I Will Find A Way – Lucy Lyness

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youth’s ultimate beauty of innocence and hope

if ignorance is bliss, then surely, therefore, so is this

the potential and possible timelines and paths

streaming out of my body like ribbons of life, like lifeforce  itself

 

you took this, it attracted you like the murderous magpie you are

that malleable soul before you

that you systematically destroyed, inhibited, reduced to nothing

but it was my fault of course

 

no different from those that find a rare and undiscovered animal

Shoot it and put its head on their mantel piece

I sat on your mantel piece, broken remnants of a once wondrous masterpiece

now shattered into a thousand jigsaw pieces, the complete picture wiped away forever

 

that lifeforce, once so bright and strong

now a dark cloud, a demon smoke

inside every one of my cells

it is more me than I am

 

now that I have gained my freedom, why can I not be free?

still trapped beneath your limitations, your words and intentions, your strikes and misses

I wish I could twist your neck until I heard every last vertebrae snap

watch the ligaments dangle like spaghetti from my hands

I wish I could scream in your face, unhinge my jaw

and release that black demon smoke into your own being

fill you with everything you gave to me, an unwanted gift

watch your brain spark and burn under the pain

I could crack open your ribs, splinter one into a quill

remove your heart and write on your forehead

in your own blood, am I enough now?

 

At least through my anger I can purge you

I can feel something, a reminder that I was once a person

I don’t know how to start my life without you

I don’t know what to do or how to cope

you were my battle

my fight for freedom defined my every thought and action

now I am free I have nothing to live for, no purpose

but I will be damned if I waste it

I will find a reason to live

I will find a way to allow myself happiness

I will find a way to release you from my soul

I will find a way to love life again

with one foot in front of the other I will walk away from you

until I no longer hear you in my brain

until your reach no longer permeates

and I can finally fly away

February 11th – I need to breathe

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I am struggling and I don’t know what to do. I am pissing myself off with my inability to grab things head on and deal with it. To me, my struggling is a weakness I abhor.

I want to reach out to someone and tell them that I cannot cope, but I don’t know who to turn to. I don’t want platitudes, meaningful quotes written in script on a sunset background. I don’t want to hear that everything will be ok, everything happens for a reason, these things make us stronger. I am tired of having to be strong, of swimming against a never ending tide that washes away the sand from under my feet, leaving me constantly unstable.

All I want to care about right now, is meeting my basic survival needs, but in order to do so I have to make myself ill working a job, in order to earn enough money to almost meet my survival needs. The rich care about money, I do not. If I could meet my needs without it, I would. My soul is trapped in an ever tightening cage, I feel crushed and in pain, I want to neither exist nor not exist. I just want to be able to breathe.

I have always had ambitions, not ones important to anyone else, but ones for myself,  becoming self sufficient, self employed, free from the chains of capitalism to whatever degree I can manage. But now even these thoughts give me no pleasure.

Some people may wish to be at home to rest and recharge from these things, but I hate my home. It is a prison, a symbol of everything in my life I want to get away from, the reason I need to earn so much money, and for what? Four walls I don’t wish to be inside. A glorified shed for belongings I have no time or desire to touch. It is the guarantee that for the next month I shall have a roof over my head. But the price, is wishing I didn’t.

I find myself floating from friend to friend, telephone conversations about nothing, attempts at socialising face to face, to take my mind off it, to fill the hole of loneliness, but this only serves to make me feel isolated even further. But if I reject these interactions I fear I will lose my brain completely into a pit of nothingness.

To think of the future before, gave me hope. I had a passion, something in my present to fight against, and the idea that in the future would lie my freedom. Now I do not know what the future holds, I am struggling to see a way out, so all that fills the gap is the day to day strangulation of my being, stretching out to eternity in front of me. It may be easy enough to say, “do not think of the future, concentrate on the present,” but if I have nothing to look forward to and to live towards, what is the point in living today. Every now and then, if I find myself in a lighter mood, I daydream of a potential future, one that I would like to have very much, but the path there seems so obstructed that what should be a pleasant daydream leaves a sour taste in my mouth.

I simply wish to be able to breathe again. This isolation, much my own doing, is not good for me, but I don’t feel able to connect with anyone, or know where to start, as I don’t want to drag anyone into this pathetic fuckery. But if you feel like someone has your back, you can tackle anything that is thrown at you, but if you don’t feel like you have that, then everything can so easily overwhelm you and make you feel like you are breaking.

I am proud of myself for not resorting to drinking through it at least. Every cloud…..

 

 

Mendacious Human Race

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No bigger fool exists, surely, than I.

I do not wear rose tinted spectacles, I see reality for what it is, in all its putrescence, but I have a rose tinted brain and choose to ignore this reality. The pain of the truth is too much to bear, so my brain softens the blow. Tells me it’ll be fine. Whatever your gut instincts are telling you, I’m sure there’s an explanation. Just keep going. This can’t possibly be the truth of the matter, because that would be too painful. If this is the truth of the matter, what is the point in living. That people do not even have enough self control to question their base desires and consider them, consider another persons feelings and the consequences of their actions, nor the integrity to be honest in the first place. Surely this should be the deviation from the norm, and not the norm itself. Despite my rose-tinted brain, my gut instincts are usually amazingly spot on from the word go. And yet I never fucking listen.

I once read that the sadness of life is that no matter how good your heart is, eventually you have to start treating people the way they treat you.

I have never subscribed to this. Living to some code of honour and self respect, holding my intentions above the mendacity of humans, convinced that by living the right way, there must be some end game reward.

That’s bollocks. Perhaps all there is in life is base desires and chaos and feculence. The turgid, tumescent writhing masses of the human race, a plague on this planet, a scourge and an insult to the very universe itself, caught up in their pathetic petty fuckery, stabbing at each other in the dark like blind babies whose mummies and daddies didn’t love them enough. Perhaps I should be playing the villain, instead of the self-righteous protagonist. I have the capacity to be a truly malevolent and pestiferous monster, something that I bury, in favour of the code of honour, but if there is no end game, does it really matter.

I create these rules to keep myself in check, but maybe it’s just all a shit show.

I am aware that my BPD can cause me to swing violently from “This is amazing and everything is going to be great” to “This is terrible I need to get the fuck away from this situation now”. Because of this I find it hard to know what thinking is rooted in rationality, and what isn’t. I try to share with others, in as much of a non-biased way as possible, to try to get insight into whether my reactions and thoughts are valid. But this isn’t always easy. And because I swing so quickly from one to the other, it is hard to ever make a concrete decision regarding a situation, because my outlook is ever shifting. I have always wished I could see the end result, so I would know which decision to make, what is worth investing my time in and what isn’t. But I don’t have this power, none of us do. So we blindly stumble through life, trusting the wrong people and branding our ever shrinking hearts with the deceit and betrayal of others.

 

 

 

 

December 2018

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I haven’t written on here in over a year.  A lot has changed.

2017 was a year of discovery, hope, breaking out, finding myself and new experiences.

2018 has been a year of depressions, difficulties, reality checks and avoidance. Also a few good bits.

I lost the house that I had so badly needed. My finances have been in tatters. I have withdrawn from social situations.

I discovered that I am not as strong as I thought.

Currently, I am low and struggling. I have made the decision to once again leave the boat and get a house. It is not going to be easy, my finances are going to be tight, but i know it is the right decision.

The relationship was too hurtful, and after 11 years I could see no way of undoing all that had been done. But I didn’t know the half of it. I assumed as I had put up with this over the course of the 11 years, that I could handle it. I have discovered that it has actually left me a very broken person in many ways.

I am more fucked up than I thought.

This is impacting those around me, and more importantly driving me insane.

I have sought help , which will begin in the New Year. In the meantime I want to purge.

Purge my possessions.

Purge my emotions.

Purge my past.

Purge my brain.

I want to scream and throw things and cry and paint and empty my brain.

Maybe I need to acknowledge my past. Acknowledge the hurt and the damage. And realise that it does not reflect me. It is not me. It is part of my past. I am a different entity to my pain.

I feel that I need to pour it out. Verbally, write it, scream until the pain is at the surface. I have pushed it down for too long and now it has become my foundation.

Now I feel at risk of ruining something that has the potential to be awesome. My inability to get out of my head and be present with the situation is making things awkward. The onus is not completely on me, there are other parties who are complicit, but their deal is their deal. They can choose to get out of their own heads too, that is not down to me. But I can help by doing my part for my brain.

I want to regain what I used to be. I used to have life sparkling in my eyes, everything was mischief and nothing in the world was too serious. I have been through so much throughout my childhood and teenage years, and yet I never let it rob me of who I was. But now I feel like a shadow. A spectre wearing her face, her clothes, whispering through her life.

It is my life. And I want it back.

 

 

Imposter Syndrome

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Wiki describes Imposter Syndrome like this:

Impostor syndrome (also known as impostor phenomenon or fraud syndrome or the impostor experience) is a concept describing individuals who are marked by an inability to internalize their accomplishments and a persistent fear of being exposed as a “fraud”.

“Despite external evidence of their competence, those exhibiting the syndrome remain convinced that they are frauds and do not deserve the success they have achieved. Proof of success is dismissed as luck, timing, or as a result of deceiving others into thinking they are more intelligent and competent than they believe themselves to be.”

Impostor syndrome is particularly common among high-achievers, but it is said that 70% of us will experience it at some point in our lives, so it is more common than first thought. It is true though that those who are more brilliant tend to suffer from it more extremely.

I can only speak for myself, but imposter syndrome is something I have encountered at every step of my life. In every job I have ever had I have never been able to shake the feeling that they are going to rumble me, and that I will be fired for not being good enough. That one day someone will request a meeting with me and say “You shouldn’t be here.” Every time that I receive praise on how well I am doing I smile awkwardly and try to give them an excuse as to why I “appear” to be doing so well.

When I first started my therapy practice it plagued me more than ever. I was convinced that one day a client would look across at me and say, “Who the hell do you think you are, trying to help me with my problems? You are a liar and you are going to jail for being a fraud!”

That was my honest thought on the subject. I seriously believed that I was going to get into trouble for setting up my business, despite being fully qualified, and achieving high results on all my studies, because I felt like a total fraud. It is a feeling that I still haven’t quite shifted to this day, but one that I manage a lot better.

If we take my therapy practice for an example (I even have trouble typing the words and calling it that because a little voice in the back of my head says “it’s not really though is it? It’s not a real one is it so you can’t call it that.”) I actually found that my attitude was starting to sabotage sessions. It was minute, almost imperceptible little things, but I noticed. My lack of confidence in myself was communicating to certain clients, who I could see starting to shift in sessions, no doubt unconsciously picking up on this and implanting that doubt in their own minds. I realised that if I wasn’t careful and didn’t deal with this issue, I could turn my irrational thought into a truth. I wouldn’t be good enough to do my job, and it wouldn’t be through lack of knowledge or training, or not being able to do the job well, but it would be through letting my own mental processes interfere with the work that I was supposed to be doing. I had to do something about it, but what is there to do?

I began trying to talk to myself and motivate myself before sessions. I began “rehearsing” sessions with a non-existent client. I re-read study materials (that I knew like the back of my hand) and did old exercises from modules. I even sometimes would ask a client to close their eyes to do an exercise because their inability to watch me doing what I was doing helped me relax. I began going to any little course, seminar etc to make myself feel as though I was doing something, reigniting and maintaining my frame of mind. It helped, and little by little I didn’t need to do quite so much to feel more at ease. I still go on courses and to seminars etc as I feel that really helps to keep my mind keyed in to what I am doing and boosts my confidence.

I am really good at what I do, and always have been. It was only my own mind I had to prove that to.

I know that it won’t be the last time I encounter this problem, and I know that I am not the only one who does. I think thoughts like these can rot away at the base of your brain, undermining everything you do and ruining your chance to be happier and perhaps to excel. I know I have been afraid in the past of trying something, of pushing myself, because I thought I would fail because I wasn’t good enough. But through trying different things I have found ways that help me, and if more of us spoke about these things, maybe they wouldn’t knaw away at us, and maybe more people could feel happier.

 

How Much is Too Much?

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th,,,

These days I see increasing pressure to be a fantastic all round person and it is killing my friends. People are trying to do too much, and it’s not healthy.

[I would like to note that this is written from a female perspective, concentrating on women, simply because this is my own personal experience as a woman. However, this happens to men too, so I welcome comments and experiences from men.]

The 1950’s gave us the modern model of perfect family. A man had a good job and provided well for his family, expected to uphold certain social requirements and maintain networks and look smart. The women were expected to be women who not only looked impeccable, but were also accomplished in many things. They were expected to follow the latest fashions and trends, spending time ensuring their aesthetic portrayed the perfect housewife, they were expected to be good cooks, good at crafts, good at being a mother, good at sports, good at dancing and singing, good at being a wife, good at entertaining, good at being entertaining, good at socialising, good at being a friend, good at maintaining a home. Trying to do it all and be perfect.

We may be in 2017, but this attitude hasn’t left us. Women still strive to do all of these things, but on top of that they are now expected to go out and get a career on top of all of that. I see countless friends who have full time jobs trying to portray an image of themselves on social media of someone who eats healthily, who manages to go for a run or to the gym, who tries and succeeds at many crafts, who is a wonderful mother, who has a social life, and who cares about social justice and politics.

Gym, crafts, food, design, social life, film, pop culture, beauty, work, education, growing veg, meditating, career, friendships, current affairs, global affairs, local affairs, all these things flood my news feed but not because I have amassed a collection of friends with massively varied interests, they are all coming from the same people. People are exhausting themselves to try and be a polished “someone” and no facet can be left unturned. Then away from the spotlight of the news feed I receive personal messages, texts from friends saying “I’m exhausted, I’m so stressed, any chance we can chat, do you have time for a coffee sometime? I can squeeze you in between 11:13 and 11:49 on 28th July this year.”

So I find myself surrounded by friends that I never see, unless we actively arrange to meet up and do an awesome thing that can be tagged on Facebook. I don’t mean to imply that all my friends are social media obsessed, but it is becoming an increasingly important factor in people’s lives and in the way they express themselves or define themselves.

I am guilty of trying to do too much. I was dissatisfied in my job so tried to build an empire of self-employed avenues to enable me to leave the job I was currently in. I also decided to do a degree at the same time, and lose weight and maintain my meditation practices and groups on top of all the other things.  It wasn’t possible and something had to give. Fortunately, just before I was the thing that broke, I decided to cut down on my list of “current activities”. The only thing I achieved in doing all of these things was not looking after myself.

Self care is so important. It is not selfish, it is necessary, and something that everyone should do every day. One thing a day for you that has no purpose other than to make you happy. It doesn’t matter whether that one thing is awesome or not. It is not to be judged, just enjoyed.

Here are some of the “self-care” things I have done for myself over the last week.

Mon 8th May – had a pint by myself in a nice pub.

Sun 7th May – had a good cry after sorting through memories

Sat 6th May – Got a tattoo

Fri 5th May – indulged in some of my favourite foods

Thurs 4th May – dyed my hair and watched drag queens

Weds 3rd May – went to yoga

Tues 2nd May – wrote a letter to my penpal and drew him a stupid picture

These aren’t massive things. They are things I enjoyed and did purposefully. Everyone’s self care is different. Sometimes it is just saying “No” to something you don’t really want to do, or saying “Yes” to something you would ordinarily turn down, but want to do. Sometimes it is just embracing your flaws and spending time with them rather than trying to hide them.

So many people are chasing the image of a perfect person, believing that being this person will make them happy. For me happiness is not the goal. Happiness is another thing we chase that is killing us. We are not meant to be perfect, and we never will be.

https://amiagrownupyet.com/2017/05/09/the-constant-quest-for-happiness/

 

Growing Old Reluctantly – It’s my birthday and I’m terrified.

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It is my birthday on 5th May. I shall be 29 years old, and that is possibly the most terrifying thing that has ever happened to me (or is about to happen).

Why does this feel so terrifying?

Perhaps in my head I associate being in your 20’s as the time to grow as a person, achieve, make connections, set your life out and get your shit together. It is the time to blossom, to have the magical moment where you become a person.

I do not feel yet like I am quite a person. Still a piece of plaster-cine in need of molding.

My peers look at me expectantly, as though they too expect me to be a fully assembled person, and I am afraid I just am not. They live wonderful lives of conformity, doing all the things society deems we should at this age, marriage, kids, mortgages, things that I  have no interest in.

I want to go to a city centre and take black and white photographs of pidgeons and weird buildings.

I want to discover a weird bar and drink there all day talking to weird and fascinating people.

I want to meet random people and invent a new sport.

I want to listen to music loud and let it fill and nourish my soul.

I want to buy some super soakers from a pound shop and chase my friends around a town centre. But my friends don’t want to do that.

 

They want to go home in their finance cars, to a home that they have bought, where a spouse awaits with a meal and an evening in front of the telly where they tell each other about their days and then go try to make a baby.

Trying to make a baby sounds like the worst thing you can do to sex. How to make it go from sexy to a regimented boring outcome orientated activity.

But these are just my opinions. I support all choices, and I am happy for people who want to live that life, any life, but it is not a life for me. I feel increasingly isolated in my beliefs and outlook.

Increasingly I see people who are accomplished, grown up looking, fully functioning people, who I assume are older than me, only to find out that they are actually some years younger than me. I don’t know if I look old, I see my face everyday so can’t judge, but I probably do.

I can no longer use the excuse “because I’m only young”.

Mortality starts to become a little more real when you find yourself doing something without thinking of the consequences, and then hurting yourself.

My body has changed (largely because of the implant) but I am sure were I younger I would find it easier to shift the excess weight.

Yet inside I feel unchanged. Wiser, better, stronger, but not a grown up yet.

On the plus side I thought about turning 30 next year and started hyperventilating, so 29 isn’t that bad….

 

 

Lessons from old friends

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This week some old friends have given me pause for thought.

I’ve never been good at explaining things.

I am a naturally very quiet person, but my brain is very noisy. I have what feels like a thousand thoughts a minute, all jumbling and fighting for room, a constant hum of white noise rattling around, and I think that on the rare occasions where I do open my mouth, or try to convey a thought or idea, so many of these thoughts come tumbling out, shouting over each other, too quick for me to keep up, that key points are lost, and all I succeed in doing is confusing those around me and frustrating myself. This is the main reason why I have so many blogs. An avenue for chaos and a way to siphon ideas out of my head, much like Dumbledore and his Pensieve. It is hard to keep track, sometimes, of what you are thinking, where you are going, and what you are doing.

But, this week, a few friends have been invaluable in helping to organise and declutter my thoughts.

As most of you know from my various blogs and ramblings, I have struggled for a few years now with being “unsatisfied”. Chasing something but not knowing what it is, feeling unfulfilled and bored and not quite sure what the fuck I am doing with my life. I have tried many different things over the past 4 years in an attempt to quieten this feeling, to fill the hole, but none of them have worked. They have had the wonderful temporary effects of novelty and excitement, but I have always quickly returned to feeling a bit empty.

I have blamed my job a lot over the last couple of years, believing that I needed to change and be self-employed, and starting lots of crazy schemes (and some not so crazy that have actually worked really well), but have ended up with no time for myself or others, as I am busy running around trying to build and run an empire, in the vain hope that this will calm my unease and discomfort at life. Recently, I took on another venture – The Hippy Shop – and whilst this really did make me feel happy, and that it could be something that filled the hole, I quickly became burnt out. It was just too much, and I would moan to anyone within earshot that if I could just quit my job, things would be fine.

Eventually there came a make or break moment with the shop, and I chose to decline and walk away. I was too scared to quit said well-paying stable job, and jump into the unknown. It was the right and sensible decision in the end and as sad as it was to do this, I actually felt a huge sense of relief, and I realised that it was all too much. I am not infallible and capable of running three businesses, a full time job, a degree, an allotment and trying to have a semblance of a life. This may seem rather obvious, but the intensity of the void inside that I try to fill, has only grown over the years, until it has become all-consuming and apparently I was willing to go to incredible lengths to fill it.

That said, the shop had succeeded in plugging the vortex for a few months, and now the emptiness seemed more vast than ever, and everything just a little bit more pointless. As most of you will know, I have been depressed, not tidying my house, looking after myself, not going out much and allowing myself to be consumed by this.

Anyway, I booked a week off work and agreed to meet with a couple of old friends last week, and in doing so have come to some realisations that may help this overwhelming pit of fuckery.

Like any good narrative, there are three parts – three friends – a fitting beginning, middle and end.

First friend. Affectionately called fuck-face normally, but will be referred to as JB. Haven’t seen JB since Halloween, and met up on Tuesday for drinks and musings. Our meetings are usually very philosophical and deeply personal, no catching up to be done, just straight to the nasty bits. Due to train station confusion, and complete lack of communication, we ended up in Cambridge, meeting much later than we planned. We plunged straight in to heavy topics as we downed expensive beers at The Eagle, and whilst I won’t bore you with the details, as it always gets a bit brainstorm-y and mad, but we had some interesting conversations on self-restriction and time management, more specifically the lies we tell ourselves concerning these two things.

We discussed our shared opinion that we “did not have time” for so many important things, and discussed how true this statement was and began examining the meta elements (not to be confused with meta tags!) and how we both participate in small self-sabotaging behaviours. I will not discuss JB’s issues obviously, but one of my own is the fact that due to a reaction to a contraceptive implant I have gained 2 stone over the last year. I hate it and I am not going to get into that particular subject, but I have been known to be frustrated and moan at how slowly the weight is coming off, as I “don’t have time” to go hit the gym crazy hard, or take classes, go for walks etc. In reality, I could have done more. I could be doing more. This “lack of time” that I describe is in my head.

I left at the end of the night with feelings of greater responsibility for my actions, rather than blaming external variables as is so easy to do. I always find this a great grounding feeling, accepting responsibility to the extent to which you truly are is a humbling feeling, and clears all bullshit, leaving just you and your actions, behaviours, interactions, motives etc. It is also a great frame of mind for organising and examining. So it put me in a contemplative mood for the week. I have been trying to find something to pull me out of this depressive funk that I have been in, so when presented with an opportunity to hash things out with JB, I grabbed it, and it helped as I knew it would.

Second friend. This was a friend that I had not seen in over 10 years, and who I was, if I am honest, quite nervous about seeing again, especially as I was a depressed mess, although I didn’t tell him that. I felt quite tempted to call it off until I was in a more awesome place and state of mind. On my way to meet him from the train station my palms started sweating, something that hasn’t really happened to me before, and in my head I thought how grateful I was that I didn’t have mom’s spaghetti down my sweater. Then I chuckled out loud on the bus and got strange looks which didn’t make me feel any better about the situation.

The friend in question is one of only a few people on the planet that has the ability to knock me off kilter. Increasingly these days I find myself feeling socially awkward, so I expected this to be the ultimate in awkward. Surprisingly I felt perfectly comfortable. He spoke at one point of drunken adventures and meeting new people, and it dawned on me that I haven’t gone out and met new people in ages. Sure, you do meet new people, but my feelings of awkwardness intervene and I actively shut people down. I am “too busy” to make new friends. Yet here should/could have been a most awkward situation (we were never very good at communicating as teenagers in the first place) and yet I was perfectly comfortable. Through hanging out with him I came to realise a few other things.

  1. He did some magic with my laptop and phone and fixed a whole bunch of shit , for which my laptop was probably eternally grateful and was probably in heaven, being touched by someone who actually had an idea of what they were doing. Watching him was fascinating, he didn’t do anything massively impressive, but I have always loved watching people do things that they are good at. I love watching people enter a zone of inner confidence, where they know their shit, it’s beautiful. I love to hear people talk about things they are passionate about, things that they geek over, even if I don’t fully understand, it gives me the same feeling, it’s beautiful. And I realised that I do not do this. For some years now I have not had mastery over anything, not geeked out over anything, I have not pushed myself, and I have nothing that makes me feel like that. I need to.

2. He had a cool little electronic gadget (god I sound like a fucking pensioner) I don’t know what you would call it, but it was like the world’s smallest keyboard and was capable of recording music and looping it all together. I was fascinated by it, and wished he had shown me more, or that I had asked what the fuck it was. Again I watched as he fiddled with buttons, and set up a couple of basic loops, and it was great to watch him. I commented that I own a keyboard but haven’t touched it for a couple of years and missed dicking around on it. Watching him reminded me of my childhood keyboard, and how I would sit for hours recording and looping drum beats, melodies, bass lines, and how fucking entertained I would be. I loved it. I realised that even the simplest creative things are so fulfilling, they don’t have to be for work or for a purpose, they can just be because it’s fun, and I how I used to know that but have recently forgotten it.

3. It made me feel a little bit vulnerable, letting him into this depressive world I have been inhabiting, and part of me felt ashamed. I used to be an awesome person, always doing crazy things, new things, weird things, living life. I had come to believe that perhaps I had stopped being that person. He, on the other hand, has always had a spark in him, something creative, yearning for the learning, wanting to experience, crazy spark. He still has that, yet he had changed so dramatically since I last saw him. He told me things he had done and I couldn’t imagine the 14/15 year old boy I met doing those things. I mean at all. Sure we are twice as old now, but the confidence and sureness in himself that he exhibited (I cannot speak for his personal feelings) was amazing, I felt so happy for him that he was an awesome person.

But it made me wonder how two people can part ways and in 10 years go in such different directions. One of the reasons I liked him when we were teenagers is because he was so like me, and understood me and one of the things we had in common was that spark. Somewhere along the way I lost it, and I’ve known that for a while. Believing that it had been beaten out of me by life and circumstances, whatever excuses I had convinced myself of, now stood in unrest. He is going through a very difficult time at the moment, and yet here, the spark stood, untouched. It made me realise that all the “reasons” I had come up with for why I couldn’t get my fucking arse in gear were invalid. We are not all the same, this I know, but he and I were similar and I realised that I had been lying to myself.

This thought began to unravel and I began putting things together and taking things apart and questioning what exactly had I been doing with myself. All of a sudden an image of myself, stagnant, giving up and being an un-awesome person floated to the surface, as a true self portrait. I realised that I had given up on something, that I had become old before my time, throwing myself into work and into crazy things to stem the flow of “void-induced” pain.

There were some other things that made me question whether the things I told myself I was happy with, were actually simply comforting untruths, and by the time he left I was feeling quite bemused and emotional. Whilst it had been great to see him, it had left me with an awful lot to think about.

Friend number 3. She is almost twice my age and has lived an amazing life. She sailed the Atlantic, set up home in the BVI and lived there like a native for years. She has memory issues, and as such does not lie. As she says, she’d never remember them so there’s no point. Her honesty and bluntness is one of the reasons why I love her, and one of the reasons why she makes such a good friend. She also has a brilliant outlook on life.

She came round Friday lunchtime, and could tell that I was unsettled. We discussed things and her blunt dressing down of me was welcome. She said a lot of things that made a lot of sense, as she always does, and her gentle support and belief in me gave me a positive spin. She encouraged me to address the things that were on my mind, change them, be true to myself, and to get my head out of my own arse and stop worrying and procrastinating. The more she talked the more I realised that she was completely right. I had been placing self-limiting beliefs on myself and my circumstances, and I had allowed myself to wallow in the fiction of these beliefs.

I ended Friday feeling happy and inspired. I then tried to explain this drunkenly on Saturday and it all came out wrong and made me sound mental, so I then spent Sunday consumed with a regret that only alcohol can bring. I could have bowed my head and given in, that nothing had changed and carried on with my melancholy. And nothing has changed. But I can change it. I can find something in life that makes me feel creative. I can find something in life that brings that spark back. I don’t know what and it may take me a wee while to figure that out. I do still think I need a new job, but I need to think long and hard about it. I also need to stop beating myself up, and stop saying no to things, experiences. “I can’t” is something I say so fucking much and I hadn’t even realised. I want to have an awesome life, and be an awesome person again.

Who Am I?

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Who Am I? What Am I?

I have always struggled with these kinds of questions. I literally have no clue how other people perceive me. My usual answer to these questions is “quiet, a bit weird” or “laid-back, friendly?”.

I recently did an art piece using words to describe me, words that I had come up with and words I had asked other about. When it was finished I was pleased that I had come up with so many words, and I started going through them, but I realised that whilst the words written in front of me did in fact describe me, they could also describe billions of other people on the planet. Yes I was looking at an accurate description of myself, but not one that anyone would look at and guess immediately, “That’s got to be “L”!”.

So what would make someone say that? What could I put onto paper, that wasn’t a picture of myself, that would make someone say, “That’s you, definitely you.”

Is that what makes us, us? The bits in the middle, the bits that don’t seem important but that are unique to you.

I sat staring at it, feeling deflated, and wondering what I was missing. What was I?!

I am a girl woman who refers to herself as a girl when she really isn’t one anymore.

I am a woman who traces facial features, clothing hems and outlines, signs, traffic, and subtitled punctuation with her thumb obsessively, constantly and unconsciously.

I am a woman who drinks weak black decaf coffee and strong green tea. I drink weak gin and tonics and strong commercial beer.

I am full of regret and sadness.

I am full of hope and ideas.

I am a disillusioned Disney Princess who likes a drink.

I am a childless mother.

I am a walking existential crisis.

I am a health conscious smoker.

I am a workshy workaholic.

I am a depressed therapist.

I am the socially awkward life of the party.

I am a walking fucking contradiction, and I still don’t know if any of this is something people would read and say, that’s “L” right there.

What do you think constitutes as making someone “Who they are”?

Feeling Vulnerable

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I am wearing a nice dress today (discussed earlier in my post “stop touching my tattoos”), and I look pretty. I felt pretty and I was in a good mood.

Today an older man at work, who is in a very senior position compared to me, coincidentally ended up in the kitchen with me twice and made small talk. I’ve been here three months and today is the first time it’s happened. His office overlooks who enters the kitchen, and, therefore, this is a creepy enough coincidence, but what he did shocked me. He looked at me, blantantly, in the chest, eyes skimmed down to my legs, which were in thick black leggings, and back up to my chest. It was so surreal, in the fact that he wasn’t even trying to hide it. I was stunned and didn’t know quite what to do. I have been checked out plenty of times, catcalled, grabbed, hollered at, but never in such a creepy way. I felt so vulnerable. I just wanted coffee, and yet here I was, feeling nauseous and trying to pull my cardigan over my chest, wishing that he would go away. (Note to self, going to grab a coffee at work is becoming a hazardous and infuriating ordeal – see my mansplaining post).

 I pulled my cardigan over my chest awkwardly and felt so ashamed of myself for not doing something, saying something, but I already feel like an outcast, and I need my job. If I was to say something, I knew that it would become a massive issue, and that I would be frowned upon for “making a massive deal out of nothing” when I can just put up with it and ignore him. But that’s not how it should be. That is never how it should be. And in that moment I felt completely stripped of all power. I wanted to snap at him, call him out on his behaviour, but I didn’t. And isn’t that just all shades of wrong there, summed up in a nice nutshell.