27 Years

Warning: Contains dark themes. Brief mentions of anxiety, depression and suicide.

What is it like to be happy?

What is it like to be content?

Are we ever fully either?

Maybe the lucky ones among us are.

The older I get, the more I am realising that being an ‘adult’ is not as it appears. The past few years of birthdays have been days to dread, rather than ones to celebrate. With the age shaming (is that even a thing?) that goes on within my family’s culture, it’s no question why. My dad has always referred to me being a year or two older than I actually am, and I am constantly reminded that I am past my sell by date for any kind of marriage. Immediately after losing my mum a lot changed. The way I see it, I became an adult then. I was 15. I matured too quickly. From there, it was all a downward spiral.

So, here I am having just turned 27, and it seems I will be on the same emotional roller-coaster for the rest of my life as I’ve been on for most of my life. The weight that lies in my chest is here to stay. I feel it right now, the pounding of my heart, the way it seems to be sitting low in my chest, the slightly nauseous feeling in the pit of my stomach. I have just been through another episode of the never ending verbal and emotional abuse that can occur at any time. Therefore I tread carefully, I listen, I obey, I keep quiet, I continue with life. Though my body struggles to cope at times like this, the tears do not come. Sometimes I think this is because I am in shock, sometimes I just think I am becoming immune to the words I hear, knowing none of them are true. Sometimes I feel like smiling while enduring it because the things I hear are laughably ridiculous. That doesn’t mean it hurts any less. So instead, the tears come randomly at other times, at work, in the car, when I wake up, when I go to bed – it takes the smallest of things to trigger them.

What it the point of it all? Why am I still here? Why do I continue to live through it all? I’m old enough to deal with it, why do I just take it and do nothing? I don’t know. I guess I love too deeply and care too much. I guess I’m not as strong as everyone thinks. I stay quiet to avoid making things worse, instead allowing things to actually become worse, as all the confidence and the will to protect myself left me long ago. There are times when I feel like I don’t care at all. There are times when the emotional pain is too much to handle – so I give in to a different kind of release. Then there are the thoughts telling me to end it all.

My mind knows these thoughts are irrational, it knows its not that bad, it knows I can live through this pain. But when that wave of anxiety hits, it can’t help but make its way to the darkest parts of my mind and take over.

This is not how life was supposed to be.

I will feel alone forever.

I will never achieve anything I want to.

I will never be strong enough to cope.

I will never be loved.

I will never be heard.

I will never be seen.

The hole in my heart will keep growing.

…. And so much more….

It’s not that bad I tell myself all the time. And it’s true. There is no one who will be able to tell it to me straight though. Everyone has their own opinions. Years of therapy have done little to help. After trying medicinal treatments, I took myself off them as I did not want to feel ‘artificial happiness’. It must be real. Pretending to be okay can be tiring, but it is better than being looked at as fragile.

Hyper-fixations became my coping mechanism, as I find myself constantly immersed in something. But again, this cannot continue forever, and coming back to my age, the wasted years of my life spent fixated haunt me. But living a sheltered life, trapped and lonely – what else could I have done to pass time? It was (and still is) the only escape.

Maybe I should have been stronger, maybe I should have been braver, maybe I should have done everything I wanted to do without worrying about consequences. Because at least then maybe I wouldn’t have felt so alone. I wouldn’t have felt like I wasted my young years. I could have had some support by now, I could have been a more knowledgeable person, I could have been more confident, I could have been happier.

If they believe I’m a bad person, I may as well have been that person.

And yet, I know I am very lucky. I have everything I need to survive. Others have it so much worse. It really isn’t that bad.

It isn’t that bad.

I will make it work. I will be strong. I have my faith. I have my health. I’m in comfort knowing (or thinking) I have done nothing wrong. Maybe one day I will finally feel the genuine contentedness I’ve been craving.

I know. I know only I can make it happen. Only I can heal my own heart. No one will save me. Only I can take those actions. I also know it will not be an easy journey. It will be harder than anything I have faced so far. And that is what scares me.

But still I will make it happen.

Note: Please do not panic after reading this! This was written at a particularly bad time. I am fine, I will never act on any suicidal thoughts I have. They are just that, thoughts which happen very rarely. Also, my religion is against such acts and therefore it will never happen! I know this is quite a dark piece, but I have written it firstly to help me (it’s therapeutic), and secondly to share some of what I feel with others who might be feeling the same way. Unfortunately, there is an alarming rise of people who struggle with mental health, or social media has made it possible for more people to speak out about their problems. If anyone else out there feels like this too… please talk to me!

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