I have hit the erase button more times than I can count just to find the words to write here.
I suppose, sometimes we have those days where we can’t quite express how we feel, yet we know we should at least try. How are we supposed to know what’s what if we sit with the heavy weight of emptiness and loss? Sometimes we just need a little bit of time to check out with others and check in with ourselves. That’s how it’s felt for me recently. I’ve been distant from others, intentionally.
There have been so many opportunities for reflection; where my thoughts have entangled in hopes, dreams and reality. I’ve been holding onto hopes and dreams for so long, that I often lose sight of what’s in front of me. I find myself drifting into a realm of make-believe, my mind wandering endlessly into ‘what ifs’ and fantasies. I confuse myself about what’s real and what’s not, and my heart aches with the feelings that come and go.
“Life is not linear, it is organic. We create our lives symbiotically as we explore our talents in relation to the circumstances the help create for us”.Ken Robinson
I’m always going to be a work-in-progress. I have my flaws. Sometimes life challenges us that little bit more when we feel powerful enough to face adversity. People believe in me; much greater than I believe in myself. I’d hoped that by completing my degree, I’d feel somewhat whole, or at least present with myself. Instead, I feel detached, longing for a place to feel worthy and valued. I feel isolated and powerless, haunted by suicidal ideation and self-harm.
Of course, the reality is that I am valued and worthy, but my inner critic overpowers the positives and throws me into the deep end of depression. The attempt to survive is fixed to trauma and as I fight my way through the darkness, despite the unhealthy coping mechanisms I’m so severely latched onto, I desperately seek a glimmer of hope.
The reality drifts away, whilst my mind holds onto hope as a way of enabling me to break what feels like an endless cycle of perfectionistic self-torture. I’ve been beating myself up for far too long, and it’s unnecessary. I’m finding little breakthroughs which push me that little closer to happiness. I’ve righted my wrongs, and I’ve forced myself to get up and fight. Letting the setbacks knock me down, only shows me that I’m not ready for some of the roles I’m so passionate about fulfilling. I tell myself that’s okay and instead, I work on my potential, and learn from others. I find the strength to believe in myself and see what others see so much in me. Over the past few weeks, people have been so incredibly kind, and comments such as, ‘very inspiring’, ‘amazing work practice’, ‘incredible’ and ‘gratitude for sharing life experiences’ empower me to thrive. I feel validated in supporting others, which in turn, helps validate who I am and how I react to setbacks, whilst learning to accept myself.
I am slowly untangling the thoughts and feelings and finding myself again. It’s not been easy, but allowing myself to feel the emotions has only given me the strength to persevere and be brave. Admitting I need long-term support has been one step in the right direction, and following an IAPT assessment ending in a referral to CMHT, I wait patiently for an assessment, which will no doubt only end in rejection. The system is as broken as I am. Still, hold onto that glimmer of hope.
Focus on the positives. There’s so much to be proud about, and so much to look forward to:
– A surprise holiday in October (I still don’t know where we’re going!)
– A big holiday to America next year (This is insane and I still can’t quite believe it).
– Theatre shows and concerts (Still planned from pre-pandemic).
– Graduation (A time to celebrate a huge achievement!)
– Returning to university after accepting an MSc, starting in September.
– Being challenged within my job and embracing the reward of helping others.
So, despite my setbacks and torturous mind, I’ll end with a quote from the inspiring and wise Jung:
” I am not what happened to me, I am what I choose to become”.Carl Jung
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