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 ๐Ÿ™‚

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My Tenerife Holiday!

Hi!
I’ve pretty much been silent for the last few days because I went to Tenerife, as I said in this post. It was such a nice holiday and finally, two days after I got back, I want to update you on it. There were both good points and bad points but luckily, the good outweighed the bad.

My mum, sister and I went last Friday to the airport, getting up at a painful 5 in the morning. As usual, I’d packed last minute at 11 the night before so everything was rushed; I was tired; I barely spoke to anyone in the 4 hours between waking up and getting on the plane. I don’t remember much of it honestly. The plane journey was uneventful apart from me falling asleep (which I never do). How do people manage to always sleep on planes? I got horrific pins and needles and my neck ached.

When we actually arrived, it was boiling. Really, really hot – 30 degrees! Compared to England I felt as if I was in a dessert but I refused to complain. I was used to hot weather, of course (I really wasn’t) and so I’d be dignified and get used to it. After whining about how much sun there was for about half an hour, we arrived at the apartment we’d rented for the 6 days. Although it was small, it was surprisingly airy with a balcony outside; my sister and I shared a room and I spent about 20 minutes frantically organising my clothes, moving them around when I didn’t like how I placed them and generally stressing as I always do.

Pretty early on, I realised that neither I nor my mum or sister could speak Spanish. That didn’t stop the other two from trying: on the first day, we managed to order something in Spanish before realising there was an English menu on the back, talk to the man in charge of the building in which we could only say “thank you” and me screeching over their mispronunciation of words (not that I could talk). It was pretty boring except for me inwardly fangirling in the supermarket when I heard a song from Eurovision on the radio. I would have been embarrassed but my family were too busy looking at fruit to notice my singing.

After a not too shitty night’s sleep, I woke up feeling irritated for no good reason. On Saturday, we went to the closest beach, neglecting to realise that it was really, really windy. So windy, in fact, that it was like we were in a miniature sandstorm. It hurt like hell; I hate sand anyway but when it’s being pelted at you at high speed, it’s even worse. Apart from me aggressively trying to wipe sand off of every single part of my body, it was alright until we decided to leave. Then, my legs felt like they were being pricked by needles and my hat ran away, causing my sister to chase it. By the time we got back, I had sand in my ears and also on my eyelids.

After that unpleasant experience, we just went to the pool. I rang a friend and attempted to relax. That day went into a blur because most of it was spent trying to get sand out, although I did start reading a book which has taken over my life. Bloody typical.

Sunday was significantly less stressful. We went to another beach – do you sense a pattern? – that was less windy. I actually sunbathed, read a section from one of the most interesting 18th century books ever and then we ate lunch at the most adorable little Tapas bar. I barely thought to be worried about anything that day, except the buying of a new book which I didn’t even read that day either. Instead, I wrote creatively for the first time in months: it felt amazing to sit there for hours, writing and developing my own thoughts. I went to sleep feeling an odd mixture of happiness and relief because I’d connected myself to something I loved.

We’d mostly kept to the surrounding area of our apartment (which I always managed to get lost in) but on Monday, we went to a holiday resort called the Playa de las Amรฉricas for the day, just to see what it was like. The beach was wonderful: it had a bunch of people sunbathing on it so I joined in and there was no painful wind to contend with. Eventually, my sister suggested, coerced and then finally forced me to go in the sea. I have a tendency to not want to do things at first but when I actually do them, I enjoy them. I’d forgotten how freeing it felt to get splashed by waves, do some version of what I call “swimming” and to smile as waves crested right beside me. When we’d had enough of the water, it took an age to find the restaurant where we’d eat which turned out to be lovely but god, my feet ached. Our eating times were always irregular so my sense of time that day was kind of warped.

I noticed a pattern in my thoughts for the first three days: they were quite blurry and I don’t specifically remember what happened in those days besides what I wrote down. I think it was because my mental health had been declining and I couldn’t put a finger on why. However, on our return to the first beach on Tuesday, I started to figure it out. Whilst lying on a deckchair, I came to a rather panicky realisation that I won’t mention here because I haven’t told anyone. It was to do with my feelings and how I think about things and I even interrupted my reading of Daughter of Smoke and Bone to think about it which made things have a little more clarity, I suppose. It made me feel so weird that I went into the sea with my sister to try and distract myself. As we ran across the sand, and was so hot that my sister said it felt like torture and we crashed into the sea with something like relief. For the rest of that day, I couldn’t stop thinking about god knows what: my mind wouldn’t shut up. I rang a friend and freaked out on them about it which helped, I think, as I’d messaged them the night before when I started to feel like things were crowding in on me.

On Wednesday, we climbed a mountain. Well, it was in a car but still. Along the way, we saw (or in my case, felt) really cool rocks that were part-volcanic; I also climbed a few. It was kind of embarrassing when someone random came up to me and told me that I was doing a “very good job” but I just had to deal with my face going red, not from the heat, as I walked back down the rock formation. I got rock dust all over my hands and as soon as I got back, I spent what felt like a year trying to sort out the 5 photos of me which had been taken. Yeah, I really am that pathetic.

In the evening, I did my best to pack as my mum made some lovely food. It was actually quite nice to eat at the apartment as we’d eaten at restaurants for most of the other days. I glued myself to my book and didn’t really emerge for the rest of the evening because I’m an antisocial moth like that.

Thursday was our last day and I couldn’t help feeling sad about it. Going back to England would mean a return to life where I couldn’t relax as much. It meant facing up to the reality that I hadn’t done much work, that I felt panicky. Maybe I need that, though, despite the sadness I felt. We didn’t do much: apart from packing, owe stayed in the apartment until 5 when we were picked up by a taxi to go to the airport. Shortly before that, I’d lost my sixpence necklace and had a full-on breakdown about everything so I went to the airport with reddened eyes, feeling sick. However, I soon cheered up and spent the entire plane journey writing and thinking so that I felt more alive than I had in a while.

Now, I feel rather listless but I’m at my friend’s house today which is going to be great! I miss Tenerife, it sun, the apartment and running into the sea but I know I can experience that again. My family, apart from the occasional argument, got on with each other and although nothing too momentous happened, I liked it that way.

Oh, and I got sunburnt. Quite badly. I only noticed it when I started to really hurt. It was, in a word, tragic.

Have you gone anywhere this summer?

From Elm ๐Ÿ™‚

Something like Love

This is just a rambling post, written by someone who’s had little sleep and feels mildly ill. However, I think that this state can produce the best kind of content (or what my version or “content” is at least).

Recently, I told a good friend that I loved them.

“You know I love you, right? Not like that but I still love you.” It was the most truthful thing I’d said in weeks, something I meant with everything I had and it terrified me more than anything. It left me feeling free, like a weight I didn’t even know existed had been lifted. Even so, it took a lot out of me, expressing what I felt so plainly.

When I said “love”, I meant that I loved them as a friend – in a platonic sense. Now, I don’t feel as if I have the capacity to love romantically; I feel so torn up and tired by myself that the thought of someone else, like that, makes me so weary that I have no energy left. But this was easier. Somehow, telling someone that I loved them in friendship made me more giddy than if I had told someone that I loved them in any other sense.

I think that my friend took in what I said to him and it’s given me so much courage. I’m always afraid to tell people how I feel, even in a platonic sense like that but I think it can be really good for you. Not only does it show you that you can be open with people but it also lets your friends know that you appreciate them a hell of a lot. Everyone needs to be told how much they mean to another person once in a while – even me with my stone cold heart. I took that step and yes, it’s a small one but it helped both of us to understand each other more.

Love comes in so many different forms that it can be hard to distinguish between them. Sometimes it’s not as clear-cut as saying a simple “I love you,” but saying those three words can somehow convey all of that. Maybe that only makes sense to me but it’s as if the emotion in your voice can display that entangled yet simplistic emotion. To me, they have power: it’s how you say it, how you can prove to someone that you care about them. I still have that fear of screwing up how I’ll say things but telling someone I loved them is the first step to conquering that fear. I want to continue doing it so that the next time I tell someone how I feel about them, I don’t get that terrified leap in my chest because previously, those words had scared me beyond belief.

When you feel like it, tell one of your friends that you love them. It can be for something they’ve done or just because they’re a great person. Even if you’re scared, the good thing about friends is that they’ll understand in which way you mean it. There’s little danger of them shoving you away or telling you, “I don’t feel the same way.” That’s why this kind of love doesn’t panic me so much.

Friends stay with you; I know this even for how paranoid I get. They are beautiful and the love I feel for my friends isn’t tainted by terror or the thought that they could never love me back. They do. That’s one of the things of which I’m certain.

To all of you, you mean so much to me. I’d happily tell you I care about you because you listen, take in my words and then you make something of them. The content that people in the blogging world create is wonderful because it’s so incredibly diverse and that’s another reason why I care about the people who’s posts I read.

Remember: love doesn’t always have to be about romance. It’s scary to tell a friend that you love them but if you do, you’re just expressing your friendship. That’s beautiful and you aren’t being overly-emotional. You can love a friend just as much as you love anyone else.

Love is still love, no matter what form it takes.

From Elm ๐Ÿ™‚

I’m going on Holiday!

Hi!

When this is published, I’ll be on the plane. Along with the fact that I am now scared of flying, despite the fact I’ve gone abroad ever since I was a baby, I’m going on holiday with my mum and sister. It should be… Interesting.

We’re going to Tenerife; I’ve been once before when I was small but I don’t remember it. It’s going to be boiling; we’re mostly going to be relaxing and going on the beach. I’ll have to get over my intense dislike of sand but I should be able to do that. If I get scared or something, I’ll just go to the pool (oh god, I’m so bad at swimming!).

I’m actually really excited in my own way although it might not seem it. I love going abroad to new places, especially to relax. It’s going to be a good escape from everything as my mental health has been very bad the past couple of days, ever since I got hit with a horrible spell of loneliness. That means this holiday I could actually relax – for once in my bloody life!

However, as usual, I’m a little nervous. There’s the fact that my mother always gets stressed on holiday and can’t understand why sometimes, I don’t feel like doing things or why I get paranoid incredibly easily. Also I’ve done no work so far this holiday which means relaxing will make me feel guilty. In order to combat that, I’ve downloaded a lot of books to read – both for English and just for fun. Because I love reading, it won’t be a chore and I can do some research whilst I’m at it.

I also need to work on my coursework and personal statement but that’s not so important. The main priority is for me to relax – write, read and do the things I love. I’ll be writing some posts on the plane and on holiday to either schedule or just post whenever so there won’t be a blank from me for 6 days, don’t worry!

The truth is, I kind of just want to get away from everything. Ever since my friend left on Wednesday, I’ve been really dispondent because I miss him and having someone to talk to if that makes sense? Going abroad should distract me from that awful feeling. I forgot how feeling happy for a bit felt and I’m looking to get that back. I’m terrified that I’ll be lonely because I’ll be away from my friends but honestly? MAYBE I need that.

I’ll still be around to talk of course! You’ll be getting some holiday-type posts and creative posts on your reader in the next few days because for me, blogging helps me relax.

Have you gone on holiday this summer or are you hoping to?

Love from Elm ๐Ÿ™‚

Results Day Nerves?

Chances are, if the title of this made your heart speed up and made you feel a bit ill, you’re getting AS or A-Level results tomorrow. That is if you live in England, Wales and Northern Ireland – Scotland got their Highers results beforehand, I think. If you’re not nervous for Results Day tomorrow, I applaud you; can I borrow some of that courage please?

I’m getting AS Results tomorrow. Although that’s scary, they only impact my predicted grades if I really fuck up – for me, it’s nothing compared to what my friends in the year above are getting. They’re getting results that will determine their uni placement if it’s conditional. Yes, it’s scary – more scary than I can imagine because I haven’t gone through it – but I want to try and offer some words of comfort. They might not help but in this situation, I want to try because it’ll be me going through this next year.

At the time of writing this, it’s almost 10 o’clock. We’ll be getting our results around 8-9 o’clock, depending on your school and what procedures they have. You’re probably stressed and so I’d suggest you get an early night. I know that’s rich of me to say because when you’re nervous you can’t sleep but even resting your body will help. Have a bath, shower or just do nothing for 10 minutes – no phone or social media. Nake time for yourself. That means that you can wake up tomorrow feeling a little refreshed and not so panicky. Easier said than done but it won’t do you any harm to try.

You’ve heard the phrase “You’ll be fine!” about a thousand times already and it’s probably getting on your last nerve. It’s reassuring and supportive but it won’t help you because in your mind, something could go wrong. I won’t say that to you. What I will say is that whatever happens, you will be able to move forward.

If you’re doing AS Levels, the majority of them don’t count towards your A-Levels. Whether they do or don’t, you still have another year to improve. It’s going to be upsetting for you if you don’t do as well as you wanted – I understand that – but it’s not the end of the road. That’s the same if you’ ve done A-Levels. You have your first choice and your insurance choice; there’s also UCAS Clearing. There are so many options to consider – and whatever you do, you’ll do it well because you tried so hard in those exams. You know what it is to try your best and you should be so fucking proud of yourself. Never sell yourself short. You deserve so much more than that.

Whether you got an A, B, C or any other letter, you are still an amazing person with a complex, beautiful mind. You’ve still got hopes and ambitions, whatever is written on that piece of paper. LETTERS DO NOT DEFINE YOU. I will say that so many times until you believe me because your worth is not based on how many words you can write in 3 hours or how this or that character is presented.

People tell you that these exams and results make your life. That’s bullshit. What makes your life is your drive and determination to keep going, to push forward and to not give up. What makes your life is your personality that you show to people. It’s about meeting your own expectations, not the expectations of others and if you don’t, it’s about showing yourself that you will never be a failure.

It’s okay to be scared. Just remember that fear doesn’t rule you. This year has been tough for a lot of us, with new specifications, exams and subject difficulty but we did it. If we managed this, we can do bloody anything.

I’m going to bed soon so that I can prepare myself for tomorrow. If any of you need me, I’m here – I may not understand what you’re going through exactly but I’ll still always listen.

From Elm ๐Ÿ™‚

My Changing Views on My Sight

I feel like sometimes, people with sight assume that visually impaired people either really want to be sighted or really don't – more leaning towards the former. That may be a generalisation on my part but I've found that whenever I explain my (long) stance on it, I get a surprised reaction. I don't fall into those two neat categories. Instead of trying to force people to feel how I feel, I'll walk you through why I have such a complicated view on things because every single person is different, whether you're completely blind, partially sighted or are somewhere in between.

Shortly after I was born, I lost the majority of my sight to a condition called Retinopathy of Prematurity. Of course, being weeks old, I don't remember seeing. Although I have a tiny bit of useful vision, I have no real concept of true colour, faces or how things actually look – and, having never had anywhere near good vision, I don't even know how to describe that to you in a way that you or I could understand. Throughout my life, I've been content with that to varying degrees but as you'll read, the level to which that is has changed rather drastically.

In primary school, some years before the age of 11, I wanted to see in an abstract sort of way. I didn't understand what it was – before the age of 4, I thought I was like everyone else. To be presented with the fact that you aren't like other kids was something I didn't think affected me at the time. However, now, I can remember feeling quite lonely: I couldn't join in much at break with the sighted kids; I learned Braille and used a Perkins (a large Braille machine) which set me apart from everyone else; I did different art and had teaching assistants with me, including one who helped me at lunch to begin with. I knew my little school and though it brought me comfort, I felt sad because I couldn't run with the others. Though I never cried about it or never really registered it as an issue, I hadn't met any other VI people before the age of 8. My weird isolation turned into a wish to do things I couldn't, to see what I couldn't – I told a teacher once that I'd really like to see and she sounded so sad afterwards. I'm not ashamed to say that I felt like that: as a child, I still had a lot to learn about myself and it's so difficult to not want to see if you're presented with the fact that you can't every single day.

From the age of 11, I started to meet more and more people who had sight loss and really got involved in the community. I went to what I called "blind camps", weekends away, events with those in my local area and talked to my VI friends on Facebook. I go to a mainstream school with a unit for VI people because I thought it would give me independence. The majority of my friends were sighted (they still are) but even so, I loved knowing people like me because there were people who got it, whereas in my primary school – though they didn't pick on me – they just couldn't understand much. Instead of wanting to see, my attitude polarised: I absolutely didn't. This might be difficult to explain.

Being visually impaired let me do so many things I otherwise wouldn't. I met authors (although that's not common – it was for a thing which I was chosen for); I can meet beautiful and amazing people; I've done so many activities that have made me more well-rounded as a person. I wouldn't have started this blog if I wasn't VI: I'd be a different person and I liked myself how I was. Back then, the thought of a "cure" genuinely terrified me. I thought about how much I'd have to learn: to recognise things, learn to read and write again – which as an adult would be more difficult, learn to keep my balance (I have no depth perception) – it would be overwhelming. I'd also have to adapt to seeing out of both eyes, something which I've never had before. I have a huge fear of the unknown and I don't understand how people can cope if they see colour for the first time. I know that if I woke up one day to full sight, I'd be screaming in terror because everything would be too much and would, probably, feel unreal. Anyhow, I was utterly anti-me getting sight "back".

Now, it's not so simple. I totally understand why I felt how I did before: to me, they're both rational thought processes and are what many people do feel, both those who have lost their sight recently and those who haven't. However, I sometimes change from being frustrated at my lack of sight, to vehemently wanting to stay this way, to just not giving a shit on a daily basis.

In a word, it's messy. I can't give you a clear-cut stance: getting my sight would be useful, yes, but I don't know if I could deal with the changes. It's not so easy as to say "you'll learn" because if you present someone with something they have literally no concept of, they may not come out of the shock for a long time. To have changing viewpoint doesn't help me figure out what I really want: all the ways I, and you, feel are valid but it's tricky when for me, there isn't a set answer I can give. Luckily though, I have less fear than I did before.

This may not even be how I feel in two years: I could have a viewpoint turnaround – who knows? For now, though, I'm happy to just live my life. It's not easy to be able to just accept things and I'm still learning how. Unlike before, I don't think about my sight that often – just when it comes up. It's just a thing that is and it's taken me years to fully accept that. I may have said I was okay with it but really, I wasn't; it's only now that I realise that I'm bothered sometimes but it's nowhere near all the time.

I'm just one person. There are hundreds of thousands of other visually impaired people around the country and the world who'll have a wildly different view to me. Some don't want to see and some do; some have gone all their life without sight and some have lost their sight only a year ago – each can have their separate stance on this which is all completely fine. Some people can't deal with sight loss because it's the loss of a sense; everyone takes their own time to come to terms with everything. People change and people are okay for changing.

I hope that me talking about my thoughts has helped you understand me a little better. Again, remember that I'm just one visually impaired person and someone else will probably give you a totally different answer. If you've got any questions, leave them in the comments below; I'll do my best to answer them! In addition, if I offended anyone by the words in my post, I'm extremely sorry.

If you'd like to talk about your experiences, you can always email me or leave a comment. I'd love to know your thoughts – either on having vision or, if you have another disability, how you feel about it in general.

From Elm ๐Ÿ™‚

Circular Mind | A Poetic Representation of My Mental Health

You hate me
Because I said the one thing that made you
Pause-
"I'm sorry; forgive me," I gasp,
I should staple my mouth shut with a silver clasp
When I said no words-
And that is why
You hate me.

You laugh at me,
With my soul as pure as steel,
My spider's web of broken feelings-
I know this because I hear it,
In my mind,
You as I cry.
That is the reason why
You laugh at me.

You lie to me,
Twisted, words falling from your lips
A lie to satisfy the terror which rips
At me – you don't care,
The creeping fingers of doubt
Claw at me
So it must be that
You lie to me.

I am fake,
I must be happy
If the tears do not fall constantly
My mind conniving, scheming
Because I must be fine
Even when my soul pines
For help-
But no, shut it down because
I am fake.

I cannot think
I cannot feel,
When my mind screams that
Not one thing I think is real-
I collapse, pieces of me
Floating,
And so I know that
My thoughts run in endless circles.
I cannot
Think.

Sometimes, the only way to get my thoughts out is through poetry. This is a short poem but to me, it illustrates how I sometimes feel and think – such as the thoughts that go through my head. I wanted to show, in my writing, that I know these thoughts to be irrational and not based off concrete evidence.

If you ever feel like this, I understand a little of how it is. It's not wrong to want to seek help for feelings of anxiety that you may experience. Feeling anxious or paranoid shouldn't be labelled as attention-seeking – they're very real feelings that affect you; it's okay to accept those as fact. It isn't always just a "phase" or something to "get over".

I'll always be here to talk if you need it.

Love from Elm ๐Ÿ™‚

We Aren’t Weak for Breaking

I’m not sure why, on Saturday when I got home from dropping my friend off at the station, I walked up to the room we stayed in and burst into tears.

Or… Perhaps I do know but I just don’t want to admit it. Perhaps I don’t want to admit that the house felt too empty, that I missed having someone there to talk to – that I was so fucking lonely again. The sheer feeling of sadness I felt, where the next few days stretched in front of me with nothing happening that would brighten me, made the tears fall like they hardly ever do when I’m by myself. I hated it, tried to get rid of the thought that nothing was worth anything, that I wasn’t worth anything but the more I ignored it, the more it grew.

It was a feeling which made everything hollow; I lay down, sobbing and shaking until I could barely think clearly. I spoke to myself, telling myself what was real and what wasn’t, that I felt panicked. All of the pent up emotions I’d had the past week, which I hadn’t let myself release, suddenly came pouring out in 5 minutes’ worth of tears.

Then, I got up, washed my face, grabbed the duvet and pillow and brought them downstairs. I let myself go blank, only feeling cold rushes of despair and sadness at varying intervals. Those spanned from then until now: I’m terrified right now, lonely, but I’m also forcing myself to be numb. I shouldn’t do that.

When you feel an overload of emotion, one of the most harmful things you can do is to ignore it, push it aside or try to remove it. It can make things worse: if you don’t learn how to cope or not cope with those emotions, the next time they come around they’ll affect you worse. This applies to people, like me, who don’t understand how to register emotions or who can’t deal with them when they creep up on you unexpectedly. With Saturday, I was so shocked at my worsening state; as I went through London with my dad, I could feel things getting more and more blurred in my head. However, I was surprised: in no way did I expect to just walk up to that room, feel the stinging pressure behind my eyes and cry, when I realised that I had no idea what to do now. I pushed that aside. I tried not to acknowledge it because being hopeless or sad constantly drains me to the point where I don’t want to move. Maybe I should have let those emotions wash over me.

I understand how difficult it is to feel vulnerable or to let yourself break. It’s shit; you feel everything is shivering and it all recedes into a fog. However, it’s important to process and truly tell yourself that these feelings are natural and that you aren’t weak. The biggest problem I have with crying or showing any form of sadness to the quiet of an empty room or my mind is that I tell myself I’m pathetic. I’m not. It’s just me proving to myself I’m not okay because when there’s no one there to bring out the tears but they still fall, you can’t say to yourself that you’re being attention-seeking or that you’re making it up.

The first step is showing yourself that you don’t feel well. That’s difficult enough and it might take you a long time but as soon as you’ve done that, you can look at ways to help yourself. People may say immediately to seek support but if you don’t have a small idea of what’s up, talking to someone about it might panic you more. I know it certainly will me but it’s okay because I’m taking tiny steps to figure things out.

You are strong but it’s fine to not be sometimes. You aren’t some attention-seeker; if you want to cry alone or to cry whilst with someone, you do what you want. As long as you remember that showing others, or yourself, how you feel is okay.

I’ve known I feel unwell for a while but I’m ringing the counselling service today because I don’t think I can take feeling so unhappy and lonely all the time. I have no idea how to work through it; I’ve tried enough in both healthy and unhealthy ways. The next step for me is to get external support. If it’s the next step for you too, even if you’re afraid, you know – if you’re seeking it – that you need the help. If you’ve had moments like I have, where your raw thoughts and fears are displayed to you with unwavering proof, don’t doubt yourself or say to yourself that “it’s just a phase”.

If you want to talk to me about anything, my email’s always open – you can email me at elmblog2403@gmail.com. I’ll always be here, regardless of my own mental state, because being here for others is something I love doing. There are no exceptions to that so if you ever need me, don’t be scared to ask.

Love from Elm ๐Ÿ™‚

The Social Media Blog Tag!

Every so often, a tag comes along which I absolutely love with all my stone cold, unfeeling heart. The Social Media Blog Tag is one of them. Created by Chloe last year, she brought it back this year and I couldn’t be happier. For some odd reason, I was tagged – than’ you so so much by the way – and I immediately knew I had to do this one again. Um well, it’s being posted two days after it was supposed to but I’m SORRY I NEED to GET MY SHIT TOGETHER!

I did this tag last year when I was actually funny – HAHA remember that? Excuse all of the screaming ramblings that are going to follow. I miss my “old style” of posting, where I felt more relaxed. So, screw the correct grammar and more formal style of posting: I’m going to rave about people, write in ALL CAPITALS sometimes and bloody well enjoy myself whilst doing it.

Right. I refuse to get stressed about doing which award but it was created to spread love; it’s based on different types of social media and bloggers who would fit that.

The Rules

  1. Thank the person who tagged you. (Merci, Chloe; you’re brilliant)
  2. Choose a Blog or Blogger per category and explain why you chose them.
  3. Tag others to do this (up to you how many)

THE CATEGORIES OF FABULOUSNESS

INSTAGRAM – A BLOG WITH A DESIGN YOU LOVE

Annoyingly, I can’t actually do this one properly because I’m almost completely blind. However, from what I’ve heard, Reine has a wonderfully designed blog. She recently went self-hosted and I know that she’s put a lot of effort into what she does; compared to her, I’m pretty much an uninformed, technologically-repellent cavewoman. I’ve also known Reine for what feels like forever; she’s a huge blog inspiration for me and has helped me out so much! (Trust me, I need all the help I can get.)

FACEBOOK – A BLOG WITH A FRIENDLY BLOGGER

I didn’t even have to think about this one: GirlMasked is one of the nicest people I know. She’s always there to support people – on her posts and on Twitter. Not only does she write relatable content (her posts on mental health calm me down so much) but she always reaches out to people either when they’re having a bad day or when something amazing happens. I never feel afraid to talk to her and she’s someone in the community who you can always rely on to have the best chats with, about anything! Seriously, you’re wonderful; don’t stop writing!

TWITTER – A BLOGGER WHO COULD WRITE JUST 140 CHARACTERS AND YOU WOULD STILL LOVE THEM

AHH definitely Lu, who’s actually one of my close friends. Her writing style MAKES MY LIFE COMPLETE and her rambles and rants on books are my favourite thing. She’s mastered the art of being able to summarise her thoughts well (I’m sobbing here because I love it SO MUCH and am so jealous). I love how everything she says is either amazing, hilarious or IS IN ALL CAPS because that’s the best writing style of ever.

YOUTUBE – A BLOG WHICH KEEPS YOU ENTERTAINED

OKAY this is easy – Diversion3000 is the funniest blogger ever. Her posts actually have made me cry with laughter on a number of occasions – from fashion reviews to fantastic lists to musings on life, whenever I read her posts I have a smile on her face. Not only that but she’s friendly as hell and when you talk to her, the bubbly and awesome personality shown in her posts is just as present. Ever since her blog started, she’s been someone I go to when I need a cheer-up and I admire her so much for that!!!

SNAPCHAT – THE BLOGGER WHO’s UPDATES YOU CAN’t WAIT FOR

Without a doubt, I have to choose L for this one. Both his blog and Twitter are some of my favourite things to read: he’s funny and whenever he posts or tweets about his life, he does it so casually – as if he’s speaking to his readers like they’re his friends. Recently, he’s got a Guide Dog and those updates have got to be the ones I love to read the most because he’s so incredibly happy. I honestly get emotional when I think about it – is that weird?

TUMBLR – A BLOG WHICH IS VERY DIVERSE AND HAS VARIETY

Jasmine has always been someone who manages to balance loads of different themes on her blog. I’m always in awe of her; she’s got to be one of my favourite bloggers and blogging inspirations. She posts life updates, thoughtful posts, about her dairy-free lifestyle and also blogging tips. I’m not sure how she does it because I find it really difficult to keep my content interesting so that you don’t fall asleep while reading it. However, you will never get bored when reading her blog because she’s one of the most inspiration people I know, simply because her blog covers so many different things and never, ever lacks in quality with any of them. Ahh, I adore her blog more than anything.

PINTEREST – A BLOG WHICH IS FULL OF CREATIVITY AND INSPIRATION

Someone who I’ve known for ages, Misstery Blog writes such beautiful poetry on her blog that it makes me feels all the feels possible. Her thoughts on life, particularly teenagers, inspire me to want to speak up and not stay silent about issues in society. She’s such a wonderful writer – people like her let me fall in love with poems and stories even more than I already am. If you haven’t seen her blog before, go and give her a follow – she deserves every single view she gets!

My Nominations

Like Chloe, I’m nominating everyone I mentioned here as well as anyone else who wants to do it! If you’ve been nominated already, don’t worry about it. Also, regardless of whether you’ve been nominated or not, you’re fantastic bloggers and people.

I also nominate:

Astrid

Emillia

Ebe

Evie

I really hope you enjoy doing this! I certainly loved it – thanks, Chloe, for creating it again! You’re awesome.

From Elm ๐Ÿ™‚

The Simplicity of Friendship | An Update on my Week

Hi all!

I’m sorry for my huge absence over the last week; I’ve had a friend over since Tuesday. She left today and once I got home from dropping her off at the station, I just knew I had to write a post talking about everything that happened. This week has helped me so much, in far more ways than just one.

The friend that came to stay was someone I call Rapunzel – you can read about her on this page. She and I have known each other for almost 3 years now and as soon as we started talking, I could tell that we immediately “clicked” – to use a clichรฉ phrase. We’ve gone through so much shit but the fact that we’re still such great friends after it shows that we care about each other. We’d been planning this for ages; she made her second independent trip down to London – 3 hours away by train – from Tuesday until Saturday. I couldn’t be more proud of her.

Tuesday – Arriving at my Non-Impressive House

Because my parents were at work or abroad respectively, my sister got on the train with me just before lunch to travel to a large station in London where Rapunzel would be arriving. Travelling with my sister is always interesting: she and I have a tendency to get both stressed and paranoid; however, nothing went wrong! I was so excited to see her, as we hadn’t met up since February, that I don’t think I had room to get very stressed. Finding the platform that she was on was the only mildly worrying part but because of the fabulous inventions called phones (they’re very, very rare, I know), we got to where she was. Honestly, I haven’t shrieked or hugged someone so hard in a very long time… I probably got weird looks.

Have you ever tried leading 2 almost completely blind girls, both with canes, together with a large suitcase which was in danger of being forgotten through London? My sister hadn’t and the helpful tips provided by me, from the last time that about 4 of us had walked through a busy place, might not have been as helpful as I wanted. Anyhow, we managed – after about 15 minutes of looking – to find a Pizza Express and after having had lunch, we went to my house to get Rapunzel settled in. By this time, it was about 5:30 and, typically, I was exhausted.

The rest of the day was rather uneventful. We went for a walk with my dad in the park: it’s one of my favourite things to do because it’s so peaceful: nature seems to calm my thoughts and I know that we both enjoyed that. When we got back, Rapunzel and I chatted for literal HOURS, yellow and shouting and generally acting as if we’d seen each other the day before, not almost 6 months before. I had to transfer some of my stuff upstairs because we were sleeping in my sister’s terrifying room in what used to be the loft. Okay, it’s not terrifying but I’m a complete moron.

Wednesday – Nostalgia and a Beautiful Conversation

On our first full day, I decided to prove my narcissistic tendencies to Rapunzel by showing her some of the stuff in my room. Granted, she’s been wanting to see all the stuff I’d mention to her in passing – like the bear that’s as big as me when I was a baby, my old coin collection and some random braille books I had lying around. Instead of treating me like the sad , strange person I probably am, she actually seemed to be interested in looking at what I was showing her. I don’t know why, either. That day was very nostalgic for me; there were a lot of memories from my childhood it was really nice to have someone who had seen so much of my recent personality to get a glimpse of the room I grew up in, to see a little of what I was like as a kid.

She and I have both experienced a lot, both when we knew each other and when we didn’t. There have been some times where miscommunication has caused us to do a lot of stupidly shitty things, or times where we haven’t been honest with each other. On Wednesday, she opened up to me about a very personal situation that had happened to her; we also had a hugely deep conversation about our emotions. I’ve never been very good at expressing my feelings to other people in real life; it was so lovely to be able to do that. It was also amazing to have her speaking to me as she did: it let me understand her and how she acted. Tears were involved from both sides but with her, I don’t feel a pressure to explain why; she and I now almost have a brutal honesty with each other for which I’m so grateful.

After that conversation, we decided to relax again: the next day, we knew, was going to be busy so we thought we might as well get an early night. Usually, I don’t get much sleep but that night, I slept like a log. It was kind of ridiculous but I had a lot to think on, above all the refreshing conversation I’d had with her.

Thursday
As soon as we got up, I decided to be mildly productive: whilst Rapunzel was sobbing in happiness over an email she received and also while she was going through her poems, I sent off the application for the Residential College for visually impaired people I want to attend for a year after A-Levels; I also went and recorded something for a potential Voiceover job. Yes, I probably sounded ridiculous reading one half of a script but I think it’s good experience (I cringed when I listened to myself though). At 2 o’clock, a Mobility Officer from Guide Dogs – who’s working with me in the summer so I can become more independent – came over and honestly, Rapunzel was the best person who could have been there beside me.

I’ve never been the most independent; if I ever wanted to get a Guide Dog, I’d have to know three routes. Now, the rather insignificantly large major huge problem with that is that I don’t. I don’t know my local area either; I decided enough was enough and I was going to actually do something instead of just being a lazy human. The lady who came to talk to me, to organise mobility, was amazing: right away, the three of us went completely off topic and ended up talking about school, technology (or my lack of proficiency) and laughing: the atmosphere was so friendly. Once the boring forms were out of the way, we actually got on to doing, well, mobility.

Well, I can safely say I know the incredibly short route to my closest bus stop now. Impressive, right? But seriously, I was actually proud of myself: as everyone says all the time, I don’t give myself enough credit ever and lock myself into a cave of “HELLO I AM SHIT AND A FAILURE DO NOT BE DISAPPOINTED!” When I was prover wrong, for once, I felt hyper: Rapunzel and the mobility officer walked behind me, talking; I felt confident and like I was in control. After that, we sorted out plans: I’ll have four lessons this summer, the next being next Wednesday: having a concrete plan of what we’re going to cover made the panic less oppressive. I could have cried. I almost did, after she’d gone; I squealed and hugged Rapunzel until it hurt. She knows how much it means to me and so I didn’t hide any of my blatant, screaming, happy hysteria.

Maybe, after such a long day, it was a bad idea to talk to a good friend of ours for 5 hours. We did it anyway, wearing face masks and going from talking about serious topics of mental health to trying to muffle the laughter that couldn’t help but escape. S – the friend – is fantastic and we all spoke equally; it didn’t feel like I was left โ€ฒ. It’s one of the best conversations I’ve ever had, simply because even when one of us was upset for whatever reason, the other two supported them and made things feel less awful. It was open, honest and painful but also hilarious. Saying that, going to bed at 3 A.M made me feel ill the next day.

Friday – A Picnic and Afternoon with Friends

Last Saturday, at volunteering, Rose – a friend I’ve known since I was a baby – suggested that us three plus her sister Poppy should go for a picnic in the park. As I’m a child at heart and love picnics more than anything in the world (is it possible to be picnic-deprived because I hadn’t had one in years), I agreed almost before she finished the sentence. There may have been some clapping and shrieking involved. At midday, we all went to the park with an assortment of food. Whilst sitting on the grass, I took about 80 years to eat a bagel; a deer nearly ate our food (why wasn’t I scared?) and I felt so amazing. I’d wanted those three to meet for ages; Rose and Poppy are like my sisters and know every single little annoying thing about me. They make sure to embarrass me horrendously, every single time they meet one of my other friends. I 1000% hate them.

In the afternoon, we went to Rose and Poppy’s house. I know it almost as well as I know mine: the amount of time I spent there as a child meant that I had to know it. We jumped on the trampoline – or rather Rapunzel and Rose jumped whilst I didn’t because I’m about as unfit as you can get. I re-connected with my inner child again by lying in a hammock and grinning far too widely; Rose and I were also sobbing with laughter over Poppy’s story which she wrote when she was 7. Nobody else would understand why it was so funny but because Poppy wrote it, Still was howling. We sang a particular song non-stop which I don’t want to name because it’ll get stuck in my head.

Whenever I see really close friends, I spend the whole day with them: such was the case with all four of us. Poppy and Rose came to my house for dinner: it involved us singing so loudly that I nearly kicked Poppy. They also embarrassed me further by showing Rapunzel the cringiest, most awful video of me ever. Luckily, I stopped screaming and running away long enough to realise that they’d stopped the video. When we were done with dinner – a mix of vegetarian Thai cooking and chicken – we watched more hilarious videos before the two girls left and we went off the bed. Yet again, I didn’t sleep for very long. I’m really stupid because the next day, we got up at 7 in the morning.

Saturday – Feeling Alive but Saying Goodbye

One of the main things that makes me feel the most connected to myself and the most real is to go volunteering at Parkrun with Poppy and Rose. Wonderfully, Rapunzel got to join in. Unlike with many people, I don’t feel mortified when I shout stuff around them which ends up sounding too sarcastic; all four of us were standing together, clapping and in my case, screaming in encouragement. Poppy calculated the percentage of the run that had been done so far, I yelled aggressively and embarrassed myself by o responding to someone who recognised me and, to top it all off, I felt happy because I was with my friends. It energised me, even though my body felt tired; volunteering always seems to do that to me.

I hate things ending. As we got home, I could feel the impending sense of sadness already creeping up on me; it was so much worse when Rapunzel took her bag down and we drove to our local train station. It took us an hour or so to get into the centre of London and all throughout, Rapunzel and I spoke, laughed and shared moments of slight sadness. We hardly ever get to see each other so which. we do, it always means a lot. When we hugged goodbye for the last time, I could feel my throat closing up. I’ve got so many memories from the last 5 days – both happy and sentimental – but still, saying goodbye is the absolute worst especially when she lives so far away.

My Thoughts Afterwards

I’m home now and I’m feeling really weird. The house feels kind of empty: I’d got used to having her here and so too, I think, had my dad and stepmother. She’s such a beautiful person and she helped me so so much: there’s hardly anyone I can be so honest with, who won’t judge me for anything. She’s remained a good friend for so long; her coming to stay was a really good thing for both of us: her so that she can experience new things and me because she made me feel like I was a good person. She let me laugh and never treated me like some fragile person: our discussions on mental health are some of the most constructive I’ve had in months. Without even trying, she’s been someone who’s let me be myself.

Sometimes, friends really are what let you feel like you’re really human and that as can be happy. I wouldn’t change that for the world.

I’ve had such a good week, filled with happy memories. Now, I feel quite listless but this just proves to me that things aren’t hopeless. I have her to thank for that.

If you’re reading this, thank you. Shank you for being such a great and kind person. That goes for both Rapunzel and any other friends I have, no matter how close you are.

From Elm ๐Ÿ™‚