Silence, Secrets, and Survival

I’ve been keeping a silence for at least a few months now, if not longer. The burden is really beginning to hang over me, and I’m really struggling to cope, to understand, and to come to terms with how I’m feeling.

I wanted to speak, I really did, but with exams, leavers, and DofE to cope with, I never felt like I could. We had too much other shit to deal with, without me adding something else to the burden. Then we moved away to university, and I almost forgot how to talk. I didn’t want to ruin your first few weeks, and so it was easier to stay silent; to keep the secret, for our own protection. Now, I think I’m just about regaining my strength. I’m beginning to recover from the massive blow that the secret nearly killed me with, but it’s exam time again. I have to be silent once more.

The silence is a good thing, and sometimes, it’s vital for survival. But there’s only so long that you can keep a secret before it destroys you. I learnt that the hard way when I was younger, and now that I’ve been rescued from the repetitive cycle, I’m determined not to let it kill me again.

I can feel that I’m ready to let go. I’m ready to relax, and to let the walls down, and now, holding them up is hard. I have to make it through the exam period, and I have to survive. The secrets may have kept us both safe until now, but they’re becoming the killer. I’ve got to hold that killer off just a little longer, and it’s getting really hard. It grasps me and strangles me at the most unexpected of times: stats revision, mid labs, or when I’m trying to sleep.

I want to be happy, and often, I am happy. Usually, I’m happy. But sometimes a burden is a little much for just one man to carry, and we need a little help with the load. Things have calmed a bit from the hell that was May, and I’ve decided that it’s safe to let her back in.

After exams, laughter, and happiness, of course. Positives must come first.


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.


Blink, and you miss it.

Sitting down for some time alone on the first day, a little bee perched on the rock next to me. Watching with intent, I noticed that it began to wash it’s face. Or at least, that’s how it seemed. Blink, and you miss it.

Scattering around in the stones to try and find something to pick up to signify the moment, so I would remember to blog about it, I found a heart shaped one. A perfect little heart, about 1cm in size. I picked it up and pocketed it. Blink, and you miss it.

Two white butterflies, dancing around on the top of the mountain. Blink, and you miss it.

A lone purple flower, only just visible because it is so small, hiding amongst the long strands of bright green grass. Nobody ever pays attention, it’s never noticed. Blink, and you miss it.

Turning my head on the journey home, I see the sleeping face of my best friend. So peaceful, so content. So ironic. But I take it to mean that it will be okay, and everyone will find peace somewhere. Soon, she awakes and we go back to our deep conversations. Blink, and you miss it.

In a twenty first century world, we are guilty of focussing on the big. For many of us, our lives resolve around the big things, the seemingly important things. I’m guilty, too. As a student I find that my life has a large focus on exams. I use a lot of my time worrying about my friends and family, and I am constantly busy with volunteering and extra curricular activities. On DofE this year, I took time to focus on the little things. It have me an opportunity to ground myself and really work on enjoying the experience. It was relaxing, and at times, it was all that kept me going. I’m proud to say that I completed it, and soon, I should be getting my award.

Living. Laughing. Loving.