World Mental Health Day 2017

So I wrote a blog about this two years ago when I was less than a month into my first year of college and before I go on I’d suggest that you read that first because it’s quite interesting!
https://sandramoynihan.wordpress.com/2015/10/10/mental-illness-take-4world-mental-health-day/

In the two years that have passed since then a lot of things have changed in my life. I know not only just have friends, I have a plethora of friends something which upon entering college didn’t seem possible. Although in that blog I do talk about my first real college memory. It was the first time I felt like I was part of a group. I didn’t feel too much like a tag along and I had one of the best days ever. The day that the college experienced a power cut is one of the most vivid memories I have at college. The amazing thing about thinking back to that memory is that I didn’t know then how much some of those people would impact my life, and impact it for the better. Like Dexter was the one who invited me to go with the group, he was sitting at the table with my classmate and I. We went back to his house afterwards with Jodi and, I think this is the name I gave him, Tab. I laughed so much that day I actually nearly pissed myself. I loved it and I’m so glad I have that memory of when friendships were just starting to form. 

The difference is that now, while those friendships are still there and still strong, I think, I seem to be on a mission of self sabotage and am trying to make a mess of things. For the last two week and a half weeks, which has been the aftermath of me going to the doctor, my mental health has been good and on some days even amazing. The few weeks leading up to that doctors appointment I was awful. I started cutting again, well cutting my arm again I was cutting my leg all summer long. I realised at some point just before I cut my arm the last time, which required a bandage, that I went back to cutting my arm because I wanted attention. When I say that I more so mean, a cry for help. I wanted people, or at least certain people because I always seem very particular about who I want to know about these things, to see that I was struggling. I was having a hard time and I needed support. Which I did get and am so thankful that I have that support, even if this week it might not seem like. Before the bandage incident, I had been discussing my mental health with the Welfare Officer and we had a walk and a chat which was lovely. She organised another one for the following week, which I was excited about because I thought it would be a regular thing which would have been great. Totally my fault that that stopped because said bandage incident happened and our chat got changed to her accompanying me to the nurse because I wanted her there with me. Then the following week I went to the doctor on my own, told her how that went and that was that. To be fair, I see her everyday and god knows after 2 years she’s sick to death of me and my constant mood swings and low self esteem. The reasons however that I wish this walk and chat, or just sit and chat because I do enough walking, was regular is that it’s something for me to look forward too. Again, I see her everyday I know but there is some things I don’t want to talk to her about when there’s loads of people around her. I guess I kind of miss how we used to hangout in the radio studio in the evenings and a have a laugh (why I am crying right now, I haven’t cried for weeks and weeks and yet just thinking about this gets me teary eyed in an instant). So that reason is from a friendship point of view. From a personal, probably selfish point of view, I just want to be noticed. Not just a nod in the hallways or part of a big group conversation, I want to talk to someone one on one to remind myself that I am an individual. I sometimes forget that I am my own person I just feel like there is an invisible tether between me and groups of friends that doesn’t let me stray too far from the pack. Any ways, I just want someone to acknowledge that I’m here and when they ask about my day/week that they actually want to know the answer and will listen to the few little things that happened. To be fair I have that person/persons to an extent. The extent tends to be limited by me because I’m afraid to start the conversation. Especially since I’m not a fan of texting and messenger as its not personal enough, how do I know a robot is contriving these responses through my online presence and what I’ve posted to the Internet in the last 9 years. I love phone calls its just personal enough where I can hear the persons voice but we don’t have to look at each other i.e. They won’t be watching me will I fidget with something and avoid eye contact with them. 

It might seem like a need I therapist and I probably do, but there is other things I need too and it is those very simple conversations that might seem insignificant to someone but mean the world to me. This week I’ve just been trying to avoid people altogether, I just felt really angry all day yesterday so I know if I came into contact with most people I would just yell  at them for no reason because I was filled with so much anger. I had to get Dexter to come out of the 4th year project room because the main thing I needed more than anything was a hug, and I knew he wasn’t going to judge me for wanting a hug which from primary school experiences I still feel like people will judge me for wanting a hug. I don’t want to build his ego up, like I tend to do whenever I mention him in these blogs, but I don’t think I give him enough credit for how much he helps me. He said to me yesterday that I need to trust people and that not everybody has some malicious hidden agenda where they’re intent on hurting me, some people are just genuinely caring/looking out for me. I think he’s the only person that I could confide in completely and not fear that he’ll judge me or think I’m weird in a bad way. He’s been the best friend I’ve made in this college and I wouldn’t have made it to 3rd year without him. Ok sentiment is over, he’s not on placement anymore so I can actually talk to him in person again, not that I’d say all this to him in person though!

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13 Reasons Why!!

I have never related so much to something. It is giving me both an exhilarating and a scared feeling. I mean I’m glad I found something that really gets it. Imagine how different my life could have been if I knew the book existed. The book came out 10 years ago. I have been suicidal for 10 years, maybe the book could have helped me. I’d have been able to see how much an effect a suicide can have on the lives of others and how there is a future. 10 years ago I definitely could have committed suicide and thought of 13 Reasons as to Why I did it. Up until I started college I could have done that. College changed everything. At least it did for a while. These suicidal tendencies don’t always go away completely. They are really dark, feelings that just can’t be gotten rid of. Anytime my life goes to shit or people treat me like shit I think about how much I wish it was all over. Mostly I’m fine. Mostly I either feel nothing or I feel everything. Oh the joys of being a bundle of depression and anxiety. I just get tired of everything or else sad for no reason. In those moments, it’s all stuff going on in my head and it’s my fault. That stuff I can handle. I can’t handle other people making me feel that way or making me feel paranoid. Since I was 9 years old, I have been made feel like an outsider. I have been ignored, not appreciated, undermined, and casually bullied. I say casually bullied because apparently statements that are said to you that might not necessarily mean sounding don’t count as bullying no matter how much they effect the victim. I was scared. I lost all trust in people and it takes a very long process for me to trust someone now and if that gets broken it won’t get repaired. I just believed that everyone was fake. Nobody really cared. When I was bullied in primary school it was emotionally manipulative. The bullies would always be like “Hi Sandra, how are you? Oh you’re good, that’s good! Listen I forgot to bring something in so can I borrow yours? I swear I’ll give it back just trust me. Aw thanks so much!!!” They would get in my face a bit and sometimes 3 or 4 of them would approach me at the same time. I didn’t have a choice really. If they wanted to “borrow” something that was mine I wasn’t allowed to say no. If I did they would just go up to the teacher and say that I’m not sharing. Of course one of the main things they aim to teach you in primary school is sharing because that’s caring and if you’re not sharing then you might as well pack your bags for your trip to hell or wherever all the bold children go. I grew up not being allowed to say no. I was afraid to say no. I got scared of being in trouble. I still find it hard to say no. As much as my mental illnesses are my problems and I can’t really play the blame game here, I think my childhood experiences should at least be some bit accredited to why I got so messed up.

I got made fun of for being too “boyish”. “What are you a boy?” I answered that question and said “You know sometimes I wish I was!” I said that for the plain and simple reason that I knew if I was a boy I wouldn’t be treated the way I was. I would have been respected, and allowed to play soccer at lunch with the boys and actually be part of a team instead of trying to fight for the ball and become a one woman team to prove that I could play. However when I said I’d rather be a boy, they used that as further fuel for the fire. They would just laugh. And laugh. And laugh. I’ve had to train myself to be ok to be around people when their laughing. For the last few years, I’ve wanted to be a comedian and make people laugh because everyone should be happy and I wouldn’t wish my shitty experiences on anyone. However, because of the years of being laughed at I got really insecure. Every laugh I heard even if it was really far away or obviously directed at something else, I felt it was directed at me. I’ve run to the bathroom on numerous occasions when I felt like a group of people were pointing a laughing at me in their little group of friends. Why else would they be laughing? It had to be me, surely they weren’t making jokes that were unrelated to me?

It was also 10 years ago that I became self-conscious about my weight. I can say this now because I’ve had a lot of weight issues and fluctuations, that I was tiny when I was 9. I was still skinny I had no bit of fat on me whatsoever, expect maybe in my face and I’m still trying to get rid of that. I got fat when I was going into secondary school, and the fact that I cycled to school I was heavier than almost every girl in my entire school, I was a big fat target for abuse.My massive school bag didn’t help with that either. I thought going to an all girls secondary school would give me freedom from the ridicule that boys had against me but alas that was not to be as my school was right next to the boys and the mixed secondary schools.  I got laughed at, mocked, yelled at, pelted with pebbles, and blocked from entering my estate. I got mocked so much one day when I was in 5th year that I started crying and when the guys who mocked me realised this, they got a bit quieter but still kind of laughed it off because they didn’t know how to react to the fact that their words had an effect on me. I was blinded by tears but kept cycling away because how could I stop when they were all still around. It’s really dangerous to cycle a bike, especially on a road with moving cars, when you can’t see. I didn’t care though I just wanted to get home as fast as I could and shut myself away in my room. As soon as I got into 5th year and my class room was located out in the prefab that no one ever checks in the evenings, I stayed behind at least half an hour before making an attempt to go home. I waited so that all the boys from the other schools were pretty much all gone home. I spent the last two years of secondary school hiding and trying to make myself as invisible as possible. I’ve fallen off my bike a few times cycling home from school and not once could those lads give any bit of sympathy. I could hear the roars of laughter coming from across the road. I was in first or second year when the worst fall happened. I was cycling up onto the footpath but the bike didn’t make it up on the curb and I fell onto the footpath after going at a bit of a speed and my massive school bag got flung over my head and pulled me down even harder and faster. Surprisingly enough I didn’t break my neck. I didn’t even really get that injured a few bruises on my body, and because of the laughter, a huge scar across my heart.

I hope this makes it somewhat easier to understand why I sometimes think about people in the way I do. Reasons I think that no one cares because no one ever really did. Back to the show, anyone who seemed like they might care were just like Clay, they knew what was happening and just stood on the sidelines not wanting to get involved or say anything. I’m glad I am past the worst of it. Anything I’ve been feeling since I started college are the after effects and repercussions of that life that I was forced to battle through. I’m glad I did. It was worth all the fighting. It was worth all the scars both external and internal. I feel like I’ve found my group of people. People who care about me. People who love me, even though they don’t admit it because they’re too cool/awkward to express certain emotions.  13 Reasons Why, made me remember all those events I was trying to forget. I’m happy that it reminded me because comparing those years to the present day it so motivating. If I can go from that horrible time with people who treated me like I was a voodoo doll trying to see how many pins they could stick in me before they stabbed every bit of my heart. I honestly think they wanted me to kill myself. I definitely said it at one point out of frustration at them and they didn’t really care they said stuff like “Yeah well I’d like to see you try.” They also would just shrug it off and be like “Yeah right, sure you will”. Even as a young impressionable child, I was mature and intelligent in everything that I did. I knew that if I did do something to myself that it wouldn’t change anything, except for the fact that I wouldn’t have to listen to them anymore which was nearly enough motivation for me to do it but if I was going to make such a big decision like that I wanted it to be for me, not for them. I didn’t want them to get the satisfaction that they were finally rid of me. I stuck around to annoy them because no matter what I did, they never liked me. Nobody thought they were doing anything wrong, even my friends agreed with them most of the time. I just needed to shut up because they “weren’t actually being mean at all”. I was just taking everything the wrong way and they were “obviously joking”.

At least I don’t have that anymore. I have people who care and I couldn’t be happier with the support system that I’ve developed in the past year and a half. With every smile and every hug I get from any of them I am so thankful that I stuck around and I know that I can’t leave now because why would I want to end this bliss that is my social life. It took me so long to get a social life and honestly it was worth the wait. I am loved. I’ve always wanted that and I never thought it would happen. It makes me so happy sometimes when I really start thinking about it. They like me, they really like me.

Why So Serious?

I’ve been told for years that I am serious. This was always meant in a bad way. I was always “too” serious and unable to take a joke. First of all boy (because it was typically boys who told me this) please explain to me how your  way of making me feel like complete shit is in any way a joke. I like to think of myself as someone well versed in comedy and what is and is not a joke. Those boys never made good jokes,  and very rarely they actually made something that could constitute as a joke. I went home crying in floods of tears while they went home laughing each day because once they had berated me for not “getting” the “joke” they would laugh their ass’ off all the way home. I was only in primary school and I was forced to go through this and my friends at the time were no help whatsoever. They even laughed along with those guys most of the time. They too would tell me either to lighten up a bit or laugh it off. They wouldn’t listen when I told them how the guys’ comments hurt me. They told me I was over-exaggerating and that those comments weren’t that mean so it’s impossible for you to actually be upset by them. Aren’t friends really something? This being the beginning of when I started to believe that no emotion or opinion of mine had any validity. 

It’s also why it took me so long to tell friends I made in the future anything that was wrong with me. I was scared of any friends I made. To me I felt like they could be the bullies if I gave them the opportunity but by bottling up all my emotions I never did. I realise now since sharing all my emotions with them, that they aren’t bullies they understand and accept my feelings and want to make me feel better. Although I still get worried that a friend could snap into that bully mode, intentional or not. Most jokes amongst friends are pretty much insults said in a way to make it funny i.e “It’s funny ’cause it’s true.” So either way if they do I might not notice straight away. 

I go into my serious mode when I am forced to. For the most part I am not serious at all I will laugh at the stupidest jokes and innuendos. When I’m alone I’m actually the goofy person I wish I could show myself as to others. I’m forced to get serious when I’m upset or offended. It’s a way to hide the fact that I’m probably on the verge of tears. I have always put up this front since I was about 6 so that no one would ask me the awkward question of what is wrong and for me to explain and for them to either not understand or just brush it off. If this serious thing is forced upon me by an unplanned occasion of someone causing me increased anxiety or upset, I can turn into one of the coldest,bitchiest people ever. I give very quick one word answers, or sometimes I won’t talk at all (Good luck trying to decifer when my quiet spells are related to this state). 

I tried to hold onto my naivety for as long as possible and I did but I felt like this seriousness aged me more than any scandalous or inappropriate thing could have. While I was naive, I was pretending for my sake. I actually knew a lot. No one needed to know how much I actually knew. When I was serious I always felt like a parent or a teacher. I very rarely used to get told that it wasn’t that I was overly serious, I was just mature. Well whatever you wanted to call it I felt like I was babysitting people for free for 12 years. I was usually the youngest or nearly the youngest in my class groups. I had to look past things that I didn’t agree with because I hated confrontation. I had to always try and be the bigger person (I’ve had weight issues since the age of 8 or 9 and was an early bloomer so it was very easy for me to be physically the bigger person). Anytime I lost my temper… wait I should change that.  Anytime I LOSE my temper I get laughed at. I still feel like I’m not allowed to get angry over things. Even as a child any temper tantrums I had were cut short by my mother. Even later on in life I was never allowed to express the emotion of anger in front of her without being given out to. Anger is one of the worst feelings to keep bottled up. Kids are supposed to throw tantrums and you denying them of that stunts their emotional growth so much. I had to hit myself when I was angry. It left no damage to anything and it wouldn’t make a loud thud when I would slap myself across the face, punch myself in the stomach or beat drum sticks off my thighs and shins. Luckily I don’t do that any more I just punch walls now the odd time. As in I’ve done it like 3 times and the worst time was when I was drunk and so uncontrollably angry. I’m trying not to make a habit of it. 

Being the “mature one” at such a young age helped me a lot intellectually I think but not so much fun wise. All my friends would be climbing trees and I would be too afraid to. So while they climbed I would walk around beneath the branches they were on saying “If you fall don’t say I didn’t warn you. Don’t come crying to me when your leg is broken”. Essentially I felt like the mom of the group although it was usually only when it came to safety not when it came to emotions. I would just sit there and listen intently if my friends ever had a problem I would rarely ever ask them what was wrong and if there was something I could do to help. I had no one who was like that for me and we didn’t really learn stuff like that in school so I didn’t understand how to deal with stuff like that. I still haven’t really learned. 

2016: Despite Everything, I Ain’t Down Yet!

I know we are all on the same page that 2016 was a bitch of a year, especially in respect to celebrity deaths. We lost so many famous faces and for the first time in 3 years some of these deaths hit me very hard. They weren’t just celebrities, they were creative influences, icons, and really phenomenal people. Alan Rickman passed away early on in the year and I felt really morose because he was a big part of my life. The first Harry Potter film was released when I was 3 and I think I saw it for the first time shortly after when it was released on VHS because I was too young to go see it in the cinema. His character when I was younger scared me quite a bit but that was only because he reminded me of my teachers which I was frightened of. By the time the 3rd movie came out and I found his character to be more like a protective figure than just a strict professor, I started to like his character and him a lot more. I used to watch behind the scenes videos and always see him laughing with the other actors on set. I don’t have many examples other than the Harry Potter films to base this off of but I really admired him as an actor. The death that effected me the most this year was that of Christina Grimmie in June. I had watched her videos for years and although at the time of her death I only rarely ever watched her videos, I would always go back and check in every now and again and smile when I saw her name in articles about her touring. I really hoped when I saw that she had died that it was a hoax. I was really hoping it was a death hoax. When I found out that it wasn’t I felt choked up and I was speechless. It took me hours to get my thoughts together on it. I cried for a long time, the only other time I had cried at a celebrity death at that point was Cory Monteith’s in 2013. I went back to her YouTube channel and listened to all the songs that I loved hearing her sing. Of course that only extended my crying fest. I really looked up to her, I even tried learning how to play piano because of her. Granted my skills are basic on the Yamaha keyboard I got one Christmas that I failed to attempt until I watched her videos years after receiving it.  Recently the deaths of Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds have upset me quite a bit. More so Debbie Reynolds. I have developed a love for Carrie Fisher since watching a few of video of her like her special ‘Wishful Drinking’, her interviews, and reading some of her quotes on mental health. I never watched Star Wars or anything she was in so I had less of a connection to her. However, I really respect her as a person and how strong she was. It makes me want to try and keep fighting through and battling my mental illnesses as best I can. Debbie Reynolds has always reminded me of my grandmother, and my grandmother is my absolute favourite family member. I first saw Debbie in the film Halloweentown which was released the year I was born, so it’s always been on TV when I was growing up. I loved her portrayal of Aggie Cromwell. As in she was the only character I really cared about for the most part. I would only really pay attention when she was on screen. I have since see some clips from some of her films in her early career like ‘Singing in the Rain’,’Tammy and the Bachelor’ and ‘The Unsinkable Molly Brown’. In ‘Molly Brown’ she sings a song called ‘I Ain’t Down Yet’ hence where the title of this blog comes from. Seeing all these gave me more respect and appreciation for her. When I found out she died I got really upset and I cried for a bit. Then because I was feeling overwhelmed I went outside for a cigarette and I broke down again while I was outside and I felt like I had been punched in the stomach.

That’s as much as I’m going to get into talking about what happened in the world because I think enough people have given out about Trump and all the other shit that this year had to offer. I’m going to reflect back on how this year was for me. I think the best way for me to describe it is that it’s been the best bad year I’ve ever had, because no year for me is ever good. This year brought many amazing people and opportunities into my life but it was also a very difficult year for me. First off I’m going to reflect on the New Years Resolutions I made last year. The first one was to lose weight and I think I actually did that. I did starve myself a bit but I had been doing for that in 2015 too but I guess it worked out better this time. I’ve since stopped that and worked on just have smaller meals spaced out instead of skipping two meals a day. My next one was to be a good P.R.O for the Radio Society and I think I did that. I mean we made it to BICS and one of the awards we were going for was heavily reliant on my work. Although we didn’t win the experience at the BICS Awards was amazing and I would love nothing more than to go back again in 2017, so here’s hoping!! My next resolution was to talk more on radio and I definitely did that. In February, my friend Jodi had me on her radio show to talk about my role as P.R.O. and I think that is still the best show I have ever recorded on radio and I’ve done a good few at this point. I was very sarcastic but I wasn’t being too harsh and I just had a good time doing that show. I think it really highlighted how much I had come out of my shell since starting college a few months prior.  I had only really just become good friends with Jodi around that time too so it made the whole atmosphere a lot more enjoyable because we got on very well and I could talk to her easily enough, which is my main problem when talking on radio I’m not a good conversationalist normally. The last of the main resolutions was for me to be a better friend and now this had two parts to it. The first part being more for myself to talk to my friends more and not be afraid to call them or message them if I had a problem that I needed to talk to someone about or else just to talk to them because I wanted to. I’m always afraid that I will be bothering them so I just never do. This is something I haven’t improved upon this year at all. I will still sit in my room and feel really alone even though it could easily be fixed if I talked to someone. The other part of that resolution was for me to actively be a better friend. Make sure I complimented my friends more, let them know how important they are to me, help them with anything and stress the point to them that they could talk to me about anything. That part of the resolution I really think I did a lot better on. Like I say in almost every blog I write, nothing makes me happier than seeing someone I care about smile or laugh. Selfishly I always want to be the reason for that, but even if I’m not who cares because they are happy and that is more important than anything. One of my resolutions that I was trying to continue from 2015 was to be funnier and while I do think I try a bit hard sometimes, I think the jokes I make are coming to me a lot more naturally and I know my friends in college well enough at this point to make jokes that really cater to them. I felt a lot more accepted than I did last year. For first semester of college I felt a bit out of place for a while but I felt like I really found my place in second semester.

I think I would attribute that to being on the radio society committee. I felt like I had a voice. I felt kind of in charge. I know I wasn’t chairperson or anything but I did strike a bit of fear into our chairperson. He saw me when I was extremely stressed and angry when it came to filling out forms for BICS. It’s nice to know that Dexter is still a a bit scared of me even though we don’t work on the committee together anymore. He helped me the most this year through everything. Through the stress of those forms and through my anxiety attacks. He always asked me if I was ok. He always wanted to make sure I was happy. He also never wanted to let me down, which I don’t think he could possibly ever do. This semester though he’s really been there for me when I needed him which is both great and awful. Great, because I really needed him. Awful, because he’s going to be gone the next 8 months. I don’t know what I’m going to do with myself. He was much too good to me, at times when I didn’t even deserve it. I could have yelled at him about something and instead of getting angry back he wouldn’t say anything for a while and when I calmed down he’d asked me what was really wrong. I usually just said stress with assignments. Since I have dedicated an entire blog to him recently I will end my praises with one final thing. Dexter, I cherish our friendship so much and I can’t wait for you to kick ass as station manager of Wired FM.

I also became better friends with Stan this year. I really appreciate his humour and I think we just get on really well. We’re the two in our class who don’t do our work until last minute. We skip a lot of the same classes and we can be bad influences with each other and convince the other to also skip the class. I actually learn a lot from him, whether it’s pop culture, sports, social or political issues, there’s always something. He’s the person I tell everything to even when he’s tired of hearing me go on about the same things time and time again. He gives me shit for it sometimes but I know it comes from a place of caring.

I want to take a minute to thank my roommates, or housemates whatever you want to call them. I’m very grateful for you putting up with me, your support and thank you with dealing with me when I’m acting crazy. You girls make me laugh so much and ye made the transition of moving out of home so much easier. I promise that this year I will help clean more, I know I wasn’t helping out a lot. Thank you for being good friends to me and I’m looking forward for these last few months until we all move out in May. I dread that day so much, so for now let’s just live in the moment and have a good time in Apartment 8 aka the best apartment in Oakfield!!

Someone who I feel like I’ve spent most of my time with this year is Jodi. Seeing as I had maybe a total of like 4 conversations with her this time last year, it sort of surprised me a little. To be fair, I think the best friendships always happen unexpectedly. I expect that all that time spent with me she is probably glad to have a break from me at the moment.  I know you’ll be super busy this semester so feel free to tell me fuck off at any point.  Also remember that if you want to talk to me about anything I’m always there and don’t you dare apologize again for crying in front of me, if something is upsetting you let me be there to listen and/or turn those tears in laughter asap.Since you make me laugh so much, because I think you’re hilarious, I think I should try and return the favour! As part of one of my New Years Resolutions I want to let go of my fear of embarrassing myself so if me doing something that would embarrass myself in some way would make you laugh I’ll do it. I’m embarrassed by a lot of things, so girl you have a lot to choose from. (I can also be hired for small parties and corporate functions.) Also I’m sorry for when I was being a massive bitch and upsetting you during the year, well it really during the past few months. I will spend this year making it up to you and making sure I don’t do anything like that again.

While this year has had many highlights like the BICS Awards, Sports and Socs Ball, College Ball, Pink Training, March for Education etc., there has been some bumps in the road. My mental health went to absolute shit this year and I mean to the point where I was like “Who is this crazy bitch?” I’ve had I think about 4 fully fledged anxiety attacks this year and they’ve all happened in college. I’ve probably had a lot of little ones which I either had when I was alone or else I kept it to myself so no one knew anything was wrong. I started cutting myself in about May or June and continued to do so up until September on my first night out of Freshers Week where my friend started crying so much because of what I had done to myself.  She was also fairly drunk and is prone to crying a lot anyways but I would still like to lessen that happening as much as I possibly can. I knew if I stopped that it would make sure that an incident like that wouldn’t happen again. So I did stop and I haven’t cut myself since. I like to compare that moment of us in the chipper where she cried at my scars to the scene in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets where Fawkes’ tears heal the massive gash on Harry’s arm caused by the Basilisk. Not that my scars healed immediately but had I not stopped cutting at that time I probably never would have stopped. So luckily now I don’t have any permanent scars from that time, well at least not any that are easy to see. I like to think they are all gone but I can still see the faint lines on my skin, they turned into white scars which I already have enough of on my body with the stretch marks I have everywhere. I have been fairly suicidal this year not that it’s something I have talked much about. It’s not really a great topic of conversation. I’ve been doing good though like the last few weeks. Probably because I finally started using anti-depressants. I’m still trying to figure out whether they are actually helping or whether it’s like the placebo effect where I think they should help me so I feel like they are but really it’s all in head. Well technically it all is anyway, my head is where all the problems lie.

I know I haven’t really talked that much about the good things that happened during the year but most of them have been put into a blog that you can just go and read. If they’re not in a blog then they are just memories that I’m keeping to myself, in other words they are videos I recorded on snapchat of my friends that just make me happy that I have them in my life. They are just a constant source of joy and entertainment. So I’m going to talk about my resolutions for this year and let’s hope I can be better this year in some way!!

2017 Resolutions:

  1. Stop taking myself so seriously-I need to learn to laugh at myself more and get over my fear of embarrassment because it holds me back a lot. Sure there’s times where I’d love to dance around like nobody’s watching but I just don’t want to look stupid in front of people.  I need to let that go. Look stupid in front of people. Like why does there opinion matter if I’m having fun? It doesn’t. Remember that!
  2. Focus on college-Girl, I need to stay in college or I will have nothing. I love it there and I don’t want to give it up because I have difficulty focusing. Pick up the slack this semester, because repeating isn’t an option.
  3. Learn to deal with being alone-I have a fear of both abandonment and being alone. So when I’m alone, I get really depressed. I have a constant need to always be around people and when I’m not I kind of freak out, like a lot. I get inside my own head and tell myself why I’m alone “It’s because they all hate you!” Sometimes it can go to the realm of insanity where I ask myself “Are you sure there ever was people? You have actually been alone the last 18 years, you just imagined that these other people were there!” Luckily the latter thought is very rare.
  4. Work on making myself better-I think I’ve spent the last 2 years saying I will try and make myself better, but I want this to be the year where I really start doing something about it. The year is already off to a good start, so I need to try and keep it up!!

 

 

 

I’m Losing My Memory

I’ve noticed over the past few months that my memory is getting worse and worse. For the most part I think it is attributed to my alcohol consumption as I have gone out at least once a week for almost every week since September.  It’s gotten a lot worse recently probably because I had a lot to drink over 3 nights in a row last week. I find it really hard to remember some parts of Pink Training. Like I took a snapchat of my friend dancing away in Chambers and I had no recollection of it and was really surprised to see it on my story the next day. It scares me when I can’t remember things. I usually have one of the best memory’s when it comes to nights out or any event in general. I can remember the smallest of details that everyone else always forgets ever happened.

I went out Thursday night and since I had no money I had to do all my drinking before the night club. I don’t know if I’ve ever been that drunk before. Even my drunk weekend seemed tame in comparison. I was over drinking at my house for a while before going to over to the 4th years place. I was langers when I got there. I was outside smoking a cigarette at one point and I kind of fell against the wall and said “I’m seriously drunk and I hate it.” I went back over the my place after a while to go to the bathroom and my roommate wouldn’t let me go back to the 4th years until I downed 2 pint glasses of water. It did nothing. Refreshing yes, but that is the extent of the help it gave me. We eventually went to Fabrik and for the first time ever I wasn’t asked for ID going in there. I had already bought my ticket so I could walk right in without queuing to pay. I told Jodi I was going to the bathroom and I’d see her inside. When I left the bathroom I couldn’t find anyone for what felt like ages. I got really upset and frustrated because I just felt really lost on my own and it was really busy there too so I was anxious as fuck. I felt like their was a war going on inside of brain,heart,liver and stomach all night. All locked away not to be shared with a soul. Even if I had told someone how I was feeling I really don’t think they would have understood the full extent of it. I don’t even fully understand it.

I’d say my favourite part of the night was the walk home. I was with Jodi,Tab and Stan. I was really walking with Jodi as Tab and Stan were a bit ahead of us. I was told today that there was people I met at the Fabrik last night that I don’t remember meeting. Anyways as we were walking home we were belting out the chorus of Robbie Williams song ‘Angels’, as well as listening to a few other songs while we walked. I was definitely happiest in that moment. I noticed as we began to leave town and head home that I was being really needy and clingy. I just kept linking my arm with Jodi’s. I don’t know was it because I hadn’t seen her all day until I went to the 4th years house. I don’t know did I feel like I was going to fall over. I don’t know what was wrong with me. As happy as I was with them, I was relived to be back at the house so I could get to bed. Stan was staying on my couch and I didn’t go into the sitting room so I only found out today that Dexter was also sleeping there. I didn’t even know he was in the house. I didn’t even see him all night. I went up to my room anyway still smiling and happy from the walk home. That was until I turned the light on in my room and closed the door. I just looked at my empty bed and got really sad. I felt lonely. I wish I had someone to share it with, although it’s only a single bed. Nothing sexual or anything because I’m not about that. I just wanted someone to hold me and make me feel safe. Make me feel loved and cared for. I don’t know why I’ve gotten really upset about not being in a relationship. I know this happens ever now and again but the idea of someone actually being in love with me, and it not some cruel joke someone plays on me to mess with my emotions,is still just a mere fantasy. As the months go by I feel as though this could remain a fantasy for a very long time. Due to the fact that I’m not really into the whole having sex thing, my ultimate wish from a physical point of view is someone who will hug me forever. From an emotional point of view all I want is someone who cares a lot about me, adores me as much as I adore them, makes me laugh, helps me through my anxious and depressive states, tells me stories, talks a lot and let’s me just sit there and listen. I guess I just need to be patient. I’ll have that someday. I deserve to have that someday right?

Pink Training 2016!

I don’t think I have the words to properly describe what that weekend was but I will try to paint the picture of it as best as I can. It was the most amazing weekend of my life and I can’t be more thankful that I had the opportunity to go. It was the 1st time in a really long time where I was at an event and I didn’t feel insecure at all. For those of you who don’t know, Pink Training is a 3 day long event run by the USI in relation to the LGBTQIA+ community and discussing current issues affecting the community and learning more about other identities that we may not know much about. I didn’t really get too excited about going. Mostly because if I get too excited about something it usually ends up going to shit. I got nervous about going to it alright. I’m not a stranger to being out and proud but it is still a secret to the likes of my parents and family. I made sure when I started college that everyone knew that I was gay, or at the time bisexual. Only one person ever seemed to have a problem with it and they have since ceased in their detest for it.

As proud of my sexuality as I am, there is still issues I always have with it and there is ways in which I hide it. I never think about my sexuality a lot and it is something I always push to the back of my mind. In fact, I thought I might like girls from the age of like 12 and didn’t think it was something I needed to waste my time thinking about so I just forgot about it. It wasn’t until I was 15 or 16 that I started to learn about what being gay really was and that I actually could be a lesbian. On a daily basis, I do tend to hide half of my sexuality because of the negative stereotypes and misunderstandings that go along with it. That is the fact that I am asexual and if I tell anyone that they just want to tell me that I’m wrong and when the right person comes along I will change my mind. They think that because I’m asexual I can’t be attracted to girls and my lesbian status is wrong. I am romantically attracted to girls and I do have sexual thoughts towards some of these girl crushes it doesn’t make me any less asexual and being asexual doesn’t make me any less of a lesbian.

So back to Pink Training. We started off by registering. We ended up getting a bag full of free things, a t-shirt which has a quote by Oscar Wilde on it that says “Be yourself;everyone else is already taken”, we got wristbands that say “I’m an LGBT ally”, and we got lanyards where we wrote our name, pronouns, and our college. The pronouns being on them was really wonderful to see because it erases the need to try and awkwardly ask and you can skip right to the stage of respecting what someone’s pronouns are from the beginning. Like if someone asked me what my pronouns are it would make me feel somewhat insecure like I think “Do I not look like a girl?” At the same time that isn’t exactly how I should be thinking because what does it mean to look like a girl but when you are the gender you are and you accept and identify yourself as that gender you just feel like everyone else should be able to see that too. It’s also the fact that as a cis female I have been mis-gendered more than once so I feel really strongly about using the correct pronouns for everyone because that mis-gendering stuff feels really shit.

After registration we got free pizza and then since we had registered so early and that was on for 2 hours we went to the room where the first talk was on in and watched them set up the speakers and microphones and stuff. While this was happening  one of the guys working for USI was just playing a videos on the projecter and we were just pissing ourselves laughing. Eventually the talk was starting so we got our seats up in one of the middle rows of the lecture hall that it was on in. As eager as we were about Pink Training we weren’t eager enough to stay sitting in the front row. I loved the welcome talk so much it was really during that talk that I really started to get excited about Pink Training. Also that my love for one of the USI members is still intact and stronger than ever. We didn’t have really many talks on the Friday it was mostly and introduction so we for all of Friday we just had the welcome talk, icebreakers and then a Lip Sync Battle. On the lanyards we got a important person in the LGBT+ community written on the back of each one e.g. Laverne Cox, Ellen Degeneres,Harvey Milk etc. There was rooms marked with a photo and description of who the person was an whoever’s name was on the back of our lanyards was the room we had to go to for our icebreakers. I got the Panti Bliss room. The icebreaker was a bingo game where it had things like “Is a Ravenclaw”, “Actually likes the taste of vodka”, “Has a crush on someone at Pink Training”. The whole point of it was that we had to go talk to the other people in the room in hopes that we could say yes to one of the boxes on our bingo sheet and we could cross it off and write their name on underneath where we marked it off. It was fun actually and I usually really hate icebreakers. We went back into the main room of the Training which was the Harvery Milk room and we watched the Lip Sync Battle. We learned a lot about Harvey Milk over the weekend and before then I had never heard of him but now I’m really interested to learn even more about him because his story is really interesting and I’ve always been very curious in the LGBT+ community in the 20th century. The Lip Sync battle was amazing but due to unforeseen circumstances it was cut short and we watched the rest of the acts on Sunday. It was hosted by one of the local drag queens and I realized this weekend that I love drag queens. They just make me so happy.

When that finished up we drove back to the hostel to get ready for our first night out in Cork. Unlike most colleges we drove to the event and I think it made it much better because if we had to rely on public transport I’d say we would have missed talks because we would not have gotten up in time for the bus. Also the drives up and down were a really great part of the weekend. We got to the hostel and I was given a top bunk. I didn’t ask for one but I secretly wanted one more than anything. As soon as I got up there I think I was really happy. I was sitting up there Saturday morning and Jodi looked up at me, which was a first, and was like “I have never seen you more happy than when you’re sitting up there. Like you have not stopped smiling since you got up there.” The room was really small but luckily it was only the 6 of us from our delegation that were in the room so it wasn’t that bad. It just meant that I couldn’t always leave the room when I wanted to and I kept having to delay it because there was nowhere for me to walk. I just sat up on my bunk pretending like I was getting ready. It doesn’t take me that long to get ready anyways so it wasn’t that much of a hindrance. I did have to use alternative sides of the bed to get down that weren’t the designated ladder but I didn’t fall once (thank god). While we were getting ready one of my friends in my class sent me a message saying that she showed her friend a photo of me and she thought I was “gorgeous”, which made me feel like this was a joke message because who the fuck would think that about me. I knew it wasn’t a joke because my friend wouldn’t do that but anyways the girl was looking for my number. I knew I didn’t want to give her my number but I still wasn’t completely sure what to do so I showed it to Jodi and she read it out to the room. The entirety of my delegation was like “Message her back right fucking now and get that number!” I messaged my friend back anyway and said I didn’t feel comfortable giving her my number because I didn’t know anything about her bar her first name. Also I didn’t want to be thinking about that while I was going out because I was really hoping this weekend I would get my first ever shift but that never happened. At least some people got that lucky this weekend!!!

So we eventually called a taxi to get into town from our hostel. We had a little bit to pre drink but we had to leave so that we would be in before half past 11 because they had free entry until then. We didn’t make it in in time but entry was only €3 so it wasn’t that bad. So I had my first experience with Chambers and I fucking loooooooved it!!!!! Until I went there I thought I hated nightclubs, I still probably hate most of them but I love Chambers. The music wasn’t bad and I had waaay too much to drink that night. At least I had one drink paid for. That was by a girl that I met at BICS in April and who I referred to in that blog as Hedgehog, so I’m sticking with that as her name for the rest of this too. (Alternative title for this blog was ‘The Return of Hedgehog’ but I didn’t want this blog to be all about her, I think someone else would might a much better one than I ever could about her). I spent all night in the nightclub with my delegation, Hedgehog, and a guy who was at Pink Training that I have been friends with since I was 5 and I had not seen him since March so I was really happy that he was there. I can’t even remember what drinks I had that night but that’s mostly because I wasn’t the one who ordered them. I just gave someone money to get me whatever shot they were getting. All in all Friday was a good night. We got back to the hostel and I went up to my bunk first because somebody wasn’t ready to go to bed yet because apparently one would regret sleeping in jeans, but not me I didn’t regret it someone else felt like they would have and told me I would too. I was literally lying down covers over me and everything and then I hear that Jodi and two of the girls were going out for a cigarette and I sprung out of bed and I was like “Wait for me I want to have one too!!” After our cigarette we went back upstairs and were getting ready for bed. A teddy that Jodi had bought earlier that day was kicked out of the bed. There is a story behind this teddy and it makes me laugh so much. So when we arrived in Cork we were there a few hours before registration started so we went to the Wilton shopping centre. We went into Penneys and you know we were shopping around getting things that we needed like unicorn bracelets and some stuff we didn’t need like fake eyelashes. We were looking at the gift section of the shop where they were selling customized cups and mugs and stuff and Jodi sees this little penguin teddy there all on it’s own and it made her feel sad she was like “Where’s his family? I need to go find his family!” She looked for the family for the bones of 30 seconds and gave up but wouldn’t let go of the teddy. If she couldn’t find his family then he was coming home with her, and that’s exactly what happened. Even though when we were in the queue she did actually see a place where there was a load of these small Christmas teddies, at that point she had developed an emotional attachment to him and had to buy him at that stage because there was no turning back. She walked out of their then and was like “I don’t know why I did that. I don’t need him. I couldn’t leave him there but like why did I just buy him?” Anyways as the day progressed the teddy later became known as Fred, I think it was a very apt name. So when he got kicked out of bed Friday night I felt bad for him. Once he got the name I really felt like he became part of the delegation. Also I usually have a teddy at home so I found comfort in having one while I was there. Especially seeing as I had no person to actually cuddle with, I had to deal with what I was given. I am sure though that anyone who had someone to actually cuddle with there had a much better night than I did. I got really emotional Friday night when I went to bed after my cigarette so I kind of had a bit of a short,silent cry before I actually went to sleep and no it had nothing to do with me sleeping in an unfamiliar place or anything like that I just felt lonely in a room of 6 people.

So Saturday morning was not very fun when waking up. I was so tired but thank god all I had to was throw on a t-shirt and wipe off my make-up. I went to a lot of talks on Saturday but there is a few I regretted not going to. From the ones I did go to though I learned how to run a kick-ass society, the link between repeal the 8th and LGBT+ rights, and decoding bisexual stereotypes. I loved that bisexual talk so much because there is so many stupid stereotypes surrounding bi people and they infuriate me more than anything else so if you think that they are representative of what it means to be bisexual than I will physically fight you you fucking ignorant bastard. We then got a talk from Microsoft because they were sponsoring PT and honestly I couldn’t complain especially when I saw the speaker from Microsoft. As in Jodi, Hedgehog and I were all sitting next to each other and just weak for the speaker, she was insanely pretty and the American accent really helped, or at least it really did for Jodi. We then got a talk from a guy who had a history with the gay rights movement in Cork and really pointed out how much Cork is involved in the movement which I never realised until his talk. We then made our way back to the hostels to get ready for night 2. I decided I would wear a dress because why the fuck not? While I didn’t really feel insecure over the weekend, there was a few points where I felt less secure about myself because of someone else. Someone who I found out is the same clothes size as me, has a really fucking attractive body and then there’s me with nothing to offer anyone unless they want to cuddle a fucking human marshmallow, which no one obviously fucking does. (Sorry that sentence came off angrier than I intended it too.) The people in my delegation really liked the dress when I showed it to them and when I wearing it they said I looked nice. That was the start and end of any compliments I received during the weekend, it’s not like I expected any.

We left the hostel to go to the bar where we were meeting all the other delegates for the Pink Party. There was giant Jenga, finger food, and more importantly there was a bowling alley on the second floor. The place seemed unreal. We had to be at the bar around half 8 after getting back to the hostel at around 7 so there was no time for pre-drinking, much to everyone’s dismay except mine because I’m a lightweight.  So when we got to the bar, Jodi and I went to a nearby off licence so that she could buy a naggin of vodka. It was down a not very well lit alley way and because she was nervous for just the two of us to walk down there she said “Should we get a lad to go with us?” To which I responded being “We don’t need a fucking lad!!!” So we made our way there fine but Jodi had to do a bit of a jog back because she was still a bit scared about that alley way. We got back to the bar and Jodi ordered a 7-up and we went upstairs so that she could go to the bathroom to mix it with her naggin. She was acting as if she was doing something illegal like it felt like we about to plan a heist or throw a cherry bomb down the toilet or something.  We went back down and met up with the rest of our delegation and headed towards Chambers. We made it there just in time for free entry. Also I was happy I wasn’t as drunk as the Friday night because I had to show my age card, student card and lanyard and I would have not been able to do that if I was any more inebriated. I think I had the best night that night because while we were in there I got to meet the USI president and I think I died and went to heaven. I can’t remember the last time I was that incredibly happy. We didn’t even talk for that long. I told her that I saw her at the Education March a few weeks ago and I loved her speeches from that and she immediately goes “Have you contacted your local TD yet? You’d better contact them as soon as you get home. Promise me that.” I told her that I will but we’ll just leave it at that. While I was talking to her and just on cloud nine, Jodi was standing nearby with one of the other USI officers and she says to him “Look over there, look at Sandra.” He goes “What has her so happy?” Jodi just says “Because of who she’s talking to.” I think he then just rolled his eyes. I then had a shot with the USI president and another officer, I think it was sambuca. After I was done with that interaction with the USI president, which two days later I’m still on a high from, I ran straight over the Jodi and hugged her, kissed on the cheek and was like “Thank you so much!!!!!” Jodi then said that even more than when I was sitting up in the top bunk of the bed in the hostel, she had never ever seen me more happy then that moment in Chambers. I don’t know if I had ever been that happy before but I loved it. I love that the happiness hasn’t subsided yet. I also got a selfie with her so I can always relive that moment. We were in Chambers for another while and then we headed back to the hostel.

This is where I brought the happiness to a halt. I don’t know why but I got the idea into my head that I would be cuddling Jodi that night, like why would I think  when I’m you know human marshmallow and all that, but I got really upset when I found out that it was not to be. I had no right to be upset. I had no reason to be upset. I just remember we were both outside our room in the hallway and as I go to the room door I just said like “Go fuck yourself Jodi!” She says to me in a sort of calm voice, “Sandra, stop it. We never said that was going to happen.You can’t get upset about this” Again I go “Just go fuck yourself”. She said “Are you going to be angry at me in the morning?” I kind of smirked because I’m not used to being angry like that and she said straight away “Ha you’re smiling, you’re not mad at me at all.” If anything I think this made me more upset and I don’t know why so I just started saying “Do whatever the fuck you want I don’t care anymore you can fuck off!” Then she said something that kind of broke my heart she was like “Do you want me to start crying?” I completely switched and I ran up to her and I was like “Please don’t cry. I’m sorry. I really don’t want you to cry I was being stupid.” I think I had said sorry but it’s hard to remember. A lot was happening in the space of a few minutes. So then I gave her a hug and she started bawling crying. All weekend I never felt any bit sick but in that moment I actually felt so sick to my stomach with myself. I felt evil. I felt like I had done the worst thing, which I did. I hurt someone who has never hurt me. It didn’t matter that I was drunk, that is no excuse. I was an utter bitch. So while I was hugging her and she was crying she tried to let go and said “I’m fine.” I said in a sad sort of soft voice, “No you’re not.” Still crying she said “You’re right, I’m not” So I hugged her for a bit longer and shortly after that she stopped crying. We did make up before we actually went to bed but I again silently cried myself to sleep but that night it was worse because I knew I had fucked up. You know what I didn’t deserve to cuddle anyone that night. I didn’t even deserve Fred, the penguin teddy, but I had him nonetheless.  I don’t think I said anything about it the next day because we were so busy for most of the day so I think I kind of blocked it out. I thought about it in the car but I didn’t want to bring down the vibe of the car journey home and also I only wanted to say it to Jodi. I sent her a message when I got home because I couldn’t sleep without properly apologising. I am really sorry about what happened and I feel like I am coming very close to strike 3 in this friendship so I’m worried if I fuck up once more that’s it. She’ll say “gone good luck” to me and that’ll be it. I know I’m being a little paranoid but my biggest fear, even more than spiders or the many other things I am extremely fearful of, is losing her as a friend and I will try my hardest to make sure I don’t ever fuck up again because I fucking hate this feeling and I hate what I did. Now all I can do is apologise, prove that it won’t happen again, and try to show her that I’m not a complete fuckwad.

Sunday morning I woke up and everyone was rushing around packing their bags which I had pretty much done all of the night so I know I had time to keep lying there and not doing anything. I think I got hit twice to get the fuck up and then I got a pillow thrown at me by one of the girls and I threw it back at her and was told that if I didn’t get up straight away she would go over to my bunk and attack me. So I sat up immediately and was like “I’m up, you can’t attack me now!” I ended up just throwing my jeans on and sitting up there while I watched everyone else rush to get things done. Like I was ready to go before anyone else really. Yet none of us would have left in time for the only talk I was actually really excited to go to which was “Asexuality 101” the first of our cars that went would have gotten there half way through the talk and I didn’t go then because I’d rather have been in that talk from the start, I couldn’t walk in half way through into that talk. When Jodi knew that I was missing it I just said to her “Well there’s nothing I can really do about it now. It’s fine!” I was in the room for ages with Jodi and Hedgehog and the whole time I was still just sitting up in my bunk. Jodi was like “Are we all ready to go?” To which Hedgehog says “Sure Sandra isn’t ready to go she’s still up in bed!” So I tried to be cool and really fucking smooth and jump over the railing of my bunk on the ground below and I landed successfully. However, I really hurt my shoulders when I jumped from the bed because I was holding onto the railing of both my bed and the one across from it. So when I jumped down I felt like I was going to pull my arms out of their sockets. As soon as I landed I laid down in the bottom bunk until my shoulders stopped hurting which took a couple of minutes. It would have been nice if they were more concerned about the fact that I could have dislocated one or both of my shoulders but sure look and sure listen I was fine. I didn’t need anyone to care. It just shows what happens when I try to be smooth and show off. It ends up making me look stupid.

We got into the college in time for about half an hour of the safe spaces. Each identity had their own room so like there was a gay safe space, a bi safe space, a transgender safe space etc. So I wasn’t really in the mood to go into one of these talks alone,I wasn’t with anyone who was my orientation and I was torn between going to the lesbian space or the asexual space. I just went with Jodi into the bisexual safe space and I really loved it. The speakers in their were amazing and like I really just loved the atmosphere of the room and hearing all the different stories. If anything I think that that was the best talk of PT bar anything that went on in the main lecture hall when we were all together. We had the rest of the Lip Sync battle and it kind of woke us up a bit. Then it was followed by the very emotional goodbye talk. As in the president of USI started to cry towards the end of her speech and I fucking lost it. I couldn’t deal. Also just the idea that Pink Training was ending I was an emotional wreck leaving that lecture hall. We then went and got a group photo taken with us all in our different colour t-shirts that we were given which were made up of the colours the rainbow. We got our lunch and then decided to head off after saying a few goodbyes. We went out to the car and we were there for a bit before we actually left but in a few ways I was very happy to be heading home. We stopped for McDonalds in Mallow on the way home and I found out that I had some sort of drink Saturday night that had brandy in it and I didn’t even know. To be fair I feel like my memory of this weekend is really bad. I honestly think that I drank too much and it’s taking me far longer to remember all the little details that I usually do after a night out.

As relieved as I was to finally get home, it was still a sad time especially since there was no one in my house when I got back. Also as soon as I walked in the door all I could hear was voices inside my head. It started off with just the voices of who I was just in the car with and then it became voices of everything that happened over the weekend whether they were conversations I had been involved in or not, I could just hear all of these different voices and some I did not recognise. They started getting louder and louder and I felt like I was going to break down. All I wanted to do was hit my head and try to get my brain to shut up, but luckily I resisted. Thankfully my mom called about 45 minutes into my crisis and while I didn’t tell her what happened, it did get the voice to start to quiet down and eventually disappear.

I waited for one of my roommates to come home and talked to her for a bit before I went to bed. I slept for 11 hours. When I awoke the Monday morning I think I felt really happy. I never wake up happy unless I have plans in which I’m really excited for. I didn’t get into college until like 20 past 11. I had a really good day at college, even better than usual. I did only go to one of the three classes I had but that’s a normal Monday recently. Jodi actually went to college even though I really thought that she wouldn’t because she didn’t have to be in. We actually saw a lot of each other today which I thought was really weird because I thought that she would definitely have had enough of me after the weekend. In the smoking area I actually congratulated her on surviving the weekend with me. I brought up the fact that I was going to write this blog and she told me not to write some things in this and I respected that and told her I wouldn’t. The main reason being that all throughout Pink Training it was always said that not everyone wants what they were doing at Pink Training out on the internet because the whole point of the Training was that it was a safe space where everyone’s privacy should be respected so that’s why I kept some things out of this. Another big reason being is that she is my friend and if she really doesn’t want me to write something on here then I won’t because what good would that do anyone. It’s not like these things I would’ve have written had any relation to me. She is the only one who has the right to share them. However, she did tell me also tell me not to write about our fight because it would just make her cry, and that’s the only thing I said no to her on. That fight was all my fault. It was me being a complete bitch. This is part of my therapy process. I can’t only deal with the good parts of the weekend, the one bad thing that happened needs to be mentioned too so that it is out of my system and I can actually move on from it because if I don’t I could overthink about it for months and really bring myself down about it.  However, today despite those post PT blues we both got on as normal and I made her laugh a lot which is always my favourite thing to do especially since the most difficult thing for me to do is to get Jodi to properly laugh out loud at something I say instead of just a giggle or something like she usually does. So she was on Facebook and a post came up about Pokemon of which she knows very little about. It was about having hope in yourself because something as useless as a Magikarp can turn into something as strong as a Gyarados. So she found this funny but didn’t fully understand it so I described Magikarp in a way I knew would make her laugh, I said “All Magikarp fucking did was flop around, he did fuck all!!” While saying that I was moving my hands like a fish would moves it’s fins when it’s out of water and flopping all around the place. I gave her a hug when she was leaving and she tried to break off that hug but because today wasn’t the best day for her I knew she needed a longer hug so I didn’t let go for a little bit after that. When she was getting her bag and going to leave she said that she did really need that hug. I honestly think that was the only long hug where it wasn’t because I was being needy, I was actually trying to do it selflessly because I think she needed it more than I did.

I have come away from Pink Training a bit confused like I was when I started college last year. I feel like I could actually be bisexual, with more preference towards women. I’d still be asexual though so like dicks still repulse me more than anything on this entire planet. So maybe I’m not really bisexual but that’s for me to continue to try and figure out. I’m really proud after coming away from Pink Training with questions because I really thought I was at the point where I was dead certain on what I identified as. That’s the thing though sexuality can be fluid so this will probably be a constant thing I question for the rest of my life but at least now, compared to a few years ago, I actually do know that there is women I’m attracted to and I know a few things about them that I’m attracted to. Pink Training is just to help me progress through this journey of sexuality.#ProgressInPink

Mental Illness Take 6: What’s New?

This week has been filled with more downs than ups. However, there is moments this week that have made me smile more than I have in ages and they just make me so happy to think about. If only they weren’t overshadowed by the negativity that has surrounded me this week. This has been a very stressful week to the point where I started to bottle my emotions again. I didn’t want to tell anyone what I was really thinking. Everyone has such a busy week, no one would have had time to listen me and my problems.  The main thing that has been lingering on my mind all week is that it has been a year since I got sexually harassed on the bus home one night from college. I didn’t really tell anyone I was thinking about it because at the time that it happened and for a good few months after it, I wouldn’t stop talking about it. I don’t think anyone really understands the extent to how much that affected me and I’m afraid that no one ever will. Since being at college, and especially over the past few months, I’ve had to try and make myself laugh at sexual jokes and innuendos. I was never comfortable with them and never really found them funny. Now I actually do find them funny, for the most part. There is jokes that I will make but it’s more because I know it will make someone else laugh because it’s really witty and quick. Also I like the look on Jodi’s face when I make certain jokes of an explicit nature because it’s really my motivation to keep saying things like that. Also it reminds me that I am actually intelligent. I’ve felt like an idiot my entire life but the friends I have at college make me feel as though I’m actually not stupid. They believe that I deserve to be at college. They have faith in me getting my assignments done and it’s always nice to  know that someone thinks you can succeed when you maybe having doubts about what you’re really capable of.

While I have now gotten used to these kinds of jokes, it doesn’t mean that the topic of sex and all things related to that is something I’m used to or like to talk about. I don’t mind of someone talks about it but in certain situations don’t expect me to want to listen. The way that some people talk about it make me want to physically get sick and I do need to walk away when theses things conversations get too much. I’m not sorry that I need to leave. At least I have the decency to leave instead of telling you to shut the fuck up because sometimes it gets so much that I nearly would do that. It’s worse depending on how I’m feeling that day too.  The last few weeks have been nothing but stress, anxiety and insecurities. Last week was the midterm and usually when I am away from my friends I get fairly depressed and there’s nothing I can really do about it, I just have to sit around and wait for it to pass. Luckily last week, while I had some dark days but not for the whole week. I just tried to focus on getting back to Tralee and getting to escape my parents. I was counting down the days until I got to go back and I left on one of the earliest buses I could. I was really happy to back with all my roommates on Sunday night, and I felt for the first time in over a week that I could breathe. I didn’t feel like at any moment the walls would start closing in on me, which seems to be the only way I can describe my week at home as feeling like. My mom wasn’t suffocating me and trying to get my attention all day everyday but it wasn’t any bit relaxing to be at home except for the fact that I could sleep for as long as I wanted to. While I was tired at the start of the week and needed to catch up on sleep I had missed, I think I slept extra to avoid having to interact with my family.  I know that sounds bad probably but ever since getting the independence of moving away from them, I find my parents to be very pushy with me doing things like last Thursday when I was forced to go clothes shopping. If I was a “normal” girl maybe I would be jumping for joy at the thought of going shopping and having my mother buy what I wanted so long as it was no more than €50, which in Penneys could get you a lot of clothes. I ended up getting a short Ramones top, which I probably won’t where for a long time, a green woolly jumper, and a Harry Potter pajamas. I hate shopping in Killarney. I don’t know why but I always feel really self conscious there as if everyone is looking at me like I have a giant arrow above my head that says “Mentally Unstable”. I get extremely anxious being in that Penneys. I also feel the same way about the TK Maxx in Killarney too. I have been to both shops in Tralee over the last month and I don’t have the same feeling towards them. I don’t feel anxious when I walk in. I think it’s very easy to hate where you’re from because it’s either “boring” or “nothing ever happens here”. I’ve hated where I live for a good portion of my life and if I ever say that to anyway I’m labelled as selfish because how could I hate a place as beautiful as Killarney.  Hate might be a strong word but I do have an immense dislike for the place. More so where I actually live. Home is where you should feel safe and secure. I can’t remember ever feeling like that in my home growing up. My estate was never a safe place. My house wasn’t even safe. Every day and night all the awful, menacing kids (Yes, I have always had a mentality of an 80 year old) would always congregate outside my house. Days on end filled with screaming, yelling, teasing, playing, would make me feel trapped inside my own house. I never wanted to go outside the front of my house when they were around because I was afraid they’d hurt me or start bullying me. They had threatened and teased me before so I always had a constant fear that one day when I was alone in the house that they would break in and would beat me and/or kill me. Bear in mind I have live in the same house since I was born and I started to get scared like this when I was about 5. It was also at that age that I started learning to ride a bike and so one day I was riding it in front of my house and a girl who lived in my estate, who was a little younger than I was, pointed and repeated over and over “BIG EARS! BIG EARS!DUMBO!DUMBO!” I had my hair tied in pigtails. To this day I always have to have my hair long enough to cover my ears and I refuse to cut it any shorter because I’m self conscious about my ears. It’s the main reason as to why I never got my ears pierced because earrings would have just drawn even more attention to them.There was always things being flung at our house, not always intentional but let’s be really it probably was always intentional I just refused to believe that these kids like to inflict panic in another kid who was afraid to do anything and would crawl on the ground when going passed windows in case they were outside and they saw me. It’s not like that anymore but I can’t help to feel nervous that it would happen again. I tend to call both my actual house in Killarney and my apartment in Tralee “home”. I think it’s just a force of habit but if one fit the definition of what a home truly is, I think that the apartment takes the cake.

This week probably started to go downhill when I pulled an all-nighter on Tuesday night and went to be at half 6 only to get up less than an hour later to go to college. I was trying to get work done while simultaneously watching the results of the US Presidential Election Results, which was stressful in itself. However, this night wasn’t bad the only bad thing was that I was getting no sleep and would thus affect me for the rest of the week. Jodi was also pulling an all-nighter so I saw her a couple of times throughout that night. She called me to come over and look at the work that she had done at around 3 am. I went over and after looking at the progress she had made, I stayed over there for over half an hour while she looked through the entirety of the TicketMaster website to see what she could find. We went from looking at Robbie Wiliams tickets, to Nathan Carter Tickets, and from Swan Lake tickets to Dracula on Ice tickets. We then proceeded to watch a video on YouTube called “30 songs you definitely known but don’t know the name of”. I was worried that from watching that we would get into a spiral of watching a load of those types of videos we watched about two. The whole time I was over there we were just laughing the entire time and I don’t know if it was because of the lack of sleep we were both experiencing or the fact that we are both just hilarious. I would like to think it’s the latter. We then went out for a cigarette in the freezing cold and then we hugged, said goodnight and she went to bed while I stayed up trying to keep working but struggling to keep focused. Later on that morning, when I woke up after my 40 minutes of sleep, I find out that Trump actually became president of the US. I still thought I was asleep and really hoped that this was some nightmare, but unfortunately was not part of some fictitious dream but a part of reality that will greatly affect the world for the next 4 years and possibly longer. I can only deal with a certain amount of political talk. I had the great fortune of a sitting around for a few hours with actual Trump supporters inside in the radio studio. I had to keep leaving to go smoke because I was getting so irritated and annoyed mostly because I didn’t get sleep and I really wanted Hilary to win and I’m sick of hearing people trying to justify Donald Trump by saying “You know he actually has some really good policies!” Just shut the fuck up I don’t give a shit. Feel free to think that by all means but don’t expect me to want care about your bullshit political stance.

Thursday is when everything became to much, which is really starting to become a trend.. Shit always seems to go down on Thursdays. I skipped my 11am class because I had to pick an idea for a film project and write a 500 word brief on it by 5pm. I had no clue what to write and it took me hours to pick something. I finally got my idea and I was like “Yeah it’s going to a soap opera version of this play”. I was writing away fine and then one of the lads walks in a sense “Well your film is going to have been amazing because that lecturer hates soap operas!” I slammed my laptop shut and said “What is the point of me even trying?” I was so angry I had the urge to punch the brick wall in the talk studio but I decided against it. Later on when it was only an hour away from when we were supposed to have our 4pm class, which was later cancelled, I still wasn’t done writing my film brief. Derek and I got called into the radio studio to film our segment for our Bang Fm informational video. I messed up my line the first time because I was trying to rush and get through it as quickly as possible. Derek was then like “Do you want me to just say it all?” I was told him yeah that he could just say it all. Then he was did the same way and paused after what would’ve been his line and as if I was supposed to say mine so I was like “I thought you said you were going to do it?” Then he started laughing and so did the other 3 guys in the room. So I stormed out the door and nearly started crying and I got to the R Block and realised I had nowhere to go because I couldn’t smoke because I left my cigarettes in the studio. So I went back and walked straight into the talk studio to where my laptop was and punched the brick wall 3 times with my right hand. I told the lads that I refuse to do to video and Derek can just record it himself. I went back to work. I wanted to get it finished because there was a cool driving simulator thing on campus that day and I wanted more than anything to go over there but I had no time to. Jodi was returning from being over at the driving simulator thing and was walking to the talk studio smiling at me and saw that I was not happy and walked in and immediately was like what is wrong? I explained it to her and she kind of said things that I didn’t really appreciate much until a few hours later. She was reassuring me that I would get my work done. When I asked her a question as to what more I could write her answer actually did help. Then even she though she had just been out for a cigarette she went back out for one when I asked if she would go with me for one. She even understood how much my near crying fit and storming off was brought on and worsened by the lads all laughing at me.  I eventually got my work done and my knuckles on the hand that I punched the wall with began to bruise. I got home earlier than normal on a Thursday since my class was cancelled and ended up going for a nap, which is something I hardly ever do but I really needed one. I got up for a while and went to bed at around 1am and as soon as I laid in bed with my phone off I started to have sleep paralysis again. I think I’ve had it a total of like 5-7 times in the 2 months, and it’s been my first time ever having sleep paralysis when it started September.

Today, as in Friday, was a lot better. I was afraid that the lads would be angry at me for not doing the video and refuse to talk to me but they didn’t seem to hold a grudge. It was the Open Day at the college so we had a busy day ahead of us. Unfortunately I had a shortage of cigarettes for the day and it made the day feel way longer than it actually was. I got some good photos but due to my lack of sleep and the slowness of my computer it can wait til the morning to work on them. I wouldn’t say I did a whole lot today but the atmosphere around the college was nice except I was a little panicked at the amount of people but I tried to ignore it and it worked. I gave a sigh of relief though when the crowds had all disappeared and the halls were fairly empty again. I walked over to Jodi in the hall before she left and she looked at me and said I looked happier today. I was kinda like “I don’t know, I guess so…” She then gave me a hug and it was a long hug, for once. Due to the fact that my brain and every part of my feels like it’s trying to do anything and everything and work at a mile a minute, I think that the hug slowed down all the thoughts and electrical impulses that were being sent from my brain. I couldn’t remember the last I really felt a hug. Most of the time recently I was never mentally present for a hug I would be distracted, but this time was different. I could hear her heartbeat which by right I should hear most of the time when I hug her but I guess I just never pay attention. Then she started singing something and then when after the hug I smiled and said to her “Well I’m definitely happy now!” Never underestimate how much a hug can mean to someone. Also the fact that she noticed my change in mood before I was even aware of it. I didn’t realise that I actually was in a better mood than I was the day before until she said it.

I Think I’m Happy.

I know this isn’t normal and I’m usually only happy in short moments that are spread out sporadically and always in the company of my favourite people. However, at the moment I really feel as though I’m consistently happy throughout the day. Last week I started to notice that I was happier but due to some things that happened at the end of last week,my happy streak was cut short and I had an anxiety filled weekend. This week has gone fairly well but due to what happened last week, things were a little different there for a few days but that all got sorted out last night. I think some of this current happiness is attributed to how happy and excited one of my friends has been all week. For the last little while things have been stressful for her and it was really nice to see her so excited.

The realization of this happiness happened last night though. I was out for a 21st and we were pre drinking which was luckily happening in my student accommodation. We were there for just less than 2 hours. We then went into town to the nightclub and thank god it wasn’t as packed as the two nights I went out last week. I actually enjoyed being at the nightclub last night. After that we got a lift to Mcdonalds and got food then returned back to Oakfield. Jodi and I stayed outside to have a cigarette or four, while everyone else went inside and started eating. I don’t know how this came about but we ended up spending the bones of like I’d say 45 minutes outside at the bottom of the steps smoking and singing, not really caring that our food was going cold. Except not only was the food cold it was also nearly all gone. It was about 4am when we were outside singing and Oakfield was dead quiet. I was fairly drunk at that point and Jodi was definitely drunk. I know for definite that she was drunk because that was the first time I’ve heard her properly sing and I think I spent half the time we were outside just watching her in awe or something like awe. There was some of the songs I didn’t know so it was just her singing a few of them and she just seemed so content. She also kept stating that she usually doesn’t really sing in front of people and that it was a pretty big deal that she was singing. When we eventually went back inside and noticed our food was mostly gone, we decided to go on an adventure. We got a taxi back to McDonalds and got more food then went back to my place to have it.

It was while we were in my place that the thought of happiness suddenly hit me. I was talking about a guy who used to bully me for years and since he was part of the friend group I had been with,I couldn’t hate him or else my friends would drop me as a friend. Talking about that actually made me really sad but then I stopped for a few minutes and thought about where I was last night, in that moment in my apartments kitchen. “I’m just after being on a night out, it’s like 4:30am, I’m sitting here having McDonalds with someone who I’d consider as being one of the best friends I’ve ever had.” 9 years ago started off all types of insecurities and the feeling of worthlessness I felt about myself. 5 years ago my friend group that I was part of for almost 8 years left me because I was too negative and there might have been other reasons as to why they left but I don’t know what they are. My paranoid brain made up thousands of reasons why they left and why  no one would ever want to be my friend in the future. I’ve been suicidal for the last 9 years and I found myself thinking last night in that moment just sitting there that “I’m really glad I’m still alive. I’m really glad I didn’t kill myself.” When we finished I walked over to where Jodi was staying and hugged her goodnight. As she closed the door the last thing she said was “Go to bed ya big eejit”. I went to bed and I don’t think anything could’ve have wiped the smile off my face. I just felt like I had a really great night and that life is going great at the moment.

 

Addiction and Family Health Problems.

I think I am very prone to addiction. Well I think it’s addiction, I may be misusing the term but I know that it’s something to the affect of addiction so I will use that word throughout this to describe my addictive nature towards certain things. I didn’t really believe that I could be easily addicted to things until recently but I thought about the possibility of it a few years ago when I was like 13 or 14. Some of these might seem ridiculous but if you think about them in the grand scheme of me and how I’ve developed as a person they might just explain how I get addicted so easily.

Let’s start it off with when I think I developed my first addiction. I was a baby and like all babies I had a dummy (or pacifier or whatever you call it). It was my favourite thing when I was really young. I had it at all times. I think my affinity towards it was more to chew on then anything else because I chewed on everything as a child. The dummy, soft plastic, hands of plastic dolls. I hated dolls with a passion so if people gave me one I was going to get some sort of benefit from them. It just so happened that the hand and feet were made of this weirdly chewy thin, soft plastic that I liked chewing on when I was teething as a toddler. All of this is obviously why my teeth are so fucked up to this day. My parents let me keep my dummy until I was 4 and then they decided to take it off me and “hide” it. I had more than one but once they took it off me I think they realized that I would make they’re life hell if they got rid of it completely. So me being the stubborn, inquisitive, and nosy child that I was I found that dummy easily. It was inside the door of my dad’s bedside table.  It was there for a bit before they found out that I would sneak into the room and chew on it for a while and put it back where I found it. The dummy got moved around a little bit. I found it every time. Eventually they had enough of it so they finally got rid of it and said that I couldn’t rely on it all my life. I was in “big school”. I wouldn’t get any friends with a dummy in my mouth all the time. I think I was about 5, maybe even 6, when this happened. I got away with it for so long because I’m the baby of the family and I think my parents didn’t mind waiting a little longer for the fact that I was growing up to become a reality. Also as a really hyper, loud child it really calmed me down at times.

Another addiction that I succumbed to as a child started when I was about 2 and I’ve never overcome it. I am addicted to caffeine. When I was about 2 years old, I think I was at my Nan’s house and you know how grandparents are, they will give the’re grandchildren everything. So I assume I was being particularly crazy one day and I saw one of my cousins drinking Coca Cola and I was persistent in my ways so I probably wouldn’t stop being loud unless I got coke too. Also again being the baby nobody would say no to me, within reason. They probably thought “oh this won’t do her any harm”. Like realistically they were right, I was already hyper so the coke couldn’t make that any worse. Again like the dummy it sort of calmed me down. Sixteen years later I still drink it. I have gotten sick of it. Although I have gotten sick from it after having like 15 glasses of it on the night of my confirmation. So even well before I had gotten sick from alcohol, I knew the feeling of a drink causing me to vomit at 3am when I was 12. Throughout the years though the expansion on caffeinated drinks has developed. I started drinking tea and coffee. Primarily since starting college have I really gotten into drinking coffee, especially during semester 2. However, I think I also drank a lot of coffee during the Leaving Cert. I also drank a lot of a certain energy drink called ‘Monster’. My mother always bought a can of it in the weekly shopping without me asking because my brother bought the odd can of it every now and again when he had college assignments to do. I told her at one point to stop buying it because it was causing a sort of mild acid reflux, which I also get from drinking coke too much so I do have to limit that these days. During semester 1 of college I started drinking red bull for a bit but I haven’t drank that in ages (probably like February, but that was ages ago).  My main caffeinated drink at the moment is coffee. Next is coke, which I believe I have really cut down in the past couple of years. This cutback mostly being the fact that I watched my cousin lose a fair amount of weight when she cut out all soft drinks from her diet. I can’t however cut it out completely.

The coffee addiction hit peak around the last 2 or 3 months of college. Since then I still drink it fairly regularly at home having around 2-3 cups a day. I don’t even get why I drink it so much, I only find it alright. I seem to like the feeling of artificially making my heart feel as though it will burst out of my chest. I have no need for it because of my anxiety and my constant feeling of fear, I have heart palpitations at all times. The coffee just brings it up on days where I’m feeling calm and for some reason want to feel uncomfortable. I’ve a feeling this heart thing is hereditary  though. My maternal grandfather had something wrong with his heart and my mother had a heart tumour 8 years ago. I’ve been kinda anticipate some sort of heart related health problem since I was 10 so if I ever decide to go to a doctor ever, I wouldn’t be surprised if he had bad news for me to do with my heart. Well any part of me really, but my heart or my lungs have probably caused me the most hindrance in my life. I was always told to just wait it out and walk off any pain I ever had so I’ve done that. If I ever do go to the doctors it will be because someone forced me to go there. I have had one check up and I got my blood pressure checked and my blood taken to test for typhoid problems. I fainted 10 minutes after getting my blood taken and I don’t have typhoid problems like my mother, not yet anyways. That check up was like 2 years ago and it was the first time I had been to the doctor since I was a baby. It also wasn’t even the doctor, it was a nurse. So let me take this back a minute and stop lying. I haven’t been to see a doctor since I was a baby/toddler, whenever all my vaccinations were complete. I should probably say too that my mother is fine now, sorry I went off on my own tangent there for a bit.

My mom got sick after we returned from a holiday in Lanzarote which lasted 11 days and is still my longest holiday to date. It was 2008 around mid-November and we had been back home maybe a week or two when my mom got really fatigued and got a bad pain in her leg. My mom was a full time waitress at the time so she spent a lot of time on her feet, carrying heavy trays and had very little breaks and worked a lot of hours. To be fair she had been working at that place for 20 years and still works there as a waitress but can now only manage part-time, which still seems like a lot of hours and some busy weekends she might work all day on a Saturday or Sunday with little to no breaks.  It was all going to catch up eventually. She was 41 when it happened. I knew something was wrong, we all did. One day she was doing the dishes in the kitchen and just felt really faint and had to go lie down on the sofa in the sitting room for a while. I was outside the back of the house playing with my next door neighbour at the time. My brother who had been upstairs in his room got called down by my mother and he went outside to tell me that mom was in serious pain and was on lying on the couch, which she never really did unless she was feeling unwell. However unwell back then was usually hungover or a vomiting bug.  My dad was either at work or gone out drinking at the time. So my mom called the doctor and got a taxi in and out of town that day. She could barely fucking walk. I was scared. I didn’t know what was going on. I didn’t know what the doctor could tell her. So I think she came back and said that they did some tests and she’d find out in a couple of days what the deal was. I think the doctor said that she could have a clot in her leg but that was all he could tell us until the test results came back.

They found out that it was a clot and therefore my mom would have to go to Kerry General Hospital in Tralee so we had to pack her a hospital bag for maybe two or three days’ worth. This was fine we expected her to come back after the clot was removed but before she got to Tralee they were checking to see what caused this clot because they found it rather odd that this happened. So as we packed her bag before driving her to Tralee I was like “So all they have to do is remove this clot and keep an eye on you for a few days and then you’re home right?” My mom assured me that yes that was all, unless something came back from those latest tests that she did but they probably wouldn’t bring up anything else. The clot was probably just caused by all the time mom spent on her feet and maybe something to do with circulation while on the flight back, because she felt a bit off after the flight home. Pretty much upon arrival my mom had a consultation where they told her that long the reason she got the clot in her leg was because she had a “growth” on her heart. In other words a tumour. The word tumour was never used around that time. I only ever heard growth. I guess they knew that had I heard the word tumour, I would have gotten really freaked out and scared (at least more scared than I already was.) The hospital in Tralee can only do so much, or so little should I say. I don’t even know did the clot removal happen there or in the next hospital. She spent about 3 days in Tralee, then she got transferred to the Mercy Hospital in Cork. Then she got moved to the regional hospital in Cork which I think is Cork University Hospital but I don’t know. I visited her once in every hospital. One of the times I went to visit her in a Cork hospital I was after being at a birthday party. I could have gone and visited mom the day before but I was at my Nan’s at the time with my cousins and I always had the best time in those moments. Parties were a bit hit or miss for me so there was a chance I wouldn’t enjoy it. Like most parties they started to get better not too long before I had to leave. My best friend was in her moment at every single party where she hated everyone except for me. So the two of us were sitting away from everyone else while she bitched about them to me and I sat there and listened not wanting to be one of these people she disliked. So while I was her shoulder to bitch on, my dad showed up and said it was time to go. I was the first to leave the party and no one made me feel weird about it or anything and my friends parents were always extra nice to me during that time.

So it was evening time when we were driving to Cork. I wanted to see mom but I was sad about leaving the party early. I was texting one of my friends who was at the party for a little bit but eventually he went back to partying and we stopped texting. (Yes I had a phone when I was 10, get over it!) During the drive I was listening to radio and I don’t know why but of all the songs that came on, one stuck out and I always think back to that moment of going to visit mom in hospital whenever I hear it. It’s ‘Human’ by The Killers. At the time, and for years following, the song made me cry every single time I heard it. I think I had a teddy with me in the car at the time, which I always really liked having on night drives. I think I just hugged the teddy tightly covering my face because when I’m really sad I hug a teddy and also I needed to try and wipe away my tears and stop crying. I never wanted to cry in front of my mom when she was sick. It was happening to her, not to me. I didn’t think it was my place to cry. I needed to be strong because she wasn’t. She never really cried either, probably again so I wasn’t scared. In my family we never tell each that we love each other. This is probably the reason I have trouble saying it to people. It’s not that I wasn’t loved it was just never verbally said. I was still hugged as a child and my parents did care about me. I think anytime we visited her in the hospital though we did say it but I can’t even remember if we said it then. My mom had open heart surgery in early December of 2008 and was out of there around the 18th or 19th of December. Luckily we spend every Christmas at my Nan’s house so my mom wasn’t under much pressure for that. Since she had open heart surgery she has this long scar down the centre of her chest starting from just under the collar bone to the top of the abdominal area. Over the years it has faded ever so slightly and  it is by no means ever going to disappear.  She also has two small scar on her stomach from tubes  that she had while in hospital.

She has been taking medication to make sure nothing like this happens again. For the first like 5 or 6 years  one of the things she was taking was Warfarin which thins the blood so it would prevent it from clotting. However, my mom had to learn the hard way that mixing this with alcohol would have a drastic effect. In the summer after the operation she was on a night out during my dad’s summer holidays so he was at home to mind me and my brother. When she used to go out before it wasn’t odd for her to return home at like 4am. I noticed that she wasn’t home at midnight when I was still trying to get to sleep but I wasn’t worried or anything. I woke up at 5am to a loud thud from my parents room. Back then I used to have the door of my room open at night. I called out to my dad and he sort of rushed in so I wouldn’t suspect anything. I asked what was happening he said “Nothing, just try and go back to sleep okay?” I hear another thud and he assures me everything is fine. The next morning I’m told that those thud noises were mom hitting the ground because my brother and my dad were trying to carry her to bed. My dad looked out the window that night to see my mom passed out up against the front wall inside the garden amongst the flowers. He had woken my brother up to help bring her in and they got her inside and up the stairs. She was like half awake but she practically conked out from what they told me. Mom spent all of that day in bed and we were suppose to have gone on a family day out that day if we ever could decide where we wanted to go. After what happened we couldn’t go anywhere and it was the last week of my dad’s holidays so that was it for that summer. I didn’t really mind though we had already been on two trips in the two weeks prior. I went up to see her in her room to see how she was doing. I saw the cuts on her lip, above one her eyebrows, and on her arm, and I started crying. I couldn’t help it I just got extremely emotional and couldn’t keep up the strong front anymore, I just broke down. This set off a chain reaction and my mother started crying as I lied into the bed next to her. We were both lying there crying for what felt like a lifetime. I then got up eventually and left. I had to constantly tell my mother while I was in there that it was okay and I didn’t mind that we couldn’t go on our day out. “It’s okay Mom!” I felt bad for going into the room and causing her to cry and then just leaving her there but I didn’t mean to do that. I got freaked out when I saw all the marks from the fall. I was frightened. I started thinking about what would have happened had she not made it home. How did she make it home? How did she make it to the taxi? How did she pay for the taxi? Nothing like that has happened since. She went to the doctor later that week and he could tell she felt bad about what happened so he was being a bit light-hearted about the whole thing as long as she was more careful next time.  He said “You’ve had a case of P.D.F.O. which means you were Pissed Drunk and Fell Over.”

Now onto my last and most recent addiction;Cigarettes! Yes I know that it’s the nicotine in the cigarettes that I’m addicted to but I’m just going to keep saying that the addiction is to cigarettes/smoking. My mom smoked for years ever since she was about 16 I think up until her heart tumour happened. The doctor said that the smoking didn’t have any direct correlation to the tumour but that continuing to smoke wasn’t going to help her in any way so she quit. My dad’s parents have always smoked and they still do. My Grandad is like 82 and my Nan will soon be 75.  I’ve spent a lot of time at their house over the last 18 years so I’ve been surrounded by them smoking a lot and smoking in the car and everything. I was never in the car too much with them but I would be sometimes to go to mass. go to Knocknagree to visit my uncle’s grave, go to my cousin’s house in Ballydesmond, and go on our yearly summer day trip to Castleisland. It used to be my favourite day out ever, I loved going to Castleisland it was always so sunny, usually really windy but always sunny pretty much. We would always go to lunch at the Good Table, which is the main reason why we would go on this trip because my Nan loved that place. Also all of the kids, so my brother, my two cousins and myself, could get one toy each. There was one year we were there towards the end when these trips were unbeknownst to us soon to be stopped. So my cousin who is about 4 years older than me had recently been caught smoking and was in trouble for it and everything. That was probably one of the best things he did because he did a lot worse things than smoke after that. Anyways we were in the shop where we were going to get toys and I feel like I got the best toys every year. One year I got a small punching bag and boxing gloves, I never had a place to hang the bag but still it was fun to hit. That year though we were walking around the shop and I noticed these toy cigarettes. They were really cigarette like with a light inside the end of it to look as though it was a proper lit cigarette. I picked one up and I was like to my cousin who smoked I said “Look you could get one of these. You’ll still look cool but you won’t have to damage your lungs. Can I get one? I want to look like you!” He didn’t appreciate it and he said to me “I don’t smoke to look cool.” I still don’t really know why he smoked then, probably his first act of rebelling against his parents maybe?

I think I’ve always been intrigued by smoking and I don’t know why. Maybe because my Nan smokes and she has always been one of my favourite people and she could do no wrong in my eyes. Whenever my grandparents would smoke my brother would cover his nose and mouth and try not to inhale anything and if he did he would cough. I, on the other hand, would just sit there normally. I wouldn’t try inhaling it or anything but if it happened I wouldn’t react or take much notice of it. My grandparents have cut back recently and I don’t know why, if I was their age I would smoke more. It’s good though because they are trying to not smoke in front of my younger cousins probably because my two older cousins both smoke now. I never planned on ever really starting to smoke because my father hates it so much but I used to always say when he’d tell me never to smoke “Ok but when I’m 80 years old, I’m going to start smoking because it won’t be as bad if something happens to me then I’d be old enough!” I never thought I would make it to 80, I still don’t, but I thought that telling myself this would make me keep fighting to get to that age because I’ve always been so curious about what they’re like. I never wanted to smoke when I was too young because I like to abide by the law. So I had my first drag of a cigarette on the 6th of February 2016, the day after I turned 18. I was at a 21st birthday for one of my college friends and Jodi was there and I went up with her to the smoking area and I think she could tell that I wanted to try it and she goes “So I don’t want to make you feel forced or put an idea in your head but do you want to try it?” I immediately said yes and I took a drag and coughed immediately. I didn’t hate it though. Next time I smoked was a full cigarette at the night of the dogs so that was March 8th, over a month later. I had to beg Jodi to give me one, she eventually did. Then later I went back out and had a 2nd cigarette with people in my class. I had no idea how to smoke properly so I looked stupid doing it. I bought my first box of cigarettes on the 22nd of March and I started smoking officially and opened that box a week later on the 29th of March. I know waiting a week to open them is a bit strange but I have reason as to why I did that. I knew that I would get addicted and want to push out the starting date as long as possible.

When I decided to start smoking I thought about it for a long time. I weighed the pros and cons and thought about the addiction side of it. I kept telling myself I wouldn’t get addicted but I knew it was a lie. When I was deciding all signs pointed to no and I shouldn’t have started but I ignored all the no signs and focused on the yes ones. I started smoking initially as a stress reliever and for socializing. Things were getting stressful college work wise at the point in time that I started and I felt that by smoking I would give myself reason to take a break. I used to go out to the smoking area anyways to talk to people I knew who were smoking but I didn’t like standing out there not smoking when everyone else was. It was inevitable anyway that I would start smoking, although I didn’t think it would start as soon after turning 18 as it did. I don’t regret starting to smoke but I know for financial reasons I will have to cut down when I get back to college. That’s fine though because I’m very generous with my cigarettes so I have people who owe me a fair enough amount of cigarettes.

 

That 21st Tho!!

So I had been looking forward to going to this 21st birthday party since I heard about it in May. It was Jodi’s 21st. It had a festival theme so everyone was dressed as if they were going to a music festival. There was a marquee out the back that had a bar where all the drinks were kept. There was also a shed outside of the marquee that was purely dedicated to cocktails. There was lights everywhere and everything was so colourful.

I showed up early and gave Jodi her present, shortly after more people started to show up including some people from college. I spent most of the time talking to people from college  but some of them had to leave a little early. I have to say though that Jodi’s family were all really nice and I can see in some cases where she gets her humour from. I was never properly introduced to her sister until later on in the night but she was still nice to me even though she had no idea who I was. I was standing on my own at one point outside the marquee at one of the tables set up and she was cleaning away some of the empty glasses and stuff left on other tables and she said to me “I hate crowds too!!” It’s as if she knew what I was thinking although that wasn’t the main reason why I was standing out there at that moment in time but it was something that was on my mind all night. To be fair though it wasn’t much of a crowd and everyone was super nice.

At the party too there was a few sheets of temporary tattoos. I think it’s interesting to wake up to random tattoos on your arms. Like I have a feather tattoo on my left arm a bit above my wrist and since I want to keep these tattoos for as long as possible that means I can’t harm that arm in anyway or I’ll ruin the tattoo. I feel like drunk me was actually thinking ahead and for once was good to me. I was actually so good last night and although I was drunk, I wasn’t acting like my typical drunk self. I was just really happy. I was also a bit emotional at times which was Jodi’s fault. I was sitting down by where one of the 3rd years was DJing and she went up to me and asked me if I was enjoying my night. I told that I was and asked her if she was enjoying herself. She replied saying “Yeah I am. Are you sure you are? I feel responsible for you!” I looked at her confused and was like “Well don’t feel responsible for me, I’m having a good time. What’s important is that you’re having a good time, it’s your night!! Don’t worry about me!”. She said “But I always do worry about you!” My eyes started watering and I thought I was going to start crying. I just get really emotional when someone cares about me.

I also got emotional when we were dancing because she likes to sing certain lyrics of songs to me and sometimes sing my name with them. Every time she did that too I was just like “I hate you.Stop”. It didn’t happen too much but I don’t know I just found it cute. There was one of these times though last night that seriously made me emotional. Believe by Cher came on and we were dancing to it. In part of the chorus it goes “I really don’t think you’re strong enough”. Jodi looks straight at me and sings “I know that you’re strong enough”. She sang that to me every time the line came up and one of the last times she grabbed my face and sung it to me. It was as if she was just really trying to get the point across. Again I nearly cried.  She kept asking me all night if I was having a good time and she also kept saying that it meant a lot to her that I was happy and having a good night. I really think she was on a secret mission to make me super emotional last night, because she totally succeeded at doing that.

I felt myself smiling for a lot of the night. I can’t stop smiling while writing this blog either which is a weird feeling to have. Usually after parties or after I spend anytime with my friends I get this post-party depression where I get sad that I’m not there anymore. I get sad that I’m not around those people anymore. However today I’m just happy that I was there to experience the great night. Like I was talking to this guy who I met in like April when Jodi was out in Killarney with a crowd from work. I honestly didn’t think he’d remember me at all but he remembered my name and everything. Nobody ever remembers me!! He was like “Yeah I remember you that night in Mustangs, Jodi introduced you as her protégé!!” Jodi does that a lot. She will introduce me to people and tell them that I’m great and I’m just like “No don’t do that. They will be disappointed when they find out I’m only mediocre at best as they struggle to understand how you could possibly be friends with someone like me.” I never say that to her though, I just think it.

I do that a lot. I’ll think something but I won’t say it. Sometimes I won’t say anything, other times I’ll say some normal response, other times I say the opposite of what I’m thinking. Like when I say I hate her. I don’t hate her one bit, I love the girl but it’s easier for me to say that I hate her. I find it hard to say “I love you” to anyone.  Writing it is sometimes hard to do for the first time but it’s still a lot easier than actually saying it to the person. I can say it in a joking way no bother but actually saying it to someone’s face is scary.

So I gave Jodi a bag when I arrived and it had two presents and a card inside it. She’s opened them now so I can finally write about this. I bought her a unicorn scarf, it’s just a red scarf with small unicorns on it. She wanted me to make her something so after searching the internet to get an idea, I decided to make her a book made out of a deck of cards and it was called “52 Reasons Why I Love Being Friends With You”. Thinking of 52 different reasons is actually a lot harder then you’d think so a few of the cards are about her as a person, other cards have memories we’ve had together and so on. I feel like there’s a bit of everything in it. I think it’s a good summary of how much has happened over the past few months since becoming friends. There’s two cards though that have direct quotes from her, one being something incredibly cute she said to me once “I will go to your house and wrap any and all sharp things in bubble wrap. Bubble wrap makes people happy, so you’ll be happy and safe!” Also within the birthday card I got her there was another card. On the envelope it said “Totes emotional extra birthday card. Read at own discretion as it will probably make you cry.”While I did expect her to cry I wrote this mainly because I cried a little while writing it. This morning I got a snapchat off her that was a picture of her face after having cried and the caption wrote “When Sandra’s present makes you ugly cry”. I had expected it to make her cry and I wrote it in the card book as well. I thought though that she would just shed a few tears or something. It look liked she had a full on cry and I felt a little bad about it. It was good crying though, she did like the presents. I had spent a couple of weeks working on the present I made her and now I don’t really know what to do. That’s done what else am I going to spend my time doing? It took a while because I don’t have the steadiest hand and I can barely draw a straight line with a ruler, but I really liked doing it.