Compromises – University

So, I’ve been a little quiet over the past few days; I’ve been trying to figure out accommodation for when I return to university in September… For those of you who don’t know: I went last September… for a… week before the social anxiety became completely overwhelming – I took a leave of absence and gave myself a year to get into a better place. I went to the doctors, I’m having CBT therapy, I’m meditating – I’m doing my best.

Anyway… I applied for a single on-campus-flat, where I could live alone with my own bathroom and kitchen. With my luck, I of course got no such offer, but a ‘washbasin’ room. A room with only a sink (last time I had an en-suite,) in a halls of residence complex. I’m not setting higher standards for myself, I don’t exist on a pedestal, I just simply cannot cope with a situation where the kitchens and bathrooms are shared.And, even if I got to the point where I could, it would be something that would bring no pleasure. I accept that I am – naturally – a pretty solitary person. I like being alone, time by myself; I always have.

Most likely I’ll be looking for off-campus accommodation. I won’t cost any more, only it will be less convenient. But, I can only play the cards that I have. Sure, I’m disappointed, but I NEED this – what are a few compromises, a few challenges to overcome?

 

*I’ll be posting a ‘Tiny Story’ sometime tomorrow. I wanted to get around to it today, but it just isn’t finished quite yet.

-Chris ❤

A Month of Meditation

So… I’ve been meditating for a month, give or take a few days. I think I missed Christmas, but that’s allowed isn’t it? (Shhh, yes, it is!)

I didn’t know what to expect. And well… I still don’t. It would be silly to say I am a different person, it would be silly to say I’ve changed a noticeable amount at all. As with most things – for right, or wrong – I went into it without any expectations, without any preconceptions of what might happen, of what I might feel. Do I feel different, maybe not. Though, I have come to realise that is not the purpose of it anyway. Not to get fixated on the end-game, or the result – but to acknowledge the journey, and what the act of it in itself might one day achieve.

On some days I don’t feel like meditating. Maybe that’s because it has not yet become habit, entwined within my routine – maybe it is something else, a resistance to myself, a lingering servitude to some darker thought. Does it really matter? I tell myself to do it, to sit down for fifteen or twenty minutes, to walk along the path to finding a more in-touch version of myself. Because one day I know it will pay off.

One of my main motivations is, for those of you who don’t know, to overcome my fairly debilitating Social Anxiety. The one that caused me to run away from university after a week. Just remembering back to late September is painful. So, I await this year’s September for when I return. For when I integrate into society after being institutionalised within the catacombs of my own anxious, depressed mind.

I’ll take any help I can stumble upon – meditation being just one thing! Because I have realised it is not the time to live life in the gutter of self-hatred, in the lake of resignation, on the island of utter loneliness.

So, here’s to better times, and to better minds.

-Chris ❤

Things Now

I haven’t really thought about that week at university too much. In some respects it seems like it didn’t happen at all, in others it is all too clear in memory. Though I don’t chastise myself for it. I don’t tell myself the time was wasted, or that it was for nothing. All experiences are valuable, whether in the first instance they seem good or bad. Experiences are worth more than anything else. They teach us more than anything else. And if it wasn’t anything else, it was surely an experience.

So… that was a month and a half ago… have I changed?

Maybe… perceiving change is a hard thing to do. Especially over such a small period of time. I seriously hope at least the tinniest amount of change has happened, the smallest shred somewhere in my mind. I’m not sure though. I do feel somewhat different. As though the catalyst for that change has just poked its head around the corner and begun work on its long, tedious job. This I feel good about. The notion of it alone is good enough.

For I have until next September to be a new person… no, not a new person, but a new version of myself. A person who is ready, confident, compassionate, motivated. If I am all of these things by that point, then I have the best chance possible to get where I want to go. And even if things then don’t work out. It will be an experience. I can say that I have tried my best, no less.

And trying against all of the odds – that’s the biggest thing any person can do.

 

-Chris ❤

Holly Henry – When You Need ‘Something’

Around a year or two ago, I wasn’t in a great place. Of course, I’m hardly in a great place now. But compared to back then, things are peachy – and this, I take comfort in.

Back then, the world was an infinitely complex place. Even more so than it is now, and that’s saying something… The thing is, my mind at that time, is now something I cannot comprehend. I cannot even imagine the thoughts that were running through my head. The utter ignorance of everything I contemplated seems absolutely preposterous, selfish, irrational. And the biggest thing of all … I don’t know why, what for?

In the grand scheme of things nothing much has changed in my life. I still only have a few friends. I still sit in the house for most of every day. I’m still more or less the same person. Really the only difference is my short week at university – https://amongstallelse.wordpress.com/2016/10/09/home-once-again/ – That was an experience I will never forget. One I will re-take next September, but actually see through to the end this time!

So, two years ago I honestly found pleasure in nothing, not even my writing or reading. And then, I stumbled across a YouTube video. This one to be exact:

I remember it clearly. It was one of those moments where you sit back on your chair, stare at the ceiling and just think… just think. There was no clear train of thought. I remember sitting there, listening, wondering. There are certain people who catch your attention, be it with words, appearances, personalities, or with something a lot more ambiguous altogether. Other people rarely or ever see that one thing, that attraction that you yourself cannot ever decipher. It is there, and that’s all it is.

This is how I felt…feel when watching Holly Henry. (hmm, I hope that doesn’t sound creepy…) I don’t know whether it is her singing, her voice in particular. Or, without sounding shallow, maybe it is her appearance. She is an attractive person after all. But… attraction in that physical sense doesn’t really compute that well with me. I think it has to be something deeper, something more meaningful. Even if it is not clear what that actually might be.

Then I came across this in possibly one of the worst months – if I can recall January/February 2015. It doesn’t feel good to look back to that moment of my life. There’s something tainted about even the thought of it. Anyway, here it is:

Listening to this now, I notice a mixed bag of feelings. On one hand, I’m proud, happy that I have moved onto a less traumatic part of my life. And on the other, a sadness and anxiety lurks within the fact that I got the way I did to begin with. Also, a complete strangeness that I can’t pin down – something akin to a distant outline on an impossibly foggy day. Or an off-beat murmur in an otherwise healthy heart.

There are people and things in life that are needed. Even if you do not know them personally, even if they do not know you. Sometimes just existing. Doing what they do, is all that is needed.

For me, Holly Henry is like that. A bastion of hope. A source of escape and pleasure when I needed it the most. When you find these things, you have to latch onto them, pull them as close to your heart as you can, for it might be the one thing that manges to shine through in an otherwise entirely dark world.

-Chris ❤

 

 

Anxiety, and Me

Many of us experience it, all to vary degrees. To some it is crippling, debilitating, to others, simply a nuisance, an unwanted gaze on a cold day. For myself… it is well, somewhere close to the effect of Yellowstone exploding inside my head, each and every moment.

At twenty, I don’t have the biggest hold on life in any respect, I will be the first one to hold my hands up to that. And although that is the case there are a few things I do understand, and that is how different my life could be. Also what is required for that change. Though, knowing and doing are two completely separate things. Doing is a dream we all hope for, yet rarely ever reach.

We all know what it is to feel anxious at some point in our lives: a job interview, the first day of a new school or university, a date – you understand. That’s normal to feel anxious in those situations, it is the natural response to keep us cautious, wary of what we might come to face, be that a lion or a scary person in a too-tight suit. Things have changed in the world, but that fight or flight response remains the same, unknown that we no longer have to run through miles of grassland, but miles upon miles of streets, of roads and inevitable human interaction. Yes… human interaction.

Suffering from this, sometimes I understand it is hard for a person who does not, just like I don’t know what it is to live in Mexico. I may appear rude, dismissive, but that is not me. That is not us. Simply… imagine a filter, anything that reveals anything of yourself, of your feelings – however trivial, none of that can be said, it cannot pass the filter in the mind, as much as I would like it to. Approaching someone I don’t know, buying something in a shop, attending a job interview, walking the dog, asking people questions, public speaking, being intimate – mentally and physically. They are all great hurdles. Some are approachable on a good day, on bad days, leaving the house at all can be troublesome.

Over the years I have heard so many things, the most irritating: Just do it! They’re just people! What are you afraid of! Everyone else manages! That’s nothing! You’re joking! You want me to do that, do it yourself! I’ve learnt to take them with a pinch of salt, to no longer feel the little stab after each one is said. I wish for greater understanding of things you cannot see nor envisage. But I know that is a pipe dream.

Don’t think I’m bitter, it’s just painful knowing that people have the same expectations for myself as they do for all the other people who can manage just fine in this cruel world. I remember this when people push things onto me, because to them, I am a normal person. And being normal is an ideal I’ve been desiring for a long time. So, I’ve learnt to take nothing personally, because I know in most cases it is not meant as such. Still, it’s hard to accept this burden of normalcy, when I am anything but. Although over time the acceptance has grown, and slowly I’m coming to understand my quirks and intricacies. I am who am I, is that something I want to fundamentally change? No, I don’t think so. Only, it’s something I want to manage – to live with.

I try to push myself, though it is not easily done. My ordeal during my week at university demonstrates that as well as anything. And I did try, no matter how it seems from the outside. It killed me. I could take no more. That is the sad and unfortunate reality.

You can’t let these things get you down too much though. Over time it will kill you, it has torn me apart. Remember there are always seccond chances. Don’t feel ashamed. Don’t feel alone in this lonely world. There are others out there! Others just like us, you!

I implore any of you who suffer with even anything remotely similar, to help yourselves, to get help before realising it too late, that too much time has passed.

Home, Once Again

So, I’m back home. University is nothing but a bitter memory in my mind from a week ago. Then again, it isn’t completely bitter. Like all these things it has taught me something, that something being how utterly fucked, how utterly helpless I am. And you’re right, it makes me feel sad that I cannot cope with more than a week of university, in what world would that not make a person sad?

Sometimes things are inescapable.

Why? You’re probably asking. Well, it isn’t such a simple answer. If it were then maybe it wouldn’t be so daunting, so soul-tearing to watch as I tear my own world a apart from bottom to top.

I am twetny-years-old and I cannot manage university.

I am twenty-years-old and I cannot manage life…

I still have my place for next September. I didn’t withdraw, I took a leave of absence. At the time it was the most I could do. And sure, as it stands, in a years time I expect to return, I do want to return. Because in reality, I don’t have very much of anything else. This was… is my ticket to another part of life, one I love very much.

It makes  me so angry that I live like this. That in part it is my own fault for not rectifying things much earlier when it first became the highest of necessities. And now, when it is the heaviest of boulders, the most catastrophic of hurricanes, the most violent of earthquakes – what can I do?

I have a year… is that enough time?

What if it isn’t?

Starting Fresh – Maybe?

Alright, I haven’t written anything in a while, though it doesn’t really matter because there are no humans to read it. It’s a strange thing that – knowing how many of us there are out there, yet non being here. It’s a scary thought that the majority of the web is seen by only a tiny amount of eyes, if at all. Although, then again, maybe it’s a little comforting too.

So, YES! I just started at university. The first few days of my next four years. It’s a daunting thought, isn’t it? All this unending commotion, all these anxieties that do their best to rule every waking second of my life. The question I ask myself is: How do I cope with this? And the only answer I come across is: I don’t, (at least not very well.)

In the last forty-eight hours I have found myself come to ruin, to surprise, to resentment, even to a tiny, insignificant amount of excitement for my future. Most of all, I have realised I don’t have a clue as to what I’m doing with any aspect of my life. I suppose being where I am, there could be some answers lurking somewhere. Or maybe that is just something I tell myself to get through the day without wanting to keel over and die. Though inevitably I often do want to keel over and die.

Right now I’m sat in my room. All around me is the chaos of people. The drinking, the laughter, socialising, and everything else you can imagine. But here I sit alone, listening. Do I feel alone? Yeah, all of the time. All of the time… Does that depress me? Of course it does. I would fix it if I knew how. Though, knowing how’s the hardest part, isn’t it? Instead I wallow in a swamp off regret and resentment, both for myself and the world in general.

It would be nice to live in a world un-pressured by social norms, a world where being yourself, your true self, is rewarded, and anything else is frowned upon. It’s unfortunate the world works in the exact opposite manner. When I leave my room, I am pressured to socialise, pressured to talk, small talk. And when I don’t, I am strange, I’m the outlier – the weirdo. The same goes for when I don’t attend the parties, when I don’t have words to say, when I cannot summon a smile, when my facade of wellness slips.

Or… maybe I am paranoid? It wouldn’t come as a surprise.

Tomorrow is a big day. The first ‘real’ day of my course. I look on it with the hope of finding friends, being able to smile, garnering some sense of normality in this perpetual madness. I also retreat in utter fear of all the things I do not and cannot know. All the people, their faces, and thier personalities.

I’ll do what I always do: get by.