I look at this title, and I roll my eyes. There is this doubt, that everyone will be feeling, which asks us if it is worth even planning anything for this coming year. Is really worth getting our hopes up, that 2021 will be better than 2020?
It’s all rather pessimistic, and I think that modern society (from politics to marketing) wants you to be like that. It means that ‘they’ have the answer, that ‘they’ can make everything better. Go back to the good ol’ days, where things were more in your favour. This perfume will make your life a success, this politician will get rid of the things holding you down, this car will allow you to live the life you deserve.
Dreams. That’s what everything is selling to us. A better life for a the cost of a few pounds, or a vote on a bit of paper. And, people would like to believe that a better life would be so easy. I mean, if buying a new £30 pair of jeans would make all my problems go away, I’d snap up multiple pairs. But, that’s not the way the world works. There is no short cut to happiness or success, you have to work for what you want.
I sometimes am guilty of telling myself that I have put effort into things, which is why it is so unfair that things haven’t happened for me. But that isn’t true. Not really. I think about stuff, then I kind of half-arse it, and then get upset the stuff hasn’t turned out how I wanted. The audacity, I tell you.
So, I’m trying to make myself more responsible for what happens. Make the effort to do things fully. Work to my strengths. I know I am good at doing things in short bursts, for example, tidying for an hour at a time. Breaking things down like that helps me do more. And, if that’s what I need to get things actually done, so be it. So that when I look forward to things, they actually happen. Which would be nice.
This time of year is one where people often complain that they don’t know what day it is. This is mostly due to the festive period being a time where a lot of people are off work. It’s perfectly normal.
There is also this feeling of feeling in between two different emotions. Christmas is a time to show thanks, be grateful for what you have. And New Year is about looking forward to the future, step away from where you currently may be. Or that is how it has felt for me.
The festive period has been really difficult this year, due to a family loss. It has left me between being thankful for what I have, and wanting to move on. I am glad that there is people around, friends and family. But I also am afraid that stepping forward will lessen the memories I have. Honestly, I think every person feels like this with a loss, but Christmas just seems to exaggerate these feelings.
So, I feel like I am sitting in limbo. Time forces me forward, despite my wishes. It doesn’t matter whether I am ready, things move on. Doesn’t make things any easier though.
I have written about my mental health a lot on this blog. It is something that I have struggled with since my teenage years, and I find that writing about things is a lot easier than talking about them. But there is something that I don’t really talk about.
The constant feeling of disappointing people.
I am classed as ‘high functioning’ with my mental health, because I can work and generally do ‘normal’ things. Work helps me, because I find the routine helps with my anxiety, it is something regular, where I can get my head down and work hard. It distracts my overactive brain from overthinking things. I can talk to colleagues about nothing in particular, and it is good.
A lot of the time, anxiety hits after work, where I think about what I have done wrong, and I ALWAYS think there is something I have done wrong. And it sometimes takes me a while before I can get myself together enough to go and do anything else. Sometimes, it’s just too hard.
I feel like it takes a lot of energy to be ‘okay’ for work. I make myself go on because I need money, I need work so I can do the things I like. But sometimes, it means I don’t have the energy nor the mental capacity to deal with things outside work. And that means I can’t always make it to things. When things are out of my routine, my anxiety can be triggered. It means I can have a panic attack at anything.
My anxiety means that I sometimes can’t enjoy social events, as I fear I will get upset and ruin it for other people. Bring people down when they are doing something good. So, I find myself denying requests to go out, or not being forthcoming in arranging things with people. But, instead of feeling bad for ruining an event, i feel bad for letting a friend down. And I feel the assumption is that i don’t care. But that is not the case at all.
To most people I am a quiet person. Very shy, and don’t like to go to places where I don’t know anyone. I get panic attacks and frequently cancel plans to stay at home on my own. I am very good at isolating myself.
However, when I see articles or comments berating a group of people, for being who they are and I can’t hold back. I feel like life is about better things for yourself and others around you through education. So when I see ignorance on Facebook, or some article, I feel composed to jump up and say something. My belief is that if someone is not harming anyone, and making themselves happy, why to get so upset about what they do. Most of the time the angriest people are angry because they simply can’t relate. And I feel that it is wrong to comment harmful words on a topic that you have no knowledge on, and are scared of.
This feels like a big thing right now, as a member of the LGBTQ+ community, I see people berating trans people, or people who aren’t cis-gendered, regularly. As I grew up, I had so much verbal abuse about my own sexuality and gender. I have always been a tomboy, and never been a girly girl. I was bullied at school, for looking like a boy. It was the first point where I started hating myself, which started a horrible spiral which has lead to many mental health issues through my life. I kept myself to myself, I never hurt anyone, and tried to be a good person. But I was made to feel like a criminal for being who I am.
So, when I see people angling abuse at folk, I feel I have to say something. I think everyone should. I frequently hear people say they are okay with ‘the gays’ but then berate someone struggling with gender identity. You either support the LGBTQ+ community or you don’t, in my opinion. I don’t understand why you would hate someone for something you don’t understand. And mockery translates to hate to a person who feels attacked from all sides.
People say that their ‘free speech for jokes’ has been spoilt by Social Justice Warriors, and it isn’t true. It’s just the jokes that used to be made at the expense of women, race, or LGBTQ+, is no longer acceptable. You see, these people now have a voice, and can speak up and tell you why it’s not okay to berate them. Free speech is allowing you speak what you want, but it also gives people the ability to call you out on anything which is problematic.
Every day is a chance to educate yourself on a viewpoint which is unknown to you. Make the best of it. The world will be better for it.
I have tried to be honest when I write on here. And it has proven to be something very helpful when dealling with my mental health. Because I find it difficult to speak to people about what I am going through, writing into the void seems a lot easier for me. It,unfortunately, doesn’t mean things become easier to handle.
One of the managers from my work is leaving, and people had organised a nightout for him. I was working all day, when this was happening. But, I thought that I might turn up for a bit, and at least buy the guy a beer and wish him luck. Seemed like a good plan, I’d just go up after work, stay for a few hours, stick to soft drinks and drive myself home. It seemed like a good plan. But then, anxiety happened. I knew everyone who was going to be there, I knew the pub, it wasn’t a big deal. There is no telling my brain that, when it starts getting ahead of itself though. I had a panic attack. I ended up struggling to breathe and crying over nothing. In my car. Like an idiot. I had been fine all day, I don’t know why I felt so bad all of a sudden. I decided to get some food and see if I felt better, but I ended up getting a migraine and going to bed early. I felt awful that I wasn’t able to go out. I am trying to go easier on myself, but it is hard.
I feel that I cancel a lot of plans these days, and it is hard. I feel like a constant let down, and it’s a horrible feeling. Like, how are you supposed to ‘be there’ for people, when you physically can’t be anywhere? It makes me feel like such a shit person. And that makes me want to stay locked up in solitary confinement even more. When I speak to people, or try to, I get told to stop over-thinking. I can’t help what I am thinking about, it isn’t like I consciously decide to over-react. That isn’t how it works.
I just wish I could find out how ‘it’ does work. Would make things a bit easier. At least I’d be able to explain it to the people I disappoint.
I have always been chubby. Since I was little, I was short and stocky, like a wee rugby player. As a kid, it never bothered me. Everyone was differently shaped, so it didn’t matter.
As you grow up, looks tend to define more than anything else. People judge on what they see, not the person. I am kind, friendly, I always try to be a good person, but it’s not enough. I realise that my anxiety is a massive player in how I feel about myself, but it’s not all. I am overweight. And I have been for a long time.
Every attempt I have made to better myself has been met with jokes and sneers. Food has been a way to comfort myself when I felt bad. So food is a contentious issue. And when people laugh at the choice I make, the baby steps to try and make myself better, it’s hard not to take it personally. I don’t expect that trying to be honest with myself to be a joke for other people.
Last week I signed up for weightwatchers online, again. It is difficult for me to go to meetings, both getting the time, and mentally, so online is easier for me. It’s really easy to talk to people who are experiencing similar things. Its nice to speak to people who kind of show support and belief. Something I don’t get from anywhere else. I think it is easier to speak to people you don’t really know. And I don’t know why.
It’s the start of a new journey for me. And if you want to laugh at what I eat, make me explain my choices whilst you make jokes at my expense, you can go away. I am not a source of comedy for morons. I have no time for your negativity anymore.
Everyone has moments in life, where they go from the top of a hypothetical ladder, only to then end up at the very bottom of another. The most common example of this, happens during childhood. When you are one of the oldest kids in Primary School, to start as the youngest again, when you go to High School. There is nothing bad about that, it is just something that sometimes happens. It can through everything up in the air, and make you reconsider quite a lot in your life.
I happens in adulthood as well. For example, I worked in a department at my work for over 3 years, I was settled, it was a really nice atmosphere and work was fun. But last week, I was moved to another department. There was no major changes, even my shift patterns stayed the same, the only thing that changed was the process I now had to do. And as easy going I tried to be about the whole situation, I couldn’t help feeling a little hard done by. Like, the whole ‘why me’ feeling, with thoughts of ‘what did I do wrong’. Being most experienced in one area, just to be moved back down to the least experience, is not a particularly nice feeling. And it is a feeling that is quite hard to get out of.
But, like a lot in life, these situations become easier if we have a better mindset. So rather that focusing on what I am missing out on, I am trying to shift focus onto what I am gaining. For example, the work situation, yes it is a pain, but it is also a new experience. Which in a workplace which is as ever-changing as mine, it’s only a good thing to be as experienced as possible. So, maybe that is a good thing. Another good thing is, that despite how anti-social I can be sometimes, I do like meeting new people. I like to be on good terms with people, used to be quite obsessed with it, actually. So, I try to be nice, and helpful, so that folk thing nicely of me. I have already met so many nice people at my work, and have created friendships that will last for years to come. Which is a good thing.
The hard thing is, that as well as staying focused on the good stuff, I also have to ignore the negativity. Some of the people who moved departments with me, really hate it. Like, all they do is complain. And when you are already struggling to be positive, someone being overly negative isn’t really that great. I remember my first job, being told during training that the mood of people you encounter, is contagious. It was all based on how if you smiled at a customer, they’d smile back, and carry that small positive action to someone else, and make the world a wee bit nicer. But the same happens with negativity, if the first voice you hear in the morning is ‘I can’t be bothered, this place is shit’, then that thought infiltrates your perception on what happens that day.
I guess, the main thing is to keep going with a smile if you can. It is hard, but it makes so many things easier. Well, maybe not everything, but even if it makes one hour of a day slightly easier, it is worth it.
As I get older, I find I can see the appeal of living alone with cats more and more. Sometimes, I just haven’t got the patience to deal with other people’s rubbish. That’s not saying that if someone has a genuine problem, I wouldn’t be there. Of course I would. It is people’s continual moaning about things. Adults refusing to do their jobs, or bitching about each other, like children.
I think it irritates me so much, because I find myself getting pulled into the middle of disagreements. I make a real effort to try and be on friendly terms with everyone I know, and when someone pulls me into their disagreements, it really triggers my anxiety. I think, this is mostly because I panic if someone takes a dislike to me, for any reason. Because of this, I hate getting pulled into any conflict, and that is what happens if people bitch about one another. It is a situation, where I stress out too much.
I think that every person should be looking for ways to improve themselves, even if it is just to make their own life more enjoyable. We are on this planet for a relatively short time, so we should make sure that we have a good time whilst we can. There is so much negative things occurring, that are completely out with our own control, so maybe we should try and make the bits we can control a wee bit better.
Of course, there will always be situations that annoy us. Times that make us bang our head against the closest wall in frustration. But I guess you have to try and change your thinking. If someone wants to ruin their day by complaining about things or people, let them. They may need to let out their frustrations. If that is the case, then there would be no ill-meaning behind anything, they may still like that person, it is just that they did one thing which was irritating, People are irritating, we do have a special way in annoying one another. Sometimes people can be best of friends, other times they can irritate one another. It is just how things are. No two people are going to agree with absolutely everything.
I think that is where I struggle. I can understand that people can have their own thoughts and opinions, and can maybe clash with one another. I just don’t like clashing. The fear of conflict, the idea that things could escalate, and people could ‘fall out’. It is like I jump the gun. I don’t particularly dislike anyone, and I don’t feel comfortable that a conflict could arise when I haven’t actually done anything. I am a bit scared that I will end up being the ‘bad person’, and that is something I don’t like. I haven’t ever intentionally hurt anyone, and the idea that I could hurt someone, stresses me out.
Maybe getting a wee flat and a lot of cats is a good idea. Animals just seem a lot more straight-forward than people. If anyone needs me, I will be searching for my new life of spinsterhood.
It has recently been made abundantly clear that my, once passionate, love affair with the internet is going through a rough patch. I am becoming frequently frustrated to the point of putting my phone’s internet off, so that people can call me if they need me, but I don’t get interrupted by the constant Facebook and Twitter updates.
Yes, I am at that stage where I am avoiding the other party of the ‘relationship’. Normally in that situation, you would change how you walk to work, or try and hang out with different people. Try and create some space between yourself and the other person. However, when your relationship is with such a thing as the internet, it isn’t that easy. Actually, it becomes so overly dramatic that a relationship with a real person would have probably been easier to deal with.
I mean, everyone has been in ‘that’ relationship, where despite loving that person, everything they do winds you up the wrong way. Where you just want smack them on the head, and you can’t really tell them why. So, you try and put some space between you both. However, saying you ‘have a sore head’ doesn’t stop the internet. It is everywhere. Everything from restaurants to tampon companies have their own twitter handles. If you liked one craft page 2 years ago on Facebook, the site recommends events near you every 2-3 days. Sometimes I feel smothered.
But that’s not even the worst bit. When I was at my lowest point, the internet came to the rescue. It showed me that I was not alone in feeling so rejected all the time, that I could voice how I feel, and all seemed awesome. But, obviously, fairy tales don’t actually exist, and reality happened. When I say reality, I mean people who like to spread hatred from behind vague avatars. This was a nasty streak in the internet that I never foresaw. It wouldn’t happen to me, we are so happy together. But it did.
Now, a person’s nasty streak is easy to deal with. You can utter sarky retorts to their insults, or you just walk away. Yes, what they say hurt may leave a mark, but you can leave that one person. The internet isn’t a singularity, so dealing with any negativity from it, is a bit harder. If someone has taken to ‘troll’ something you have created, it normally isn’t just one person. And you also may find these trolls are a bit braver than what they would be in the real world, which means more cutting comments. I did what any sane person would do, I decided I needed time apart from the internet. I stopped going onto forums and writing blogs as often, as these places are where the negativity came from. Good? Kind of. When I did log on, I saw a lot of hate and the spread of intolerance. This is not the internet I had loved and used so heavily.
Who are you these days, dear internet? You are no longer the place that I go when things get to stressful. After allowing me to feel free, after so long hating who I am, you are now lampooning me for being that same person. A normal person would at least be able to explain their actions. And, as an adult, I wouldn’t need to rely on a person for EVERYTHING. My job exists because of the internet. I get my music and TV over the internet. I contact friends around the world on the internet.
Maybe I just need to change my relationship with the internet? Or maybe get in a relationship with a real life actual person?