I’ve completed one project at university, now I’m onto a trickier, looser project. As a designer, when the expectations are more broad it is more problematic to come up with designs. It’s very challenging to stay focused and not feel overwhelmed at university – but I have proficient organisational skills, I just have to make sure that I don’t feel discouragingly about things. Challenges are great and it’s worth taking on things to consume yourself. I love the diversion of university and I’m definitely going to throw myself deeper into the realms of that.
I’m fighting to find the words to explain my situation, however I sincerely feel my friends are so benevolent and supportive – which is remarkable. I’m such a lucky person and so I actively have to show my appreciation and gratitude for those who have made an effort with me in a bid not to lose me to a black hole of sadness. People ask me something that seems so simple, yet it’s so complex to explain. “Your life sounds tough, Why haven’t you cried?”.
Four/Five weeks ago – I cried a lot and it felt so sore like the tears were acidic burning through my skin. Crying until my eyes were dry and red raw. My skin felt dry like sand, my hair became brittle and then it started happening – the little clumps fumbled out, even if I just mistakenly brushed against the strands with my fingers. It became a visual journey of what I was going through. I looked at myself and I saw rock bottom, the protruding bones – a trail of blemishes on my cracked, sore skin. Swollen feet from walking so much, because I just felt like I had to keep walking to find some perspective – to listen to another song through my headphones, to figure it out. Every single night, I would go an incredibly long walk with the dog because I just wanted to be separate and away from everything. I can’t breakout from myself and I can’t appreciate myself if I’ve curled myself up in vicious barbed wire.
I felt like I had to pretend a lot – just to save face. Not to let those around me know how intensely I felt a low, just in case they worried it would be weeks and months of that low and that they would never resuscitate me from it. I felt like I caged my own fragile soul and I could feel it arresting and strangling me. I would smile and toss the best jokes I could, and every time I opened my mouth I just wanted to talk. Words would roll of my tongue into ribbons of speech, without me even having to unpurse my lips. I felt irresolute of the things I was saying, but I was so frenziedly afraid in those seconds that someone would figure out that I was not okay. I figuratively took my makeup, opened the joke book and made myself a clown – because it was so easy to and it was the most desirable scenario that I could choose, if I ever even had a choice. The joke was on me, so I said it before anyone else could.
Today, I don’t feel perfect but I feel like I am strong enough to relish the experiences of my life. I can walk from my bad situations, and I have still not lost the kindness that my parents instilled in me – and the faith that I challenge myself with. I’m progressing so well, but what I need to grip is that recovery can take years and that stability may be far away. I thought I was cured a few months ago, then I realised I wasn’t. I was incapable of loving my life fully because I couldn’t love myself. How could I know what I wanted, when I didn’t know myself? From time being alone, to sit with my own thoughts, I’ve realised how fortunate I am to be who I am and to have the life I have.
I can’t ask for much more, I just have to take care of myself – like I am a little girl again. “We are sometimes taken into troubled waters, not to drown – but to be cleansed”. They can show you how to swim, but you have to do it and you have to figure that out, you are your own hero. I have to take my medication, I have to attend appointments, I have to be attentive and I have to make peace with what I cannot change.
I have an overwhelming love for myself because I have a human life and I realise that is worth so much. My pain weaves my life into knots, I spend my time tentatively untangling the frayed pieces – and tie bows over the pieces I can’t undo. It’s about knowing when to put it together and knowing when to leave it on the floor, and having that courage to feel confident with what I have instead of aching over what cannot be changed.
I never asked to be ill, but I doubt anyone ever did.