When I was a kid and I pulled a silly face, my mum used to tell me to be careful, because if the wind changed my face would get stuck like that. I guess that’s why I tell myself, and the people around me, that I am ok right now. Because I’m hoping that soon the wind will change and that attitude will stick, rather than being something that I use to push away the fear that at some point soon a doctor will be poking around inside of my heart.
Is it ok to be terrified? Because I am, not overwhelmingly, but enough to keep me up until half past two the other night, and wake me right back up again at half past four. On the plus side, I’ve completely forgotten about all of the stuff that I was struggling to deal with before. My brain can only deal with one freak-out at a time. The rut in life that I’m momentarily stuck in seems to be getting deeper and deeper, and yet the resources which I have at my disposal to try and get me out of it are not multiplying at the same rate.
I spent most of yesterday watching Jenna Marbles videos on YouTube, because they make me laugh and I couldn’t really focus on anything else. Thinking about issues never really seems to solve them, especially when the nature of the problem is something that you can’t fix, so I decided not to do that. (I am very grateful that the internet exists).
I’m not scared any more, I don’t think I feel anything actually. Sometimes our way of dealing with things is just to not deal with them until we have to. Or to ignore them until they become such a big deal that we have to address them. Even with physical pain we take medications to mask it until we can deal with the cause. It seems to be what we do. We carry on, when actually we should probably stop and deal with stuff, in the hope that it might not be that bad, or that miraculously we will find a way to move on from it without it slowing us down. When we break a limb, we rest it. When we break ourselves emotionally, we just push on.
When I told my family and friends about my heart and stuff, they were sympathetic. Because people understand physical illnesses and procedures that they can search on the internet. On hearing the news, a family friend who is my age decided that he instantly needed a holiday, and is now driving 110 miles next weekend because he thinks I need a friend. I do (and I do have the most awesome friends believe me). But the thing is, I’ve been an emotional mess for a while now, and nobody could understand that in the same way. People can search most physical issues, they can read about the effects of them and they understand how they can limit a person and the impact it can have on their life. But they can’t understand the emotion behind it. They can’t understand that physical and emotional difficulties often walk hand in hand into a person’s life, and that the latter can be even more debilitating than a malfunctioning organ or system or whatever. I’m having to deal with that part on my own, and I’m hoping that somebody else, somewhere, can relate to this, or maybe even understand it, and that it makes them feel less alone. Because being lost, and losing control of your own emotions, is an isolating process, which induces a loneliness unlike anything else I have ever experienced.
This should be step 8 on how to get out of a rut in life, but it isn’t going to be. I’m going to say the things that I wish people had known a long time ago.
To the friends of anyone who may be stuck in a rut in life:
If you don’t know the right thing to say, then explain that, don’t just say nothing. If you don’t understand how somebody is feeling, don’t judge them, don’t stop talking about it, just keep trying. If you don’t know how to act, act normally (no matter what has happened, or what a person is going through, somewhere hidden behind all the rubbish life has thrown at them is the same person that you’ve always known, and not addressing that person will make them feel like they don’t exist any more). If someone pushes you away, dig your roots a little deeper, show them you’re not going anywhere, because they need you, and when they realise that, they will be glad you didn’t go anywhere. It doesn’t have to make sense to you, you don’t have to have experienced the same things, and you don’t have to know how to fix it (sometimes people say things just to get them off their chest, they don’t expect you to save them from whatever they are sinking under the weight of). We live in a society where everyone wants to fix everything and each other. And sometimes that isn’t possible. Sometimes that isn’t what is needed. Sometimes that isn’t even expected of us. Sometimes our efforts to fix things make them ten times worse. So don’t run a mile, don’t walk away, don’t stop talking when the conversation gets difficult, don’t answer every question if you’re not sure what to say…
Just be there.