So today is Sunday and tomorrow is Monday, bringing with it the start of a new working week. I don’t want to be negative about Monday and all the work it’s going to bring but I can’t help feeling a bit down and scared of what’s to come. The sun is shining bright and today I have spent the morning sat out in it, watching as a hundred other people find the spirit to run. I have food in my belly, am well watered, have people who love me and somewhere to belong, so there shouldn’t be much to complain about. But the feeling that Monday brings is one that is dark and gloomy, snuffing out all light and happiness as it crawls up the drive, seeps through the cracks in the door and oozes up the stairs to grab my legs and pull me under. That horrible, black slime that takes control of your senses and replaces the feelings of ‘enjoy the now’ with ‘dread the tomorrow’. Somehow I have to get through another week with this black slime clinging to my back like a baby, gripping tighter and tighter and weighing me down the more I feed into it. One day I want to break free of this feeling, kick the slime to the side and stand up tall. To soar up and away from it and everything else, break through the clouds and hover, twirling round and round with the wind blowing through my hair, my eyes shut and the feeling of euphoria bursting through every fibre of my being. Not being tied down anymore to that horrible, life sapping sludge. I want to fly as free as a bird, smile and laugh as though there is no tomorrow, because there may not be a tomorrow. Somehow I must learn to live in the here and now, enjoy the precious little things and make the time last, not wish it away. Time is such a precious thing. It ticks away constantly, the durability of life slowly depleting with every second, so why am I so entangled in the endless threads of worry and dread about what tomorrow brings….? Somehow, someday, I shall find the strength to cut through those threads, break free from the slime and live life the way it was meant to. Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but someday. And I welcome it with open arms.
So I’m sitting here unable to do much as I have sustained injury with my brain overthinking as normal. It seems that I only seem to come on here when I am feeling down or upset or hopeless… I know I should blog more upbeat and happy things, but when it seems like not many happy things happen it’s hard to write about them. I have a jar, labelled ‘Good Memories’ and there’s only about twenty entries in it since the start of the year. I just don’t know how to be myself anymore, I don’t feel like I know who I am. I feel like I’m constantly putting on a brave face, a smile, to mask the inner darkness and the deep hollowness of sadness. It’s cloudy outside today. A grey layer of film protecting the earth from the blinding sun. A grey layer clouding through my brain, rain falling with a pitter patter into every crease and crevice. Filling my head, making it dulled and heavy. Grasping for a plug somewhere, anywhere, to let it out to stop myself from drowning but there is no plug. There is no saviour. There is no magical light beam cutting through and shining down, carrying a magical godly note with it to bring hope and happiness. Every way I turn, every way I look it’s grey and clouded, the life and colour sucked out leaving the world dusty and lifeless. People mumbling their way through the day, putting on fake smiles hiding behind them so they don’t have to face the reality and they can pretend that it’s all OK. There’s so much to do, very little time to do it, and I choose to sit staring at the skies contemplating the point of it all. What is the point of anything when there’s so much grey, so much cloud, so much rain pouring down on the world onto everything and making it damp, smelly and pointless. And no matter how long you sit and wait for it to pass and for that rainbow to appear, when that last drop stops and the first beams of rainbow light appear they too seem clouded. Bogged down with negativity and hopelessness. No matter how much you scrunch your fists to your eyes, no matter how many times you pull that heavy cobweb off from over your face, that feeling is still there. So there’s no other choice but to carry on. To haul your heavy body up, grab that fake mask and slip it on ready for the next day ahead…
Bipolar. It’s the one word where everyone thinks you’re crazy. Where people see the mood swings and just see you as moody. Where people hear your stupid arguments over stupid, petty things and question you with their eyes as if to say ‘really?’. It’s the darkness creeping in, seeping through your mind, pulling those strings, creating those thoughts and making those words drop out your mouth before you’ve even realised. It’s the being chatty and bubbly and wanting to make people laugh. Wanting to surround yourself with people but at the same time wanting to be alone. Its the feeling loved but feeling isolated. It’s the extreme of emotion which can be set off by the tiniest of things. It’s something that people don’t understand. Those tears aren’t because you’re not getting your own way when you want to go and spend money, those outbursts aren’t because we’re throwing a temper tantrum. It’s the outlet of emotion that can’t be controlled because we know what we want is completely impulsive and knowing we shouldn’t and the frustration of those feelings building up. Those tears fall from frustration, from being sick and tired of feeling that way, for knowing that anyone who hears or sees it won’t understand and will think that we’re throwing a tantrum or being hormonal. It can’t be helped. But it can be helped by peoples understanding, by the gentle persuasion of words, by a tight hug. See the person, not the symptoms and not the illness. We’re all unique and individual people. Bipolar is a part of me but it’s not who I am.
The pain you experience when something you’ve worked hard for is taken away and is ruined before your eyes is inexplicable. It’s like someone stabbed you in the gut with a dagger and is twisting, turning, pulling it through your insides. The pride that was once there feels tarnished. My heart clinging onto the small amount of hope left that maybe it’s not all in vain, maybe one day it will be. But clearly today it is not. Today is a day of heart wrench, broken dreams, tears and the pain of knowing that all you went through to try and get to where you want to be is thwarted by a single person in a single letter to the one single person. Many straws have been laid upon the camels back, each bearing their own weight of a tarnished memory, a crack in the elusive dream. But that was the last straw, the crack turning into a spider web and shattering all in one split moment of stomach churning dread. The training and the character building and confidence boosting over the past year made all for nothing due to that one letter that got sent. Feeling isolated in something that I love passionately and that I care deeply for and that I have worked so hard in order to give back and ask for nothing in return. That I have faced many challenges over, each time battling through them to be faced with yet another challenge. Another person holding you back. More words whispering through my brain seeding doubts and fear and loathing. Yet each time that I have got back up and carried on is ignored, each time I am knocked down is ignored and laughed at, placing yet more challenges upon challenges upon challenges. I have done nothing to deserve this in something I love so much and I give so much for, yet others have ripped me from it. Forcing me to make decisions I don’t want to, forcing my hand to act upon those decisions. It is not something I anticipated when I first started. Being pushed out and isolated was not something I had envisioned was a part of the experience, but apparently I was wrong. I was wrong to think that those kind of people would have me as part of their team, to be seen as one of them. If that is the case then I do not belong there with them. I do not belong amongst the foul, thick and heavy atmosphere that hangs over it. Brighter things are ahead, they will show themselves with time when they are ready and meant to be. I’m just not ready yet, and the stars can see that. They are waiting to make their mark and when they do I shall accept them with open arms. Until that time I shall keep grafting, keep moving forward and ignoring those who try and tarnish my name. It shall be hard, but nothing good in life is easy.
So when I’m bipolar, depressed, anxious whatever the fuck is wrong with me it always seems to make everything so much harder. Living, laughing, feeling, relationships, breathing…. everything….With the constant mood swings or no mood at all. Fearing that you’re doing the wrong thing but thinking maybe it’s the right thing. Scared to be yourself around people and show them the true side of it all because the people you showed it to before ran away…. fences are made, barriers erected and lined with electric wiring so that no one can dare enter again. But it comes at a price. That you can’t be yourself around the people who you should trust the most and when a wall is dropped for a second and that person can see inside its intense fear that afterwards they’re going to run away and you’re gong to end up back in square one of being alone and messed up. Or it’s the thoughts that they’re only here because they have to be, because they have no other choice and they’re basically forced into it with no way out and as soon as they get a chance to run they will. But it’s the though that someone is there, but the intense fear that they’re not really with you. Sometimes it’s like two people fighting inside for attention and neither one is winning and there’s nothing you can do to stop it. Both have equally weighted sides and it’s only when someone else comes into the picture, takes your hand, looks you in the eye and says ‘it’s ok’ that one side dominates the other. It’s being strong by yourself for fighting them both by yourself but weak because you’re giving in to both of them. It’s heartache, sleepless nights, endless thoughts and the constant aching deep inside to be a better person but knowing that it will never happen. It’s so hard to describe it to people who don’t understand but so easy to imagine. It’s like living in a personal little war zone and no one else knows what’s going on inside….
Time passes in the blink of an eye. You’re sat there worrying about having to get up early for that important meeting, or worrying about your day at work or going out to do something you’d rather not do. But all you do is look ahead and forget to look back. It’s so important to remember those times when you moan about having to get up, about having to do something you’d rather not do as it’s all still time being spent. Time is always being spent, so even in those moments I have to remind myself to enjoy it while it lasts. The shift will only last those many hours, that meeting only a few minutes more. It’s been just over two months since I raised myself out of a dark place. I couldn’t even see that I was there or what I was in. I was just going through the motions, putting up with people and shit that I shouldn’t have to. Putting up with things that most people would drop at the sight of a hat. But in that moment you can’t see it, I couldn’t, I felt blinded. Blinded by something false, by false emotions, false promises and false words. But luckily that all ended. It hurt. These things always hurt but it gives you experiences, it makes you who you are, it all takes time. It takes a certain amount of time to carve you into the person you are and the person you want to be, but you have to have a say in how you spend your time. Granted I don’t spend all of my time as wisely as I probably should. Spend it inside rather than out, on the laptop speaking to friends rather than face to face, making feeble excuses to hide the anxiety and to avoid the interaction with people. But looking back is key. I have found myself looking back, even over the past couple of months, and realising that I was in such a bad place and how far I’ve moved forwards from then. All it takes are those chances and a little bit of time well spent. Never underestimate the wonderful things that a little bit of time can do and how much happiness it can bring if its used a little bit more over there than over here, on this rather than that, and slowly but surely I’m sure that I will be able to look back again in another couple of months, thinking about how time flies, and again think wow, look how far I’ve come. It may only be a few small steps, a couple of little changes but it all makes the difference.
This is just a blog to vent my emotions but for anyone who reads it take it how you will. Everyone should look back at the last few months and think how far they have come and how in the next few months those small little things and changes can make such a difference, but give it time. Everything takes time, nothing becomes perfect, but it can be made better 🙂
I ran through the street, my feet splashing in the puddles. The cobbles felt cold and slimy under foot, with the occasional split in the stone catching the sole of my foot causing a sharp pain shooting through my foot and up my leg. I stumbled, almost falling, but I pushed myself up and carried on going. My breath coming in fast, I could see the plumes of mist rising in the air with every exhale. The rain poured down, pounding against my skull, my hair stuck across my face. My dress clung to my small body, soaked through. I kept running. Past those with umbrellas, shielding themselves from this harsh winter rain. Not a lot of people were out in this weather. Only those with a family to provide for were stupid enough to still be out, selling their stock to passers-by. As I ran past I could see the desperation in their faces. One I knew all too well. That look of despair as they knew they didn’t have enough money to make it through to the new year. As I ran past one trader, selling soggy looking clothing I could see the sadness in his eyes. He knew that no one would want to buy soggy clothing but he didn’t have enough money for a shelter for his stall and he needed to still be out to try and make ends meet. Our eyes interlocked as I passed but I carried on. I heard a deep voice shouting behind me. I didn’t stop. I knew who it was. They were catching up to me and fast. I only had little legs and they were going as fast as they could carry me. I couldn’t be caught. I refused to go back to the workhouse. I couldn’t stay in that place, I would die. I would pass on like so many friends I had made who had become a victim of the abuse and the working conditions. The thought of that place made me feel sick. I didn’t have anywhere to go. I didn’t know what to do. My brain swirled, span, the thoughts racing through my mind. Suddenly, my undressed toes caught on an unusual cobble sticking up from the street. The pain sent shockwaves through my body and I cried out. I felt myself tumbling, falling. I couldn’t stop it, I couldn’t help myself. I thrust my arms out in front of me to break my fall. The palms of my hands skidded across the brickwork, grazing as they went. My face slammed into the hard floor, sending a sharp pain through my jaw. I closed my eyes as the pain washed through me. I skidded to a halt, ripping the only dress I had ever been given. Hot tears sprung in my eyes as I laid on the floor, waiting for the strong, unyielding hands of the policemen to pick me up and drag me back to the workhouse. There was nothing I could do. I laid on the floor, feeling the rain pouring over me, wishing that it would somehow wash me away. I buried my face into my outstretched arm, trying to hold back the tears. I could hear the heavy footsteps coming closer and closer.
‘oh my!’ I heard someone gasp and I buried my head further into my arm.
The two police men chasing after me stopped, their breathing heavy. They reached down with their big, wet, hands and clamped them around each arm.
‘That’s enough!’ one growled.
‘You know you’re not allowed out! It’s back to where you came from young lady’ The other snapped.
They peeled me from the street floor, lumping me back onto my feet. I didn’t look up, I couldn’t make eye contact. I knew that I had made a scene in. not that there were many people around, but I had made a scene all the same. I knew the boss wouldn’t like this and I knew the policemen would tell him everything that had happened. My body shook, a mixture of fear, cold and pain. I looked down at the floor. One foot looked normal, slightly pale due to the cold while the other was grazed and bleeding turning a light shade of purple already. The policeman to my left shook my arm hard.
‘You know where you’re off to don’t you!’ He laughed in amusement.
My hair trickled down my face as the thoughts came flooding back to me. I couldn’t help it, the tears started to roll down my cheeks. Not that anyone could see in the rain but I could feel them stinging like hot little pokers.
‘Excuse me!’ I heard a voice interrupt.
‘Ma’am please stay out of this. This child is a run-away delinquent and she knows that she should not have left the workhouse!’ One officer replied.
‘Please, officers, there is no need to make more of a scene that what has already been made’
The voice came closer. It was laced with warmth. It was feminine, enticing, sweet and it filled me with a tingling in the bottom of my stomach. I wanted to raise my eyes, to look at who the voice belonged to but I couldn’t. the pain and the shame of what I had done remained too fresh in my mind and I didn’t want any more of a punishment than what I was going to be facing already.
‘Ma’am, this is none of your concern…’ One officer started to talk.
‘I assume she is from one of the local workhouses in this area?’ the voice asked sternly.
‘Y…yes ma’am. That is where she has run away from and where she shall be taken back to’ He growled in my ear ‘So if you please excuse us…’
The officer didn’t get any further. The lady whom the voice belonged to wouldn’t let him.
Those two words hung in the air. It was as if the rain had been muffled.
‘No?’ the officers asked quizzically. ‘I’m sorry ma’am but we have to take her back…’
‘Do you not know who I am?’
The voice became sterner, losing its warmth. I felt the tingling inside me fizzle away. I felt the dread and the sick feeling creeping back. My jaw was thudding into my head, interrupting my thought process making it hard for me to think clearly. I could hear the two officers stuttering, unsure of what to answer.
‘Well?’ the woman asked, clearly waiting for an answer.
‘Yes ma’am… you’re the daughter of Mr Joseph…’ he stuttered.
I gasped a little. The daughter of Mr Joseph?! He was one of the most wealthy and influential businessmen. I hung my head a little further, knowing that I was sure to be in for the worst punishment of my life after causing not only a scene, but in front of Mr Josephs daughter.
‘Good, you imbeciles do know. Release that child immediately!’
‘Don’t insult me! Release her into my care immediately. Inform Mr Ruggers that I shall pay half her yearly wage in return for her custody. And if you do not, then I shall be informing my father of this!’
I could feel the officers were unsure. I knew they were under strict orders to bring me back and they knew they would get told off for not bring me back. But this woman. She was asking to keep me. I would gladly come and be her slave instead of going bac to that awful place. There was a long silence as the officers thought the proposition through. The rain poured down, people passed by, curious as to what was unfurling in this cold, wet street of London. Slowly I felt their grip release my arms and I almost collapsed. I willed strength into my legs to keep myself upright, ignoring the pain. There were no more words exchanged but I could tell that the officers were not happy about this but there was nothing they could do. If they did not, then Mr Joseph had enough power to be able to strip the two of their rank and have them thrown in the local jail. I listened as their footsteps fell into the winter evening, wondering what I should do. I wished that I was more presentable. I heard the soft clicking of heels making their way slowly over to me. I felt my heart start to race. I didn’t know what I should do. I felt the rain stop pounding on my head and I felt the last rain drops trickle down my back. I closed my eyes. The soft scent of apples floated into my nostrils. I felt a gentle finger trace a line down my wet cheek to land under my chin and lift it upwards.
‘Open your eyes child, you are safe with me’
I opened my eyes. I drank in the soft cheeks, the subtle dimples and the long, flowing locks of auburn hair. I stared into her sparking blue eyes which were filled with warmth and happiness. I could see her smiling in them. It was as if she had a thousand rainbows and butterflies dancing behind her eyes. I immediately felt relaxed, believing her when she said I was safe.
‘Come with me’
She extended her hand towards me and I reached out with my grubby, grazed one. She stood back up and we walked off into the rain.
She took me all the way back to her house in a large black carriage, manned by a man and two black horses. She pulled out a blanket and wrapped me up in it and started to dry me. We hadn’t spoken a word since the incident and I didn’t want to break the silence. As we pulled up she ushered me quickly out of the carriage, under an umbrella and into the house with the blanket still wrapped around me. I wasn’t able to see much as as soon as we had entered I was quickly whisked away into a large bathroom where a hot bath had already been prepared. There were a few maids who started to undress me. I let them pull of the cold, ripped dress and dunk me into the warm water. It burned as I was so cold. But as I lay there while they washed every inch of me I started to warm and I stopped shivering. I noticed that the pain had lessened and I felt the first sense of being happy that I had felt in years. Once I had been thoroughly washed I was prized out of the tub and wrapped in soft, fluffy towels. They kissed my skin like a thousand angels had descended upon me. I was quickly dressed into a nice, new dress with lots of lace and ribbons. I wondered how they had managed to find a dress like this so quickly. It all seemed like it was a long rush. As if everything was rushing past at a million miles an hour but at the same time it felt as though I had spent the whole day in there. I washed pushed through two large, golden doors and into a large room. It was heavily decorated. My eyes danced around the room, unable to take it all in. I saw the green tree in the middle of the room, covered in candles and ornaments. There were some gifts under the tree and I smiled. It looked beautiful. And standing in front was the same woman as earlier. She was fiddling with some ornaments by a box at her feet. She turned and smiled, her eyes lighting up and all I could do was stare back at her.
‘Come! Come and help me with the tree!’ she gestured towards it.
It towered above her and I wondered how she was going to get to the very top. Excitement ran through my veins as I stepped forward gingerly towards her. I never believed that I would ever experience Christmas. This would be the first time I had seen a Christmas tree properly.
‘Don’t be shy. This is your house now!’
My house! I couldn’t believe the words she was saying. It was like Christmas day had come early. This was my house. I would never be going back to the workhouse. I would never be under the influence of that horrible man who owned it. I was free! With a smile, I reached out and touched the tree. It pricked my fingers and I recoiled. The lady laughed. I looked up and her and giggle a little too. She handed me the box of ornaments and together we decorated the tree. This was going to be the best Christmas ever!