I hope everyone has had a good week; it’s been so surreal returning to shops after so long. I didn’t realise how much I missed the concept of walking into a shop and being able to look and feel clothes rather than ordering some VERY hit and miss clothes online. Monday I finally got my acrylics back which has made me feel complete once again, it’s been a long few months; hopefully we don’t have to endure another lockdown though even whilst writing I’m concerned we will.
As I’ve explained before I’m moving my whole life up to Scotland in May, in around a month. Unfortunately moving consists of packing, something I despise with all of my being. Last week I had a really big breakdown and I want to unpick it with you all.
I’m not shy around sharing parts of my life, but my triggers are very private. In the past I’ve been burnt out by ones I’ve loved, and my own triggers, trauma and pain has been used as leeway to hurt me. I’m not great at change, I prefer things to stay as I’m used to, and I think that’s why I fight for things even when I know they are hurting me. I’ve ran myself into the ground multiple times trying to keep friendships alive because I never knew who I was without them. How do you lose friendships with people who six years prior were unintentionally saving your life? I’ve never been good at just leaving people who I have emotional attachment too, a lot of my friends were around in my hardest days and continued to be around to 2019 the hardest year of my life. How do you lose people like that?
I’m an emotional hoarder, my closest friends are aware of this. I like to keep hold of cards, presents, even pieces of paper signatured with singers who I’m sure have left the profession since. Whilst packing up my stuff, I’ve come across all my memories. I’ve found birthday cards from as far back as my 12th birthday and found cards where my friends would make fun of me liking boys who I can’t even remember what they look like. It’s bittersweet having these memories, reading cards and knowing the love I have for these people even the ones out of my life is what makes me weaker. I live in the past because despite not being the girl I was 10 years prior I don’t know who I am or what I’m doing.
Would 12-year-old Emily be proud of 22-year-old Emily? To be honest I don’t know. I had big plans for my future when I was younger and the older, I got the less likely those plans became, I’m finally achieving them, but I still question everything I do. Do I know what’s best for me when just over two years ago I was actively trying to end my life? I always look back on my youth and I see hate, and pain. I remember missing school for concerts, meet-ups. Even when I was at school my mind was elsewhere, I was a terrible student because I didn’t care. Once my teachers had made it abundantly clear that I was too dumb to make it I’d given up on myself, others would use that as motivation, but I was using every bit of effort I had on finding a reason to stay alive and grades were not my priority.
I found old certificates from when I was in primary school, for outstanding work etc. I found dance certificates, and swimming competition certificates. I couldn’t remember ever getting them, depression took that from me. I completely forgot there was a time where I didn’t have to motivate myself to live. A time where I would live freely and love the world that I was in.
My fangirl phase was exceptional, I made so many memories and friends. I still speak to some of them, and the others I hope they are doing well. I was in a fandom for a band called Stereo Kicks, a lot of people won’t remember them. I was 15 and despite the fact life was kicking me in the teeth, it was the best days. I was attached to this idea of online friendships and nothing was going to change how much love I had for those, people always used to shun me for having them- that their fake friendships were somehow worth more. I always felt quite alone through school, I have two amazing best friends that I met there and a few other friends I barely speak to or see. Having the platform, I had on social media helped me through more than I can ever explain, I had quite a lot of followers and especially when I met the boys for the first time the love, I got moved me to tears. There were tens of other accounts tweeting about me meeting Reece Bibby and the love and support was incredible, I’ve never felt as loved as then. Of course, it comes to an end and after all these years it’d be a lie to say I remember them all but the truth is much different.
I still have all of the leaflets, CDs, etc., many of which are signed and looking through them all is overwhelming. My mental health was horrific, I didn’t care about living and I was pretty sure I’d kill myself before I would complete my GCSEs so what difference would spending the summer at concerts rather than studying for the exams. It was one of the best summers of my life, I made so many memories and when I see photos, I’m taken straight back to them with a huge smile on my face and a tear in my eye.
The problem with having depression through your youth is the more time you spend fighting to stay alive than living and reminiscing on the good times. The harsh truth is I can clearly remember when people did me wrong, when things got tough or when someone said something which dramatically changed how I viewed myself; but I’m incapable of remembering the laughs I had without looking back at photos. My friends always used to love my memory, I’d always know everyone’s birthdays and random facts about people. I still have a lot of space in my head taken up by that and yet I feel like I’ve lost everything. My photos are all I have, and it sucks that me and my friends rarely took photos, growing up. My body image was horrific and so photos were rarely taken, it’s only since I’ve gained a bit more confidence that I’ve began to take photos and it’s genuinely the only way I remember certain things.
To be honest I don’t know how much I’d want my memory back, there are things and days where I know that if I began to remember them, I’d hate myself even more. I’ve never really been well-liked as a human, I guess I’m like a ‘marmite’ human- some people love me, and others hate me. I’m strongly opinionated and despite having crippling anxiety in most cases I have no trouble saying what I want. Through school I got called petty a lot and described as a psycho, but the truth is, half the people there blindly went along with friendships, relationships and conversations because they valued popularity over having a personality. It’s harsh but true.
I found a lot of birthday cards; from people I’ve not seen or spoken to since leaving school and from friends I no longer have. It was emotional reading how much these people loved me, yet just years later they are no longer in my life. The type of people who never checked in, who were another viewer on a story of me crying and didn’t take five seconds to check I was okay. The funny thing is when they had something to brag about, they’d come running to me or one of my close friends knowing the news would hit me, that was the problem with our school- no one cared about each other they just wanted to beat everyone.
I found the only birthday card I have saved from my Mormor and Morfar, the last letter I have with her handwriting. You never realise how much you are still hurting till you find something like that, I’m still a wreck and it won’t take me back. You can cry and cry till you feel numb, but the truth is nothing’s going to change the outcome. Sometimes I hate the fact that I can’t get rid of things, that I have such emotional attachment to cards and pieces of paper, etc., but then I find stuff like that. Stuff I didn’t realise I had and I’m just so grateful to have found- nothing compares to knowing I have those memories and I’ll have them through the rest of my life.
So, packing as I’m sure you’ve guessed has been an emotional rollercoaster. I’m still unsure about how I’m feeling and so I’m taking one step at a time, but the next month I’m sure my anxiety will continue to harass me. I hope that next month once the initial stress of unpacking everything I own and making the flat my home I’m met with the happiness I deserve.
Thank you for listening as always, there *might* be a small break before the next post as I am approximately 3 weeks behind on university work and according to my well-thought schedule, I am beginning writing my dissertation on May 1st and should have all my data ready before which is a far overreach from where I am right now.
Stay safe and I’ll be back as soon as I can put some time aside to write.