Isolation in the mind

My word. these past few days have been horrendous, I feel used, down, upset, and angry and then out of nowhere i felt nothing but emptiness.  Welcome back depression, you have not been missed. So I have forced myself to write this post, with a blank expression as I push through the urge to do nothing.

What has made me feel this way is feeling like I am always made to feel like the bad guy, even when I have done nothing wrong. You know when someone pushes something on you that much that you start to believe that you are the bad person? But in reality you look back and all you have done is check to see if they are okay? And see if there is anything you can do to help, and that if they don’t want you to do a certain thing you won’t to make them feel more comfortable? All that sounds pretty selfless right? But no I am being made to feel the selfish one. I just don’t understand? When it comes from someone who’s words cut so deep that you are afraid to share your thoughts because of how they react, I literally feel like a piece of literal shit. It is making me question everything about myself, and  in turn has triggered my depression through the confusion and how I feel like no matter what I do, it is just going to get thrown back in my face.

I just don’t understand how voicing my opinion is selfish? And I don’t understand how someone can say that, and then drop the plans (expensive plans) that you’ve made, without even discussing them and leaving you on your own as not being selfish? I understand that everyone is going through something, and it hurts and its shit, but I do not condone when they take it out on other people who have always put them before anyone else. A lot of the time before your own sanity. I just felt the need to share my thoughts, because I have been made to feel so alone and isolated in them that I am starting to believe that I am the bad person, but I’m not.

This is Manchester.

So, on the 22nd of May our lives have been changed, my the Manchester Suicide bombing. I have put of writing this blog post as this happened, and hits very close to home. If you’ve been following my blog for a while you will know that I have lived in Manchester for the past few years, and as many upsets I have had within it – it hold a special place in my heart that will never be replaced.

So the day of the attack, I was in the City Centre with my parents, until about 8 in the evening having a lovely day in the sunshine. We got back to my house, which is a fair distance from the arena so we were safe. Once it had happened, and the news started to flood in, I originally thought it was just a fault with the lights / technology within the arena. That’s my optimistic mind set kicking in, as I couldn’t ever comprehend a attack on an arena that was full of children and teenagers, as that is what makes up most of Ariana’s demographic.

I went to sleep, not thinking much of it, and I woke up to pure hell. All my friends and family from home were messaging me asking if I was okay, and seeing the heart sinking news of what happened. But the way the community of Manchester came together (not to my surprise), demonstrates how we will never be defeated, and we will go on loving, and enjoying our lives.  That day, we went ahead as we planned, to go for a day out in Liverpool for my early 21st Birthday celebrations, we laughed, we cried, we drank, and it was lovely. We didn’t let it stop us living our lives, but It was always in the back of our minds how heart breaking it all was, and how you can never take a day for granted in your life ever again.

Fingers crossed this weekend / Monday I will be getting to Manchester worker bee tattoo that all the profits go to charity, hopefully I get there in time to be able to do my bit and have a piece of Manchester as a part of me forever both visibly and physically within my heart. We will not be defeated.

‘But they seemed so happy?’

So, after the recent occurrences and hushed whispers and gossip within the village concerning the suicide that I mentioned in my previous post, the overwhelming importance of understanding mental health has never been so prominent. All you ever here are the same phrases reworked, ‘oh but he seemed so happy!’. How many suicides, and how many attempts is it going to take to make people take action, and learn more about depression and the reasons why people are depressed – and the symptoms? I feel like I am stuck in a horrendous nightmare on a loop, where everyone’s reaction is always the same yet no one has took notice enough that more needs to be done.

Yesterday my mum came into my room, with worry in her eyes and she said, “but you’re okay aren’t you at the minute? And you would say if you are feeling down?”. At this moment I nearly burst into tears, imagine what my mum must be thinking and feeling all the time, that she doesn’t know if I am genuinely okay or not because we live in a society that is so brilliant at keeping up appearances.  I am one of the lucky ones I suppose, that I do not feel the need to hide my sadness from my family – but I know for a fact most people don’t.

However Men feel so pressured into a notion of masculinity that makes them reject everything that is female, emotions along with it. Raised to keep everything bottled up inside and not show how they truly feel, and then people are surprised when a man commits suicide when they seemed happy? PEOPLE, WAKE UP.  More needs to be done to make people, not just men – feel more comfortable about talking about their emotions and depression, they need to know that it is okay to not be okay. We all can’t keep living this lie that everything is perfect, like the images and personas we see plastered all over social media – none of it is real. Isn’t it sickening that we live in a time when we can hardly tell the difference between the happy and the sad, simply because they do not feel safe or comfortable enough to be themselves. There is nothing wrong with depression, there is nothing wrong with feeling sad. You have to learn to accept it as a part of you, and not fight the fact that you are different.  But as a society we need to do more to make those that are suffering feel like they are not alone.

Here Comes The Sun.

What a miracle the sun is, as I am writing this I am sat in the glorious British sunshine taking in every last second of it as we know this shit never lasts, so got too soak up every last ray. And I am sitting here finally realizing how much of an overwhelming impact the weather actually has on your mood, and current situation.

I mean if we go back to the weekend in Blackpool, as horrendously that went down due to my own mistakes, if the weather would’ve been rainy and horrible the whole weekend would’ve ended up a lot worse, and god knows what would’ve gone down. The sunshine just brings out the best in you, even if you have been through hell and have been tested to the most extreme limits – you can sit in the sunshine by the sea and forget about it all. However, if it was chucking it down with rain and was miserable, it would make the whole situation a lot more real, and much harder to bare – ending in somewhat of a nightmare.

Back to today, sitting here in the sunshine listening to Alt-J and I have the biggest smile on my face, feeling motivated and actually happy. Even if you aren’t doing a lot with your day, just being out in nature and taking in the suns glorious offerings is much better than moping about in bed, especially if you are battling depression like me. I forget sometimes how much I love to be surrounded by nature, I think it is honestly when I am happiest. When I am in my worst depressive states I always crave to run away in the darkness to an open space of green, or a forest, and just be. Just lay there peaceful and isolated and be absorbed by the earth, But there is no denying, that being out in the open countryside taking all the world has to offer is when I am also at my happiest. Reminding yourself that life is so much bigger that yourself, and feeling like everything is connect and one.  We were all created and evolved from somewhere, and you have to respect that. Everything has a purpose, and everything has beauty. When you can find beauty in literally a blade of grass, then you’re perspective on life becomes a lot less selfish.

When I moved to the City I lost that connection with nature that I have always had and believe in, and honestly it was something that always kept me sane and made me believe in myself and made me feel so much more connected with the purpose of life more than most. So I am super excited to be getting back to my roots, and finding that side of me that I had lost,

Oh, fuck.

So I have been putting of writing this post for so long, mainly because I do not want to revisit the dreaded weekend, and how disappointed I am with myself with how it all went down. Emma = 0, Karma =1. So as mentioned in my previous post I had amazingly optimistic and idyllic plans for the weekend in Blackpool, and like near enough everything good in my life I managed to find a way to fuck it up – and karma kept reminding me the whole weekend. What. A. Mess. Honestly, you could not make it up.

Where it all started, and the cause of this spiraling issue, was of course the devil that is alcohol. On the Friday, the night before we were going to Blackpool our student house had a meeting with our annoyingly big headed ass of a landlord, to discuss cleaning the house and all the b/s, so obviously the stress of that made a few drinks go down an absolute treat. We had plans as a group to go out for a few drinks, not go out out just a few bars, oh the naivety. We was all sound – until I had to go pick up our party favors for the rave the following night, and lets say it was all downhill from here.

The night out was actually pretty sound, got absolutely smashed but got home at on okay time – however the niggling thought of the stuff I had picked up that night was in the back of my mind, once we got back to the house the sesh temptation was too much and the gremlin within me came out to play, next thing you know we’ve had no sleep, absolutely wired about to get the train to blackpool, standard.

Basically completely fucked up the whole weekend, because inevitably on the train there we crashed, and felt like death. Alongside this, we had tickets for pleasure beach that went to complete waste as we could not hack the rides, and obviously couldn’t make it too the rave as it would’ve taken too much out of us. So the devil on our shoulders, he won. BUT, we thought to ourselves it is okay we can still make the most out of the next day, as we had an open return. So we planned to have a nice lil day so that it did not feel completely wasted.

The weather was actually lush, the one thing that was actually in our favor this weekend. So, we went on a cute little walk on the beach and stuff, went to to the pier went on a few fairground rides, had a few drinks and it was actually a really sweet day. Ah but never the less, karma was still their to remind us how we well and truly FUCKED up, as we left our bags in a 24 hour locker, but when we went to pick our stuff up they were locked up behind the gates, thus we had to go all the way back to Manc to then the train back the next day to pick our stuff up.

SO if all this SHIT doesn’t teach me to be sensible and think ahead instead of always just thinking in the moment I don’t know what will, you really need to learn to take a step back and reevaluate instead of going full throttle and just thinking ‘I’ll deal with it later’. It just goes to show how much you loose sense of all your SENSE when you drink, and also how reckless and careless I am to have not even cared at the time with what I was doing, and that whole weekend and what went down has really taught me to be different. I cannot keep fucking up things that are actually good, just because deep down I don’t believe I am worthy of good.

Optimism.

So yesterday while enjoying a long car journey in the countryside, anyone else love the journey to somewhere more than getting to the destination? Being able to look out into the world with no cares or worries, imaging all types of fantasies that you never want to end? Anyway,  I had my music on, and I was looking out at the fields and a massive smile swept upon myself, and for the first time in my life I felt optimism. I realized that I do have a future, and I can be happy. I do not think I have ever felt a more natural happiness and weight lifted off my shoulders in that moment, when I finally realized i am actually going to be okay.

It’s weird how those moments can just come out of nowhere, and completely change your outlook on life. Now that I know i want to live, and I want a future for myself the extreme side to my self destructive tendencies have started to cool off, don’t get me wrong they are still there – just not as intense. However this is all in the environment of my family room, in the middle of the countryside where the devil does not loom as much on my shoulder as it does in the city.  Therefor the real test for me is going to be this weekend when I go back too the City.

I’m not moving back, I’m just going back for a few days to test the water and get some work done for my dissertation. My best friend from home is coming with me for a night out tomorrow night, and the way that pans out is going to be the truest test for me – to try not to take it too far, and to just have a good happy time. But I also want too see if my mood, and episodes come back with being back there, I’m hoping that because there is always going to be someone there I can talk too during my stay that it hopefully won’t be as bad as before. As I can’t run from it forever, I need to get on with my life and make something for myself – and the City is the best place for that.

Family Time.

My, oh my family is such a powerful thing, when it’s good it’s amazing. When it’s bad, may god be with you, because that shit is awkward as hell believe me, I know. I have a very lovely family, I’m not close with my more distant relatives, but my brother and sister, parents, and neice’s and Nephews are very close to my heart. But let me tell you now, I have one of the most awkward fathers in the world.

My mum and dad are still married, and they have and okay marriage, but my dad is very selfish and has the shortest fuse ever. I still love him, but he does bring the mood down a lot of the time, and for my depression that shit never ends well. I won’t go into details about it, but let’s just say his actions today got to me, and reminded me why I struggled to stay at home and be around him. But you learn to take it with a pinch of salt, and try and get on with it. You have to let the good outweigh the bad.

The good, for me over the past few weeks has been spending time with my sister and nieces, we used to be really close when I was little but we fell out, and now I am finally getting that relationship back. Having a break from all my University work and being able to mess about and be carefree for me has been a really big help, and has kept my mood a lot more positive. See the power of family can do absolute wonders when you choose to let them in, and not shut them out (like I was doing before).

So I suppose I have to learn to not dwell on the bad and just cling to the good, I cannot change my dads actions but I can teach myself to not let it get to me. As at this point in my life, and the amount of progress I’ve made would just make me go back to square one (which is not where I want to be).

Vulnerability.

My god I swear my personality is basically a sponge, I soak up everyone’s emotions, feelings, and opinions as if they are my own. I have no freaking clue why I am like this, but it honestly does my head in, and I don’t know how to control it. It’s probably partly to do with the fact that my mental state is very weak at the minute, and I suppose I don’t really know what I want from my life or what feelings I want to feel, so when people share with me plans and thoughts on things that they are so certain of and are excited about it has an effect on me, which in all honesty is Jealousy.

The biggest one is to do with university work, I do not know why everything feels like a bloody competition, but every time one of my fellow students message me about how much they have got done on there assignment, it winds me up and I get frustrated that I am not at the same level. I need to remind myself that not everyone works at the same pace, and there are so many contributing factors to the reasons why; and that’s okay. It does not mean that your work is going to be shit, just because you don’t speed through it.

Another example would be when one of my best friends messaged me all excited with plans to go to Amsterdam in May, she was so pumped and sent me all the links and all the information so I could go with them. But it honestly made me feel like shit, I thought to myself for god sake why don’t you get excited about these plans? Why don’t you want to do all these things that everyone else does? I have no clue why I feel the need to get upset about simply not confiding to what others love.

I need to learn to control my jealousy,  as it is okay to want to do things that are different, that you do not have to do those things, or make those plans just because your friends are super excited about them. You do you, and if just simply getting by is all you can face at the minute, then that’s fine. Do not over face yourself, when you 100% know that you cannot hack it. So just try to chill out a bit, and remember that when the time comes you will find something that lights a fire inside you too.

 

Resisting Temptation.

So today, on a Monday of all days, my strength was tested. It was my first time back to the City since my breakdown not that long ago and resisting the temptation to stay was overwhelmingly difficult. It is so weird how a place and environment can have such a massive impact on your behavior and emotions, but it does.A few days before I was really excited about this return, I was messaging all my friends and trying to arrange to make plans, in my head I wanted too go out and party – which would mean getting wasted. There goes my brain again, looking for a quick fix. I was excited to return until it hit me with the reason why, and it’s not a positive one.

So last night in bed it all came forward and made sense to me, and a mini depression episode / breakdown occurred. I was laid in bed and thought to myself, you are just going to waste your time and money – both of which you do not have much spare to loose. I thought to myself honestly Emma it’s just not worth it, you are not going to gain anything from this in the long run because you know in that place you are a completely different person.The environment of that student house, the unlimited freedom – is a curse more than a blessing. Ultimately it is not a place that I feel happy, because the bad memories that have been made in that house seriously outweigh the good, and most of the ‘good’ memories are related to drug and alcohol abuse, which is a massive trigger.

So I went back for the day, did what I had to do then came home. No fuss, no bother. I didn’t even feel sad leaving, I was happy. I knew that I did not what to be in that environment because I could predict what was going to come. Thank God, my priorities are starting to become more positive.

Keeping Busy.

One of the most common things that I tend to suffer with is negative thoughts, that manifest themselves into fits of frustration, rage and pain. Now obviously the best way to stay clear of those thoughts, is too keep yourself busy enough so that you don’t have time to get lost in your head. Having things to do, be them really minor things – or  more important, has definitely helped keep my positive attitude up over the past couple of days. Now obviously this is not a solution for the negative thought about myself (and the self hate), but while I am on the journey to self appreciation it  is going to really help keep me on the straight and narrow.

It’s always good to plan out your day if you don’t have any pre-made, never under estimate the power of a good list; they do wonders. So for me today I had no plans, so I decided to think of something that I could do that would keep me busy, but was also a positive/productive thing. I am a person that loves fashion, mostly street style, and thrifting is one of my favourite things to do. It is good for the environment (up-cycling), cheap, and stops my contribution to fast fashion. The other day I picked up some lovely bits, so I decided to spend today styling them up, and thinking of different ways to wear the items. Alongside this, I also had a bit of a clear out and listed a few items to sell on my Depop & Ebay. (If you want too see more posts about fashion let me know in the comments)  I know it sounds silly and a very minor thing, but it really lifted my mood and I’ve had a very good – actually happy day.  If you can mange to find something positive to occupy your mind to start to replace the negative ones, your journey to being happy is most definitely on its way.

Another thing I have started to enjoy again is reading; what I’ve currently had my teeth stuck into is Patti Smith’s M Train, it’s a book about her life – it isn’t anything spectacular, but ultimately that is what makes it so special (and relateable).  It has actually really inspired me with my blog writing style, and focus, as she cleverly notes,

“it’s not so easy writing about nothing”.