You met me at a very strange time in my life

Daily prompt 12: Take a quote from your favourite movie – there’s your title. Now write.

Fight Club has lots of different and resounding quotes. It was either the one I used, the one everyone knows (…you do not talk about Fight Club) or Bob loved me because he thought my testicles were removed too.

The quote I used is at the end of the film, and while it’s probably not the satisfactory end-quote most people what to hear, it speaks volumes for lives and people meeting each other for the first time, everywhere.

When is the best time to meet someone? When they are perfect, got their shit together, when they don’t have issues to deal with? The fact is when you meet someone for the first time, no matter how “together” they seem, they will almost always lose their shit at some point. Not because they haven’t dealt with something, but because they are human – and life is confusing and frustrating and heartbreaking, simultaneous with breath-taking, invigorating, humorous and unpredictable.

Humans go through all this, while they too are anxious, nervous, excitable, ill, happy, depressed, stressed, loving, hating, angry, content. Situations life gives you and the emotions you get during this time collide so frequently, it feels like a merry-go-round. The whole world is spinning, only you are too, in the opposite way, and it hurts so deeply, you just want to get off. But you don’t.

Instead you throw yourself into something. Drink. Drugs. Love. Sex. Anything or anyone to stop that feeling you get. And when you don’t get it anymore, or it’s no longer working, everything comes to a halt. And the pain and the anxiety and the stress of everything you’ve ever felt all rushes at you at once and you either stand and take it until you break, or you break straight away and curl into your bed, sleeping off the desperation quietly.

Then you emerge from this darkness and you realise, hey – it’s not all that bad. You feel brighter, happier, free. You pick yourself up and get on with your day like nothing really happened. You do normal things, that normal people do.

But the thing about anxiety, is its like an invisible chain. You might not feel it all the time. Sometimes, it really does feel as though you have broken free. But something will happen to remind you that no, you’re not free. The chain has just loosened. That’s all. It’s wound out a little longer, a little slacker. It doesn’t take a lot for it to bear its grip on you again. And so the cycle never ends.

I’ve seen comics and cartoons being shared all over the internet recently about depression and anxiety. It’s more for others, who don’t understand it. It’s to give people who don’t understand mental health, a little bit of help in trying to learn. I’m not saying this isn’t a bad thing, and just like a person who doesn’t get it, I in turn don’t understand people who don’t understand mental health.

Just like they do not know what is going through my mind, I don’t understand what is going through theirs when they tell me “can’t you just get over it?” Or asking over and over again “why are you sad?” well it’s just like the comic says: I don’t know.

But I saw a comic recently, one I don’t agree with. It has a message about reassurance. Reassurance is like itching a scab and making it bleed. Reassurance is like asking “I am still alive?” – well, of course you know you are, but it doesn’t stop you from checking your heart’s still beating.

Reassurance doesn’t break the chain, it just loosens the grip. Handing me a cup of tea and saying “there, there” only stops that freaking-out feeling in the moment. It doesn’t stop it forever. Sympathy and hugs only gets you so far, because in the end, it’s only you who has the will and ability to break that chain.

Questioning, thought stopping, loving, appreciating, listening. These are the keys to those chains you hold so tightly around you. And that’s all it ever is. Yourself, holding on to the chains of pain, and self-hate and torture and despair and the feeling that you’re not good enough.

So often do we look to the negatives in our lives, we end up holding on to them far longer than we ever need to. So deeply do we believe the things others say about us, that despite never seeing these people again, you then place their thoughts on yourself. You take those negative thoughts and use them as though they were your own.

But no-one is born hating themselves. No-one is born with jealousy or spite or self-depreciation. We are all born unique, and then we all conform to everyone else. Merging into one, losing our identity for the sake of acceptance. And when we feel like we want to break away from conformity, to break away from the herd and take back our own identities, we lose the very thing we all need on some basic level – acceptance.

When you can’t even start to accept yourself – flaws and all – you can’t accept anyone else. You can’t see past their mistakes, or their own flaws. You judge them and love them on equally materialistic things – status, money, stuff – and fail to see them as a person.

Because we are all flawed in our own unique ways, it’s hard to accept someone who’s not got their shit together. It’s hard to understand them, because most of the time, we don’t understand ourselves. Why do we feel so angry? Why do we feel so down? Why do you really hate that guy? Why does that person’s habit annoy you? Why are you so sad?

I don’t know.

All I know is, we’re still trying to fit the keys we have in the locks that refuse to open. On the chains that refuse to break.

All I know is, you met me at a very strange time in my life.




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