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.

Will I ever be ready?

I’m sorry that I’ve let you down, and I’m sorry that I wasn’t good enough. I just couldn’t do it. I promise I tried, but to tell someone that stress and exams are tricky for me and I get super worked up and stressed is just too much.

I didn’t want to let you down again. You said that I never listen, and I wanted to prove to you that I do listen and that you don’t need to be mad. But I didn’t. I couldn’t. I failed again. Soon, you’ll probably be angry again.

I’m not ready to talk, it’s awkward and horrible and I don’t really know why. But the thought of filling in that form terrifies me, and while I know that I should do it for me, and I want to do it to make you happy, my heart just won’t let me. I’m not ready.

And the scary thing is that I’m not sure if I’ll ever be ready.

I hope so, because exams when all you can do is cry every day are grim. Panic attacks are demoralising, and trying to concentrate when you’re in freeze mode is impossible.

But I’ll get there. We’ll get there. I’m here for you just as you are for me. We’ll drag each other up the mountain, step by step, day by day. When we get to the top, we’ll enjoy the view together. It may take us the rest of our lives, but one day, I hope that we can both be truly happy.

You’re awesome, and I really wish that I will be ready in the future. For you… And for me, if I’m completely honest.

But I hope that you’ll be ready, too. I hope that one day, you’ll be ready to talk, because although you hide it well, I know that your black shadow is a lot bigger than mine is.

I’m really not alright.

‘I’m alright and I’ll be alright.’

That’s such a lie. If there’s one thing that I’m not right now, it’s alright. After days of waking up several times a night with nightmares, I had only two hours sleep last night. I’ve had a headache all day, and now I really want nothing more than to be sick. I haven’t been hungry for ages but I’ve been forcing myself to eat. I’ve just spent the last hour in tears and haven’t really done any productive revision since lunchtime.

My first university exam is tomorrow and there is absolutely no way that I’m coping. The lie that has been my positive mental attitude has come down in one huge swoop and knocked me flat onto my face. Of course you can’t just change completely in a week, and in trying to do so, and not allowing myself that five minute stress each day, I’ve potentially ruined my chances for tomorrow.

I’m angry. I’m angry at myself. Why did I let this happen? Normally now, I’d want to talk it out, but I don’t know if there’s anybody that I want to talk to. I can feel myself reverting back to the old me, the me that used to play the game of happy smiley masks and locked in my room with tears.

I can’t stop the crying, and I don’t know what to do. I’m not even sure that I want to cry, or even really why I’m crying, but I just can’t control it. I tried distraction and deep breathing, but the second I moved on and did something else, it started again. My eyes are getting sore and the salty tears are irritating my face.

It’s times like this that I can’t cope on my own. There may not be one name that I can give right now who I want to talk to or spend time with, but in my heart of hearts I know that what I need is someone to march in here, or someone to call me, and sort me out. I need someone to give me a list of what to do and when to do it by. I need someone to give me a hug and then shake me up and tell me to man up. While all of that sounds horrifying, I know it’s all that can fix me when I get myself into a rut like this.

I don’t want to talk to anyone. I don’t want anyone in the real world to know. I’m weak, and I’m a failure, again. I’ve not even sat the exam, and I’ve failed.

The scariest bit? Even if I do pass, I won’t get the first that is required to make my parents happy. I’m simply not that clever.

Or is that the scariest bit? Or is it worse to watch myself be consumed by the demons and tied by the chains which I thought that I’d broken free of?

I just want it to be over. But then there’s only another exam to come.

Rainbows

‘Lets paint a picture of rainbows and flowers and we can all be happy.’ There’s a joke quote, something along those lines, which circulates my floor at uni. I don’t really get ‘it’ because I’m not really in ‘the crowd’. It’s never really bothered me, because I’ve never been ‘popular’ and I never wanted to be popular. I like my close knit friendship group. Now I’m at uni, it does bother me, and it bothers me probably more than it should. But that’s another post for another day, because today I’m feeling positive, and I plan to keep it that way.

At the end of every rainbow, there’s a pot of gold, so the legend goes. And, my own personal edition also notes that at the bottom of every lake there’s a pile of rock. When you’re faced with a challenge, you’ve got two options. You can leap up high into the sky and onto the rainbow, and follow it’s path, or you can jump into the lake and go for a swim.

The rainbow is far up, and it takes all your might to jump, grab the edge with your fingertips, and hoist yourself onto that bright, sunny, and colourful path. Once you’re there though, the going is easy. The path may be long, but it’s flat and it’s solid. There’s no hills to climb, there’s no monsters to get in your way, and if you can persevere for the days and days that it takes to walk the path, you’ll reach the pot of gold and reap the rewards at the end.

At first glance, a swim in the lake may seem a much more preferable option. It looks calm, flat, and much much easier than trying to hoist yourself onto that rainbow. You simply splash into the water, and you break the glassy surface. The water ripples and whooshes around you, and the creatures which you couldn’t see from the bank begin to surface. The crocodiles surround you, the water burns your eyes, the fish swim just that little too close, and then something wraps around your ankles, pulling you down. You’re drowning, you cannot breathe, but still you’re pulled further. You try to get to the surface, but the pulling only gets harder and stronger. You drop down into the deep, icy water. You pass out, and your head smashes against the rocks at the bottom of the lake. You’re helpless, your fate is decided for you, and you lost all choices after the moment you broke the surface.

Life’s a bit like that sometimes; choices of lakes or rainbows. In a new year, people make new resolutions, and while I won’t, for fear of failing, I can try to consider a change of attitude. Stress, panic, and to some extent, depression can be likened to choices of rainbows and lakes. When faced with a decision, the positive thinkers will choose the rainbow, while the pessimists will succumb to the icy but deceptive waters of the lake. What’s different in these scenarios however, is that while the lake will pull you down, and the fear and panic will take over, hope should not be lost. It’s a little crazy to say that to a negative thinker. To them, hope is lost, and I should know, because I am one. What I’m learning, however, is that there’s always a second chance. There’s always the possibility that someone might put their hand into the water and risk their own fate to pull you out. Even if they don’t, you might get strong, and find it within you to beat the creature away. All that you have to do then is pull yourself (or get a leg-up onto) a rainbow, and you’re walking the path to positivity.

I say this, because right now, for the first time in a long time, I’m walking along that rainbow. With a little help from a friend of mine, I’m trying to change my attitude. Of course, when a mindset is so deeply engraved into you as mine is into me, it’s not easy to change. It’s really really not easy to change. It’s hard to climb up onto that rainbow, there’s no denying it. What’s important though is to remember to take baby steps, and whilst I may not be able to yet say ‘Everything will be perfect and I’ll get top marks in my exams,’ what I can say is ‘I’m going to work really hard, and it’ll be okay. I’ll at least pass, and I won’t get kicked out, and I can have tonnes of fun when they’re all over.’ That’s a massive improvement for me. Usually, I’m very much ‘I can’t do this it’s too hard, I’ll fail and I’ll let everyone and myself down,’ with plenty of tears and frustration to go along with it. I’ve had the leg up onto a rainbow, and my friend tells me that she’s proud of me. That means a lot, because this isn’t easy.

Of course, I’m only taking baby steps, and even then, I’m not always perfect. Sometimes, I think my positive attitude is just as much about lying to myself as it is everyone else. As my trust for my friend has grown, I’ve relied on her to pull my out of the water. I still have secrets to tell about why I am who I am, and feel how I feel, but I’m ready to tell them. Hopefully when I see her in a few weeks, I will tell them. Perhaps that will make this walk along my rainbow a little easier. My rainbow is a bit wonky here and there, and there’s the odd hole that I need to avoid, but slowly, I’m beginning to really believe that I can be positive. I don’t think it’ll last forever; I’ll wobble every now and again. One day, I’ll probably fall. What I know however, is that actually it’s much easier on the rainbow (even my slightly mismatched one) than it is in the lake, and I’d like to stay here as long as I can. If for any reason I do fall, I’d like to think that someone will help me to climb back up. I’d like to think that even from the lake, I’d remember how amazing the rainbow was, and somehow, I’d jump back up again. For now though, I want to keep taking baby steps and walking on this path. It’s warm and it’s bright, and perhaps one day, my rainbow will be as solid as I need it to be to walk along it without thinking, or without the help and support that I need right now.

How I’m Feeling

Drunk. But a good level of kind of tipsy drunk that I’ve never been past before.
Afraid.
Worried. About my best friend.
Sleepy. With the knowledge of a 9am lecture.
Wanting. To talk and to express myself while I’ve let go, am a little tipsy, and am not afraid to do so.
Upset. Because I know there’s nobody to talk to.

I think I should sleep because there’s nothing coherent I can say tonight. Christmas only gets closer, and it’ll be okay again soon. We’ll be honest again when we’re face to face, and I hope it’ll make things better. One of my biggest fears is loosing her to her food, and I’m afraid. I want to talk, but I can’t. My brain is so jumbled where blogging doesn’t fix it anymore. Writing doesn’t solve all the problems. I need to talk. ASAP. Right now, if I thought that I could. But I can’t. So I’ll soldier on and reinstate the brave face.

Troubled

It troubles me how easily people give up on those who mean the most to them. Worse still, they give up in their friend’s time of greatest need. The worst is when they tell me that they didn’t say anything, and they don’t talk to that person any more, because they don’t know what to do, or what they should say. So they take the easy option, they give up, and they pretend that the problem isn’t there.

I’ve just spent a good half an hour having a conversation very similar to that with a friend of mine, and it’s left me in tears. If you care, why have you given up? How could you? Please, listen to me, they need you more than ever. You’re not intruding, I promise. You need to help that person that you’re worried about, because otherwise, it looks like nobody else will, and it will be too late.

I just couldn’t do that. I couldn’t give up on my friends. Please know that no matter how bad it gets, I’ll never let you down. I’ll never leave you to suffer, and I’ll never let you go it alone. I’m here, and I’ll be by your side every step of the way, no questions asked.

And I hope that you wouldn’t do that to me, either. I trust you, be here for me. Perhaps I can’t always say it, but I need you just as much as you need me.

All I ask of you today, is that you think about your friends. Is there someone that you’ve forgotten? Did you push them aside because it was easier, because you were struggling, and you just couldn’t cope with anything else? You need to be there for them. You’re their friend, and you could be the only thing keeping them alive. Oh, I know it’s hard, I had the battle every day for months, and I still continue to now, over a year after I recognised the problem. You can’t fix things, but you can try and bring a little light into the lives of your friends.

Don’t let them down. You’re a better person than that. You’re keeping them alive, don’t let them die.

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.

Please say it’s not too late.

I knew there was something wrong last night. I knew it wasn’t quite normal. I don’t know how I knew, but something in my head told me it wasn’t right, and so I couldn’t sleep. The silence was abnormal, especially when she’d said earlier on that she wanted to see something. I couldn’t understand, but I pacified myself, and I slept.

I don’t know what I dreamt about in my sleep last night, but I know that it wasn’t pleasant. I woke up this morning, my ponytail hanging out, my neck blotchy, my covers tangled and my pyjamas in a mess. Normally, I’m a delicate sleeper, who doesn’t move. My dad has described me as sleeping beauty. I was definitely dreaming last night.

I promised myself last night that I wouldn’t be the first to talk today. I swore that I wouldn’t send the first message, or the first snapchat. I knew she’d been out last night, but when I woke up today and saw that there was no reply to last nights messages, and no drunk snapchat story, I was sure it wasn’t right. Thinking that perhaps she’d just lost her phone, I sent her a facebook message. A few other signs led me to complete uncontrollable panic before she replied. She’s alive, at least. No, actually, I’ve got that wrong. Perhaps it would be more appropriate to say that she’s simply living.

It’s rather odd that I sensed there was something wrong, when she’s so far away. But perhaps I already knew, really. A few days ago, she told me that she might have to start opening her ‘open when’ letters soon. I questioned it then, asked her if she was coping, but she denied all cases of struggle. Of course she did, she always lies to me.

I’m heartbroken. I’ve told her that later, she is going to Skype me, and she has to eat before then. I thought I was a friend, I thought that I was somebody that she could trust, and talk to. I can’t give her s choice this time, I’m just going to have to show her ghat distance doesn’t change anything. Everything had been going so perfectly, and now she’s crashed so suddenly. It was always too good to be true. I’m so worried about her, because there’s nobody up there who knows, and who can care for her. Oh wait, there’s nobody at all who actually really believes it. It’s just me and her against the world.

I can’t fix everything, but I need her to talk to me. Now, the questions are spinning around my head, and I’m glad I don’t have any lectures today. There’s no way I could concentrate. How long have you not been eating properly for? What’s happened? Have you done anything stupid? Why didn’t you talk to me?

I’m here for you. I love you. It’s a shame that you can’t trust me to be by your side as much as I trust you, because right now, you’re falling from the sky, and I’m beginning to worry that it might be just a little too late for me to give you a parachute.

Just thinking is killing me. But this isn’t about me. This is because I care about you. Deny it all you like, but it won’t change anything. I care, and I want you to talk to me. I don’t want you to be alone.

I don’t want you to die.

JUST STOP

Just stop complimenting me! Please, I’m begging you! Stop saying that you’re proud of me, that I’m brave, that I’ve done the right thing. This isn’t about me.

I didn’t do this to fish for compliments, I did it because I care about someone. Yet that care has come to nothing, because it appears that all the important people in this situation are either too busy trying to tell me that I’m amazing, or they’re blinded by other things to see how serious this really is.

It appears that you’ve all completely misunderstood not only me, but my best friend, too. You think you’ve grasped the ‘serious’ and ‘important’ things, and now you’ve given up on us. Instead, you try to pacify me, telling me that I’m an awesome friend and that she wouldn’t have made it this far without me. You’re not going to pacify me, you will simply anger me. You have no understanding of our friendship, and trust me, if it wasn’t a genuine concern, I would take no interest in voicing it to you.

The most heart wrenching part is one particular person. The rest are allowed, I guess, to not understand for a minute or two, but don’t tell me that you understand where I am, and even where she is, if you don’t. I was hanging onto the hope that maybe you’d see sense. Every time you say it’s not for me to be worrying about, you throw a dagger into my heart. Four years of building this amazing friendship, and then you tell me that I shouldn’t give one about what happens to the girl who I trust more than anyone? You tell me that I’ve done everything I can do, yet it seems that what I have done will achieve nothing, so where does that leave me? You’re essentially telling me that our friendship is nothing, and that I am not a friend. BANG. It’s a bullet this time.

I’m angry that nobody will listen to me, and that instead you choose to start every email, every conversation with yet another compliment. No, I’m not an awesome friend. I’ve done what any other single person who loves and cares about another would do. I’m not brave, either, this should have been done a long long time ago. All I’m asking is that you listen to me. I’m serious.

I’m watching this, in two different people, from both ends. I can see what happens when people don’t take another’s eating disorder seriously, do what you are doing and simply blame it on other things. I’m trying with every bone and muscle I have in my body to make you understand because I’m determined not to watch someone else that I care about go down the same path. Don’t tell me to give up. Don’t tell me to be a failure. That’s all you’re doing right now. I don’t need to be told to give up, I have always been the pessimist. I can give up on my own back very easily. But I won’t, not this time. My heart keeps beating for a reason, and I’m not going to let it stop, until the very very end.

Maybe you’re right. Perhaps it isn’t my problem. Perhaps it is one man fighting the world, but I don’t care. Are you even listening? Why don’t you get the idea yet? I don’t give a damn what you think. I’m choosing to make this my problem, and I’m going to continue to do so. She’s my BEST FRIEND. Do you people not understand friendship? Maybe this is all just showing me exactly how special my best friend is. She’s worth every second of worry, I don’t care what you say. I’ll fight until the end, even if you’re not on side, and even if I am out of ideas right now. David beat Golliath, right, so why can’t i?

Living and loving, today.

alex122rw

Naive

I thought I’d fixed it. I thought that I’d used super glue and it would never come apart again. However, I’ve just discovered the loose pieces left over. There’s one or two fragments that I forgot to put back. And what about all the dust? All the bits that were lost which we now can no longer see? They’ve been swept off and into the distance by the wind. What became of those?

I haven’t fixed it. It might look fixed on the outside, but the cracks are still there. It’s never going to be the same. There’s still a chip in the rim, and a hole in the bottom.

Just as I was beginning to believe that what happened at leavers had been the best outcome for everyone, I’ve realised just how far from the truth that really is. Here I was, happy in my little oblivious bubble, thinking that we’d achieved the perfect outcome. My best friend was still talking to me, my best friend found someone that she could trust and told an adult about everything that’s happened in her life, my best friend’s mum was informed, and her mum made a doctors appointment. The situation was taken out of my hands, I thought she was safe, and I was much more relaxed. How could I be so naive as to believe that it would be so simple.

Then, last night happened. We were talking about her doctors appointment, and while the addressed some other things at that appointment, they didn’t mention eating. Her mum isn’t worried about her eating because she doesn’t look skinny enough to have an eating disorder. She thinks that it all stemmed from her other issues and that it’s not a problem, and so she didn’t mention it to the doctor. She couldn’t be further from the truth.

I’m helpless and there is nothing more I can do. The adults in her life know, but they have dismissed it. I’ve done what I can, and now I’m lost. Completely hopeless and lost. It doesn’t matter what I say, because she won’t act upon it. I’m worried about her going to uni. Hell, she’s worried about herself going to uni, but without the adults in her life behind her, she won’t do anything to try to change. I’ve tried so many things in the past, and none of them worked. I’ve cried, I’ve screamed, I’ve blamed myself, I’ve told her that she’ll die, I’ve told her that it’s killing me. But I am not an adult, I’m just a friend, so she doesn’t listen to me. I did the hardest thing, and I told those adults, yet they have simply ignored the concerns.

For the first time in months, I cried myself to sleep again. I wanted to talk. I’ve learnt over the past couple of years how amazing talking can be, but I suddenly felt very alone once more. Nobody else could understand this, and of the three people I’d trust to talk to, I don’t want to burden any of them. This isn’t their job or their responsibility. Those adults aren’t trained to deal with this, and I’m sure they don’t have the time to deal with my ‘petty little worries’.

So for now, I’ll speak only to the darkness, and pray that it somehow gets better. Right now though, I’m simply watching her die.

Living. Laughing. Loving.

alex122rw