Difficult roads to beautiful destinations

Recently, I have felt like I’m a place which is undiscovered or will never be worthy of making it onto the map. My life experiences haunt me every day and my mind overflows with so much self-hatred.

Throughout the past 2 months, I have learned more about myself than I have ever known before. Finally having the courage to read through my own mental health notes (only 2 years’ worth) which was the most eye-opening and biggest motivation I have ever had but it’s made me feel bruised and battered.

Every day, I get up in the morning and look in the mirror. My head is full of so much disgust at what I see, and I have so many questions like “why me?” or “why do I belong in this world?”. In the space of 10 seconds, it’s like watching a film filled with all of the previous trauma and hearing all of the horrible things said in school, in the community, at work etc.

Recently I have struggled with this a lot. Bad habits, thoughts and coping mechanisms used to harm myself and deal with things have filled my head and I have been so close to going back there. I feel like small insect on a remote island that nobody visits, sees or hears whilst the world around me carries on. That’s exactly how I remember feeling in school and when I was at my lowest ever point.

Going back to these memories that have flooded my head just makes me feel like I’m not worthy of love or friendship and the world would be better off without me in it. There are a million and one thoughts that keep pouring in like the flood gates have just been opened during a huge storm. I struggle to process them all and I can never seem to answer any of them.

I know so many people have similar thoughts and battles to me too. This is part of my illnesses and every single battle I get through is like building an extra layer of protection to keep me standing. It never gets easier; you just learn to deal with it and to get through it. But I know that every battle I conquer is something beautiful waiting to happen or experience.

I think most of this stems from school and nobody ever wanting to know me or be anywhere near me. It also comes from my autism and struggling to understand my own emotions and wondering what’s normal and what’s not.

Lockdown has made things a million times worse. Feeling trapped, restricted and then having the anxieties about going back to normal or if we will ever go back to normal.

Simple things like constantly being surrounded by people in face masks and not being able to see a smile or a proper face. It sounds so silly and it’s such a small thing, but it makes a huge difference to the way I or many of us feel.

I know the way I’m feeling now is down to my mental illnesses and current circumstances and I know that this feeling won’t last forever. It’s so difficult and emotionally draining to try and keep yourself in that mindset to keep yourself going.

For the first time in years, I had to call the crisis team because I didn’t know or think I could carry on. I completely broke on the phone, but I needed too though. I needed to let some of the emotion out because that’s normal, that’s healthy and because I know I need help.

I’m a man though so I shouldn’t be feeling this way because ‘men don’t cry’ or ‘men don’t struggle’. Apparently, it makes you ‘less of a man’ if you struggle, talk about or show your emotion, ask for help etc.

That’s still society’s perception. Male toxicity at its finest and we need to stamp that out. That’s one of the reasons I am writing this.

I’m a man and no less of a man for admitting ‘I’m not okay’ and for openly talking about the constant struggle and battle I face with myself every single day.

The truth is, no matter who you are, we all have emotions. They don’t target a specific person and at times we all need help and being open and talking about that is not a weakness and isn’t something that should be frowned upon, nor should you be judged for it.

Please, if you’re struggling then talk to someone. It’s the hardest thing to do and making that step is the hardest but things will eventually get better.

Our struggles and experiences break us at times, but these things build us and make us who we are. Life is a constant learning curve, but the good days will always outweigh the bad, even though the bad days feel like they last forever.

It’s ok to not be ok. Relapses are inevitable and you shouldn’t feel ashamed of yourself when they occur.

Feel proud of how far you have come and try to always remember that. It’s not easy I know but you deserve to give yourself credit and that’s not selfish.

Better days are coming, and the storm will pass soon 🌈