Am I going to speak my mind on this blog? Yes (sorry). Am I going to put things on here that I can’t bring myself to say face to face to anyone? Probably. Am I going to write things that I can’t really admit to myself? Almost certainly. How/why? I’m asking myself the same question.
But the answer, I have realised, is this: because feelings and thoughts need a place to go, and we live in a society where you are heard more loudly through a computer screen than in reality. And that’s good, because I’m embarrassed to be me (I’m a teenager. Find me one teenager who has never hated themselves just for a little bit), and I’m actually incredibly embarrassed by the way I feel, because my life could be so much worse. There are words for it, there are labels you could place on me to describe the current situation inside of my head. But we also live in a society where emotions are something that nobody really has the guts to talk about. I don’t even have the guts to talk about them openly (I’m hiding in a blog for goodness sake) or to overcome the shame that the stigma attached to these issues generates within me. And there’s something about typing this all out onto the internet that detaches you from the embarrassment and the shame somehow. Because I don’t have to watch you judge me.
Apparently the way I feel is very common for people with chronic health conditions. Especially when there is more than one ‘dodgy’ organ in the same body (as there is in mine). A complete lack of energy and an inability to function in the ways you used to does seem to drain all of the positive emotions out of a person. But there doesn’t always have to be a reason. It would be so much simpler if there was. I can’t control what is going on inside of my body. I can’t make it work. But I can stop letting the frustration wear me down. I can stop the downward spiral, right? It sounds so simple when I write it down like that, but oh how I’ve tried.
Recently I decided that maybe if I planned my day and stuck to a schedule, it might help. There were several problems with this theory. Firstly, sticking to a schedule involves possessing some form of motivation (which I severely lack). Secondly, getting up and being productive involves your body having the energy to cope with the physical demands of getting out of bed and doing something productive (which I also lack). And lastly, as a result of the previous two points, you end up sat there at the end of the day with a list of all the things you wanted to do today, but that your body (or your own stubborn, stuck in a rut mind) stopped you from doing. Which just tends to add to the frustration that you were trying to escape, highlights the extent to which you are wasting your days, and also makes you feel totally inadequate as a human being. So I gave up on that pretty much as soon as I started.
Humans are funny things. They like to be in control. Even of the things that they couldn’t possibly alter. And they tend to freak out if they aren’t in control – it scares them. I’m currently trapped inside of a body that has launched its self destruct sequence. So of course, as a human, I’m completely freaking out. But I don’t like to let people see that. I feel like I shouldn’t. It’s not what people expect, it’s not what you see on TV or read about in books. In fictional worlds, and on the internet and stuff, people seem to take ill health so well. It seems to spur them on rather than hold them back. They use it to do incredible things and to inspire others. It seems like it isn’t ok to not be ok with what is going on inside of your body (if that even makes sense?). But the fact is that acceptance, like most things worth achieving, takes time. I seem to be the opposite way round. I ignored everything. Until it wouldn’t let me ignore it any more. I accepted that my life was going to change a little bit. Until it changed to the point where I am no longer the person that I was. And I’m too stubborn to admit that this is who I am now. Because if I admit it then it is real.
So I guess the first step to getting out of a rut seems to be this:
Stop hiding from the truth. Admit you are in a rut in life, and don’t be disheartened when your first few attempts to get out of the situation leave you exactly where you started.
And also find something that you can do, something that you are good at, something that stops your mind wandering to wherever it is that you don’t want it to go. It makes you feel that even though you might not be good for anything, you are good at something. And that is a start. As well as writing, and blogging, I’ve also started reading a lot of books (three things that I can do with my time, that you don’t even have to leave the comfort of bed to be able to complete). It’s the little things that count.