When I turned 27 I thought a lot about what it meant to be this age;…
I’ve been back in Cambridge for just over a month now. There are many things I love about being back and from an outsiders perspective my life is pretty good. However, recently, I’ve been feeling lonely and spending a lot of time alone. And although feeling lonely and being alone aren’t synonymous, I am both. It’s somewhat strange to feel lonely when life is in your favour. I have a comfortable home, job and relationship but somehow I still feel as though something is missing – maybe not missing – it’s emptiness I feel most.
For the past 3 years around this time of year, I have had an annual suicide attempt… I know my yearly routine will change this year. I feel better than I did before but I’m frightened that the emptiness I feel comes from a place of habit. I mean, there’s nothing I can contribute to how I feel except that I’m not suicidal right now. That should be a good thing though, right? I don’t want to be depressed anymore and I know I am more stable now than I have been but I’m finding I cannot accept this change so easily when I’ve spent so long feeling low. The past few years are part of who I am now. I feel like I’m learning to cope again in a way that is completely alien to me. I’ve forgotten how ‘normal’ people do things, how they socialise, how they eat, how they wake up every morning…
I guess I’m in a weird transition period of my life. Whatever it is, I feel isolated. I hate feeling isolated. I feel so disconnected. This feeling is unfamiliar to me now. This “new and improved” version of myself hasn’t felt loneliness yet and the old me only knew how to drown out emotions, not feel them.
All of this is spinning rapidly around my brain so I apologise to anyone attempting to understand this scatty insight into the depths of my mind. Like fuck – seriously fuck – having a mental illness is exhausting. You have to work so hard every day. Every single day is a struggle. And soon as you’ve made progress, you reach another bloody hurdle. There are so many hurdles. You can see hurdles ahead of you for daiiiizzzz. The hurdles just keep getting bigger. Bigger hurdles means you have to jump higher but jumping higher takes up too much energy so you have to rest, until you feel able to start jumping again. You have to keep on jumping until you finally make it. When you make it, you celebrate because you’ve made it. You forget that there will be more hurdles. You forget there will be more jumping.
I like my life and I’ve slowly learnt how to control my feelings again, but everything is different now. It’s almost as if I’ve been reborn, the past me feels like a stranger. Maybe I am reborn; I know I’m changed. I’m still scared. I have the same shell, same freckles, same colouring, same scars (plus a few new ones), but I wasn’t empty before and now I am. Today, I am utterly, truly, madly, deeply alone.
– peace and love, Emily xo