It has become more and more apparent to me in the past few weeks that life is starting to change pace. For myself and the people I know. A lot of the people I went to school with are getting promotions, getting married, engaged, getting pregnant, raising kids or buying homes. And it is so inspiring and amazing and I couldn’t be happier for them. I always knew that 2012 was going to be big; and that my 22nd year would lead me to a more mature and professional platform but not so soon in the year.
So this morning, I am pleased to say, something amazing happened. As of yesterday, I had zero savings whatsoever, just a deep pit in my stomach filled with anxiety about the fact that at my age I have nothing to show for my time here financially. Then I stumbled across this post by Rachel from In Spaces Between, and it all made sense. Every day we are writing our own story, and the longer I sat back and moped about what I didn’t have instead of embracing what I did; the longer I would be harbouring this negativity.
So I opened up a Ubank account. It’s basically a bank account with zero fees and a hefty interest turnover. And then I did something a little crazy, I set my goal as $20,000 and named it “home account”, because yes, I just started saving for a home. Today. And immediately I feel I can do anything. Granted it is going to take a long time but I am alright with this.
One thing I have learn from my experience with blogging thus far is that you need to push, push, push until you break through. I have been blogging from this blog for the past 2 years or so (I have started fresh more than once!) and I have nine followers. But of those nine, I have gained two in the past week (shout out to Paige and Lilia!). That is perseverance! Nothing worth having will ever come easily, and I don’t think I would want it to; where is the lesson in that!
What would you change if only you had the inspiration to?
Today I think I had what I can only explain as an “ah-hah’ moment (thank you Oprah). I was sitting at my desk where I do most of my serious work (procrastinating) and was frustrated as always because whatever I was working on wasn’t doing what I wanted it to. Then it occurred to me. IT DIDN’T MATTER. I needed to just stop and breathe.
It occurred to me that I wasn’t going to get my blog to bounce to 10,000 views overnight or that I was even going to get my carpet to pre-cat cleanness. And I think that the beauty in this realisation is that I am okay with this.
You see, I am an intense perfectionist, and it really doesn’t help that I am both a vegan and have an anxiety disorder (none linked of course), but it does mean that I always need to have complete control over my environment, refuse to drink coffee made by anyone but myself as the pixies tell me they use regular milk and I have the tendency to spend entire weekends scrubbing the kitchen. You get the point. I like things my way, and I like to think I can conquer anything with my “can-do” attitude.
But what is wrong with simply being okay? Why must we be so perfect and exceptional at everyone we try our hands at? Is it ever okay to stop and go “that’s good enough by my mediocre standard”? I think it is.
But then I had another thought, what if we make our perfection by simply showing up? By getting up and writing through the mediocrity, the days where you’re feeling particularly depressed and the days where you don’t have a single word of importance to share. To just be the message and push and push and push until you break through?
Maybe if we delicately work on these not-so-great attributes we can get to a level of greatness. Way back in 2010 I said to myself “Self, let’s learn French”. I had no reasoning behind this as the only person I know who speaks French is my boyfriend, who’s vocabulary is roughly 10 words long. But I wanted to learn French damn it! And I still am, at snail slowness. But I am trying, and that is my slow perfection I guess.
Is there anything you wish you could give more time to?
This may sound like a fairly random choice of blog post, but if you knew my Mum it would be completely natural in your mind. You see, my Mum is deeply feminist and has never let allowed me to pass on a chore that a man would stereotypically do. Hence, as soon as I was legally able to drive, I was taught exactly how to deal with any troubles my car might get me into.
So without any further ado…
Adding ‘water’: As you probably have noticed, you have a temperature indicator on your dash, C (cold) and H (hot). If the needle is pointing towards H, chances are you are in need of some water or coolant (which is a mixture of water and antifreeze: do not drink this! You WILL die). If so, wait until your engine has cooled down (roughly 30 minutes after turning off your engine). When it is cool enough, pop the hood. You are looking for a plastic reservoir tub with some form of drawing indicating water (your manual will give you an exact idea of where to look). If in doubt, fill to the “full” mark. Done!
Buffing out scratches: As you may already be aware, there are a lot of idiots on our roads; and that is double when you’re in a car park it seems. So it is only natural to cover this topic as well. Our cars paintwork is set into four different layers: steel, primer, colour and finally, clear-coat. If you’re scratch has cut deeper than the paint layer it is probably best you disregard this information and take your beloved car to a professional. However, for minor scratches, clean the area with soapy water and dry. Once this is done, apply a small amount of rubbing compound (a gritty wax-like product you can buy from auto stores) onto a foam buffer. Use the buffer to work in a circular motion on the scratch until the surface evens out, and voila, scratch be gone!
Changing a tyre: Strangely, this is not a skill I learnt from my Mum, but in fact an ex-boyfriend! None the less, I now know how to change a tyre. Now you want to make sure you do this right, people have died from doing this wrong. Strong men included. If you think you’re up to the challenge, you want to put a chock behind a wheel on the opposite side of the car (a brick or something heavy will do, you don’t want the car to move). Locate the jack in your car, it is usually under the lining of your boot, somewhere around your spare tyre. You want to place this close enough to the affected tyre as to move the car high enough for you to work on the area, but not too close as to impede your chances of pulling this off. Jack it up until the affected wheel is off the ground. NEVER GET UNDER THE CAR! If the jack fails and you are under the car, your chances of survival are slim. Remove the nuts and slide the tyre towards you and set aside. You now want to put the spare tyre on and firmly screw the nuts back on. Lower the jack so the tyre is again on the ground then tighten the nuts. Done!
Checking air pressure: This is an important one we usually forget about. If you don’t have enough air pressure in your tyres they will wear away much faster meaning more sets of tyres, as well as higher fuel consumption meaning more stops at the petrol station. Different cars have different tyre pressures so you’re going to want to check your manual. Next, get yourself to a petrol station; they should have an electronic air pump which is free to use. Remove the cap from your tyre valve and set the required tyre pressure onto the pump. Place the hose nozzle onto the tyre and squeeze trigger. The pump will beep when the tyre pressure has been reached. Next, remove the hose and replace the nozzle, then repeat for your other tyres.
Checking the oil: Once your engine is cool enough (30 minutes) you want to pop the bonnet. Next, locate the dipstick (it has a loop at the top). Find yourself a rag as this may get a little messy! Pull the dipstick out and wipe it with the rag to remove any leftover oil. Replace the dipstick for a few seconds then repeat. This will help to give a true indication of the oil level. If the oil stain doesn’t reach the ‘full’ level then you are going to need to do a little more work. You want to find the oil filter (middle of engine). Remove its cap and pour small amounts in until the dipstick is reading as full. Replace the cap, you’re all done. Remember to never go more than three months without checking your oil.
It is entirely bizarre how one simple change in your routine can affect so much. It was about six months into my new life as a vegan (so, say July) that it occurred to me that I could volunteer my spare time to the local animal shelter.
"Yes, that’s what I shall do", I thought. And I did. Not going to lie, it was daunting at first. Two cats; both needing daily medication, new feed, water, bedding and a cuddle. Easy really, just not the medication. It wasn’t long until I was doing this all alone for four cats. And not all these cats were friendly; towards each other or myself. That’s life I guess. The animal kingdom is much like human society; not all animals/people are nice.
It was roughly around the time I started getting a little smug that I came across “him”. A fellow volunteer and friend of mind sent me a message informing me that there were two new cats and I ay want to consider bringing a friend along for some moral support. “Pfft” I thought, “How terrifying can kittens be?” Boy was I wrong. I was horribly outnumbered by two scared full-grown cats and two seven-month-old male Bengal kittens. Twenty minutes later I had endured many bites, scratches and had taken to sooking in the corner as my feline counterparts ran wild.
As I now know, Bengal cats are part tiger (aka Bengal tigers) which makes them more terrifying than your run-of-the-mill house tabby. Patches, the youngest was no exception. He was everywhere at once. He was tiny; obviously the runt of his litter, and would eat four packets of Whiskas in the one sitting. He would scream for hours for attention, then would bite you when he got it. Once I even caught him balancing atop of a cat scratch slapping the other kitties on the head. He was basically the devil in kitten form.
But then something completely illogical happened. I fell in love with him. His brother, Tigger, had just found a new home and Bengals usually need to live with another Bengal, and knowing the rarity of the breed and the odds of another Bengal owner being in the market for a male kitten, I didn’t think his chances of being re-homed were very great, considering how in his tiny life he had already had three homes. So after a few fairly heated arguments, a weeks worth of sleepless nights and a rather adequate amount of money, I had committed myself to becoming his fur-mummy.
That was four months ago, however it feels like he has always been a part of this family. Its strange, at the animal shelter he was scary, temperamental and constantly angry but he is so perfectly behaved here. I come home from work each afternoon to him waiting at the front door with those bright eyes so happy to see his mummy is home; I awake at 4am with a headache and he is there to protect me from all that lurks in the dark. He is always there, actually, as I write this now he is curled up in front of me watching the tele.
It hasn’t all been fun though. My other baby, Allegra, who I have had since she was a kitten five years ago, has had it out for Patches since day one. She has never had to share and the idea of giving up her things and sharing her food makes her angry, but over the past few months they have came to tolerate one another. It is the same of human siblings too I guess.
Something has me all tangled up lately and I am not even sure if I am allowed to justify my fear at this age. You see, I am yet to move away from my parents’ home. While living at home into your adult years may be perfectly fine in Russia, it is not, at least in my mind.
I am twenty two as you may already know. While I am fully aware that this is still a relatively youthful age, I can’t shake the feeling that I am always being judged as this silly girl who has no aspirations in life, no way of taking care of herself or even has the ability to clothe and feed herself. These are very wrong misconceptions.
The truth is that I have tried many times to move out of home, however each attempt has ended somewhat abruptly before it even began. I am not going to lie, money has had a great hand at my demise as has sickness, but also it has to do with people not wishing to move with me. Up until now I let it be though. I just figured that it was fine, and that it would give me more time to save my pennies and to buy yet another saucepan for the collection of moving out things.
So why has this all flooded back to the surface now? Love. You see, my longterm boyfriend is training to be a pilot. We are all entitled to our dreams and passion and he just happens to be incredibly driven and good at his. He is very supportive of me and my crazy dreams of writing books for a living so who am I to tell him how it is. My agreement to myself was that when his career was ready to take him somewhere far away, that it would be time for me to follow.
While it’s not time to completely freak out, quit my job and sell all my belongings on ebay, it is time to start considering the next few months very closely. I don’t need to buy new books that I probably will never read, buy clothing I will never wear or waste countless dollars on gourmet delicacies that don’t hold enough nutrients. It is the time to make my money and time count for something more than it used to.
But I think it is more than this. I am scared. I have moved before. Three years ago actually. I moved here with my family from Sydney when I was nineteen and I left behind a full life. I had a lot of great friends and I had potential. When I came here it seemed it was all flipped on its head. This place still doesn’t feel like home. Maybe I am a little scared that nowhere will ever feel like home again, and that home lies within my mind and how I perceive the universe around me.
I want this though. I feel this town has served its purpose for me. I have learnt lessons through the people I have associated with and I know who I will miss. I will miss my family, and the individuals who I have came to place at a level of importance so high that I would consider them family. It is the fear of the unknown and the fear of losing those I love that is holding me here. For once in my life, I think I need to vote against familiarity and choose to push myself. It is the only way to truly live.
However, as much as I am fearful, I am also elated to begin the next chapter of my life, of our lives. As a live-in couple. We will learn things about each other; strange little things like how many sugars we take in our coffee (mine, not his, he hates coffee) or if he sings in the shower. I guess the future is full of potential and we can either sit by the side lines, scared of the unknown or we can embrace it and be all that we can be, but more.
While we all have these huge dreams for this new year and the endless possibilities its freshness possesses; the truth is that much of life is made up of mundane chores and the small day to day things things that need to get done.
A typical day in my shoes, for instance, consists of getting up and feeding my cats, picking up any dirty clothing, stocking all dirty dishes into the dishwasher, sticking on a load of washing; all before I even think about breakfast. But that’s life. We don’t have servants waiting on us hand and foot.
We live our lives the same way we live our days so we have to embrace the mundane things in life. We must also remember to do extraordinary things with the ordinary as often as we can as these are the things we will remember most later in life. We need to try to schedule in some time to just breathe and put things into perspective.
We each have 24 hours in a day but its what we do with those hours that makes us who we are and will make or break the potential for us to be all that we wish we could be.
It fascinated me what is within a person; their beliefs, morals, desires, aspirations, and to know what it is that drives them; to know what is deep within their soul.
On any given day you will pass countless people. Most will be strangers; some will be acquaintances, like that friend or a friend who always waves, but whose name escapes you; and some may be close friends. But how well can you really know a person?
On the exterior we are all anatomically the same; male or female, but it is in the interior that distinguishes us. Behind each face is a lifetime of experiences; a mind filled with aspirations and dreams for their existence; and a soul with a thousand secrets, some never to be uttered in speech.
Within one’s life there is almost always a defining moment in which a person decided how it is they will go about their life. It may be the purchase of a drum kit, the first time you saw a sunset through the lens of a camera; or a painting of a room even. Whatever it is, it changes you; it screams inside you until you can’t control it anymore. Something within your soul has awoken and life may never be the same again.
It is so utterly intriguing to speak to complete strangers and to catch a glimpse into their world. There’s the girl who is studying to be an accountant, but in her spare time is the lead singer of an indie band, has an obsession with eating Milo straight from the tin and collects green buttons; or the boy who is one of the guys, follows NRL religiously, loves his cars but spends Wednesday afternoons reading to his grandmother with dementia at the nursing home 40 minutes away.
I believe that the most horrible act you can commit against yourself is to not be true to yourself. There will never be another you, so it lies on you solely to show this world what you are capable of, regardless of your talent or agenda.
Sometimes blessings come wrapped in ugly wrapping. I decided to become a writer because I felt that somebody needed to write about issues I had personally experienced and had trouble finding support for. I want to show people that they are not alone in times of distress, or just alone in general. The world is a beautiful place, and shouldn’t lose its beauty because of some rain clouds.
Smile more. It’s scientifically proven that a smile is contagious. You never know what is going through the mind of the people surrounding you. The lady in the grocery aisle behind you may be silently battling cancer, your best friend might be anxious about an exam coming up or maybe your parents are worried about the economy. Whatever is on someone’s mind, giving them a smile could be that little glimmer of hope that says ‘hang in there, this will pass’.
I can’t be too sure where I found this list as it was a long time ago, but have found it always helpful when I’m not sure what comes next. Over time I have changed bits to fit with my life better, but if you know its original source, please tell me so I may credit it :) I hope it helps you too.
1. Always give people more than they expect to receive. Do so cheerfully.
2. Don’t believe all you hear, spend all you have or loaf all you want.
3. When you say “I love you”, mean it.
4. When you say “I’m sorry”, look the person in the eyes.
5. Be engaged for at least 6 months before marriage.
6. Never laugh at someone’s dreams. People without dreams don’t have much at all.
7. Love deeply and passionately. There’s a good chance you’re going to get hurt, but you take a bigger risk by never loving at all.
8. In disagreements, always fight fairly. Leave the name-calling out of it.
9. Don’t judge people by their relatives, or the life they were born into.
10. Teach yourself to speak slowly but think quickly.
11. Take into account that great love and great achievements involve great risk.
12. Call your mum.
13. When you lose, don’t lose the lesson.
14. Follow the three Rs: Respect for yourself, respect for others and responsibility for your actions.
15. Don’t let a little dispute injure a great friendship.
16. When you realise you have made a mistake, correct it as soon as humanly possible.
17. Smile when you answer your phone. The caller will hear it in your voice.
18. Marry a person you love to talk to. When you’re both older and not so youthful, looks will be far less important than your conversations together.
19. Remember to schedule in some alone time with yourself every now and then.
20. Sometimes silence is the best answer.
21. Don’t just listen to what someone is saying. Listen to why they are saying it.
22. Share your knowledge. It’s a way to reach immortality.
23. Be gentle with the earth. We only have one.
24. Never interrupt when you are being flattered.
25. Mind your own business.
26. Never trust anyone who doesn’t close their eyes while kissing.
27. Once a year, go somewhere you’ve never been before.
28. Remember that not getting what you want is sometimes a wonderful stroke of luck.
29. Learn the rules so you know how to break them properly.
30. Judge your success by what you had to give up in order to get it.
31. Approach love and cooking with reckless abandon.
32. Remember that the best relationship is one in which your love for each other exceeds your need for one another.
33. Live with the knowledge that your character is your destiny.
Way back at the beginning of last year I wrote a post about all the things I wished to achieve by the end of 2011. Now that I am on work holidays and have the clarity to think back on the past few months, I don’t feel as though I really achieved anything on my list. I didn’t go to Melbourne. I didn’t go anywhere actually. This year I have probably done less travelling than any other year to date. I didn’t successfully learn french, let alone learn enough to read a book. The doors of my wardrobe are papered with french words and phrases, and while I see them every day, I couldn’t tell you 1-10 unless you had a reasonable amount of time to waste on me trying to remember. The fact is, I didn’t do what I set out to do.
What I did do though, I think was much more valuable. I became a vegan. This is a huge part of me now. I write another blog, Vegan Earth as well as helping out with articles for Vegan Era website. I was published in Wild Fire, which is a vegan magazine by the lovely Kohii Love. I am about to write and publish a mammoth article about raising vegan children. And while saying isn’t doing, I plan on advocating for animals in the next year.
I became a volunteer. For Vegan Era and for Northern Rivers Animal Services. Had I not taken these opportunity I would not have met my beautiful Patches. He came to us a very loud and angry Bengal of 7 months. While it has been incredibly straining on me introducing him and my other baby, Allegra, I wouldn’t change a thing. He is full of beans and never sits still for more than a few minutes without destroying something.
I learnt to let go. I have always been a very highly strung person. I find it incredibly hard to sit back and just enjoy the moment. I have learnt to just say no when I can’t give anymore where the old me would have pushed myself to the edge. Self preservation I guess; there is no point running yourself into the ground.
My hopes for 2012 are basic. To stop swearing. To save a decent amount of money. To move out.
Did your 2011 turn out how you had hoped it would?
It has occurred to me lately that maybe we aren’t the sum of our achievements. We are the sum of our characters. Of our beliefs; of our morals; of our passions. I have been trying to hard to be a writer that I forgot to be Melissa. Melissa the daughter, sister, lover, friend, co-worker, vegan, female, cat person. Melissa the unwritten.
And I think this is the truth of all of us. We are striving towards the 9 - 5 and totally denying the Great Perhaps. We live our lives the same was we live our days. We need to step back and see what it is that we are missing in life before it is too late.
We are taking our lives for granted. I think that at 80, at this rate, we will look back and think “What on earth was I thinking? It was all there in front of me and I threw it away”. I can only hope I can find it within myself to stop when I notice myself missing the forest for the trees and to learn to just live. Because all we have in the end, is life.
On the exterior, humanity measures worth in terms of looks, possessions and wealth. I personally have never understood this concept. I believe your ‘worth’ is determined by your heart - not the physical beating organ but by how you treat others; what you wish in those around you. I would like to hope that everyone gauges worth in this same concept; not because it is my belief but because people would be kinder if they did.
Girls are dying of anorexia because they are trying to live up to the worldly expectations of beauty being synonymous with being thin. If only someone would tell them that the single most beautiful thing you can be is yourself.
Beauty is subjective - which means that out of the six billion beautiful individuals that we share this planet with, you will always be surrounded by love. We are never alone. Yet, why is it that people are found dead in their homes years after they have passed on? What has happened to humanity that we can’t even pop in next door to see if our elderly neighbours are alright? When did we become obsessed with our image and less about our minds?
I hope that for not even one moment I succumb to this way of existence. I hope I may always have it within myself to help those less fortunate. And to remember that ‘less fortunate’ doesn’t always mean poorer. There are many ways to be disadvantaged. I hope I can love unconditionally; even those who test my patience and my beliefs. I hope that I may help others to see the beauty within themselves.
I wrote this piece for a uni assignment a year or so ago. It is an autobiographical piece about an illness I am living with. It is harmless in comparison to cancer but to those suffering from an anxiety disorder, they will tell you it is like living in hell itself. This is my story.
I wake with a start and try desperately to catch my breath. I can feel my heart pounding its way out through my chest. I gasp for air with all my might and yet something seems to be stopping me. 100, 98, 96… My heart begins to slow and I feel at ease once more. As I roll over I catch the time, ‘2:09AM’; bright red numerals screaming ‘IN THE DEAD OF THE NIGHT YOU ARE STILL NOT SAFE’. I drift off into unconsciousness, grateful for a few moments of peace.
I walk down a large staircase which leads into a corridor. A door closes behind me. I am trapped. The corridor is lined with doors. I open the third door on the left and a man pulls me inside. The man transforms into a cunning fox and we are surrounded by dozens of mirrors. The mirrors begin to crack and the shards launch themselves towards us…
Daylight comes and for a brief moment my mind is calm of all thoughts. Then consciousness hits me like a truck and it all comes flooding back. Anxiety; I am battling a severe anxiety disorder and not one thing I seem to do has any effect on that truth. I force myself to get up and try to make something of this day. You can do this Mel, I tell myself. This is going to be a good day. We might even go for a walk. Then I realise that I am alone and it all begins again.
This anxiety tears me limb from limb as I struggle desperately to complete even the most monotonous daily chores. I try again and again to breathe my way through it but fear overtakes me. I sit flat on my tiled kitchen floor and will my mind to think positively to no avail. My dreaded panic attack hits just as I know it would. ‘100, 98, 96, 94 …’ This time I count all the way to 54 before I can calm myself. I slowly pick myself up off the cold tiles. It is 9:07AM and I’m already into my second panic attack. I know this is destined to be one of my darker days.
A cat is watching me through the dark night. I look down and it appears that I have lost both my socks. When I look up again I am surrounded by men with machetes. They begin to hack the meat off my bones. I scream for help but nobody comes. I am forced to watch as my body is torn apart…
I wake in a cold sweat but thankfully I am able to breathe. It is 6:47AM as I drag my body out of bed. Today will be a good day, I tell myself. The doctor tells me that a positive outlook is crucial to assist my struggle with anxiety but I feel that nothing can help me now. I fetch my glass and fill it half with chilled water. It is time for my medication; and sadly enough, this may just be my most positive time of the day. This measely chore gives me the only hope I have felt in a long time. I pop the shiny bliter pack of my Zoloft and fumble to remove the tiny white tablet while choosing a single diazepam and swallow them both in one gulp. I go back to bed and wait for my anxiety to subside. The Zoloft makes me feel sick; but I can deal with that. The diazepam makes me floaty. I laugh to myself and for a while I feel as though I could do anything. I push against my desire to sleep; I know that Zoloft will give me lucid dreams. Which do I prefer; I ask myself, lucid lifelike dreams or severe anxiety? I am yet to see the positive in either.
Mum calls and asks me to pick up some groceries for her and I silently fall apart. I don’t know how to tell her I am morbidly afraid of leaving the house incase I can’t get back if I fall ill. How do I tell my own mother that I am to be left on my own from the fear I may stop breathing and nobody will be there to save me? I cheerily tell her that I’ll do as she asks and place the phone back in its holster. I feel so overwhelmed that I begin to cry. These are not tears of upset but tears of pure frustration. At 20 years old I should be out working at a fulltime job, spending my weekends drunk at foreign destinations with friends and out enjoying life whenever I get a spare moment. Instead, I am worrying and making myself physically ill with the fear of fear itself. i just want to scream until my throat is dry in the hope that something might change but I know nothing new can help me; and in there lays my frustration.
I step outside and the sun blinds me. My medication makes me burn so easily these days, I can feel it already. I get into my car and I can feel it begin, Breathe Mel, breathe, I tell myself. I turn the key, start the ignition and with a deep breath I pull away from the kerb. I feel my heart race as I make my way to the main road. ‘CAUTION ROAD WORKS AHEAD’ flashes at me in bright red letters as my anxiety leaps a threshold. I can feel my body falling into unconsciousness as I am trapped in traffic works. Two minutes feels like an eternity as I try desperately to hold myself together. When I am waved on, I fight back tears of sheer terror. I turn on the air conditioner and try to catch my breath.
Once in town I run into the store focusing immensely on my goal. Flour, milk, eggs, chicken, I mutter, as I search along the aisles. I find everything but the flour. I am looking for that when I feel the familiar tingling and scramble to the counter feeling defeated. Anxiety has won again, sorry Mum but no flour for you. I get to the counter and engage in a painstaking conversation with the sales clerk. How do I come across as ‘normal’ when I am five seconds from passing out in front of her? I grab my goods and run back to my car. Calm down sweetie, I repeat this to myself for the full five minutes it takes to get home. And for a moment there I feel as thought I actually may be winning.
I am alone in the middle of a deserted construction site. A falcon is watching me from high in a tree. It starts to rain and suddenly I am neck deep in water. I try to swim but my feet are chained to the ground in shackles. I try to scream for help but all that comes out is hiccups. The water continues to rise…
I feel physically ill. There is something wrong with me yet nobody seems to understand. I feel as though everyone thinks I am a hypocrite, I am incapable of living normally. I am so conscious of my breathing that I don’t have the capacity to live; to work; to enjoy anything in this world. I shake all the time and I forget what I’m saying mid sentence. I want to run far away and push my body and soul to breaking point just to prove to myself that I’m still alive but I can’t, I just can’t; my mind won’t allow me.
I am a cat; a black, sleek, shiny cat. I am rolling around on the lawn lapping up the sunshine. Suddenly storm clouds roll in and it starts to rain blood. I am standing on an ants nest and I am bitten thousands of times by tiny pin-prick mouths.
My dreams leave me disorientated and frightened. They make me question my existenece and my being. For the third time this week, I have forgotten my name. I start to panic. What is my name? Do I have a name? I feel it again. My fingers start to tingle and my legs give in. I am flat on the floor in a blubbering mess. I pull myself over to my handbag retching for air. I find the valium, pop the lid and throw one tablet down into my throat. I swallow hard and take a sigh of relief. Melissa; that is my name. It belongs to me, how could I have worried about that? The valium takes me to the edges of my imagination. I sprawl out on the cool tiles and try to focus on something positive: air. Just breathe, I tell myself, just breathe. Those two simple words have become my own personal cheer squad, pulling me through my irrational fears.
I am surrounded by all the people I love; my family, my boyfriend, my bestfriends. Suddenly they are all turning on me and I can’t understand why. My family pack up the house and leave without me; my boyfriend leaves me for a pretty brunette and my friends stop speaking to me. I am alone in this world…
Life wasn’t always like this. I have faith that I will once again be able to control my mood and calm my mind to the extent that I could hold a proper job. I know in my heart that I have a long road ahead of me but I believe I can do it because I want it so deeply. When I get through this I want to be an advocate and a voice for anxiety suffers; at present there is no one to speak for us. I want my experience to mean something; I want to be the shoulder for others to lean upon and I didn’t have that myself. I want to whisper in their ears that ‘this too shall pass’.
Hey everyone :) I really don’t post much other than reblogging images I love, but just wanted to get the word out about my new blog. Its aimed at veganism, eco sustainability and all things lovely so hit me up :) xo Mel