Thursday, December 14, 2006

Honest

It's been so long since I have written anything really honest. Not that I have been dishonest as such, just that I have felt so restricted in terms of what I should and shouldn't write in my posts.

In view of the fact that this blog is actually the only thing that has really remained a constant in the last year-and-a-bit, I suddenly feel the need to return to the reason I started writing it in the first place.

I used to read Dooce and find myself awed by her honesty, her unashamed ability to confront her demons and write about them so candidly. I'm not sure why I admire the sharing so much, but I really did then and I still do.

It was because of that blog that I began writing under my own name. I wrote about things I found funny. About my friends and family, and what I did of a weekend. I wrote numerous posts about the desire to sing and the frustrations of being in a situation that was not conducive to singing. I wrote about boys, dates and being chatted up on the Tube.

I think, though, that it was always the posts about my depression and self-harming that helped me the most. To find words to describe the anxiety and hollowness that would wake me in the night and haunt me in the day, that seemed like a challenge and then an acheivement. I felt that I could write what I wanted, because in this little world of narcissism and self-importance anybody could read it, nobody is forced to. I didn't have to sit with someone in the pub, anxiously watching for their eyes to glaze over with boredom as I wittered on about feeling lost and isolated. No need to apologise for wasting somebody's time with my idiotic neuroses and poor-little-middle-class-girl problems, because they could choose to read or not.

Recently, though, I have felt less able to be so honest here. Because I declared myself fixed after therapy. Because I am seemingly living the life I had yearned for everyday. Because more and more people who I know personally will read it. Because I have forgotten how to put aside feeling ashamed and guilty for feeling things I don't understand.

I decided today that I am going to try to be honest again.

I wrote that last sentence and then spent about a minute and a half staring at the screen trying to work out how to even start going about doing that, and I still have no idea.

My self-analysis (overactive at the best of times) tells me that when I left my job and my flat I lost my sense of self. That the shift from dreaming about something and actually doing it is bound to be a shock because in our dreams we conveniently leave out the mundane parts. That maybe I expected myself to adjust too quickly to a life that is pretty much the polar opposite of what it had been.

I can tell myself these things to try to bring some sense of comfort or of perspective, but it isn't really working.

All I know is that I feel hollow, dejected and lonely. The effort it takes not to be constantly in tears is too draining. I wake up and feel like a train has just hit me, and the pep talks I am forced to give myself just to get out of bed are beginning to sound somewhat scripted. Despite knowing that I work hard in the studio I still feel guilty on the days when I am at home and I want to sit on the sofa and watch Charmed for a while. I feel lazy and worthless all the time, and even though I know this is irrational I cannot seem to find a way to make it better for myself. I feel sick most of the time, and tired all of the time.

An improvement, I suppose, is that I have absolutely no desire to self-harm again. I would if I wanted to, but I just don't. At least when I did that I didn't have to actually try and give an unprompted voice to my misery.
Now I don't know what to say when my friends ask me how I am. I want to say 'fine' because I don't want to waste their time, but I also want to tell them the truth. I am not fine, I want to say (but I don't). I actually not feeling that great. I feel like I am floating in a void and I don't even know who I am anymore. Please, I want to say (but I won't), help me.

So I used to be more honest. I have just been honest again.

15 Comments:

Blogger The Boy said...

Honesty is needed only if you need a safe place to talk. This is a safe place, so I'm glad you talked. If it helps I think you're very courageous for having taken the step you did. I can imagine how it feels lonely and even sad. Just know there's a lot of us out here who admire you for what you're doing. You're not really alone, honest!

6:49 pm

 
Blogger Huw said...

Anybody could read [but] nobody is forced to. Brilliant.

I worry that your lack of good spirits is linked to being seperated from your rings of power.

12:39 am

 
Blogger Astrid said...

Hey you, I have met you only once, but you seemed like such a wonderful human being, possibly even more than wonderful!

If only we could reveal that to you in a mirror and you would never ever feel depressed again, coz there seems to be no unpleasant thought to me to be the super-you.

Now please sing me another wonderful song. I might even tune in (slightly out of tune and probably wrecking the whole song too, but okay)!!!

Keep your head up high, girl, coz we'all love seeing your pretty face!

10:14 pm

 
Blogger Curly said...

Couldn't put it better than Astrid there..

10:35 pm

 
Blogger Lola said...

Honesty is tough, in all writing, musical or otherwise. I've only just figured out how to manage a little of it... Crazy feeling when you start to let it out.

Glad I found you.

Lola x

4:44 pm

 
Anonymous anon said...

I think you've identified something quite interesting about blogs. The more people you know personally who are reading it (and will have contact with outside of the blog), the more difficult it is to be honest.

That seems true enough to me. It's much more difficult to be honest with people you have spent time with in the flesh than it is to talk with relatively anonymous people.

if this is so, though, what does it mean to be honest in your blog? As you say, you wish you could tell your friends the truth, but you can't. But they are the ones who you see most, not 'us'. And to my mind, they are the ones who know you best, and can help you, not 'us'.

Not a criticism, but a question...

8:58 pm

 
Blogger Huw said...

anon - your question sort of assumes being honest is a cry for help, rather than a release. Blogging allows people to have that release, without guilt-tripping their friends.

Not a criticism, etc. :)

12:41 am

 
Anonymous anon said...

huw. Quite right. but what does that make 'us'?

NACBAQ

7:04 am

 
Anonymous anon said...

having reread leonie's post, I have to modify my post: it should be "huv. Maybe you're right, but what does that make us?"

I have to say I do interpret leonie's post as a cry for help. It seems she's very unhappy, and while we can offer temporary comfort she should really turn to her non-blog friends (I'm tempted to just say 'friends' because I'm not sure what 'we' in the blogosphere-thing are) who can actually be with her and help her through this.

My impression is that you (leonie) don't want to ask your friends/family for help about feeling worthless, because you think you bore and will upset them them. But this confirms to yourself that you aren't worth much. So without even having spoken to them, your friends' silence is taken as evidence of your worthlessness.

ok, so I'm just speculating, and more than likely, I'm off the mark. But I'm trying to clarify my understanding of this post.

8:46 am

 
Anonymous anon said...

argh, sorry for not editing. This
"because you think you bore and will upset them them" should be this: "because you think you bore them and will upset them".

8:48 am

 
Blogger La Cubana Gringa said...

As 'the boy' said, you are not alone. So take advantage of that. Your friends, if they're genuine, aren't friends who are just there to share the good times, they're there for the bad times as well.

And secondly, not to diminish in any way your feelings, but the world is full of people with pain as big and deep as yours. Sometimes, getting out there and making a small difference even for just one person can be a healing experience for you. Volunteer to bring a lonesome elderly person groceries, or help out at an abused women's shelter, or an orphanage. It may sound cheesy, but sometimes, it's just the kind of reset button one needs.

And lastly, clearly there is a voice within you. And it's a beautiful one! So sing it out loud. People will listen.

xoxox

3:26 pm

 
Blogger a Random Person said...

I just want to say, that you've had a HUGE change in your life recently. Several, in fact. just because things have changed in the direction that you wanted it to doesn't mean that you can't mourn the loss of your routine.

Obviously, everyone reacts to things differently, but I have definitely found that after a large change in my life (good or bad) there is an inevitable adjustement period that involves a lot of low feelings and sensitive emotions.

I hope things get better for you soon!

6:12 pm

 
Blogger Clarissa said...

Hi there Funny Girl who was not very funny in this post.

1. Blogging is good therapy when one can be honest. I don't know how you do it can be done honestly all the time though. Honesty can be draining.

2. I emphathise with you bout with the blues. You reminded me a bit of myself. I have this horrible emotional need to be wonderful; to be the best I can be; to have everyone love me. My brain knows that none of that is possible, but still when I perceive myself to be underachieving (like watching Charmed for 1/2 a day), I beat myself up. I'm always working on accepting myself the way others do. Anyway, loving you and your writing. xx, c

8:46 pm

 
Blogger lady miss marquise said...

Beautiful girl, I am speechless.

And sending you hugs.

It's weird, I only found the ability to be honest to my friends by laying it out in black and white for the rest of the world to read.

x x

9:26 pm

 
Blogger Oli said...

If ever your feeling lonely get a good friend to cmoe over and snuggle up to you on the sofa while watching a good film, dont need to talk just need to be there. =)

11:15 am

 

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