Words are hard. Small talk is difficult. Conversations can be overwhelming.
I either talk very little, or too much. No, I definitely talk too much, for the past few months I surely have. I guess you can say I am finally finding my ‘voice’, and you bet I have years worth of unpacking to do. Almost everything in my life has been a distraction, a way to avoid having to sit with my thoughts and face myself, so I did everything I possibly could to keep myself busy, never taking a break. Moving from one thing to the next without much thought. Taking on extra GCSEs at school, choosing a random degree just so I could progress to the ‘next step’, to pushing myself into a full-time job alongside further study immediately after graduating.
Non-stop and for what? I was supposedly on my way to success, I’d be told how well I was doing, and people were proud. I was not. I felt no happiness or satisfaction on what I had achieved, it meant nothing. It’s almost as if I was playing a character all along, the ideal version that satisfied my family, culture, and society.
I find it amusing that people think I am ‘smart’ because of my academic achievements. I mean, I can see where the assumption comes from, but it’s so much more than what you see on the surface. I have always needed support, I believe I still do. I had several roadblocks that I definitely would not have been able to overcome if it wasn’t for the support I received. They deserve everything good in this world, and I am filled with gratitude for they have greatly contributed to keeping me going when I wanted to give up. They all deserve their own post, that’s how influential and important they are, but for now:
I had two amazing teachers during primary school who recognised my support needs. The most awesome teacher I ever had was in secondary school. We spent hours after school in her classroom just talking. My tutor in sixth form, although we weren’t close, was very warm and approachable. She attended to many issues on my behalf. During university I found support externally, I had a mentor who went above and beyond in caring for me. A colleague assigned to be my mentor at work was always accommodating. She helped talk to my manager about my health. I also received incredible support from the student support team, who have truly and literally saved my life.
At a time when I had no one in my real life, I turned to the virtual world, and I found my space on the internet. I made friends who would share positive comments and messages, and few of them I am still in contact with today. Times have changed, but I will always be grateful to have found that community. Social media is drastically different from when I began using it in 2006, but it remains an important part of my life. I will definitely say it’s also had some very negative effects on my mental health.
Reading and writing was never something I was interested in, however, over the past year I have realised the reasons why I hated and avoided it. Penning down my thoughts and feelings has been super helpful; I have finally found a healthy coping mechanism (sometimes). I enjoy it too.
I’ve tried blogging twice before on different platforms, but I will shamefully admit it failed. I focused too much on the numbers, and I wanted my friends to notice my posts. The hope was to educate them about what I struggle with, because I believed it would improve our friendship. My belief was obviously wrong. I am not a good writer, and I doubt people will read this, but for the first time I can genuinely say it doesn’t matter. This blog is personal, and exists simply to give myself an open space to develop my writing. I also hope to untangle and better understand some of the chaos in my mind. I have a lot of mess to work through.