For Some Reason, I Feel Afraid

I spent the last 4 days with Robin: a girl who is pretty much my best friend. Every New Year’s, she comes round to mine and has done for the last 6 years; I met her on blind camp and we see each other at least three times a year. Despite that, we’re just as close as ever, and every time we see each other we have a ‘catch-up session’ that lasts for literally hours, in which she tells me of all the adventures at her college and I update heron my life.

This year was no exception. We spent my birthday and the days after that talking, constantly, in between bouts of me reading Jane Eyre and doing various other bits of homework. She’s incredibly clever, scarily so, and gave me the motivation to work. We went for a speedboat ride yesterday which was amazing; we spent New Year’s with Poppy’s family; we stayed up until 2 o’clock each night chatting.

She’s just left, and now, I’ve been gripped with this awful fear that I can’t shake. I just read another chapter of Jane Eyre, feeling sick and ill throughout, unable to think so I shut my thoughts down until the end of the chapter, so that I’d be able to take in Bronte’s words properly.

If you’ve read my posts over the last two months, you’ll know that my mental health has been less than what it used to be. By that, I mean I’ve been a visible wreck which annoys me slightly: I’ve cried, felt rather too morbid for my own good, but held onto the belief that I blame nobody. All of this I told Robin; she knows everything that happened in the S and Pansy situation and after calling me a bit of an idiot beacause of my tendency to shove my own happiness to the back, she gave me her thoughts on everything. That helped, but then I started to question myself: have I been using my shitty mental health as an excuse to not do work?

This might seem absolutely ridiculous of me to say, but I’ve noticed – how could I not? – that my work ethic has been, for lack of a better word, bullshit. The thing is, I didn’t exactly do anything to improve it; I didn’t try hard enough and was just in this fog of “oooh no, I’m sad, let’s not do work!” It went round in a circle, which meant that I got panicky and couldn’t work, etc. That’s resulted in the situation I’m in now.

To put it frankly, I haven’t done enough work over the holidays. I know that I always say this, but this time, I really mean it; I still haven’t read Othelo and the fact is, I should have. I haven’t completed my French mindmaps, or done what I wanted to do and read more of my French book, or even improved that essay for History. I’m half-disgusted now, and just asking myself – why didn’t you?

Now, I have no good reason, because I could have done it but chose not to. I’ve been so miserable recently, to the point where I wished I could stop existing for a second, and felt – and feel – more worthless than I can explain in this post. That doesn’t mean that I should neglect my work; it doesn’t mean I should just not do it because I can’t be bothered because I’m ‘tired’.

In fact, I’m very tired of myself. I’m so exhausted when I think of the work I haven’t done, and so so scared because I’m behind in everything. I feel irresponsible, childish even, because I let this get the better of me. Is it irrational of me to say that? Perhaps, but it’s how I feel.

I need to get my act together, and it’s quite funny how I’ve come to that conclusion two days before school starts. Come on, Elm, REALLY?

I have to finish reading Jane Eyre; I only have a few chapters left. Then, I need to read Othelo – I skim-read it before, but didn’t take it in as much as I could. After that, or during all of that, I need to learn french vocab WHICH I DON’t EVEN THINK I HAVE BEEN GIVEN, and if I say it now I’ll get screamed at, and I also have to do extra work for French. Oh, god.

Hey, I have a lesson for you. Never, ever, ever leave things to the last minute. More importantly, don’t get caught in the trap of thinking your mental health is bad enough for you to not do work. I’m eternally convinced that I’m exaggerating everything, that I’m 100 percent fine and that if I just tried hard enough then I’d be able to stop feeling this awful, but don’t take that advice. I’m a very, very bad example.

Excuse me while I go and cry in a corner. I’m pretty sure there’ll be no blog-reading for pleasure any more this holiday, or any reading or writing for fun. Bloody hell.

Luckily, Robin now knows everything, and I’m on the road to recovery (that makes it sound worse than it is). I’m more or less always scared, but I can cope.

Crap, we have a French test on Thursday! I think I need to calm down.

From Elm πŸ™‚

40 thoughts on “For Some Reason, I Feel Afraid

  1. Sometimes i do feel like that, like i’m stuck in this hole and I desperately want to get out but at the same time i don’t and i compare it to a period where it comes every month but it doesn’t come every month but you get the tug and feeling of going into the hole. I honestly think it might be mild depression but i think its also all the stress you been through. The drama, the school work and over working your self in general. I personally think it’s some what normal to have a few mental breakdowns in the year and stay in the never ending sadness but i hope that you do find the chance where you just want to be happy for a bit because you achieved something or that someone has compliment on you for putting your all into being you. Honestly we just need to take a break and think “i did a lot so far and sometimes i won’t always get there but when the deadline hits i did my best and with a but more time i’ll get there”. I do hope that you are happy again because being a teenager is hard and i’m only becoming one now. Congrats for making it this far.

    • Thank you SO much for that; I needed it. You’re right: sometimes we need to break. I hope that you feel better, and happier; I know that you can do this. We both can xx

  2. Hey Elm, everything will be fine and best of luck for your french exam, I especially hate giving french exams in general as im kinda weak at french and if you ever want to talk to me you know my skype is always there for your use.

  3. Elm, listen to me, I have been through this and am going through this. Put the book down, turn of technology and allow yourself a complete break for an hour. Go outside for a walk or have a hot bath. This will help essentially reset your mental state. Then do a bit of work. It doesnt have to be much, but whatever you do will be more than noting. Take it slowly and piece by piece, allowing your emotions not to get the better of you. Hope all goes well Xx

  4. It’s two days before school begins for me too and I’m having very much some of the similar feelings. I have a mock English exam this week which I’ve done NO preparation for and little bits of work I should have done which I haven’t. What I mean by this, is that YOU Elm are a very hard-working person, and you’re not the only one in this boat. From time to time, especially in this confusing age that is school and exams and life is general, our mental health lowers and to be honest, I do think it’s an excuse for not doing work. To some extent. And now, you’ve taken that break – you’ve had a good time over Christmas despite your shitty mental health (which I’m sorry to say I know very little about after the lack of reading posts 😦 ) but I do know that you will get there. You WILL finish Jane Eyre and the next book, and you WILL learn the French vocabulary. Just take a little time and space to breathe. Go get some fresh air and then sit down to work. You’ll be fine. Remember how many times before you’ve worried about school work? And it’s always turned out okay. It will this time too. Sending lots of love, Em xx

    • Honestly I love you for your encouragement πŸ™‚ I did my best, and got there in the end; I almost finished the book, so I didn’t read as much as I thought I would. But I tried. How did your mock go? I’m sure that you did fantastically πŸ™‚ keep on going XX

      • Aha I love you too for YOUR encouragement!! Yasss I’m glad you almost finished, and as long as you tried, that’s all that matters! The mock went really, REALLY well, thanks for asking!! I’m so happy and over the moon with the results I’ve received back so far!xx

  5. You know, this has happened to me before and I didn’t know what to do so I texted my friend for help. I felt a lot calmer after she reassured me that everything would be okay. She even offered to come round to help me with a few maths equations but for some reason I said no. The only solution is to just calm down a bit and just do your work with a fresh mind! Eat some fruit or something to clear out all the disturbing thoughts and then head to your room to do your work! You shouldn’t worry about it because everyone makes the stupidest of mistakes! Just remember that everyone in the blogosphere is here to help if you need it! Good luck and *hugs*! πŸ™‚

    -Anna xxx

  6. I also struggle with mental health issues. I have really bad anxiety and depression and a lot of the time it stops me from getting work done. Hang in there though! The fact that you’re confronting it is such a big step in the right direction. Good luck for your exams!
    Jas xx

    • Thank you so so much πŸ™‚ I’ll try my best; I hope that you feel better soon as well. If you ever need any help then let me know! XXX

  7. Great post! I really do understand what your going through! Just remember your mental health is a part of you but it doesn’t define you,I hope this helps and good luck in your exams but don’t ever put them over your health x

    • It does help πŸ™‚ and I’ll try. I’ve always been bad at remembering my health is very important. For some reason, I forget in the world of exams. Best of luck to you too! πŸ™‚ By the way I love your blog

  8. I don’t struggle with mental health issues but I do know this: You did not choose to feel this way. Don’t feel like you’re the one making yourself feel depressed. If you had a broken arm, you wouldn’t say “I’m exaggerating the pain. I’m sure I could use this arm if I tried hard enough” because then you end up hurting yourself. You don’t do your work because you feel depressed and then you feel depressed because you didn’t do your work and then it leads to a dangerous cycle. What you need to understand is that not everything is under your control and that’s okay. Your emotions can get the best of you and work can overwhelm you. But it doesn’t help if you start compounding your feelings on top of this. Just do what you can. Study for your French test, listen to the audio book of Jane Eyre and Othello if you don’t have enough time. Google the synopsis if you have to. Students round the world have been cramming for tests in two hours talk less of two days but they do it so you can too. Don’t sweat the details. By the time school starts, you won’t even remember all the effort you had to put in. Probably because you’ll have more work by then. But still. This too shall pass.

    • I really, really hope so. Your sensible words really helped me πŸ™‚ I needed somebody to tell me that I could do it, and tell me straight up as well. I did what I could, and got there in the end; I’m still very tired but I’m managing πŸ™‚ thank you again XX

  9. OMG! I was going through literally the same thing a few months ago. What really helped me was thinking about it thoroughly. It may sound weird but instead of thinking about how you are not doing anything and stressing out, try thinking about working. Just visualize yourself working and excelling in everything. It would actually make you work more and motivate you. Don’t be hard on yourself, it will be okay! xx

    • I hope that it will be πŸ™‚ that’s actually really good way of doing things – it means that it won’t bring me down or make me feel rubbish. Thank you so much! XX

  10. Don’t stress! You might have a lot of work to catch up on, but we cannot blame life for getting the way. Okay, maybe we can. But that’s not the point. The more you stress, the more behind you’ll get. You can’t change the past. The future is yours to make. So get up, go do some work and stop regretting things!

    • I did my very best; I worked as hard as I could. You were right – I can’t blame life, but I can do something about it. I’m going to keep on working, and keep on doing what I can. Thank you for your encouragement; it really helped XX

  11. All the best for everything! And I’m coincidentally in the middle of Jane Eyre too but I kinda left it three-fourths way in… i need to finish it.

  12. I’m also one of those people who leave the work to pretty much the last minute. It makes me freaking scared specially when there’s an exam coming and I haven’t studied at all. I’ve been hating myself for procrastinating since I was in 5th grade – it was kinda a long time ago. And that makes me think: I wasn’t like this always, how did this happen?
    Don’t stress out too much, it can make you get bad results in your work, just make the best of time and try to not go crazy! (It’s fun I’m telling you this cause I get stressed pretty much all the time about these things LOL)
    And I’m glad you had the opportunity to catch up with your friend, it feels really good when people meet after some time and tell each other how their lives have been!!
    Just try to not get too nervous, everyone procrastinates!! Good luck with you homework and exams!!
    This post was SO relatable!!

    • Thanks so much – and I totally get you! I was trying to do my work I’m just feeling sick with myself because I couldn’t; I’m glad I’m not alone in this. Best of luck to you – and thanks again for your awesome encouragement XX

  13. Elm, take a step back. In terms of catching up on missing work please communicate your worries to your teachers and remember that your health comes first! You deserve a vibrant and successful year and please don’t be so hard on yourself. Who’s fabulous? Elm is fabulous!
    New mantra. Solid. πŸ™‚
    Also a hideously belated happy birthday!

    • Thank you so much! I’ve missed you loads πŸ™‚ I tried to take a step back – and our French teacher talkd to us yesterday about the amount of work we had, which helped. I’m slowly getting through it I think

  14. I know exactly how you feel. I feel like that just about every day that I have work and I always feel like a hot mess. Usually this is the part where I give you advice or something, but I cant. Im sorry. The only thing I can say is tell your friends. I text mine and ask them to once in a while send me a text to keep me motivated. Or, after I do something, I like to reward myself somehow. I don’t know if this helps since I’m kinda in the same boat.

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