In the past year, my life has changed completely and I’ve spent a lot of this week reflecting on how different my life is now to what it was twelve months ago. I know a lot of people say this, but then their lives haven’t changed at all… My life really has, in every aspect, changed.
Last year, I was the unhappiest I have ever been. I spent the majority of my year being bullied, belittled and treated like I wasn’t even human. I was living with someone I had spent half a decade with and, to be quite frank, we didn’t like each other. We were in a situation where we felt like we had been together for so long, that we should just ride it out, that one day it may get better. We were in an environment where people were with partners they didn’t get on with or like; that common interests weren’t necessary and that lads nights out with girls in short dresses all over the place was acceptable, whilst the women stayed at home; mutual happiness wasn’t important and male feelings/thoughts/opinions prevailed. My partner’s mother decided that she no longer liked me and began heinous and vicious rumours, she attacked my mother at the local Tesco and put so much pressure on my partner, that he would then treat me like shit because he felt so rubbish; he didn’t want to ‘do as mammy said’, but he wanted me to change who I was and just toe the line, allowing my life to be controlled by a vapid, evil woman who thinks that her children are simply bank accounts she can bleed dry so she can keep getting her hair extensions and botox. It led to me being isolated, treated viciously and becoming a shadow of my former self; in short, my partner thought he was better than me and thought so low of me that he genuinely thought I considered myself lucky to be with him. I didn’t leave because I’d invested so much time and money into the relationship and, to be frank, was treated so poorly that I really did think I was unattractive, horrible and undeserving of happiness. It was during this time that I actually thought out, planned and attempted to kill myself. The only reason I didn’t was because my sister randomly text me one day to tell me that she loved me. She is the reason I’m here and I guess, I owe my current happiness to her too.
Eventually, my ex simply didn’t come home one night and I realised that he never would. I’m not going to say that I wasn’t upset… I was. But, I’ve come to realise it wasn’t because I loved him and missed him, but because it kind of reiterated how much better than me he thought he was. That all the suffering I had faced at the hands of his vicious and vile mother was all for nothing; that had he left me when his mam told him too back in March last year, I would have never been in a position where I wanted to kill myself. I was angry, I was hurt and I was totally lost – I had no job, no money and was left in so much debt that only accumulated because he had left me with every single bill to pay, whilst he fled. I had been left in an enormous problem and it kind of just reiterated how little this person I had spent five years of my life with thought of me. It did affect me… but not for the reasons most people feel when they break up. I was relieved, but simply depressed at how terrible my life had become. I didn’t think it would get better.
Because I didn’t have a job, I spent every single day and night alone. If my dad didn’t come to pick me up on a Friday, I wouldn’t see a single soul. It made me terribly agoraphobic and terrified of the outside world. I can’t really blame any friends for not wanting to see me during this time, because I really did isolate myself quite a bit, but it would have been nice even to just get an email or text off someone just inviting me somewhere, even if I didn’t go… Anyway, this lasted for months and months. I didn’t really start to feel happy again until this year and I can pinpoint the who, what and where, so to speak, of when I became happy again:
I began blogging at the start of 2014 and decided to use Twitter as a means of marketing myself and communicate with pretty much anyone, so that I didn’t feel so alone. It worked and before long I had begun communicating with a few people and basically just, very slowly, making myself feel better through my passion – writing. Eventually, I got in touch with one of my Twitter followers, a fellow blogger and general awesome human, Rachel. We had some excellent back and forth, we call each other Eddie and Patsy (I am, naturally, Patsy!) and eventually exchanged numbers and became friends. She had a blogging event which was only my second time out of the house alone since summer 2013; I went completely alone and only knew Rachel, who was hosting the event and thus not really available to sit next to me and protect me from freaking out, so I had to face the event entirely alone and speak to humans I didn’t know. Luckily, the event was filled with wonderful women and I had a really lovely time. Not too long after that, I began tweeting with other women, who have since become my best friends, my support network and my favourite women. These girls are: Mungle, Sian, Em, Marie, Amy, Becky and Leona and they have literally changed my life; they took the sadness and the loneliness away with every single hilarious tweet and later, Whatsapp messages. They were the first people I spoke to on a morning and every single one of them were there if I needed someone to talk to, so even when I spent every single day by myself, they were there for me and took the loneliness away. For the first time in many, many years, I had true friends. They are my best friends and I love them so, so much. I don’t think they know just how much they have helped me, but if they’re reading this, I guess now they do. They’re my women and I never want to lose them.
When my relationship was ending, she was embarking on a new relationship, so wasn’t really there for me as much as I would have liked and when we did see each other, I tried really hard not to be depressed and anxious as I was feeling so that she would come back and not think of me as this huge drag, making her new and happy relationship seem unimportant in comparison. She was happy and I was very pleased for her; so my feelings didn’t matter. Ironically, she became really depressed earlier in the year (yes, it runs in our family, we’re a BLAST) and, because I am her big sister and eternal protector from any sadness, I was there for her and we helped each other get through the day. We’d spend days lying in bed watching Friends or we’d go on long drives to the countryside listening to Disney songs and we eventually got ourselves into a routine where life didn’t seem as painful or as bad any more. We became closer as a result and even as I’m writing this, she’s sat on my sofa watching Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs and doing artwork. Just being around her makes my anxieties disappear and, although she will never know that she is the reason that I didn’t kill myself, I think she knows just how much I need her.
I can pinpoint the exact moment when my life changed; when anxieties and sadness no longer mattered, when my general bitterness towards life and what happened to me dissipated and that was, quite literally, the moment I met Brain. I’ve never been the type of person to believe in things like love at first sight or anything as corny as that, but I was pretty besotted with him as soon as I met him. When I got home after my first day of work, I sent the girls a Whatsapp message about my first day and told them all about this human who I’d met. “He was wearing a Bob Dylan t-shirt… AND HE HAS A BEARD!!” we began chatting and realised we had everything in common and it became one of those ridiculously inappropriate crushes that school girls have: He actually gave me constant butterflies. Obviously, we eventually got together and now spend every day together; he is the love of my life. I say that with no concerns or doubts that he isn’t, it’s just one of those facts like when someone asks what day it is, you say Wednesday with no doubt in your mind. He’s my male human and I love him with all of my heart. He doesn’t treat me like he thinks he’s better than me, he doesn’t disappear for days on end or manipulate or treat me like my feelings and opinions don’t matter. He respects and adores me and being with him just feels natural and right. He has taken away every ounce of anxiety that I’ve had and when I feel down or anxious he doesn’t blame me or say it’s because I’m horrible; he hugs me and talks through every aspect of why I feel down and how we, as a team, can make it so I don’t feel bad any more. He makes me laugh and being around him is perfect; I feel like we’re meant to be and I know that sounds so stupid, but I do. He supports my writing, reads my blog and tells me how great he thinks I am every day… he’s my human, as I said. I love you, Brain, with my entire aortic pump.
I moved three months ago to a new flat, devoid of any bad memories or feelings. I was able to start a complete fresh and forget about the shit times I had in my former home. Brain and I have created an amazing home where we both live (yes, after a few months we moved in together… It wasn’t a conscious decision, but as with everything about Brain, it just felt right to have him here all the time, so he resides here now too!) and we have become closer. It’s an amazing flat that I love so, so much. The walls are lined with things that are personal to us; Our main feature wall has two movie posters, Pillow Talk and An Affair to Remember that Brain bought me as a moving in present (back when he didn’t initially live here!) and a small, framed picture of our mutual love, Mr Bob Dylan. We have superhero merchandise littered around and photos of us and family. We have a small addiction to candles, so naturally they’re prevalent and book cases and movies, guitars and games consoles too. When people visit they fall in love because it really is a quirky home that no one, other than two people who have everything in common could create together. Brain’s sister called me his dream girl, because he can fill his home with enormous posters of Batman and I enthusiastically participate in fawning all over it, because I’m a total geek at heart too.
There are other things that make me blissfully happy, but I think these are the main factors. I am no longer sad, I no longer self-harm or think about killing myself. I’ve come a long way from the fat, unhappy, agoraphobic loner that I was literally this time last year. There are parts of my life that I am unhappy about and I do have moments where I just want to curl up and cry, but I guess everything pales in comparison when you have people in your life who make you feel important and who would miss you if you were no longer there. I spoke to my mother about this the other day and she said that I was a shadow of my former self, that her happy, confident and beautiful girl was back and that I was no longer filled with bitter or angry thoughts and that when bad things or things I didn’t like happened to me, I would brush it off with a comedic quip and just get on with it. It’s nice that people notice that I’ve changed and it’s even nicer knowing that there are very, very important people in my life who have made me this way. If you’re still reading, girls or Brain (my sister doesn’t read my blog): You guys are my everything, my happy place, the loves of my life. I love you all so much and I am so grateful that you are there for me, that you laugh when I tell shit jokes and that when I need you you’re there. I’ve never felt important before, but you all make me feel important and you make me feel happier about myself. I honestly don’t know what I’d do if you guys weren’t there anymore. Love you all forever, I promise. xx