The last few months have been a mad, tumultuous hurricane. For every high, there was a low but it took me to a place so far down I could barely make out a speck of light at the top of this hole I was in. It was, it is, a really hard and horrible place to feel stuck in, clawing at the walls only to slip down again once you think you’ve made way… and then it hit me. Like a ton of bricks, even I had glazed over at my bemoaning, and I was completely and utterly bored of my own bullshit.
I’ve never seen any life transformation that didn’t begin with the person in question getting sick of their own bullshit – Elizabeth Gilbert
Harsh? Yes. Necessary? 100%.
Ever since I was signed off with stress in July, and subsequently my return to work the last 2 weeks, I have known that a change has been needed and it was on the horizon. I’ve known it a very long time truth be told, but that’s the beauty of getting wrapped up in your own MBS (mental bullshit). The initial get-up-and-go, that hit the ground running going to transform my life in a very TED talk inspired way didn’t even last 3 days, and I was back to the same old cycle. My brain was bombarding me with so many reasons why I shouldn’t do something, how I couldn’t, shouldn’t and wouldn’t do anything about my current situation, to the point where I have barely left the house for the last 8 weeks. I blamed it on my anxiety, I blamed it on my Mum not loving me enough, I blamed it on being worried about my brother’s cancer returning, I blamed it on situations, circumstances, emotions, but never really myself.
I’m nearly 27 years old and I looked at the last 18 months and thought, how sad. I had lost all sense of direction and purpose, and I wasn’t lacking or wanted for anything. The things I loved doing, my hobbies, I just didn’t do anymore. I was scared to try new things, purely because they were new things, the great unknown, because God forbid I was bad at it and people would laugh/judge me, or even worse my family (Mum’s side) would find out and that’s when you get into the big guns of petty comments and major judgement. It’s like the WWF and your local curtain twitcher joined forces to create some grotesque Neighbourhood Watch. The sheer terror of leaving the house and meeting strangers, brushing past people in the street or just people taking in an interest in me was so great I had successfully missed out on a year and a half of just living. I hadn’t been enjoying my mid-twenties, instead, I found myself in the throes of a Quarter Life Crisis.
“…But now research claims Britons begin evaluating their existence and direction much earlier, pin-pointing the so-called quarter-life crisis at just 26 years and nine months.” – Rachel Hosie, article on The Independent.co.uk, 15/11/2017
But would I do anything about it? No. It’s not that I couldn’t make a change, I just didn’t. I was addicted, if that makes sense, to the suffering, to be the character, a victim in my own MBS story. This story of my own mental limitations put in place by my saboteur’s brain allowed me to play the victim for so long I couldn’t break the cycle. Or so my brain would have me think because I am so done with neglecting my own responsibilities for my self.
You can’t get away from yourself by moving from one place to another- Ernest Hemmingway
TJ and I always said that Gloucester was always going to be our fresh start; a new home, new jobs, where we can be the best versions of ourselves possible, but I couldn’t move knowing that I was just going to continue like this. I needed a kick up the arse and to exercise a bit of tough love.
Using a technique from my therapist I imagined myself standing in my safe place, watching the sea ripple between the mount and the cliffs. I visualised a cinema screen emerging into view where the sea meets the horizon; it began to play every excuse, self-doubt, fear, the horrible memories I associated with my MBS. Like a showreel, it went through them as I watched, rooted to the ground but safe, until the characters, metaphors and family members started to morph into caricatures, the most over-dramatic soap opera characters you’ve ever seen. It was like watching clips of Maria Ia del Barrio but with help from the acting coaches of The Room.
I realised how ridiculous all of my trepidations were, initially they had seemed mammoth like I would never be able to pick them apart, but once I realised that I could laugh at them, I felt great. I could let the flow of all those emotions and thoughts just flow, release all of the negativity I was bottling up in me, and once I managed to do that, and it took a few goes, every scene turned to ash and floated away into the sun, leaving me in my safe place, calm and unafraid. Whenever I feel that sinking feeling creeping up on me, I think back to the trashy soap opera, because I’m tired of being controlled by myself in this way. I’m tired of repeating this same old story of getting in the way of my own happiness and progress.
I’m sure as hell it’s going to be tough, and the BS will try its best to sabotage me at every opportunity, but I’m going to do it, I am doing it. If I don’t do it for myself now, then what’s the point?
Thanks for sticking with me and reading this, it means a lot that you’ve taken time out of your day to visit! I wish you all the health and happiness you deserve, and I promise that there will be some Gloucester based moving in fun coming here soon. I have handed in my notice at work and will be in Gloucester full time from October and I cannot wait for the adventure…oh and finding a job to fund my love of self-help apps!!!
Under stars and skies,