It might be somewhat ironic for me to write an essay entitled “I’ve learned when to shut up” when I never actually seem to shut up but stick with me. I don’t make comments on people’s appearances, or at least I try really, really hard not to. That’s it. I’m not trying to convince you to copy me or to suggest that this makes me any happier or better or more easy-going than you. In fact I don’t really feel the need to broadcast this fact very often. I don’t take some moral high ground when it comes to personal comments, I just try not to make them.
This event occurred last week, but I wrote about it straight away. Hence when I refer to these occurrences as yesterday, last night etc. I’m actually referring to a week ago.
In the past I wouldn’t have spoken about stuff like this, believing that it makes me seem somehow weak if I confide my darkest moments in such a public way, but I’m learning not to think this way. Because to be honest, I don’t think I could really be weak if I tried to be. It’s time to own my darkest moments as just what they are, mere moments in this array of experiences that is my life.
I’m an awful moan aren’t I? Recently I’ve noticed that my writing has become a bit more serious, and that’s been a very necessary thing. I’m becoming more and more honest about negative experiences and that’s probably been very beneficial for certain people. But let’s take a little break from that so I can share some of the positive experiences I’ve had in recent times.
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I feel like “loving yourself” is such an overused phrase these days. People constantly post about it on social media and advise others to learn how to do it. But how many people do you know who actually genuinely love themselves?
I believe that we are all born loving ourselves, and we learn to dislike ourselves as time goes on. I’m sure there are a number of reasons as to why this happens, society probably being the main one. As a child, I never really remember being encouraged to love myself. Or at least if I did I was encouraged to keep quiet about it.
I’m probably a little bit too fond of my internal voice. As narcissistic as it sounds, I sometimes have to be careful that I’m still listen to the opinions and observations of other people because I enjoy my own mind so much.
As much as I love Bridget Jones, I would hate to be her. Having a voice inside your head constantly telling you that you’re doing things wrong must be torturous. I have issues around control, meaning that one of my biggest priorities is constantly keeping tabs on what I’m thinking and how I’m feeling. As exhausting as that can be, it means that my internal monologue is encouraging, forgiving, lighthearted and inspirational.
Thursday. We awake early to catch our train back to Dublin. I’m somewhat sad to be leaving Sligo but I’m also looking forward to getting back home and taking it easy for a while. Sarah’s Mam drives us to the train station and gives us brown bags with sandwiches and sweets. I thank the stars for this glorious woman and her hospitality. We seat ourselves on the train, eating our sandwiches, drinking cups of coffee and playing card games. The journey back seeme a lot quicker than the journey there did. Before I know it, I’m stepping off the train and saying goodbye to the others. Lugging my large bags, (I don’t know the meaning of travelling light) I hop on a Luas followed by a bus. When I arrive home, I sit and have a cup of coffee with my roommates before retreating to my room. Every ounce of my person wants to crawl under my duvet and never come out, but instead I unpack and repack my bag. I get another two buses to the hospital and collapse in a large chair beside my Gran’s bed. Gran takes one look at me and makes a sassy comment about having no sympathy for my exhaustion because I decided to go to the races. She smiles at me, making it clear that she’s joking but I’m delighted to see her sassing me again. There’s a definite spark returned and it’s so nice to see. Mam and I watch TV with her for a while before she falls asleep and we head off for the night. Both exhausted, we go straight to our temporary rooms in my Gran’s house and I am so glad to be in a warm cosy bed that I fall asleep almost immediately.
Ruth has suffered from mental illness and she’s not afraid to talk about it. I honestly don’t think I can put into words how inspiring a conversation with her can be. Knowing that mental health is an issue that really can’t be discussed enough, it was important to me to interview her. One wintery day, we met in a café so I could pick her brain.
I’m sure that everyone knows someone who suffers from anxiety. It’s not a new condition by any means. It’s defined as a type of fear that’s usually associated with the thought of a threat or something being wrong, but it can also arise from something that is happening right now. Anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the U.S., affecting forty million adults aged 18 or older. These conditions are highly treatable yet only one third of those suffering will actually receive the correct treatment. I met Isabelle on the first week of college. We got to chatting and we discovered that we have a lot in common. A similar sense of humour, a similar outlook on human rights issues and a love for Marilyn Monroe. Isabelle is someone that I greatly admire. People seem to foolishly expect that an anxiety disorder is an easy thing to spot in a person, but this is not the case with Isabelle. She’s a gorgeously kind, bubbly person whose personality shines through when you talk to her. She works hard, socialises and lives an overall very glamorous life. I had a lot of questions. And I was so delighted that she was eager to answer them. What I discovered only made me admire her more.