mental illness · my life · self love

A Mid-Month Resolution

Contrary to what this blog might lead you to believe, I am not good at speaking my mind.

Picture a glass bottle that has been broken many times but always glued back together, it has a thick cork sitting in the neck, stopping anything from getting out. Weirdly, however, things can be poured into the bottle, so it just keeps filling and filling until eventually it’s full and you think it can’t take any more. You’re right, it can’t take anything else, but then someone decides to light a fire beneath the bottle. Heating it so rapidly over a bright blue flame that the liquid inside it bubbles violently until in the space a moment, it explodes. Glass shards fly everywhere, completely obliterated. The liquid douses the flames and all that is left is a smoking shadow where the glass once was.

Then you turn away– only for a second– and the glass bottle reappears, slightly more broken than before, but once again put back together. The cycle repeats itself.

Not to sound dramatic, but this is a metaphor for what it’s like in my head. As someone who is constantly listening to other people and never sharing my own problems, I seem to be very prone to exploding. The only discrepancy in this metaphor is that usually when I explode, I am alone. In the last three years, this has become a weird experience.

Instead of taking my anger out on myself (because I know that’s unhealthy), I feel the strong urge to take it out on other people– usually, the ones who made me feel this way in the first place. Except I don’t, I never have. I talk really tough and I like to pretend that I’m always itching for a confrontation, but when my emotions are on the edge of overflowing, I don’t turn to face those who made it that way. If I can help it, I never even let them know I was that bad in the first place. It’s only in the last few months have I begun to turn to the friends who I can trust (and who are awake at 3AM) and vent all of my emotions out through them.

But usually, I’ll see someone one day,  have a horribly agonizing and draining breakdown at night, take a few hours or a day to pull myself back together, and then I pretend that nothing’s happened. I am back to ‘myself’ as it were, until the next time.

And believe it or not, I know that it isn’t right for me to live like this.

I try so hard to live without judgment, and I’m really exceptional at making up excuses as to why someone else’s happiness is more important than mine. So important, that I don’t tell them when I’m unhappy, just in case it makes them sad too. Even if they ought to know, my lips are zipped.

 I’m overreacting and it’s my own fault for being upset. He deserves to be happy, and if this is what makes him happy then I should be happy for him. They’re their own people, and this is them living their lives– so I should just live mine. I don’t want to tell them how I feel because I don’t want to rock the boat and lose a friend.  These are all excuses that I’ve used.

And that’s just in the past week.

But you know what? You can’t live like that. You can’t just bottle things up until you implode, because you deserve better than to have to implode. When I was forced to confront one-half of my week’s dilemma last night, I immediately felt so much better. A weight was lifted from my heart and I could focus on something else, I felt healthier. I felt happy.

As bad as I am at talking, it really does help. So many things in my life wouldn’t have happened, if I hadn’t been forced to talk about them.

Which leads me to my– as the title tells us– a mid-month resolution. It’s not an original one, and I may have borrowed the phrasing from the internet (so sorry for swearing), but:

Do no harm, but take no shit.

It’s not too late to start afresh or change yourself. You don’t have to bottle up your emotions because you’re as entitled to feel them, the same as everyone else. I’m not less of a person if I speak my mind and stop letting people dump all over me. If anything, I’m more of one, because currently, I feel like a doormat.

Welcome, to the new me.

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