A weight shared…

So. What can I say? We spoke last night. It was earlier than Sunday. But she opened up to me. Which is huge. Massive. And I have been blown away.

I finally got to see her true inner beauty. And it was glorious.

It sounds silly, but when someone opens up to you, it’s like they’re bearing you their soul. And it certainly felt like that last night. We cleared up something that scared her. It was a simple misunderstanding. No one’s fault, just one of those things that can snowball under the right wrong circumstances. It’s not an ideal situation to be in, for me or her. And, seeing as I’ve been where she is before, I can fully empathise with her plight. I don’t know what she’s thinking or what she’s going through specifically, but I went through something similar.

People struggle with various confidence and self-esteem issues. But to bottle something up so much so that it eats at you from the inside out? That’s truly tragic. I did that for years. I bottled things up and every now and then I’d release it. Anger, sadness, crying. They all take it out of you. And before you realise it, you’re fighting a war on two fronts.

You’re fighting every day to stay healthy and sane. But if you bottle things up, you end up fighting your own mind. I know. I suffered from that for years. And it ran me down. When I used to travel for work, I was not confident at all. Not confident to share the pain and sadness I was feeling. And I ran myself into the ground. Truly as far down into it as one can go… I kept going off sick because I was making myself ill. I’d be fine for about 2-3 months and then I’d come down with something and just burn out.

It was not a nice time at all. I hated my life. But then I realised a truth that changed my life. I had people around me. Friends. A close group of people I could trust. I never saw it. I forget when I realised exactly. I spoke to one of my friends about everything that plagued when I broke down on a night out. I was 20/21 and just couldn’t do it anymore. I sat in the corner at the local Weatherspoon’s and just suddenly came over all teary. I cried, my friend came over and took time out of their night out and helped me. We sat, talked and ultimately I felt better after.

That was the first person I ever opened up to. It was, for a long time, also the last.

I did feel a little more chilled after that. I plucked up the courage to do something I’d been thinking about for a couple of years: I went to university. It was the right choice for me at the time. I did ok. Not great – but that’s what happens when you realise you don’t enjoy certain aspects of a subject you thought you loved – although that’s a tale for another time!

My point, I suppose, is that ever since I opened up, I allowed myself some inner peace. The space that had been held by all that emotion, stayed empty for a little while, eventually I was able to grow into it. And I became a better person for that.

I’m not perfect. I struggle every day. When I opened up and let that bottled up emotion out it opened a door I never knew I could open but some of that emotion, like shrapnel, got lodged. Every day it pushes on my mind. It uses my insecurities and fears to try and pin me back into my old ways.

Every day I wake up. If I have a good day, my emotions are stable and secure and I can be happy and seem like I don’t have a care in the world.

But, on a bad day, those emotions can pool. And that pressure can build up and cause problems. If my eagerness to overthink kicks in at the wrong time then I can spiral quite rapidly into an overthinking frenzy. All it takes is the wrong word from the wrong person, and I can be in danger of reverting inwards. It takes a little bit to pull myself out of it, but I usually can.

I hated being bottled up, but when I was in the throws of that part of my life, I didn’t know how to get out of it. Until that magic moment, my mind just had enough – and I let loose.

I remember how good I felt letting go and every time I struggle, I try to recall it all over again. To help me through.

At least, I used too…

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