February 15th, 2017. Wednesday. 9:29am. Feeling relaxed.

 

It feels as though the past few weeks have been all EPQ and no action.

Of course, this is not the case. Far from it! In fact, I almost wish I had more time for my EPQ to distract myself from every other exhausting fragment of my life in recent weeks. The stress of school, lack of (paid) work, struggles with my mental health… It rather feels as though I am spiraling down and down and down…

When I was much younger, maybe 5 or 6, I went to a local fayre. It was a tiny thing, borderline pathetic really, but with my eyes being barely 4 feet from the ground I can honestly say that everything looked pretty darn big. The bumper cars, the oh-so-sad carousel, the giant men and women on stilts… but most of all, the towering candy-cane Helter Skelter. It’s been so many years since I’ve seen one of those things, to the point that I’m not even sure they still exist, but I remember this particular one as though I beheld it just yesterday. It was huge! Humongous! And of course, 5 or 6 year old me wanted absolutely nothing to do with it. Too dangerous, I declared. Demasiado peligroso. Well, my parents were having none of that. They held my tiny hand all the way up those stupid stairs, right to the peak of that peppermint mountain; it wasn’t until I’d sat on that empty potato sack and began my descent to despair that they let go. Screaming, I whizzed down that spiraling slide like a pinball, down and down and down and hating every second of it. It’s weird, because I really do enjoy a good rollercoaster ride – you know, with their super-strong safety harnesses and lap-bars keeping me in place at all times. This particular Helter Skelter ride, however, I despised. It was as if the wind rushing through my oesophagus pushed my heart all the way to the pit of my stomach, where it stayed for a good hour or so before heaving itself back up to its rightful position in my pericardium.

That, Arcadians, is how I feel right now.

The only problem is, I’m not even sure if that memory is real or not. I’m not sure if ANY of my memories are real anymore, because my brain is playing such a sick game with me and I don’t know what to believe. I’ve gone from nearly completing my ascent up the mountain of relative recovery to finding myself crashing straight back down the rock-face; I’m at the bottom of my metaphorical Helter Skelter of Hell.

When your mental health is this bad, the most important thing is to avoid isolating yourself. For me, that’s been a struggle. I’m so afraid of being alone in the company of the thoughts which invade my mind day-in, day-out, but there’s also such a strong personal hatred of being a burden on other people which leaves me actively avoiding asking for help. So, I write. I blog, I tell private stories, I scribble furious notes about my feelings on scraps of paper before screwing them up and playing paper-toss with them. The other day I woke up in the middle of the night and wrote this baby, barely conscious, in the back of a notebook:

Waiting for confusion to pass is like waiting at the edge of a busy road for a break in the traffic. You wait minutes, hours perhaps on a particularly bad day, and still: no safe crossing. You either need to take a risk or cross elsewhere.

My therapist is going to have a field day when they discover that one. It’s true, of course; confusion is a nasty little blighter which isn’t going to simply go away. You can either choose to tackle it head on, risking personal harm or upset, or you can just walk away and forget about it, carrying on with your life as if the cause of your confusion never existed.

Right now I’m confused. I don’t know what’s going on inside my head and I don’t know how to stop it. I’m not going to just forget about it though. I want answers, and I want them quickly.

For now, though, I’m keeping myself busy enough. Maddie and Eleanor, my two best friends whom I might as well introduce you to know as they’re going to be pretty frequent in coming months, started a cute little thing where we put the names of films in a jar and watch them as and when we pick them out. Jar evenings, we call them. When we watch a film, we pick out a quote which is the most fitting to us as a group of clumsy, nerdy, non-identical clones as we pretty much are. Last night, being Valentine’s Day, seemed like the perfect date for Jar Evening number 1.

The film? The Fault in Our Stars.

Me being all obsessed with analysis and everything, I promised Maddie and Eleanor that I’d write a review of every film that we watch, so that’s exactly what I’m going to do. For now though, I’m going to leave you all on a question that’s been bugging me since I began writing this little update of mine over half an hour ago: is being remembered really that important?

I’ll tell you what I think in my next post.