This is NOT a self-help guide…

luang prubang

Too much time has passed since I last wrote a blog, or anything personal for that matter. My life is consumed by my masters degree at the minute, making it impossible to write anything else. Or so I tell myself.

2015. Arguably the most challenging time in my entire 24 years on this planet.

My family and I have been tested mentally, physically and emotionally. Unfortunately my mother endured a vicious seizure earlier this year, as a result of necrotic tumours in her brain. Consequently, she lost her speech and the use of her legs. Pretty big stuff really…

It gets worst (I promise you this isn’t a woe me post), my long-term boyfriend of four years expresses his problems with our relationship (over the phone) whilst I am in hospital with my mum, needless to say we abruptly parted ways.

So here I am, a dying mother, a mere shell of the woman she used to be, I’ve been abandoned at the most intense time of my life, and I am nearing the end of my masters.

What did I do? I did what any normal person would do. I wallowed in self-pity and gained a stone… and didn’t I just feel great about myself. Yawn. Such a cliche and I hate it.

Something else I realised, the word HATE. I HATE THE WORD HATE. I hate even more the fact that I used hate to describe my hatred towards hate. I could go on…

How many times a day do we describe ourselves with this word? Why do we feel the need when something goes wrong in our lives to verbally self-harm ourselves? Sorry for all the rhetoric’s, my feeble attempt at trying to engage the reader. Nonetheless, I am SICK of constantly putting myself down! I should be proud of myself. Caring for my mother, suffering a break up AND still managing to complete my masters. I think that’s pretty admirable (if I do say so myself).

For fear of trying to sound like some soppy, self-help guide I have decided to do a few steps in order to make oneself feel better about themselves.

I do stress, this is NOT a self-help. In order to self-help, you have to conjure up your own steps, no one knows you like you do (Urgh, cringe), but so true. You can have a soul-mate, a best friend, you know, the one who just gets you. I sister you could not imagine your life without. However, deep down, below what even you can fathom is a small part of who you are, unique to what all others see. Sometimes buried so deep, you aren’t even sure of it yourself. In order to be at peace you have to delve and find this little sacred place and make sure you explore it. Alone. This is a journey you must take alone. (THIS IS NOT A SELF-HELP) For fear of sounding too contrite and quite frankly cringe, I will commence with the steps I am taking in order to get to where I want to.

STEP ONE: Remove the negativity from your life. Not all obviously, that is impossible. But just a small step to freeing up your mind and moving away from all the bullshit. For me, I deleted Facebook. Constantly comparing myself to others was TEDIOUS. I felt I had gotten to the stage where I would take photos of myself and my friends, being all “cool” and drunk shouting at the camera, flicking the V’s, to almost say to everyone ‘WOW, look at the amazing time I am having here, with no care in the world’, pah. Oxymoron, don’t you think?

Yes, I had SUCH little care that I felt the need to snap and document every second and upload it onto social media just to prove this to everyone.

NEXT STOP, will be instagram. God dammit, this little app is my heroin. I physically can’t leave my bed in the morning until I have had my daily fix. I almost panic when I know I have a day of posts to catch up on, fearful that I may miss something. All instagram does it show me how skinny I am NOT and how fashionable I am NOT. It also demonstrates the lack of exercise, squats and yoga from my life. I am not quite there just yet, but this is next on the chop list.

STEP TWO: God, stop being so damn critical of myself. Look at step one, it is almost like I loathe myself. Yes I am a victim of consumerism and the social media, but that does not make me a weak or bad person. I hate the feeling (there’s that word again) of being a small insignificant cog in the machine of life. But what is so wrong with being a cog? Each cog is significant and contributes, if only a small amount to something much bigger.

Maybe I need to examine the power I do have. I know this must all sound slightly contradictory. I must say, I am rather confused myself. That is why this step guide is more for me than anyone else. Anyway, bear with me, it will all come together towards the end (one hopes).

STEP THREE: Stop relying on the affection or attention of another in order to feel fulfilled. You need to love yourself first. By this I don’t mean acceptance. Accepting how you look, accepting your situation is NOT the same as loving. Accepting is admitting defeat that you can’t change who or where you are therefore you will be happy with the situation.

NO NO NO. Get rid of that mirror, of social media and all these preconceptions of an amazing content life. You are stronger than you think. And that small part of who you are, buried down beneath all the shit is where it is. This is your strength. And ONLY you can access this. No other person, no matter the impact on your life, no matter how in sync you are can do this for you. Unless you can learn who you are and journey into yourself to find this part then you can never expect someone else to be able to do the same.

If you are not aware of who you are, deep down, then how is someone else going to be aware?

People argue that no man is an island. Physically I agree with this. We need intimacy and we need contact. However, just because we are not an island does not mean we can’t have that small spit of land reserved in the depths of us. That small bit, reserved just for us. Our place, our haven.

STEP FOUR: Ignore self-help guides and all that mantra shite (this post included). I am sick to death of seeing posters saying ‘Be Happy’. Maybe I just want to be me. Who is to say that being ‘happy’, or what someone perceives as ‘happy’ is ‘happiness’ for another. Happy is such a mundane word…

To feeeeeel ‘happy’ we need to experience sadness surely? And maybe I WANT to be pissed off at the world, or depressed at my situation. An indulgence on my behalf… maybe. However, nonetheless I do not need some sign, yoga essence or some bare-footed, hemp drinking hippie to tell me how ‘I’ should be feeling.

Even after all these “steps” are completed no one can guarantee that you will feel any better about yourself. If you are having to follow a step by step guide (WHICH THIS IS NOT, by the way) then you’ve almost failed at the first hurdle.

We are too afraid to be alone. There should be no fear. When opportunities arise that we are in fact quite alone, we should revel in this. Yes, this is bloody scary, we rely so much on others to prop us up and to fulfill the emptiness we endure. BUT, Happiness is not a destination, it is a journey. It is not some place we will arrive promptly if we tick all the boxes and do what we need.

With risk of failing Step Two, by criticizing the soppy delivery of this post I must end this here, before I read back and cringe to hell. And apologise for the overuse of ‘hate’, ‘love’, ‘I’ (my pet peeve), ‘happy’ and brackets used in my attempt of wit.

Peace x

mamaMy Gorgeous Mum. February 2011.

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One thought on “This is NOT a self-help guide…

  1. Hi, have you watched any of the 9 episodes of The Truth About Cancer? Each episode is on for viewing for 24 hours and I am about to watch number 6 . Check out their FB page for details. I think you will find the episodes very very interesting. I am prompted to tell you as I just reread your article -cancer research-one big scam

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