*This is quite a long entry, sorry in advance*
Hello Darkness, my old friend, I’ve come to talk with you again…
Living with Chronic Depression and Chronic Fatigue and eczema that’s caused by stress and environment, one can only hold out for so long before Darkness raises it’s ugly head. I shouldn’t be feeling this, I go on holiday on Wednesday, but nothing ever works out the way it should. Almost nothing in my life is how it should have been, people have gone who should still be here, I’ve done things I regret, who hasn’t, I’ve said things I wish I hadn’t, there are things I should have said that I didn’t, thing’s I should have done but didn’t. I love and hate hindsight, one can’t change the past, yet it’s the past that we’re meant to learn from, I have a habit of repeating the past, whether in my head or in reality. Things I wish I could forget, but can’t. No matter how hard I try. “You have to move past it”, I’m trying, believe me, I’m trying.
The truth is, well, as Bilbo Baggin’s said, “I don’t know half of you half as well as I should like; and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve.”
I can’t help but wonder what J.R.R.Tolkien was thinking of when he said that, that we don’t really know our friends? Or that we put up with people just to be polite? Maybe a bit of both, I wouldn’t know. However he meant it, it speaks to me in ways I never thought possible from a quote, from a book.
All the times I wanted to tell people how they actually made me feel, well I’ll say it now, even though the odds of them reading this are so minute it’s pointless, but ultimately it might help me or others.
To those who didn’t talk to me at school, who laughed at me; I felt worthless, rejected, pathetic, scared, hurt, angry, I could have punched or kicked you (I never did, I resisted), I’d walk home and call my dad in tears begging for him to get me out of there, for over a year, all I wanted was out, find a hole and hide, escape the hell I was in. I did finally get out, only to end up in another hell.
I was quite a naive girl, I never believed I was, but the older I’ve got, the more naive I seem to have been. I never went to parties, mostly because I was never invited, no friends, no parties. The world of teenage drinking, sex, wild side, eluded me, give me a box of lego, my dog and a warm fire. I’d create plays/improvs within the confines of my bedroom. It was my world, my safe haven. People would talk about their “wild” weekends on a Monday morning, I’d sit, in a corner, like I was invisible. If anyone did care, I never knew it.
I got shamed by an English teacher once, we had to write a creative writing piece, I managed to get myself confused with something, and instead of talking quietly in my ear, she read it out to the whole class, who laughed. It was right before lunch, so I went home lunch, told my mum, who told my dad, I think the school was then told, but nothing got done about it. We were meant to have “Guidance” Teachers, mine I’m pretty sure, hated me. I was a grade A student, always did my homework the day I got it, made sure I had perfect coursework, I was polite to my teachers, held doors open. I got hell for it.
My new school was quite different from what I’d come from, I’d never experienced rudeness to teachers until I went to this new school. I was rather alarmed by this. I was “put” with a girl in my new class who was apparently “like me”. Was she hell. She hung around with girls who were, well, I can’t even put into words what they were without sounding snobbish, so I’ll just say this, they were different from what I’d choose myself. Thankfully I got rescued quite quickly by a girl who was definitely more like me, and I’m pleased to say I still know her to this day, my oldest and best friend. Thank you.
As the exams started in earnest I found myself unable to cope, my mind was slowly wandering, wandering down a long and dark path. At first I couldn’t see where I was going, but my parents did, my grandparents did, I don’t know who else noticed it, although I am aware that a few teachers noticed. Staring out of the windows, but still writing what the teacher said. Zoning out, hiding away, exam stress was getting to me, but I didn’t realise it. I went from a grade A student to a D in the space of a month. February 2006, 3 months before my final exams at school, I went in one Monday morning and picked up a leavers form. I hadn’t told anyone I was going to do this, I just knew, or I thought I knew, that I had to do something because I was losing it. I’d been diagnosed with Clinical Depression in the January, I was 17, put on anti-depressants, had a psychiatrist and a CPN (Community psychiatric nurse). The day I left school my assistant head teacher, who was also my history teacher, said he hadn’t seen me looking so relaxed in a long time. Was it that obvious? I remember handing the form in once it had been signed, some teachers were surprised, others not so much. Took one last look back, removed my tie and walked home. I cried. I remember mum took me to my grandparents and Grandma gave me a huge bear hug, I just burst into tears “have I done the right thing?”, to which she replied yes, as did my Grandad, they both said they hadn’t seen me so relaxed in a long time, like a weight had been lifted off my shoulders. For the next 4 – 6 weeks my CPN came to my house, I’d shut myself off from the world, cried constantly, I just wanted out, I didn’t want to exist anymore.
The Anti-depressants were upped and changed so many times, I can’t remember what I was on or when. I was told I may never be able to be off anti-depressants, that I had Chronic Depression. I thought that this can’t be my life, I can’t be miserable my whole life, it’s not possible. Well, 12 years later, yep, it’s my life. Sure I can have moments of “happiness”, “joy”, “calm”, but that can vanish as quickly as the blink of an eye. I’ll be back to wishing I didn’t exist, that I’m worthless, unloved, unwanted. Then blink, I can switch, part of that is through practice, I’ve learnt over the years to hide my emotions. At my worst, I can’t hide my emotions, but then again, the only person who sees my worst, is me. I don’t let anyone in, I used to, but now, I’ve started blocking people off. I don’t like hurting people, they don’t need my problems.
It’s been 2 years and 1 month and 10 days since my Aunt died, and I still can’t get my head around that. I don’t even like saying the D word. I just can’t. She’s upstairs, be back in a minute, won’t be long. She’ll be back soon…except, she won’t. She’s a memory.
It’s been over 3 months since my partner’s Nan died, Nana Rose is what I called her, she treated my like a Grand-Daughter, she gave the same kind of hugs that my Grandma did (she’s still alive), wonderful sense of humour, and always looked on the bright side of life. I could talk to her about anything and everything, and know it would never leave those four walls. She was a wonderful person, and will be missed by all those who knew her, not just me.
I wish I’d been kinder to my own Nana, my dad’s mum, she died in 2009, same year as my beloved dog, Pippa. Nana did make things tricky though, she gave the impression, at times, that she didn’t want to be spoken to, or she didn’t like children. Whatever it was, i found it very difficult to talk to her, I was rude to her a few times, feel terrible for that, I can’t apologise to her now, just another regret.
Never give up on your dream. My dream, to be a successful actor and win an Oscar. So many have laughed at that. A friend of mine recently got through to the third round of auditions for RADA (Royal Academy of Dramatic Art) before getting no further. I was/am very jealous of them. Although Theatre is not something I’ve ever wanted to do, the repetition would drive me mad, having a RADA qualification would certainly look good on an acting CV.
My life is a never-ending orbit. A galaxy filled with planets that are achievements and endless stars fading, opportunities missed, I’ve so many missed opportunities, just thinking about it depresses me! My planets are small, insignificant, at least they are in my eyes. I have yet to achieve a Jupiter for example, or even an Earth. My achievements are more like Mars or Pluto, small, worthless. I’m not a very hopeful person, you’ve probably worked that out by now, haha, my family can give me all the hope and encouragement in the world, but unless it comes from certain people, it means nothing to me. Why? Because family are biased, well, mine are. I have little confidence in my own ability, I have almost zero motivation for much of my life, I hate the way I look, I’m never complimented on anything, guess I am ugly. I have no self-belief, no optimism, apparently I used to, so my dad tells me, I wish I could remember those days, I could do with it now. Having courage in my own ability, having motivation, having self-belief, having optimism, having hope, where are they when I need them.
One thing is for sure, I will get to Vancouver and become a successful actor, not just for myself but to prove to all those who ever didn’t think I was worthy or good enough that actually, I am worthy and I am good enough, hell I’m not only good enough, I’M FABULOUS!