Life is Good (update)

I suppose I should begin this post with an apology – sorry for being a bad blogger! I’m finding full-time work (still at my supermarket job) much less stressful, but much more physically exhausting, than university – I seem to average about 7 miles of walking (to and from work, at work, and then walking my dog afterwards) in the average work day, and sometimes walk as many as 10 miles a day. The good thing about this is that I’ve lost weight, and – despite eating so much lately – have managed to maintain the weight. I also feel really fit (compared to my high school days anyway) and I’m probably in the best shape I have ever been right now (though there’s still a lot of room for improvement). The downside of this is that I always seem to be exhausted, and I also never seem to get anywhere near enough sleep these days, though this is also partly due to actually having some semblance of a life over the last couple of months (!!) I hope to make more time for blogging, because I really do miss it, and I have countless updates/ subjects that I want to write about.  However, I’ve had writer’s block every time I have attempted to write a blog post recently. I’m really out of practice, so please bear with me as I spew word vomit all over your screens.

Also, have some optional cheesy background music. Because, let’s be honest, it’s a nice change from the less upbeat songs I normally post on here. Also, damn you WordPress for no longer letting me post youtube videos without parting with my hard-earned cash! You’re just another greedy, elitist corporation!

Life is actually going really well in some areas at the moment, and I don’t think I’ve enjoyed life as much as I do right now since my last year of primary school. Why? For a start, I’ve actually had a social life over the last couple of weeks. After not seeing/ hearing from any of them in ages, all 3 of my friends met up with me in the same week, a couple of weeks ago. I can’t tell you how nice it is to be able to have a friendly chat with someone or watch a film/ play a video game with a friend at their flat. Life would be amazing if I had more friends, and/ or if I could meet up with my friends on a more regular basis. Even doing something with a friend once a week would be fantastic. I will hopefully be meeting up with 2 of those friends again over the next couple of weeks, which I’m looking forward to. I’m also hoping to do more travelling this summer – around Scotland, possibly around some of Europe (my youngest sister and youngest cousin were talking about this, and I may join them if they decide to go), and possibly back to Africa for a bit as well – but I haven’t planned/ organised anything yet. I don’t know if my work would let me have my job back afterwards, but if they wouldn’t, I’d still much rather go, and have the experience of a lifetime, than stay in the same monotonous and often frustrating job. I hope to start coming up with actual, concrete plans over the next few weeks. Other reasons as to why I’m enjoying life at the moment include feeling more like I am part of the family, being a lot less stressed since leaving university, and one other reason that will become apparent in my next post. I always felt like the black sheep of the family throughout my teenage years, but (although my mental health seems to be a bone of contention and something that they may never fully understand) I do feel more a part of family life, and more understood by/ involved with my family members. And my mental health/ life in general has certainly improved ever since getting out of that hellhole (university). People used to tell me that high school and university would be the best days of my life, but those were definitely the worst parts of my life so far. Things have improved greatly since leaving those days behind me. I know that my experiences can’t speak for everyone, but I just thought I’d clarify to those of you that have severe SA and are still going through high school/ university, it being “the best days of your life” is utter bullshit. Just do your best to hang in there and get through it. Life is much better now, and I don’t think there is a single day from those years that I’d like to repeat.

Although things are going really well at the moment, I’m still feeling rather discouraged about the possibility of making new friends. There seem to be very few people my age on in my area, and I still haven’t gotten weekends off, so I still can’t even go along to the women’s cycling group that I’ve wanted to go to for ages. I went along to a different group last month, but I found myself wishing that I hadn’t gone. I was the youngest person there again (though not by decades this time), and was the only female there until the organiser (who was over half an hour late) arrived. I couldn’t really relate to/ converse with anyone in the group, and was so tired from work that I was just about falling asleep. I did manage to eat a meal in front of a group of strangers, which was no mean feat, but I spent the entire meet up just waiting for it to be over, so I could go home and sleep. So yeah…I don’t know how on earth I’m going to meet new friends that I can truly connect with. I can’t just give up though. I wish there were better ways of making new friends available to me. I even thought about starting my own meet up group, but I still don’t feel ready for something like that. It’s still too scary.

I still have not the faintest idea what I’m going to do with my life after travelling, and I start to feel really down any time I start to think about it. I meant to see a careers advisor at my university a while back but I ended up getting too upset about the whole thing. I need to see someone about it soon, and start asking myself some soul-searching questions, or I may be stuck in a monotonous job that I dislike for the rest of my life. I know that I tend to catastrophise this sort of thing, and that I’m currently enjoying life even with a monotonous and frustrating job, so life will not necessarily be unbearable (in my head it will be) if I don’t end up in an enjoyable/ meaningful job. I would very much like if I could do something meaningful with my life though.

I’ve stopped seeing mental health professionals after completing a 12-week group CBT programme a few months ago (I need to write about this at some point), and (as no one I saw ever helped me much, and I’m doing so much better on my own) I feel this is the right decision for me. I still have so much frustration over the way I was treated by people who were supposed to be helping me, and over all the years I wasted in pointless therapy sessions. I hate that the potential misdiagnosis of autism is still hanging over my head as well. I never felt truly understood by anyone I saw, and some of them had not one iota of empathy. But that’s another rant…

In other news, my mum started dating again around this time last year, met a really nice guy, and they are now engaged. I was a little bit shocked that they were engaged only 8 months after meeting each other, but I’m sure they both have enough life/ romantic experience to know what they’re doing. He (my future stepdad) moved in with us a couple of weeks ago. Having so many people living together in a fairly small house is a bit of a nightmare at times, but he is a really nice guy and has made a real effort to get on with my siblings and I. I was so nervous the first time he came round to the house that I actually went and hid in the kitchen, but I’m so, so much more relaxed around him now. I’m really happy that he and my mum are both happy. We – the six people living in my household, and also my dad and his friend/ flatmate – are all going to Florida for a 2-week holiday in May (I had never been to another continent before I went to Namibia, and now I’ll get to experience 2 new continents in the space of less than a year!) I had worried that it would be awkward with dad being there, but he and my mum have remained really good friends, and he can always go off and do other things with his flatmate if he wishes. While I’m really looking forward to the holiday, going to Florida most likely means that both my future stepdad and my dad’s flatmate will have to find out about my scars, which I’m dreading. My mum, with my permission, has already told my future stepdad about my scars (though he hasn’t seen them yet), and thankfully, he does seem fairly understanding when it comes to mental health problems. But I am absolutely dreading having to tell my dad’s flatmate about it. I’m not sure he will be so understanding.

My mum and stepdad are also going to sell our house (though it may take up to a year or more for it to be ready to be put up for sale), and buy a new house about 2 or 3 miles away. There will still be enough room in their new house for my siblings and I to move in if we so wish, but lately, I find myself wishing that I could move out. My youngest sister has also spoken previously about wanting to move out as well, so we could possibly move out together and maybe with our other sister as well. It’s going to be so weird to see the house that I’ve lived in for the last 22 years of my life going up for sale; the house where I grew up. Everything is changing lately. But it all seems to be changing in a positive way. I have some more big steps ahead of me.

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3 Responses to Life is Good (update)

  1. Pat says:

    Sounds like you have made a lot of progress. Keep going!
    I’m in the same boat with respect to choosing a career knowing that bad choices now could lead to a really crappy job. Anyway this article helped put me on the right path –

  2. Cara Devenney says:

    I follow your blog and would just like to say I really enjoyed this post. I too suffer from severe anxiety and it has been part of my life for about 11 years now. It is great to know that you have found happiness because I believe EVERYONE deserves to be happy. It took me an extremely long time to finally feel okay as well, and ever since that first time I became happy again, I constantly am making plans and even a schedule that revolve around that. The only thing you can do is just think of the present, not the past and not the future. One step at a time! Cheers!


    • Gemma says:

      Thank you for your comment. 🙂 That’s very true. I often feel daunted/ overwhelmed at the thought of my future, but it really does help to just take it one day or week at a time. I’m glad that you found happiness too.

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