What I Can’t Say | A Letter

Last night, I had a dream that you actually cared about me.

When I woke up, feeling ill and shaking with something a little like fear, I cried because I realised the dream was just that – a dream. Over the next hour, it hit me that not only did you not care but there was nothing I could do to make you care. You can lead a horse to water but you can’t make it give a shit about the water, after all.

I could send you a thousand messages, do everything possible to get your attention but that’s what they call “attention-seeking”. I could tell you if I felt miserable in the hours when I wasn’t sleeping; I could let you know just how sad I’m feeling; I could tell you that when I spoke to you, it calmed something within me but no matter that it’s true, even if you believed me, you still wouldn’t care. There wouldn’t be much use in exhausting all avenues of communication if it’ll just go unanswered. It wouldn’t be of much use if it’d just make you hate me.

Now, I don’t think you hate me, just that you don’t care. We’ve gone through too much for you to hate me; you’ve said it countless times. However, the ceaseless paranoia I feel in the cavity of my stomach makes me believe that you just don’t care: that you’re tired of caring. It’s like all my attempts to talk to you, instead of bringing you closer, have pushed you away. Maybe it’s my fault, for being odd and scarily attached to people, but sometimes, it just happens.

You may think that I write this in anger that you wouldn’t care but the truth is, I’ve come to accept it. Yes, it breaks me a fair bit that the beautiful friendship I suppose we still had will be marred by me, where I constantly seek reassurance, but it’s part of things which I have to come to terms with. I’ll change that part of me but for now, I know that when I next speak to you, I’ll be filled with the terror that I’ll say something that’ll make things worse. That doesn’t mean I’m angry or resentful; it just means that I’m both scared of myself and of having direct proof that I’m losing you.

I’m a jumble of thoughts. I want you to care but I don’t want to show you that because I can turn into a pathetic mess. I don’t want to be misconstrued as attention-seeking when a small part of me wants a crying sort of assurance. In short, you make me become a juxtaposition, like I want to shove you away in case I screw things up but I also want to still have you here because no matter that you don’t care, I still care. Will that tear me apart? Perhaps but I must stop lying to myself and I have to stop pretending that I don’t have a heart.

You’ll never read this and that’s why I can say all these things, all of the confused strands of paranoia and loneliness spilling out onto a screen. Maybe I’m wrong and maybe you do care but I don’t want to waste energy wishing. In time, you’ll prove to me that you care or that you don’t and then I’ll know. I’ll just have to wait and try not to lock myself into a loop of wild hope and crushing disappointment.

People stay in your life and people leave; people are there for a short time and a long time and often, you can’t predict what it’ll be. I couldn’t say what you’ll be to me in 5 years because you may have cut off all communication with me by then. It’s okay to do that but what I can’t deal with is this uncertainty: I know that you don’t care as much now but to what extent is still not known to me. Time heals all wounds, they say, but how much time are we willing to give each other?

If you do end up reading this, I might get a message telling me I don’t know you at all, that this just shows that I don’t understand you. To that, I’d say “I’m sorry but in order for me to understand you, you have to let me.” Or I may just leave it. You may say, “Why would you think I don’t care – I have a lot going on so I’m sorry for that.” Or you may never send me a message at all.

I’m not sad now; I’m not angry. I’m neither resigned nor hopeful. I’m just here and so are you and that’s, really, what matters. Beneath all the confusion and torn up thoughts, silent wonderings and spoken happiness, we’re still here.

I’m glad of that. Maybe, at some point, I’ll get my answer but if not? I’m still here.

From Elm πŸ™‚

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Trying to Change my Mindset

Often, I set myself up for disappointment.

I prepare my mind for the worst case scenario: “They’re going to cancel on me”, “They hate me”, “It’s really, really not going to work.” I think and think until I feel an awful panic in the back of my mind that what I think will happen. Usually, it doesn’t. Usually, if something happens, it wasn’t what I was hoping for but it was close enough to it: it isn’t a completely hopeless situation because there’s still something left. That’s what’s bearable, when things aren’t great but they aren’t the worst and you can content yourself with that. Your mind hasn’t proved you right so yet again, you can tell yourself that what you thought was illogical and it makes shit more real.

Sometimes, when I hope for something, I really hope for it even if it’s far off. I think of a bad thing that could stop it from happening but I let my mind ignore that; I let it go because I know it wouldn’t happen. Either that or I think it won’t and so it builds like a beautiful dream inside my head. That’s when I’m most happy and least anxious, although looking back that happiness is a frail thing and I don’t trust it; it’s almost wild. That’s because when or if it doesn’t work out, when it doesn’t even get close to working out, I shatter and can’t cope.

My issue is that when I don’t fully prepare myself for a bad situation and it happens to me, I get surprised. I then get angry, telling myself that I should have known, that I shouldn’t have hoped because hoping is useless. I don ‘that allow myself to think, “Actually, this isn’t the end of the world because you can’t prepare for every eventuality.” I just tell myself that of course, it should have been expected – that person hates me, that they wouldn’t ever want to spend time with me and how could I ever think otherwise?

It’s unpleasant and unhealthy, sending me into a spiral of unhappiness. I give up, slowly letting myself believe everything is terrible. If you couldn’t tell, I’m very good at taking emotions to the extreme. However, I don’t do this all the time: I only do it with big disappointments or when something I’d been hoping for for a long time falls through. It’s not everything but it’s to exhaust me and because of that exhaustion, I hardly ever talk about it.

Now that I’ve given you an idea of what I think, I want to tell you that I hate thinking like this. Friends have repeatedly told me that a mindset change starts with me but I’ve always been too afraid and felt way too fragile to even begin to start picking myself up. Outwardly, I often act utterly unbothered (unless it’s very bad) but inwardly, I get used to the feeling of plans not working out and of that crushing sensation you get when you have no idea what to do now.

The solution is not to stop hoping for things. Hope should be a driving force behind what people do; it’s what holds you up and it’s healthy when you don’t rely on it. Neither is the solution to stop dreaming of things that won’t happen: it’s good to do that sometimes because having an imagination is great but I won’t let that take over my life as it’s done before. I have trouble enough distinguishing between whether I’m lying to myself or not and I don’t want to constantly feel that.

Right now, I don’t know what the solution is. I can’t put it in place straight away: yes, I’m sick of feeling disappointed and like I’m weak with it but I can’t make that magically disappear in a day. It’s going to take time and energy on top of the time and energy I devote to other things. It won’t be easy but I’m willing to try.

Perhaps it’ll take days, weeks, months or years. Perhaps I’ll give up halfway through or not even know how to start before. Even though I’ve done that before, it doesn’t mean I’ll do it again so I have to hold onto that to stop myself from disappearing into a well of hopelessness. That won’t do me any good.

If you’ve had a disappointment recently, remember that there is always something else to pick you up and to let you hope again. One disappointment isn’t the end of the world; ten disappointments after one another isn’t either. Don’t give up on hope and most of all, don’t give up on yourself. Only you can get inside your mind and tell yourself that even if this one thing didn’t work out, one day, something will.

One day, you’ll be happy. One day, someone will love you and maybe it’s not the person you won’t now but now is not forever. It’s okay to dream and hope and wish, even when they don’t work because those hopes are part of you. Don’t let that fade away.

How do you cope with disappointment?

From Elm πŸ™‚

How I Write my Blog Posts!

A long time ago, I said that I’d write a post about, well, how I write posts. (It kind of makes my blog feel self-aware and now I’m creeped out). Finally, I present you with this mismatched pile of ideas so that you can get a look into how I write and what I do to get the best blog post possible that I’m satisfied with. That’s why I say “form” because there’s a lot more work than just writing the words. Usually.

This post is inspired by Jasmine and another one by Smiling Dreamer. If you haven’t read their blogs before, DO IT because they are such amazing people AND I LOVE THEM SO MUCH!

Inspiration

Usually, inspiration comes to me from a random thought I have in the middle of the day. Whether it’s to do with my personal life, the people around me or something poetic I’ve heard or thought of, it makes my brain spin in a whirl of ideas. If I know I’ll forget it, I write it down on my computer (I wish I could write in a blogging notebook, honestly). However, I’ll usually be thinking about it all day, formulating little ideas from that first snippet of inspiration. It’s a literal mind map.

Planning

For very long posts or posts that I find especially difficult to write, I do a lot of planning. The posts like that are ones about events I’ve been to, very emotional posts or posts where I give advice to you because I’m LITERALLY AWFUL. I write down initial ideas, often phrases or words that I really want to include. After that, I organise it into vague paragraphs (because I’m a disorganised child and never stick to it). When I’m done with initial ideas, I check through it and add anything else. (God I wish I had a notebook because I can’t use one)

Actually Writing the Thing

After I plan it, I spend about 5 minutes thinking about how I want to write it. It’s to organise my thoughts mostly but also to not stress myself out. I write below my plan – hardly ever in the WordPress editor itself unless I’m feeling rebellious and just want to write. When I write, I usually write constantly until it’s done; if I get distracted I’ll stop writing. When that happens, I come back to it later in the day when I’m in the mood to write. An important thing is to never force your words out: make sure you’re enjoying the writing or if not enjoying then you’re enthusiastic about it. If blogging turns into a chore, you may end up feeling unhappy with your finished post because it’s not what you wanted to write. (I wrote write too many times and now it doesn’t feel like a word)

Proofreading because My Grammar is Terrible

I never used to proofread but ever since I realised that I loved writing more than I loved most things, it’s become an important step in the way I write. Embarrassingly, I’ve made some painful spelling mistakes in my old posts that I didn’t even notice so now, I use spell-checker to catch the big mistakes. Then, I proofread once in depth and then once to check that it flows nicely and actually sounds intelligible. The worst thing is publishing and realising that you’ve written a run-on sentence that sounds horrendous when you read it back to yourself. Whilst I’m at it, I add any formatting like headings and italics in the editor because although I can’t see it, you guys can and I want to emphasise some words or make things organised. If you don’t proofread then don’t worry; it’s not an essential part of blogging but if it makes you feel better then do it! I think blogging should be doing what you want rather than following too much advice that you don’t actually think will help.

Tags and Categories and All That Jazz

I think this is one of the most important steps for me personally because it means more people interact with your work. After I’ve put my post in the editor and formatted it, I get into the tagging part. Call me shallow but getting comments really makes me happy and tags means that more people are likely to enjoy your writing. I usually do a lot of tags (but no more than 12 or so because it doesn’t appear on the tags themselves if you do more than 15 plus categories). I also categorise my posts so that they’re more organised and if readers look at my blog itself, they can actually find things without trawling through pages of blog posts. I’d get bored, too. Also, because I’m paranoid, I check the spelling of tags twice just in case I overlooked it the first time.

Sharing is Caring Right??

I publicise my blog to Twitter so that it posts automatically: I usually add a message to the tweet that’s either supposed to be funny (it never ends up being) or it explains a tiny bit of what the post is about. As well as that, I write excerpts if the beginning of the post doesn’t summarise the post itself. I only started really using excerpts recently so I’m still figuring out how they work. Someone help me???

Publish!

Is it just me that gets mildly terrified when I publish a post that’s particularly personal? I also get a bit worried if I’ve worked hard on it and it turns out to be crap. However, if I have worked on the post for ages, I know I’ve put my all into it and there’s nothing more I can do. Well I mean, I could write for a billion hours but there’s that little thing called life…

Although I say I have a long process, I don’t always stick to it. It no longer stresses me out when I don’t; I’ve learnt that flexibility is really important and that if I change my routine a bit or leave one small step out, it doesn’t make me a bad blogger.

If you write posts in a different way, I’d love to know about it! Everyone writes differently so it’ll be really interesting to see how you do it – or if you don’t have a system.

From Elm πŸ™‚

The Story of a Life

I don’t know what to title this. I don’t know if I can give a title to all my conflicting emotions. Whatever this ends up saying, it’ll be simple words for a complicated story – not my story – that I feel like I need to tell. I don’t know who else is going to tell it but I want to, anyway.

I don’t want to ask you to do something but if you could, would you read to the end of this? This is the story of a woman I barely knew; this is the story of someone who appeared to have such little hope left but this is a story that, for all its unhappiness, needs to be told.

My grandmother on my father’s side came to England in her early twenties, shortly after she married my grandfather. It was the 60s and she, coming from Sweden, knew a bit of English and learned it from the television. She’s deaf, with her hearing having got worse throughout her lifetime. But this is not her story. This is the story of someone she knew.

My grandma went to work in translation. It was her first job in England and there, she met a woman called Inga-Britta. Her boss, Inga-Britta was also Swedish and at some point in her life, whether before or long after she met Grandma, she became deaf as well. They were friends and as first friends often do, they stayed in contact. They had known each other for over 50 years.

I won’t say much about Inga-Britta’s life. I don’t feel like it would be respectful to her or the people she knew to reveal the details, like it’s some kind of thing to be whispered about. It was not a happy life by any means but it was a life, the little I know of it. She had a son who passed away; she had friends; she had my Grandmother and a woman called Beryl, her next-door neighbour called Joan. I won’t pretend to know her likes, dislikes or anything like that. All of what I know has been pieced together over the last few years.

Long ago, perhaps 10-15 years ago, she moved into a care home. She had dementia but she could remember Swedish, a little English; she knew my Grandmother but not my dad. For years, she’d been ill, in and out of hospital but it was what it was and she carried on. She’d forget key details about her life but she always remembered my Grandma and I suppose it was because it was an old memory.

I grew up hearing her name, from my Grandma going to visit her and then, later, my father and I going to see her. My dad used to go to bookshops and ask for large print books (her sight deteriorated) and whenever they had them, he’d take them to her. It was memories like that that made her stick in my mind: she was my dad’s “Auntie Inga-Britta” and that was how it was.

One day, we went to see her and brought books, a lamp which my dad helped put up on the wall and some biscuits. I held her hand, smiled at her and listened to her talking. Although she forgot who we were halfway through, it was okay because it was Inga-Britta and she was there. My grandmother had explained to me that would be how it would be. That’s the last memory I have of Inga-Britta; it’s one of my only memories aside from remembering Grandma and her speaking Swedish.

Yesterday evening, she died. It wasn’t unexpected; she had been ill for months, getting worse. I only found this out after I heard but my grandma had gone to see her, holding her hand and talking in Swedish even though she couldn’t hear. Grandma told me that herself, that it was sad but that it was the best thing under her circumstances. It would have been more cruel for her to keep living and she’s now at peace, whatever peace is. She died peacefully, in her sleep I think and whether it was a nurse or a staff member, she always had people holding her hand.

I cried, partly out of shock. Inga-Britta was someone who I thought, perhaps naively, wouldn’t pass away for years to come. She was always there and awfully, when she wasn’t, it made me realise the sheer mortality of myself. I cried for that and Cried for her and I suppose, Cried for the people who’d never be cried over. Even though she wasn’t one of them. Even though I had little right, not knowing her or them or the stories of anyone.

I am sad. I’ve been unable to concentrate, from a mix of strange grief and contemplative silences. I almost feel like I’ve got no right to mourn her when I only knew her as Inga-Britta, my grandma’s friend.

The tragedy for me was not in her passing but rather in the life she had before it. It was okay, true, but it wasn’t something happy or joyous. It was sad and it was a life in a sea of lives but to me, it means something. To people, it may be just an old woman who had dementia, who passed away peacefully but to me? She was Inga-Britta, just that, and she was a friend of my Grandmother’s.

I want you to understand something. Everyone has a right to grieve; everyone has a right to be sad over a life of which they’ve maybe, only, seen a corner. I may not know anything about Inga-Britta really and perhaps I’m making awful assumptions, telling a story that isn’t real but to me, it was and is real.

This was not a story of someone who fought. This was not a story of someone who gave up and was weak. This is a story of someone who just was. There will always be stories like that and that’s okay.

I’m sorry if this has affected you in a negative way. I’m always here to talk and listen if you’re grieving.

There are some stories – some lives – I’ll never forget. Hers is one of them. I hope, in some way, you’ll remember her too if only in snatches of thought.

From Elm

Pretend Until It’s Real

I’ll pretend like I’m okay

For you, until you stop noticing

Because you are sick of my shattered smiles

My wide eyes barely focusing.

I’ll pretend as if I think you care,

Not like your sweet words hurt, cruel

Because they must be that – sugar on bland paper

For who’d be there, looking for me,

The little broken fool?

I’ll pretend like you’re a beginning,

A song inside a harmony

When all you ever gave me

Was a hopeless string of endings.

I’ll pretend like I don’t think of you,

Teeth bared, a tiger, a glow

In the dark. When really,

I’m breaking into shards as I know

It’s too late for love.

I’ll pretend as if my tears are pretty

And turn them into the only love story

That applies now. The only one

You’ll never see.

But I won’t pretend like you ever loved me,

Like I’m a second glance in a window

Or a fire lit bright:

That ended, I decided,

When I pretended my mind was right.


This is a weird poem which I wrote when I was having a bad day in terms of mental health; I often have moments where I get paranoid that I’m pretending to feel things and that I’m lying to myself. To make myself ackknowledge that, I wrote this poem; it’s both a way of exploring my mind and understanding that sometimes, pretending and faking isn’t a good way to try and deal with everything.

I hope, in a way, this can help you like it helped me.

From Elm πŸ™‚

Parties, Dogs and Getting my Life Together | A Life Update

The title of this post is probably a bit odd but honestly, it was the first thing that popped into my head to summarise what’s been happening for the last week. In my typical disorganised style, I’ll be updating you on the hopelessly boring life of Elm. Apologies if you fall asleep.

Knowing me, I’ll forget what happened this week – and a lot did – so I’ll write it down for myself, too. I’ve missed chronicling my cringy exploits for you to laugh at. I should start doing it more often. So, here we go: I’ll start from exactly a week ago.

Last Thursday, I went to a party in London where I only knew one person. It sounds like a stupid idea but really, it was one of the best things I’ve ever done, as is most of my spontaneous and adventurous plans. It was my friend Silva’s birthday: she’s a girl who goes to school in Dorset and who contacted me a few months ago about me going to speak at her school – you can read more about her here. I went into the city by myself, met her and all her friends and went to her house. Not only was she lovely (and her puns are something special) but all the people she invited, as well as her parents, made me feel so comfortable that I forgot to be scared.

First of all, her house is huge and actually has a hot tub. I’d brought a swimming costume for the hell of it and it was great because I didn’t feel self-conscious about the idea of showing that much skin. I think that not knowing many people really helped with that, although throughout the evening I made friends such as a girl who shares my love for LGBTQ YA books, a girl who’s been trained as a sniper and a guy who honestly owns a lake. I sang at the top of my voice, had painfully deep conversations within 15 minutes of speaking to a girl and got dehydrated at one point so that I nearly fell over. It ended up with me sitting on a sofa at 3:00 in the morning, singing my heart out to a Taylor Swift song with 3 people I’d known for a grand total of 9 hours. Because it was so late, most of us stayed the night (someone slept in a cupboard) and in the morning, I was driven back to the station by Silva’s mum with another girl. It was honestly fantastic and, unsurprisingly, has increased my confidence: it turns out that I’m able to be myself around people who didn’t know me before.

Friday was spent recovering and I can honestly say I did nothing that day apart from complain about how tired I was. I’d got about 3 hours of proper sleep and couldn’t really interact with anyone without yawning. Saturday was a little more eventful: I went into London, yet again, for a meeting on a campaign in which I’m involved. The other two people that were there are amazing and before we got into organising anything, we had a 10 minute conversation about the woes of school (as I always do). It was great to meet up with them again and hopefully, we’re going to get the campaign underway: I can’t reveal too much about it because of anonymity. After that, I went home to my dad’s house and exhaustedly read some of the book that I was supposed to read for English ages ago. Oops… Sunday was pretty much the same as Friday: dreadfully boring with no excitement at all. I mean I wrote a post but that was about it!

Monday was the day of my mobility lesson. If you didn’t know, I’ve been having some mobility lessons over the summer – learning routes round my local area because I’m blind and had not much independence until now. My mobility officer is amazing (the amount of times we go off topic is brilliant) and she works with Guide Dogs, the charity, because at some point I really want to get a Guide Dog of my own. One of my best friends, L, has one and you should really go and check out his blog because it’s amazing. Anyway, it was what I thought was my last mobility lesson with her on Monday and we went to a bust depo, explored a bus, talked to two bloody lovely bus drivers and got driven around town. It’s the most fun I’ve had in a while, dealing with the confusion of the public who saw a nearly empty bus driving past, having conversations with the bus drivers and wandering around. After that had ended, I spoke to my mobility officer and I may be able to get a Guide Dog sooner than I thought!!! As you can tell, thinking about that makes me so so happy because it would be a huge step forward for me, confidence-wise.

One time, I’ll write a whole post about why I really want to get a Guide Dog. I think it’ll really increase my independence and give me a lot more confidence which is, at the moment, the main thing that’s blocking me from doing a lot of things. However, it is a long process and isn’t as simple as saying “Oh hello, here’s your dog, byee!”

On Monday evening, I prepared for school which was to be the next day. I had a bit of a cry that night because I was honestly terrified, not of school but of the coming year as last year was so shit. Even so, on Tuesday morning I got myself up and spent a while getting myself ready because I could feel the nerves getting to me. Sadly, it was a bit of a pointless day: we went in at 11, had a half an hour assembly and then an hour of form. We then had a barbecue to welcome the Year 12s which was run by our Student Reps (two of them are Wren and Red). I loved it but I don’t know if it was worth me going in, although I caught up with Pine who I hadn’t seen all summer, Wren, Red and my other friend Swan. The day ended with some of the Student Reps doing the Cha Cha Slide and Wren and I catching up and having one of the deepest conversations I’ve had in weeks. That bit was fabulous!

It turns out that I’m not at school until next Monday, where my timetable starts properly. Because I’m now allowed to have my Guide Dogs mobility officer instead of my local one, I’m going to organise which day I’ll have a lesson on. That’s made me feel a little more productive but still, over the last two days, I’ve had nothing much to do. All the work I’m supposed to do seems a little pointless: I know I have to do it but I can’t get the motivation to do it. I’m almost at a loose end but the thought of getting back into a routine, despite the bleakness of everything, has helped me through things.

At some point this weekend, I’ll do the Psychology work and English work that needs to be done. I also need to sort out a couple of worrying things to do with both my mental health and with some of my friends: it’s mostly trying to alleviate some awful paranoia I’ve been feeling. I just need to try and get as much negativity out of my life as possible because I get enough of it from my own mind anyway.

All in all, it’s been a hectic week. From parties to screaming over my new timetable, from periods of complete inactivity to hours where I’ve been reading non-stop and from thinking that I’ll never be independent to having that door thrown open again, things aren’t too bad. I’m honestly a little disgusted that I didn’t update you on it sooner; I’ve been painfully unmotivated recently as I mention in every single conversation.

How has your week been? Let me know in the comments!

From Elm πŸ™‚

Small Goals for This Year | Back to School

On Tuesday, at 11 o’clock, I’m going back to school. I’m officially starting year 13 – the second year of A-Levels – and I couldn’t be more shit scared. Why? Because I can’t let this year be like last year.

I’ll set the scene of what might happen: me, in a boring outfit, frantically attempting to find what will probably be my new form room. When people speak to me, I’ll be either shriekingly hyper or monosyllabic. Then, I’ll sit like a zombie for 3 hours whilst the obligatory start-of-year notices, admin and people complaining about how much they don’t want to start lessons go on. If I get little sleep the night before, I’ll be dead tired as usual. There’s apparently a barbecue for years 12 and 13 after school ends that first day and if I do end up going, I’ll be actually socialising for the first time in weeks. When I go home, I sincerely doubt I’ll do much apart from freak out about how much work I haven’t done.

No. Fuck that. That was how last year started and I won’t let this year start that way: there’re too many important things going on for me to let that happen. Take, for example, university applications, positive mindsets, looking after my mental health: I can’t let myself retreat back into that pit of numbness that has been my thought process since last October. If I do then bye-bye, good grades!

Last year, I made a big list of pretty admirable goals. Unfortunately, because I’m unmotivated and a month after school started my mental health crashed, I completed none of them. I know it wasn’t my fault but I let that severely affect me. This time, I won’t make that mistake: here are some tiny goals for first few days of school. If I complete them, great; if I don’t then it’s no big deal because I still have a lot of time to try.

When I get back from school the first day or two, I’ll spend 10 minutes away from literally everything to try and calm my mind down. It’s a bit like meditation but I’ll put myself in a place where I have nothing to distract me because sometimes, when I got home from school, I’d be so unhappy and tired that I’d do no work. Hopefully, after I’ve done that, I’ll feel a bit more relaxed, enough to do something with the rest of my day.

I want to read every single night. Whether that be a tiny bit of my book or some blogs, I need to make my brain more active rather than slipping into exhaustion. Ugh, it’s going to be difficult but I love reading so it should make me happy? I bloody well hope so! I already started two nights ago so it should make me more dedicated.

Oh yeah: I need to work on improving my mindset. After a panic attack I had on Results Day because of emotions I’d experienced the day before, I’ve agreed to speak to my old Head of Year to try and sort stuff out. If I forget, I’ll look back on this post because I need to get that done quickly. I really don’t want people to have to see me terrified out of my mind in school like that again.

Before school, in the first few days, I might go and sit by myself for a bit so that I don’t jump straight into talking to people. Because I often miss out mentally preparing myself for the day I can get snappish and internally very very exhausted. I was told by some wise person or other that if you start your day off well, it’s more likely you’ll feel good in the rest of it. Yayy positivity! (Can you tell I didn’t get much sleep last night?)

Blogging. I need to get better at that but in a more relaxed way. At the weekend after school begins, I’ll write some blog posts: part of my reading will be blog posts from other people. Only then will I allow myself to go on social media because it can often serve as a huge distraction for me as well. It’s all about dividing up my time with the things I love vs. what I have to do but not so rigidly that I get stressed when I deviate. I love blogging with everything I have but I won’t let it turn into a chore: you guys have helped me so much that I know not to get stressed about it any more.

If I think that this year will go as badly as the last with many internal breakdowns and terrified evenings where I did nothing, it will be. I need to approach this with a positive thought rather than the idea of everything being doomed. I’ve always been a worst case scenario thinker but if I start to change that in a little way now, maybe that can transfer to it being the case in all parts of my life. It’ll take time but I’ll be on this blog every step of the way. I may be scared constantly but I can turn that fear around into something positive.

I forgot just how much writing my unplanned thoughts out helps. When I started this post, I had the vaguest idea of what I wanted to write down but it only formulated into small goals as I was typing. It’s funny how much connecting yourself to the best parts of your life can make you the happiest.

If you’re stressed about starting school, honestly take it one day at a time. Don’t think too far ahead into the future right now because it can make you even more panicked. Also, remember that things are going to improve. This year isn’t going to be easy because of all the things that may happen but you know what? I can manage. I will get through it and I won’t just do that: I’ll succeed and be happy.

If you’ve started school already, how’s it going? If you haven’t, how’re you feeling about starting again?

From Elm πŸ™‚

Lone Obsession | Creative Writing

Hi! This was something I wrote a couple of weeks ago whilst on holiday; I’d planned it in my head on the plane and throughout the first day and finally decided to write it! I hope you enjoy this: you may have to read parts of it twice to understand it.


The stars played across our eyelids as I tried to stare at you one evening. They were dancing outside but not inside you and the absence of a tangible thread of happiness within you caused the galaxies to dim in me, too. It was late: the sun had barely set, awakening your fears.

Your fluttering eyes opened for the first time in what felt like days, lashes sweeping upwards to reveal that enchanting gaze. I could stare at you with little shyness, noticing every minute detail: the flecks of blue amid the warm brown, the way they darted left and right before settling, complacently and vaguely, upon mine. Something like firelight flushed back into your pale cheeks as you saw me, returning my hesitant smile with one that flashed far too much teeth than to what I was usually accustomed. A piece of art couldn’t have rivaled your face just then. You enthralled me, your face reflecting the wide innocence of a child who didn’t quite know the world existed around them; it was as if, when I glanced at the shape of you, it took you a moment to realise that you had a body worth looking at. That you even had a body at all.

The slope of your neck was always something that you attempted to cover, bashful of how long it was; your shoulders were also somewhat of an insecurity of yours. Hunched a little, they were nonetheless able to convey a message of quiet confidence on your good days. Your hair, though now matted and grown to just above your shoulders, brushed your skin with a softness that hinted at delicacy. As soon as I had the knowledge of what beauty meant to us both, I knew you had it. You could not hide it beneath layers of clothing; you couldn’t mask it with a new face – the way you walked betrayed a deep-rooted grace that other people admired. Simply put, everything about you was and is beautiful to me. In an abstract way, each line and curve of you is familiar to me.

Your laugh was like spring water: it tumbled out of your mouth, something running down a riverbed. Whenever you saw something pretty, your eyes sparked: your face turned towards it, your lips parting very slightly. I always hoped, perhaps, that you’d look at me like that. Now I wonder if it is because of me that you no longer look at anything like that. It breaks my heart.

Since I knew what love was, I have loved you. Yet now, even for my insistent tugging at your sleeve, hand, the way I stare at you with such longing for you to step outside, you do not leave this room. You stay still, sometimes pacing, wild eyes imploring me to stay with you. How could I ever leave when you can’t bare to open the door? How could I, without breaking, leave you when my heart feels like it’s tied to yours? If I did not know you so well, I could let you go without the slightest guilt, run out of the door and into the cage of the outside world. Why would I do that when staying with you makes my mind the most free it has been in years?

You won’t even open the window. Is my company so precious to you that you don’t want anything to ruin it? It makes my heart skip with a perverse, terrible sort of delight to think it. I do want you to be happy – I do – but if you notice how much I care for you, it may make me happy again. Whole again. You no longer stare out of the window that has somehow, mysteriously, grown bars – you only look at me or the wall now. The wall is blank, white and yet you seem to find my blank likeness infinitely more interesting. Will you call me beautiful today? It’s all I’ve ever wanted to hear. People call us so charming but I think we’d look so much better united, even though you may not think you’re worth a single second of anybody else’s time. You are. I have loved you forever – you must want to spend time with me, surely?

I worry for you, you know. Others tell me not to, with whispered words and steely gazes. They say, that you are just “having a bad day,” or that you “can’t truly feel like this,” that you’ll “get over it”. They must be lying, if tears stain the bedsheets each hour. When you do emerge, your smile is so perfected in its fake upward turn that people barely give it a second glance. I know. I know that when you arrive here, you question how real the walls are, how real your hands are, how real even I am.

You looked at me with those dull, dull eyes that night. Disbelieving what was in front of you, you couldn’t reconcile the fact that such different people as you and I are could work in harmony. It was difficult for you to understand that someone so opposite could sit, legs crossed, fingers nearly touching yours with something more hopeful than a consoling embrace. You said that you wanted irrefutable proof, more than I could give you. How could I show you?

The stream, just nestled within the woods that bordered my back garden, was one we always used to go to when life became too much. Running through the trees, the prospect of sitting on the bank of it made my mouth open in a wide grin. As we fell into a crouch, staring languidly into the water, I could see you beside me. Your hair, longer then, rustled in the breeze, little droplets of water balancing on your nose from a particularly boisterous leap of faith by a lose branch, dislodged from its home. With the sun shining in your eyes, you leaned forward with the most amazing curiosity, your teeth gleaming in the distorted reflection of the river. Whilst looking at you, my breath stopped in my chest. That was the day I knew I was in love with you.

Did you see it, that night? Do you see it now? I’m too afraid to look at your face, to see your brow crinkle in confusion because you can’t believe me. I’m sorry; I’ll do anything to prove that I love you. I love you more than I have ever loved anything; my whole body thrums with the terror of how much emotion I feel towards you.

The panic, so strong now, gives me a strange sense of courage. The cold recedes to be replaced with a horrible, rushing sense of pandemonium. My eyes fixate on yours, pleading: as a kind of glorious ecstasy fills them, my heart screams a rhythm in my shuddering chest. Can you see it? Your eyes are lit with the same horrifying flame. This must be right. It must!

Do you know how I feel towards you? If you would only know, maybe you would stop hating yourself. You are the only thing that holds me together and at your breaking, I’m in pieces too. Together, can’t we fix each other? Can’t we? Am I so inadequate that not even I, someone who will always think of you as my other half, my second self, cannot help you? Why do you turn your face away from that I cannot see you – am I repulsive?

My heart is beating so loudly now that it shakes me. My breaths come in short gasps, pupils dilated in a wide frenzy. You are so far from me, so infinitely far, yet I stretch my whole self towards you. I try, I sob without tears, the ragged sound bouncing off the colourless walls. Everything I have wants to join you.

I am leaning forward, as you did near the river, trying to reach you. You are too far away, the bed you sleep on so neatly made with you sitting atop it. You haven’t slept and neither have I, my head too restless, your head too tired for dreams. I claw at the bedclothes, eyes leaking tears. Where are you? My face moves, tilts; it is so close to yours that I could almost feel your breath on my cheek.

The mirror smashes.

A pause. I can’t breathe because you are gone; I can’t see you. That is when I scream, the sound tearing from my throat, howling, raw and wretched and so pained as to destroy everything. Broken glass litters the bed, glinting in the moonlight that filters through those bars – are they real?

I stand, the ghost of something without you. Striding over to the window, I press my hands against it rapturously but it is a poor, pathetic cousin of the thing that connected me to you, that is now covering my hands. That means that you are still here, in a way – but no.

A flick of the latch opens the window and I hurriedly stick my head out, searching the skies. Stars twinkle, like the ones in your eyes; they’re running across the sky like I used to do by the river. No, you – we – who am I? Who are you?

You are not among them. I’m looking, futilely; the one connection I had is gone. In seeking to love you, I killed you.

You are not here.

I close the window. Tears sparkle on the sill and only now do I realise I’m crying. Retreating inside, I sink to the floor. Only my spirit is lifeless.

Today’s Another Day

This morning, I woke up and felt so awful that I didn’t want to move. My eyes felt swollen from tears; absolutely everything felt bleak; I couldn’t remember a single positive thing that I’d thought about yesterday to try and change my mindset. I lay there for what felt like ages, my mind in this blank haze which was broken up by fear at the prospect of today being like yesterday.

Then, somehow, I managed to get myself up. I levered myself out of bed, shaking because I felt too mentally tired to want to do anything throughout the day. Something, though, kept me going. I want to share that with you, to try and help you and help myself alongside.

A good friend told me last night that the only thing I can rely on to be certain is the present moment. Only I am in control of what I feel: not external circumstances and not the future, whatever may happen there. Lying there, I felt very hopeless and like there was no point in getting up, doing anything, because it wouldn’t result in anything worthwhile for the future. What my friend said popped into my head then: if I thought like that, surely I’d think nothing was worth anything? My life would turn into a series of blank slates broken up by panic and I didn’t want that. I would be so focused on the past and future that the present would slip away through my fingers: that scared me more than anything else and spurred me into action. That was the first step for me: to realise that I didn’t want to carry on like this by breaking through my fog of pointlessness. Maybe, for you, it’ll be something different but establishing the first link in your mind is so important if you want to break out of a cycle.

After that, it was a case of telling myself that getting up was worth it and that I could achieve something little – not big but a tiny thing. I had no idea what that was at the time but I needed something to motivate me in the slightest to move, to get up: the prospect of the future made me feel ill so I concentrated on the fact that at some point today, I’d do something small that’d make me smile. So I didn’t stress myself out, I didn’t set any goals: I knew that I needed to take things very slowly so I wouldn’t lose what little motivation I had. If goals work for you, then set yourself some little ones or write out a list. Do what you know works for your own mind, rather than what you’ll think will work.

Yesterday, I had a breakdown in which I cried for hours and was unable to distinguish between what were lies and what was truth. It was one of the most terrifying things that has happened to me in a while and this morning, I told myself that I refused to let today be like yesterday. As cheesy as this sounds, that hope was what forced me up; that plea to myself along with the thought that the present was all I had made me realise that even if I didn’t feel like it, doing something might break the awful pattern to which my mind is now accustomed. I’m very much someone who hopes for things but if you like facts and certainties, let that be your driving force: that by getting up and doing something, you will make things more concrete in your head.

It’s not easy, especially if you’re suffering from a mental health illness such as depression or an anxiety disorder. I won’t pretend to know how that feels because I don’t suffer from one myself; however, I know that taking things slowly and not rushing yourself is important. After the first step – whatever that may be to you – take things one day at a time. Yes, it’s good to think about the future and your plans but don’t let it consume you.

If only the present is entirely certain, it’s best to make the most of it. There’s a whole world of moments out there to experience. You can’t do everything but you can take control of how you feel about it, even in a small way. I know you can do it and I might not be perfect at any of it but I’m getting there. The most you can do is try and when you try, you’ve got a high chance of letting yourself be happier.

You are strong and you are in control of how you feel, although you might not think it at the moment. If, tomorrow, you’re struggling to want to move or do anything, remember this: neither your mind nor anyone else rules you. Only you do.

From Elm πŸ™‚

Delicately Broken

I cried pretty tears over you, almost as deadly as the day you broke my heart.

You never meant to hurt me, with your whispered words and the way you spoke, not-quite-love but as close to it as a tangible dream. Yet still, years down the timeline of us, you broke me into shining pieces without even knowing. They glittered on the floor by your feet but you didn’t look down; you skirted around them as if they didn’t exist. Perhaps it was better that you didn’t see me breaking, shimmering down the slope of the happiness you gave me. Perhaps it was better that I cry without you.

The walls of this room were filled with the memories of times long gone, where things seemed as easy as wishing for the sun and it appearing at your window. It felt like for a second, the sky and world and universe were ours; you could reach out and touch the stars with a fingertip if you tried. In the quiet of midnight, we held each other in a lose embrace, never thinking it was necessary to tighten our hold. I was quite simply impervious to worry; I was strong.

Rolling past me in a wave, your perfect destruction ruined me, gradually. It is only now that I break completely, clean down the middle as the happiness, built by the thought of forever, reels back. It’s almost a poem, with one stanza left to scatter in the wind, the rest of your stanzas moving forward. If I were not your forgotten verse, I would rejoice.

I do not blame you for looking at the wings of a girl who greeted you with a smile. A mirror of it freezes on my face, cracking like a pane of glass from a scream: it slips away, such a precious thing stored in a locked box. You had the key, wrapped in silver paper. When I ask? You will say you have lost it. You will say you have given it away, that I must break the box in order to retrieve the thing you chase after now.

You’re on the other side of paradise, myself too tired and too weary to run to you. We are two wilting flowers in a sea of wilted flowers and I can’t help but take comfort in that. You have separated us, snipping our thread with scissors made of “sorry” and there are too many aches in my heart to mend it. Is this the end, then?

I sit here and cry pretty tears in a pretty room. My heart is so exquisitely broken that it is almost like a song, yet the song has no voice. It lies there, hidden behind pretty eyes; it stays put, behind the shadow of a shattered smile; it beats in the quiet of an untold story. Nobody waited for it and so it waits for nobody, glorious freedom just out of reach.

I ask you this: if my tattered wings fanned out behind me in the most graceful of goodbyes, would you notice?

This was a piece I’ve been wanting to write for a while. I really hope you like it!

From Elm πŸ™‚