I wrote this post last week on 1st February but I decided not to post it because it was too depressing. But I’ve decided that it is important to share in case anyone else feels the same way and can relate to how I’m feeling and maybe reading this might make me less alone. Or at least it might make me feel less alone.
I didn’t know today was Time To Talk Day. Today I had a phone consultation with mental health services and arranged my first appointment for Cognitive Behavourial Therapy (CBT). I’ve been going through a really tough time lately and I’m at a point where it is too difficult to handle on my own. I’ve always prided myself on being someone who knows how to be alone, does things alone and cheers herself up but this time I had to ask for help. I’ve always been an overachiever. I got good grades in school, I won a national essay competition, I tried out loads of different things at university, I lived in three countries in two years. But lately things have been spiralling. Stuck in unfulfilling, insecure jobs that didn’t last more than a few months, my friends living far away, not having a social life, not having much money, being repeatedly unemployed. I liked my last job enough and got on well with my colleagues. Then my contract didn’t get renewed and I didn’t really know why and it was a few weeks before Christmas and everything felt like it was falling apart. And it felt like everyone else was enjoying their festivities and I was trying not to break and I used to be creative and have a sense of humour but I didn’t anymore. And when everyone started making new year’s resolutions I just wanted something in my life to go right. And I hated reaching out to people because all they wanted to hear was that I’d found a new job so I felt even more lonely than normal.
Now I’m fed up of feeling broken. Two years ago, when I came back from five months teaching in India, I felt more confident than I ever had. I want to be that again. I want to travel. I want to work. I want to be challenged and win. I want to have a routine. I want to have a social life. None of these things seem that unreasonable. But I’ve learnt how harsh the world can be. I’ve learnt that old scars don’t go away so quickly. I’ve learnt that the hurt of being bullied stays with you for a long time. I’ve learnt that you can still be bullied at 24. I’ve learnt that you can be determined and work hard and get nowhere. I’ve learnt that some people are just awful people. Right now I feel like that’s a lot of people, but that’s probably not true. When bad things happen, I retreat into myself, because I’m the only person I can trust. Because enough people have picked on me, or underestimated me, or thought I was weak or stupid or immature that I don’t want to risk opening up. I write poems to myself or cry in my room or watch TV and ignore any messages people send me.
I find it hard being honest with people. But here it is. I’m lonely, I’m depressed, I’m anxious. I want to move forward but every time I try I get knocked back and I’m burnt out before I even get a graduate job. I’ve spent my life pushing away bullies, managing dyspraxia, looking for interesting new things to do and learning new things. When you’re smart in school but don’t have many friends they tell you when you’re an adult you’ll be a success, in charge, you’ll find your people. But it’s never that simple. Life moves slower and things don’t change overnight.
There’s no nice ending to this. I want to get better. I don’t want to hide at home and avoid talking to people in case they ask if I have a new job yet. I want to love myself again. I want to trust the world again. It’s hard and mean, but hopefully somewhere inside of it, I can make my way.