I Remember How This Feels

Trigger warnings: this post has references to passive suicidal thoughts and negative mental health. If you’re triggered by this content, please don’t feel like you have to read this; your health comes first.

I’ve been trying to deny all my feelings over the last week, to just shut it all down and function. During the weekend, I felt myself go so downhill that it was impossible to even pretend. I’m struggling and this is the worst I’ve seen myself for at least a year and a half. I only know that because I could never forget how I’d felt back then. Now I’m feeling it all again, it’s a huge shock. I’ve been angry, taking the anger out on people and just not very healthy whatsoever.

When I was halfway through Year 12, I pretty much hated everything and wanted to die the majority of the time. I was so unhappy that it was a struggle to even move. In terms of work, I barely met any deadlines and didn’t care enough to complete most of my homework. It was around this time that I quit French. A couple of months later, during my exams, I managed to pick myself back up. Ever since then, I’ve had a cycle of feeling so awful that I just couldn’t do anything but it was never as bad as it was last January. Until now.

I have these memories of sitting in my classes, barely able to work or to string a sentence together. I would desperately try and get through the fog of my head and to not cry, just not cry until it was over. I’d feel this cold terror, where I’d be hanging on to the thread of getting out of there and screaming. But by the time I could breathe, I’d gone blank; I didn’t feel a single thing but this aching emptiness. The only change now is that I’m better able to articulate it. Talking doesn’t feel impossible, just very tiring. Everything else – the sadness, the exhaustion, the not-quite-feeling-there, is back.

As I’ve mentioned in this post, I’ve gone to blind college for a year. That move is stressful enough but on top of my breakdowns, it’s turned into a shitstorm. I’ve had to mask how I’ve been feeling to everybody here and to friends outside of it; the motivation to do any work has just disappeared; I’m attempting to actively withdraw myself from social situations because I’m just too tired. It’s exactly how it felt in Year 12 but somehow magnified because I’m in such a small, residential environment. I can’t hide it whatsoever.

People have been supporting me a lot; Kel is a godsend and I couldn’t have done this without him. My friend Robin has been a lifesaver and my other friend, Pearl, came over to stay at the weekend. Rapunzel has been one of the only people who has managed to keep me grounded and recently, I’ve really started to try and have more conversations with people outside college like Red, Wren and Swan. Somehow, though, I’m still really bad: I’m still not coping, still don’t have any energy, still tired.

On paper, everything seems to be good: I’m in a great place, have met some amazing people, am actually enjoying my course and the personality, or side of myself, that I show to people seems to have it all together. So why am I feeling like this? I act so energetic, enthusiastic and organised that by the end of the day, I’ve got nothing left. I’ve stopped talking to so many people because I’m often too unwell or exhausted to keep up a conversation but because of the ‘happy’ way I’ve been acting, it’d feel like I was a fraud if I suddenly started acting how I truly feel.

I suppose that this must come from the agony of feeling isolated. Recently, because of my lack of talking to people outside of the college, I’ve felt alone and quite adrift from everything. A good way for me to get by when I have nothing else – no coping mechanisms that work, at least – is to talk to others and share in their happiness. It honestly feels like people don’t care any more and don’t want to talk to me, meaning I don’t find out things until weeks after they happen and so I can’t be happy for anyone. That means that the one thing I usually have left is just gone and it’s fucking overwhelming and horrible to feel this forgotten all the time. I may be just whining or being pathetic but it all just hurts at the minute, so I don’t have the energy to gain perspective. I haven’t started blaming myself for not talking yet but I’m pretty sure that will happen when I get a second to myself.

Having what I can only describe as a mental health relapse is one of the worst feelings. It doesn’t feel like I’ll get better, or as if people care, or as if anyone would care unless I spoke to them. I have a whole river of bitterness and fear inside my head and I just want it all to stop for a bit. I can barely function, running on very little sleep; I haven’t been eating well and I don’t have the mental capacity to look after myself properly. The most worrying thing, as my friend Rapunzel (who has managed to get me to vaguely talk about things and is a beautiful soul) said, is that I just don’t care any more. That not caring means that I stop talking to people and avoid even thinking about what’s happening, leading me to do anything to distract myself which then ends with me feeling sick and unpleasant.

Talking about it has got easier – it’s not like it was a year and a half ago, where I’d only talk in very toxic, short bursts. I now know how to get my emotions out; it’s just that I don’t have the energy. Writing it down has made it less overwhelming, I think, though nothing seems to help apart from resting and trying not to mentally collapse.

Perhaps, now, I feel a little clearer. It doesn’t feel like things are wailing in my head any more. Is that because I can write it all down? I don’t know. All I know is that I hate feeling like this and if this post was a reprieve for me, where I could let it out, then I’ll take it.

I hope that you’re all okay. I’ve been so silent because I just didn’t know how to talk. After speaking horrendously honestly to a friend yesterday, part of that blockade has broken. I just hope it can continue.

Now, I miss blogging intensely. At some point in the next few weeks, I want to be able to go back to a semi-regular posting schedule. For now, I’m going to have to concentrate on pulling myself back up a little.

I miss you all. How have things been?

Love from Elm πŸ™‚

Before They Forget

Last Saturday, I spent the day with one of my best friends, Red. We walked round the town where he lives, had lunch and chatted; it was amazing. In the evening, I went to Rose and Poppy’s house – my two oldest friends, who I probably spent the most time with in childhood besides family. Two days after that, I saw Pearl and her two sisters (we made Oreo cheesecake and it was delicious); yesterday, I saw Ivy, who I’ve known since primary school. This is all before I go to college and there’s a specific reason for that.

What struck me most, and has made an impression on me up to now, was the time I spent with Rose and Poppy. Not because I didn’t have a good time with the others – I made such fantastic memories with each one of them – but because it made me realise that my friendship with them is incredibly strong. Nonetheless, I’m very afraid – most of all for those two – that they’ll forget me. Saturday only highlighted that fear. Sounds confusing? I’ll explain.

Let me explain some background things before, so it’s easier to understand. When I was growing up, I didn’t have many deep conversations with Rose and Poppy. We almost grew up as sisters – having so much love for each other that we didn’t have to have those conversations in order for our friendship to be cemented. In recent years, I’ve worried that because of that, they don’t even like me. Whilst it’s true that they found me annoying as a child, everybody did (for good reason), I do think that we have a really stable friendship. It’s different to a lot of my other ones: I could probably rock up to their house with no warning and they wouldn’t care; I consider their family an extension of mine; we can hang out for hours and sing awfully together without it becoming boring. We don’t need to talk about the world’s problems (though we do). However, recently, experiences have shown me that they are there when I need their help, and vice versa.

I had a party recently where a few of my friends, from all different places, were there. At that party, I had one of the worst breakdowns I’ve ever had. It was absolutely terrifying because though I’d had alcohol, it was absolutely not fuelled by that: it had been boiling beneath the surface for such a long time that it all came bursting out. Most of my friends were able to deal with me crying my eyes out but the one that took me by surprise was Poppy. She and Rose had never, ever seen me like that: they’d never had much of a hint that my mental health was so bad. Even so, she sat with me, held my hands and reassured me. Despite never having experienced me even remotely like that, she didn’t run away from it. I apologised over and over and yet she carried on helping, not making fun of me and not making me feel shit for being unhappy.

That’s stayed with me. On Saturday, I was nervous to see them because I wasn’t sure how they’d act around me. I don’t know why I was scared because they acted completely the same. We sang; Rose yelled at Poppy for being slow because we were supposed to go on a walk; I felt utterly at ease. There wasn’t this pressure of “I have to act fine” but equally, I wasn’t unbelievably anxious either.

The change to this occasion was that we were all more aware of each other and our difficulties. As we started on our walk, Rose asked if I was feeling more okay and I said no, though I was more in control of it. Rose, being in the same year as me, applied to uni and didn’t get into her first or insurance choice. We talked about that, how it made her feel and I could tell she was visibly upset. I don’t think that a few years ago, any of us could have shown that level of emotion because it was more difficult. When we got back to theirs, Rose went off to talk to her parents. I walked upstairs and caught Poppy as she was preparing to go out to a party. I spoke to her: not like a sister but as someone who had gone through the same confusing emotions of feeling like a failure all the time but wanting so desperately to succeed that you have contrary emotions warring inside your head.

After having talked to Poppy, explaining to her how I thought Rose was feeling, I went downstairs again. I think I got through to her: I feel really comfortable talking to Poppy about that kind of thing now because she’d seen me so fragile at my party. I gave Rose a huge hug and sat by her until my dad came to pick me up. I haven’t been able to stop thinking about how right it felt to help them: I already know them inside out and so it didn’t ever feel like it was forcing it.

So, where does the fear of being forgotten come from, after all this? I suppose now that I have some security in my head about them, my mental health is turning it around. Because I’m moving to a college for a year, I’m terrified I’ll change and that they won’t recognise me any more. Of all people, I couldn’t bare it if I drifted apart from them. It would be like ripping my heart out because I honestly love them so much. The thought of losing them makes me feel ill.

This fear doesn’t just lie with them. With all my friends, there’s this perpetual worry that I’m not going to be enough for them to remember. For example, I think that I haven’t been a good enough friend to them to be of any significance. I’ve been trying to reassure myself by seeing people, by proving to myself that these fears are unfounded, but it’s not working as well as I’d like. What if I lose so many of my friends because of distance? What if they don’t care about me, or think that I don’t care about them, and so it all drifts away? I refuse to accept the concept that “some friends will always drift apart” because that’s not how it has to be.

I’ll be publishing this on the day I move to college. These thoughts will be running through my head: I just hope I don’t drown in them. I hate it when it’s so overwhelming, like it is now.

If any of you are going through a similar thought process, remember that people do care about you. You’re worth remembering. I wish I could give more advice but the reality is that I can’t think past my own worries. I promise you though, we can do this. Whether we have 50 friends or 5 by the end of it, we can do it.

I just don’t want to be forgotten.

Love from Elm πŸ™‚

I Hate This

There are some days where I can put up a facade of functioning. I’ll be able to complete most regular, easy tasks; I’ll speak animatedly and tell people things aren’t that bad. However, it’s often just a disguise, a false front that I don’t even realise is false until I’m back by myself. Of course, there are days where I genuinely feel okay or even positive but most times, there’s something that feels really wrong beneath the surface.

Then, there are days where I can’t even pretend to function properly. There are days where, like yesterday and today, I walk around in this daze of upset and sad and lonely. My voice will have no inflection in it – it’ll sound like I just don’t care about anything. On particularly bad ones, I will snap at people that I don’t feel well enough to talk or do anything and then spend hours afterwards feeling so guilty about it that I shut myself off. I’ll talk to people in a bid to distract myself from this awful feeling but it’ll never work. It just comes across as desperation.

Today is going especially unpleasantly. I had to make a really horrible decision yesterday that has left me feeling terrible, even though I knew it was the right thing to do for everyone involved. My skin feels awful and I’ve been purposefully trying to avoid talking to the family when I never usually do that. Even though I told my mum I feel mentally unwell, she blamed it on the change in the weather and the fact that we’ve all been feeling shitty. It just reinforces in my head that no one will believe me because usually I can function enough to get up and get out the house.

I’m so tired. I hate having to pretend that this bone-deep weariness is from just lack of sleep or being just a little bit sad when everything feels a bit unhinged and heavy. I haven’t been able to explain my thoughts to people around me, leading to misunderstandings which make me feel even worse.

There’s also this thought in the back of my head that I’m really fine, that I’m being dramatic and that I should just get up and try. But I have been trying. I’ve been trying so hard that I have no try left. I keep on getting bursts of crying because I can’t bare that my mind is working against me to tell me I’m a liar and a faker and not worth anybody’s time.

I don’t want to feel like this anymore. God, I hate it so much; it’s like the moment I take a few steps forward, my brain pulls me back. This time, I can’t even properly blame myself because feeling like this isn’t my fault. It’s just so horrible and even though I know it won’t last forever, it feels like it’ll never end.

How do you admit that you don’t feel well without making it seem like a cry for attention? Because I refuse to self-diagnose, I don’t want to say I have anything but then it just feels like people don’t care. It’s just a “spell” or a “phase”, according to so many members of my family. I feel trapped and shut in my own head, when so many people expect me to hold it all together. It seems like there’s no time for my unhappiness or breakdowns. Fuck, is that needy to say?

I just want to feel well but I know that can’t happen for a few days or even weeks. Talking to people has helped and I’m just trying to reconcile with myself that people care. This mountain isn’t impossible to scale – it’ll just take a while to climb. I guess, you can’t climb a mountain without support.

If you need help, I’m always a message, email or comment away. Here’s my contact page, if you need it. You deserve to have a voice.

I’m really sorry for how negative and disjointed this post is. Thanks for always supporting me through it, though. Blogging is part of the reason why I haven’t totally broken down. I appreciate that more than I can say. I just feel so awful at this current moment that I can’t do much apart from yell it onto a screen in the hopes that someone will understand.

Love from Elm πŸ™‚

I Can’t be Alone

Over the last 3 weeks, I’ve been so busy. I went to Yorkshire to see my friend, who I call Rapunzel, at the end of July and had some of the best times in the last few months. I saw Heathers the Musical with one of my oldest internet friends. Another friend of mine, S, came to stay on the 5th and left yesterday. But now he’s gone, now that I’m alone, I remember just why I keep myself busy: to avoid this.

What is this? It’s the terrifying feeling of not wanting to be alone with your own thoughts. It’s doing anything possible to try and stop them from taking over. It’s not knowing whether today will be okay or not so just trying to hold off the flood but now that the flood has finally caught up, it’s fucking awful. How do I deal with these emotions when I don’t quite understand what they are?

Of course, that doesn’t mean I’ve been trying to frantically do things to stop feeling. Doing things, like seeing friends, just helps to not make the feelings overwhelming. For instance, seeing Rapunzel and then S gave me more freedom and it also meant that there was someone there who could help me or talk to me if things got really rough. I had an amazing time with them but as they’re two of my closest friends, now that they’re gone (although I’m seeing Rapunzel really soon), I just feel painfully lonely. Loneliness and being alone, whilst suffering from horrifying bouts of bad mental health, is not a good combination.

Part of me wants to write and write and write until it all just pours out. I cried about how bereft I felt last night, then cried further about how pathetic that made me feel. Apparently, I can’t cope if I don’t have someone around me. It’s not like I can be eternally around people – I do need time on my own sometimes – but people being here makes it easier to cope. People being here gives me an excuse to work through my feelings, if not for me then for them so that I don’t ruin anything for them. Being alone means that excuse shatters and I have no reason, meaning that I just… Don’t care.

Then there’s that part of me that is terrified and has no energy. I hate being alone, where I feel like I have nowhere to go and nothing to do and no-one to help me. Realistically, I know people are here but that doesn’t help when I can’t even convince myself that getting up is worth doing. The thought of doing anything much, from writing a blog post I need to do to eating lunch to texting people, makes me feel so sick that I don’t end up doing those things. I’ve constantly been wanting to cry all day and I’m exhausted. Everything feels hollow and I’m always thinking that everyone hates me, that I’m making the worst mistakes and that I shouldn’t speak in case I upset anyone. God, why is this so difficult?

The bottom line is, I’m scared of my thoughts. Sure, I’ve made progress towards recovering – I’m nowhere near as constantly unstable as I was during April or May. However, sometimes it still gets so bad that I can’t speak or move or do anything that doesn’t involve me wanting to run away or slip off into oblivion. I just wish I didn’t need external reassurance: I wish I could find it within myself to feel more whole.

I’ve had moments of clarity today. I got up this morning after a few hours of alternately doing nothing and then crying. I had a shower, got changed, brushed my hair (it calms me down for some reason) and then finally ate something. Then again, now, I don’t have much energy. Later, Kel is arriving and I’m so glad of that because I’ve been wanting to see him for ages and also, it’ll help me to pull myself back from whatever hell I’ve managed to stuff myself in this time.

Until this evening, where I’m required to move (and that’s a good thing), I think I’ll try and distract myself. Perhaps I’ll watch something on Netflix (I might watch Outnumbered or Brooklyn Nine-Nine because they remind me of people that I love), or listen to music. Reading, right now, takes up too much energy; I planned to write about how I was feeling but I’m way too drained for that or to even think. Usually, I wouldn’t suggest distractions for anyone because that’s avoiding feeling but I want this to get down to a manageable level. As of now, it’s so overwhelming that I want to scream.

I’m sorry for all this sporadic and negative posting. I want to write at my own pace but often I do feel guilty for putting people through all this undirected shrieking.

What do you do when you hate the idea of being alone with your own thoughts?

From Elm πŸ™‚

Low Point

Warning: This poem has some unpleasant themes in it and details a point I reached in my mental health today where everything felt, and feels, really awful. If you’re triggered by this type of content, please don’t feel like you have to read this. There’s help and support available and you always deserve to be loved and supported.


I hate myself
This time like it’s easy,
Falling back into misery
With little more than a shiver,
The sun setting on autumn
As it shadows into winter
A little too early.

So little do I care
That I wish to snap my own strings like thread
Through a shredder,
Little pieces of soul swimming away
Whilst no one is there
To see where weariness led.

I feel hopeless
Like it’s simple,
The worst jealousy and screams
Building up inside me and
I’m an awful friend,
A worthless girl,
Can I just fall apart,
My thoughts unfurl
Until no one remembers these perilous dreams?

Foolishly I believed
In a world where I was free of this
Gripping anxiety and shouts around me
But I am
Never good enough, never solid,
A fragile pool of starlight
That breaks apart when asked to be
Loved, to do anything when all I could do was
Fall into myself
And the message was never received.

Oblivion sounds nice
Right about now.

It is not a surprise
That people have given up on seeing
And no one cares,
NO ONE CARES
Because I am alone with nothing outside
This window of wishes and
I deserve it,
Oh god I deserve it
And I can’t do this
Anymore.

I can’t do this.

I can’t.

I hate me
And they hate me
And I’m broken again,
A cut up symphony
Where nothing fits-
What can I do to stop it?


I’m okay at the moment, just a little shaken at how fast my mental health plummetted today. There wasn’t a specific reason; after going out to London and having a wonderful time, when I was going home, everything piled up on top of me. I hated myself and thought that everyone did too; every single interaction I was having with people and seeing was proof of that to my mind (even though none of it was logical) and I felt so fucking alone that I couldn’t even let those emotions out. So, I decided on a poem.

Things will get better, for all of us, but it’s just so horrible when we’re actually going through it. I have hope but right now, my mind is my worst enemy for a few hours (as I hope it will pass soon).

From Elm

This Feels like Freedom

Today was my last A-Level exam.

Ever.

What the fuck???

After 7 exams and the most exhausting and draining two weeks of my life, I’m done. Should I say two years? 7 years? My time in “traditional” secondary education is over. 7 exams, 3 subjects, and it’s over. I don’t know how to process that.

Looking back on it, I worked myself to the ground and I only hope that it was worth it. The exams themselves ranged from reasonably alright to soul crushingly terrible in a pit of fire. I revised constantly – though I must say, it took me a while – and the only thing that existed for the last month, for me, was work and exams and not letting the crying that wanted to get out escape. It all feels strange now – so much of what I did was orientated around trying to keep afloat through it all. Until it was over. Now, it is.

I’m going to write an exam recap – in my typical, “WHAT WAS THIS HELP NO” fashion – and post it tomorrow. Until then, I don’t know what I’ll do. I feel cut loose, with strings of unfinished thoughts trailing behind me. I’m exhausted from a breakdown I had yesterday; I’m just tired in general. I’ve barely been getting sufficient sleep and at the worst points, I felt like I was going to scream unstoppably.

When my last exam ended – Psychology – I cried. I cried when I left the VI unit (place where I do my exams) and I cried whilst I waited to go home, when I was saying goodbye to the teachers who’d adapted my work for 7 years. I cried when I said goodbye to the taxi driver who’d driven me to school, every day, for the last 6 years, when he said I was like a second daughter to him. It was a day of tears that stung my eyes and near-tears that shimmered just behind them. All of this seems bland and blank: I want to have the presence of mind to describe my emotions but that’ll come with time.

Now, I feel listless. The purposeful drive will come tomorrow, when I decide I need to write and read, to sing and to reconcile with people who I’ve needed to gain closure from for years. I’ll get sudden bursts of inspiration; I’ll have a myriad of blogging ideas that clammer to be written. I’ll want to piece together my identity piece by piece. But for now? I don’t want to do any of that. I want to sleep, or feel these overwhelming feelings of complete sadness that have been overdue. Suppressing your mental health through exams is genuinely painful and I don’t know why I did it to such a horrible extent but it’s done now. All I can do is pick myself up after and not lose contact with the world around me whilst I’m doing that.

I’m so tired. I’ve said that already but it bears repeating. Who am I now that I’m not just trying to survive until the end of exams? Who am I now that I have feelings and confusion I can’t understand?

The only thing I regret right now is only being a shadow of myself when I spoke to, and met, some of the important people in my life. I’m afraid that they won’t recognise me now. Saying that, it’s not like I’ll have a personality turn-around, or that ending A-Levels suddenly makes me change. It’s just that I’ve repressed so much of myself to be able to cope that I don’t really know what to expect now. Does that make any sense?

A-Levels were awful; I can’t deny that. However, they did teach me things. I can work if I try and I can get through things, when at times I genuinely didn’t think I would. My mental health gets so bad at times that I feel as if everything’s hopeless and terrible; it only got worse with A-Levels. But I did it. I’m alive. I’m here. Is that enough to be proud of myself?

I’ve missed this blog, writing and feeling like I can truly call my work my own. Primarily, I want to get that back in the next few months. I’m out of the worst now, right?

This doesn’t feel quite like a victory. It feels more bittersweet but I’m celebrating, in my own way. An era of my life is over and I don’t know who I’ll become in the next one. Perhaps I’ll have a major crisis in my mind this summer; perhaps I won’t. I think that now everything is done, I need to start processing.

Maybe I’m on my way to okay, and then on the way to happy. I’ve got the entire summer to figure that out.

Have you had exams? If so, how have they gone?

Love from Elm πŸ™‚

Everything’s a Bit Strange

It strikes me as weird how there are 20 days of proper school left. Instead of making the most of them, I’m sitting here writing a blog post for the first time in two weeks and it feels… Disorientating.

I’m not sure how I feel about leaving my writing for so long. It’s a mix of guilt and just a bit of confusion. In fact, those “bits of confusion” are dominating my life at the minute. From slightly horrifying conversations with people to freaking out about dresses, to violent stabs of guilt, to fucking up friendships, to then freaking out about the potential “date” I’m going on on Sunday? There are too many emotions which contrast with one another. I don’t know.

I’ve realised something. When I don’t write, my life invariably gets way too overwhelming. I don’t know if not writing means I can’t cope and so the shitshow starts, or if the shitshow starts which stops me from writing. Thinking about that makes me panic and I leave it even longer, so that I don’t know what to say when I come back. Really, I don’t know if I can say anything worthwhile.

Last week, I didn’t leave the house in three days because I was ill and could barely move. I went to the GP last Tuesday, absolutely terrified, and got a referral to the mental health service in my area. Again. Hopefully, this time, I can get my shit together enough to be able to get somewhere. Before I went back to school, the last person I’d “socialised” with was Pearl (a girl I’ve been talking to for just over a month) which is a whole other bunch of WHAT THE HELL AM I DOING? that I’ll get into, once I’ve seen her again on Sunday. Suffice it to say that I don’t know what’s happening but I’m not complaining about that lack of knowledge, at least when it comes to her.

Somehow, I submitted something for my history coursework. I cried at the weekend because I was so stressed about the entire thing; I experienced what I can only term as being so scared that I lost complete control over my thoughts. My dad was there to see it and just spoke to me; my mum has also been great for the past two weeks. So then why do I feel worse than ever? It must be because I feel guilty for wasting their time and I feel guilty for talking to nobody for ages.

I would love to be able to speak to people, to carry on conversations, but I struggle with doing so many things and even with just moving sometimes. It makes me so exhausted to talk about it that I inevitably don’t. For instance, I’m going to a party today – my friend Willow had her birthday recently – and I’m really looking forward to it but at the same time, I’m paranoid about getting there for no reason. I don’t speak about it because I’m worried people will ridicule me, or tell me I’m being too irrational for them. That’s what it’s been like: I know people wouldn’t tell me I was being ridiculous but something in me convinces itself and I can’t let go of it.

Yesterday, I tried on a dress for this party and didn’t feel awful. I felt blank, sure, but not disgusting. When I go prom dress shopping tomorrow, I hope that feeling will carry through. Today, I’m just trying to stay calm and to not have a constant mantra of “stop everything stop stop stop”.

I have to break my flow of whatever I’m saying to write that I’m frustrated. This is too disjointed and too confusing; I wish my words flowed better. I need to go back to a time where I felt fully with my words, where I could write them down as easily as speaking about something I love. It’s upsetting me and I wish it wasn’t.

Short of distracting myself with work – which I’ve done – I didn’t know what else to do. The fact that I didn’t go on social media for a long time probably didn’t help with that but I couldn’t cope with the stress of talking to people when I couldn’t talk to myself easily. All of it built into a sort of internal scream and I didn’t speak to my family for a bit, although I did spend time with them.

There are 20 days of proper school left and I just hope I can make the most of them, rather than wasting that time. There’s so much pressure that I don’t know how to hold. At some point, I’ll release that pressure in a more measured way. Just not now.

This was simply yelling onto a screen, which is the best kind of yelling. I didn’t plan this; I wrote with no coherency; I think I vaguely ranted. When I read back over this, I’ll cringe. However, writing it has exhausted me and if I’m being honest, the fear that people will think I’m blowing this out of proportion, or they’ll sigh out of irritation and think I’m bullshitting, is creeping up on me.

But at least I’m writing. At least I’m saying something, rather than shutting myself away. It feels too overwhelming now but soon, I’ll get re-used to being able to do things. Maybe it might make me want to cry at the moment but in the future, I’ll be able to write out how I feel again and to be able to savour the feeling of feeling more free. This is me at my worst, writing-wise, so surely it can only go up from here?

I’ve missed blogging. I’ve missed talking to people, even when I just felt like I couldn’t. I’ve missed interacting with the world and feeling like it’s interacting back, the support, the way it felt to unleash my thoughts in something more together than a jumble. To that end, I want to talk more. I might need time, but I still want to have that time and then invest it into reconnecting with something I love.

How are you all doing?

From Elm πŸ™‚

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 πŸ™‚

Being Open and Other Emotions

As I start writing this, I’m listening to music far too loudly; I’m singing along in a mumbled kind of way and I suppose, for now, I’m content for a little slice of time. Not happy but closer to it than I’ve been for a good few weeks.

Yesterday, in counselling, I was the most honest I’d ever been. In no uncertain terms, I told my counsellor how worthless I felt, how unworthy of anything I thought I was and how, no matter how many people tell me a list of qualities I have, my brain just doesn’t believe them even if I know it’s a little bit true. It’s a complicated issue that has been inside my head for as long as I can remember.

My friends are amazing and I know that what they say is true to them but I get absolutely incredulous when I even think “Oh, you are a good person then?” because my brain refuses to think about the possibility of letting myself fly because I’m terrified of disappointment. As my counsellor said, I keep myself down so that I don’t get disappointed by myself and it’s a fucking horrible way to think and live but it’s what I feel pretty much constantly. As you can tell, I get exhausted by it.

It hurt so much to talk about. Unlike with situations that have happened to me, there isn’t a direct cause to this. It has come about as a result of years of thinking I’m awful and I can’t just change that in a summer or a few months. I need myself and others to understand that this is not simple – I got the closest to breaking down in that session than I have before because it made me feel wretched as fuck and hopeless, too. In counselling, it’s rare that I get really, directly upset about something and show that externally, as I spoke about me and others being unable to understand because I didn’t want to tell them I didn’t believe them in case they gave up on me and left. But here’s the thing: I spoke about it.

Recently, I’ve become quite closed off, keeping rigidly to the view that nothing good will happen, nothing will come of anything so what’s the point of speaking because no one cares – that kind of thing. I broke that yesterday, getting animated and visibly upset – no “blank slate”, no hiding and I lied about nothing. I talked about some of the most terrifying feelings I had, both positive and negative – the distinction being that I hated having the negative feelings but the only thing that upset me about the positive feelings were how much they could fuck me up.

An example of negative feelings that I spoke about in a number of sessions was a time, three weeks ago, when I was walking in my school before lessons started. I listed, systematically and brutally, every single reason why I thought people should hate me, why they already did and why I should hate myself more. It was vicious, almost mentally violent and afterwards, I went to the toilets and sobbed because it hurt so much to despise myself like that. Since then I’ve never got that bad but I refuse to pretend it’s all gone away and I don’t have the energy to shut it all down and fake shit.

I think i’m still recovering from how much stuff I said yesterday. I’m not used, now, to explaining things like this to someone who doesn’t assume my feelings or dismiss them. At the end of the session, I said to her – when she asked – that I knew what I’d done, how open I’d been and that it was something to be proud of but still, I wasn’t letting myself be proud of me because I couldn’t bring myself to be. That’s the best indication I can give as to how my thought processes work.

I don’t quite know where to go from here. I know this was a negative post but there are some good points to it, such as that I know i’m capable of talking. i’m not utterly without reason, hope or clarity of mind.

Currently, i’m not alright, partly because I’m becoming more aware of how I feel but also external circumstances that I’m somehow managing to blame myself for?? However, I’m a hell of a lot more okay than I have been.

When in doubt, remember that people are there to listen. You may not think they care but they will listen to you; try to give yourself a chance more than anyone else.

How easy is it for you to open up?

From Elm πŸ™‚

Is This All I’ll Ever Be?

I have a tendency to hide my upset behind a mask of being fine, to shut it all down in the hopes that no one will ever ask me if I’m truly okay with things. It forces me to make myself believe that if I’m not okay with things, I’m obviously a terrible person; I’ve been through the same old shit, over and over, because I don’t know how to deal with it otherwise. So here’s me, shouting my low self-worth and momentary hopelessness onto a screen. My last post has made me realise that if I want to love and be able to cry without feeling guilty, I need to start feeling unapologetic for having feelings like this.


Is this all I’ll ever be? Smiling, papering on a grin so that it can’t hurt any more. Setting myself up for disappointment so that I can’t get burned, when really , all I want to do is hope. In my head, hope makes me dangerous; hope makes me want things and `I have so little faith in myself that I don’t believe I should get what I want.

It’s exhausting to keep forcing myself to be okay with being pushed aside. It’s tiring to have to carry on as normal, when my grades are slipping, cracks starting to show and no one really knows the reason why. I pretend, because the real reason is linked to how much I hate myself and how much I hate letting myself never have anything. I let my happiness fall to the side because others’ feelings are more important and then, I end up miserable despite my best efforts to be fine. it seems pathetic. People should get on with their lives and I should be okay with that, when all I want to do is yell and tell them what’s happening in my head. “Deal with it,” they’d say, move on, and there I’d be – silent again because I didn’t push back hard enough.

Do people know how much it hurts? No, because I haven’t showed them; no, because I’ve brushed it all off and it’s only in my mind that the unfair screaming starts, curled in a little ball, shaking and wondering when the fuck this cycle will end. They can’t see past the lies I tell because with this, I’ve guarded it so much that no one can tell – apart from now – how the feelings from 7 and 2 and 1 year ago, from the times I was passive, still tear me apart. I can’t let myself break because of this, I say, breaking.

Is all I’ll ever be the person who’s the extra, never the person who stands centre-stage? Why do I never feel good enough, strong enough, happy enough? It feels as if I’m searching and searching, trying so hard and the only way I can help myself is to post ambiguous posts on this blog that no one can understand. I don’t know how to talk about anything anymore because it’ll all come pouring out; people may think I’m a petulant child. I have such faith in my readers, you guys, who have helped me and listened to years of this shit. But I’m still afraid.

I want to be honest with you. I’m scared of getting hurt so I don’t let myself get upset, outwardly, by people. Inwardly, it’s basically the representation of this post – jumbled, directionless, confused and with nowhere to go. To talk about things is so difficult when the people you can turn to may not have time for you and couldn’t do anything and the people you want to turn to don’t care. Unlike before, nothing is working and I feel locked, sometimes, in a pit of my own making. I don’t know how to get out.

In short, I have too many feelings. I feel afraid when I get a message that I know will upset me. Before I talk to people, before I do anything, I have to prepare myself to shield against outward displays of sadness. It’s got to the point where I have so little faith in my abilities that inside my head is an unhappiness that’s only lifted when I remember my worth. On my face, you don’t see the extent of it. In my words, you can’t see it because I’m good at showing half the truth – just enough for people to be satisfied with my ‘honesty’ – and then fear makes me hide the rest. If I told people how bad I feel about things that have happened, they might run away and not understand. I know I should give a chance to those that love me but my head’s so muddled that I don’t know where to start.

Without being fake, I want to finish this post off with a reminder to you and myself. You dont have to pretend all the time. You don’t have to shove a smile into your mind and hope it sticks because in your head, it doesn’t always stay. I don’t like being the one that takes the shit and never retaliates back but at the end of the day, I don’t know how to stop doing that because I’ve spent so long in that mindset. However, this comes gradually and I know that eventually, it won’t hurt as much. Maybe I’ll feel like I’m worth more than the one you go to when you’re desperate, when you have no options left or the one who you only think about when with me.


Do any of you feel like this too?

I’m sorry for all this negativity. Sometimes, you need to write and write and get things out, no matter how painful. This blog is an outlet and I can’t forget that.

You’re not alone in your mixed up thoughts and a wish to scream them to the world.

From Elm πŸ™‚