My life has been on hold for almost 4 years.
Sometime, somehow, I managed to bring myself down to a level where I genuinely believed my life would not amount to anything. I had the world pinned – those with an adequate level of self-worth succeeded, and those with none did not.
Saying my life has been on hold doesn’t necessarily mean I’ve been sat stationary and staring at a blank wall for 4 years (although there were many days like this), but I didn’t want to improve myself if there was no room to do so. I saw no reason behind enjoying things, so I stopped. I felt distanced when spending time with friends, so I stopped. I was too numb to study for my exams and continue my education, so I stopped.
I felt as if life was something one didn’t necessarily have to participate in, but still be around. Working and writing and drinking to pass the time as everyone around you loves and hates and cries. Being envious and wary of those rose-cheeked creatures who can be passionate about what and who they love, and who can not only tell the difference between the two but find a way to appreciate the bad days as well as the good.
Being a bystander teaches you a lot – just not from experience.
I still often feel like a stranger in normal situations, but I’m aware there’s a lot for me to unlearn from the past which will take time – and I have found people who can accept that. I sometimes find myself allowing the voice to creep back in and tell me I am a fake, but I am strong enough to say, “Hey, that’s actually kind of true, but at least I’m making the effort. Fuck off.”
It was and still is difficult for me to admit I needed help. I realise now that all the advice I was ever given and swiftly ignored was from people I decided not to trust – but allowing myself to do so gifted me the ability to look at my life, and life in general, from a different perspective. That’s another thing I had to learn – it’s okay to need people.
By the way, I’m going to university. Ah yes, something that many do with the utmost ease and a chapter some of you have completed. Good for you! Not for me. For anyone who knows me, you will be aware that this is big, not just the returning to education part, but falling in love with something I had almost given up on entirely and moving away from a position that took a lot away from me.
I’m rebuilding myself. I think I can be the person I want to be – just a tad more emotional than I would like. I’ll still probably be drinking a bottle of pinot to myself and watching Les Misérables at least once a week, maybe twice, but the whole debilitating self-hatred part has taken a backseat for the time being.
I’ll get back to gig reviews soon, too. I promise.
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