crash and burn

There comes a point at which a drop is not quite enough. I reached this point today and have surpassed my drop and reached the Crash and Burn level.

This is a very indulgent, depressed post essentially talking about myself being sad. I’m sorry in advance, but this is just depressing word vomit.

I’ve recently received a ‘promotion’ of sorts which gives me new responsibilities and has meant a larger workload and longer hours. Mostly it has meant having to deal with a lot of issues from the people who work ‘under’ me (sort of).

I have four receptionists I work with and each of them pose their own issues. The first one is unreliable and is currently off on sick leave for two weeks. The second and third are both inexperienced and lack common sense. One has too much attitude and the other doesn’t think. The last is my main problem at the moment. My new position is temporary (until I leave for the UK) and this fourth receptionist is pushing to take my job. Which would be fine if she didn’t have an attitude problem, struggle with authority, suffer from mood swings that even guests notice and leads to her being rude to guests and not care enough to bother try learning anything.

Tonight, after a run of thirteen days of nine to eleven hour shifts without break, this fourth receptionist gave me attitude, asked me stupid questions that she easily could have answered and then had the audacity to ignore our general manager and act as though she knew better than the rest of us.

I know she had an issue with me because I’m nine years younger than her with less than half as much experience in hospitality as her AND have the job she wants, but this is because I am actually better than her at what I do. And while I may not love my job sometimes and plan on moving industry as soon as I can, I take pride in the fact that I am actually quite fucking good at my job considering I’ve been doing it since I was fifteen and was trained by one of the best general managers in the industry who also happened to be the woman who raised me and put me in a hotel kitchen when I was six days old.

So basically, I lost my shit mentally. I was exhausted, annoyed, then got yelled at once I got home because I mentioned work, had to deal with phonecalls from the hotel after finishing a ten and a half hour shift about stupid things that a receptionist trying for a promotional n to management should be able to handle herself after I’ve spent the last two weeks steadily dropping. I fucked myself up enough to have enjoyed four days in a row of cutting myself and a second day of leaning over my toilet bowl with my fingers down my throat and I came very close to actually just slashing my wrists and neck until I bled out. Practicality and sense stopped me because the honest truth is that there instead anyone trained enough to take over from me at work and blood stains probably aren’t fun to get out of porcelain.

Here’s to hoping practicality keeps me from it every time.

Goodnight lovely people x

Advertisements

separation

“separation” – noun, the action or state of moving or being moved apart

I have been accused of running away before, and have addressed it myself as well. I have been told I am avoiding something before and acknowledged it ungrudgingly. I do run away and I do avoid. I zig and zag through the minefield in the hopes that I don’t have to actually deal with any of my issues.

I don’t really see it as running away or avoiding, which is why I don’t see it as unhealthy. Instead, I consider it separating myself in order to prevent the repercussions of whatever difficult thing I have to attempt to tackle. I am a small person and do not have the strength to tackle half the things I need to so, instead, I separate myself from the game entirely and leave the sports to other people.

This doesn’t always work well for me. Sometimes, in moments of panic, I separate so far that my head seems to wander somewhere else entirely and I lose time, lose experiences, lose my very self. The other issue which comes from this is that I often have to attach myself to something strongly in order to separate from my own internal issues and that thing is becoming my job, which is already stressful and draining before trying to immerse myself in it until I’m drowning and don’t know how to talk or think about anything else anymore.

It’s got to the point where people around me are noticing that I can no longer talk about anything but how work is going and how the people I work with are or what happened while I was with a guest and I can feel it starting to annoy people. It annoys the people I work with because they manage to separate themselves from work and it annoys the people I don’t work with because they can’t actually follow the stories most of the time and are beginning to find “exciting hotel stories’ dull.

While I do it, my mind and body is draining entirely to exhaustion and I believe I may have finally passed the point of panic and fear and reached the calming peace of depressed numbness. Strangely enough, and unhealthily so, I am welcoming that feeling back.

I can feel myself splitting further and further away from myself and while I am hoping to soon not be able to feel myself anymore, I am also beginning to fear what I will become when I finally do manage the complete split.

what?

Good evening ladies and gentlemen. Welcome to another episode of the exciting rollercoaster you’ve all been waiting for: Word-Vomit has returned!

*cue applause track*

But on a serious note, my head is a little bit all over the place which means that there is not going to be any sort of structure or sense in the following passages. It also means it’s likely to be very short, so let’s get started.

Firstly, I am officially twenty years old, I know: I’m an old woman. So, this meant several things. To begin – I had a birthday. I’m not fond of birthdays, they feel awkward and there are far too many hugs in a day. But also, all through my life, something goes wrong on my birthday to completely ruin the day and this year was no different. It wasn’t terrible enough to really mention if I’m honest.

This led, however, back to that feeling of stagnancy. I sat at my desk for about twenty minutes freaking out yesterday because I worked in a place that, though I didn’t dread going to every day, I feared implicitly. I work with several people who started working at the hotel as trainees or for their practical…and then never left. I worry that I will soon join them and find myself never leaving either. I lie awake sometimes imagining myself twenty-five, thirty still at this hotel at a desk that I have grown to loathe and then I see myself at forty, still in the same town, in the same industry with some other people demanding things from me that I will help with because “that’s my job”.

Needless to say, I’ve been a state of permanent panic for the last few days and constantly aware of the time passing too slowly….but also far too quickly.

This is the other thing that contributes to that panic. I have mentioned my current relationship several times before and the various things related to it. The biggest one over the last week or so has been the fear it creates in me. That’s not something I really want to talk too much about right now. But this relationship is making me wish the time was passing more slowly, giving me more time to appreciate this as it is rather than what it will be if the current path we’re on continues.

Besides this, I have also been trapped in this everlasting feeling of absolute uselessness. I have had this before, the need for some kind of meaning, some kind of proof that I can make a difference in the world. This is something I have drafted the beginnings of a blog post on and hopefully will elaborate on soon. But, essentially, I have a need to matter in the world and to make a difference of some kind. This was the reason I considered becoming a doctor, a psychiatrist, a vet. I wanted to spend the rest of my life making big differences in people’s lives. When I sit and realise that for the past two years all I’ve done is help rich people demand things and in the future, all I’ll ever do is regurgitate words from writers and journalists and poets from times past, like all wordsmiths do in this age, and I have begun to feel redundant.

This has meant that my darker urges have resurfaced. Unfortunately, it isn’t just wanting to scar or empty myself anymore, the plan to end my life has entered my mind several times recently and, while I know I can find a million reasons to not do anything, I worry that I may soon lack the effort to look for them. The biggest reason has actually been the admin of it all. All I imagine is my poor mother having to get hold of someone to remove me from our house or clean up blood, or the search she will have to go one to find someone to replace me at work. On a selfish side, I imagine the collection of enough pills or pressure behind the blade in order to make a difference and, to be frank, I can’t be quite bothered at the moment, which is possibly a good thing.

My depression is actually keeping me from killing myself which is a paradox I had never expected.

This has been a fair bit more morbid than I had hoped for. Unfortunately, I have spent the last two weeks in varying degrees of a drop and, again, can’t be bothered to find the positivity or energy to lift it.

My day today was lifted a fair bit, I can mention that. I had a wonderful visit (not really, he has to come to my office so I suppose it doesn’t count) and was gifted with strawberry milk and wine gums (the only real way to my heart) and it was possibly one of the brightest moments of my day.

Okay, I should go to bed now, sorry it’s a fair bit shorter than usual. Watch this space though, I may start popping a project of mine up here.

Lovely days to all of you lovely people

x

[Songs: Slow Hands, Niall Horan // Unsteady, X Ambassadors (Erich Lee Gravity Remix) //  Nothing Else Matters, Marlisa]

stagnation and isolation

“stagnation” – noun, the state of not flowing or moving

“isolate” – verb, cause (a person or place) to be or remain alone or apart from others

So, I’m writing this one from the bottom of my well, that is to say: I have dropped phenomenally far, so this one could be interesting. Apologies in advance.

The two definitions sitting at the top of this are neither positive nor encouraging words I am afraid and I have no clear plan as to how to link them properly yet, but I do have a metaphor and, as the, like, two regular readers I have may have noticed, I like metaphors.

For the past year or so I have felt like a lone sock, a single from a pair, left in a laundromat tumble dryer a couple too many times. I’ve been through the spin a couple too many times and am starting to feel dizzy and wear thin. Each time someone throws their laundry in, everything gets dumped on top of me, I get dragged through a soggy, overheated rollercoaster and when the rest of the clothes get pulled out I get picked up, frowned at and surreptitiously placed back in the dryer as someone else’s problem. Lather, rinse, repeat basically.

I am turning twenty later this week and had very specific plans for when I was twenty. When I was fifteen, I was going to be in the middle of my medical degree by the time I was twenty, living in an apartment in Cape Town with a tank full of fish to keep me company. When I was sixteen, I was going to be working part-time in a theatre while I studied Drama in Durban and lived right next to the beach. When I was seventeen I was going to be dead. When I was eighteen, I was going to be in England, working towards my English Literature degree with a roommate and a job and a stable future. Just a month ago, my plan was more flexible, less clear and vague enough that there are some very large blurs, but it was something more.

Instead, I still live in a house with my mother, the same one I’ve lived in since I was fifteen, still work at the same place with my mother that I’ve worked since I was sixteen and have somehow accidentally taken on more responsibility with a position at a place which was supposed to be “temporary”. I saw an old friend of mine and commented on how being “comfortable” with something (we were talking about her boyfriend at the time) wasn’t a bad thing. However, I’m beginning to notice how very “comfortable” I am getting in my office with my coworkers and my phone calls and reservations systems.

I keep getting thrown back into that dryer and the door keeps closing on me. The problem I have realised is that this particular sock has a voice which I am choosing to keep quiet. I have the means to turn around and say “Let me out the damn dryer. I don’t belong with these clothes in this place. There’s somewhere else I’m supposed to be, some other socks I am supposed to be with.”

This leads to my “isolation” definition. (Damn, look at that flawless segue :P)

This post was initially going to be about flaws and the only reason I changed it was because half of the flaws I wanted to discuss correlated directly with this particular word. All through school, I was one of those people who was “friends” with everyone. I never really had a problem with anyone and could easily have a chat or pop down to the shops with pretty much anyone I went to school with, regardless of their friend group or whether or not we knew much more about each other than our names. This meant that I typically didn’t put a lot of effort into keeping friends. I always had that small group of friends who meant a lot to me, but I found it easy to keep them as we were of similar mindsets and naturally stayed together.

Since finishing school and no longer having to see everyone every day, I have slowly lost the motivation to put effort into those friendships and, while if I bumped into one I know we would have a chat, I don’t bother trying to make those chats happen anymore and, similarly, it seems those people gave up on me. This was something I was fine with a year ago when I was leaving the country and had to leave these people behind, never to see them again, and thought it would be easier to lessen the pain of the goodbyes then rather than when I would be leaving but my own limitations that I’ve managed to find for myself ( a lack of driver’s license, a loss of interest in most social events of any kind and general wallowing) means that I’ve slowly been pushing myself into a lonely corner.

I also recently entered into a relationship (I think I’ve mentioned this before) and am finding myself dedicating more time to this than is probably healthy. While we are both are aware there may be aspects of this relationship that may not be normal or “healthy”, I am realising more and more that there are more things that may not be considered healthy for me in particular, I’m finding it harder and harder to care.

The main one I’m noticing recently is that I am allowing it to contribute to this isolation. Being in love with someone means that you dedicate a lot more of your thinking time to them. I am also the kind of person that finds it hard to give too much of myself to too many people at once, hence the very small friend groups. This has meant that, as I give more and more of myself to him, I’ve been taking bits of myself from other people to hand over to him instead. This isn’t his fault nor is it anyone’s but my own and for some time I thought it wasn’t a bad idea because, again, fewer goodbyes. I would rather have three immensely painful goodbyes than fifteen just very painful ones.

 

While I didn’t mean to lose touch with some friends, I grew impatient and tired and gave up on a lot of conversations. Many of my old friends had moved to other sides of the country or even the world and I see no point in making new friends in a gossipy town which I can’t wait to leave. This has meant, however, that the only people I ever spend time with are the people I work with, my mother and my boyfriend and this worries me in that my life is beginning to lose meaning.

After a particularly long day; I go home and realise that I am expending all this energy and time on a job that I don’t exactly like and don’t plan on staying in any longer than I have to. This, added to my general drops and usual triggers leaves me a bit of a mess of a single sock rolling around in a dryer beginning to find itself simultaneously comfortable and despondent.

Those other pieces of clothing I am in with now are wonderful, mostly, and I love them all to pieces, mostly, and they are all very functional pieces of clothing and very nice as well, some are particularly soft and fluffy and nice to be stuck in there with, but all I can think about is getting out of that dryer.

The only worry on my mind when I reach this point though is: What happens when I finally get out of that dryer?

Robyn

x

[Sing Me to Sleep, Alan Walker // 4 Life, Robin Schulz ft. Graham Candy // We Don’t Have to Take our Clothes Off, Ella Eyre]

space

“space” – noun, a continuous area or expanse which is free, available, or unoccupied.

Space…the final frontier – I’m kidding, sorry.

I work in hospitality – a profession in which I am always surrounded by people. The people I work with and the people for whom I work. Every day is a draining experience for me, not a natural “people person”, and I often feel myself tipping during some of the longer days and wanting to simply sit down and cry. It doesn’t help that this isn’t the job I want, it isn’t the profession I enjoy and it isn’t a position I’m going to be able to maintain for much longer.

Among the many problems of dealing with people all day is that people take up a lot of space, something which I like and need. In recent years, as I’ve drawn in on myself more, I have wanted to take up as little space as possible. I’ve tried to become smaller, quieter, less obtrusive until I can fade into a wisp of smoke to slip between the cracks in the floorboards.

I have placed myself in a profession though, in which taking up space and being visible is almost a requirement. And dealing with other people taking up space is a constant responsibility. This means, that by the time I get home, I’m often freaking out with the lack of space I seem to feel.

This afternoon was one such situation, after a week of long shifts and difficult guests, I needed lots of space and I wasn’t finding it in my disorganised, crap-filled bedroom and so began the Great Empty of 2017. I have had several Great Empties in the past and the Empty of 2014 will always be the day on which I lost half of my possessions – I still don’t know where several pairs of shoes, sets of earphones and books are…

Essentially, over the past few days, I have slowly been organising my various storage units in my bedroom. My bookshelf and half of my drawers were done yesterday and today was supposed to mark the completion of my drawers and the beginning of my wardrobe, instead, I emptied my room. Most of the pictures, cards, letters and memories on my walls have been moved into a shoe box, any items left on surfaces or piled in corners have been boxed and moved into the guest room for later sorting and my room looks barren to me.

I have never been more comfortable in it.

Looking around the room I finally feel calmer. For the past two weeks, I’ve felt like there’s something wrong with me. Like I was removed from my body and then put back in not quite right, like my skin doesn’t fit and my limbs are in the wrong place. While this is a feeling I often experience, it has never lasted quite this long and persistently.

Though I am not back to feeling entirely comfortable in my skin, it’s starting to feel like a size too large rather than a pair of trousers on my arms and some socks for pants. This has come as a revelation to me, already I’ve spent an extra half an hour today glancing around my room, picking out furniture I can get rid of, making lists of drawers and boxes to empty and donate. I finally feel like there is an immediate plan in my head and it’s made me feel like I’m moving forward.

These small things aren’t going to change my life or fix my head, but they’re going to make it easier to start doing so. I will find my space to work in and exist in where I can breathe and see and feel like someone who is almost me and once I have managed that, progress can be made.

Lovely days to you lovely people

x

futile

“futile” – adjective, incapable of producing any useful result; pointless.

If you were to look at a fan’s blades long enough and focus on the individual blades rather than the blur that they become, you start to see a chase. Each blade seems to relentlessly chase the one before it, around and around and around, with no hope of ever catching it. This futile chase is how I often feel with my own head.

I have recently experienced “blackouts” of some kind and lost minutes of my life, of important events and decisions because of these and often notice that my head seems to wander away without me as though it is independent of me and often won’t come back, despite my calls, until it is ready to do so. This is how the idea of a “chase” applies to me literally, however the element I want to discuss in this post is the more metaphorical chase I endure.

I grew up in a family that didn’t talk about their feelings and very easily fell into that same routine and felt that that was the routine I was meant for. Emotions confused me and I am often easily overwhelmed by them so to me, for a very long time, my natural response to feeling something was to ignore it or run away. This is a method that worked (not really, I have serious psychological issues that are probably half caused by these habits) for my almost very situation in my life until recently when something changed in my life that requires me to be able to access and process those feelings. This doesn’t go well.

The problem is not that I don’t want to talk about these feelings, it literally boils down, most of the time, to the fact that I actually can’t. I recently got into a reasonably heated argument with someone because of frustration with myself that somehow manifested itself into pure anger. When I tried to access why I was angry, what I was angry about, what exactly had triggered my anger, I could not find an answer. These sort of situations lead to anger on both sides unfortunately and this meant that I was experiencing a lot of different emotions all at the same time, all of them very strong, but didn’t know how to handle them or how to begin to understand what they even were. This didn’t go well either and I ended up a crying mess under my duvet.

Essentially what happens is that I will be absolutely fine, in neutral, slightly numb or “switched off” even and then suddenly, often for no reason I can sense, it changes and I’m furious or heartbroken or a combination of several things at once and I will lash out to try to show that I’m feeling this way. When I then get asked what has happened to make me this way I have to chase after that feeling, running and spinning to catch it, to feel it, to try to name it as something that I can identify but, like those fan blades, it evades me relentlessly.

This is a cause of serious frustration for both me and people on the receiving end of this outburst. More often than not, the outburst is directly caused by my own frustration at not being able to handle the emotions and all it ever seems to end in now is tears or exhaustion or one of my bad habits and, hopefully, eventually sleep. I recently completely lost my head over a small comment made by someone close to me and it escalated to a point where I was upset and angry and annoyed at things that really didn;t even matter. It kept escalating though because no matter how much I struggled and waded through the murkiest, swampiest parts of my head, I could not figure out what was happening. I had walked into the middle of a war with no weapons and no armour and there were bullets skimming the water around me, shouts and cries of pain echoing through the mist and figures were looming and disappearing as I stumbled. All I felt was absolute chaos and all I could feel was the pressure to search, to chase, to find and to fix.

I ended up wounded and was only dragged out in the end by my tears and someone else’s “bitchy” patience for the mess that I am. The endeavour was futile. Looking back now, a full day later, I still don’t know what pushed me or what exactly it was I was feeling. One day I hope to be able to identify my feelings, to be able to pull out a label and stick it on, preferably with superglue so that the next time I stumble into it there’s a glaring yellow post-it note saying “You’re angry right now.” so that I can begin to put together some idea of how to fix it.

Right now I’m going to start with trying to not run away, I’m going to keep dragging myself through that swamp and hope that I get better at dodging bullets.

x

[Enjoy: Is There Somewhere, Halsey // Sign of the Times, Harry Styles // Happier, Ed Sheeran.]

the little girl and the mouse

There was once a little girl. This little girl was nothing remarkable. She was not a princess or a hero, not “the fairest in the land” or a sword-wielding defender. This little girl, however, was very sad. She didn’t have horrible parents or mean children bullying her, nor did she have to worry about having a roof over her head or food at dinner time. She did fine in school and had lovely teachers and even lovelier friends but still: she was very sad. She drew ugly pictures on herself and refused the delicacies she was offered, believing herself undeserving of such happy things when she was so melancholy at heart. She began to sink deeper and deeper, into a darkness she feared she would not escape.

Not far away lived a mouse. This mouse was an unusual creature. He was smart and gentle and, despite having been hurt and suffered through his overwhelming share of pain, he was loving and considerate to all. While he had his own type of very sad and very dark, he remained hopeful for life and looked to his future with bright eyes.

The first day that the little girl looked into those bright eyes she was warmed. Though they were not yet friends, barely even acquaintances, she looked at him and felt his brightness shine onto her sadness.

Over time, the two of them became friends. Easily finding common interests and endless topics to discuss, they were a pair some envied and others admired. The little girl’s friends liked the mouse and enjoyed his company at their tea parties. Soon, the mouse began to smile at the little girl in a different way.

Now, you must understand, this unremarkable, average little girl was not used to this attention, nor was she ready to believe it. As days, weeks went by she frowned at the knowing glances from her friends and retreated further and further into her sad little mind. Despite this fear of the mouse, this almost avoidance for so long, she could not deny that this mouse had become her confidant, her source of light in her darkness and her dearest friend. Though she was still sinking, still struggling, still terrified of life, she smiled through their time together.

She could feel herself giving the mouse little gifts; parts of herself she didn’t know she had and he accepted each one with a smile. Never criticising or mocking these gifts, never lifting his bright, unwavering gaze from her. She felt that giving of parts become easier as time went on.

However, she soon began to struggle. She had been pulling away parts of herself to hand over but was running out of gifts to give. While she had fought everything she had grown up thinking to trust this mouse to not mock those parts of her, she couldn’t find another thing to give to him. She tried with all her might and searched for hours on end. Little bits of fluff and dust mites swirled in the air of an empty space.

The space was like a loft, all large windows and light wood but there were dark corners. Parts of the room that the sunshine didn’t quite reach. One day, she ventured into one, determined to find a gift for her mouse. As she left the sunshine she turned cold, the shadows seeming to wrap around her, tightening until she was frozen in place. The dark corner fought her search, battled with her poking and prodding. That dark corner refused to relent and attacked the little girl with all it had. It won.

She tried each corner, only edging in before the cold start to seep into her bones again and she retreated to the sunlight. She sat in the middle of the large space, all the parts that used to clutter and fill the room were gone and she sat alone. The sun warmed her and when she shut her eyes she could almost imagine that it was her mouse’s eyes on her, sending soft heat through her and protecting her from those dark corners.

The next time she saw the mouse, he held his hand out, used to these gifts she brought, not demanding one but suggesting to her that another one was okay. She looked at his outstretched hand and looked back up at him, her eyes hopeless and apologetic. He frowned and looked at her questioningly, his mouth opening to begin a question.

“There’s nothing left to give you. Nothing I know how to give.”

Her head dropped as she said it and she saw her mouse’s hand drop at the same time. She kept her eyes to the ground, afraid to look up to see the disappointment in his eyes. When his hand lifted her chin and she was forced to look back at him, she saw no disappointment, only warm understanding.

The next time she saw the mouse, he held his hand out again, she looked at him, panicked and opened her mouth to explain, to apologise. Suddenly his outstretched hand reached for hers. Their fingers clasped and she looked at their hands woven together.

She looked back up at her mouse and he was warmth and light, her dark corners hissing at the intrusion and her own self trembling slightly from the heat.

The mouse did something quite stupid. He fell in love with that little girl with her very sad, dark corners and her strange stories. He was foolish to do it if anyone asked that sad little girl.

But that unremarkable, average little girl will hold onto his hand and probe at those dark corners with his supportive light until they release the parts they have stolen from her. That sad little girl will keep trying and pushing until she can hand over the rest of herself, with a smile and, one day, with love as well.

((This was definitely something different to write. I didn’t plan or edit or try to find my metaphors and poetic devices. I let words run away and let my fingers try to follow, it turns out my runaway words are a bit cheesy.I hope it’s something worth reading. Please feel free to leave comments below. ))

Lovely, warm days to you lovely people.

x