I Finally Had Fun This Summer!

Seeing Miz Cracker on Sunday night was an unreal experience. I met her and briefly complimented her work and expressed my admiration for the things she does. Her makeup looked flawless and nothing seemed real. It was like meeting a cartoon character that had come to life. I talked to some people and made some friends for the night, which is the very first time I have ever done that. It is something that makes me happy that I smoke because the friends I had for the night stemmed from one of them asking for a cigarette. Even though I went to the gig alone, which I’ve been doing a lot whenever I go anywhere or do anything lately, this time it was nice to have someone to get excited with and fan-girl about things with. I don’t get to fan-girl with people ever who are on the same level or know more about something than I do, in this case it was Rupaul’s Drag Race and the lives of the queens that have been on the show. I know a lot of people who have watched it and talk about it a little but no one ever really wants to have like a full blown conversation about it and talk in depth about it. I guess that’s what events like this and the internet are for.

The meet and greet was pretty quick and not very personal, which I knew would be the case as there was a lot of people to get through. I have to admit I was a little disappointed in that but that was quickly turned around by her performances. They felt empowering, they were funny and just all around brilliant, and I now have a great appreciation for ‘Break Free’ by Ariana Grande. She said something at the end of her last performance that made tears stream down my face, and was the only time I cried that night however I came close a few times. She was talking about how to know if a drag show is good “If you leave here feeling really comfortable with yourself and in your own body no matter what size or shape you are, that’s what makes a drag show good.” Overall, I’m glad I went to the show alone because I was able to appreciate everything without being distracted and I wasn’t with someone that wouldn’t really get these shows and how iconic certain moments really were. Miz Cracker did multiple cartwheels in heels, and did death drops and everything. I thought the cartwheels were incredible because the stage was not all that big. I also made a point when I was there not to record to much of it because 1. My phone battery is terrible and 2. I wanted to see the show with my eyes and be in the moment and not obsess about recording everything and watching it through a screen later on. The local drag queens were amazing. Since I’m friends with one of them, I’m obviously a bit biased towards him. I was so impressed and in love with all the drag queens performances last year and seeing those same queens perform again this year just made me love them even more. I went up to one of them later on after the show and complimented her performances, particularly her Madonna number with a few outfit changes because it was amazing. She was really sweet and grab my hand before I left and seemed genuinely touched by my sentiments. I was really glad I went over to her when I saw her because I thought about not going over but then thought I’d regret it and I think it’s important to tell people when you like something they do and let them know they are definitely doing something so right. I knew I’d regret it if I hadn’t gone over to her so I’m happy that I did and even happier in my character development that I actually went over and did that especially without having to get someone to hype me up or convince me that I should. It was something I did all by myself and I think it is bringing about the change I wanted this summer to bring to me, which I will delve more into later on in this blog.

As for the rest of my time in Cork, it was equally as incredible. I got to spend a lot of time with friends that I haven’t seen or really talked too much for nearly three months. For the first time, in a very very long time, I felt like I was wanted and that I was part of the group instead of just dead weight not contributing to the group dynamic. It’s been so long since I felt like I fit in somewhere and didn’t stick out like a sore thumb. However, like with every social interaction with friends I ever have, I find or make up so many negatives in my head that stand out more than the positives or at least stand out for a few hours and are especially heightened by intoxication.  Every negative I came up with all had to do with me and the way I interpret things. I can honestly say that I was very aware of what my mind was doing and that nobody said or did anything wrong to me and in realizing that, mostly the next morning when I woke up, it made me feel more able to deal with that in the future and that I can get over this bump in the road that has affected me for years and years. I lot of these negative things revolve around what I wish someone would say to me. This could be anything from a simple compliment, or what more often tends to be the case, reassurance. Which in evaluating that whole day, I got all those things. I felt so reassured everyday that I was with friends and that they wanted me there and everything and everyone was so nice, I’m just not used to that more so lately and I think my mind got defensive and paranoid to try and figure everything out. I don’t know if this thought process has to do with past friendships, which is very likely, or just my social anxiety and paranoia that makes me very afraid that I’ll lose a good friend and therefore need reassurance every now and again that everything is all good. I did get that yesterday, so much, through little things and conversations that I didn’t realize immediately because they weren’t straight up obvious things like someone telling me “You are wanted, everything’s good with us.” I think I’m so stupid sometimes because I need that spelled out for me with obvious statements like that, but luckily later on I can look back and realize that it was right there in front of me and I have nothing to be scared of.

When I got back to my hostel after the night out my brain was in a frenzy and was all over the place. I think a common theme when I get home drunk lately is having an existential crisis. That night, my mind kept trying to decide whether I’m too good for this world or if the world is too good for me. A lot of this came down to me feeling like I give so much of myself to people and feel like my efforts either aren’t appreciated or they just go unnoticed. I have an example from that night but before I get into it, I don’t think it really deserved any sort of appreciation now but at the time I felt like I was putting myself in danger to look out for the safety and well-being of my friends. I can say now that what I did was kind of stupid, very impulsive, and maybe unnecessary to do but I just care so much about making sure everyone else is okay that I don’t think about my own safety because I’m so focused on theirs. At the end of the night my group split up, we’ll call them group 1, the group I went with, who went off to get food, and then group 2 who were still in the nightclub when we left talking to a few people in there. I just went with group 1 because I assumed group 2 would be along shortly and I knew where all of group 1 was so I knew I’d be safer sticking with them as I didn’t know how long group 2 would be inside. As we were walking to the takeaway, I remember that group 2 probably wouldn’t know where they’re going. I didn’t want any food so when group 1 went into the takeaway I took off and made my way back to find group 2. I even ran a bit but that was to make up for the one or two wrong turns I made in trying to get back to the nightclub. Anyway, I found them and we made our way back to the others and that was that.

I guess this was like my way of making sure everyone was going to get home safe and get home together. I’m very stubborn when it comes to making sure my friends get their taxis or lifts home before I have any intention of finding a way for myself to get home. I’ve been this way since I was a kid and when I would go to town during the day with my friends I would make sure I stayed with them until they got their lifts home so they wouldn’t be waiting alone. I like to think that me doing this is a good thing and tends to work out very positive every time. I feel like there is two types of friends , both equally important and I’m not speaking ill of one type it’s just something I’ve noticed, 1. The type who knows that you are getting separate ways home so just encourages you to get yourself a taxi and text them when you get home safe because they are making their own way home so that let’s them know you are not still wandering around a street late at night in a busy city that you don’t know too well. and 2. The type, which is what I am, that makes sure that they actually do definitely make it home and aren’t by themselves. I will say, the first type is probably to better one in terms of practicality and overall safety for everyone and it let’s the other person know that they are cared about when someone wants you to text them that you got home safe. Realistically, there should only be one stubborn person in a group because otherwise I don’t think anyone would ever get home.

The reason that this weekend meant so much and had such a massive effect on me more than just the fun time that I had, was that I have pretty much been alone and cut off from friends for the last nearly 3 months. Now, this was completely my own doing and I felt it was necessary for me to detach myself from everyone so that I could have a break from the intensity and anxiety that I feel from socializing and trying to be happy all the time or hide my negativity because I make someone else feel sad or upset. Towards the end of 3rd year, the cracks started to show and I was just a big ball of negativity all the time around everyone. I felt really needy, clingy and just overall very tense and not able to control my emotional outbursts. I usually don’t talk to people that much over summer anyways, but I would tend to message or call friends at least a couple times over the summer. I knew before the summer even started that I needed that complete switch off for myself and for my friends. I felt like if I kept going the way I was going I wouldn’t have any friends by Christmas because I think I was just being too much crazy for anyone to handle. There were times over the summer where I knew my friends were in my town and I easily could have met up with them but I didn’t because 1. I fear rejection and didn’t want to be like “Hey, you’re around, mind if I join?” and for them to say no, or say yes out of obligation or guilt. and 2. I always have a serious fear of missing out so I knew that if I could stay at home and not try to make my way to where they were and feel fine about missing out then I knew I could be better about missing out sometimes. This summer was about not being so dependent on others and trying to be by myself for a while. I will admit there was times where I got super sad and lonely and just wanted to call someone and just talk but I feel like I needed those cry sessions because I have pent up so many emotions over the last year that I needed to be able to let it out and get through it myself. I’m not saying I’m now magically cured and that I’m so much better but I’m trying to get better and right now I’m doing better and hopefully I will keep it up when I get back to college. It’s always been really draining for me, as someone with social anxiety, to be with people all the time so I never really understood why I tried so hard to put myself in situations where I would be with people so often. I think a lot of it is me trying to get to a place in friendships where we can hang out and chill and not just going on nights out. I would much rather nights in watching a movie or something, and having conversations about everything and anything with one or two friends than going out. I rarely get to have that and I can’t really remember the last time I had that, excluding when I lived in Tralee in 2nd year because it’s very easy to chat and hang out with your housemates where your living together. That in itself was wonderful and I loved it so much. Really having that back again this year should hopefully help me a lot too, as well as not having to stress about getting a bus back home from Tralee everyday. A selfish reason, in a way, as to why I detached myself from friends this summer was to give them the opportunity to miss me. I know probably goes back to the needy thing which I said I’m trying to fix, however it also goes along with I never gave the people around me space enough to miss me. I think I actually was around people so much they wished I would have given them space sooner. Overall, I think this summer’s experiment worked out for the best and now I have a lot of work to do before I go back and try to sort out what I plan to do for 4th year and all the commitments that I will have this year like societies and my FYP.

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I Feel Stuck.

I feel like I’ve calm down a bit since earlier but I was not in a good head-space. I’ve been struggling to get my final report written and my attempt so far has been quite poor. I might as well not have done a placement with how bad I am at writing about it. My parents are still on my case about my job that I got a few weeks ago and how I must go out and find a second job in order to have enough money to sustain myself when I live in Tralee for final year.

So 4 weeks ago, I started at my first ever job. I have been trying to get a job for the last 2 summers and have always failed no matter how hard I’ve tried. A lot comes at you with a first job. First, you are being thrown into an environment that you are not aware of and given tasks to do that you must learn to do efficiently and become aware of what you need to do and when it needs to be done. Secondly, you are given the quickest introduction to 20+ people than you ever have in your entire life and trying so hard to remember everyone’s names. Then the scary world or work contracts and money and taxes starts flying at you and you are trying to figure all that out. My parents aren’t making this any easier. I haven’t gotten paid yet and my parents won’t stop going on at me about it. Now, I think the issue going on currently is that I need to register for tax stuff and have my work contract fully processed before I will receive any money. I don’t know if this is true but it keeps my mind at ease. My parents keep telling me to go say talk to a manger about this but I would rather prove that I am a good worker and not just some lazy slacker trying to make a quick buck. I don’t like to talk about money. I don’t like that it’s such an integral part of living. It causes bundles of stress for far too many people and I would just not like to think about it if at all possible. I understand that I can’t live off my parents money forever, and I don’t want to. I like the idea of working my own living and not being reliant on people who care more about their finances than my mental health. The job I have currently, which I do genuinely like, doesn’t have that many hours for me, but it has hours nonetheless. So for the last two summers while I tried to get a job my parents were always putting pressure on me to go into down at every opportunity and give places my CV constantly, and give it to the same place more than once if necessary. The latter I find absolutely ridiculous. While I get some place might see that as being eager or confident, which is highly unlikely, most places will find it so desperate that they will never want to hire you. I thought now that I finally got a job, the pressure from my parents would ease off, if anything it feels like it’s gotten worse. I don’t know what they want from me. I’m trying. They keep telling to go look for a second job. They won’t stop telling me about where they see a job notice up. They don’t care where I get this second job, or how I find it, or how I get treated there, they just want me to get a second job and that’s it.

I think anyone who knows me knows that I will do anything to be in college. I’m always there even when people don’t think I need to be. Sometimes, whether I have work to do or not, who am I kidding I always have work to do, that I just need to be there. I know I don’t have the most horrid home life ever but it just makes me feel so down about my self and my worth. When I’m told that I’m not trying hard enough or that my parents are disapproving of all my time stuck to my bed instead of handing out CVs, it just makes me feel like I’m trapped. Towards the end of my placement, my parents kept asking me when I was going to be done, and will I ever be out of that place. I had a job to do. They didn’t care. I wasn’t just going to quit because they said so or because I had actually been there for the required number of weeks. I stayed there because there were tasks lined out for me at the beginning of my placement and I wasn’t going to leave there without finishing them. So all this negativity about me leaving my placement from my parents for the last 4 weeks of my placement, on top of losing my election which I feel I still have so much emotion pent up from that I haven’t let out, and then just creating a lot of negativity towards the people around me who have actually been a support and have been there for me through it all. I was in a downward spiral. I was really depressed. However, since I had a job to do and I needed to be in college to do it, I couldn’t have my time in bed where I could rest. You use up so much more energy when you in a depressive or mentally ill state that it’s just really hard to function properly. I had to put up a brave front for the last few weeks when I really felt I was going to drop to the floor at any moment.

I’m currently stressing myself out immensely because I haven’t my final report done for work placement and I feel like I’m the only one who hasn’t sent it in. My only thing calming me is that we were never given a specific date but I know I need to get it done soon. I think because of this downward spiral I was in, I started to push people away in some sense. I started trying to come up with reasons why maybe I should hate them. I don’t hate them. I think I just want to be angry about something that I had control over. The emotions of losing my election were too raw and I’m trying to evaluate how I’m feeling with that before I say something I regret. So I think I took that anger and pain from that and put it towards a situation where I could think for myself and maybe fix something in what I felt like was already a broken relationship. While I may not have handled myself with dignity or compassion, I think it was a turning point in one part of my life. I’ve started to broaden my mind more towards the relationships between my friends and I and why space is a good thing and I need to get over my fear of missing out over every small little thing. I think the conversations I’ve had with friends over these last few weeks have thought me a lot and I think I fixed some things so now this broken relationship has started to heal. I use the word relationship where I really mean friendship because they mean the same thing fundamentally, I just thought I would clarify to anyone who thinks I might be delusional and have manifested some romantic relationship in my head with someone. I haven’t. The more I think about a romantic relationship or anything along those lines, I just feel insecure. I know that I am nowhere near ready for anything like that and for now I’ll just poke fun at myself, because sometimes that helps me. I joke about myself, and many others join in on those jokes, which I usually don’t have a problem with. However, sometimes I just wish my jokes could stand alone. I make the joke, people laugh, we move on. I don’t think every joke I make about myself needs a series of jokes to follow it. I have the same issue with jokes of a sexual nature. I tend to get uncomfortable in situations where these jokes are rampant in a conversation. I’m okay for a bit but when it becomes the majority of the conversations and it goes on for ages, I start to feel anxious, bored, and like I’m not in the right place. From a comedy and intellect perspective, if you believe I have the knowledge to speak from this, when a joke or a topic that jokes are based off goes on for too long it loses a lot of it’s humour. I know that humour is subjective and it’s up for interpretation from every individual, however, I just don’t understand how jokes that go on for too long or go too far into the grotesque or disgusting, can still be found funny. From the intellect point of view, I find sexual innuendos and jokes in some regards to be quite witty and intelligent because of word play and/or linking something completely unrelated but yet relates so well that it’s funnier to us as we ask ourselves why we hadn’t made that connection before. As uncomfortable as I get, I find myself being becoming more bored lately of these jokes and conversations. I do think that is a personal thing though as someone who likes to write and loves intelligent humour, I find repetition of jokes, which happens a lot with innuendos and such, to be quite irritating unless done properly.  I think in realising where I am when these conversations take place and where they don’t has helped me a lot. So when I do get bored and want to experience conversations which are more maybe light-hearted or, you know, interesting, I can leave those people talk away and I can go have the chats with people who still make me laugh.

I’ve realised too that over these last few weeks, that the college is feeling a lot smaller. I find I have less safe/happy places to go. The radio studio and possibly the smoking area are the only two within the college I can think of at the moment. I worry about 4th year that maybe the radio studio might not be that place for me anymore. I only worry about from January on because all the 2nd years will be gone and I’ll miss them all way too much because they are the main ones who have kept me any bit sane over the last few months. Now with the current 4th years finishing up, I don’t know what my final year will be like. I’ve been friends with most of them since 2015, and while I might not have talked to them as much lately because they’ve been so busy, I will miss so much not having them around anymore.

So the reason I wrote this blog, was because I felt like earlier I was at my wit’s end with life. So with the stress of my final report, a second job, not knowing what time I’m working at tomorrow, not knowing what to do, I decided I would go for a walk. It was about 9pm when I decided this. I couldn’t focus on my report and thought maybe I need a few cigarettes and to get out of the house. The cigarettes were needed and so was the little walk down to Tesco. However, before I left the house I cut my wrists a little bit because my parents were getting on my nerves again and I was getting in my head a bit too. I left the house a little after 10pm. I had been in my pajamas all day so I had to get dressed before I left the house. I felt like I was getting dressed for the last time. I felt so dead behind the eyes. I’ve been keeping up to date with Coronation Street lately and they’ve been dealing with some really important topics at the moment such as the male rape storyline with David Platt, and the suicide and it’s aftermath with Aidan Connor. Both stories are so important and not talked about enough. First off, the suicide storyline is really poignant because it’s a very common thing for men to be quiet about how they’re feeling and keep it to themselves so it’s not obvious that anything is going on with them, which was the case with Aidan. So in cases like this a suicide is a massive shock and is completely unexpected. Whereas, if I committed suicide, it’s not going to happen just let me discuss this, I don’t think it would be a shock to most people because through these blogs I am quite open about a lot of how I’m feeling and how I’ve felt in the past. The only people who may be shocked would be my parents because they are so oblivious to any signals and they still stigmatize mental illness and see it as a thing to keep quiet about, they were confused when I went to therapy and didn’t really want to know much about it. I’m not trying to prioritize my story, I’m just contrasting and comparing how stories where there is this open discussion and where there is no discussion. In terms of the male rape storyline then, it shows David’s emotions quite clearly and if anyone was going to kill themselves you would have thought it would have been him but while he was close to doing so he now realises the importance of opening up and how he wants to live. You don’t often hear about male victims of rape so right now Coronation Street is really bringing topics of great importance to light that people need to be more aware of and feel more open to discussing.

Hopefully, now that I’ve written this, my head will be a bit clearer and I will be able to write my final report tomorrow. I hope to get it done by Monday if at all possible. I just want to remove some stress from my life and that is a big cause of stress at the moment.

Self-Careathon: Bravery

I have never really seen myself as brave. I’m sure there is some of you who will strongly disagree with me. I’ve been told that I’m brave at multiple times in my life and while I understand my actions may have been brave I’ve never felt it. I got told when I first came out that I was brave and that it took a lot of courage. I came out during an online discussion around the marriage equality referendum. I did this in order to highlight how the no side comments, in some regards, made it really difficult for someone like me, who at the time identified as questioning, to accept myself and continue to explore my own feelings of attraction in fear that I would be putting myself at the forefront and a target for backlash and negativity. I was told that I was brave. What about the people who have faced ridicule all their life and some who ended their life because they couldn’t see how they could live a world that criticised them based on who they fell in love with? At that point in time, I hadn’t dealt with any of that and to this day haven’t received much negativity towards my sexuality. They are the ones who are brave, not me. They have had to fight a battle that I am nowhere near to facing. I am not brave. I am lucky. Lucky, that I don’t fit into any generic stereotype. Lucky, that I live in a world where I have resources I can use if I ever feel attacked because of my sexuality, where I can find people like me and we can support each other publicly. 

I’ve been seen of as brave through my struggles with my mental health. While I have overcome a lot, my journey of recovery has more so been lead by fear rather than trying to care for myself. While I do care about myself, to an extent, it has never been the driving force behind bettering myself. I easily could have let myself get worse and worse, not fix it and eventually just end it all. However, I always kept pushing back my literal deadline.  It became a waiting game. Waiting until I was old enough to do it quick and painlessly,not living under my parents roof. Waiting to see if things get better in my life and there is something worth living for. Waiting to see if I would ever stop being scared. The reason I say my recovery is based more on fear is because I’ve only ever had a handful of good things in my life and I live in constant fear of losing those things. I lost friends at the start of secondary school who I had had for years, because I was just a big ball of negativity and neediness and no one could stand to be around me anymore. I got more quiet, practically mute unless forced to speak. By the end of secondary school, I had zero interests. I had no hobbies or anything that I liked to do. Nothing excited me, I wasn’t doing anything when I wasn’t at school, I felt empty. I did start making friends in 5th and 6th year but due to the downward spiral I was in, their positive impact on my life could only help me in some ways and not in everything. 

I picked the course I am currently in because I remembered that I used to like TV shows and films. I remembered how I enjoyed the way stories were told and how they were written. That was only a memory, I had little to zero interest in that stuff at the time but it was still more interest than I had in anything else. Everything just felt so boring and dull. Life was completely drained of all colour.  When I got to college, I think the newfound sense of freedom began to excite me. I had a fresh start. I knew no one. Through the experiences I had in my first year at college, I began to feel happy again. I felt like I had a purpose. I began to have interests again. Most importantly, I began to care again. In second year, I noticed I was feeling bad again except this time it wasn’t because of anything going bad in my life, it was all things going on in my head. I feared I would lose friends again and I didn’t know if I could handle going through that a second time. After every awkward interaction or times where I was super negative towards a friend, I felt guilty and harmed myself as a punishment. Sometimes it would depend on the person and/or how they reacted or didn’t react to the interaction. I think I have such strong emotions attached to friendships because I feel like they give me a sense of security and acceptance that I have craved my whole life. I fear jeopardising that. 

However, what I’m only beginning to learn lately, is the fact that I focus too much and put too much effort into friendships that are one-sided. If someone doesn’t care about you and doesn’t take the time to ask how you are, especially when you are always ask them, maybe it’s time to take a step back. I don’t think you need to jump straight to “they’re a toxic person and I need to cut them out of my life to be happy”. A break, though, might be needed. I know myself I spent enough time waiting for friends like the ones I have now, I shouldn’t have to waste anymore time waiting. Instead, I need to focus on appreciating the friends who make the effort and pay attention. They don’t have to avidly pay attention but if they notice something is up with me, they ask me if I’m alright and not ignore my change in behaviour and see it as a problem for another day. I’ve been thinking a lot lately about moments where people showed they cared and while I had appreciated these moments are the time I kept making them seem minor in my mind. I kept thinking “that was lovely, why can’t these other people in my life be the same?”  I need to stop doing that because those moments were so important to me and they did come from people I cared about so I shouldn’t hold others up to that standard and if they don’t care as much I should just leave them off and get on with my life. 

A moment in particular that I keep thinking about lately happened last year when I lived in Tralee. I spent a lot of last year very drained and depressed so whenever I was at my accommodation, particularly in second semester, I would go straight up to my room and spend the evening in bed. One night when I was in bed a bit early, trying to go to sleep,  I was feeling so down and tired. Then, I heard a knock on the door of my bedroom. I had the door locked, for once, and I didn’t want to get up so I was just like “What do you want?”  My housemate asked me if I was coming down for a rollie, to which I replied that no I wasn’t. I heard her walk away from the door a bit before she came back and was like “Any chance you have any filters?” I reluctantly got out of bed and told her to hold on for a minute. I tried to find my filters in my bag without turning on the lights but when I couldn’t find them I turned the light on, found them, and then unlocked the door. I opened the door and gave them to her and she asked me if I was alright. I was like “Honestly, no I’m not.” She then asked me did I want a hug. To which I accepted because genuinely I think I really needed one. After she hugged me she said “Look, I might not always understand or be able to help but if you ever want to talk to me about anything, I’m always here.” I replied with a smile and I think I said thank you. She then hugged me again because she said it looked like I needed it. I then went down and had a rollie with her. When I went back to bed then I felt so much happier. That moment is one of the very few genuine moments I’ve ever had of someone noticing that something was wrong with me, without me telling them, and them asking me if I was okay. Now she is an example of the type of people you should surround yourself with. She always makes sure never to make a big deal out of it and will talk to me about it one on one instead of around a load of other people. Which makes it easier for me to talk about what’s going on and I rather talking to one person too because it makes me feel like I’m being paid attention to and not spoken over by anyone. It makes me feel like a respected human being. 

I don’t think that I’m brave for sharing stories or overcoming things. I’m just trying to get better. 

Self Care-athon: Support

I was watching a video by Carrie Hope Fletcher the other day and she mentioned this month long blog thing set up by The Blurt Foundation, in relation to mental health. Every day for the month of April there is a prompt to which you can write a blog about this topic. I like the idea of having a prompt but I’m only participating by writing on some of the prompts I want to write on and if I have the time to write blogs on those days. This one is for day six so I’m already a day late with it but the fact that I’m writing it is still important.

So the idea of support is something I think about quite a lot. I don’t doubt that I have support. In fact, I have a strong support system at college with people I am honoured to call my friends. I’m often scared to talk about my problems with them though as I feel like I have so many problems that it can tend to put a lot on them when I do open up and talk. I also feel like their attitude towards me when I talk about my problems is that maybe I should go see a therapist because as my friends there isn’t much they can actually do to help or “fix” these problems. I don’t expect them to be able to do anything but having someone to talk to that I feel comfortable around makes me feel better whether it’s evident during those conversations or not. I know I shouldn’t always waste their time with every little problem that I have so I’ve taken to really evaluating my problems first on my own and if the problems are too big for me to stay silent about then maybe I will go talk to one of them. Overall, I feel like their is a support system for me at college and I would have dropped out by now if I didn’t have them.

Now, I’ll move onto where I don’t feel like I have support; at home. My parents are definitely there for basic financial support. I get money every week for college and I live at home. However, I don’t feel like I really have any emotional support or anything like that from my parents. I’m constantly being nagged about getting a job, especially leading up to the summer. This has been going on since the end of first year. I have applied online and in person for many jobs every year like they have asked but have never successfully gotten a job. While I can take so much of the blame for that on myself as maybe my CV is at a good standard or maybe in the very limited interviews/trials I’ve gotten I faltered, but it’s not 100% my fault that I haven’t gotten hired. I have tried fairly hard. There has been times where maybe I didn’t take interviews that I could have or answered phone calls that were job related that I should have, but I was scared. I have anxiety, there is a certain level of difficulty that I’ve had with these things in the past and I’ve worked hard and believe that I am past that.

Yes, there is a lot of the yelling that I deserve from my parents in that respect but I don’t think I deserve all of it. It got to the point last year, while I was in the midst of a massive battle with my mental health, where them constantly yelling at me, made me feel even more worthless and a bigger burden than I was already feeling at the time. Last summer, when I was made go out in search of a job, I left the house and walked around the town for hours. I had already handed a lot of CVs into places throughout previous trips to town for the same purpose, so I didn’t really have anywhere to go. I considered, that particularly day, not going home at all. It would just have been easier on them. They wouldn’t have to worry about paying for anything for me ever again. My plan was to go find a comfortable looking tree in the national park and seeing if it would be possible to live in one. This sounds absolutely mad, I’m aware, but I was going crazy being in that house. It didn’t help either that I was just after moving back from 7ish months being in Tralee and have since been living at home.  I obviously never went through with that idea but it seemed very tempting.

This time around, my mental health is a lot better so I don’t think it’s really affecting me as much, but it’s still stressful. My dad doesn’t even care at this point where I get a job. There is some places that get suggested and my mother would be like “I heard the conditions there aren’t great and they don’t treat their staff particularly well,” to which my dad’s response is “Well that doesn’t matter, any job will do at this stage.” So if anyone out there knows anywhere that treats their staff really awfully, pay any amount of money, and are in need of staff please let me know and I’ll take the treatment my dad thinks I really deserve. Obviously, this is still very negative thinking with taking my dad’s comment so literally as to request a job that will treat me awfully but I really am only thinking this to show how ridiculous my dad’s attitude is towards this whole thing.

Another thing he said to me lately was about my work placement, which he really couldn’t give a shit about. “So how many weeks do you have left with that placement?” I told him what I’ve been telling him for a bit, that I have a few weeks left yet. “You keep saying that, when are you just going to give it up and get a real job?” I really didn’t know how to respond to this because this work placement is part of my course, I have to succeed at this in order to move onto 4th year. A lot of the key things that were outlined at the beginning of my placement are events that are taking place during April so I can’t exactly leave. I shouldn’t have to leave unless I feel that I’ve completed my job. I’m not leaving with tasks incomplete. I’m not quitting. This is part of my education. It’s important to me. My dad also remarked about the SUSI grant re-applications opening the other day and asked it I had looked at it yet. I told him no that I hadn’t looked at it yet as I hadn’t had a chance. He was very quick to respond with “That’s fine, I would be perfectly happy if you didn’t want to go to college next year. It would safe me so much money.”

I know money is important in order to live but why does money have to be such a priority. I want to get the most out of my college experience, as it looks pretty evident I will never have enough money to return or continue my education further like my brother has. I should be able to have the opportunity to experience all I can while I’m a student and I don’t think a price should be put on that. I spend most of my money on college related stuff i.e. transport to and from college, food at college and drinks if I get to go out. The latter not being a priority but I’d be lying if I didn’t mention it in my list there. Other than drinks on those nights out, and cigarettes that I buy often, I don’t buy anything for myself really. I can’t really remember the last time that I bought clothes for myself that I really wanted. I get little things for myself like my cigarettes and coffees but I’d like to buy myself something bigger every now and again. I know that’s my own fault because I’m not saving up money for these things and also that I don’t have a job so with both those things I don’t have any right to complain about that. I know this but sometimes it just all gets to me. Some weeks I need to spend more money than other weeks and anything I might have been saving needs to go towards something else.

I hope this summer is the one where I get a job. I don’t want to feel like I’m a burden in my own home. I want money to be able to buy things for myself, and others if I have the opportunity. I want to finally get my nose pierced and maybe dye my hair. I want to be able to afford to make myself look the way I really want and not have my outward appearance restricted because I can’t afford those ripped jeans or cool top. I want to be able to support myself financially. I want to be able to support myself in everything I do. I want to be able to move out of my family home and be fully independent. I have a long way to go and I’m still in need of an attitude adjustment but I’m willing and I’m more than ready to work for all of this.

 

#BlurtSelfCareathon

When I Wished For You

Last night I saw a shooting star,
I made a wish.
For the first time,
In a long time,
I didn't wish for you. 

I didn't wish for you to be mine,
Like I've done on my last few birthdays.
"Did you make a wish?" 
My mother always asked,
"Yeah, I did..."
I would sigh.

I would believe,
For a split second,
That my wish would come true.
That you would fall for me,
The way I fell for you,
Many moons ago. 

I did once wish on a shooting star for you,
Imagining you looking up at that same star,
Whilst it twinkled in your blue eyes,
As you would make the same wish about me.
Alas, I know you too well,
And that's not you.

I often wondered,
"Why waste this wish on what I know will never come true?"
I tried to stop,
I really did.
But somehow, deep down,
I always felt,
Wishing for you was never a waste, 
 
Because you are not a waste!
You are empowering,
You are thoughtful,
You are truly remarkable.
Every wish was worth it.
 
Eventually, my wish changed.
I still wished for you.
I wished for you to be happy.
A wish should represent the thing you want most,
All I've ever wanted,
Is for you to be happy. 

Last night I made a wish,
One with the same level of priority to me as your happiness.
I wished for my happiness.

I wished for my future.
This might sound insignificant,
But for a very long time,
My future was going to be me walking on the clouds above,
My future was never getting past age seventeen. 
 
My future is now bright,
Like a star in a dark sky.
I'm not saying I'll never wish for you again,
I feel like my wishes came true in ways I never imagined.
Nothing has changed between us,
Only now I realise that's what I really needed.

Quiet On The Outside, Screaming On The Inside!

Then: March 4th 2017

Original Blog Title: I Constantly Feel Like An Idiot!

Never in my life have I ever felt smart enough. I have always felt like I am just stupid and that everyone else is of a much higher intelligence than I am. For the most part this has been caused by people either outright saying that I’m an idiot or laughing at any suggestions or ideas I make.

A lot of thoughts are always actively racing round my head. It’s like my brain is training for the Olympics. It tries so hard to keep up that it wears itself out very quickly, and people wonder why I stay so quiet. It’s hard to talk when you mind is busy thinking about what assignments you need to have done, what time are you going home from college,  when are you going to stand up for yourself, when are going to start applying for summer jobs, you need to worry about this friend, worry about failed conversations no matter how long ago they were, worry about never finding love and dying alone. These are thoughts that run through my head 24/7 as well as a few more depending on the day and what is going on at the time. I know everyone has all sorts of things going on in their mind and they can handle it and ignore it. I can’t ignore it. Along with every thought there is an extra positive and negative thought that stems from each one. The negative thought always trumps the positive and thus I don’t know what is supposed to be good about said thought. With all this going on in my mind, I find it very hard to focus and concentrate. Whenever I try to read a book these days I can’t help but read the first line of a paragraph and then skip straight down to the end of the paragraph because I want to get though it as fast as I can because I was a slow reader in school. I would be going onto the second page of a five page story and everyone else would nearly be finished. The thing is I would have to keep re-reading the same part a few times because I wasn’t paying attention when I read it the first time and then I wouldn’t understand where the story was going and have to start from the start all over again to try to figure out what was actually happening.

Now: February 10th 2018

I decide to look at my drafts folder to see blogs that I had started but never finished. This was my most recent one, and either I posted a separate blog that was on a similar topic to this or else I didn’t feel this was worthy to post and left the topic alone. I got in the mood to write a blog and this one from last year brings up some important points and I didn’t want it to go unread. I guess the link that I would make from that blog to what I want to talk about now is that my mind is still occupied with these and many more thoughts on a daily basis. I can’t remember the last time my brain has been silent, it gets overwhelming. Since starting my work placement and being back at college after the Christmas break, my social skills have gone to absolute shit and a lot of my thoughts now are me constantly worrying that I will never be comfortable having conversations with most people ever again. I have been a lot quieter since being back and when I do speak it is nothing of importance and a majority of the time my input is not wanted or needed.

For once it’s not the disinterest in my input that is getting to me, I’m used to that I’m not the most interesting of people. The thing that is making me very anxious and worried is that I feel emotionally, mentally, and physically incapable of having conversations with like 99.9% of people I see on a daily basis. I feel like they all think I’m being weird or maybe distant. I’ve been like this before but never has it been a massive problem like it is now and also it has never effected me as much before as it does now.  I’ve kind of stopped making jokes and I tend not to pay attention to a lot going on around me. I’m constantly walking around and ending up in the same places hoping that eventually my social skills setting in my mind with flick back to what it once was. I’ve never been great at talking to people ever but I’ve definitely been better then I am now. I feel very trapped because I can’t really have a conversation with someone about this because that’s the problem. I feel like before I can even try to communicate with anyone I have to try and see why I have this issue and how it can be resolved. Otherwise, I would just go up to people I know and say “I really want to talk to you but your busy. I want you to make me laugh but I know I can’t make you do anything. I want you to talk to me and let me listen but you won’t understand the purpose of this one sided conversation.”

I’m not much better through texting or any thing that is typed. I don’t converse very well through that medium and typically don’t have a conversation over it but I’ve been like that since I started texting. Honestly, I’ve always preferred phone calls. They are more personal. My humour is very sarcastic so it’s easier for me to be funny while talking on the phone because in a message the sarcasm could be misconstrued as me being rude or bitchy. I also feel very comforted and more relaxed hearing the other person’s voice and their laugh. It just makes me feel a lot happier. In comparison to face to face conversations, I think I actually converse better over the phone because the pressure of them looking at me is gone. I get really insecure on a constant basis and I also really dislike eye contact. I’ve been wearing a scarves almost everyday over the last few months because I feel insecure about my neck and chin area so the scarf is there to hide that and also to hide some of my face when I feel embarrassed or nervous.

I feel like I might be going through an identity crisis too because I literally hate almost all the clothes I own. I also refuse to go shopping because that would involve spending money on more clothes that I don’t care about and might never wear. Every time I have gone into a clothes shop in the last year, and a few odd times here and there before that,  I have found one thing that I really like when I go into the shop. However, in the time it takes me to finish looking around and start to making my way to the till I have talked myself out of buying that item of clothing I had initial liked and some I even loved and I just put them back and walk out of the shop. It’s worse with my mother because she will make me change my mind quicker and I just want to leave the shop immediately because there is nothing there for me. I hate clothes shopping and anytime I enter shops like Penneys or TK Maxx I always just feel really panicked and stressed for the entire time that I’m in the shop and then once I leave the shop I’m ok again. Essentially, I have no idea what my aesthetic is when it comes to my look and what I wear.

In terms of my look besides clothes, I have been wanting to get my nose pierced for like 2 or 3 years. My plan was to do it for my 20th birthday but then other things became priority money wise and now I can’t get that done. I hope that one day that will happen but I don’t know when now. While I don’t think that a piercing has the power to give me a massive confidence boost, I do think it will make me feel more like how I want to present myself to the world. Not entirely happy with my hair either, I also had plans last year to dye it and that never happened. I did cut it not too long ago but I already feel like it’s gotten too long again.

I’ve fairly distant in a lot of aspects and from a lot of people. I think the issue is that I’m too focused on trying to decipher what my thoughts are all about. I have found myself saying to people who I see very often but not talk to as much, “I missed you!” I’ve said this when I’ve seen someone’s personality and/or humour in a moment that I feel like I used to see a lot more in the past. I do feel like this is appropriate because I feel like I don’t see these sides of people as often anymore. However, maybe they’re not the problem. Maybe I don’t miss them, maybe I miss in those moments, I miss who I used to be back in past.

 

So, I Had This Dream…

This dream has been on my mind constantly since I had it on Saturday night. Before I went to sleep that night I had just watched Saoirse Ronan’s movie ‘Ladybird’ so that influenced it a little bit.

My dream was set in a Catholic school, which isn’t too odd because I went to a Catholic secondary school and some of the settings were from my old school. There was a lot of little details in this dream that linked to that movie but nothing to do with the major plot of it. I had a dream about my ex-best friend from when I was aged 5-12. That was weird in itself and also what was weird too was that zero people from college were in my dream at all, not a single one of them. So the main part of the dream that I can still remember clearly was in our secondary school gym hall. There was something going on there and there was a few different groups on the court. I enter the gym and one of my friends from secondary school came over to me and was like “She’s over there.” From the beginning of my dream before I went to the gym, there had been something telling that I needed to go find my ex-best friend and somehow that led me to the gym of the school we graduated from 2 and a half years ago.

I guess some back story is needed a little bit before I move on. When I was younger I absolutely hated all forms of physical contact. Even among my friends and family. If a friend tried to hug me, I would push them off me fairly aggressively. They would all just laugh, it was my shtick to be this little angry human that hated hugs and everything good in the world. (Looks like not too much has changed there). The fact that they found this funny meant that I needed to keep doing it because to make them laugh was everything to me. If I didn’t push them off, I would let them hug me but I would keep my hands straight by my sides and not hug them back and wait for it to be over. It wasn’t that I was uncomfortable with them, it was that I was uncomfortable with myself and I didn’t understand the purpose of hugs. I guess I still don’t really understand their purpose but now I do like them and they make me feel a lot happier and safer which is necessary now that my mind is a constant source of sadness, fear and danger and I can’t escape that.

Anyway, with that in mind, let me get back to the dream. So I walk over to her and place my hand on her shoulder and go “Hey, how are you?” and she just says “Hey.” I kid you not I stand there for about 5 minutes with my hand still on her shoulder. She eventually says “You can either stop now and walk away or you can fully commit to this physical contact thing and fix this problem between us.” So I hug her for a while and then I think we both are really happy after that and then we start hanging out again like we used to when we were kids. Then I woke up. I was sooooooo confused when I woke up. “Why did I dream about her? What does this dream mean? I haven’t even been thinking about her recently, what is going on?” I thought to myself. So since then I have been trying to analyse this dream in the most literal sense. So maybe the reason I thought of her is because in reality I feel really alone again because I feel the need to have a best friend again, someone I can hang with all the time and be texting and talking to all the time. I also had recently been thinking about physical contact and my struggle to becoming more comfortable with it. I think it makes sense that this dream stemmed from my overthinking lately. Maybe the dream is trying to tell me that for me to be able to move forward I need to deal with what happened all those years ago when my best friend became my ex-best friend. Which, by the way, had absolutely nothing to do with hugs or physical contact. It mostly had to do with my negativity and how I couldn’t take a joke or find the same things funny or be happy about anything. I would always complain and to be honest everyone was getting sick of it. I still haven’t improved much, but since then I’ve been able to keep more things to myself in a way that’s healthier for current relationships that I have formed. I’ve also gotten more confident in making jokes and laughing at things that when I was younger I thought was too inappropriate. I was such a parent to my friend group when I was younger because I didn’t want us watching YouTube videos that were too inappropriate because I thought we were too young and I wanted to hold onto my naivety for as long as I possibly could. My friends obviously wouldn’t listen to me and hence forcing me to watch The Hangover at the age of 11 which made me feel so ill, it will forever be my least favourite movie because that’s when all the fighting between us started. I censored what I watched more than my parents ever did. I was aware of so much at a young age and chose to ignore certain things until I was older because nobody over a certain age seemed very happy and I wanted to be able to enjoy the few things that brought me happiness before adolescence and adulthood ripped that away from me.

Almost A Decade Of Suicidal Thoughts. 

**Trigger Warning: Content contains suicidal thoughts and self harm. Reader Discretion is advised.**

I will start this off by saying that right now I currently have no urge to kill myself or even harm myself. Life is fine. I am dealing with it. Hopefully soon, I will start really living it again. I also say almost a decade because I’d say it would have been more so the middle to end of 2008, if even as early as that year, where I first started to feel suicidal in some sense. 

The more I think back to 2008 the more I remember why I would have suicidal. While the issues I was dealing with then are no big deal to me now, they were at the time. Some of those problems effected my entire world at that moment in time.i was in the 2nd half of 4th class, I was aged 9 and turning 10 that year, the most torturous school year of my entire life. I felt I had this massive target on my back that people just couldn’t get enough of aiming for. It was also a very insecure time for myself as my body was starting to go through changes and would go through so many that year. My body was developing a lot faster than that of the other girls in my class. The boys in my class were always laughing at me. One boy in particular was bullying me and harassing me more than other time because he had always bullied me since I was about 5 or 6 but during 2008 is when it started getting a whole lot worse. I should also note that the teacher I had for 4 to class as also my teacher in junior infants and from that first time she taught me I have had a fear of authority figures ever since. The way things used to work in primary school was that seating charts needed to be made, it would be organised boy-girl-boy-girl for as much as possible, and these arrangements had to be changed every few weeks. So of course my teacher decided to seat me next to the boy of was awful to me, it was from this moment things started getting worse. I will call this bully Gary, for the plain and simple reason that that name is the evil character in a game called Bully. So Gary was friends with my friend group. My friends liked him. They said I needed to give him a chance and that I took everything he did too seriously. Now I’ve always found what he did very hard to explain because I feel like my mind immediately tries to block out he content as quickly as a can so it doesn’t manifest itself in my mind. Even at the time no teacher would help me because I couldn’t explain it properly. I was either told by teachers to work it out and learn to get along with him or else just stay away from him. Pretty hard to stay away from him when I’m sat right next to him and not allowed to change where I’m sitting. I remember one day in particular where I got really upset. Our teacher was out so we had a substitute instead. We were given work to do and it was up to us to see how much we could get done in the school day and then finish the rest for homework. I trying to work away however, Gary started saying things to distract me and then I think he started hitting my pencil so I would mess up every time I tried to write. I kept asking him to stop but he would just ignore me and keep doing whatever he was doing and the other guy who I was sitting next was friends with Gary and was laughing along with him and his antics. My eyes started watering and I was getting a bit distressed. I told Gary to stop a little louder and the substitute teacher heard me and asked if there was a problem. I said I was trying to do my work and that the two boys were distracting me and upsetting me and the teacher just said to try and ignore them. About a month later when the seating arrangements had been changed again, I wasn’t sitting next to Gary but I was only like 3 seats away from him and all his friends were near me some beside me and some in front of me. I was so upset with everything that one day I started drawing. I drew myself. I drew a train. I drew myself, standing on a train track with a train headed towards me. Some of the boys around me were looking at my sheet of paper and were like “What the hell are you trying to draw?”  I told them what it was and said I was drawing it because I’d rather be dead than have to put up with any of them for any longer. The only person who was sitting by me at the time who was my friend was right in front of me. She didn’t say anything but she did look a little concerned and I think she did go and tell the teacher at some point after this about what I had said and drawn. I say this because I think either the next day or a few days later, the teacher called me outside the door of the classroom and said “Are you okay? I was told about this drawing you did and what you saidand this is really serious stuff!”  I told her that I was fine and that I never drew anything. She asked me a few more times about it and I kept denying it. She said ok and we walked back into the classroom. She never brought it up again. I should also mention that after I explained my reasoning behind the drawing to the boys they all laughed and didn’t take what I said seriously at all. They didn’t believe I would kill myself, and for a little while I really wanted to prove them wrong but I never did. At the end of that year, my mom got a heart tumour, non-cancerous but still serious, and I got really sad and really worried around that time. A good thing that came out of that though was that my friends supported me and comforted me during that time which would be the first and last time that most of them would have done that. The bullying was still there and I was becoming even more uncomfortable with the changes my body was experiencing. It wasn’t until 6th class we would watch a DVD to explain these changes so I had no idea what was going on. I thought there was things wrong with me and I didn’t tell anyone about my worries. I did ask my mother one day and she did explain it to me a bit but not too graphically or anything. By this time thought that I actually brought it up, I was on like my third ever period. I had known there was something happening for two or three months before I said anything. I thought I was dying and the thought of that scared me. 

While I’ve had suicidal thoughts all these years, I have also had a fear of dying. I think more so a fear of not knowing and not having any control over how and when I would die. After my mom was sick I felt for a while after that if I committed suicide I would be selfish. Any kind of complication with my mom’s surgery could have made things end up a lot differently for her so I felt like if I tried to kill myself I would be taking a perfectly healthy life and body and getting rid of it for my own selfish reasons. At that time too with my mother being in hospital and having surgery, my family were stressed out enough as it was so I didn’t want to make them any more stressed out. 

Next major event, the friendship schism of 2010, that was one of the, if not the, worst years of my life. So I had a group of friends all throughout primary school, over the summer and the first half of 1st year in secondary school these friendships were starting to crumble and crumble fast. There was a friend who stuck by me for a bit after that but by the summer of 2011 they were gone too. I was alone probably for the first time in my life. This schism was when my mental issues began. I wanted to kill myself then more than ever. I felt like since they left me nobody would ever want to be my friend again. I thought I was fat, ugly, extremely negative, and a really boring, untalented person. I thought no one would ever want to be around me because of these reasons. I started to think that maybe they were never really my friends at all and they just lied to me.  It was years before I could trust anyone after that and I still have problems with trust today but I am gettin better.

 I almost tried to commit suicide for the first and only time in April 2011. The only time I’ve ever come close to acting on my suicidal thoughts. I was 13. I was at someone’s house, they had a bunk bed, and I had a belt. They left the room for a few minutes and in that time I had taken my belt off, tied it around part of the top bunk and tried to tied it around my neck. I knew it wasn’t going to work but I still wanted to test it. It was a stupid idea. I untied the belt from the bed and put it back on before the person came back in. I always thought about hanging myself but I never thought that I would be able to do it right. I thought about it a lot from the ages of 13-16 especially. I needed a rope that would be strong enough, a place to tie the rope that would be strong enough, all without being suspicious. I never actually planned anything, I just thought about the possibilities and how I would never be able to do it on a practical level. Mentally there was definitely times where I would have gone through with it but I wanted to be certain it was either done properly or not at all. 

I started self harming in 2015, I was in 6th year stressed about the the Leaving Cert. I was 17. I used a rubber band. I had one on my wrist at all times for months. I would pull it back as far as I could so it was going to cause my arm as much pain as possible. It would cause a swollen red line to form which would later sting. I used it a lot in those months leading up to and during the exams. I still would use this method of self harm throughout my 1st year of college usually before a presentation or after I said something stupid or I was being extra awkward in a social situation. So yeah I used that quite a bit. However, I would say that my suicidal thoughts calmed down a lot when I started doing that. I haven’t genuinely wanted to kill myself since about 2014. Another thing that has calmed those thoughts down a bit is smoking, which I started in March 2016 when I was 18. The reason it calms those thoughts though isn’t necessarily a positive thing. I see smoking as a way of killing myself slowly, not as slow as a natural cause of death but slower than an immediate suicide. I see smoking as giving me time to think because I don’t want to end my life right now and make a drastic decision that can’t be undone. I don’t think about this every time I have a cigarette it was just one of my initial thoughts when I started and now it’s just kind of stuck in the back of my mind. In around August of 2016, I started to self harm using a knife. I wasn’t doing this for long before I stopped in September after a friends’ reaction to my scars. I stopped for 5 months before I started again in mid February of 2017. I would cut my left arm and usually my right leg when self harming, although it would usually just be the arm. I have also used a key when self harming for the 2nd half of 2017. The last time I cut was probably early December. 

That’s probably the best timeline of where my mind has been on the thought of suicide. This blog is yet another response, my first and only response, through social media in regards to the Logan Paul video that showed a dead body hanging from a tree in the Aokigahara, also known as the Suicide Forest, in Japan. Before the video, I had never heard of the forest. If the video had just been about the history of the forest and the stories about it, I would have been really intrigued about it and would then have warned my friends to never let me go to Japan alone because I wouldn’t be coming back alive. However, the constant clips of the body and especially the clip of the deceased persons’ discoloured hands I had chills all over. I could feel my fear of death coming back but now I was a little bit afraid of the idea of hanging because this is the first time I’ve ever seen anything like this. I made me feel uncomfortable but I didn’t really react I just felt numb. 

2017: It Wasn’t The Worst, But It Wasn’t The Best!

As a whole, I don’t think that 2017 was that bad of a year. Like every year there is both moments of good and bad. I had my fair share of bad times but the good times this year made it worth it.

Before I talk about some of this years’ events in my life, I’ll reflect back on my New Year’s Resolutions for 2017

  1. Stop taking myself so seriously – I do think I improved upon this for an extent but not in a good way. I think I stopped taking myself seriously because I stopped caring about myself and what was happening to me. I just gave up fighting back for the most part because nobody took me seriously. My intention was to laugh more at myself and maybe developed a sort of confidence. However, the result was people laughing at me constantly and knocking any building confidence out of me.
  2. Focus on college – I think I did a very good job of this at the start of the year when I was in 2nd semester of 2nd year. I got two of the highest grades that I’ve ever gotten overall in modules. I was doing great, I passed my repeat that followed me on from the module I failed at the end of 2016. Even though that repeat should have made sure that I focused on everything after that. 3rd year semester 1 is where I really gave up. After the first month was over, I went into a downward spiral. I had no motivation or energy to do any of my work. I did manage to get every assignment submitted but I wasn’t happy with most of them. This semester has made me feel like a failure. Even if I somehow pass everything, I will feel like a failure.
  3. Learn to deal with being alone – I feel like I just had to suck up any feelings of loneliness or feelings like I was alone in the world because there was no other solution to this. I think I spent a lot of this year forcing myself to be alone because I started to feel extra anxious and a waste of space in any group setting. When I lived in Tralee I spent a lot of the 2nd semester up in my room when I wasn’t going out almost every Thursday night.
  4. Work on making myself feel better – I was trying to do this at the start of this year by going to the college doctor who had me on anti-depressants which didn’t help. Recently, I’ve started seeing a therapist after I got referred after I hit a very low point in October. I do think as this year has been coming to a close that I have actively worked on making myself feel better.

So I think I did a fairly good job there with attempting those resolutions but none of them were fully successful. Oh well, there’s always time to work on them in 2018!!

In terms of my mental health it went to absolute shit, which it also did last year so not much as changed their. I felt like I was fighting with others a lot more this year just as much as I was fighting with myself. It was very draining both mentally and socially. I really want to leave all that sort of stuff behind me because I hate confrontation so much it takes me a long time, if ever, to recover from it. I started cutting last year and while I took a 5 month hiatus I continued again in February about a week after my birthday. Not my finest hour. I have continued to cut myself periodically throughout all of this year with my last one only being at least a few weeks ago. Although I have no intention to do anything again, I was drying the dishes and cutlery last night and I saw the knives and thought “Maybe, just a little bit?” I didn’t do anything but I did want to. I have more self control than people give me credit for, when I’ve harmed myself things are seriously wrong because for the most part I can ignore the thoughts that are telling me to do that, the urges that want me to feel the physical pain that I deserve and to suppress the mental pain that I’m feeling at that moment in time. This year I felt like I began to bottle things up again. I stopped telling people the extent of what I’m feeling because 99% of them don’t care.  Today, New Years Eve, I felt a bit down today but just tried to ignore it. My only positive today was that I was able to smoke a little bit because my parents weren’t hear all evening. Until my father came home very drunk and being incredibly annoying. I can’t stand him when he’s like that, constantly repeating himself and not being able to think properly. Then my mother came home from work and complained about how shitty the night was. I couldn’t even ring in the new year without a heap load of negativity thrown at me just minutes before midnight. I happily would have rang in the new year on my own, but no I wanted to watch the RTÉ special on the television. So needless to say 2018 hasn’t gotten off to a great start yet but there’s a whole year of better experiences to get through yet.

I could go on and on about my mental issues this year so I guess I’ll recap some of the higher points of this year. These won’t be in any particular order just the order in which I think of them or I feel like they link. I went to my first ever Pride this year in Cork City. I wasn’t sure if I’d actually be able to go to the parade and stuff until like the day before because I was only going up to Cork to go to my first ever drag show which was to see Alyssa Edwards. The day of the drag show was fairly good. I got to explore Cork for the first time ever on my own. I knew fuck all about the city before that weekend. I also got to reconnect with one of my friends who I’ve known for most of my life but hadn’t talked to much in a long time. The night of the drag show once we got to the nightclub was a totally different story. It consisted of a lot of pushing and shoving mostly by a load of over-excited gay men but that was only the few we were around the rest of the crowd actually seemed alright. The only highlight of that night was that I was out in the smoking area and I made a friend. He came over to me wanting a cigarette and I gladly gave him one which he tried to pay me for. He then came back to me a while later when I went back out to the smoking area and asked me for another cigarette. He seemed nice. The 2nd time he stayed near me and we started talking… well typing. I learned fairly quickly that he was deaf. It was a very interesting experience but it was actually the happiest thing that happened that weekend. Overall that weekend was something I wouldn’t trade for the world but it was very overwhelming and I was not used to anything like that. So the day of Pride was all kind of up in a heap. I didn’t know what our plan was or what was happening. We walked in the parade while I was wearing my rainbow flag as a cape and had rainbow flag face paint on my cheeks. I felt so ecstatically gay and I loved it. There was a great performances on the stage where the parade ended but I was experiencing a lot of that by myself because my friend had gone home to get ready for that night where he had a show in a different nightclub to where we had been the night before. The night was fine. My friend was amazing on stage. However, I had my first ever shift that night, and it was with a guy. From all the horror stories I’ve heard of people’s first shift my definitely wasn’t bad at all. I still don’t ever want to do that again…ever. I don’t know if this was just because it was a guy, or because it was someone I don’t know and still don’t know. I have no idea what his name is and because he was so drunk he was taken out of the club by security surely after. The story in itself is funny to look back on know but it’s not something I want to relive.

I got to make my great, grand, gay return to Pink Training and since I’ve devoted an entire blog to this very recently I won’t go into too much detail about it. Definitely, it was the best part of my year. I feel like I got a little bit more confidence this year as last year had made me so much more confident than I had previously been. I had a better time this year knowing how the whole thing was running. It was also my very first time in Galway a city that I would happily return back to in a heartbeat. I told Jodi I had a crush on her and while that had been obvious for the last 2 years while I was keeping that secret she didn’t make me feel bad about any of it. Up until then, I had felt awful for having that crush at all. It was always the centre of any jokes people would be saying towards me and it made me feel like shit and I wish I had kept it to myself because having everyone know just made things harder. It made any butterflies or excitement about it get shut down immediately. While I knew that nothing would ever happen and will not ever happen, I didn’t see what was so wrong with imagining it. The worst thing was really when people brought it any interaction I had with her and making it romantic or sexual, like it got to a point where I just wanted to try and see if there was a way where I could come out as straight and put myself back in the closet and make people think that I made up that crush as a joke, just so they would shut the fuck up about it. I know this is awful, and that’s why I never did it. Think about that thought, I would have preferred to have been in the closet keeping all feelings to myself rather than have all these jokes and comments thrown about on a constant basis. I guess a lot of it was my own fault because I found them funny at the start, and always brought Jodi in conversation so it was my own fault. I never shut down any of these comments, I just kept it all to myself. As my actual crush feelings were going away and I was moving on an getting over it, people were always dragging me back and not believing that I could get over it. I’ve only been out for 2 and a half years and I’ve never really had many crushes in my life because I didn’t realise until I was 15 that I was gay. This was kind of a big deal for me for a part of the last 2 years and it felt like it was being belittled. At the end of the day, all I ever really wanted was a friend, and in maturing and realising things over the last few years I think that this crush definitely had more platonic roots to it than romantic. You can fight me on that all you like, but you don’t know how I’ve felt but I know you’ll make your assumptions and say that I’m lying. As of 2018, I want all the jokes to stop. Unless you are Jodi or I, this doesn’t concern you. I’m pretty much over this entire thing but I think I needed to go through that and have that battle of various emotions in my head over someone I was never going to be and never really want to be with in any way other than platonic. I guess I lied a little along the way and hyped it up myself more than I should have but I realise now that I was wrong and I wish I had kept my mouth shut. I’m sorry if it seems weird that I wrote such a long rant about this in a review of 2017, but I just want to stop feeling shitty about having feelings.

Now that I’ve ranted about that for most of this blog, I’ve completely forgotten what it was I actually wanted to talk about for the rest of this. I like 2017. It was cool. I’ve had some memories that I will never forget. This year was extremely frustrating though and I wanted to give up so many times and give up on so many things. Luckily, thanks to the help of a few people I didn’t.  So thank you to those people for helping me to keep going and making it to the new year. In particularly, the Students Union had been a massive help this year since about August, the time of my repeat, and throughout the last few months which were incredibly difficult and I don’t know where I would be without them.

This is usually where I would write my New Years Resolutions but I don’t know if I really want to write anything new for this year. There are a few little things but I think it’s mostly just sticking with the resolutions I made last year and try to keep improving myself. Let’s hope 2018 is less frustrating and filled with more excitement instead of anxiety!

Don’t Let Me Think, It’s Dangerous!

I’ve been told over the last few months, and realistically my whole life, that everything that is wrong is my fault and not the fault of others. This is particularly when it comes to my mental health and how I view situations. It’s all in my head. I’m misconstruing things. I was told this in my talk therapy session too on Friday but it was explained to me better and didn’t make me feel as awful as when everyone else has says it too me.

I’ve always been told that the only common thing in any problematic situation I get in, is me. I am the only common factor. Therefore, I need to take a good, long look at myself and fix myself because everyone else is pure and never does anything wrong. I spent most of my life being silenced. Being told that I am wrong. That I am taking things the wrong way. That I need to look at things from another perspective. Why is my perspective so bad? Why does no one ever look at things from my perspective?

I understand that having mental health issues, and having problems that relate to that means that yes, it is all in my head. Why does that mean that it is all wrong? I know more about my mental illnesses than you probably do. I am aware of when my head is the one messing things up. I openly admit that. I will preface my complaint or rant with a “I know I’m probably overthinking or over-analyzing things but…” However, there is times when I am right and you tell me I’m thinking too much about it. In thinking too much about things sometimes, I realise just how right I am. I know it should be enough for me to know this but I need people to know sometimes that they are wrong because they should know these things too in order to prevent said problem from coming up again in their lives. Learn from your mistakes and all that. I don’t like the fact that I have to fight everyone to prove that I’m right. This all probably sounds a bit self centered maybe, but I’m tired of fighting.

I got tired of fighting very early on because I’ve always had to do it. I’ve given up before and when I did I just stayed silent. I let people hurt me and destroy every part of me. Why waste my voice when nobody listens? As I’ve gotten older, I’ve tried to speak up more for myself and call out a problem if I feel it necessary to. Now, just as much or maybe even more than ever, I still get shut down when I voice my opinion on a matter. I find it extremely difficult to have my own opinion on things due to years of being silent and following the crowd. If I actually have an opinion on something now, it means a lot. I know a lot more about myself and how I function now than I did when I was younger so if something is affecting me on a level where I can’t function properly, there is a problem somewhere in this situation. I think a lot, so I will have analyzed every aspect of myself to see where I am wrong. I am always wrong, so you all tell me, so I can pick that out straight away. If I don’t find anything, it’s more than likely the cause for this problem is you. I know I can’t always be right in this judgement because that is impossible, but don’t you think it’s possible that I am right in more cases than you give me credit for?

It would be nice if you at least listened. Maybe we could even reach more a compromise. I could be right in somethings and so could you, instead of me just being wrong in everything I say. I know you never listen to me ever, and that might never change. Do you ever listen to yourself? That could change the game a little. If you actually listened to what you are saying sometimes, you might realise how wrong you can be. You are not god’s gift or something perfect, you can also be wrong. I see myself as always being wrong because that’s what I’ve always been told. So as angry and upset as I get when you tell me I’m wrong, yet again, it just ends up being another line on the tally sheet. I’m used to it. I don’t like being used to it, but that’s the truth. This is also something that would affect my mental health and how I think about things. I will always blame myself. Everything is my fault. No one can change my mind on that, only I can. Believe me, if I do something wrong to you, no matter how small it might seem, I will feel awful about it. I will make myself feel even worse about it than you might ever try to make me feel about it. If you ever give out to me about something, there is a guarantee that I will cry the second you leave the room. I know I’ve done wrong and a confrontation about it will make me feel like I have failed you and have failed the world and I will feel scared. Scared that you won’t forgive me. Scared that I won’t forgive myself. Scared about what I will do to myself. Being given out to in person, is the scariest thing for me. It affects me more than anything else. It makes me feel so many emotions and makes me feel physically sick.

If I let myself think for too long, or if I’m alone with my thoughts for too long without a distraction, I will make myself feel awful. I’ve been using Netflix over the last few days to make my brain focus on something so that my thoughts don’t focus on me. If they focus on me, they will poison me. I know a lot about my thoughts and feelings. More than most of you know about your own. I think my therapist was somewhat impressed/shocked by how much I understood about my own thoughts. I know too that I am the only one who can get myself out of a dark place and shake off any thoughts that are dark and bringing me down. No doctor or therapist can help there. I know how to pull myself out of those dark times. My problem is wanting too. I can stop cutting very easily. I don’t do it very often. I know it’s not a solution but I don’t hate doing it. I hate having to hide it but I also hate having to explain it without sounding crazy. I’m not that crazy, I’m more so troubled and damaged. I could fix myself but I don’t want to. I’m hoping through my continued therapy sessions that I find a reason or hopefully reasons, to better myself. I have no consistent or strong enough reason to fix myself. I have a reason to act like I’m fixed sometimes but acting can’t last forever. I’ve gotten tired of acting 24/7. It’s easier to stay quiet and not let anyone know how much my insides ache at every movement and how I have constant headaches as every new thought feels like I’m stabbing my brain with a blunt knife.  With silence, no one can tell that every emotion I feel is like having my heart compressed until there is no more feeling in it.