Trying to Love

I haven’t planned this post at all, except for a brief splash of ideas laid out in my head. I’ve just opened up a document; I’m going to write and write until my thoughts are expressed in some sort of capacity.

Recently, ever since exams were done, I’ve been trying to connect more with my emotions. Without the stress of work, or the lack of pressure, I knew that I could relax more. I’ve been trying to feel things, to love and laugh, to enjoy what I usually do. It’s not working and that’s scaring me.

The fact is, I’ve been feeling a little disconnected for so long that I now don’t understand how to properly process my emotions. I can’t relax; I sometimes just sit there doing nothing because I don’t know how to convince myself that doing something would be productive. I have hardly any motivation to write, blog or talk to people. Considering that I used to live and breathe motivation for it, to not have that has shocked me beyond all reasonable thought. I don’t even know why I feel like this. Without it, I feel drained, tired and more hopeless than I can fathom: why can’t I muster up the ability to love what I did before?

It’s not even that I don’t love blogging, for instance, or having conversations with people. I really do love it; it makes me so happy. However, it doesn’t hold the same weight for me as it did before: I don’t feel that same spark. Before you get scared that I’m going to stop blogging, it’s not just with this: it’s with absolutely everything. Instead of feeling revitalised, I feel dulled, wrong and rusted. The main frustration for me here is that even though I know I feel like this, I don’t know why. That means that even if theoretically, I know what to do, I have no idea how to put that into practice.

People say, “Give it time,” or “Do something every day that interests you” – but how? How do I do that when I’m scared of things not having the same feeling for me, of my heart not leaping in excitement at the thought of writing a story? I just wish I knew how to sort through my mind enough to implement solutions that worked for me when I was younger.

Hey, maybe that’s the way to do it! I know how I felt towards things when I really felt like I had emotions. Over a year ago is the clear defining line, when I was in year 11. After that, things start to blur so perhaps I’ll use the pre-exam rush of love I had for everything as a beginning point.

Later today, I’ll make a list of why I think that blogging is amazing and all the feelings I experienced. Most likely, it will just be comprised of words and little phrases but I don’t want coherency. My thoughts are in no fit state to have any semblance of structure. I may talk about it to friends too, if they’ll listen, because writing and speaking all of it may force the feelings to become more apparent.

Tomorrow, I’m going to see the GP and talk to them about my mental health because I don’t think I can cope with anything any more. This lack of feeling towards things I previously adored and still adore in my mind worries me; I need to bring it up with her. I feel so scared though. What if something goes wrong? What if I have no idea how to talk about my feelings and it ends up in a disjointed mess, like this post?

You’re the people who mean the most to me at the moment; that’s why I’m being so harshly honest with you. I love blogging but for some reason, it feels like a cloud’s descended over my mind which means that I don’t have the capacity to feel much. I now don’t even feel confident enough in my own feelings to even think about making new friends. The possibility of falling in love, once such a magical prospect to me, is so far beyond my reach right now so I don’t want to think about it.

I haven’t written like this – no structure, no rhythm or underlying, coherent message – since I shut my emotions down. That’s so sad but the consequences of trying, temporarily, not to feel and to add structure to your life is that it backlashes, turning temporary into far longer than you anticipate. Emotions are odd in that they’re so subjective, which panics me, but having an outlet – as this blog was originally intended – makes me have the barest of smiles on my face.

It’s not that I don’t have the emotions. I know that I’m capable of feeling them – I was and I will be; I’m not a robot. It’s just that currently, I don’t know how to feel them.

I’ll connect to myself again. Soon, I’ll be able to label some feelings as love, some as euphoria, some as a passion for writing and some as the happiness I get from having a beautiful conversation. Bare with me and I promise that I’ll be okay in this respect. People on here have helped me more than I even realise so that I can identify the problem and put steps in place to try, as hard as I can, to work through it.

Do you ever feel weirdly separate from your emotions?

From Elm 🙂

Speak Up for Yourself

One thing I learnt today was that sometimes, letting things slide and being passive isn’t healthy. You need to put your foot down and shout, “No, this isn’t right!”

If a situation happens to you that makes you feel awful – a friend says something hurtful, you get treated badly or you don’t want to do something – staying quiet might make things worse. Yes, it can be good to compromise on situations and to forgive but you shouldn’t do it all the time. That’s detrimental to you. It’s not fair on you either.

Say someone says something about you behind your back and you hear this from a friend. Another example is if your friends want to do something but you’re utterly averse to the idea; either that or you hear a passing mean comment about you in the corridor. Do you walk on and block your ears? Do you let it slide because you hate confrontation? A lot of people would do that and that’s totally understandable (I hate arguments or the prospect of them too) but think: should you stay silent? In a situation where your life is in danger and you may be hurt, the consequences can be a lot more serious and you should talk to someone immediately if you need help. However, in every day situations, let your mind remember that being passive shouldn’t be your default option.

Like me, if you’re ordinarily someone who doesn’t like confrontation and so doesn’t speak up, breaking that cycle can just emphasise the importance of your point. Whether you’re known for directly saying what you think, it can give you a measure of power over the situation. You’re telling the person that you don’t accept this; you’re letting them know that you won’t just roll over and let them control how you feel. If it’s serious enough to make you speak about it, then they should take note of how much it took for you to say something and therefore realise what a shitty thing they did.

If you’re worried about the consequences – as I always am – let me reassure you. In most cases, you telling whoever you need to tell how you feel won’t result in a permanent falling out. Don’t worry about hurting them although I know that won’t stop the anxiety. My sister, who is one of the most sensible people when it comes to this thing that I know, told me that sometimes people need to know they’ve been petty or awful. There may be some disagreement if that happens, know that it can actually make them think about your point of view and treat you better in the future. If they don’t listen and an argument ensues, maybe they aren’t such a considerate person after all. It’s not your fault if you want to voice your opinion. It’s not up to you how they respond and if they respond negatively to you standing up for yourself, I have to say it bluntly: think about whether you really want to be as close to them as you thought. I understand how hard it is, especially when you’re paranoid about losing friends, but you can’t push your happiness aside in order to appease someone else or avoid an argument.

The fact is, you’re human and can only take so much before you break. I know it’s difficult but it’s far better to break and show someone else just how upset you are than internalise that sadness and anger. I speak from experience when I say that misplaeed anger is one of the worst things that can happen to you because it leaves you feeling hollow and empty, without any kind of closure. Your humanity makes it really understandable as to why you’d want to say something: listen to your instincts.

You aren’t a doormat. You aren’t to be controlled; you aren’t someone who should be trodden on or victimised. Don’t let yourself be victimised because otherwise, people will think it’s okay to treat you like that. My Head of Year told me, today, that I should start to speak more and assert myself: I’m giving that advice to you too because you should never be treated like some kind of object or something to be thrown around.

Find your inner voice and use it in the real world. You’re strong enough to tell even the closest person to you that no: you’re not okay with this.

Speak up.

Have you ever been in a situation where you wanted to speak up but couldn’t? How about in the reverse: have you ever spoken up in a situation and had good consequences stem from it? How did it make you feel?

From Elm 🙂

I Should have Known This Would Happen

Right. I’ve had it up to here with my bullshit.

When I started to feel bad at the beginning of the week, I should have suspected that things would go downhill, and so should have prepared for the fallout of my thoughts. In the time when I was more okay, I should have done more work, in preparation for the time when I just couldn’t. That time has come, I haven’t done enough, and I’ve realised that this could easily have been prevented. Or… Could it?

Today, I had horrendous stomach pains, and was so physically and mentally exhausted that when I woke up, I felt hopeless and awful and like I couldn’t face the day. So, I took the day off school, exaggerating my stomach ache and downplaying my mental exhaustion because I was just too tired to explain it. I felt – and feel – ashamed, and angry at myself, as if I’d given up – which of course I haven’t, but it felt like at the first sign of weakness, I’d just… Stopped.

When I woke up again after four hours of sleep, in the weird darkness of my room that felt wrong because it was so late, I felt… Okay. Still not good, but more okay, not as if I was about to break into pieces like I had this morning.

I took time for myself, relaxing as best as I could, trying desperately not to panic or hate myself to a large degree. After taking care of my skin a little, eating and listening to music, I did some work. Not enough, but it was a little victory.

I got lost in the reading of Jane Eyre, where words just flowed over me. They were beautiful, and when I read, I go into a quiet space where only the descriptions and I exist. Though I didn’t read much more of Othello, I looked over my notes on it, remembering about all the characters. I don’t even want to think about the disaster that is my notes for The Great Gatsby, which I wrote last term in my phase which I like to call “Elm Wreckage 2.0.”

That, unfortunately, was it. I emailed my history teacher to sort out the work, cried a bit when I thought about my French essay, and shed some further tears on the fact that I felt I was useless. It feels like a never-ending spiral, and if I tried hard enough, I could just get out of it. I could do more work, could get the motivation – because I’m doing less than is even required by the class teacher.

It sickens me that it’s taken me this long to even start to smash myself back together. This has nothing to do with the state of my love life, or anything to that effect: this is just me, all me, and my mental health which is becoming unchecked and wild. However, I think I’m blowing this up in my head to be worse than it is, as I tend to do; if I just TRIED, I could do this.

I don’t try enough. I become overwhelmed, get distracted, and then do nothing. It breaks me when I remember that I can’t help the girl I’m mentoring tomorrow, because I won’t be there as I have an annual review about my statement (disability thing) and she, someone who needs me and wants me to help her, is one of the people who holds it all together in her own little way. I need to do something, to get help or to figure out my thoughts before they run away with me.

It starts tomorrow. I don’t give a shit if I feel crap tomorrow: this has gone on long enough. Healing starts with me, and it’ll only start if I truly want to get entirely better. I’ve been languidly floating along until now, shoved along by a vague purpose, but that purpose snapped and broke and so I have aro create a new one.

Though it upsets me that I’ll have to do ! so much just to get my crap together and even more to succeed, I have to do it. Where will I be if I don’t? Today wasn’t me giving up; I realise that now.

Today was me giving myself a break, whilst simultaneously coming to the conclusion that I’m very lonely and sad and will remain so for a long time, the only thing changing being my motivation levels. It was almost me accepting that I’ve got to a state that’s separate to my crisis of mental health over the last three months – which wasn’t even that serious. Oh, it’s linked and caused by the low mood I was already in, and the lack of motivation goes back very far, but this time I know it’s me.

Because it’s me, I have to sort it out. I have to be brave enough to tell myself that enough is enough, I’m able to do this, and existing isn’t just enough any more. For my own sake, and for the sakes of people who I’m not sure even care about me any more. For those people, I’ll prove I can be closer to the person I was – filled with the true will to live.

Now, I just need to take my own advice, and put things into action. How, when I feel so panicky? The state of my notes is atrocious, I’m finding it hard to organise myself, and that’s all from before Christmas; I kicked myself into shape over the holiday, then regressed back to this. How am I supposed to clear up the myriad of crap from before then?

I’ll do it. I’ll stand the fuck up and try, try, try, and even if I fall again I’ll get up; even if people don’t understand what I’m doing, I’ll get up, because this is for me.

If you’re going through something similar, don’t forget that you can’t get better in a night. It takes time, and yes it’s hard, but I’ll be struggling right alongside you. There’ll be times when we’ll give up, and cry, and scream because we just don’t want to do it any more. I’m getting scared just thinking about those times, and I’m trying to stop one of those from approaching right now.

I knew this would happen, but after writing this, I know that I couldn’t have done anything. Being too emotionally sick to go to school was the spark that caused this: without that, I’m sure I would have got worse. Maybe I still will, but maybe I won’t.

From Elm 🙂

Guest Post – Getting Motivated to do…Exercise!

Hi guys! I’ve got a guest post for ya, from the brilliant and amazing Shay – click her name to see her blog, because it is WONDERFUL. I think you’re going to love this post, because I did.

I want to thank Elm, firstly for giving me the honour to write on her fantastical blog! 😀 No but seriously, Elm, you blog is amazing and I absolutely adore it!

 

I made a list of potential topics I could write about and I decided to go with something I am just so experienced and so professional in. Exercise.

Okay, I can admit, I am not the best at exercise, which is also why my advice about trying to get motivated will be sincere because if it worked for me, it can work for anyone. Seriously, anyone!

 

One big tip I want to put forward first it get rid of distractions! That’s right, don’t post anything about doing exercise on Facebook or whatever you kids use these days. XD Put your phone on silent and turn off notifications and try and forget about all of that! There are actually apps, if you’re desperate, that don’t let you use your device until a certain amount of time has passed, which can help to not get distracted and push you to actually go out on a jog or something.

 

Set a plan to do exercise. This is a part of motivation as it makes you feel more organized and serious about getting fit. Strive for something. The reason why I actually tried to do exercise was because I wanted to lose weight and I wanted to tone. My results were shocking because I could visually see a change to my body within a week. I had lost a noticeable amount of weight and I had toned ever so slightly in my arms. I know it might feel hard at getting into doing exercise, at first but once you see a difference, you’ll definitely feel more determined to carry on. Be SMART! S-specific, M-measurable, A-achievable, R-relevant, T-time bound.

 

Actually do what you set to do. Get your butt of the sofa and do something with your day! By the way, don’t take that personally, that was mainly me talking to myself. But still, take that advice on too! XD It’s easy to say you’re going to wake up at 6 and go out for a jog, the night before. When it comes to it, you feel a lot lazier and might even skive off doing it. Trust me, I understand. It’s literally the story of my life! Set a commitment to doing it. Make sure that you will have to do it like setting out your trainers next to you and whatever you wear to run in, as this will motivate you, even if you don’t feel it will.

 

And if you think that you’re going to give up half way through your exercise routine or whatever you’re planning on doing, maybe hang a picture over your head of Taylor Launter or something and convince yourself that’s how muscular you’ll look after.

Or maybe just skip that piece of advice… yeah, that would probably be best.

 

I think I might have just disproven my own point: “my advice about trying to get motivated will be sincere”. I’m sorry. XD I tried.

Again, thank you so much Elm for letting me do this guest post!

 

-Shay from VengeanceWearsBlack :3