It is 4 am and I can’t sleep. Outside my window, it literally sounds like the End of the World. Lying there, staring into the darkness, I am reminded what it used to feel like in the depths of depression: there is a silent promise to myself that however bad the rest of my life might get, I will not allow myself to return to that place. The path there’s now so well signposted, one hopes this is a promise that can be kept. I’m certainly not cured, and undoubtedly I’ll end up in blackness going forward… but not that place.
To borrow someone’s horrendously PC phrase (for no other reason than it is appropriate) I am consciously uncoupling from various places, dependencies and negative influences. It is also hugely satisfying to grasp I’m not alone, that others are doing the same without any fuss or drama. That’s a life goal to aspire to: instead of posting via social media what’s happening, you just fucking do it. Instead of telling stories about the bad people, you just let them go.
It is apparent that when nobody cares about your concerns and no-one listens when someone popular railroads someone they feel is not credible or significant, nobody is prepared to call it abuse. That is changing and has made me sit and consider whether it would be worthwhile pulling up the screenshots and e-mails I kept as a result of incidents of just that. Then comes the understanding that if I did so I’d be pushing myself back to that dark place I no longer wish to visit.
It is time now not to dredge up the past, but to just leave everything where it is. Here is an opportunity to remove those people from my life who make me feel uncomfortable, that don’t want to be equals or simply those who are really only interested in talking at me. What matters more than anything else right now is sensible, equitable and truly shared dialogue. I’m well aware of those who are just listening, too. I wish I could encourage more of them to talk back.
I read a Tweet this morning where someone was celebrating an event that I used to enjoy, but now have no interest in, and grasped a final, revelatory truth. There is a difference between types of happiness. I can be pleased with this person because they’ve got what they wanted, and not be cross I don’t have it. I can allow them to have that satisfaction without hijacking their comment, or casting aspersion over it. People can be happy and you don’t have to be jealous.
When you finally understand that happiness is yours alone to dictate, everything changes. You can’t duplicate it with an Instagram post, or via 1000 likes on Twitter. I no longer want to shut out the sensations that used to cripple me but instead embrace the faults and noise for what they are, part of me. This is not about leading a normal life either, whatever the fuck that means. What I want is mine to dictate and control and for the first time in my entire life, that is exactly what I’m going to do.