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 🙂

Breaking the Silence on My Mental Health

Trigger warnings for mentions of mild self-harm, slightly suicidal thoughts and very negative content. I want to warn you in advance; if you’re affected by any of these, I’ve left links at the end of this post where you can find support.

Yesterday, my friends from school – Wren and Red – sat me down in what they called an “intervention” and told me, in no uncertain terms, that my mental health was utter shit and that they were really worried about me. After having shut myself off from everyone for a while, I totally understand why: their “intervention” threw me a bit even though I was expecting it, so that I didn’t quite know how to express myself. Thinking about it all of last night and this morning, I realised that part of the reason is because I stopped writing on this blog. So, I’m breaking the silence (which I’ve been intending to do for ages) to bring you a mammoth post on how bad I’ve been feeling, with some things that you might find more hopeful at the end. Bare with me here because I need to get this all out in the healthiest way possible. I want to show you something real and to tell any of you going through the same things that you’re not alone.

Where to start? I feel like I haven’t talked about this for so long that I don’t know how to speak. I’d start at the beginning or the root causes but the problem is that things are so muddled in my head that I don’t know what those causes are. All I know is that I’m desperately sad, so let’s start with that.

Whereas a year and a half ago, I felt sad a fair bit but I had a lot of moments of happiness, now, I feel either sad or blank constantly. When I’m not sad, I’m worried for some reason, fired up with some kind of emotion that is only rarely positive. I feel empty as well; it’s like I’m trudging through mud and even wanting to move is a struggle sometimes. When I spoke to my head of year about it, she told me it was just normal teenage behaviour and made me dismiss what was happening but my friends made me realise that it’s not “normal” to feel this unhappy all the time. It’s not “normal” to feel overwhelmed to the point of screaming and tears and it’s in no way “usual” to feel as if you hate yourself, that everyone hates you and that you should just shut up. I can say it’s got worse: it wasn’t this bad before; either that or I just didn’t notice. I have a habit of dismissing my own feelings, lying to myself and then eventually figuring out that I’ve felt something I thought I hadn’t or that things were worse in my mind but I locked it all up. However, I’ve started to truly notice how I’ve been feeling and it’s quite worrying.

Along with this negativity, I’ve been having a lot of horrible thoughts as well; this is where the trigger warnings apply. In short, over the last few weeks I’ve wanted to disappear. I don’t want to actively die but I do wish I didn’t exist a lot of the time. I tried to figure out the reasons why and a lot of it links back to me feeling worthless, horrible and to a situation which has just exacerbated that entire hurricane of feeling (I’ll get onto that at some point). Anyhow, the thoughts of wishing I could disappear got so bad a week ago, shortly before I started school again, that I scratched at myself and only realised it was self-harm afterwards. As it’s a sensitive topic, I don’t want to go into too much detail as that’s unnecessary for this post; I just want to say that if you do this, don’t blame yourself or call yourself disgusting: it’s not a healthy thing to do but it’s not your fault if you do it. I got so upset by this that I was unable to cope and shut myself down. I hardly ever talk about it; it’s just something that I don’t often acknowledge and I’m sorry if that negatively affected anyone. The urge to do that again, along with the urge to just not move and to wish myself gone so that nobody would notice me, is fading but it is still there.

When the average student says, “I’m so behind in my work!” often it isn’t that bad. I wish I was joking when I said that I’m so incredibly behind that when I try to tackle the mountain of work I have, I don’t do it. That’s a contributing factor to the reasons I feel unhappy about myself; I’ve taken some steps to solving it, like talking to teachers, and I blame myself for being lazy. I’ve realised that’s not it, or only a tiny bit: I have a severe lack of motivation and a lot of unprocessed emotions, situations and worrying thoughts so that doing work became a struggle. It’s got so overwhelming now that I don’t understand how to cope. I’ve left it very very late and that’s part of the problem. If I could flip a switch and just do the work, I would; I theoretically know how to do all of it but when I sit down and try, nothing happens. Then, I get frustrated, panicked and angry; I feel like a failure; I feel like a horrific person and sometimes, as if I’m lazy and no good to anyone. I can’t just think positively about it all because I feel miserable all the fucking time and it makes me even worse. Attempting to explain this to family is difficult as they don’t believe quite how bad it is, expecting to pick myself up immediately.

Two weeks ago, I went to Barcelona with a charity for VI people and whilst it was an amazing trip, I had the worst breakdown I’ve ever had on my friend who I call Rapunzel. It’s about something I don’t feel comfortable going into at the moment because I haven’t sorted it out, either in my own head or with the people involved, but the breakdown was so bad that I opened up about wanting to die, how awful I felt and on every single day of that trip, I was in emotional pain of some sort. Rapunzel’s the type of person who didn’t mind it when I cried on her and shook so hard I couldn’t stand up. I can’t pin the blame on people; it was just a culmination of circumstances, miscommunication and confusion that led to my emotional state: all of this I haven’t spoken about to many people save for Rapunzel and those who were with me when I was directly faced with it all. Luckily though, Barcelona was wonderful and I had a great time overall. Saying that, I think it partly contributed to how outwardly unhappy I seem (people noticed unfortunately when we were in the country as I had a few moments where my mask slipped and I was unable to function much). Things resulting from it have made me feel severely insecure: I keep on thinking I’m pathetic and I think people have all given up on me. Although things are confusing and I have no idea where I stand with people, they aren’t hopeless because I can fix things but I don’t quite know how to start it.

To try and deal with some of my wild emotions which were slowly being pushed onto myself, I booked a counselling appointment on Saturday. There, I skimmed over how I was feeling: I let the counsellor know everything but there wasn’t enough time to go into detail. I was terrified; I tried to let as much out as I could, referring to the box I talked about in this post to explain how I was feeling. Although it didn’t help because I need regular sessions to get some concrete progress, it didn’t feel like, when I came out, I wanted to cease to be alive. I know that’s brutal honesty but I want to be as truthful as I can be. I needed to let out years’ worth of terror and confused emotion to the counsellor which is only, now, just coming through on my blog because I’ve told you guys quite a lot but recently, I felt like I’ve been unable to post about some things because of how personal they are.

I don’t want to overload myself too much right now. I also don’t want to fill this blog with negative thinking but currently, I see no other way of sorting out at least some of the thoughts in my head. It’s hard to explain but I don’t often know how I feel because there are too many thoughts rushing around for me to process; I also get the feeling sometimes that I’m a non-person and that I’m a bit disconnected from everything. It’s horrible. When I write on this blog, it reminds me a bit of who I am because I forget and even now, I ask myself if these words are really how I feel or if I’m just, well, lying to myself. I’m sorry. I wish I could be more concise but rambling sentences are the only things I can write with any coherency.

Most days, I have to concentrate on getting through without having a mental breakdown, without utterly giving up on speaking or engaging with anything. Whenever I think about it, I get panicked and believe that I’m making things up, that everything is fine and then I start to feel like what I called a “non-person” earlier. It’s so hard to dissect what I’m feeling and I’m trying my best to solve that with things like counselling but I’m so afraid that I’m just going to become the shell of a person. When I consider that, I feel freezing.

There are too many things in my head, from dealing with feelings to coping with family to feeling lonely for no reason. Explaining it in one post is way too much; I tried to do it in counselling and got so upset that I couldn’t actually force any words out. I’m calling myself dramatic when I say this but it now goes far beyond simple “I’m sad” because when I thought the simple sadness, I hadn’t realised that there were a shitload of other issues. People expect me to be fine so I’ve shoved up a wall in my own mind to it; it’s only now, where I’m visibly not coping at school and getting upset because of that, that I kind of have to face the facts and quit calling myself attention-seeking for every little thing.

At some point, over the next few days or weeks, I’ll be talking about all of this in greater detail. Barcelona deserves an entire post of its own but I’m not willing to do that right now; too many things have happened and posting about it all would be so disrespectful to the people involved, not to mention disrespectful to myself because my thoughts are still hectic about it. For now, I’m going to leave this post as it is, in it’s wild and painful waves of thought. I don’t know how to do it otherwise; I don’t know how to structure my ideas to make sense any more but I’ve given it my best go.

If you’re feeling a little like me, here are some websites and support networks that can help. These are just for the UK but I might be creating a page on my blog for other countries too, if that’s something you’d find useful.

The Samaritans who you can talk to at any time; you can call them on 116123

Mind which is a mental health charity

The Mental Health Foundation

BetterHelp – an online counselling service

Don’t suffer in silence. I’ve done that enough and in a phrase, it’s fucking me up. I’m sick of going from day to day in a haze: I want to live my life but I have to get through this first.

From Elm 🙂

Why Am I Lonely?

Not too long ago, I spoke to a friend of mine who asked me: “Even when you’re surrounded by people, do you still feel alone?”

I felt this shocked sense of relation to what he said: I’d known it previously, said it to myself but that was when it had really hit me that he was right. The night before, I had cried a little to myself whilst feeling too sad to properly process it. Everything felt hollow and empty; I felt scared and so separated from all of the people around me. Why, though?

I don’t know for how long I’ve been feeling this inexplicable loneliness. It’s probably been for a while because I have felt as if I’m surrounded by this constant sadness. Yes, I’ve felt lonely by myself and when I remember how much I screwed people over before but only recently have I realised the exact signs of loneliness which I had refused to acknowledge before.

Trying to surround myself with people
In order to combat how I feel, I’ve tried to talk to as many people as possible. That includes emailing people, messaging and calling people on Skype, organising to meet up with people (this coincided with my sadness because I genuinely want to see my friends) and making sure I’m engaging with a group as much as possible. I went to my friend Swan’s birthday ‘gathering’ on Saturday and it was great; when I got home though, I realised that it only really sticks around when I’m around people. The feeling really doesn’t last, no matter how hard I try.

Distracting myself when alone
It’s weird: I used to like being by myself but recently, I’ve hated it. To stop thinking a little, and to stop myself from feeling overwhelmed because of feels, I find ways to distract myself. I read, sing – that’s been a big one recently, scroll through Twitter, try and blog and various other things. Before, I thought it was just because I was bored but the frequency with which I do these things is kind of worrying and points towards me just not wanting to be alone. It seems as if my mind will make up stupid reasons as to why I need to do this, that and the other without wanting to think that it’s lonely.

Not feeling happy or complete even when in a group
Even when I’m in the midst of a large group, I never feel quite whole. This is totally contrary to what you’d expect. I kind of feel apart from it all – not because of the people but simply because I’m not engaging as much as I’d like – and that annoys me. It then turns into an illogical paranoia that everyone hates me, which I know to be false. I end up feeling more lonely than I did at the start and I need to stress that this is not because of the people present, but rather my mind being a moron.

Being almost resistant to physical contact but leaning into it when given
I’ve found myself shuddering away from the thought of people hugging me and flinching when I think about people doing so, which is weird because I love hugs. They make me feel safer I suppose, proof that I’m not just scared here and that people like me, yet – especially in terms of ‘romance’ – I can’t quite bring myself to think that being close to someone is possible. Perhaps it’s gone round in a circle, where I thought it was ridiculous that I could accept physical contact so then didn’t. When someone does hug me, or is close to me I almost revel in it, happy, but before it I’d almost describe myself as ‘prickly’. That is, unwilling to initiate or wary of it. Ugh, I don’t know.

Pushing people away whilst wanting them to notice
I’m not good with knowing when I should talk to friends and when I shouldn’t; consequently, I may have accidentally shut myself off from a few people who I really love. In doing so, I’ve become incredibly sad and I think that this has contributed to me feeling lonely because I think that nobody would wish to talk to me anyway: have I caused this all? Whichever it is, a corner of my mind still craves attention and tries to get it by talking to people. This is all linked, I think, and now I’m confused as to what I may have done to perpetuate it.

Feeling unmotivated and pointless
This one’s a consequence of me feeling alone. I don’t feel like doing much which is sad: I sang earlier and it was okay; I got unmotivated to read blogs which I usually love. As a side note, perhaps to get me more motivated and so prevent some of this cycle, could you link me to any posts¥ love and enjoy, either that you wrote or someone else did?

It’s taken me about a day to write this post. Now I’ve written out my thoughts it doesn’t feel so oppressive and bad but I still have a lingering sense of incompleteness. I’m sorry for the long nature of this post but because I haven’t had an outlet for the last month, I need this time to properly examine how I feel.

Do you ever feel alone without explanation, like I do? Have the things I’ve listed about how I act been how you feel as well? If so, remember you’re not alone.

I know how it feels and though it can leave you feeling upset, there are plenty of people who must be the same. So even for our loneliness, we’re not alone in feeling it. That’s a strange sentence to say but I hope it’s comforting for you; you can always find people who feel a little of how you do. It’s just about searching and understanding; if I’m that person for you or you’re that person for me, it will make my day. What will also make my day is if, next time you think that someone is feeling lonely or upset, you just say a kind word to them. If you relate to their feelings and tell them so it’ll mean more to them, I think, than any big gesture.

Supporting people in little ways really helps. I’ll try and remember that, take my loneliness and make it into something positive for someone else. It’s one of the things which can do good here, because too often I slip into thinking all of it’s just worthless. If I can at least let you know there are more people who think how you think and feel scared too, I won’t feel so trapped in my thoughts. I hope it can be the same for you.

From Elm 🙂

Feelings are Gross

I rather intensely dislike it when my brain decides to tell me, in no uncertain terms – “Heyy! There are these two people and you like them both but here’s the bad news – you like one more than the other but either will end in disaster! Let’s go and have a party to celebrate!”

After said brain freezes in shock for about a year because I haven’t had proper “feelings” for someone for ages, it then throws itself a pity party. That involves cynical laughter, creating lists as to why my feelings are a terrible idea and then eventually giving up and screaming in frustration. I’m surprised I haven’t imploded yet.

Here is my predicament. Because of people who know the people reading my blog, I can’t mention specifics. Let’s call them person 1 and 2, just to be original.

Upon realising that I had actual, un-pretend but otherwise stupid feelings for person 1, I may or may not have freaked out. This person doesn’t go to my school – which is important when we get to person 2 but shhh – and we know each other kind of well? There are a few bits of our personalities which really don’t fit together and which we don’t understand but still, the person makes me happy and I don’t have to pretend around them. Having feelings is so… Weird, now.

This is all great. The only problem is that feelings for this person would result in absolute disaster or decimation of my entire personality. Hello yes, I’m being dramatic because I’m a self-professed drama queen but I know that if anybody found out the person who I’m talking about – including 1 themselves – the following may happen:
1. They would laugh until they had tears rolling down their face because it seems so ridiculous
2. My friends would try and convince me that they “fancied” me which would raise my hopes, making it even worse when I realised that they don’t. At all.
3. Being in a relationship with them would just be… No.
4. I’m a clingy child and if I made this “real” by telling loads of people, I’d become worse
5. My feelings for them are relatively solid and that scares me shitless
6. Living in the moment only works when there’s an actual moment to live in, as opposed to a dream

Person 2 has existed in my “like” capacity (that’s apparently a thing now) since the start of this school year. I suppose, actually, it’s ever since I’ve known them – there’s something about them that makes me want to know so much about them. It’s similar to person 1 but with person 2, I really don’t know a lot about their personality, only the superficial things. They go to my school, though, and so it would be easy to find out. They also take me seriously and usually I don’t have to try around them.

On the surface, that’s much more positive than with person 1 and I know it. However, I know that my feelings for 2 are shallower than for 1: 2 hasn’t known me for long enough to understand certain parts of who I am; we’ve never shared a truly deep conversation; I’ve never met up with them outside school whereas with 1, I would never meet them in school.

I know that I can and should put effort in and let 2 understand me more – “let them in, to use a cheesy and cliché phrase – but I don’t know if I’m up for that. I’m too exhausted and worried and paranoid; before, when I thought I had feelings for 2, I realised it was a rebound and me just shoving feelings onto them. I have a horrible feeling that this is the same.

Only time will tell what will happen: maybe I will get closer with 2 and meet up with them on weekends, actually getting to know them. I don’t want to forget 1 or drift away from them though because 1 has always meant more to me than 2. I know that friends fade, feelings dim and people grow apart but seeming as I’ve only realised I had feelings for 1 recently, I want to wait and see how they grow. There’s also 2 to contend with though and my mind isn’t up for juggling another set of worries. Bloody, bloody hell.

Why does my brain like to cavort around with love triangles? It would be funny if my brain weren’t so confused. I’ll just see where life takes me – and try not to panic.

Do you have this a lot – do you feel indecisive about your feelings?

From Elm 🙂

Oh, Love…

I loved you once, in the autumn when you took the form of a solid bar of gold, then when you dulled to a wrong bronze in the winter; when you crumbled to missed chances in the spring and when you were new as a winged possibility in the summer. They say that spring is the time of new beginnings, but you were the time of new endings then, collapsing in on yourself as I bloomed, and then wilted.

Missing you is something I do frequently, when I compare you to the eighth of love I feel now, the diminished thought of a memory. I miss your beauty, the way my heart would skip and jolt, happiness lancing through my veins one second and then the presence of you, calming. “I love you,” you said, too many times, but was that you, Love? Perhaps you only descended once, twice, in the wreck of infatuation and the splinters of half-love that could not quite coalesce into you.

I feel sorry for you, for all the ways you could have been formed, but where you were never quite able to be seen. In a way I resent you for it, all of the running up of hills only to fall back, never cresting the peak. Where were you then, at my failings – though how can I blame you? You are love, nothing more. You filled me with temporary whimsicality, your antibodies still present to prevent the intrusion of your next attack, but never quite working. Should I thank you, I wonder?

You were secret, once, stolen away in droplets of tears, never said nor heard. You were a thread of happiness, tangled, until I could not distinguish you from the echo of a song you left. Where have you gone? Because you flew away, another golden feather clutched in your hands.

Your emotion is something I could never forget. In the quiet nights, the shining days, tampered down with the rationality of paranoia and swellings of affection for friends, family and strangers on the street. Still, you consumed me, opening rivers of thought I never knew I had.

I still love you, I suppose, but I ask myself which version? The version of you that held me with quiet certainty, or that was so soft and new I could barely breathe, or perhaps the you that glowed with your own familiar light until it moved, beaming to another star. Maybe all of you is still there, curled in my heart, a dormant dragon waiting to rise. Would I still love you, then, in the dulled sense I do now, or would the flames and silver scales heal the cracks? You neither know, nor care – do you, Love? You are just a person, or an idea, or a blend of both rolled into spun silk, ripped.

When you come back, don’t break my heart as you did before. Don’t be warped, twisted, turning my heart into a receptor for expectant pain; on my toes until the catch comes, just waiting to be proved wrong and for you to vanish into shadows. Don’t make false promises, that you’ll always be there; never say you can hold me forever. Don’t do the things that burn me, and I’m begging you, don’t show me you exist until I’m sure I have the strength to match you.

I can’t do it otherwise.

Please?

From Elm 🙂