A Strange Kind of Feeling

Yesterday was my last counselling session and I don’t quite know how to feel. On the one hand I’m terrified it’s over; on the other, I have this odd sense of happiness that I don’t know how to place. It’s not a feeling I’m used to.

I sent an email to two of my teachers on Tuesday because my mental health has got to the point where I’m finding it hard to function. It started with the words, “I’m finding it incredibly difficult to write this email. However, expressing how I’m feeling in person is getting increasingly more difficult.” I still wrote it, a 700-word long email that took me an hour to put together. My mum encouraged me to talk about my feelings to the school after I’d spent a while crying to her. Without counselling, I know I couldn’t have done that.

That email was the culmination of many things. I’d gone to talk to my history teacher before the Easter holidays, terrified out of my mind because of how behind and overwhelmed I still was. In the holidays, I tried to give myself a mental break and it might not have worked to the extent that I’d wanted but it was a start. Yes, I didn’t get much work done but the alternative was to exhaust myself again.

Jane, my counsellor (or former counsellor, now) is amazing. In our last session, when I told her about the open conversations I’ve been having with my dad and the way I didn’t feel so “desperately alone” anymore, I said that – for the first time – I was properly proud of myself. That openness and honesty was because of me, not because of anyone forcing me. I’d done it when I’d felt ready, without intense amounts of pressure. It felt real, like the results were tangible. I suppose they are, really.

I can see them in the way I talk to people. As I said in my email, “I feel ill and worried pretty much all the time” but that doesn’t mean there aren’t people there. I may not be okay but actual evidence, rather than paranoid fears, has shown me that I’m capable of talking to people.

Of course, there are consequences. Because of the school confidentiality rules, it’s being shown to my other teachers and the head of Sixth Form. I knew all this before I wrote and sent the email – I think it’s part of the reason I did it. I needed people to understand, to hear it through my own words. Explaining it vaguely hasn’t been enough and trying to hint at how I feel in lessons is so exhausting that I just can’t do it.

Perhaps this will change things. There may only be around 6 weeks left of proper teaching; I may not catch up on all of my work but I at least want to make a difference for myself. I’m incredibly pessimistic so it might all go to shit but the pessimism isn’t all-consuming, all the time. Having no counselling on a Wednesday is going to be painful at first and I’ll need some kind of support but it doesn’t feel insurmountable anymore. God, 6 months ago, I wouldn’t even have been able to say that sincerely, or to wish for it!

There is hope for the future. Last Saturday, I spent the day with Pearl and two other friends and we watched Love, Simon, which was one of the most heartwarming things I’ve ever seen. Pearl and I got lost in the cinema and spent an hour, whilst waiting for my dad to come and pick me up, talking. I didn’t feel like she was going to hate me; I didn’t feel like I was faking part of my personality to stop her hating me. It just felt nice, and happy, and calm. Examining my emotions, not criticising myself for having a good day and letting myself feel is one of the things we focused on – without explicitly stating that – in the sessions I had with Jane.

All of this is a beginning. It won’t solve everything; it hasn’t even got close. However, these achievements – whatever they’re worth – show me I’m not the worst person alive, as I said to Jane yesterday. I’m going to go back to the GP at some point but at least I know that support is there. At least I’m holding onto that support.

I have to take things one step at a time, in my own time. The feeling of relief and the lack of violent upset that accompanies that is beautiful. At least to me.

From Elm 🙂

In Which I Met a Girl

Hello,
I bring to you, my most likely exasperated readers, the first proper Elm-love-life-update in, probably, a year. It’s the start of one. It’s the feelings. It’s the freedom I haven’t had in ages because for once, the person I’ll be talking about won’t be reading this. I need to talk about it so I don’t forget that I’m capable of this kind of feeling, writing, again.

Today, I met a girl. I’ll call her Pearl for the purposes of this blog because I want to give her a name at least connected to nature. We started speaking about a week and a half ago, online; even saying that makes me feel like people are judging me because it was on a dating app. I signed up to it because I’ve been feeling really uncomfortable with some internalised, unpleasant thoughts about my sexuality because of what people have said to me before (a post on that to come!). However, I didn’t start speaking to her as a way to “prove” something to myself. I started speaking to her because she was interesting, funny; because the first conversation we had included reasons why certain types of boxes were great; because I dn’t have to tone myself down like I have to do with some other people.

Every single day since then, we’ve spoken, as if we’ve known each other for ages. When she told me she liked YA novels, I shrieked out loud. When I fangirled about Simon vs., Autoboyography and books in general, I messaged her. Most of our fangirling conversations include all capitals and I don’t feel like I’c being annoying. My insecurities aren’t gone when I speak to her but they aren’t all-consouming and don’t make me want to shut down.

It wasn’t until earlier this week that I talked about meeting. Usually, I’m more cautious than this: I wait for a while before meeting people from online and often get terrified beforehand. With her, I suggested it, convinced she’d say no. We’d exchanged numbers a few days before and in my typical fashion, I said it in the cringiest way possible (including the fact that I was cringing in my message). When I asked if she wanted to meet, instead of ignoring me, she replied with “OMG YESS” and I was so happy that this was going well that I laughed. I’m not used to this, as you can tell. Then, I was done with being too cautious. I didn’t even pretend to not be apprehensive: I was nervous but not scared. I wanted to meet her because my disability wasn’t a talking point for her, because my talk of my family and endless wailing about things I loved didn’t put her off. She didn’t dismiss me or make me feel small.

When I talked to Wren about it, the only one who knew about it properly before it happened apart from my dad (for safety, just in case), I spoke about it in the most carefree way. I got taken over by this feeling that seemed foreign only because I hadn’t experienced it for a long time. It was anticipation. I was doing something I wanted to do, casually and without a massive fanfair, but it was still important. Pearl and I spoke on the phone and our planning turned into a conversation diversion about friends, our inability to plan and then finally some concrete ideas about when, where and how.

This morning, still tired from going out to London yesterday, I did a bit of creative “lying” to my mum. As she wouldn’t be okay with me seeing anyone I met online, least of all a girl, I told her I was meeting Ivy who you can read about here. I’d been texting Pearl all this time, figuring out which bus she was arriving in on so that I went to the right place. In the car journey on the way there, I kept smiling widely, to the point where my mum got suspicious and asked, “Are you meeting your secret boyfriend?” I burst out laughing, couldn’t stop and then told her that was bullshit.

When Pearl eventually found me, after my mum left, we hugged and I probably acted painfully weirdly. It was so natural from the start of it; we both already knew we were shit at making decisions and so our first stop was Costa. We stayed in there for an hour and a half, talking constantly about instruments, books, relationships and only remembering to order something when we were asked by someone who was most likely getting irritated by our chatter and me occasionally raising my voice to more than a conversational murmur. By the time we got out, it was gone 12 and because the weather was lovely, we decided to go to the nearby park.

Walking along the path in the quiet with her, whilst the sun shone on the right side of my face, felt so open. It was then we spoke about our childhoods and how cringey we were, regailing each other with stories that made me laugh so loudly that I’m sure it reverberated around the place we were standing. I never usually go out anywhere with people like that, mainly because I only have 3 friends who live near me who I’d be comfortable just wandering around with. This felt different: it felt relaxed.

It continued like this for the whole day, through lunch and when she came to my house. We sat on beanbags as she showed me videos of her when she was younger and I cried with laughter; she saw my infamous ornament shelf in my room and far too soon, it was quarter to five and we’d lost track of time. I remember thinking that I didn’t want the day to end because I’d felt absolutely comfortable, not like I was pretending to be funny or happy or anything. It felt right and when we hugged goodbye and she said we had to see each other again because this day was nice, I echoed it back to her and told her I’d had a great day. We’d spent the time talking about our lives and there wasn’t a second of our conversations that I wish I hadn’t said.

It’s safe to say I “like” her, in a way. I’m trying to not rush headlong into these feelings, or the beginnings of them, because that’s got me nowhere before. However, what’s so wrong with having them? Why is it that I’m holding myself back? It’s a fear of judgement, which I didn’t feel today. The day wasn’t romantic; we didn’t kiss, we didn’t hold hands; I certainly didn’t act more strangely than I usually do.

I thought I wasn’t able to do this anymore. To breathe and live, like I was worth something more than the twisted version of myself that appears inside my thoughts. I didn’t even have to try. I don’t have “feelings” for her but I might be on my way there and I know it sounds ridiculous, after a week and a half, but I need to cut myself some slack. It’s okay to have non life-altering, non earth-shattering feelings. It’s okay to be happy with that. It’s okay that the consequences, however scary they might be, won’t upset me as much as the last few times.

I’m okay and I’ve had an amazing day. I miss her and I know she didn’t feel the depth of emotion I felt today but I’m really glad that she wanted to spend time with me, genuinely, because she thinks I’m not boring or dull or any of the adjectives I describe myself to be. She’s not on a pedestal for me: she’s a person who makes me smile in a way that I thought was lost.

To the majority of my friends, this is completely new as I didn’t mention this before, at all. However, I’ve come to realise I’m now incredibly uncomfortable when talking about anything to do with my “love life”. I feel terrible that I didn’t talk about it before but I don’t know how to anymore; I don’t trust like I used to and that makes me feel guilty. I can’t let this ruin my day, though.

I’m not too bothered if people judge me for how I met her because I can live my life and I want to make the most of this time. What’s so wrong about that?

From Elm 🙂

Spoken Word and Smiles | My Amazing Day with GracieChick!

On the last day of term, which so happened to be my blogging anniversary I went into London with my friend Swan to meet the amazing Gracie. It was a trip we’d been planning for weeks, spawned from a comment I’d left on a post she wrote asking if I could come and watch her in her Spoken Word performance. It started as a little idea and then flourished into one of the best days of my life.

After school, Swan and I went back to my house and after eating a little, prepared to go out. We were travelling to South London, not entirely sure of the route we were taking but the laughter that ensued from that was some of the most full laughter I’ve had in a while. It was raining but the journey in wasn’t bad: I was internally screeching with excitement, texting Gracie with far too many exclamation marks (as I always do).

We met outside the station, me accidentally waving in the wrong direction and then making some comment about how much of a mess I was. It took a while to sink in that I was actually there and on the short walk to the theatre, I couldn’t stop smiling, although I had my hood up from the rain so that I didn’t look odd with a massive grin on my face. It had taken some organisation to do this and now that I was finally there, it felt surreal.

Over hot chocolate, Swan, Gracie and I talked about everything. Conversations ranged from what our lives were like to me endlessly fangirling over bloggers – I spent a while exclaiming over how lovely and supportive Bri is. A big subject was identity and how interesting it can be to how a blogging name vs. your actual name. We talked for an hour and a half before Gracie had to go for rehearsal, by which time the café we were in had nearly emptied.

After Gracie went to practice, her family offered to take Swan and I out for dinner which was so thoughtful of them. We went to a Vegetarian and Vegan Indian restaurant, perfect for Swan (as she’s Vegetarian with plans to go Vegan in the summer). Gracie’s mum, dad, younger brother and sister are some of the nicest people I’ve met – conversations were easy, friendly and made me feel so included. They’re so supportive of Gracie’s blog which I thought was amazing, as it took a long time before I even told my mum about this blog. As became even more pronounced later, I neither felt especially Elm-like or my real name-like (which I nearly just wrote THAT WAS TERRIFYING): I didn’t feel like I needed an identity just then because I was just present there; it didn’t matter what name I went by.

When we’d finished eating, we walked back to the theatre to collect our tickets. We went into the room where the performances were held after meeting Gracie’s aunt and uncle; there were so many other people there despite it being a relatively small room. By that point, I couldn’t wait to hear Gracie: I love her poetry and so hearing it being performed was going to be a real honour. As I’d also not heard much urban music before, I was seriously looking forward to the other performances too.

The atmosphere was electric, made more so by the enclosed and familiar space. With the lights dimmed and us sitting right at the front, I felt anticipation building up inside me. This was all totally knew: the setting, the people there, the feeling of utter freedom. I had my fingertips on the table in front of me, which was what grounded me.

I love new experiences. That was why the music, a mixture of rap, reggae and acapella, affected me so much. I have a weirdly strong reaction to lyrics or particularly powerful beats and when I was surrounded by it, I could feel my breath in my lungs and my heart beating. Perhaps it’s because I’m a dreamer at heart but I felt like I was floating, then suddenly getting jolted back to earth. Gracie was the second performer and so I’d already had this reaction and, as I started to feel more and more happy and comfortable, the emotions of the whole thing were on a constant loop inside my head.

Gracie’s performance was, in a word, magical. Of the two poems she performed, “Beauty” spoke to me most: her voice rose and fell like she breathed and owned the words, coming forth straight from her heart. I absorbed those words, feeling hit with some kind of overwhelming emotion. The swell of pride I felt in the breaks between lines and in the thundering applause I gave after was immense. It felt amazing to be sitting there, witnessing the passion she has for words in real life, and being able to talk about it.

Leaving was the hardest part. I gave Gracie and her mum a massive hug and as Swan and I walked out of the theatre, I felt like I was about to cry. On the way home, when we ran for the train, I couldn’t stop a pervading sense of euphoria from making its way to my brain. It felt carefree, like I’d done something for myself which I truly, purely enjoyed.

This was the perfect end to my term, the perfect celebration of friendship and the best way to step out of my comfort zone whilst feeling the most myself I’ve felt in months. Having Swan beside me made it even better because I couldn’t think of a better person to go on this little adventure with. I’m so thankful that it all turned out so well in the end – from the minute the little flower of thought blossomed in my mind to it becoming a reality, I knew that this was something I wanted to do. For Gracie, for me but most of all, to have all the parts of my life that I love the most collide. It was fantastic and I can’t wait to meet up with Gracie and her lovely family again.

Thank you for such an amazing evening and for letting me smile so much. I miss you loads, you are awesome and I’m still buzzing!

Love from Elm 🙂

Happy 3 Years to Me!

Three years ago, the day after I’d attempted to make an about page that has changed over the years, I sat down to write the first post of a blog that would – at times – be the only thing holding me together. I didn’t know where it’d go, coming straight from the ashes of a failed blog, but it’s brought me further than I could have imagined. With some hitches along the way and some breakdowns, three years later, I’m still here and still very much Elm.

I didn’t know what to do for this year’s celebration post. I couldn’t have done a giveaway because I had nothing to give away and it didn’t feel like something I was comfortable with; I’ve already done a Q&A somewhere down the line; I was struggling to think of anything that would be suitably “Elm”. Then I realised: that’s the problem. I was too busy thinking about what might be received well, rather than thinking, “What do I want to write and how do I want to thank my readers?”

The idea popped into my head a few minutes ago, actually. What if I talked about what makes me Elm? I’ve gone through many identities throughout my life but there’s not one that’s as unique as “Elm” because Elm is me, yet Elm also represents something that’s more important to me than anything else. It’s a person without barriers, where it doesn’t matter that I’m blind or that I don’t understand references sometimes. It’s my store of confidence alongside my expression of insecurity and I have to remember that. Instead of just listing them, I’m going to involve you. Without my readers, without any of you, this “Elm” would not have grown into being.

It’s not like “Elm” was suddenly worn as an identity by me, that it was a layer of person put on all at once. It came about from who I was before, building up in little sections, getting progressively more defined as I made mistakes. I can trace those formations of sections, when I really started to feel like I belonged here, from the start of Three Time’s the Charm and from then on, through the journey of my posts. A thread to go alongside is that of my readers.

The first thing I started to be was supportive. I’d never really had a drive to be like that before: of course I wanted to but it was in starting a blog that I could start to express that wish. I helped people, whether through my words in my posts or through talking to them. I wasn’t powerless: I had a voice that I could use for good and I remember, one day, crying over how much that support network meant to me. I allowed myself to be supported in return and I’ve built up a close friendship with so many people here that I don’t know what I’d do without them. This blog has caused me to become more attentive to people, able to understand what they’re going through and to be empathetic. I might have learned this somewhere else but being Elm connected me to people I wouldn’t have been connected with otherwise and that made the world very real.

Right from the start, I was open simply because people who read my blog wanted to hear it. This links with being supported but it’s a whole new category; I relied (and rely) on expressing my emotions to an audience that will listen. It’s been so comforting to me to be able to vent. Although my posts aren’t as personal any more in terms of real life situations (I hope to change that), I still have this open mindset whenever I post. It’s been rare that I’ve been truly scared to write anything down because people are so welcome here. It doesn’t feel like I’ll be judged for swearing, for shrieking with terror and fuck, I’m thankful for that.

There’s a certain creativity that I’ve developed and I think it’s from meeting so many other creative people. I’ve seen people who write in so many different ways, from poetry to diaries to posts about beauty and fashion. It’s expanded my blogging horizons, to use a painfully cliche phrase. Sometimes, it can feel overwhelming and panic-inducing to try and be creative all the time but it’s made me remember that my personality as a whole is imaginative. I’ve learned to appreciate the little signs of a creative mind because you don’t have to have photos or intricate designs on your blog to be considered creative. Acceptance from people all around the world has made me accept my own personality traits.

My introduction to Twitter as well as continuous emailing throughout my time here, has let me talk to people that have become some of my best friends. Kel was and is an instrumental part of that because he’s been here for such a long time and has always stuck by me. People who have known me for 2 years or two months never fail to help me when I need it and to make me laugh until I sob; people from every conceivable place have been so supportive to everyone and are always there when I need to talk. The community is what gives me faith in humanity and they let me remember that I have qualities that are good and when I’m having one of my infamous crises, I don’t feel disgusting or hopelessly needy when talking to them.

I’ve not been here for that long, if you think about how long some people have been here, but I love blogging so much. It held me up when everything was so shit, last October and the October before that and for all those times when I hate myself and can’t think without becoming hysterical. It’s let me become more honest when I’ve lied and that’s carried over into ‘real life’. To me, it’s not just a casual hobby and I could never just throw it away. It means too much to me.

On my blogging anniversary today, I went to meet the amazing Gracie and I couldn’t have been more excited! I’ve been looking forward to this for weeks, ever since the possibility of it went from a rosebud into a fully-fledged flower. I’ll let you know how it all went tomorrow because I can’t wait to tell you about it!!

This might seem sentimental, overly emotional or with too much of “OMG I LOVE YOU GUUUYYSS!” but it’s true. I can’t understate how much people have been here for me and how much my blog has impacted my life. It still confuses me how I’ve managed to amass over 3500 followers through my messy wailing posts and frequent breakdowns. Thank you, so much, for not giving up on me.

It’s been an amazing three years and I hope there will be far more posts like this, for many more years. I don’t plan to leave a part of myself behind anytime soon.

You are all wonderful and I kind of want to cry because it hits me occasionally, just how supportive some people can be. I’ll stop screaming now but honestly, I could go on and on about how much I love the people that read this pile of crap I call a blog.

Looks like I’m still Elm and I couldn’t be more glad of that.

From Elm 🙂

I Tried | A Poem

I try
To speak, loud and uncaring
With a jolt to my words,
The fire in me flaring
With hope. But you stand,
Silent as a question of “What?”
And I am left stranded.

I do my best
To be interesting, threads
Filling my mind, bursting out
In a frenzy of unsaid
Stitching. But you scorn,
Above such notions of roses
Without thorns.

I stutter
From being, a make-believe
Wish of my own worth waning
Beneath a sneering sky. I am naive
To have thought I was wanted,
A spoonful of happy unworthy of note-
So weren’t I better faded?

I silence
My heart, rebelling and hopeless
Because each word I say is flawed.
I surface, reckless.
I thought it was simple to love
But to you,
I am not good enough.


Words and little actions can really hurt sometimes, even if they aren’t meant to. Over time, it can start to have an effect.

From Elm 🙂

Hysterically Myself

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 🙂

Too Lonely for Poetry

There are things I know I like to do. One is to write creatively, another is to act, another is to have constant personality crises and shout about them on the Internet. Actually, I don’t really like doing that last one but it’s part of my writing and existence and is, occasionally, what keeps me functioning.

Sometimes, I combine all three of these things. I act on the Internet, pretending everything’s fine – or that I can adequately write poetically about my crises and feelings. Most times I can manage but what’s harder to admit is that sometimes it feels like a facade. I want to get rid of that paper lantern and show you what I’m like when I just don’t know. Too often, I find myself harnessing an articulation I don’t feel, to spin sentences out of silk that just isn’t there. See? I’m doing it right now.

When it comes to love or a step away from it, I have too many feelings to process and unpick. I don’t know how to handle any of them. It’s got to the point where it’s impossible for me to talk about them on this blog because I’m desperately scared of sounding immature and also because I’m irrationally paranoid people will find out who it is I talk about and ridicule me forever. In counselling, I attempt to get this out but it doesn’t always work, as I’m still yet to understand how I should approach this.

On one hand, I know what I want to do about my feelings. I know I’m fine with having them – but what are these feelings? How deep do they actually run? What worries me is that I’ll do my usual thing: run away because I convince myself that no one cares and then deprive my own heart of anything that remotely resembles a positive experience. Finally, I thought I was getting somewhere with showing myself I was able to deal with any potential fallout that might happen but, well, no.

Not that there’s a hope in hell of any of my feelings ever being returned, of course. It’s a given now; I’ve lost all hope of ever, genuinely, being what someone would look for. I know I shouldn’t base my worth on what people think but it feels ridiculous to me that anyone could “love” me’ least of all want to tell me that. I keep trying and trying and trying to be strong and secure in my own mind but it’s difficult when I can feel blocked from talking out of fear.

How can I get across the panic I feel at me fucking up again? I don’t know. The best I can do is to tell you I’m scared I’ll be the one to make things too serious, too weird, and then that I’ll show my paranoia and emotions to someone and they’ll just go. I have such a low opinion of myself; I have such deep-rooted and unprocessed issues and the most recent people I’ve had feelings for wouldn’t cope with that. Would they? I don’t know. I don’t like taking chances because when I do, it seems I take the wrong ones.

This was too rambling. This wasn’t detailed enough: I wish I could do an analysis of my own mind. If I’d talked about everything from day 1, not hidden my thoughts from myself, it might be easier. In this post, I’m barely a writer but I’m an actor – I’m still holding it together, surprisingly. My structure and grammar hasn’t gone totally out of the window. I’m still pretending, just that little bit, when I shouldn’t. Blogging is where I can be as honest as I’ll ever be and I can’t forget that.

Maybe I should let things be but I’ve let things be for so long that I’m restless. In a weird way, I want to be proactive. It hurts that I can’t express any feelings openly and one of the only people who could help me with that would never read this.

I feel adrift in a jumble of useless words that mean nothing. I feel powerless and hopeless, unable to express, enclosed and trapped. Fear clenches in my stomach; I constantly have this tightness in my throat because I’ve been here before and it didn’t end well.

The worst thing? I can’t even be honest with myself.

I know exactly how I feel right now. I know how frightening that is. I also know that there’s nothing I can do to stop it and that I need to wait it out until I figure out a way to reconcile myself with it.

Do you ever feel this lonely, too? Do you ever want to ask for help in figuring out your mind but you don’t even know where to start?

From Elm 🙂

I Am Romantically Hopeless

I mentioned to a friend this morning that I’d never gone on a proper date with anyone and that if I ever do, I wouldn’t know what to do. When I reflected on this a few hours later, I couldn’t help laughing because I realised something: when it comes to “romance” of any sort, I am utterly and completely hopeless at it.

All of the ideas of romance, I’ve got from books or the occasional film, when I go out of my prehistoric habitat to watch one. Any experiences I’ve had have usually been me accidentally realising I have feelings for someone, getting confused (and not in the adorable way), attempting to ignore them and then situations happening which I never expected. My first kiss happened when one of my friends was about to leave and I got panicked about saying goodbye; I asked someone to be my girlfriend and managed to sound like a fool whilst doing it.
I don’t think I’ve ever expressly shown affection to anyone in public, as my relationships have either been long-distance, not a relationship or the opportunity never presented itself. I don’t know what it’s like to feel comfortable in public with someone who I have feelings for, in the sense where I can express those feelings openly (even with words). If you put me in that kind of situation, I’d probably… Wail and run away.

As I’ve said, I’ve never been on a date. How do you even go on a date? Do you just ask someone, or what? I’ve never had the experience of trying to pick clothes for myself to wear, firstly because I’m awful with fashion but secondly because it’s never seemed to matter before. It’s rare that I meet someone casually who I have feelings for: I’ve never been confident enough to suggest going out by myself with anyone.

It’s not like “romance” should be built up to this huge thing. Dates, traditional things like flowers and hearts and cuteness, aren’t the be all and end all of “love” because they’re materialistic and can just be put down to gestures. However, I’m rubbish with emotions too. I get them wrong, get awkward, don’t know how to handle them and end up wildly screeching in a room by myself instead of talking to people about them. Oops.

My approach to my internal feelings is even weirder than my approach to the people I have feelings for. Does that even make sense? What I do is I repress them hugely, realise I’ve been doing that and instead of being rational about it, I make intense jokes about the whole thing and go into “crisis mode”. Afterwards, of course, I realise that I was a moron. For that time, though, I attempt to convince myself that they would never “like me back”, cringe at the seemingly childish words, cringe at myself for even possessing a heart and then take to Twitter to scream about my feelings to try and distract myself. It invariably fails.

When I’m sure about my feelings, I do one of three things. Either I tell the person, I tell everyone but the person or I try and tell the person and then backpedal, screaming. The first one hasn’t happened for about 40000 years, the second happens far too often and the third happened quite recently (being in the last 6 months). Anything else has happened accidentally which means that when feelings do crop up, I’m at a loss. Imagine me holding my hands up in surrender with a terrified look on my face and you should be able to understand.

Why am I saying this? To put it simply, because I find it hilarious. It does bother me occasionally, in that I want to express myself and not have any nasty consequences (like, you know, destruction of friendships and my heart burning in a fiery pit). To cope with it, I laugh about it because I know it’s true that I’m awful with this kind of thing.

The worst thing is that I’m a huge romantic at heart but externally, I become awkward and don’t act like it. I used to get “crushes” far too easily but now, when they do appear, they’re like a demon and I’ve never been a demon-slayer. As soon as I realised I actually like the concept of romance and of people caring about me, I kind of imploded.

How are you with romance? If you don’t experience romantic feelings, do you like reading about them – or what do you think? Let me know!

From Elm 🙂

It’s My Friend’s 18th Birthday

Hello you,
The first time I met you was when you were 16 and so I don’t really have the right to be all “OMG you’re so old I knew you when you were a foetus!” but I do have the right to make you cringe so much that you no longer want to be friends with me. Prepare for it and don’t say I didn’t warn you. Unfortunately, you’ve seen the cringiest side of me so I can’t really hide it any more.

Today is your 18th birthday and I’m feeling quite emotional. Over the last 2 years, you’ve taught me so much about myself: that I can make mistakes, that I’m shit at replying but that I have the potential to grow and change and that I’m not such a terrible person after all. You’d bet to differ and I’ll probably get a message from you, after this, saying “I didn’t make you realise that so fuck off” but you’d be wrong. If it weren’t for you, I wouldn’t have even realised that I needed to change because you’re one of the only people who points out my shit and makes me think about it.

On the subject of that, there are a lot of things you do which – if anyone else did it – it’d be weird and would make me feel grim. You can regularly make jokes about my past “relationships” that border on the horrific. Actually no, they are disgusting and I despise you but they make me laugh until I cry. Back when everything was making me upset and I honestly thought I was the worst person alive, those jokes were some of the only things that helped.

You go to a shit ton of effort for me and part of me doesn’t get why but I appreciate it. There was one time when you went totally out of your way to come and see me, which is one of my happiest memories ever. I can shriek on and on about how great I think you are, making your ego rise to the height of the Shard but I think you know all of it already. If you don’t, if you doubt yourself, I’ll consistently scream compliments at you, the assets of your personality that you forget about and make you absolutely hate me.

To put it politely, you know far too many embarrassing things about me. From all my foetus pictures to you hearing me cringing at how much I repress my thoughts, you’ve pretty much seen it all. I could go from sending you crying voice messages to yelling at you about how much I’d like to visit Kansas one day and various other Oz-related things. Really, how do you put up with me? (She says, narcissistically wailing about herself)

The amount of memes I have with you is ridiculous. I don’t know who started calling them “memes” and usually, it’s not my type of thing to say but I can’t see normal memes because blind and so I like referring to them as that. It was probably you and I wouldn’t want to steal your joke. I’m not sure if you’ll be around to talk this evening but if you are, I plan to say all our memes in one conversation. I could do it, if I really tried, but nothing would come of it if I did. It’d just be the same old thing I usually do.

At the end of the day I’m a writer, so I’ve done a lot of writing for your birthday. There’s this and a few other things too. You didn’t want a materialistic present so this was the best I could do; I hope it doesn’t totally disappoint you. I may not know every single little thing about you, I may not be the best person all the time but I want to show you that I care.

One day, we’ll sit by a lit fire, looking out at a moon I can’t even see and singing Britney Spears at the tops of our lungs. It’s the ultimate thing friends should do and though I think nothing like that’s going to happen, I can dream. One of the first things you ever said to me was that you’d like to sit on a park bench one time and just talk about everything and I haven’t forgotten that.

I trust you so much. I trust you enough that I know you’d tell me if this “present” was awful. Despite the majority of people not being able to understand what I’m talking about, I’m posting this here because I don’t want your birthday to go by without me doing anything. Blogging is how we became close and so it feels right to write it here.

I just have one thing to say to you before I go: check your Twitter.

Also, I love you and you are a fabulous human. You already know that but I’m reiterating it because 1) I like to repeat myself and 2) I don’t say it enough when I properly mean it.

From the Elmitron 🙂
P.S: Just saying, I nearly wrote my real name because you never call me Elm and if you do, it’s as a joke so THANKS FOR INADVERTENTLY TERRIFYING ME.

I Have No Time

I was going to begin this post with a “It’s only (insert number here) days until my A-Levels!” and then I realised that the very thought of doing that stressed me out to the point where everything felt cold and I wanted to slip under the school desk I’m sitting at and never emerge again. That’s nothing unfamiliar from the usual and that’s the issue: I’m constantly stressed, constantly terrified and unable to find time to do anything I want. Blogging, talking to friends, relaxing, reading – all of these I’ll be talking about in this post, as well as sobbing generally over my lack of organisation.

On Tuesday, the day I was supposed to be doing my history mock because I was ill the Wednesday prior, our school gave us an assembly that totally fucked up my day and, in short, made me cry. They told us that we should be more panicked, more stressed because our A-Levels are soon, that we should start taking responsibility for our own learning even more than we already do. I’m sure they meant it as a way for us to realise the “urgency”, as they put it, of the lack of time we actually have but it did the opposite for me. It increased my panic, to the point where I could barely breathe whilst listening; I walked downstairs and sat there for a good 15 minutes unable to do anything but breathe raggedly in utter fear.

I never ended up doing that mock in those 3 hours, lying that I’d finished it – I was doing it in my own time anyway – being wildly upset when I was doing other work that ended up helping me in the long run and eventually doing it in the evening where I worked far more productively. But that cut down on my time to do other things; it piled up and I cried twice that day: once in the toilets before lunch so nobody would see and another time at home. In counselling yestarday I told Jane all this, bursting out in a rush along with my general frustration and anger. All that screaming negativity made me realise something, properly for the first time: I don’t have time to do absolutely everything.

There are some people who can balance work with a social life, whilst having good and consistent mental health, can do a few of their hobbies and still have time to relax afterwards. I’m not one of those people. At the moment, I have extremely unstable mental health, no two ways about it; I’m barely able to keep afloat with work; I haven’t read a book for fun in months; my communication with friends has worsened if that’s even possible; I’m always tense. I try to do so many things that I never end up doing any of them, leading to so much stress and I suppose you’d call it anxiety. I withdraw myself, making myself feel so guilty that I try my best to be a good friend which makes me feel guilty for not doing work. It’s quite the cycle.

I love my friends; they’re the ones that have kept me going. Talking to some of my blogging friends at weekends has made me smile and gives a bit of routine to my mind. However, I haven’t been meeting people outside school and my energy for socialising has decreased dramatically. Instead of attacking myself for that, I need to remember that I don’t have an obligation to talk to people all the time: my brain has a lot going on within it and I’m always stressed. I don’t need another stressor on top of that because friends shouldn’t be a stressing factor at all. They’re friends and understand what’s happening, or they will when I explain it to all of them.

What makes me quite sad is that I haven’t given myself time to relax. Apart from extending my skincare routine on weekends, I just haven’t put any effort into making myself feel calm. My logic is that if I don’t have time to talk, I also shouldn’t give myself time to relax either. That’s crap logic. To try and get past that, I bought a few books recently and I’m re-reading Ink and Bone which I bloody love. I’m also trying to go to bed early; my sleep patterns have been so awful for the last few months and I want to fix that. Relaxing is so important, more important than working yourself to the ground. Now, if I could only take my own advice…

*3 decades later* well oops, looks like that might take a lot more work.

You may have noticed that I haven’t been posting recently. I mean you might not have, I’m kind of an insignificant dust speck in space and AAAAHH I’ll just stop talking… Anyway, the reason is simple: I’ve had even less time for blogging. Unlike with GCSEs, I’d rather be writing than studying but I don’t have much of an option. Every time I realise how much I miss blogging I feel quite upset and guilty but that gets me into a horrible mindset. I don’t know what my posts will be like, or when I’ll post them, over the next few months. I could pick myself up or I could slither away into a hole of despair but no matter what, I’m not leaving this blog. Posts just might be a bit short or infrequent but it’s coming up to my 3 year anniversary on here and I want to do something for it.

Schoolwork hasn’t been as monstrous as I thought. I’ve caught up on some notes, written essays, completed bits of homework and almost finished my english coursework, I’d like to say tentatively? things aren’t good but I don’t want to hide utterly right now which is a positive. I’ve kept up more of a dialogue with teachers and I just want to get that work done and not keep crying out of fear and desperation again. It’s an exhausting way to live and as I said to Jane yesterday, I hate it.

Honestly, I’m not sure what I’ll do from here. As I’m feeling rather erratic because of work, uncontrollable feelings and confusion, I can’t very well predict my own behaviour. Bare with me because I’m trying and my trying may not be enough but if it is, things may get a tiny bit more bearable. All I know is that time is running out and I don’t have much more time before exams but in that time, I plan to be as alright as I can be.

How do you manage your time? Also, do you have any ideas about what I should do for my 3 years?

From Elm 🙂