didn’t really get drunk all week, even though I did have a bit of alcohol. I watched those around me loose control and it scared me. As the semester went on, I got more and more comfortable with the idea of being tipsy, and whilst I was still ready to come home by 1.30am, I began to enjoy going out.

Over the summer, I didn’t drink. There was the odd glass of wine with a meal, but nothing more. I was happy with that, I can’t see a point in drinking really unless you’re going to get drunk and go out. I came back here last week feeling very much like I was out of practice. More confident with alcohol still, but lacking understanding again of what my levels are, and when I should stop and how much to drink.

I came back to a night out with pre drinks at ours. I was ready to go out that night, but we crashed on the sofa. Nobody else wanted to go, and I was gutted as I’d been very excited and was perfectly tipsy. The Friday, I skipped. I had a Skype meeting that night anyway. Saturday was my first experience of a house party. I feel like they’re half of the problem. There’s people everywhere, there’s no fun social drinking games to keep me distracted, and I have to make a super effort to talk to people, which is something I struggle with anyway, never mind when I’ve just started drinking alcohol and so am feeling uncomfortable. I let a friend pour my drinks, and I was brought home at 11pm unable to remember most of the evening. Last night was another house party. I poured my own drinks, it was going okay, and at about 10.30pm I was an excellent level of drunk. The problem: we didn’t go out until midnight and the last two drinks tipped me over the edge. I didn’t fancy a thirty minute walk to the club and I came home in tears, in the dark and on my own. I hate the dark. I tried to call my friend to leave her a message like I always do in the dark, but her answer machine had changed and I panicked that I’d gotten a wrong number. Maybe I just need to choose a drink that’s not vodka, something that has a little more of a gradient between ‘I’m enjoying this’ and ‘I hate this’. But what? I’ve no idea. Peach Schnapps? Sure, but with what? I’m a novice at this, and nobody out there seems to get that, so I just copy the crowd and get the vodka back out.

I’m not sure how to approach the issues. Alcohol is the social life here at university. Yes, there’s societies where alcohol is less of a focus, and chilled out coffee’s between lectures with course friends, but if I want to stay in touch with those who I lived with last year, I simply feel like I have to drink. I’m not enjoying it, I’m struggling with what’s the right level, and when we have been out so far, I’ve not felt safe.

And perhaps that’s what it all boils down to, safety. I need to be safe, and I need to know that those around me are safe. That nobody will do anything stupid and that we’ll all get home. I don’t enjoy the rash decisions that people make when they’re drunk, because I like to think thing through and consider the outcome. It’s difficult, I know. I’m someone who often doesn’t feel safe, but there’s not many people, and certainly none at university, who know that.

I’ve woken up this morning with an overwhelming desire that I just want to go home. Whilst I’m not going to, and I know that’s probably just as much about the amount of work I need to do today as it is the alcohol, I wish there was someone I could talk to. I need a friend to hold my hand and let me go through everything I feel about alcohol. Because I can’t go on like this forever, university is meant to be for fun, not for unhappiness.

Disappointed

Do you have a friend who you would go to the other end of the earth for? Someone who you love unconditionally and would do anything for? Someone who isn’t quite like the others, and understands you in a way that nobody else will ever be able to? I do.

But I’m starting to think that perhaps I don’t understand friendship. That perhaps this is all very one sided, or something. I’ve got it wrong somewhere, because it just doesn’t work. I’m not sure that I even know what a friend is anymore. Maybe I’ve never known, maybe I’ve always been wrong. I just wish I’d figured that out before I got myself in too deep, because now I cannot turn back. I’m hurting, and I can’t change it.

I remember back to last year when at the last opportunity of seeing her before she went to university five hundred miles away, her mum didn’t allow her to go. I didn’t see her. I never got to say goodbye. I remember when we came home at Christmas and I was late taking her back home after coffee by about ten minutes and her mum was livid. And then Feburary, when despite that we had trains booked for her to visit me, the day before she came she changed one to go home earlier to help at her mums request. I always thought it was her mother. I feel awful that I’ve always held a slight grudge against her. Now I think that perhaps my friend just doesn’t want to see me. I wonder why she doesn’t just say.

I’ve never coped well with change, or changing plans. She knows that. But still they change, and still each time I expect them not to. But she doesn’t. She cancels, she changes them. It never works anymore. It’s no fun anymore.

All I wanted was to be normal. To have fun, to laugh and to smile. I just wanted to be like teenagers should be without tears and frustration. I just wanted one night. We’re done with university for four months, and I asked for one night. To be friends.

But yet again I’m crushed. Stupidly, I allowed myself once again to believe that once plans were made, they couldn’t be changed. But they’ve changed.

I don’t know. I’m clearly in here too deep, aren’t I? There’s a skew in understanding of friendship. Hers is very different to mine, and I often wonder if she actually really considers me a friend at all, or perhaps just someone who interferes, gets emotional too easily, and needs a shoulder to cry on once in a while. Maybe that’s why she doesn’t want to see me anymore for longer than she has to.

I would go to the end of the world for her. A few months ago I paid way more than I should have to visit her for an hour. I blew a weeks food budget. But I missed her, and I took the opportunity while I could. I thought I’d see her tomorrow, and tomorrow night. I thought I had managed to find 24 hours in four months where we were both free. But she’s not staying. I’ll only see her for an hour. She can’t come back to mine because she can’t pay the £2 bus fair home. She’s saving to pay for something big and every penny counts, she says. It’s strange that she finds time and money to go camping with other friends, or nights out, or to see her university’s friends when they come to England. But not me. She probably knows I’m hanging on too tight and whatever she says I can’t bring myself to let go. I love her too much and I will hold on forever to keep her in my life.

I’d just drive her home, but its not me that pays for petrol and I know my dad will be frustrated if I do. It would cost half as much for her to get the bus, and he’s annoyed that I always am the one to give people lifts and ferry them around. I don’t want to annoy him on Father’s Day weekend. He’s my dad.

I’d just stay at hers, but my brother needs the car. Besides, I specifically said I wanted her here to show her my new room and new running route. I don’t chose to live fifteen miles away!

I’m tempted to just give her the bus money. But it’s too late now. She would only stay because I was forcing her to. If she wanted to stay, she’d find £2. It will be no fun if she doesn’t want to. She doesn’t want to. It’s not mutual anymore. I’m broken. But I still want to put £2 in her hand and solve the problem. I miss her.

Perhaps I’m not worth it. Sometimes I sure feel like I’m not. I’m not worth the two pound bus fair. Our friendship isn’t worth that. And I was so excited. I got my hopes up. I sure as hell should have learnt by now, shouldn’t I?

And whilst a part of me wants to get angry and annoyed, and shout and scream that it’s not fair, part of my wants to stamp my feet and kick and tell her that she lets me down like this every time we have a plan, I won’t. If anything, I need to teach myself a lesson. I need to get over it. I won’t tell her that she has to stay and she can’t change the plan, because this is how it has always has been, and it won’t change her. She would be here because she thought she upset me, not because she wanted to be . That’s no fun! So instead, I can’t be like this. But it’s hard. She’s my friend. I wanted time with her this summer. I’m dissapointed.

I’m more than dissapointed, but I’ll try not to let that show. I don’t want her to know that I’m heartbroken and unconsollable right now. I’m trying to blame myself, it’s my fault. I don’t understand friendship. I’m not good with relationships and people. It’s all me. It’s not making it hurt any less though. She cancelled on me. Again. But I’ll see her for an hour. The time that she can afford.

It’s not fair, but there’s nothing I can do. I just have to be grateful what I have and instead, blame myself. It’s me that needs to change. 

But I love her. And she’s let me down. All I asked for was one night, but she let me down.

I’m Afraid to Stop

The last couple of weeks being relatively free aside from university prep has meant that I’ve found myself with a lot of time to reflect. I’ve come to many conclusions, but there is one which I’ve found rather shocking. The worst part about it is that it has probably been obvious to those around me for years.

I have a fear of stopping.

I survived my A Levels, just about. I achieved more than I ever dreamed of, but I nearly killed myself in the process. I worked, constantly, for hours and hours each day. At the time, I told myself that I needed to work hard to overcome my difficulties and achieve, but in reality and with hindsight, I see that I was actually stuck in a cycle of dismissing my emotions. I was anxious and stressed, and I felt pressurised to do well. Not only this, but I had to deal with emotions about other situations such as my grandad dying, illness in family and friends, and pleasing my parents. Because I needed to make everyone happy, achieve for my own feelings of self-worth, and get the grades for university, I worked really hard. I didn’t allow myself time to deal with how I felt, and in then, I got progressively more stressed, anxious, and emotional. Worried that these little slips would affect my grades, I worked more and more. The cycle continued. I was afraid that if I were to stop and consider my emotions, even for a second, I would break down, and my chances at A Levels would be ruined. I got quite ill from all that stress.

Now, on a much smaller scale, I find myself repeating the situation. There are emotions spinning around in my head, and thus I’ve not stopped for days. Tonight, I promised myself an early night, but I’m afraid to stop and close my eyes. It’s when I’m left alone with my thoughts that the demons really hit. I’m afraid to stop, to relax, for fear that I might just tip over that edge.

That’s a dangerous place to be.

Living. Laughing. Loving.

alex122rw

Music Is My Drug

I took the drive home from the leavers concert this evening as a time to reflect. The sky was a baby blue, cut through with marks of bright orange and coral, carefully blended to sugar pink around the edges, and a deep ocean colour as it neared the horizon.

I’ve just listened to two hours of beautiful music, produced by my peers and friends. Our year group is full of fantastic musicians, many of whom will go far. For me however, I decided that three particular performances stood out.

Second in the programme was a flautist. She played a beautiful piece which I will not name for fear of an incorrect spelling. It was calm, collected, dreamy. I was enjoying the performance, relaxing in the music. Towards the end, I realised that I had tears in my eyes. It took me a while to figure of where the wave of emotion had washed from. Of course, it made perfect sense really. That’ll be the last time I ever hear her play. That’s the girl who I aspire to be like, to be as good as. That’s the girl who came and collected me from my grade seven and took me out for coffee. That’s my best friend.

Another girl played a piece from memory on her saxophone. I have no words for this, only feelings. I shut my eyes and absorbed the music. I drank it up like it was a drug. I felt all the anxiety and worry that I had been feeling earlier in the day leave me. I felt myself physically relax. My shoulders dropped, even though I didn’t know they were up. My hands relaxed, even though I didn’t know I was clutching them into fists. I felt free, safe, and happy. For a girl who merely hours previously said that she was so worried that she just wanted to curl up in a ball, it was a little strange. I said I didn’t even want to play the flute ever again, I just wanted to climb into bed. But the music this evening had me firmly in it’s grasp. It wasn’t letting me escape.

Our school have an amazing band. They played last. In their encore, a few of us clambered onto the stage to sing and dance along. That’s a memory I love. It’s like music tour, and it makes me laugh. It makes me smile. And tonight, I really needed that.

I just hope that one day I’ll be confident enough to make it up onto the stage out of choice. Because I know that I’ll live to regret not performing tonight.

Living. Laughing. Loving.

alex122rw

Finding My Voice

As a child I was always very quiet and shy. I didn’t talk to strangers, and I wouldn’t answer questions in class. I didn’t have many friends because I simply didn’t have the communication skills to make them. I was quiet, kept my head down, and I loved school.

I’ve gotten older, I’ve grown up, I’ve got friends to support me, and I’ve been leading Rainbows, Guides, and a Primary Science Club for four years. My confidence has shot like a rocket. I answer questions in class, I’m more confident in asking for help with work, I take Rainbow promise ceremonies, and I am a maths mentor for a girl who is two years younger than me. This year, my flute teacher even managed to get me to introduce my solo in the flute concert, and get to the end without shaking too much. I’ve given numerous presentations about my Guiding adventure to Denmark, and in a few weeks, I’ll be giving one to the Rotary about my leadership roles. I seriously am a changed person, and I’m so proud of that.

There are however a few situations that still make me panic. I’ve always struggled to cope with the pressure of a one to one situation. I didn’t speak to my new flute teacher for the first year, and it’s only in the past eight months or so that I’ve been confident talking to my best friend about problems and advice in person. Even now, there is the odd time in my flute lesson that I will know the answer, but I just can’t move my mouth to form the words to say it. It’s not something that I choose. I simply freeze, and it doesn’t matter how hard I try, the words just won’t come out. Starting my leadership qualification with Rainbows has been mildly terrifying. Sitting down with an adult and discussing my opinion just isn’t something that I cope very well with. I can feel the pressure mounting and building, it all sits on my shoulders, and sometimes it physically hurts. I worry about silly things – anything that could mean failure or making a fool of myself in front of people that I’m not close to, and the panic begins to wrap around me and it can’t be controlled.

I have theories on why I get such bad ‘stage fright’. I think it probably goes back to being a kid. I had a few embarrassing stage related incidents, but more importantly, I hate being wrong. I’ve always been a perfectionist, with high standards. My parents put exceptional amounts of pressure on me, and all I want to do is ensure that I don’t let anyone down. Being one to one means that I have no choice but to give my opinion or ideas, and although it never really occurred to me, perhaps I have a fear of being wrong. I sure as hell had a fear of failure. My parents were always proud of me when I achieved something, but because my brother was always a bit of a pain, I never felt that I got the attention otherwise.

So when the idea was suggested to me of talking to a teacher about my worries to do with my best friend, I thought they were insane. Just thinking about it makes me flush. My breathing rate increases, and I feel the onset of panic. At the same time that I know talking to someone would do wonders for me, it’s a horrifying idea. Sharing my concerns would allow me to relieve some tension, to let go. I don’t even have to say her name. But I’m afraid. And since I met my best friend, I’ve never had to cope with my fears alone. This time however, I do, and I’m not entirely convinced how I should handle that.

I might cry. I’m going to appear weak and helpless, and look completely stupid in front of my favourite teacher. To admit that you can’t cope is a terrifying idea, and when it’s because you’re worried about someone else, it’s even worse. I know that I need to have that conversation, but I don’t think that I’m going to be able to find the courage to do it. I’m not strong enough.

Here’s to hoping that deep inside me they’ll be a little spark that lets me find my voice.

Living. Laughing. Loving.

alex122rw

Proud.

I heard online that yesterday was national best friend day. Of course, I don’t know the source of this statement, and although I did some research, I cannot find a conclusive statement. I’m inclined to believe that it’s not true, but I’m going to relish the opportunity anyway. This evening, instead of worrying, I’m happy. I’m smiling, I’m alive, and as I sat and watched the sun set, I decided that I think that it’s time I paid tribute to my best friend.

There is someone out there who I worry about every single day. Every waking moment I spent worrying, thinking about how I can make it better for her. I know that no matter how many times she’s made my problems better for me, I can’t solve this one for her. She’s always by my side, and she’s always there to provide a shoulder to cry on and a hand to hold. For that, I’m so grateful. Because that means more than any words ever can.

I can never even begin to understand what living with an eating disorder must be like, but today, she gave me hope. There are many times that I’m proud of her, for all manner of reasons. Proud isn’t a word that I aim to use too often, because I like it to be special. I relish the warm and fuzzy feeling I get when someone tells me that they’re proud of me, and I like it to be the same for those around me. Today however, I’m feeling really proud. It’s difficult to put into words what it is that has made the feel that way. I guess it has been building for a while now; I can’t name one particular event. Today was pretty special however. We shared ice cream at lunch time. For any other friends, probably a normal occurrence. For me, a shock. For us, something to smile about. Although it took some talking through, some fast decisions, and a hell of a lot of anxiety (she would never dream of admitting it, but I could nearly see the waves rolling off her), we did it. And I enjoyed it.

This evening, she was feeling really down. She’s eaten a lot more today than she has in a while, and in one of our little text chats, I feel like she let me see the side of her that I don’t very often get to see.

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That made me feel special. That, and she said today that she’d like a hug. Normally, it’s me asking for the hugs. When she’s fighting that food related battle in her head, I want nothing more than to hold her tight and tell her that it’ll all be okay. It means a lot to me that tonight, she said that she wanted that, too. Of course, none of this changes anything, but it made me smile. And you know what? I’m so proud of her that I’m getting that same warm happy feeling inside, too.

I don’t know what, but I feel like something has clicked today. I feel like I trust her more now, and that it’ll go on forever, this friendship. No, that doesn’t make sense. I’m not sure that I can put it into words. I just feel. I’m feeling better. I’m feeling a little more alive. I feel like whatever it is, it’s a good feeling, and a positive change. Not that it really is a change.

I know that the twenty first century is a very busy place, but this evening, I ask you to take some time out. I ask you to use that time to say thank you to your best friend, and to remind them that you’re always there for a hug for the odd time that they might need one too. And don’t forget to tell them yet again that you love them to the moon and back, three times over.

Living. Laughing. Loving.

alex122rw

Setting A New Goal

I guess that setting a new goal only six weeks before my first A Level exam might seem crazy at first glance, but hey, don’t judge me! Allow me to explain…

I have a friend who I have known since we were 13. She’s a bit mad, and often, I find her quite annoying. We squabble a lot, and frequently struggle to share the same opinion. It’s only recently that I’ve realised where this problem lies. She’s clever. Again, allow me to explain myself. I’m not judging her based on the fact that she’s clever, and I’m not jealous either. Of course I’m not! My best friend has a place at med school, and so does another of my friends. In fact, I’m friends with the only two people in my school with offers at med school – I’m sure used to clever! Maybe it would be more appropriate to reword my initial statement to ‘she’s lazy’.

So, she wants to be a vet, but she hasn’t got any offers. She doesn’t work for anything. She’s just learnt to expect it, and that is where my problem lies. Because I work bloody hard for my grades! She got a merit in her flute exam without ever picking up her flute, and all year she has avoided working. Goodness knows what she does because it’s not like she’s an extra curricular goddess either! She’s just one of those people that for her whole life has been able to achieve without any effort. It frustrates me. She continued with all four of her AS subjects, whereas I decided to drop one and focus on three. She didn’t revise over Christmas and still did well in her mocks. I really struggled. The other day, we were having a conversation about exams, and she told me that on exam leave, she revises for four hours a day. Two hours in the morning, two in the afternoon. I genuinely nearly fell off my chair.

How does this connect to my new goal? My goal is to beat her. For months I’ve been obsessing over my AAB that I need for University, and slipping into panic mode because I’m worried I’m not going to get it. I’m going to try not to do that any more. I’m going to work as hard as I can, and focus all my energy on doing well so that I can prove that hard work really does pay off. Yes, I’m going to get a bit stressed. Yes, I’m going to struggle. And yes, sometimes I probably have and will continue to push myself over the edge. But if that means I can beat her, then so be it. Because I don’t deserve to be beaten by someone who is lazy. Focussing on University is causing me pain, and I hope that for now at least, this will ease that pain and give me a new goal. She told me that she cares more about her mental well-being than revision, but that’s not the attitude for someone who wants to be a vet. I’m not saying that I want to kill myself through revising, I’m simply stating that hard work will pay off. And if it means that on results day I open my envelope and see the letters that I so desperately want and need, then fantastic. I hope that this can be a lesson to all those who are clever and know it.

Never again do I want to hear her say the words ‘But I am clever!’

Because I’m hoping that being ‘clever’ isn’t all that important. Wish me luck, I’m sure going to need it.

Living. Laughing. Loving.

alex122rw