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DAY 35: Listen


DAY 33: Continue

I'm typing on my phone which is perhaps one of the most unreliable methods of communication for a blogpost. I'm also mentally exhausted and generally tired so it means that I probably won't proofread this piece that I'm writing until a more sobering time like tomorrow morning.

Life is being a little cruel recently, and perhaps the adjective of 'little' is belittling the situation. Needless to say I plough on with what I can and I push forward with positive aspects of my life. My brother-in-laws death has been a tragic, heartbreaking affair and when I last wrote I spoke about the implications this tragedy, personal circumstances and in turn my illness had on my degree.

I communicated further with my university today but I cannot receive favourable marking for my circumstances - despite being on track for a 2:1 all year - if I don't get a good grade in 4 weeks time then it goes against my degree. Also as a result of everything being so close to the end, I cannot receive an extension for lost time. Which means my options are: work my fingers to the bone to get the mark I deserve, drop out with a regular degree, take a year out and return or perhaps do a summer resit. In order to graduate, I have to just go ahead and push myself to get that grade I deserve. Despite the horrible circumstances. After university I'm going to have the longest sleep ever.

I received a call yesterday from my doctor saying she wants to see me because of a letter from my psychiatrist so I have no idea what that's for but hopefully the appointment isn't a waste of my time. My medication has also not arrived at the pharmacist it was supposed to be sent to 2 weeks ago, which means I've not been sleeping despite them prescribing something - because I'm unable to receive it!

Nights are really long now, I feel exhausted but I just can't sleep and I've convinced myself that it's ageing my skin!

However, positives - because there always are some - despite what's stacked against me I still have courage, motivation and optimism. Some moments are tougher than others but the little free time I get I spend really well just being with others and being there for them. A lot of my friends are having difficult times, with two just going through break-ups, and helping others deal with stress makes me feel better. Also, oddly flattering that people seek me for 'single woman' advice - it's nice that people can look at me and see strength. The advice I relay to anyone is simply: be yourself, be kind and find peace. Relevant advice for almost all emotional circumstances really.

I think what really pushes you on in horrible circumstances, and what best prepares you to find that peace within yourself despite the situations you can't control, is sense of purpose. Looking at why you're doing something and it's benefits. My sense of purpose is helping others. Helping others makes the people around me happy, it distracts me, it comforts me and it makes me feel good too sometimes. Your sense of purpose can be simple or complex: perhaps it's just keeping yourself happy or perhaps it's immersing yourself in a complicated project. In the time that you devote yourself to something that will build you as a person and help your wellbeing, you will start to  realise the reason to keep moving forward - your purpose. Your sense of purpose is your motivation.

With purpose I think of my issues with optimism: how do I best complete my university work so that I can look forward to spending time with the ones I love? Purpose is also a reward. My relationship with others is what comes on top for me, so I use that to drive me forward with the things I find difficult in my life. A day spent finishing university work is an evening I can spend with my family. Doing housework in the morning, means I have free time to be there for my friends who are going through rough patches and really need some wine and conversation. In order to fulfil my sense of purpose, I push through my difficulties.

For those reading who look to seek light inspiration: consider what's important to you. Not what you think should be, but what you value the most and find a way to incorporate that as your motivation. How do you nurture what you value most? Does this give you a sense of purpose? For me it helps me get through hard times knowing that there's a mighty good reason why I'm here today.

DAY 32: Reformation

I apologise for leaving things as they were, just know that I was having a really difficult time coming to terms with all that was going on so I had to sacrifice things like writing. I realise now, that writing is a coping mechanism for me and for those who read - and I'd hate to part on a selfish note, although I will say putting my mental wellbeing first was what was important. I'll vaguely update you on circumstances as I don't really want to drag up any old news, but I want to assure you all on what's happened and how I progressed.

In March, I got dumped. So immediately following that I just beat myself up to a horrible degree, I just kept thinking if I could 'go back a month' I'd have been able to do things differently, if I was less honest maybe I'd cause less of a stir or even just generally dragging myself feeling like I was at fault. Now with hindsight, because I felt like that a good while ago now, I realise that I was taken away by things that were said to me and I was led to believe I was this worthless, bad person.

When I speak about details of it all with everyone, and I mean everyone, people get angry and they tell me 'no it was definitely not you' but I was so caught up in hating myself that I just couldn't see what other people were saying at that point, so I gave myself a really tough time. I was led to believe I did things wrong that could've changed the outcome of my relationship, but now looking at it realistically you can't just make people stay and that if I had not been dumped then - then when would it be?

Looking at the whole thing realistically and after the benefit of time I can recognise that I was not a bad person, and I poured myself into my relationship so much and I completely devoted myself. I was considerate and I know I was not what I was led to believe I was; however it's not me who gets to decide what's enough, and what isn't enough for one person is probably enough for another. I had a really difficult time, but I still stayed to try and work through it so I know that truly, I gave it my everything.

When I think about regrets, or at least what I used to regret - I think of what I told myself: 'If I could go back a month I'd pick up signs and change things', more recently if I feel angry about it all - how much of myself I gave away and how I was treated - I wish I could go back a year and have a complete do over, avoiding the situation entirely.

My realistic regrets, however, are much more balanced and based less on the resentment which I do find myself feeling. I regret beating myself up, I regret allowing myself to lose confidence, I regret making myself unwell and I regret not defending myself more. I regret the way I treated myself, independent of situations that go on with others, because I should've always put myself first. Quite simply, as my mum said, I can't regret how good I was to other people just because I didn't like the outcome and it's reassuring to hear her tell me too that what happened to me was cruel, and I couldn't change that.

I do find myself feeling resentful because of what I had to go through, but I had to go through all the shit to come out the other end feeling like better version of myself. Everyone who knows what went on too, they can be resentful - but there's no point in hoarding emotions over something you can't change and I at least now have the acceptance where I don't need to wish for it to have been different.

So I had a pretty intense period of hating myself and mourning. I lost someone who was supposed to be my closest friend, so I had to come to terms with that. But looking at the immediate actions of myself and him after the break-up at least verifies to me that it wasn't worth my time feeling sorry for myself and crying about it or not doing things for his sake, because again it's unequal - I was the only one who cared that much.

Being able to look at it realistically provided me the closure I needed in the sense that the unanswered questions don't need answered. I've come to terms with the things I got upset about like 'I don't know who I'll speak to when I'm sad' or 'who will know my specific drink order', because he's completely gone and there are other people in my life who can step up.

Now, I've been okay for a while. If it ever crosses my mind, I'll feel a little resentful at worst but I've accepted that I'm one person down in my life - and that's not something I should be sad about everyday or make myself guilty about.

So after that horrible time, basically I got referred back to my psychiatrist for bipolar relapse, although I think I was pulled out the hole before I got in it. Basically as a precaution because for a week I didn't eat and I hardly slept, I got these sedative anti-depressants to take before bed so I can sleep and I also got a different kind of antipsychotic. I have to see my GP every two weeks to go over medication etc. Bad things happened to me with horrible timing too, I had a month until my final deadline and so I ended up falling behind - so I have to arrange with department heads about it. Last week my brother-in-law tragically died too, so on top of all of that I have to deal with helping my sister out and any things that she needs - pushing me back at university once more.

Truly though, I can say it's a struggle but I feel well supported and I'm generally okay considering the circumstances. I'm back to myself where I can have a laugh with people and I'm building up my confidence again. I couldn't help the circumstances, I can't completely control my reactions to them - but I can at least put in the effort to care for my mental wellbeing and look after myself to avoid these situations worsening - and I think it'll be okay just moving forward. I owe it to myself to move on from these things and just build myself back to being the person that people around me loved. Importantly, just considering myself and what I want without having to be all 'but what would they think?'.

I'm going to be returning to this blog, I don't know if I can truly manage it to be daily but I will be continuing because this is important to me. I'm glad I've rushed through what has went on since March so at least now I don't have to talk about it again and I can bury the whole thing. I can get back to being myself without feeling guilty, and do what I love - which is helping others along the way.
Thank you for the unshifting support.

Mimi