a note

a note

I don’t think I’m alone in saying that I can’t wait to see the back of 2019. It’s been a horrendous year for many different reasons and it seems like everything around me has been affected in some way – my family, friends, relationships, my physical and mental health, my work, my hobbies – they’ve all taken a hit in one way or another. I spent the first half of the year going through family and relationship trauma that took me the second half of the year to process. And I’m still trying to figure it all out.

So really what I’m trying to say is that I’m tired.

I’ve learned that I’m so scared at being discarded that I put myself through a huge amount of emotional energy to self-preserve – at the detriment to myself. I blow tepid in fear of scaring people off. I have a very unhealthy relationship with food. I view myself as completely unworthy for anyone or anything and it’s why I get so frustrated with myself. I’m aware of how other people’s behaviours towards me have reinforced this idea in my head. I learned that the undue stress I put on myself has started to take a physical toll. I know that living alone is lonely. I find it difficult to trust people. I’m constantly comparing myself with others.

This has been one of the darker years.

But with all of those things came the learning curves (yeah, the sappy ones) – the realisation that your self worth doesn’t rely on anyone else’s opinion of you, that it’s never too late to change, that sometimes people act in a way towards you that has nothing to do with you. That you do get through the things you thought you’d never get through. You do get over the people you thought you’d never get over.

I’ve gotten into hiking (from a recommendation of a great friend) and that has opened a whole new door for me of new people and opportunities of adventure. I’ve started seeing a counsellor again (who has changed my life – and after 7 years of finding the right one, comes as a relief). I’ve a much better grasp of my mental health; what the triggers are and how I overcome them, and I finally got my full driving licence which has given me a wealth of freedom that I didn’t think possible.

I think that next year a lot has to change because with the way things are going, it’s not sustainable. I certainly don’t want another 2019 setting the tone for the 2020s – I don’t think I could do it again. I’m still trying to figure out what it is that has to change before I can set about doing it. I’m hopeful for what’s to come but honestly, I am worn out.

But until then, I’m taking it day by day. Because what else can you do?

 

 

You Are Worth It

You Are Worth It

Hello

Yeah, I know it’s been a while but the truth is is that I had nothing to say. Out of all my lists of “post ideas”, all my scouring on the internet for inspiration, I couldn’t find one topic that drove me to put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard).

I’ve become very comfortable with hiding away. The idea of being unreachable, uncontactable or just generally *not there* has become so attractive that I find myself going days without talking to my friends or engaging with other people aside from work and home. I like to think that I’m wiping the slate clean and starting from scratch but in actual fact, I’m just getting lonelier.

I started seeing a new counsellor who I’m making great progress with – she suggested that my need to hide away is product of my inability to express anger at what has happened this year and instead I turn it on myself. And wow, it kind of started to make sense.

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Landslide

Landslide

I was never originally afraid of change. It always seemed very attractive to me when it was pushed into the near future and I didn’t have to really worry about it much. In other words, I wasn’t afraid of the idea of change. But the next few months are a period of change for me and yes, I’m afraid. 

Stevie Nicks sang Landslide on Thursday night and I cried. Not only because that song was a big one in my childhood but because it makes sense to me right now. I’ve become quite comfortable with how my life has been the last few months and now that things are changing, I’m afraid of how it might change me. 

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Despondency

Despondency

I’ve stopped telling people how I feel. It has almost become a competition on who has it worse which doesn’t help anyone. I know it’s hard to remain objective when you feel like what’s happening to you is the worst possible thing but just like someone else’s beauty isn’t an absence of your own, your problems existing doesn’t mean others’ are trivial. So in order to deal with what’s on my plate, I’ve stopped sharing it.

I think that the best description on how I’ve been feeling lately is despondency. I am overwhelmed the point of being downright disinterested. The things that make me happy, don’t. The people I find comfort in, I can’t. I struggle to get up and go to work, to eat well, to get any kind of exercise, to read, to write. The only feelings I do feel are anxiety and frustration. And extreme fatigue.

Part of that is the medication I’m on, it kind of sedates you. I know if I take it in the morning, it knocks me out completely. Part of it is the emotion of the last number of months. Part of it is subconsciously knowing I have to move back home in a few months. Part of it is the constant managing of my finances so that I have enough to live on.

It doesn’t matter how much sleep I have, I will wake up tired.

So, in other words, it’s just the stress of life. But that doesn’t make it any less difficult to deal with.

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25 for 25

25 for 25

I turn 25 on Friday.

I don’t think I’m as horrified as I could be (or should be). I don’t mind birthdays but they were never really a huge focus in my life. I’m not a “it’s my birthday month” kind of person, I honestly just want to get on with my day.

It took me a while to realise that your birthday is just another day in the calendar. You’re not supposed to (or expected to) magically feel anything in particular. Things aren’t meant to be miraculously different. You won’t discover the meaning of life or find enlightenment. It really is just another day. So I’ve stopped having massive expectations for my birthday and allowed it to just be. And for that, I am much happier.

But classing myself as being in my ‘mid-20s’ is a little frightening. Here I am, 24 going on 25, with a handful of achievements and dreams of a couple more.

I share my birthday with Reese Witherspoon and William Shatner (v cool) as well as my best friend (medium cool) who was born in the same hospital on the same day in the same year just hours apart. He and I only met in college but our lives ran pretty parallel to one another until then.

In those 25 years, I’ve done a lot. As much as anyone would really. There’s nothing particularly extraordinary about my life. I haven’t achieved anything massively spectacular or survived any enormous amount of trauma (aside from mental health struggles) but I have learned a few things; things that have helped me, things that I wish I knew before I learned them, things that have been difficult to come to terms with and things that have more or less saved my life – both metaphorically and literally.

So I thought it’d be fitting to share twenty-five of those things here and maybe when I hit fifty, I’ll have another twenty-five to throw at you.

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5 Ways to kind of be a Better Person

5 Ways to kind of be a Better Person

We all want to be a better person. Unless you think you are the *best* person and if so, you probably need to work on your humility.

I often find myself wishing I was better but better at what, I don’t know. Sometimes I get frustrated that even when I’m trying my absolute best, I’m not improving and nothing is changing, whether it’s with work, friendships, family relationships or things I do day to day. I have an image in my head as to what I want and immediately lament that I’m too dumb/stupid/lazy/incompetent to do it. And then I wind up with low confidence which feeds the circle of “I want to be better” and we start all over again.

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Everything I’ve Learned

Everything I’ve Learned

Do you want an emotional and soppy post? No?

Tough, you’re getting it anyway.

I wouldn’t be where I am today if it weren’t for the people around me, the people who have shaped me since I was a child, the ones who have been constant and the ones who drift in and out. And it’s especially true for periods of transitions where you’re a little in the dark. In the last 18 months, I moved out of home, I started a new job, I went back to college, I sought treatment for my anxiety and I took a two week travelling trip to the US on my own. This is more than I could probably have imagined for my 24 year old self when I was in college.

But transitions like these are hard.

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2009 v 2019

2009 v 2019

I see everyone posting their 10 year challenge pictures.

Ten years ago my life was widely different to what it is now. Sure, everyone’s is – be a bit weird if it wasn’t, right?  But ten years ago, I was preparing for my Junior Cert which  was a catalyst for some of the major issues I faced in my late teenage years and early 20s.

Up until 2016, I categorised my life before and after 2009. My life was calm, smooth and pleasant before 2009 and after, it became a chaotic, anxious mess. Because 2009 was the year that I first experienced Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.

I’ve written about my OCD before. Numerous amounts of times. In fact, I’m pretty sure you’re all sick of hearing about it because God knows I am. I can’t say I was an anxious child growing up – I don’t really remember – but if you had said I’d an underlying mental health issue, I don’t think I’d have believed you.

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Winter Reading

Winter Reading

Ok the title of this post is a lie.

I didn’t finish one book between October and December.

Not one.

Compare that to my incredible one-book-every-four-days feat in April and you’d think I maybe I had forgotten how to read.

Truth is, life gets busy. And in order to do the things you want to do, you really have to make time for it.

You also need to acknowledge that life is too short for a book you can’t get into.

But I have managed to start again this month and read two books I think are worth reviewing – I’m cheating with one of them – it’s a short story. I’ve also written a bit about the two books I struggled with last year and maybe someone could shed some light on how I could possibly get through them.

 

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Mr Salary – Sally Rooney

My best friend knows I am a huge HUGE Sally Rooney fan and bought this short story of hers for me for Christmas. It’s thirty pages of tension, growing pains, missed opportunities and bereavement. I adored every last word of it. Perfect if you want a half an hour read.

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Respite

Respite

I’d be lying if I said Christmas was my favourite time of year. Give me Autumn, late summer or Spring over Christmas any day because honestly, find this time of year to be the single most lonely and stressful time.

The strive for perfection I gave up on long ago but the idleness, the lack of routine and the copious amount of food, which I admit used to be a blessing just a couple of years ago, has become a source of stress and anxiety. That mixed with the weather, my non-existent sleeping pattern and the lack of socialisation (as so many of my friends have left Dublin for their homes all around the world) gives way to a path of crankiness, unfounded doubt and worry.

But today, I did something about it.

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