I acted very strangely today. As I sit and reflect on it, waiting for my mum to be ready so we can bake together (which we haven’t done for years), I realise just how odd I was. Not bad odd – I acted like myself. Let me explain why that’s weird to me.
Today was a Friday; I’m always a little more happy on Fridays because it’s the end of the week. I spy an end to exhaustion but that’s always tempered by the knowledge that next week, the exhaustion will start again. It’s partly because I never get enough sleep but it’s also because I seem to live in a perpetual state of terror. Last night, something broke that cycle. Last night, I got a little less than 9 hours of proper sleep.
Sleep didn’t solve all my problems, of course, but it set the tone of the day to be not so drab and draining. I didn’t wake up this morning wanting to utterly crawl back inside my bed: I didn’t jump up with purpose because that hasn’t happened in years but I at least didn’t feel like I was about to genuinely expire. This was surprising to me because every single day I’ve woken up for the last few months, possibly longer, I’ve hated myself and wanted to scream. I wish I was exaggerating.
I ate something – not a lot, but I’ve been having really bad problems with eating lately and so at least it was something. After that, I sent a mildly panicked email to my history teacher: I kept repeating, over and over in my head, that I needed to do it so that I’d remember. Again, that set a quite manic (although I don’t like using that word) tone to the day. The point is that I did it; I stuck to a resolution which I haven’t done for weeks.
When I got into school, this weird mindset continued. I was quite spaced out when talking to a teacher but my reality snapped back into focus as soon as I was by myself. Apart from a few brief moments of anger when I thought about a couple of issues I’ve been having with my plans for next year – I’ll talk about that in a separate post – I didn’t feel like the world was hopeless.
In history, I was almost wild with how much I laughed. I did my work as much as I could, breaking off occasionally to hurl insults at my friend Red – you can read about some of my friends here. My eyes were wide but I smiled, only becoming upset with myself a couple of times. Compared with how it usually goes, it was an achievement; I have to take stock in little victories.
For the first time in a while – and yes, there’s a pattern here – I worked productively in my free periods. At break, I had talked with Wren and Swan, really feeling included and like they thought I wasn’t the worst person alive. I’ve been having serious self-esteem problems for, well, ever so this was a breath of fresh air. Then, I didn’t think about how much I was terrified I’d be left alone; I let my thoughts go a bit and tried to bring myself back to a time when I could smile without feeling fear. I worked until I felt ill, making notes at a furious pace and absolutely refusing to stop. That was, until Red and another girl he does Classics with found me and we talked until they had to leave. It was so nice to feel not unhappy about how much work I was doing but in also being forced to take a break. I didn’t feel guilty for that, apart from an irrational piece of guilt that I stomped on .
Walking to english was my favourite part of the day. I’d laughed at lunch again, barely feeling the insecurity that creeps up on me whenever I spend time with people now. With my friend Swan, I sang along to possibly the greatest song ever. As we got into the lesson, Swan was doing her seagull-laugh and falling on the floor; I was just standing there howling and leaning on a desk. That was how our teacher found us and as this is a usual occurrence, she barely made any comment. Throughout that lesson, I felt calm and not like I was about to cry whenever I thought about making a contribution. It was like how I’d acted at the beginning of year 12. I didn’t feel free but I didn’t feel trapped, either. At some point, I’ll write a post about how amazing my english teacher is because she pretty much saved me from breaking down several times.
Getting home was a bit of an ordeal because I started to “fade” again before I started writing this post. However, I won’t dwell on that because it’ll detract from the day. What I know is that I’m capable of not feeling so awful. It may not last – it probably won’t – but this was a respite from how I usually treat myself.
It may seem like this day was entirely positive and perhaps it was but this doesn’t mean that every day is going to be like this. I need to be realistic because even when I was happy, there was an almost hysterical quality to it. I didn’t want to stop the feeling but something in me knew that I shouldn’t feel this energetic all the time. Is that just my brain refusing to let me be happy or is it right? I don’t know.
I am capable of returning to who I was. Not even that – I have always been this, right up to now; I’m just letting that side show. It’s been so long that I’ve been myself, above all to myself, that I forgot what I was like. Now, I remember.
Even just a little bit, I remember. And I hope other people do too and that “myself” won’t be stifled.
Do you have days where you remember what you’re truly like? How do they make you feel?
From Elm 🙂