I exist to you
the way a single leaf
on a tree
an enormous forest
I exist to you
the way a single leaf
on a tree
an enormous forest
I am sad.
But it’s not the type of sad that I can explain, it’s not the type that has a specific reason.
It’s the type of sad that makes me cry without realising. The type that makes it possible for me to sit perfectly still for long periods of time in silence without really thinking about it. Time still passes. I can go for hours on end without speaking, where my mouth gets this strange but comfortable sensation of being closed for so long.
It’s the type of sad where no matter how important things are that I need to deal with I just can’t bring myself to worry about them, it doesn’t mean they don’t exist or they don’t matter to me, it’s all just too much energy. The type where I’m no longer scared by horror movies but apathetic to their jump scares.
It’s the type of sad that makes me feel disconnected from my body and from my life, like I’m a shadow that’s started to come unstitched. One moment I can feel everything so deeply and it’s so painful and overwhelming but then in the next moment everything is silent and empty. Like the wires that make up the birdcage of my ribs have collapsed inwards and there’s no room left for me.
It’s the type of sad where I have to concentrate all of my energy on breathing in and breathing out. The type where I feel like I don’t really exist but I’m still here, like white noise. Then someone flicks the dial and all of sudden the emptiness in my chest is back and everything hurts. Where I’m gasping for air and the tears start again.
There is no snapping out of it, no amount of routine or consumables will make things okay. I know because I’ve tried, I’ve been trying, but I’m so tired. But I can pretend if you like, to make it easier for you, so I can get by without judgement. I’m fine. I’ve been fine for a while now.
They say that it’s the type of sadness that is caused by a chemical imbalance in my brain. They give me pills to correct my brain because I’m broken. But they’re not working. None of them have so far. I’m getting to the point where I don’t think that I can be fixed. These are the cards I have been dealt and somehow I’ve ended up with the Jokers that were removed before dealing. I can’t win with this hand. But I’m still expected to keep trying.
– E. H.
Too much pressure is placed on relationship status and I’m so tired of it. So now I’m waiting, but I’m not sitting around and waiting, I’m not even waiting per se, I’m just not actively looking for a relationship. I don’t see the point in rushing into something that I’ve been doing okay without. I’d rather wait to feel the love through their fingertips from a light touch and feel the pain of my cheeks simply from smiling too hard. Once you’ve had a taste of that I think it’s hard to want anything less.
Ever since I was young I’ve had this idea of what I supposed to be when I grew up. I assumed that I would study hard and get good grades so I could have a secure and well paying job. I thought I would meet someone in some meet-cute kind of way and we’d fall in love, like the movies where you just know that they’re the one. We’d get married, buy a house, we’d start a family because of course I would become a mother and live this suburban life happily. But now that I’m older all of these ideas have changed.
I haven’t dated anyone in a long time now, I used to get really upset about this and thought I was missing out. But then I realised that the main reason I was upset about it was because ever since I was little I’ve had this idea in my head about what I was supposed to do and who I was supposed to become when I got older. I got really worried and upset that that idea wasn’t coming true.
When I really thought about it I understood that I was perfectly okay not being in a relationship and that I didn’t want to pursue one just because of an idea that I had when I was young. Or because I’m constantly asked “how’s your love life?” like it’s a completely separate life to the one I’m talking to them in. I’ve dated people in the past because they confessed to liking me and although we were friends and I found them attractive the main reason for me dating them was because they liked me. While that is flattering, it is not a good reason to date someone. I also haven’t had a crush on anyone in my day-to-day life for a long time. This, paired with social pressures, made me try online dating but I quickly realised that that is not the place for me, I wasn’t made for this new age of dating.
Although I say that I’m comfortable as I am that doesn’t mean that I don’t ever feel lonely or that I don’t want that kind of company. I don’t think that I’m perfect and that no one I’ve met so far has been good enough for me. That’s not it at all. I find that I enjoy being by myself very much, I’m more than happy to go about doing things on my own. I know that I can be difficult and demanding and confusing and sensitive and just too much sometimes. When I let my negative thoughts in and they take over I’m convinced that I am too difficult, too demanding, too confusing, too sensitive, too caring, too involved and overall I conclude that maybe I am in fact unloveable.
Some people will say I’m stupid for thinking I’ll just happen to meet someone when “the time is right” or that I ought to be in the game because you can’t win if you’re not even willing to play. I hate the idea that dating is some kind of game or that getting married is the end goal (even described as a “life sentence” by some). I don’t see the point in pretending that that’s something I’m interested in being a part of, who am I pretending for?
At some point I do hope I can meet someone who’s able to joke with me and make me laugh, someone who’ll be there to support me, listen to me, or just be there. Someone who wants to take road trips and doesn’t care that I like to sing along no matter how bad I sound, someone who’ll join me in the kitchen when I’m drinking wine and dancing like a fool while cooking pasta. The only games they’ll want to play will be on a pc or console or board, especially if I can join in. Someone who will still give me the time by myself that I crave and someone who’ll challenge me in discussions, seriously or jokingly. Someone who is able to communicate their ideas, thoughts and feelings so that I’m not left guessing and second guessing, someone I can have an equal relationship with. I hope that if we can meet each other that I’m able to reciprocate their wants and needs.
Life is often described as a rat race and dating is like hunting or fishing and love as a game. I used to have this idea of who I was supposed to become and what I was supposed to do but now that I’m older I don’t want to race or search or fish or play any of those games. I just want to be with someone who understands me, who can make me laugh, who can let me be, who loves me as I am, someone who I can share life with and we can make it ours. And so I’m waiting, but that doesn’t mean sitting around and not living, it means that I’m not actively looking, I’m not rushing into it because of the pressure of a relationship status. It means that it’s not the most pressing thing in my life, despite what my negative thoughts tell me.
I absorb the negative emotions of others around me. I feel them myself and then I make myself small so that I don’t get in their way. I don’t want to upset them.
If I am feeling negative emotions, personally, I keep them to myself. I stay quiet, but also, I smile and make myself appear positive on the outside. When I do tell someone that I am upset and that something is affecting me, they don’t believe me because I am not screaming and crying and visibly distraught. But I am.
I feel the emptiness inside me and the negativity seeping in and clawing in to tear and rip and make the emptiness grow.
Repeating the same thing,
Every single day.
Lonely when I’m alone,
Even in a crowd of people.
Then I remember that everything is in transit,
Everything reaches an end and somehow that’s comforting.
Sundays always come too soon,
The weekend speeds by,
Until the new week begins,
The same, the same again.
But change is the only constant in life.
I can never get my head on right,
Everything moves so fast.
Time cannot be controlled,
Cannot be contained.
My thoughts swirling down the drain,
I send out so many letters,
I write even more.
But no post is for me,
Only bills and weeds.
Useful for cleaning up the stains.
So many games, so many rules,
Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.
Everything’s written down,
But not everything is followed.
Whichever suits the suitor and their tailored ways,
A tuxedo, a three piece or maybe mourning.
I bought my own flowers,
I could have chosen better.
But my hands are cold,
and the soil was futile.
They manage to bring some comfort.
“I feel very alone”
“I’m having a bad day”
“I like being alone but I hate feeling lonely”
“I’m sad right now”
“I am surrounded by people and yet feel very alone”
These are all things I’ve put out onto social media at some point recently. Or as I’ve started to think of the varying platforms: The Void. The definition of void that I’m referring to here is defined as “a completely empty space” because I can say or shout or whisper or yell whatever I’m feeling or thinking on whichever platform I choose, and I mainly throw those thoughts and feelings out there so that they’re not manifesting themselves in my head.
I know that there is a chance that I’ll get a response from someone and occasionally I have received some but what I’ve mostly found is that when you try to tell people that you need company, in whatever way you word it, they make excuses or say, “yeah, we need to catch up soon!” but you know they don’t mean it.
In many ways I can’t blame them because they have their own things to deal with, even ones that I may know nothing about. However, when I’m feeling the way that I am when I throw those thoughts and feelings out there, I take those rejections personally. Especially when they come from people that say that they’ll be there for you and support you no matter what. There are always exceptions.
Reading over this post it feels quite dramatic but at the same time this is how I feel when I feel this way and if you know you know. If you don’t know maybe you do now.
In any given context, a person is said to consent when something is agreed upon in advance in the same sense. In common speech, “consent” can also mean “to give permission”, or “to yield”. Consent can be given or taken away at any time. But only by you.
Your body and your mind belong to you and you alone. No one can demand or take or pressure you to give your consent, it is yours to give freely to whomever you want, whenever you want.
You do not have to yield to anyone you do not wish to. It’s easy to forget but try to remember.
I’m not only talking about sexual consent but consent in general. Consent to let someone into your life, to share your thoughts and feelings with. To share your life with. To share yourself with.
This is something I wrote back in February 2016 that I recently found and decided to share. I can’t believe that the concept of saying no can be so easily dismissed by some instead of accepted. That the fact that someone can make someone else uncomfortable can be refuted by some. If someone tells you no they mean no, accept it. If someone tells you that you or something you are doing makes them uncomfortable, accept it. There is no refuting their feelings or their declining to give consent, just accept it and move on.
I’ve taken a really long break from writing on my blog. It’s not that I haven’t wanted to write but I’ve lacked any and all motivation to write. Why should I be sharing my boring every day life and thoughts? Who’ll read them anyway? Well, maybe someone will who’s going through something similar; someone who feels quite lost and without purpose and stays up too late because it’s the only time they feel like they can really think but then that late bedtime hinders them the following day? I can’t be the only one who does that.
Skip to almost two months ago when I went to see a psychiatrist (unrelated reasons) and they were more interested in my mood and my socialising habits. They asked me if I felt depressed and honestly what kind of question is that really? I mean, what does depression really feel like? I could use a bunch of metaphors to try and describe what it is to me and how it affects me but to say, “yes, I feel depressed”, seems too strange. Maybe it’s because people will use that term so loosely these days, “I’m depressed, my favourite show got cancelled” or, “I have to work over the long weekend, I’m so depressed“.
Maybe because, to me, depression isn’t a feeling, maybe because, bare with me here, depression is a state of mind because it’s a mental illness. Depression affects your brain and the way your mind works so much that the internal workings, the way you think and function, start to affect how you act and appear outwardly. So why was this person who can diagnose me with depression asking me if I feel depressed? No, I don’t feel depressed, I feel like I always do, tired, stressed, awful, despondent, exhausted, worried, frustrated, drained, pathetic, lazy, worthless, stupid, panicked and utterly useless. Nothing new.
“When was the last time you felt happy?” they asked, what?? I don’t know, I don’t keep an actual log of my “happy meter” to tell you the last time I was above a bloody 5 let alone off the charts. Upon thinking that I realised that I can’t remember the last time I was really happy. Maybe if I have to really think about it, it’s been too long?
To cut a long story short, they did diagnose me with Major Depressive Disorder *salutes* and prescribed me anti-depressants that, “may help restore your interest in daily living“. As if it’s a conscious decision, like one day I decided that I had no interest in daily living but I just keep doing it out of necessity. After one month I had to check in and I reported that I didn’t feel any different so they doubled the dosage. Maybe it hasn’t been long enough to say for sure but the extra quantity I’m taking doesn’t seem to be having much of an effect so far. I know that they’re supposed to make you worse before they make you better (I’ve been through this before) but I’m still skeptical on how they’re supposed to improve my life. The brain is a very powerful thing but I have my doubts over whether or not we can control it or “rebalance” the chemicals within it with selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors.
I have so many thoughts that I thought I ought to start writing them down, so here I am making some kind of log about this round with anti-depressants and my feelings of depression. I honestly don’t mean to be so negative I guess my doubts just really shine through because this is my normal and I can’t see it changing.
“I’ll call you”, to say this is a phrase that I’m not particularly fond of is an understatement. I do not like telephone calls. They are anxiety inducing for me.
This anxiety can be triggered with the mere thought of having to call someone; talking myself into actually picking up the phone to dial and breathing calmly—breathe in, breathe out—while it rings.
What are you going to say? They don’t want to hear from you. You’re boring. What if they don’t answer and you have to leave a voicemail? Just hang up, it’s not too late.
The instant anxiety of the phone ringing. This is consistent with my own phone or one that I have to answer, but is also applicable to the people or person’s phone I am spending time with. My heart leaps into my throat, palms start sweating and mouth goes dry—breathe in, breathe out—shake it off and answer the phone.
Why are they calling? They’re angry about something. It’s your fault whatever it is. Will I be able to answer their questions? No, your mind has gone blank. What are words?
The sheer apprehension of a promised phone call. The anxiety that comes with waiting for said phone call can make me not want to check my phone and instead distance myself from it. The anticipation of will-they-won’t-they call has my heart racing in the back of my throat all day. Until I pick up my phone, check it—breathe in, breathe out—see there are no missed calls and my heart is allowed to slow down for a few minutes. This anxiety can last all day, depending on what time the phone call actually comes in; the relief that is felt afterwards is so great. However, sometimes that phone call never comes, so after a certain time (when a respectful person will no longer make a telephone call) I allow myself to discard my phone entirely, just in case, and squash the anxiety that has been building up all day as best as I can.
They’ve changed their mind. Why did they want to talk to me anyway? They didn’t, it’s a test. Why couldn’t they just write it down? What are they going to say? Don’t call, please.
The anxiety of actually being on a phone call. The ability for my brain to function and get my mouth to say the words has completely failed me but the ability for all saliva to stop being produced in my mouth is working overtime. If I haven’t prepared dot points to direct the conversation in some way most things that needed to be said will be forgotten. My hands sweat and shake, my skin is itchy—breathe in, breathe out—just say a closing statement and finish the conversation then you can hang up.
What did they say their name was? I wonder if the saliva from my mouth is coming out of my palms? What did they just say? I was thinking about hand saliva. Say something so they know you’re listening. I have to pace now, keep moving. What do they want from me?
There are some exceptions for the telephone call induced anxiety, which include calling a select few people, calling automated machines, answering a call when I know what it will entail such as when making plans or meeting up with them. Calling someone back when I know what it will entail, like after they have left a detailed voicemail or sent a text message that was in no way vague or ambiguous. Adrenaline fuelled phone calls.
The anticipation of a phone call that never comes can at times be disappointing or dejecting but far more often that not it is such a relief. To talk to someone in person, see their expressions and body language, or to have their words to look back over is much more comforting and pleasant to me. Being face to face with someone and occasionally sending someone my words (that I perceive as potentially risky) can bring on their own type of anxiety, but it’s a type that I find I can manage more easily than the kind that comes with telephone calls.