I was chatting to my high school friend N on MSN last night. She asked what was new with me. I look back at what’s new with me and all I can think of is that I took an OD, had an ambulance come, have had to deal with my parents and a friend finding out all my mental health issues, have been seeing a GP way too frequently and have been referred to a psychiatrist once again. But I can’t tell her that. I could tell her that I have been working and doing badly in Uni, but that’s nothing new. So I reply with, “Nothing really.” I asked her in turn what was new for her. She said that she is now going out with someone, she has a rugby game on the weekend, she’s been offered a permanant position at her volunteer place and she’s just started work experience at a vet and it’s going really well.
I should feel happy for her, and I am happy for her, but I have to admit hearing about how she’s got all these great things going on for her was a bit of a blow for me. I feel like I am missing out on life. What N described to me about what she’s doing is what I should be doing with my life. It’s the sort of thing a normal, everyday 18 year old girl should be doing. Having relationships with guys. Spending time with friends. Enjoying your hobbies. Working somewhere you enjoy and trying to get ahead by doing work experience in your chosen career.
She says that she feels like time is passing her by too fast and she looks back and thinks that her life was whizzed past her. She wants life to slow down so that she has time to enjoy it, and I wonder what it would feel like to be loving life that much. Whilst she may feel wistful about the first eighteen years of her life passing her by already, she can at least look back onto her life and think fondly about it and feel like she’s accomplished something or at least enjoyed the ride. I look back at my life and I think, ‘What a waste.’ I feel like I have accomplished nothing and instead of enjoying my childhood and adolescence, I have been stuck dealing with my mental health issues.
When I reflect back on my childhood, I feel sad for the little girl who was bullied in primary school and found it difficult to make friends. I feel sad for the little girl who started experiencing depression and started self harming at age twelve. I feel sad for the little girl who did not have a happy childhood because she was quiet and shy and had a lot of anxiety. I feel sad for the little girl who had a strict and controlling father and did not feel loved by her parents during her childhood. I feel sad for the little girl who was so eager to please, who tried to hard to do well at school, yet felt like she was pleasing no one. This little girl however, still had some hope that things would improve once she was all grown up.
I’m not a little girl anymore. Some of those issues have been resolved, a lot haven’t, and some new issues that have come up too. The bottom line is that I’m still struggling despite growing a bit older and becoming a legal adult in this world. I can feel sad for the little girl who stuggled so much to find peace and happiness. But right now I am angry and disappointed at myself for shattering that little girl’s hope that there would be change for the better. That hope is slowly diminishing and is instead being replaced with despair. I wish I could tell that little girl that things will improve, you will make it out of this, that you become happy and successful. But alas, I can’t.
I could tell myself that I am only eighteen and still young, have my whole life ahead of me, there’s still so many years for things to improve, yadda yadda. But I don’t believe it. All I can see is, life was dark back then, life is dark right now and therefore life will continue to be dark in the future. Maybe getting help again from mental health professionals can be seen as a step forwards, to ensure that my future is not as bleak as I am anticipating it will be. But I can’t help seeing it as a step backwards, as it means that I am no better and have not improved in the least despite having had treatment before. If I didn’t improve at all last time, what’s to say it won’t happen again for the second time and I end up still being no better?
My friends are moving forwards in their life. I should be doing the same. Instead, I have been left stranded at The Station of Hopelessness & Despair while they have all managed to hop on the train that takes them to new and exciting destinations.