Monday, 23 November 2015

Parallel Universes

I've spent a large part of the weekend living in my head and thinking of a parallel universe. It's a dangerous habit of mine, where I think "if this hadn't happened, I'd be doing this or that". It's a game which can sometimes be fun- "oh god, thank GOODNESS I'm not doing that!"-  but for the most part leaves me feeling lost and a little confused as to how I ended up doing what I'm doing, and feeling how I'm feeling.

This time, I thought of the people to whom I've had to explain what a "tor" is. I was so caught in my head, I took a snap, before I realised that everyone who cares about me now knows what one is. I pictured myself wandering hand in hand with another person, or giggling down the phone late at night.

I don't recognise this girl. The Alice I know is independent, self sufficient, strong. The Alice I am at the moment is tearful, contemplative, quiet. She leaves the room when certain conversations begin; looks at her loved ones jealously, begrudging their happiness. She forgets to eat breakfast, and spends days at work with her headphones in, head down, quietly trying to make it through the eight or nine hours she spends at her desk. She doesn't bake any more.

I feel like this year, I've lost who I am. I've spent so much of this year being something else to someone else (multiple someone elses, in fact) that it has stopped me from thinking about the things that I am, that I want, that I need. I've spent days, weeks, months feeling guilty about asking for the things I need. Hiding what I feel to allow others to feel what they feel. Diminishing myself so as not to make others feel small. Hiding my feelings, hiding relationships, hiding in offices and stairwells and bedrooms and on trains.

I'm ending 2015 as a person I don't really recognise when I look in the mirror. The dark circles under my eyes, the sadness in my face, the set of my jaw that makes it look like I'm steeling myself against another blow.

I don't know who I am any more. I don't know how to get back to myself, either.

And that scares me. I don't want to be this person. I don't want to be sad, I don't want to be lonely, I don't want to pull myself away from the people who do care about me. But it's what I'm finding myself doing.

And I have no idea why.

Wednesday, 11 November 2015

On 2015

Where do I even begin? Where, for that matter, do I end?

You'd assume that a post entitled On 2015 would begin back in January and would end 50 days from now. But I have a funny feeling that there are events from this year which will ripple into next year, and there are certainly things that have happened this year which are a direct result of things I did last year.

So where do I start?

This year... I have no words for this year. I think I have felt every single emotion. Currently, for example, I'm swinging wildly between deep grief as the result of a truly horrible heartbreak; to happiness for friends and family; to a sense of acceptance of the way things are at the moment; to guilt for boring my friends with yet more drama; to anger, at situations being the way they are; to concern for those I love; to deep frustration at my inability to do anything to ameliorate certain situations- for myself or others I care about; to pain.

Actual, physical pain. 

(I read a piece on A Cup Of Jo recently that mentioned that taking painkillers actually helps the pain of a broken heart. Who knew?) 

There's been another ending. Neither of us wanted it. It isn't a situation that either of us predicted when we were making plans for weekend escapes and hiding in stairwells and whispering across pillows and dancing by starlight. But life is hard, and it is what it is. And my god, what "it" is is painful. I feel raw, and it just plain hurts.

And strangely, this year started in the same way. With my heart in a blender over a really inappropriate man. A man who I let in, and who I was a fool over, despite his own better judgement, and despite my better judgement. We cared about each other deeply- we still do, in a funny sort of way- but it was a situation I'm so glad we never took further than it went.

I think I'm addicted to those highs, you know. The highs you feel when your heart and your head are screaming different things at you but you go with your heart and oh my god it feels so right

Of course, your head is inevitably somewhat right, as you realise when you're quietly crying at your desk on a Tuesday afternoon, thinking of the plans you hadn't even realised that you had made, grieving for a future you hadn't realised you had been planning, thinking of a man who came into your life in a blaze of charm and humour and life and vitality.

It's hard. 

I've learned a lot this year. I've learned I can deal with a huge amount more than I ever thought I could. I've learned that I am strong, that I love quickly and deeply and strongly. I've learned that I am able to put myself first on occasion, and that normally, that isn't a bad thing.

In many ways, all I want right now is to sleep until 2016. I don't want to deal with the way I feel right now, or the consequences of some of my actions earlier in the year. 

But really, I know that it is necessary to feel what I feel right now. I need to remember that I am allowed to have feelings and emotions. That I do not need to hide them, or feel embarrassed by them, or pretend to feel anything more or less than I actually feel. And I know that this will pass, and I will heal, and I will enter 2016 a different woman to the Alice who entered 2015.

This too will pass, but in the meantime, it will be what it will be.