My mental health/stress leave is about to be up and the thought of returning to my job, which is my biggest trigger, has me on the verge of panic again. I just need to hold on another 4 months but 4 months feels impossible when I’m so anxious and on edge every day that I’ve been physically ill for weeks because of it. I get mad at myself when I can’t be like everyone else and work a normal work week without feeling myself shut down after one day, I hate that a job I don’t have to care about outside of my shifts there can affect every other part of my life and my ability to even want a life anymore. I don’t want to continue to slave away mentally and physically at a job that offers me no appreciation or growth as a person. I’ve been stagnant for years and my only satisfaction and sense of accomplishment came from pursuing romantic relationships which up until my current relationship with K, were all unhealthy and occasionally toxic relationships which fed into my mental illnesses and prevented me from making any real progress in healing. K is the first person I feel I can get better with and not just hide and lose myself in. I’ve never known someone who understood me the way she does and supports me and inspires me to be and get better. I want less time wasted in meaningless jobs and more time invested in my relationships with myself and the people around me. The only time I feel clarity and calm is when I am not at my job. I need to be somewhere that aligns with my values and currently I am in somewhere the opposite. I’m poisoning myself every day and I feel so much anger and resentment for others because of it.
Despite being in a bad place mentally, I’m trying to make a conscious effort to find things to be grateful for. So today I am grateful for:
all the beautiful flowers I saw today
the vegan coconut ice cream I had this afternoon
how much clearer and happier my skin is since cutting out foundation and changing my skincare routine; the fact that I am now comfortable leaving my house with minimal make up and have it be my “full face”
Sebastian for being my emotional support companion and best friend
the linda mccartney vegan 1/4 pound burgers that remind me of my favourite food pre-vegan days
fresh sheets, the cool spring breeze through my balcony window, the sound of passing traffic
Spring is finally arriving and I am so ready to come out of hibernation. Literally, I’ve lived in my room all winter, only emerging to go to work and shower or make food. I did a big clean of my apartment yesterday and my head feels clearer. Kara was down from Adelaide and suprised me on my doorstep on Sunday and we went out for brunch and vegan donuts. She totally brightened my day and last few weeks, mental health wise I’ve been feeling really flat and exhausted. I’m ready for warm weather and sun. I’m determined to make memories this summer and document good times.
Autumn is my favourite season. There’s probably something to be said about that, the way the trees shed their leaves and become nothing more than their skeletons. I find myself shedding myself every time a change of perspective occurs in my life, usually a lesson in the form of a relationship but I never get down to my skeleton. I don’t allow myself total vulnerability and exposure, everything I try to rebuild is superficial, I just want people to see me differently, to think I’m beautiful, something to be appreciated. But I do not appreciate myself. I’m not strong enough to be the tree that resprouts it’s leaves and rebuilds itself, I’m still the leaf that has fallen on the ground and is slowly eroding away. I need to stop giving myself to the dirt and the creatures who thrive in it and learn to nourish myself and grow by myself, for myself.
Sometimes you’ll just never be on the same page as someone, no matter how hard you try and how many times you erase and adjust the way your feelings are presented and filtered out. Sometimes it just doesn’t work. It leaves you exhausted because you’re constantly emptying yourself and altering yourself and your perception to change the course of the chapter you’re in but there’s no controlling life or the lessons it presents to you. You can’t manipulate something that is (or isn’t) already meant for you, you can’t escape a lesson or the pain you know it will bring you. Recently I’ve come to the realisation that other people’s behaviour towards and treatment of me has a lot less to do with me and is much more about themselves. You can give and give and give yourself to someone over and over again but if they don’t truly want something or aren’t in the same place as you, you’ll be left feeling neglected, unappreciated and empty. Unloved and unwanted. As much as that hurts and it’s not something I easily accept, I refuse to let it haunt me the way it did the first time I was let down by someone I loved. Being mad at someone for their actions is easier to let go than being mad at yourself for falling for their words and excuses time and time again. I hold it against myself when others do wrong by me because I feel like I should have known better than to trust them in the first place. What I need to remember is that I wasn’t at fault for having hope in someone and their actions don’t define me.
It gets to a point where there is no use in talking about something anymore or seeking advice from others because there is nothing anyone can tell you to help you address a situation you’re simply not ready for. You can spill your guts again and again to the same people and eventually they won’t even notice you’re bleeding anymore because you’re constantly picking at a wound and reopening it rather than pulling the poison out and letting it heal. Eventually the infection will spread further, deeper through you and any physical symptoms you show are no longer the worst. Sadness can become like a parasite, slowly eating away at you piece by piece. Sometimes you don’t even notice it happening to yourself until you’re triggered and have a physical response and you’re instantly out of control because the flare up showed no warning signs because you’ve been living in a constant state of it and you grew used to it. You don’t know any different.
I feel like I let the same people and things hurt me time and time again but still expect a change and different results from the same behaviour. Somewhere along the line I lost my self respect and any value I once held, or maybe I never had any to begin with. The difficult thing about self esteem is that you need others to help build it up but it needs to be a part of your own foundation, something you maintain yourself and build on. Something you support yourself, and something to support yourself with. When you get to your mid twenties and still battle the same self loathing you struggled with since your late childhood and early teenage years, it becomes a hard bone to crack. My foundation is built up entirely of my low self esteem and mental illness and they go hand in hand, to an extent. While some days I am blinded by my depression and suffering within myself, light still seeps in through the cracks and it’s just enough to get me through each wave of darkness. But when it’s not, I’ve found that just sitting mindlessly on my lounge room floor, staring at a blank TV screen and allowing myself to be numb, no matter how uncomfortable it is and how much it hurts to feel like I’m splitting apart at the seams, the solitude can be eye opening.
There comes a point where you have to learn to fight for yourself and although survival is probably realistically all I can hope for and I may never feel actual contentment, I still hope that one day I’ll be strong enough to overcome this and not feel like I need a prescription I barely believe in to just survive and scrape by each day. I guess I’m posting this as a reminder to myself that although I am struggling today and while I am not ready to face all my demons, eventually I won’t be plagued by the same mistakes and lessons that just seem to cut deeper every time. In time I will be able to graciously accept the lessons I am being served and grow from them. Progress is often slow but in order to bear fruit, trees must form roots and seek nourishment from the dirt.
I had the laziest day today. I slept in, woke up late, drank a big pot of tea to myself, did a hair treatment, laid on the couch under my doona and watched 80’s/90’s movies all afternoon/night. I forgot how nice it is to be comfortable in my own company. I find myself alone often but it’s not always as easy to be in my own company as it was today, sometimes I struggle and overthink myself to a point of frustration and dissatisfaction with myself and my life but today I just felt so content. My mental state was in a really good place today and I felt so at ease within myself, which is rare for me. I hope this year I can feel this more often and not succumb to my unstable moods as much as last year. 2015/24 was probably the toughest year I’ve ever had in terms of mental health and stability. I feel like I completely lacked any grounding and I found myself spiralling so frequently I could never really get a grasp of myself to help myself. I think when I move into my new apartment I’m going to adopt/rescue a cat for companionship and support. I feel like having a sense of responsibility for something else will help me keep focussed on getting to a good place and knowing I can come home to cuddle a bundle of fluff and joy will give me a lot to look forward to. My cat that I’d had since I was 8 years old passed away on boxing day just gone and I feel a sense of emptiness knowing she’s no longer around and that she isn’t at my parents house when I go to visit them. I still look for her all the time.
So I’ve been gone from this for a little while (regrettably) and I thought about updating this so many times but never actually took the time to sit down and do it. So I just turned 25 and now I’m feeling that urge to do something with myself and my life. Last year I moved into my first place alone and while I struggled with so much ‘me’ time to begin with (and boy, did I whinge about it) now I’ve come to depend on it and require more alone time to recharge myself. I’m moving again in two weeks into somewhat of an apartment, cheaper rent, closer to town centre, bigger kitchen, no charge for water usage and a balcony!!! Kinda feels like I won the lottery with this one. I feel more determined than ever to actually go and complete my diploma so this year I really want to work on saving a lot of money and relocating to the city to get it done. I spent my 25th birthday in Halls Gap in The Grampians and swimming in a waterfall (Mackenzie Falls) and it was probably the best way to spend my birthday without really acknowledging it. I didn’t have a single breakdown about it, though I did have a couple of dreams about it. This year I really want to worry less about others and how I fit into their lives and just allow things to happen and not get too caught up in my emotions. Not sure how successful I’m going to be in that but I want to be happy within myself and not depend on others for validation. I’d also really like to not get caught up in my mental illness this year and not indulge in self destructive behaviours or things that I know will harm me. If not for myself, for someone else I care a lot about and don’t want to disappoint.
Simple goals for myself this year:
Possibly travel to a state I’ve never visited. Swim in more waterfalls.
Find peace within myself and my life, even when I can’t control all situations.
Stress less about the little things.
Find new hobbies and interests that bring me happiness and validation from myself.
These are just some pictures I’ve taken lately that I’m proud of. Sometimes finding beauty in things like this is enough to feel like a breath of fresh air and those seem to be few and far between lately. I’ll take them where I can get them.
I finally remembered to bring our Best Bitches necklace.
Pancake Kitchen date.
Balance and Composure.
I now own two of my most wanted records on vinyl.
I went to Adelaide a couple of weeks ago to hang out with Michael for the first time since January and see Balance and Composure and La Dispute and get my tattoo finished off. It was probably my most expensive four day trip ever (mostly because of my tattoo) but I definitely needed it and as soon as I stepped onto the tarmac I felt like I could breathe again. I’ve just felt like I’m suffocating here for so long and I feel like I’ve been watching myself drown without knowing how to pull myself out without the means of temporary escapes but as soon as I’m back here I start sinking again. I know I need to get out and I’m working towards that. A lot of things have come up this year that I want to do so I’ve been waiting around and wasting away waiting for these things to happen. I won’t be here this time next year, I’ve already decided. I checked out of this place and everything here a long time ago and I’m beginning to think that’s why I’m so tired and feel so lost all the time, my body is here but I am not and I’m trying to find and catch up to myself. No wonder I’ve been so run down for a year, I’ve been trying to outrun myself and I’ve gone too far. It’s weird to feel unstable when I have an income and a roof above my head and parents who support me (and still allow and want me to live with them) but I feel like I’m treading deep water and can’t seem to see any shore or anything I want to grab onto. It’s interesting and somewhat something I’m proud of that even when I’m struggling for a support system, I won’t compromise myself to find it. I’m sick of temporary escapes and temporary happiness and it’s time I took responsibility for myself and got myself onto solid ground, I’m just still trying to figure out how and where to go.
One of the prettiest tattoos I’ll probably ever have.
Nat’s art forever with the hotel.
Still not healed in this photo.
Rays almost made up for no octopus (but not quite)
Cute lil dragon baby.
Splurged on a new bed spread.
Extended my undercut higher, so liberating.
New records to add to my collection.
Trekked solo to Melbourne to attend Soundwave and the ADTR/The Ghost Inside sidewave with my pal Georgia. Had a blast even though we crammed a lot into my four days in my favourite city. Checked out the aquarium and was very disappointed in their lack of an octopus (my favourite animal in the world) but did see some cute jellies and rays. Also met the lovely Nat who did a super pretty tattoo on my leg, can’t wait to see her a million more times because not only is she crazy talented, she’s probably one of the coolest people I’ve ever met and I’ve never felt so comfortable talking to someone or meeting someone for the first time in my life. Plus I did have to take my pants off for her so now we’re definitely pals because I don’t take my pants off for just anyone. I fell in love with Melbourne and I saw so many friends at Soundwave and it felt like home. Definitely cemented in my mind that Melbourne is where I want to live and where I need to relocate to. Going to try and get back there in a few months to see friends again, I was going to head up for La Dispute and Balance and Composure but I know my way around Adelaide a little easier and know how to get to the venue in Adelaide way easier than I would in Melbourne and Michael and I are way overdue for a hangout.
Since I got back from Melbourne I’ve just been working a lot and saving to go and finish my certificate IV at tafe, considering I finished my cert III the week I went to Melbourne, such a good week! Except when I came home to find our rosters have been cut and now it’s going to be even harder for me to pay the two and a half grand (ridiculous) fee to finish two units and have my certification. Not sure how it can cost so much but be almost half the price in Victoria? I’m heading to Warrnambool next Monday to talk to them and see if we can figure something out, I have a bad feeling it’s going to come down to “You’re not a Victorian resident” and then I’ll be stuck funding it in South Australia anyway. Might just have to get another loan. Really didn’t want to be 23 with two debts already. Life, huh.