Posts Tagged University
I deleted this because I wanted to first ask my lovely friend if it was okay to post. It feels like a dramatic step over into the overly personal..bits of my life that I tape iup, box up and only look at in safety. But, Nicoles comment (see first attempt) made me re-think. Honesty is important.
I set up this Blog because I wanted to draw stupid shit, make people smile and because I wanted to show that sufferers of significant mental health issues belonged and we not circus freaks.
Everyone has Lovely Friends but I have been thinking recently a lot about mine. Aside from my sister I have a small but sturdy handful of utterly amazing friends.
Considering my return to the world in the form of an MA has caused a dramatic spike in memories of my Undergrad degree, as well as a lot of good, old fashioned nail biting contemplation.
Contemplation used to lead to a locked bathroom door and shameful, sad acts of violence towards myself. These days it leads to a overwhelming feeling of gratitude. I am more than enamored at this change in mindset and wanted to write a post a one of the reasons, or people, behind it.
I met Emma on my first day of University and I think I did a pretty epic job of freaking her the fuck out and considering hightailing the fuck out of our slightly odd smelling student housing.
I have not always had the stellar social skills I now own as a full time recluse and expert nutjob. Considering my return to the world in the form of an MA has caused a dramatic spike in memories of my Undergrad degree. I spoke too much and was anxious when I shouldn’t be. I was scared of the non-existant bearded men at my windows. I was reculse then in your face. I was strange. I was sad.
It was not easy, the degree was not easy. There were books, word counts, exams and portfolios. But I think the things around my degree were harder. There was the battle of my eating disorder, self harm, scary medical shit and psychosis.
Emma, the Boyfriend/make that fiancé and other-amazing-friend-who-shall-not-yet be named pulled me through the worst of everything, and the best.
Emma was there to dress up in stupid costumes for parties with, to drink tea with, to dance (badly, on my part) with. She was there to hand me whatever current cocktails or psych meds I was on. She was once the not-so-proud owner of my razor blades when I decided I was ‘quitting for real, this time’, she was there when I needed ambulances, when there was police, she sat up to stupid ‘o’clock in the morning in the waiting room of A&E god knows how many times.
Em drew me rabbits (and naked ladies) and together we decorated rooms for parties. She fed me Jamie Oliver food, and muffins I can never re-create (not for the want of nagging Boyfriend anyway!)
Em helped me cover up my illicit Bunny Rabbit purchase (RIP Geoffrey) and she pretended not to smoke outside with me and Boyfriend.
And somewhere in between picking me off the floor, finding herself, making her own friends, drinking tea, loving Jamie Oliver and pulling me up from some of the worst times in my life, ever, she managed to get a BA in Fine Art…
She drew, and drew, and painted and painted and threw ink and knitted and knitted and knitted and drew and knitted and spray painted and crocheted and painted and inked and sew and sew and sew and embroidered and knitted and knitted and drew…and she did fantastically.
I love and hate the space between my Undergrad and now. I hate it because it means Uni was just memories. I hate it because I miss it, I miss my friends. I miss mornings balancing tea on a kitchen table piled so high with books, art projects, half empty wine glasses and dead plants we never threw away – and being unable to balance the tea because the night before we had spent all night chatting or watching yet another film…or opening yet another bottle of wine, or playing more cards or colouring in kids books and covering the wall.
I love that space because I have watched my friends grow. I Em, as I always guessed she would, is amazing and doing the art thing while also doing a billion and one things I can’t keep up with. I love it because yet another series of Casualty has passed and Charlie Fairhead is still going strong. I love it because if time had not passed I would not be engaged to the most amazing BoyMan.
I am excited/terrified/hopeful about my MA and I am looking forward to new words, new skills and new friends – but no-one has friends like the ones I already have – and no-one has an arty, lovely, funny, sarcastic, strange Emma T like mine.
I write this mostly because I want the world/blog-o-sphere to know about my experiences. Mad people have friends. Mad people go to Uni. But also living with all this stuff, it is not easy on other people either. I do not think many people would take me on as a friend if they knew where it had taken Emma, Boyfriend and co. To be truthful I am positive that there have been times Emma and co have doubted their own decisions to remain in my life.
I do not do spoonfuls of sentiment often without the aid of Vodka.
I just wanted to air what was on my mind –and how I know how lucky I am to have someone who was willing to learn how to push a wheelchair for me!! (in Wales –upward slopes abound)
This is my Emma T, with her fabulous and fantastic art (which she sells, like a clever bunny)
and a sample of her art that she showed in an exhibition
I wrote a very long post and have deleted it becuase I do not feel it is fair to share that infomation with the world, It may re-appear, it may not.
Do you remeber playing Simon says as a child?
I didn’t win many friends when playing because I can’t follow instructions. Or I won’t.
If a school- mate said ‘Simon says stand on one foot’ I’d immediately begin doing frenzied star jumps because I so desperation wanted to be different and stand out from the crowd. I was a annoying child.
In school reports I was often described as having ‘a great deal of willpower’ and ‘knowing my own mind’ which I think is politically correct teacher speak for ‘irritating shitty child’. (I now have this confirmed by my Sister who is a primary teacher in a inner city school).
At some point I changed. I begun listening too and following one voice that told me what to do. I did everything it siad and bowed to its will.
In my life Simon now says a lot of things..
Simon says I shouldn’t take 4 sugars in my tea.
Simon says I shouldn’t replace said sugar with sweetener because may make me grow seven limbs and ten eyes.
Simon says I shouldn’t eat fats or salt or..food
Simon says I should be a slave to calories
Simon says I should worry constantly about the scale, and use a number to define
Simon says I should be miserable and have no social life.
Simon says I should inflict harm to myself and try to extinguish my life.
At some point a childhood abilty to NOT do what was asked of me altered to an utter dedication to the eating disroder voice in my mind.
Simon is my eating disorder and Simon is a tosser.
I miss the child in me that was free, that was able to break away from the rules and regulations, that had an opinion and had people make opinions about her. No-one forms many opinions about me anymore, I have become defined by boxes, tick boxes, diagnostic labels. I do not know many people outside of Therapists anymore and they do not see me as anything more than a personified label.
I know lots of people have a Simon in thier life.
He takes on many forms..Eating disorders,OCD, self harm, depression, pain, illness – any life event at all that drags you down and whispers things you do not want to hear in your ear.
I hope you can break free of Simon, kick him down and become a contrary child who star jumps when they are told to sit down and write sums.
[The caption that came into my head when I saw this was ‘don’t be a muttet, you are not his puppet! *snorts* maybe I should write for Hallmark..]
For me, part of loosing Simon, of kicking him down and shrugging him off, is to let myself do things I fear. Which is difficult, because I am scared of nearly everything..even dumb stuff like the remote possibility of the kettle exploding when I put it on to boil (it sounds as if it is in pain..) and the washing machine blowing up the house (boyfriend has done all my washing for the past four years, my phobia has actually paid off in that respect..)
One massive thing is my fear of succeeding.
During my Undergrad degree I was a mess. A massive mess. So much of a mess i ended up having a huge breakdown at the end of the year and notched up more stays in the emergency Psych ward than I care to recall. I would cry, publicly and snottily everytime I had to hand in an essay due to the fear it would be lost in the system or that there was last minute mistakes they would lose me a grade. Usually, I would do well..and usually the relief of getting a good mark would once more cause me to burst into inconsolable tears in the department corridor..oh, the tutors were confused (‘but you did well! who on earth are you sobbing!!??’)
Before I even begun my GSCEs I have wanted to take my academia to the next level and do not just a BA but an MA..
Simon said no.
Today I am saying
Screw You Simon
*snort* > screw, nail, tool…sex jokes *snorts*
But yes. Today I have begun to fill out my application to begin an MA in September.
My eating disorder wants me to stay rooted in this place, this place where going backwards is seductive because it is known, because there is comfort in suffering. Because I am scared.
I kept on thinking ‘when I am better I will continue learning’ ‘when I am better I will do what I want to do’ ‘when I am better I will have a life’
A realization came and slapped me in the face today, and it left a mark.
It was the knowladge that I need to work to get better. I need to move forwards..as a horribly humliating motivational work confrence once told me way back when I worked in retail
‘I need to be the change’
Me going back to learn stuff isn’t going to change the world, it isn’t going to have a profund effect on human suffering..but hopefully it will set things in motion so that I can be who I want to be and do what I want to in life..
I am firing my Simon.
Because he is boring, and eating disorders, self harm, depression..all this shit, it is all the same. I read so much stuff online from other people with the same, or similar, issues and they may as well be me typing..becuase eating disorder thoughts are not special or orginal. It is boring. It is misguided. It only leads to pain.
Please kick me if I try to give up.
And let me know if you have any Simon’s and how you are going to kick him in the face.