(Continued.. because this post got really long!)
I had to force myself then to remain optimistic about the future; I had to literally tell myself that life would get better, that I w0uld recover, I would move forward, and that there would be more in my future than night after night of Hawaiian stuff crust pizza and a tub of Ben and Jerrys phish food ice cream.
I would tell myself that my time would become more meaningful, and that I would work to pay back the time I felt I was wasting. This was pure stubbornness, pure obstinacy in the face of potential crippling depression. I perceived that if I didn’t tow that line for even an instance, the darkness might consume me.
I think the reason I have historically resisted thinking to much about the way in which I’ve spent my time was because it led me down too many badly lit rabbit holes; holes I could very easily get lost in
That was many years ago, and I have come so far from that grey, mundane existence it’s actually mind-boggling. When the demons start whispering now I can tell them to f*** off- I can tell them that I know they’re lying to me, and I am sincere in this assertion, not just bloody minded.
.Years ago an old boyfriend (one of the complete and utter idiots I misguidedly chose to spend my time with before I met Ru) said to me, “well of course we’ll become old and bitter, we will get old, we will lose or youthful energy and spirit and become old, wretched and jaded.”
What he said scared me on some level. I was only 25, I didn’t want to be cynical, jaded or bitter just yet. However I was battling an illness that just seemed to want to knock me down,-what if that was how it did it? By making me detest life by age thirty?
Hypothetically, I could see it happening. The symptoms I have with schizophrenia can be gruelling, depressing and terrifying. This illness has a grim power, it is the type of condition that lies heavily on your soul some days; it therefore could wear me down, it could win it’s battle to consume me.
I remember saying a silent prayer to myself that this wouldn’t happen to me; that I wouldn’t succumb to this idiots negativity or gloomy predictions, and that I would try to remain as optimistic and positive as possible. I prayed that I would have the power to move forward, and be allowed to live a full and exciting life. I prayed for the time to make these dreams reality.
Two years later, and after a lot of work, my prayer was answered.
In the last two and a half years Ru has reminded me how strong I am, and then he has made me see that I’m stronger than that again. He has reminded me that I am more powerful than this pesky illness- and he has shown me, again and again, that I have more force than some dumb voice or persistent yet empty paranoia and delusion.
He has managed to counter the negativity that had come before him, and wipe away all of the self-doubt that came from spending time with the wrong kind of people.
He has brought me back to the light.
I know that all of the choices I have made in life have led me here, to a place where i am writing, where I am travelling, where I am learning- and of course, where I am with Ru. I know that time has been good to me; it has been a crazy ride so far, but I really wouldn’t have wanted it any differently.
I think the universe knew that the man I was searching for, but that to reach him I would have to travel through some fairly sketchy terrain. In that time I’ve lived a life I perhaps never thought I would.. I’ve seen things and lived things which were so unlikely.
But I have learnt so much from all of that; and I have finally reached a point in my life where I am genuinely happy, and genuinely excited for the future, and at peace with the past.
I have turned thirty two, and perhaps I am now ready to start contemplating the best usage of the time that lies ahead of me, rather than only fatalistically, stubbornly, appreciating the present moment.
I will probably continue to smother any stray clocks which happen to be close enough to me for me to hear the second hand ticking. Tick tick tick- it just isn’t needed, and it only distracts from the present moment.
However I do know that a full and deep appreciation of said present moment comes from having a healthy and positive respect for time, and the time you have to spend. I am so much stronger than I have ever been before, and so maybe I will start looking for ways to kill two birds with one stone, and practise behaviours which are fun and also building on an even more fantastic future.
It feel like I am no longer trapped in an eternal moment, reluctant to look backwards and terrified to to look forwards.
Thirty two looks rosy so far, full up to the brim with possibility and potential, and I am relaxed in the knowledge that seconds are slipping past. Each one is a myriad of eternity containing as much life, love and wonder and I dare to fill it up with.. and there is so much potential for all of that around me now!
So bring on the next year.. and happy birthday to me 🙂