Learning

Sometimes you wake up when it’s raining and you’re lucky enough to have a sunny afternoon.

(Depression In A Nutshell)

It’s a cycle. Sometimes I feel like I’ll never get out. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to describe to anyone exactly what goes on in my head. I know I think differently to everyone else, because I just don’t want the same things as other people. The things people say to me just don’t make sense. It’s like the times you put the TV on mute during the ads. I can see them but I just can’t hear them. I’m not quite sure what I’m looking for but I know that I eventually want to find peace. I’m just not sure where to find that peace just yet.

I wake up every day with a heavy heart. It’s almost like a rain cloud. Some days you wake up when it’s raining and you’re lucky enough to have a sunny afternoon. Sometimes the day clears, usually because I’m distracted and it’s sunny again. Just for a little bit. I’ve tried so hard to rid myself of the pain I have endured since I was a little girl. I’ve tried everything. But it just never quite leaves. Travel has always brought me a certain element of peace. It gives me a sense of purpose and a chance to really think about how far I have come and how much further I can go. But then reality hits and nothing seems worth it.

I thought as I got older things would be easier, but in fact it’s just become easier to distract myself and stop facing the reality. When I do face reality it’s like that rain cloud comes back, but this time it’s a thunderstorm. I search and search, trying to find things to be grateful for, and don’t get me wrong, I have a lot more than some, but somehow I just can’t stop feeling the panic in that thunderstorm. I panic that I have got to the age of 23 and never really felt true happiness. I panic that I am 23 and still feel so lonely in this world no matter how many people surround me. I am a loner, I always will be. I’m used to my own company, but I am addicted in getting lost in my thoughts. I’m addicted to exploring into the thunderstorm, trying to make sense of what goes on. My life has been very much unanswered so far which leaves me lost and confused. I’m willing to fight. I’ve fought with my own thoughts for years and years challenging those thoughts that tell me to give up. The thoughts that tell me that none of this pain is worth it. But I never have given up. This tells me I am strong and can fight it all.

There was a time that I couldn’t get out of bed. There was a time when I woke up a cried as soon as I opened my eyes because I woke up and felt reality. The only peace I found was sleeping when I was shut away from everything. I became lethargic and unable to get myself together. Depression really is a disease. It takes over everything. Even now, living with depression stops me from doing so many things. Bad news hits me like train and anything personal makes me feel worthless. I’m not sure there are many people that would sit on a train on their way home in an evening with a heart so heavy all you want to do is scream and cry. Sometimes I look around on the train and wonder if any of those people can see my heavy heart, do they step back and think I look sad? Can they see the pain behind my eyes? I can always see others pain, but I guess that’s all part of it… being able to empathise. For some reason all I want to do is help, but I can’t quite get the help myself.

The reality is, I rely on emotional support, and I push people away that don’t understand me and love so hard and unconditionally that all I end up doing is hurting myself. It’s a common process. Studies show that children who suffer traumatic experiences early on in life are more likely to blame themselves. To become lovers of everything but themselves. How can a child understand such things? How can a child endure such pain and suffering without thinking they could somehow put it right? How can a child not feel guilty about what happened to someone so close to their hearts?

Many people that suffer from depression will tell you that the storm in your head will never cease to die down. I guess I’m angry that I have to endure this every day of my life and feel so utterly and entirely lonely, simply because I know I am different. I hear people discussing their latest dramas, their problems such a drop in the ocean in comparison. Fact is, whatever they’re going through right now, and it’s going to get better. There will be light in the end of their tunnels, it’s just a phase. But imagine carrying around that sadness and pain with you for your entire life. Just imagine that. Remember the time you had everything but you felt down because life wasn’t working out the way you expected. Imagine growing up in a world where nothing was the way it ever should be and all the problems were masked. Imagine being a child, then a teenager and wondering why no one has ever helped you.

People tell me that better things are coming. Of course, there’s always a new opportunity round the corner. There’s always a space in the world for hard working, driven and passionate individuals but is that really what I want? All those things mean nothing without happiness. That’s all I ever wanted, and I’ve truly never been happy but I’m more determined than ever that happiness is possible. It’s time to be careful with my heart and love myself. I’m a fighter. Not a quitter. If you’ve been through any sort of depression, then believe me, you’re a fighter. We’re the strongest they come. There’s alot of other people out there that can relate to this but I don’t know how, but one day we’re going to wake up and it’s going to be sunny.
All day.

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OUT OF THE SHOWROOM AND INTO THE AMBULANCE

It was 2010. April 2010.

Today was the day I was going to pick up my new car. This wasn’t any old car. This was a new Mini Cooper. I’d was just about to fork out £12,000 on this shiny sexy number. Having £12,000 aged 18 is a whole other story, but we’ll leave that one for next time. That really is one you’ll want to read. Believe me.

So the day arrives. I wake up at the crack of dawn on my weekend off with a smile plastered over my face. I’d just been in a whirlwind few months sacking off college and being deeply unmotivated with life and I’d passed my driving test a few months earlier after 5 FAILED ATTEMPTS. I REPEAT 5 FAILED ATTEMPTS.

I’d spotted Maisy the Mini on the Mini Cooper website and oh my she looked so very beautiful. I couldn’t believe I was actually going to be able to drive this car right out the very showroom and she would be called my own. I was actually very confused. I didn’t really know why I chose this car. I knew it was a too higher litre for me and cost a fortune in petrol. Not to mention, THE INSURANCE. Oh my sweet baby Jesus, mother of mary, this car was costing £4,000 per year to insure. WAS I COMPLETELY INSANE?

Answer: Yes. Yes I was. I think life caught me up in a hot air balloon and wouldn’t let me down. I don’t think I was let down until I’d learnt all my lessons. Very, very harsh lessons and my balloon was burst and down, down, down I fell. To the very bottom.

Here I am, 18 years old skipping into Mini Cooper and singing the documents with my immature signature. I handed over my card and made the payment. She passed me the keys. I walked over to my new vehicle and smelt the leather. She was stunning. I was caught up in my balloon desperate to show off my new toy. I wasn’t even thinking. I couldn’t think straight. I look back and wonder why no one helped me. I was an entire mess. Actually, this is yet again a whole other story which you really will want to read. I’ll give you that soon.

I was terrified. I had no idea how to handle this car and had virtually no experience driving minus my failed attempts at life (sorry, I mean driving tests). My Dad jumped in next to me. I knew he was terrified. Like any Dad, he wanted me to have a cheap, clapped out old banger to drive around in, in case anything happened (famous last words). But I also knew deep down that he was slightly impressed with this flashy pimped out vehicle.

I was off. I took to the road. It went a lot faster than any other car I had driven before and I hit the road revving and unable to maintain much control. My nerves had got the better of me this time. After half hour tuition I hit the road again and felt much more confident. I put in my freshly burned CD and wound down the windows. It was a super hot day and my Dad was impressed on how well I was doing. A smile grew across my face and my red hair blew in the wind. For the next hour I felt so so happy. Chasing that temporary happiness always was my forte.

I arrived back to my house. The sun gleamed off the freshly waxed car. I jumped out banged on the front door, desperate to show the rest of my family. I couldn’t leave my new baby alone; I just wanted to keep on driving. The day was getting hotter and hotter by the minute. I opened the double sunroof and called my best friend, telling her the news. I was off to go pick her up and seize the day.

I tooted my horn. I could not have been more excited. These rough few months felt temporarily paused and I was living again. As stupid as it may sound, my freedom and independence meant so much to me, I knew I could never look back.

We were off. I hit the road, unaware where I was heading. I just kept on driving. I didn’t know these roads, especially not the bloody M25 and I was feeling brave, like nothing could stop me. I was driving so far that we ended up pulling into a random ASDA car park to stop for a break and work out exactly where we were.

I knew I didn’t really feel in control of that car. I knew it.

We discovered we were over near Orpington away. It was a fair drive from home but neither of us had any plans. I pulled off down the road. We hit traffic. I turned up the music. Blu Cantrell, Breathe was playing, one of old favourites. I turned to laugh and chat with my best friend. My moved forward at about 20 miles an hour and gazed ahead of me.

Then out of nowhere, a huge almighty BANG startled me. Before I knew it there was a cloud of smoke and the car was out of control. I grabbed so tightly to the wheel, screaming. I locked eyes with my friend sensing the look of fear and terror in her eyes. We both remained intensely looking at each other desperate for some comfort. I knew the car was being thrown over the other side of the road. I knew it was heading towards a fence. I just screamed and pain and shock just fell over me. I jolted forward at serious speed and the airbags burst out attacking me hard in the face. My seatbelt locked hard on my right arm and the window shattered.
We had stopped. I looked up to see if my friend was alright. The first thing that came into my head was the overcoming sense of guilt and panic that I just caused this to my friend. I was terrified she was hurt. I couldn’t even care less what had happened to me.

I immediately started shouting “my arm, my arm” before realising that the car was smoking. All I could think of was the entire car going up in flames, like you see on the movies. That would be a little dramatic I thought. My door was bent in towards me and I couldn’t open it. I was screaming to get out of the car. I threw myself across the front seat to the passenger seat and we were out. I find myself on the other side of the road to where I had been before, with the traffic all stopped and staring. One woman ran over and turned off my music. It was apparently very loud still and playing even though the car was in literal tatters.

The next hour was a complete blur. I went into shock, which I later discovered was very serious and started to pace up and down the road. I was running and crying and my heart pounded on my chest. I was cradling my right arm like a baby. The next thing I remember was sitting on the grass bank outside someone’s house with a man asking me multiple questions. He told me he was a paramedic and I had to listen to him otherwise I could be in serious danger.

I have never really understood what really happened during that shock period, but I tell you what, I never, ever want to feel like that again. So out of control and out an out of body experience.
I started uncontrollably crying, and within an hour I was screaming down the phone at my Dad and the insurance company. I literally had no idea what to do. This was my first car, my first day driving a car by myself and my first insurance contract. It was a whirlwind of panic.

An ambulance arrived. It parked up next to my crumpled Maisy. The paramedics jumped out and pulled me into the van for tests and questions. “Was I drinking?” (No, but i bloody wish i was…) It was all pretty simple. I was lucky to not have been anymore seriously hurt but I had severe whiplash and scarring from the airbags and seatbelt.

My Dad arrived. I saw him pull up and he looked devastated. The look of panic made me uncontrollably cry and scream. I have no idea how or why that crash scared me so much. I like to be in control. It’s something I’ve always had trouble with. If I’m not in control I feel terrified and panicked. I wasn’t in control of that car.
As I arrived home, I fell into a deep, deep depression. My arm was in pieces and didn’t stop crying every day for two weeks straight. Something I have unfortunately experienced many times before. It brought a whole sea of emotions flooding up. I was humiliated that I had crashed my first car, within HOURS of driving it out of the showroom and felt horrendous guilt for putting my friend in danger. I had flashbacks of being out of control and after working so hard to get to this point I had just lost my independence once again within a few short moments.

I never got back Maisy. She was entirely written off. I had hit an island in the middle of the road, popped a tyre and the car had been flung out of control. I could not believe it. It wasn’t just a little damage; I’d managed to write the ENTIRE vehicle off and it had to be scrapped. That gives you a little perspective on exactly how bad it was.

It took me a long time to drive again. I’d lost all my confidence. I’m sure this is something a lot of people can relate to. But now, I turn back and laugh.

And think “Hell yeah, lots more shit to write for my blog.
And one day, my book.”