When the black dog rears its ugly head, there is one thing that always comes with it. One single thought, endlessly repeating in my brain. And my brain, being the wily, cunning thing that it is, gives me evidence to support this thought. It is a simple phrase, but one that seems to carry with it an incredibly heavy weight.
you are not enough
It reverberates around my head constantly. It is accompanied by a feeling of worthlessness and a strange kind of loneliness. Depression has a way of isolating those that suffer from it, and there is nothing worse than feeling like nothing, and having to try and maintain a normal facade despite it. You worry that you can’t mention how you’re feeling, because people will get sick of you. You can practically feel the eye rolls and hear the sighs, and so you pretend that everything is ok, even when all you want to do is cry.
I don’t cry in front of people. I wait until it’s dark, and no one can see me. And it never makes me feel better, but what else is there to do? Being constantly beaten down by your own brain chemistry and intrusive thoughts is draining, man.
I don’t know how to teach my brain not to tell me such unkind things, and I don’t know how to make myself believe that those things are not true. There is no physical enemy I can confront here, no one I can yell at, nothing I can physically push away. I am trapped inside my own negative thinking, and I can’t get out of my own head.
I need a break from everything, I just want to sleep for a year and wake up and just be ok.
I pass you, unexpectedly, and then I’m gone before you see me; lost in the throng of people milling about in this small, not so small space. I’ve not seen you in a long time, and the weight of reaction is heavy in my chest. I should be over this by now.
My heart drops to my stomach in that singular instant. If it made a sound, it would be the dull sound of a lead ball hitting a carpeted wooden floor. That’s what it feels like, and I know I’ll be replaying those few seconds in my head for days to come. I’m angry at myself for it.
The green of your dress, and the dark length of your hair sticks out vividly in my mind. You are like a beacon in my memory, shining more brightly than anything else of late. I hate that you still make me feel this way, I hate that you still make my heart skip a beat.
I wish you were nothing to me. I wish you were invisible, unknown. I don’t want you in my mind anymore, and I wish I’d never had cause to know you at all.
A few years ago, when I was working in my current job the first time (which is to say, before I quit and subsequently returned a year later), I had a woman accuse me of wearing her shoes. She had dropped them in to have heels replaced, and have them stretched. When she returned to pick them up, she asked my boss if anyone had been wearing her shoes, and looked pointedly at me. She said they were stretched out, completely ignoring the fact that one of the things she had requested that we do to her shoes, was stretch them. Obviously the accusation was denied, because there was no truth to it, but the woman didn’t appear convinced.
A short time later, one of the shopping centre security guards approached the shop with a grin, and informed us that the very same woman who had made her accusation, had gone into the security office and demanded to be shown the security footage of me walking out of the shop with her shoes under my arm. Of course, no such footage existed, because I hadn’t taken her shoes home to wear them. Not least because they were hideous, but also, and more importantly, not something I would do. When she was refused this by the security guards, she went one step further and left an online review for the shop, claiming that she would never be returning, because “The girl there wears customer’s shoes”.
I think back on it now, as I reflected on it at the time, and can’t help but laugh at the absurdity of the whole situation. Some people, when they get an idea in their head, just run with it – regardless of how bizarre or outlandish the idea may be. And when someone is determined to drag your name through the mud, there is very little you can do about it. At the end of the day, people are going to believe what they want to believe, and you are not responsible for how people perceive you. What matters is that the people that are important to you know the truth.
I remember this story, because just recently I found myself in a similar situation, though this time it was considerably closer to home. A few months ago I met a girl through a mutual friend. We began seeing each other, and then began officially dating. Shortly after, I realised that it was not the right time for me to be in a relationship (based on certain things that I won’t go into detail about here), and I broke things off in what I thought was an amicable split. A few days later, I found out that she had changed the story of our breakup to the people she worked with, claiming that I had broken up with her because I “couldn’t handle the issues with [her] mental health”.
When I first heard it, I was angry. Here was someone I had hoped to remain friends with, lying about me to people I had no way of defending myself against. I was being made out to look like the insensitive jerk, the coward who couldn’t deal with the complexeties of mental illness. I am the last person in the world who would sit in judgement of someone suffering from mental health issues. Then, after a long conversation with my best friend, and a bit of personal reflection, I realised that getting angry was going to do nothing more than exhaust my energies on something that was entirely beyond my control.
I cannot control the actions and words of other people, but what I can control is whether or not those people have a place in my life. So, after some consideration, I decided that my ex was no longer someone that I wished to remain in contact with. Perhaps I am getting wise in my old age, or perhaps it is simply that I have no time or tolerance for petty, petulant high school drama. Regardless of the reason, I am no longer prepared to spend my time with people with whom I can find no genuine connection. At the very least, I am not going to waste any time on people who live for rumour and lies. And if nothing else, my recent dating experience had left me with no doubt that being single is highly underrated.
Words like shards of broken glass, slicing through soft flesh. My heart feels torn, a secret yearning never voiced aloud, spoken only in riddles and penned in hidden pages.
Too long, to long for a dream never realized. Will my life waste away before me, with my deepest desires yet unfulfilled? My time runs out slowly, each second drawing me closer to the inevitable conclusion. I know the truth of it, and yet still, a tiny part of me clings to the hope that perhaps I might be wrong.
A silent scream, laced with the echoes of agony. A broken mind, a broken heart, trapped within an ever decaying body. Wasting away into nothing, never knowing the sweetness, nor the fire. Passions are left to fade into nothing, and it all remains the same.
My mind is swirling with a series of unrelated, half formed thoughts. I have tried to begin this post six times, and deleted the paragraph each time. I am thinking about the weight of expectation, and the way people have a tendency to disappoint us, and how unfulfilled I feel, and I am thinking about the clothes I want to make, and the places I want to travel, and the things I wish I had done. My mind is a very busy place at the moment, which is probably a good thing, because my workplace is very much the opposite of busy. That’s where I am, right at this very moment. I am sitting on my bench at work, writing this post whilst all around me, people are milling about, living their lives, doing their thing, and paying me absolutely no mind.
Truth be told, I don’t mind being invisible sometimes. It means no one is in my face, demanding things of me. My time, my attention, my affection, my energy. I think we often spend so much of our time giving to other people, that we don’t leave enough for ourselves. Then again, perhaps this is only true of people who are of a similar disposition to me. I have friends who seem to have boundless energy and sunlight to give to people, but I guard my energy more closely. It’s draining to give to much of yourself to other people, and I think sometimes we feel obligated to give more than we can afford to lose, just so we don’t have to incur any disappointment. They expect so much, don’t they?
I am running on an ever draining battery. Customer service has that effect too. I spend all day dealing with others, helping them with the things that need fixing, offering smiles and conversation and losing a little more of myself with each passing interaction. The nineteen year old girl I am training also requires my time and attention, and I try my best to fill the role of both manager and trainer, but I have found my tolerance for the everyday routine is waning, and I find it harder and harder to maintain the facade. Every part of me is screaming for a break from all the people. I need a quite place alone, where I can think and get my head straight, and refuel and recharge. Bukowski said it best when he wrote “People empty me. I have to get away to refill.”
Small things bring me joy, amidst all this loss of energy and self. A text from a friend brings me a smile. I am making progress with two particular financial goals I have set for myself. I started writing again. These things are the things I cling to, when everything else seems less than satisfactory. I guess that’s what it’s all about, in the end. You just have to appreciate the small things.
I am heading towards a reincarnation. A reinvention. A revamping. A re-something or other. Whatever you want to call it, I am aching for it. Again, I find myself in a state or same-same, and I am looking for a way out of my slump. Yes, there is the obvious looking for a new job and trying to find time for my passions in between. But this is something more than just wanting out of my current situation. I am craving a full overhaul. I want to throw out my entire wardrobe and start from scratch. A part of me wants to go one further and just throw out everything I own, if I’m being honest. I am overwhelmed with negativity at the moment, and – if you’ll forgive me an overused cliche – I need a blank canvas to work with.
I am seeking some kind of enlightenment, perhaps. Or answers to questions I can’t even put into words yet. I am trying, in my own strange way, to improve. It’s not easy. I’m fact, as someone often bogged down by the very chemicals in my brain as well as an unsatisfactory life situation, at times it feels like a completely impossible task. But in this moment, filled with a peculiar energy that I can’t begin to describe, I’m suddenly positive that I can. It doesn’t need to be a massive change to be a significant one, but the realisation at least, that I need to change my mindset before I can take any steps forward, is enough to keep me going.
Here is not where I want to be. But I have to keep reminding myself that I am ever growing, moving forward, changing in tiny ways. Here and now does not mean forever. Things will get better. I need to remember to enjoy the small things, and more importantly, to find ways to reignite my passion for things I loved, once upon a time before here and now happened to me.
I don’t know where this has come from, but I am going to embrace it, and see where it takes me.
I feel like I haven’t been creative enough this year. Actually, it’s more than just a feeling; it’s a fact. I’ve spent so much of the last six months working with very little break, and the five months before that my work was so limited that time was in abundance, but my financial situation couldn’t accommodate. Since the beginning of this year, I have only successfully completed two sewing projects, and there’s one that I gave up on entirely. In previous years, I have made close to one project a month but I guess this year is a bit of a write off.
When the year began, I decided I wanted to expand my creative outlets. I took up embroidery, and I’ve made two little hoops. I find the repetition of the stitching rather calming, and it’s a good, relaxing way to try and stay creative. And yet, it’s been 7 months since I last picked up my needle and thread. Seven. I would love to start again, but I’m currently in a position where I simply don’t have enough time to sit for hours and hand stitch.
Another thing I decided that I wanted to learn was the art of watercolour painting. This one was a little harder, because it was completely outside the realms of my skill set. But I persevered and I’ve made a handful of small little paintings that are getting increasingly better. It is this that I am the most proud of, because I have finally managed to step outside of my creative comfort zone and teach myself something new. I’m no Picasso, but with a combination of YouTube tutorials and figuring things out on my own, I’m getting better.
I’ve always thought that I wanted to live a creative life. When I picture my future, I know what I want it to look like, and being able to express myself artistically plays a big part in that. I am an imaginative and creative person at heart, and it’s one of the things I find completely contentment in. I think part of my problem this year, apart from having so little time, is having very little space. Due to a change in my circumstances last year, I had to move in back home. Whilst I am saving to buy my own house, for the time being it means living with my dad. Yup, I’m that person in their late twenties still living at home. You can forward all judgements to the bin, thanks. I like to to think it’s a mutually beneficial arrangement, but that being so doesn’t make the house any bigger. And all my attempts to win the lottery have failed so far!
I’m searching for a new job, with no success. But I just know that I can’t stay in my current job very much longer, because it is draining my time, my life, my creativity and my will to live. I have to hold on to the hope that something better is coming. I mean, I’m even considering the possibility of changing cities once again, but this is a new idea and one that I have to invest a lot more thought and research into before I make any kind of decision. Either way, I know that my lack of creation is directly linked to my situation, and that I shouldn’t feel so bad about it. But I feel like an integral part of me is missing, and my passionate, imaginative heart is going to wither and die unless I can break free of this rut I find myself in.
Someone once said to me that if you really want to do something, you’ll make time to do it. If someone knows of a way to add a few extra hours into the day, without having to feel the exhaustion that will inevitably result, will you let me know?
Today is my 27th birthday. I have taken the day off, as is my custom, but I have no plans. I have gotten messages today from people I didn’t expect, and have heard nothing at all from people I would have assumed would be the first to call. I broke up with my girlfriend last night, and I’m still feeling like a jerk about it. The weather is going to be cloying and hot, and I’m honestly feeling a little bit strange, on the whole.
I am a person who needs to be constantly in motion. I can’t sit still, cannot stay in one place and do nothing for any length of time. My fingers itch to make something, my body yearns to go on an adventure somewhere. My best friend tells me I need to take some time for me, on the day that I can claim as my own. But doing nothing is at odds with my restless soul.
I don’t feel one way or another about birthdays, not anymore. Gone are the days when I would get excited. The last time I tried to have a birthday gathering, everyone cancelled on the day and it turned into a spectacular failure, so I don’t even bother with that anymore either. But there is a certain quality to the anniversary of the day I clawed my way out into the world, Alien style. (that’s how childbirth works, right? Chest Bursters all the way!). I can’t quite put my finger on it, but it feels different to any other day. I don’t know, perhaps I am just getting more contemplative in my old age. Regardless, today is a day, and whilst I’m still not sure what I’m going to do with it just yet, I think I might start with some breakfast. Seems like as good an idea as any!
I’m not who I used to be. Makes sense, really. People change every day, and when former versions of ourselves become memories, it just means we have changed into someone new. We evolve constantly, into new variations of who we are, as we become who we are meant to be.
I’m learning about myself as I take myself on this journey. Every day is a new opportunity to learn, to change, to grow. I yearn to be challenged and pushed, and not just in the typical adult ways. I want to learn new things, experience everything wholeheartedly. The good and the bad.
Part of me is in mourning for the person I once was, but only a small part. The larger part of me is grateful to her, the former Amy. Because I’ve learned a lot from her, and she has taught me a lot of lessons. I am moving forward, sometimes along the path, but mostly off the beaten track. Life isn’t easy, but the ones best lived never are.
It’s been a strange and tumultuous time for me lately. I cut my hair again (and hate it), I’m looking for a new job, most days I wake up and wish I didn’t have to wake up at all. I’ve started seeing someone (I know, I’m as surprised as you are) and everyone thinks that it means my feelings about love and relationships have drastically changed, but I’m still a cynic and I still think love is for losers. I’m saving to buy a house, and it’s a slow process but I’m sure it’ll be worth it in the end…probably.
I feel like I have lost direction. I feel like I’m always answering with a negative when people ask me how I am. I want to get off the grid, disappear for a while and not have to do anything or think about anything or see anyone or have any responsibility. I’m tired. I’m angry. I’m fucking drowning.