When Writing Becomes Stressful

Recently, I read a post by Michelle that shocked me because of how much I related to it. That post essentially said that even when you want to write, you sometimes don’t and one of her reasons was that she was scared. Whilst there are other reasons why I’m finding writing difficult right now, the notion of being afraid and not understanding why struck a note with me because it was putting into words what I’d felt for months.

Most of my friends know that writing is what keeps me going a lot of the time. Blogging and broadcasting my thoughts is a point of stability for me, where sentences and emotions can flow out of my head and onto something tangible. It’s said to “come naturally” but of late, words don’t have the same impact. I often feel trapped in my own head, despite desperately wanting to write, but not finding the right way to express that. For someone who is sustained my words and dreams, it feels like a huge blow that it just doesn’t seem to be cathartic for now.

Here comes the fear that felt so relatable when I read Michelle’s thoughts. I constantly compare my present self to my past self, where I have this idea in my head that I need to act exactly the same as past Elm did. That is, I become afraid when my thoughts about writing and the way I write drastically change. The fear also comes from disappointing people: I’m scared that if I don’t write, my “one” talent will be gone; I’ll just be wasted and no-one will ever want to read my words again because they’re different; they’re not like how they were. I think this ties into the pressure that most bloggers face, where a change of style causes worry that your readers won’t read any more. Of course, your blog is yours but at some point, the wish for people to like your content can win out and engulf you, making you scared when that content transforms.

It’s also that I’m afraid that the posts I do write won’t come out right. I hold myself to an unbelievably and sometimes unreachable high standard, where I think that everything has to fit together nicely and that I’m not good anymore if that standard slips. That “standard”, though, is massively subjective and change doesn’t mean getting worse. However, I still have that nagging feeling that my content will be unoriginal. Because of that, I lock myself into a circular argument, where I’m paranoid that I won’t write anything decent so I don’t write but then I think that makes me a failure and that I’m incapable of writing, etc, etc. It continues until I don’t know if I’m telling myself the truth or not.

A relevant example is two posts which I’ve been meaning to write for a week and a half and three days, respectively. The first was a recap and update post on how my Austria trip, with two of my friends, went (it was absolutely breathtaking, by the way); the second was a post on my Prom experience on Monday (also fantastic and it taught me a lot about my own personal limits). I’ve not written either of them. As time went by and the days stretched out, I felt guilty and almost ashamed of the fact that I’d not got it done. Who was I if I couldn’t write these important posts? Would I slowly start to share less and less of my life, until I didn’t at all? That genuinely distressed me.

The reality is, I built up those posts into a huge block of “YOU MUST DO THEM NOW” inside my mind. They became benchmarks of my writing: if I could write those lengthy, update-like posts, I was dedicated. I was good. However, I started to get really panicked about writing the actual posts. Though I wrote outlines (they’re still on my computer), every time I thought about sitting down and putting my words onto a screen I just felt upset. Why? Why would I feel upset when what I was writing about made me happy?

Was it just that it was too much work? Does my inability to put that much effort into a post make me lazy? Am I then worse than everyone else because I don’t do enough? These kinds of questions kept going round and round in my mind, poisonously, until I couldn’t bare to sit down and write them.

There’s this unpleasant point that you can get to where you think that people will abandon you if you don’t do a certain thing. It’s happened to me a few times over the last 3 years but never has it invaded my life so harshly. It surprised me: I always tell people that “your blog is your own” and “only write when you feel like it” but I’ve not been following my own advice. I took the thing I adored and made it into something pressurising, the act of “failure” that isn’t even failure turning into this monster and couldn’t, and can’t, shake. It’s upsetting simply because I want to follow my own words. Right now, I’m not.

I think I need to step back a bit. Writing has become so stressful that I’ve warped it in my own head; it feels too draining. I need to reconnect with why I’m passionate about it and I think that actually comes from not writing, only for a small while. I’m putting myself under too much pressure, when it’s not necessary; I’m done with school and work-related pressure shouldn’t be a feature of my summer.

This only means that I need to evaluate how I approach blogging and how I approach writing. I want to be as honest as possible here; this whole thing has been increasing over the last few days, making me unsettled and more irritable, less responsive to people and generally a bit of a bitch. I don’t want to hide that side of me and I think that I need to think about why writing is important to me, without forcing myself to write. I may have wanted to write about happy, positive experiences but I built that up to a stressor in my head, which turned the writing of the posts into some kind of negative force.

I’ve always loved writing but I think the expectations I set myself are too high. I can’t write if I’m not confident in the effect my words will have on me. It’s neither fair on me or you: I don’t want my worry to shine through in my words all the time.

I just need to relax, really. Writing isn’t a chore or a necessity. It’s something I do when I want but most importantly, it isn’t my enemy.

From Elm πŸ™‚

A Firebird’s Song

You thought I was cold
Didn’t you, unable to burn
Like a sparked-out fuse,
Ice-blue and unfeeling, thousand-year-old
Stardust that only hits your eyes
When your love’s been sold.

You thought I wouldn’t open,
That’s true, stark lines on ashes
When I had nothing to lose,
Thoughts on lips, shivers on hands frozen
To your wavering, silk-thin wings
As you flew me words unspoken.

You thought I was freeing
For you, a tick to pass the time, fire
Flickering out as soon as you blew
Out the sparkling light. But for me,
Standing unmoving, thawing heart a shade of wrong,
I could never quite stop seeing

The firelit need to belong-
Never touched you, your glowing eyes
A step away from the truth,
Oblivious as they whispered along
To the melody of another dance-
You made my love a burned-out song.

Sometimes, I pretend I’m cold inside. Sometimes, the people who burned me the most have made me shut down my emotions. Sometimes, I just can’t hold that in any more.
From Elm πŸ™‚

Replaced in Stasis

I am frozen.

It’s like I’m ice, cracked, sparkling and yet breakable when dropped on the ground. It’s like I’m snow, tumbling down in little flakes, trying to be 3 at once and melting as soon as I flitter through the air. It’s like I’m dust, flailing into existence, twirling through that dance by myself with a thousand others never quite touching me. It is like I am invisible.

I am a mat, coloured in soft greens and baby blues, furrowed and nondescript. For people to pass over me is okay, to exchange me for an intricate rug, threaded with beads and starbound circles. I am content to lay dormant, only rising to be a cardboard cut-out whilst those worth more than a rusting sixpence fly. Bitterness is beneath me, stamped out by my paper hands. I refuse to feel unfairness trickling away like sand. Cardboard doesn’t feel, right?

Snow is content, time and time again, to let others fall past them with delicacy. Ice does not feel worthless when broken into the sea and replaced by sturdier, stronger, surer ice. Cardboard does not scream when it is replaced by glossy paper that understands emotions, that can be flawed but still retain humanity. I am no paper, no better snowflake, no alluring ice. I am cracked without the allure.

Reassured while my plummeting heart tries to thaw, I am told I am everything, yet shown I am nothing. Smoke falls over my hands, reaching, asking, never quite touching. The whispers of others, better, better, better, roar into my ears. They fall away. Actions cry louder than words. Therefore, my heart blanks over again, cardboard sliding over chipped stone.

I am cold, receding into thinness and terror and flawed passivity. Threads of gold stretch on into the distance, snipped half-heartedly yet not enough to sever ties. It is only enough to hurt, the sibling of fate rushing off to take care of another thread. It is left hanging by an atom, the last string of hope clinging desperately. It frosts over, hiding something explosive beneath a mirror of frozen hopelessness.

β  β ƒ I am burning, too bright, snuffed out like a spark of candle-flame. I am raging, self-contained and shaking. It is like I am a volcano, lain passive for so long, finally about to erupt.

When I break, I will leave destruction like petals in my wake. There may be a circle of my presence, trembling at the depth of humanity. When I shatter, people will glance over, never quite knowing that this is real. If I finally realise that I am worth something, I may change the world.

Before it changes me.

From Elm πŸ™‚

Side Character in My Own Story

I am the comma
In a sentence, the afterthought
To a word, trailing off in the middle and
Never the important sort
Of ellipses.

I’m the backing vocals
At the height of a crescendo, hope
In quiet harmony, unheard,
Falling down a slope
To lie, a discarded melody.

I am the old love interest,
Story-tired, something better ready to leap
Over my head, the readers
Never thinking how much it hurts to keep
Smiling, hiding, smiling…

I never finish the glorious tale of two
Who are happy without the underdeveloped character
With too many tears, whose chapter
Ends with a question mark.

I am the sorrow and muted horror
When love gives way to nothing-
The writer spirals somewhere different,
Pain too lonely, too boring,
But where’s that story arc for that?

The words write me,
Heartbreak created from an apostrophe-
I, a possession, owned by failure,
Vanishing into a sidestory
Of the story’s saviour.

From Elm πŸ™‚

I Think I

I think

I am falling apart, pieces

Of a jigsaw, spinning

Out of control, never quite winning

The fight to keep my hopes alive.

I believe

I hate myself, twisted, ugly

Thoughts sickening, screaming; funny

How I run to save my heart

When it’s too late.

I wonder

If my heart is thumping, eyes wide-

Awakening, slowly, sobs that I cried

Silent. Suppress. Gone.

I might be

Ruining myself. Day by day,

Sick, sicker, sickest-

In my head, my mind

A fucking self-made mess and

Is this all I can be?

I am questioning

Lies caught in a freezeframe, my mind

A lie, my heart

A lie, myself?

Who am I?

I think

I am falling back together; I believe

I am fake, too broken; I wonder

What the point is; I might be

Hopeful and hoping and hopeless.

And I do not like that.

I don’t know how else to explain my thoughts other than a poem. My head’s an utter mess right now but writing helps, a little. I’m really sorry if this comes across as attention-seeking or if this upsets anyone.

I hope you’re all doing well. If you can relate to any of the words I’ve said, I’m always here to talk.

Love from Elm πŸ™‚

Alive with Ideas

I have no idea where time’s gone. This week has been a blur: it was Monday, I blinked and now it’s Thursday. I’m so sorry for not posting in what feels like ages; I have no excuse!

Yesterday, something pretty amazing happened. No, I didn’t suddenly solve all my problems; no, I wasn’t swept off my feet by some dashing person (though that would be funny). No: I got really, really excited about work.

I’ve been getting pretty behind on all my subjects which caused me a hell of a lot of stress, not to mention the stress from all the work I have to catch up on from me being sick on Monday. I have to do a bucketload of history, Psychology and too much English to think of but strangely, positively, the English is the least stressful. You’d think it wouldn’t be: I missed my appointment for my coursework (that’s not even called coursework any more) because I was ill. I hadn’t done the preparation I’d needed to do but yet again, life proved me wrong. Everything turned out better than okay.

For our English “Non-Examined Assessment”, we have to compare two texts of our choice on a topic of our choosing. I chose to go down the line of female empowerment in Moll Flanders and Lady Chatterley’s Lover (I’ve only read the second one). Typically, I haven’t done much research on the subject, just the books themselves.

On Thursday, after a series of emails between me and my English teacher, I agreed to go and see her at lunch. Instead of stressing, I didn’t let myself think about it much: I didn’t see friends that day though and spent the entire time “working” or trying to. When the time actually came, my head started buzzing with thoughts of what I’d say and how’d I’d say it. It was the first time – because I’d never been taught by her before this year properly – that she’d really get to see what I was like when I was passionate. She’d get to see a side of me that nobody, not even I, have seen in weeks.

I walked into the English classroom with something like lightness. Despite not really knowing what I was talking about, I wanted to talk about it. I knew that here, to her, I could express my opinion and be happy about that. It’s rare for me to ever do that; I often hide behind the opinions of others because I’m too afraid to show my own thoughts. Here, it was flipped on its head and although I feel quite disconnected from everything right now, then I felt wholly with it, connected and involved with the words I was speaking.

Essentially, we refined my idea into the way female empowerment may be controlled by their relationships with men in the two novels. I remember almost shouting “OH MY GOSH exactly!” when she said a particular point I agreed with to do with Lady Chatterley. I got painfully excited when I started talking about social context, like I never am in class. There, I’m quiet or harsh when I have a point but then? I was confident and I smiled. It was surprising for me because I’m not used to myself being enthusiastic.

After we’d stopped talking about my coursework, we spoke about other literature. I recommended a book to her, honestly squealed about Jane Eyre – would you call it fangirling? Did I fangirl with my English teacher?! By the time we were done talking, we’d been speaking for about half an hour (when it should have taken only 15 minutes) because we kept expanding on topics in a part stream of consciousness.

I forgot what it was like to feel like I knew what I was doing. I utterly neglected the fact of my mind, that it can whir and bring forth ideas like any other. She let me see, through her exclamations of “I love that idea!” that I’m not just a cardboard cutout of an English student.

Yesterday, I think I proved something to myself. I showed myself that I do have feelings, thoughts and worlds of possibility right at my fingertips. Unlike normally, I showed my real, unfiltered personality. Maybe it was only a small part of myself; maybe it was only for a short time; maybe it was only to one person. It doesn’t matter.

Don’t be afraid to show your passions to people. You aren’t stupid, sad or weird for getting excited about things that others might not get excited about. If your heart sings when you think about a certain thing – books, TV shows, things that make you happy – you can show that to people. Don’t hide behind what you think people will think of you because at the end of the day, these are your feelings and they are beautiful.

From Elm πŸ™‚

Pretend Until It’s Real

I’ll pretend like I’m okay

For you, until you stop noticing

Because you are sick of my shattered smiles

My wide eyes barely focusing.

I’ll pretend as if I think you care,

Not like your sweet words hurt, cruel

Because they must be that – sugar on bland paper

For who’d be there, looking for me,

The little broken fool?

I’ll pretend like you’re a beginning,

A song inside a harmony

When all you ever gave me

Was a hopeless string of endings.

I’ll pretend like I don’t think of you,

Teeth bared, a tiger, a glow

In the dark. When really,

I’m breaking into shards as I know

It’s too late for love.

I’ll pretend as if my tears are pretty

And turn them into the only love story

That applies now. The only one

You’ll never see.

But I won’t pretend like you ever loved me,

Like I’m a second glance in a window

Or a fire lit bright:

That ended, I decided,

When I pretended my mind was right.

This is a weird poem which I wrote when I was having a bad day in terms of mental health; I often have moments where I get paranoid that I’m pretending to feel things and that I’m lying to myself. To make myself ackknowledge that, I wrote this poem; it’s both a way of exploring my mind and understanding that sometimes, pretending and faking isn’t a good way to try and deal with everything.

I hope, in a way, this can help you like it helped me.

From Elm πŸ™‚

Lone Obsession | Creative Writing

Hi! This was something I wrote a couple of weeks ago whilst on holiday; I’d planned it in my head on the plane and throughout the first day and finally decided to write it! I hope you enjoy this: you may have to read parts of it twice to understand it.

The stars played across our eyelids as I tried to stare at you one evening. They were dancing outside but not inside you and the absence of a tangible thread of happiness within you caused the galaxies to dim in me, too. It was late: the sun had barely set, awakening your fears.

Your fluttering eyes opened for the first time in what felt like days, lashes sweeping upwards to reveal that enchanting gaze. I could stare at you with little shyness, noticing every minute detail: the flecks of blue amid the warm brown, the way they darted left and right before settling, complacently and vaguely, upon mine. Something like firelight flushed back into your pale cheeks as you saw me, returning my hesitant smile with one that flashed far too much teeth than to what I was usually accustomed. A piece of art couldn’t have rivaled your face just then. You enthralled me, your face reflecting the wide innocence of a child who didn’t quite know the world existed around them; it was as if, when I glanced at the shape of you, it took you a moment to realise that you had a body worth looking at. That you even had a body at all.

The slope of your neck was always something that you attempted to cover, bashful of how long it was; your shoulders were also somewhat of an insecurity of yours. Hunched a little, they were nonetheless able to convey a message of quiet confidence on your good days. Your hair, though now matted and grown to just above your shoulders, brushed your skin with a softness that hinted at delicacy. As soon as I had the knowledge of what beauty meant to us both, I knew you had it. You could not hide it beneath layers of clothing; you couldn’t mask it with a new face – the way you walked betrayed a deep-rooted grace that other people admired. Simply put, everything about you was and is beautiful to me. In an abstract way, each line and curve of you is familiar to me.

Your laugh was like spring water: it tumbled out of your mouth, something running down a riverbed. Whenever you saw something pretty, your eyes sparked: your face turned towards it, your lips parting very slightly. I always hoped, perhaps, that you’d look at me like that. Now I wonder if it is because of me that you no longer look at anything like that. It breaks my heart.

Since I knew what love was, I have loved you. Yet now, even for my insistent tugging at your sleeve, hand, the way I stare at you with such longing for you to step outside, you do not leave this room. You stay still, sometimes pacing, wild eyes imploring me to stay with you. How could I ever leave when you can’t bare to open the door? How could I, without breaking, leave you when my heart feels like it’s tied to yours? If I did not know you so well, I could let you go without the slightest guilt, run out of the door and into the cage of the outside world. Why would I do that when staying with you makes my mind the most free it has been in years?

You won’t even open the window. Is my company so precious to you that you don’t want anything to ruin it? It makes my heart skip with a perverse, terrible sort of delight to think it. I do want you to be happy – I do – but if you notice how much I care for you, it may make me happy again. Whole again. You no longer stare out of the window that has somehow, mysteriously, grown bars – you only look at me or the wall now. The wall is blank, white and yet you seem to find my blank likeness infinitely more interesting. Will you call me beautiful today? It’s all I’ve ever wanted to hear. People call us so charming but I think we’d look so much better united, even though you may not think you’re worth a single second of anybody else’s time. You are. I have loved you forever – you must want to spend time with me, surely?

I worry for you, you know. Others tell me not to, with whispered words and steely gazes. They say, that you are just “having a bad day,” or that you “can’t truly feel like this,” that you’ll “get over it”. They must be lying, if tears stain the bedsheets each hour. When you do emerge, your smile is so perfected in its fake upward turn that people barely give it a second glance. I know. I know that when you arrive here, you question how real the walls are, how real your hands are, how real even I am.

You looked at me with those dull, dull eyes that night. Disbelieving what was in front of you, you couldn’t reconcile the fact that such different people as you and I are could work in harmony. It was difficult for you to understand that someone so opposite could sit, legs crossed, fingers nearly touching yours with something more hopeful than a consoling embrace. You said that you wanted irrefutable proof, more than I could give you. How could I show you?

The stream, just nestled within the woods that bordered my back garden, was one we always used to go to when life became too much. Running through the trees, the prospect of sitting on the bank of it made my mouth open in a wide grin. As we fell into a crouch, staring languidly into the water, I could see you beside me. Your hair, longer then, rustled in the breeze, little droplets of water balancing on your nose from a particularly boisterous leap of faith by a lose branch, dislodged from its home. With the sun shining in your eyes, you leaned forward with the most amazing curiosity, your teeth gleaming in the distorted reflection of the river. Whilst looking at you, my breath stopped in my chest. That was the day I knew I was in love with you.

Did you see it, that night? Do you see it now? I’m too afraid to look at your face, to see your brow crinkle in confusion because you can’t believe me. I’m sorry; I’ll do anything to prove that I love you. I love you more than I have ever loved anything; my whole body thrums with the terror of how much emotion I feel towards you.

The panic, so strong now, gives me a strange sense of courage. The cold recedes to be replaced with a horrible, rushing sense of pandemonium. My eyes fixate on yours, pleading: as a kind of glorious ecstasy fills them, my heart screams a rhythm in my shuddering chest. Can you see it? Your eyes are lit with the same horrifying flame. This must be right. It must!

Do you know how I feel towards you? If you would only know, maybe you would stop hating yourself. You are the only thing that holds me together and at your breaking, I’m in pieces too. Together, can’t we fix each other? Can’t we? Am I so inadequate that not even I, someone who will always think of you as my other half, my second self, cannot help you? Why do you turn your face away from that I cannot see you – am I repulsive?

My heart is beating so loudly now that it shakes me. My breaths come in short gasps, pupils dilated in a wide frenzy. You are so far from me, so infinitely far, yet I stretch my whole self towards you. I try, I sob without tears, the ragged sound bouncing off the colourless walls. Everything I have wants to join you.

I am leaning forward, as you did near the river, trying to reach you. You are too far away, the bed you sleep on so neatly made with you sitting atop it. You haven’t slept and neither have I, my head too restless, your head too tired for dreams. I claw at the bedclothes, eyes leaking tears. Where are you? My face moves, tilts; it is so close to yours that I could almost feel your breath on my cheek.

The mirror smashes.

A pause. I can’t breathe because you are gone; I can’t see you. That is when I scream, the sound tearing from my throat, howling, raw and wretched and so pained as to destroy everything. Broken glass litters the bed, glinting in the moonlight that filters through those bars – are they real?

I stand, the ghost of something without you. Striding over to the window, I press my hands against it rapturously but it is a poor, pathetic cousin of the thing that connected me to you, that is now covering my hands. That means that you are still here, in a way – but no.

A flick of the latch opens the window and I hurriedly stick my head out, searching the skies. Stars twinkle, like the ones in your eyes; they’re running across the sky like I used to do by the river. No, you – we – who am I? Who are you?

You are not among them. I’m looking, futilely; the one connection I had is gone. In seeking to love you, I killed you.

You are not here.

I close the window. Tears sparkle on the sill and only now do I realise I’m crying. Retreating inside, I sink to the floor. Only my spirit is lifeless.

Delicately Broken

I cried pretty tears over you, almost as deadly as the day you broke my heart.

You never meant to hurt me, with your whispered words and the way you spoke, not-quite-love but as close to it as a tangible dream. Yet still, years down the timeline of us, you broke me into shining pieces without even knowing. They glittered on the floor by your feet but you didn’t look down; you skirted around them as if they didn’t exist. Perhaps it was better that you didn’t see me breaking, shimmering down the slope of the happiness you gave me. Perhaps it was better that I cry without you.

The walls of this room were filled with the memories of times long gone, where things seemed as easy as wishing for the sun and it appearing at your window. It felt like for a second, the sky and world and universe were ours; you could reach out and touch the stars with a fingertip if you tried. In the quiet of midnight, we held each other in a lose embrace, never thinking it was necessary to tighten our hold. I was quite simply impervious to worry; I was strong.

Rolling past me in a wave, your perfect destruction ruined me, gradually. It is only now that I break completely, clean down the middle as the happiness, built by the thought of forever, reels back. It’s almost a poem, with one stanza left to scatter in the wind, the rest of your stanzas moving forward. If I were not your forgotten verse, I would rejoice.

I do not blame you for looking at the wings of a girl who greeted you with a smile. A mirror of it freezes on my face, cracking like a pane of glass from a scream: it slips away, such a precious thing stored in a locked box. You had the key, wrapped in silver paper. When I ask? You will say you have lost it. You will say you have given it away, that I must break the box in order to retrieve the thing you chase after now.

You’re on the other side of paradise, myself too tired and too weary to run to you. We are two wilting flowers in a sea of wilted flowers and I can’t help but take comfort in that. You have separated us, snipping our thread with scissors made of “sorry” and there are too many aches in my heart to mend it. Is this the end, then?

I sit here and cry pretty tears in a pretty room. My heart is so exquisitely broken that it is almost like a song, yet the song has no voice. It lies there, hidden behind pretty eyes; it stays put, behind the shadow of a shattered smile; it beats in the quiet of an untold story. Nobody waited for it and so it waits for nobody, glorious freedom just out of reach.

I ask you this: if my tattered wings fanned out behind me in the most graceful of goodbyes, would you notice?

This was a piece I’ve been wanting to write for a while. I really hope you like it!

From Elm πŸ™‚

Circular Mind | A Poetic Representation of My Mental Health

You hate me
Because I said the one thing that made you
"I'm sorry; forgive me," I gasp,
I should staple my mouth shut with a silver clasp
When I said no words-
And that is why
You hate me.

You laugh at me,
With my soul as pure as steel,
My spider's web of broken feelings-
I know this because I hear it,
In my mind,
You as I cry.
That is the reason why
You laugh at me.

You lie to me,
Twisted, words falling from your lips
A lie to satisfy the terror which rips
At me – you don't care,
The creeping fingers of doubt
Claw at me
So it must be that
You lie to me.

I am fake,
I must be happy
If the tears do not fall constantly
My mind conniving, scheming
Because I must be fine
Even when my soul pines
For help-
But no, shut it down because
I am fake.

I cannot think
I cannot feel,
When my mind screams that
Not one thing I think is real-
I collapse, pieces of me
And so I know that
My thoughts run in endless circles.
I cannot

Sometimes, the only way to get my thoughts out is through poetry. This is a short poem but to me, it illustrates how I sometimes feel and think – such as the thoughts that go through my head. I wanted to show, in my writing, that I know these thoughts to be irrational and not based off concrete evidence.

If you ever feel like this, I understand a little of how it is. It's not wrong to want to seek help for feelings of anxiety that you may experience. Feeling anxious or paranoid shouldn't be labelled as attention-seeking – they're very real feelings that affect you; it's okay to accept those as fact. It isn't always just a "phase" or something to "get over".

I'll always be here to talk if you need it.

Love from Elm πŸ™‚