It was 5 months ago when I first spoke to a friend about writing down my feelings and she convinced me to start my blog, when I finally plucked up the courage to write my first post and share it with everyone I knew. It was 5 months that now feels more like 5 years, almost a forgotten memory. I have been struggling knowing what to write for the past few weeks so I decided to read over some of my old posts, perhaps they would strike a chord and give me some inspiration. I have to admit, it wasn’t the easiest thing I have ever done.
Reading back over my early posts, particularly the ones in which I discuss the things that led me to being so unhappy, I barely recognised the girl who was writing them. I remember her, I remember how sad she was and it breaks my heart. That sad, lost girl was me and it hurts me to go back there, to be reminded of the constant aching in my chest, the feeling of utter sorrow that I thought I was never going to escape from and the daily battle I had just getting out of bed . Part of me wishes I hadn’t read them, that maybe those things are best left in the past, but then a bigger part of me is glad I did. They have done what I intended them to do; they have become a marker in my past, something I can measure myself up against and that shows clearly exactly how far I have come and as painful as those memories are I can’t forget them. I need to hold onto them, to help me whenever I feel low and to remind me that things have been worse and I got through. 5 months is a very short time in the grand scheme of things, it’s barely a blip. I have gone through so many changes in such a short amount of time, had so many ups and downs and now I’m here, closer than I have ever been to being my true self.
I spent a lot of my early years doing things, or rather not doing the things I wanted to do, based on the opinions of others. I was cripplingly shy for a long time and I couldn’t handle the idea that someone would make fun of me for being interested in something they weren’t. I hid who I wanted to be and this carried on into my early adult life. I spent too much time worrying about what people thought about me, what people were saying behind my back and what I was doing wrong that was upsetting them. I have learnt a lot in the past 5 months, one of the main points being that it doesn’t matter what people think of you. In life there will always be someone who doesn’t agree with you, no matter who is right and who is wrong it is just the way it will be. Not everyone can get along, although it’s a shame, and you could be doing everything in your power to be a good person but there will still be someone who will twist every little thing you do into a negative.
I hate upsetting people or having someone mad at me and in the past I would have scrutinised everything a person did or said to work out what I had done and how I could make it better. I am wiser now and I understand that you can’t keep everyone happy and if you try to then you will make yourself unwell, you will cause more grievances than you mean to and it will backfire. It is impossible to keep everyone happy, by doing that you are lying somewhere along the line to either yourself or someone else and it will never work out. Honesty is something that should be held in high regard because honesty really is the best policy. If you are honest with yourself and everyone around you then you will never be in the situation where you have to wriggle your way out of something you have said or done, you won’t ever have to explain yourself because everyone will already know the truth. Sometimes people won’t like the truth, they won’t agree with how upfront you are but I’d rather be called too honest than a liar, as I think anyone would.
Another thing I have learnt over the past 5 months is that I really need to stop being so hard on myself, I am my own worst enemy. I over think things, I make situations worse in my head than they ever were in reality and think about how I could have done it better. I imagine it goes back to caring about the opinions of others and how I conduct myself around them so I’m not judged harshly or unfairly. Well, I’ve been on my best behavior many times and still been criticised so I suppose it really doesn’t matter. I want to be myself around people, I want them to know who I really am so that I never have to pretend, so I can act how I want to and say what I like and not have to worry that I’m doing something wrong. Sometimes when I drink my mouth runs away from me, it says things that my brain hasn’t had time to process and I act like an idiot. I get very insecure and nervous around people I don’t know very well and in situations that are new to me and if I drink, it shows itself this way. The solution? I don’t drink… or I at least try not to drink. I still have things that drive me crazy with anxiety, times when if I don’t have a drink I know I won’t be able to loosen up enough to enjoy myself and I know, this is a terrible reason to drink but I’m working on it. I’m still scared to be myself at times because I know if I am talked about as the person who is holding back makes me feel bad then I’m going to feel worse if it’s the real me being judged.
I don’t mean to be negative; I am actually far from it. Although I have a way to go in building my confidence up to be able to 100% not care what people think, to throw caution to the wind and say ‘I am who I am, if you don’t like it that’s your problem!’ but I’ve made big steps along the way. In the past I could never introduced myself to a person who I didn’t know for the fear of being rejected, I was too shy to hold a conversation with a stranger but now I find myself doing it all the time. I have made new friends this way and I know they are people who I can count on for life, people who are there for me whenever I need them, who will be my support should I ever need it. I am so thankful to them for everything they do and I am proud of myself for putting myself out and getting to know them.
You get out of a relationship what you put into it and I am willing to put my all in. If someone doesn’t do the same back then they are not a true friend, if you feel like you are on a one way street and you are making all of the effort then you need to take a step back for a while. Some friendships last the distance but some are only meant to be there for a short period in your life, to help you through a difficult time or to teach you something. In the past this made me sad, but now I understand. I would rather cherish my close friendships, to nurture them and see them blossom into something wonderful than to water a weed and see it strangle everything else. I didn’t see this before and it is something I have only recently come to terms with, but I have made my peace with it. In my perfect little world everyone would be friends and there would be no backstabbing, gossiping and intentionally hurting one another but the world isn’t perfect and that isn’t something I am ever going to combat, especially not when I still find myself guilty of it from time to time. I have my friends whom I cherish and I know will be there for me should I ever need them and while I welcome new friends and will always have time for someone who can give the same time back to me I won’t waste my time being sad over the people who won’t make the effort. More often than not they aren’t making the effort with anyone else, either. That makes me sad but it isn’t my problem, it isn’t my burden and I won’t let it weigh me down.
My door is always open and I am happy to rekindle a friendship that has once burned out, to forgive and forget if the other person makes as much effort as I do but I am finished feeling sad and let down by people who can’t see that friendships work two ways, I don’t have the energy to waste anymore.
I can say now something which I was far from saying in September; I am happy. I am genuinely, comfortingly, warm and fuzzy happy. I am settled in my work, with my close friends and I am slowly working on my money problems. I enjoy my social life and I have enough aspects to it so I am not fully reliant on one part. I don’t see my friends as often as I would like but I try my best to and when I do see them it is always quality time. I had periods over the last few months when I thought I was happy and I probably was but this is a different happy, this isn’t a short lived ‘I’m happy this week and that’s exciting’ this is just… I’m happy. I’m content and that’s a nice feeling to have, it is something I am reluctant to give up. If I had to spend the next few years of my life doing what I am now then I would be ok with that, I would be satisfied knowing that I have control over my emotions, over who I am and the people I can trust to love me that way and that I am finally starting to get over the hurdle of caring too much what others think. I like what I am doing, I like where I am so if you don’t mind I think I’ll stay a while longer.