A long way back

I used to be like that, it’s not a long way back. You should have seen how they found me…

When I first moved back to London last April, I wrote out these lines from a Walking On Cars song and stuck them beside my bed. They filled me with hope and reminded me how far I’d come.
I’m not writing this blog in London. I’m back at home in Ireland living with my parents and suffering through the type of depression I thought I’d never have to see again. Hope has been pushed into the winter rain by despair. And despair has a nasty habit of filling up your head and leaking out your eyes. I’ve cried more these last few months than I knew I could.
I came home in October intending to stay ten days but I’m still here four months later. I started to feel physically ill last July: I was fainting and in constant pain. The condition was eventually diagnosed as endometriosis and I ended up so weak that I had to give up my new job which I had just started. No job equals no money so I also had to give up my flat. I thought I could move between friends and look for a less stressful job whilst I got my strength back.

But that didn’t happen – it was the worst timing in the world for my body to give up on me. I’d just gotten back together with someone and I thought we would finally have a proper shot at a fun relationship. One month in I started fainting, and the pressure and stress was just too much, too soon.

I ended up losing my boyfriend a few days after I got home to Ireland. So there I was with a broken body and a broken heart. Then my mind felt left out and decided it wanted to crack too. I blamed myself for everything, and I’ve been filled with shame since. That’s what really stings: the shame that I’ve ended up back in this position again and so utterly powerless. So I’ve been isolating myself from friends and family and finding it difficult to engage with the support that’s being offered to me. I haven’t been looking after myself.

My addled brain became convinced that was it, game over, you see. That this was my only shot at happiness, at making a life in London work. How will I ever get a job again? What if I have no friends left when I go back? I think of the future and I feel overwhelmed by panic.

But something has clicked in my brain these past few days. I can’t fight a war on so many fronts, so I’ve put my broken heart into a box for now, and I’m putting my faith in the universe and serendipity that maybe it will heal. I can’t control somebody else’s feelings. This is one situation where I’m powerless and I have to accept that. I can only concentrate on me.

What I can do though is take back the power over my mind and body and try to make them strong once more. Writing is something that makes me feel good about myself so this blog is a first step out of misery. London, happiness and health all feel a long way away, but I hope I can find my way back.