All by myself

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I am completely and utterly alone in this world.

About a week ago I came across a news article about a celebrity sharing the news of their recent cancer diagnosis. I was very emotional while reading it and realized I was a little jealous of his openness in sharing that personal information with the world. Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about how if I were to get really sick I would hide it from everyone, my family included for as long as possible. I don’t want people to see me like that, and I don’t want them to have that burden of worrying about my health. I honestly think I would rather die from refusing treatment, than have to share news like that with my family. Now I think it may be even deeper than that. I think maybe part of why the article upset me so much is that I cant open up to anyone about my current struggles.

I’m finally in a program that I love and am excelling in. I’m working out enough to be healthy. I’m putting on what I think is a decent show of being happy in life. But I’m hurting. A lot. I’ve tried subtly reaching out to friends. I’ve tried publicly showing some of my pain. I’ve tried straight up saying I need someone. No one answered. I know my “friends” saw and read the messages, and not one even replied. The people I have always been there for never seem to be around for me.

I don’t belong here. I don’t ever seem to fit in. I’m afraid my past will forever make me the odd man out. There’s no support group for the things I’ve been through and there’s no way to talk about any of it without seeing the people i love hurt or dishonouring people who deserve better than myself. I wish I was strong enough to just end it, but I’m not. I’m weak. I’m a coward. I’m lazy. I’m really afraid that I’ll never be good enough for anyone to want to stay in my life.

I don’t know how to trust. I dont know how to make real friends. When you left you took so much of me with you I can’t fil in the holes. You took my comfort, my stability, my heart. I have nothing left.

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Can feelings be wrong?

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When things dont follow routine or they aren’t going as planned I tend to get stuck in my head and really beat myself up about it. I start looking anywhere and everywhere to regain control, even if the situation is completely out of my control or is something that will just pass. I can’t idly sit there and wait for things to resolve themselves. In doing so I often end up completely breaking down because of fear, stress and disappointment in myself, yet when I try and explain myself to people their response is often “you’re just stressing over nothing”. Their statement is usually completely true, but does that mean that my feelings aren’t valid? Does the fact that the situation is upsetting me not matter simply because its “probably nothing”? I like to think that my thoughts and feelings are at least real. My feelings may not be what others might feel in the same situation. I may be over reacting. However, if I’m scared, uncomfortable or disappointed, I don’t think that’s any less real than your feeling calm. If I’m telling you about a situation chances are I’m not asking you to fix it for me, I’m too proud/stubborn for that. I just want to feel like I’m not stupid or alone in my struggle.

What do you guys think? How do you ask for help when you’re struggling? Who do you talk to?

Reaching out

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Over the past month or so I’ve really noticed myself being overly attached to my phone again. Not so much for being on social media or wasting time, but more often just scrolling through my contacts looking for someone I could open up to a little about how and why I’m struggling right now. I know that I have some pretty amazing people around me who would do anything for me, but those are also the people that I can’t bare to burden with my struggles. Especially when I don’t have a tactile problem or situation that can be fixed, rather that I’m just not ok with the way I feel.
I can’t talk to family because I do not want to see them worry about me for yet another reason. They have all given me so much love that I can’t even justify the way I feel. I’ve tried talking to my two closest friends, but I saw how it hurt them and they distanced themselves. I can’t talk to co workers because it’s much to intimate. I tried counselling but found I couldn’t establish enough trust to open up and deal with anything.

Lost in thoughts of being 5 and sad, when I could just find a comfy looking lap and crawl in for cuddles until I felt better. The number of times I fell asleep warm in someone’s arms. The feeling of being looked after and protected from the world. When my being sad was the worst thing that could happen and someone had to fix things. Before my broken mind became the cause of my pain.

I need to tell someone these deep dark scary thoughts because I don’t want to be alone with them. I just want someone to understand just how hard I fight to function each day. Let me talk without belittling me for thoughts I can’t control. But I can’t do that, because if you heard my deep dark scary demons, you’d be running too. 

I get these grand ideas of ways to talk it out or at least get some things out of my system but then they’re gone before I’ve typed/written/said anything making sense. Like this post. When I started I had a plan and it sounded like a good idea, now I feel I’ve failed to illustrate a real message. My words feel as messy and jumbled as my mind.

“Drunk words are sober thoughts”

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Here’s hoping to autocorrect actually being useful for once. 

If the saying is true the. Here’s what’s going on in my mind:

  • I am so happy for my two friends J & J because they look so happy together but man sitting beside them being all coupley and touchy tonight was really hard because that the part of a relationship I want. I want to be able to sit down with someone’s arm around me and know that they want the world to know I’m good enough for them.
  • I’m not actually this much of a lightweight, i literally ate 600 calories INCLUDING alcohol today on top of a 1.5 hour workout to be able to justify partying. 
  • I am terrified that I won’t wake up to my alarm clock for work in the morning. Anxiety over sleeping/waking up is probably one of my worst.
  • I’m literally dying for someone to stop me and ask why I’m so interested in people’s thoughts on religion and afterlife, or to ask why I’ve been hitting the gym so hard. Literally any reason for them to wuestion things and say like “take a step back” or “stop destroying yourself”
  • Now I’m thinking this post is just getting too dark and maybe I should just delete and move on. 
  • I actually enjoy water significantly more when it comes out of a bottle than a glass. Even if it’s poured from glass into bottle before I drink it.
  • I miss yoga, maybe I’ll meditate tonight. Or well tomorrow because that sounds hard.
  • We need to look to parents to be responsible for a child’s behaviour more often. We can’t expect kids to just know to do better than their parents without setting a good example, that being said parents also need to be teaching kids responsibility.
  • I get really annoyed with people who have over due books from the library when I’m on the list to get them next. That being said I have paid 70+$ in late fees over the span of my life. 
  • Other than a teeny tiny “tap” on the wrist what purpose do late fees even serve?
  • I wish pain receptors permanently shut off after we acknowledged the injury. Yes finger, you’re burnt, I get it.
  • I wish I could watch Netflix and read at the same time and actually know what happened in both. 
  • What am I even expecting to gain from this?
  • Is it ok to open up to some of my coworkers about my struggles or is that really crossing the line?
  • Now that I’ve stopped swearing I need to find a word more socially acceotable to replace saying “Jesus” instead of every blank space left. I think it’s so cute how in Friends with benefits The girl blinks to reject bad words all the time. I wish I were that innocent and loveable. 
  • I wish there was some drunk form of religion, I’d be good at that. One where you just drank a little, spilled your guts and then moved on with peace. 
  • If I could give everyone in the world five things they would be: love, peacefulness, empowerment, humility and acceptance. Not sure how that would all fit together, but it sure would be fantastic. 

Blah. There’s my word vomit for the night. We’ll see how I feel about this in the morning.

Thinking about you

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I think about you a lot. I’ll be sitting watching TV and I’ll remember how you used to hold me. I’ll be driving and I’ll remember how we used to just park the car to talk in private. I’ll be sitting with my family and I’ll wonder how yours is doing.

I have an ache in my chest when I think about you. It works it’s way to my throat making me feel like I can’t breathe.

I was doing the dishes today, letting my mind wander as my hands enjoyed the heat from the water, when I thought of you. I had to stop as it felt like the air was knocked right out of me. Like it just hit me how surreal our story was. Everything that happened. I wanted to pick up my phone and text you about this horrible situation, and I realized that we were that situation and you aren’t here.

It still doesn’t seem real that you died. I feel like I should still be able to call you. Suicide is only something that happens on TV, right?

I lie here at night, thinking about our goodnight FaceTime ritual. Scrolling through my contacts, looking to fill the void you left. Your soft kisses. Your loving hugs. Your beautiful words of support that got me through the day.

I worry a lot, now, about finding love. What if my one true love was you? Although we had our flaws, you set the bar high for everyone to follow. I don’t fit into anyone’s hugs like I fit into your arms. No one can hold me as softly as you did while making me feel so safe. I can’t talk to anyone as openly as I spoke with you. You understood me. All of me. The easy, the tough, and the funny. You accepted my flaws while still supporting me to be a better person. 

What if I don’t deserve another you?

Shame

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I love meeting new people and hearing about their lives. I like learning what made them the person they are, and how they overcome the curve balls life throws. I’ve met some pretty amazing people this way. Either they have overcome extremely difficult times, or they are they most grounded self aware people I have ever met. I try and surround myself with people who show the qualities that I aspire to have.

“If you are the smartest person in the room, you are in the wrong room”.  -Unknown

A while ago one of these amazing people spun the question around and asked what my story was, and I was so stuck. I couldn’t answer the question. Every time I thought of one of the events in my life that I feel shaped me, I realized that sharing my story didn’t feel right. It wasn’t that I didn’t trust the person asking, it was that I feel like sharing those painful moments is my burden and I don’t want to hurt anyone else with it. Telling my story just doesn’t seem socially acceptable. I’m not sure if that’s because parts of it aren’t my story to tell or that most of the struggles I’ve faced I haven’t yet overcome.

I grew up with nothing but the best. My family is incredibly loving and supportive and have given me any and every opportunity possible. I strive so hard to grow into this incredible version of myself i dream of. One where I’m confident and grounded. Where I’m happy and optimistic. I truly feel that every obstacle has either been my own fault and I deserved it, or its something that happened to me that I am just victim to.

I’ve seen what cancer does to a family, twice. I was the shy new girl slut shamed for wearing pantyhose at the age of 12. I’m the privileged white girl trying to starve herself to be perfect. I found what felt like love, and had it taken away. I survived a suicide. I’m the girl who feels alone while surrounded by loving people because I’m not grateful enough.

I am so ashamed of not only playing victim, but also not respecting myself. I know that I have the power to change those things, but I’m not ready to. I still want to be smaller, I sill want someone to coddle me because I feel hurt, I want someone to love me enough to save me from myself.

…but I also want to be somebody else’s “amazing person” who helps them feel better by listening to what they say and actually caring about their story. How messed up is that.

Social Media Project…

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A while ago I decided I needed a social media cleanse, here’s how deleeting all apps went.

What I was hoping to get from avoiding social media for just over a week

  • To feel more in control of my emotions
  • To be more productive / procrastinate less
  • To feel less lonely (without the influence of what other people are feeling / doing) 

What I found during the week 

  • Did I feel more in control of my emotions? My mood was more consistent without the influence of other people’s posts, but this definitely wasn’t some magical fix to get rid of all mood swings / make me a super happy person.
  • Was I more productive? I found I was doing things when I wanted to / on my time, rather than waiting to see who was online/awake. I felt like I wasn’t waiting around for people as much which showed me how often I AM THE REASON that I’m not accomplishing everything I want to get done. Again, in terms of being a magic fix this definitely wasn’t one. 
  • Did I feel less lonely? Here’s where I am SO HAPPY I did this. I wasn’t any more/ less lonely, however emotionally this was a HUGE step forward for me. I had to be brave and take the first step in reaching out to people when I was struggling, not just talk to who ever was available. I realized how heavily I was relying on certain people, who when I couldn’t just see that they were online ready to chat, weren’t necessarily the people I would want to talk about my problems with. I also saw which friends actually want to support me and are willing to listen on bad days. I also noticed which friends would really make the effort and which would just try and fluff it off.

Going forwards

  • I dont care for facebook. I still find myself checking to see who is online every so often, and I do enjoy the fact that I can check up on friends I haven’t seen in a while. However, in general I can go with out reading the stories and “likes” and all the other random posts that show up in the news feed. Although I will be keeping my Facebook account, I will not be reinstalling the app on any of my devices.
  • My use of instagram, twitter and snapchat is less constant and I hope to keep it this way. All things in moderation, these apps will stay.
  • I’m definitely going to try and spend more time with the friends wiling to put in the effort, and less time wishing over the ones who care less. I need to stop letting people walk all over me just because I want to be their friend, if they don’t feel the same way about me / don’t have time for me.

Although I still need to work on finding connection to this world, I think this week was a step in the right direction. I was able to step away from excuses and see where and how I need to make changes to become the person I want to be.

Happy December 

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December brought the first big snow storm of the year. I’m sure I’m not alone in my distaste for the winter months, but yesterday put a smile on my face.

Picture this…

You wake up to find that there was a HUGE snow storm the night before and roads will be bad for your morning drive. As you’re getting ready you make sure to bundle up because it’s cold. Walking to the car you see that on top of the typical half foot of snow covering your car, there is also a foot of snow packed on to the side from the wind drifting.You planned on driving through the city thinking the roads would be paved, but you can see that cars are backed up bumper to bumper as far as you can see. Maybe the highway will be better, you think. Visibility is low and people are driving 20 kilometers per hour instead of the usual 100. On your way back into the city you see that the graters are heading toward you, YAY for clean roads!!! Stopped at a red light you notice that no one is moving, not even the cars that have the green light. You look to your left and see that the ENTIRE line of cars has been BLOCKED by the MOUNTAIN of snow left by the graters…except three guys have pulled shovels out of their cars (true Canadians right there!) and started shoveling a path out! Those three guys not only got them selves out, but probably made the roughly 8 cars of people’s days, as well as putting a HUGE SMILE on my face for their good heartedness. They could have sat there for who knows how long waiting for another grater to come along and move the snow, but instead they braved the cold, got to it, and got everyone moving. 

Talk about 3 guys making the best of their situation. Their good deed put me in such a good mood, eventhough I wasn’t even a car that was stuck, I was smiling the whole way home. I could have been upset at how much longer the drive took or how poor a job the graters were doing, but there was no reason for it. I was safe, people were driving carefully, no one was hurt, we all got to where we needed to be. It’s nice how the city comes together a little every year during the first big snowstorm with everyone helping out and being understanding. 

Shout out to everyone who helped a neighbour today! 

Social Media Project – New Beginings

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On this journey to becoming a better person I’ve been reading Pema Chodron’s Taking The Leap. I first picked it up [haha just kidding I read my books electronically so the saying isn’t quite right but I just love how comfortable that saying sounds] when I was searching for a book to expand my yoga practice. When I saw it was only about 60 pages long, I thought it would be an easy read so why not start…it’s now a week later and I’m only 3 chapters in. So far I think the book was written really well and I LOVE how much it makes me think about how a lot of the things I’m unhappy with right now, or that I feel are out of control, can be handled depending on which parts of me I choose to use. I also appreciate the perspective that the book takes of each person being born open and loving and that it’s society that shapes us to be closed off, and how it’s our job to break through that. One thing that’s pointed out early on is the concept of taking time to “pause” in your day. Just taking a moment to slow down, to try and calm down your mind. This is something that I feel could help me during my busy days. To learn to put asside the things I have to do next, and give the present moment my attention. 

Lately I’ve noticed myself having lots of anxiety over social media. Whether it be the constant flip between platforms waiting for something new to pop up, hoping for a friend to message, or the constant looking for “something more”. I’m tired of always feeling like there should be something on my phone. I do not believe that an electronic device should control my life. I also HATE the false sense of connection that my phone gives me, and how unsatisfying that connection is. 

I’ve decided that I’m going to go a week without using social media by deleting all apps from both my phone and tablet, and that I’m going to use Chodron’s concept of “pause” to fill the void every time I go to try and open an app. I figure without deleting the apps, I’m in such a habit of mindlessly checking social media that I’ll just be accidentally opening apps. 

Things I hope come out of this week:

  • I start to lessen my craving [for lack of a better word] for the connection that other people appear to have in pictures and posts on social media
  • I stop waiting for other people to validate my existence with never ending conversation  
  • I learn to listen more attentively and handle things via text/email less
  • I go out and see/meet people to find connection

One thing I fear:

  • I instead find a new way to procrastinate 

I think that this may be a challenging step but I think it’s an important step to take going forward. I think that through yoga and my attempts at meditation I’m starting to be able to focus on my breathing to stay grounded but I haven’t been able to do that with out the structure of a yoga class or a meditation podcast. I’m not ready to take on the challenge of listening to my body, that’s something I have struggled with since I was 12, but listening to my mind is something I can tackle. 

The “work in progress” Me

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I used to consider myself quite the perfectionist. I liked things neat and organized, I had good grades in school, I always payed attention to detail and I made sure I behaved so everyone would like me. These all sound like such good qualities, but I tend to take them too far. It wasn’t until these past few years when everything started falling apart that I realized that the “organized” version of myself wasn’t actually me, but just a way of coping. 

At some point I seem to have learnt that in order to be a true successful adult you needed to be busy, always stressed, and hard working. Being that all I’ve wanted since I was 12 was to be an adult, it’s not so surprising that I made my life into what I thought I wanted. In high school I filled every moment I could with extracurricular activities/sports, healthy living/cooking/calorie counting, volunteering, babysitting and a part time job. I’ve always taken pride in my pretty and very filled in day planners, to the point where for a while I had bathroom breaks scheduled in. Although this was all over the top, I was extremely productive and I was more or less happy with where my life was going.

…then came university and life hit. I can’t blame it all on university but it definitely didn’t help. Nothing can prepare you for the feeling of being thrown to the wolves that university brings. I did have other things going on in my life and I also didn’t give anything 100% so the downfall was my fault. …but that downfall hit hard. All of a sudden I felt so out of control and like no matter what I was bound to fail, so rather than making a plan and pushing through like I used to, I gave up.

I don’t like this person I’ve become. This harsh, whiny, and lazy person. I take things for granted, and when things don’t go my way I give up and blame it on other elements. I want to be the caring, compassionate, hard working girl I used to be. The one people could trust and count on to be over the top nice. I want to be known for being nice to everyone and to always speak highly of people.

I’ve started meditating and trying yoga, but that’s not enough. Calming my mind isn’t going to majically make me a better person. I need to start changing the way I think. Starting with stopping my pointless whining. Yes, the universe has thrown some pretty crappy things my way, but that doesn’t mean that I get to stop trying. I need to start looking for the good in people, rather than finding reasons to push them away. People are only going to leave if I give them a reason to, and those that leave anyway are the ones missing out. I will make myself a better person. I do not believe people change overnight but I do BELIEVE that PEOPLE can GROW into experienced mature BEAUTIFUL beings.

Does anyone have any good exercises/reflections to work on being more positive / think better about other people?