19th May 2017

One year ago today, I was at the very beginning of a mental breakdown that led me to write this.

I shared it on Facebook at the time, but the words seem so powerful still that I wanted to share them again. This time as a reflection, and a reminder of where I have come from, and how far I have come to get to where I am.

Life is so hard to evaluate at the time, but rather than saying “is it better?” It has helped me to say,

“What is different?”

In the time since writing this so much has changed for me and likely will continue to do so, but I feel ever closer to the life I should be living. It doesn’t matter what I do, as long as I remember to do what I do for me and no one else.

*****

Two days ago, I became so overwhelmed I cried at work. On that same day the exhaust fell off my car, and when I finally made it home it was to find my washing machine had broken and the kitchen floor was very wet. But the time I was done cleaning it up, I was laughing at just how ridiculous a day could be.

Since then I’ve done very little. I’ve pressed pause, and I’m currently evaluating. I’m going up North with my family for a couple of days, and in that time I’m going to try and figure out what the next step forward is.

Sometimes it is about stepping backwards from the things that upset you and looking at the bigger picture. Once I have a better idea of what is really going on in my life I can consider what I do armed with information, clarity and hopefully for once in my life, my own interests at the forefront of my decision making process.

There have been more than a few people who have helped keep me together over the past… how long has this really been going on? It’s been a while.

Thank you for your ongoing support and thank you for giving me the space to get to grips with things in my own time. It can’t be easy being friends with someone with depression, but know that even when I can’t speak to you directly or when I cancel on plans that took far to long to put in place that I love you for your support and will always do my best to come back to you when I am ready to try again.

Chips

“I’ll tell you whit yur gettin, a slap in the face.”

“I’d rather just hae a bag a chips hen.”

“Aye, I’ll gee you a bag ae chips.”

“Ta. hen, ta.”

 

(Overheard walking past a Chinese takeaway doorway on my way home from work.)

College Application

I just pressed ‘Send’.

I’ve been putting this off since January. I kept finding things I ‘needed to do’ first.

After a while I realised I had written it time and time again in my head.

I was putting it off because until I pressed send there was always the possibility that I could get in. Yet if I pressed send, there was always the possibility that I wouldn’t.

I began to feel like it was insurmountable that I would never meet the standard required to succeed.

But by doing nothing, I will always fail. I may yet be told that I am not able to get a place in the course I want, but I can at least say I tried and that is always worth more than failing to do anything.

If I could just convince this cat to get off my lap, I feel like I could do anything today.

Swimming with Sharks

A politician may occasionally say one thing but do another.

When a shark invites you into the water and promises to teach you to swim. You are responsible for believing the shark.
If the shark chooses to turn round and bite you as soon as you get in the water, the blame is as much yours, as it is his.

A Bloody Disgrace

“Would you look at that it’s ridiculous!”

“Aye”

“Imagine cutting the grass like that.”

“Ah, know”

“That field used to be looked after.”

“Ah, know”

“They cut it when it’s raining.”

“Ah, know”

“Now look, a bloody disgrace”

“Ah, know”

“It’s those kids I’m saying.”

“Ah hear you hen.”

“Are you listening?”

“Aye.”

“It’s those kids I’m saying.”

“Ah, know”

“Running aboot in that field playing football at aw times eh night.”

“Aye.”

“It’s a bloody disgrace.”

“Aye.”

“Imagine cutting the grass when it’s raining.”

“Ah, ken.”

“A bloody disgrace.”

“Aye hen, a bloody disgrace.”

(Conversation overheard walking past an elderly couple as I walked past a football field on my way to work.)

Words

Words. There are many words. Words which can be combined in an almost infinite combination. When used together they convey not just meaning but expression, emotion and purpose.

Some words can hurt, others heal. Some words can be said quickly, without thought yet their effect can be lasting. Haunting.

Words bring opportunity or condemn us. They record history, only as accurate as those who observe it. They can be edited, misconstrued and taken out of context. They can be used to justify the unjustifiable and free those who pray for liberation.

Words are powerful. Words are lasting. There are many, so chose them wisely.

Living Ghost

There was once a time where everything I did felt good.

Now the things that once brought me joy chip away at my soul leaving me feeling like I am no longer a real person.

Imagine how scary it is becoming a ghost when you are still living.

Belief

I speak quite freely about my own personal beliefs to those who have the inclination to listen.

I don’t believe in preaching my beliefs though as they are intrinsically my own and would likely not be as applicable to others as they are to me. That of course is I suppose the nature of belief.

I believe in love, in tolerance, in forgiveness, in equity, in diversity, choice and freedom.

I champion these rights in others even when they do not give me the same in return because it is morally just.

I held the belief for a long time that because I knew I was right, it gave me the right to chastise others for being wrong. I learned that I gain nothing from this and distance myself from my interpretation of God by doing so. God is not a belief system, but a lifestyle.

By accepting all facets of myself and others I am more able to confidently accept my place in the world and rise above any form of intolerance which may come my way.

Tomorrow

So often in school we say,

“When’s the next holiday?”

While it is lovely having something to look forward to; I find myself thinking lately that if we continually pray for tomorrow to come, we end up losing the present.

I don’t want to wake up in ten years and pray for it to be yesterday, I want to wake up and think,

“Yesterday was good, but what is today going to bring.”

Purpose

I feel trivial. I used to consider myself a specialist in my field. I used to believe that what I did had an impact.

Today I spent an hour at work cutting paper and glueing the work of children onto it. Work that will perhaps adorn a wall for the next six weeks before being discarded, left at the bottom of a school bag or otherwise forgotten.

I have been relegated to the most basic of tasks, and I question my value as well as my purpose. This new job is not a forever job I know. Yet the loss of my job at the end of March was a loss not just of a vocation, but of my own identity.

So many potential decisions. So many possibilities, stalling to choose for fear that the choice I make is wrong. How can I choose what is right for me, if I cannot say with any certainty who I am?

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