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AM I GOOD ENOUGH?

I grew up in a household where a lot of bad things happened. One bad thing after another. From a young age, I drilled the thought into my head that I would not contribute to the bad. I would be good. Inherently good. I wouldn't get drunk. I wouldn't do drugs. I would do well at school. These thoughts started as a seed, but by the time I reached my teens, they had developed into a forest in my mind

It had become so bad that I forgot my trainers one day for drama at school, and I sobbed and sobbed. To the point I was almost sick. Wondering if I could sprint the two miles to school and back on my break. I called my mum hysterically and begged her to walk them in for me (she didn't drive); she did. I did that to avoid a detention. Something I'd never had before. And never did have, in my entire years of school life. 

My sister had gone down the wrong path in her teens, and I constantly heard how bad she was. My stepdad was an abusive alcoholic, and I constantly heard how bad he was. I was so determined that the only word anyone used to describe me would be good. I wanted to make my mum's life easier. Everyone's life easier. This was so unconscious at the time, and only something I've discovered after a few years of processing experiences with my counsellor. But it's something I still struggle with daily. The need to be inherently good

When I became ill at 17, I was furious at my body. Angry that everything I'd worked so hard not to do, I had become. My body was bad. It needed constant attention. Constant treatment. Constant time. It took over everyone's lives; especially my mum's. It was bad. A decade later, and that anger for my body is still there. My body constantly fails me, and continuously makes me feel like I'm not being good enough.

This pressure that I put on myself has extended into every aspect of my life. And pushes me over the edge until it breaks me. Whereby I try so hard to please everyone, that I either end up pleasing no-one, or burn myself out. Strangely, it happened with blogging. I'm still asked daily why I left the blogging world with radio silence, virtually overnight. The pressure I was putting on myself to be good became so intense, that I just exploded. And had one of the biggest mental breakdowns I've ever had. 

I was constantly told, and still am, that I'm a "goody two-shoes", and I should try to "lighten up", as if it's an easy habit to break. Apparently some people see being too good, as a bad thing. That was never something I'd ever thought about. I drink maybe once a year. I don't smoke. I've never done drugs. I'm never reckless. I take care of my body. I'm constantly told I'm "boring", light-heartedly of course, but that's okay - no one knows the struggles I face daily. How "boring" is exactly what I'm aiming for. I like to be unnoticed. Unseen. Those things usually go hand-in-hand with being good.

I don't think I'll ever stop feeling as though I'm not good enough, but I do hope that one day the pressure to be good doesn't feel as all-consuming as it still feels today.


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ANOTHER (a poem)

Another diagnosis to add to the list,
Another part of my life that I'll have to miss.

Another set of rules impacting my day,
Another moment where I'm lost at what to say.

Another thing that's taken, that I didn't want to give,
Another piece of freedom gone; I just want to live.

Another loss to mourn and to grieve,
Another time to cry - stay calm, then breathe.

Another day is coming, I wonder what's ahead,
Another restless night, heart filled with dread.

Another one to process; I'm tired of being strong,
but I have the strength to fight this -

and I've had it all along.



ON THE EDGE OF THE PRECIPICE (a poem)

The dark, it's unwavering.
The fear, it's all-encompassing.
The dread, it's never-ending.
The worry, it's unfaltering.

The tide is coming in,
I struggle, it pulls me deeper.
My head's above the water,
But my body's getting weaker.

The first lick of flame, 
I feel warmth at my feet,
They creep up my body,
It's unbearable heat.

The beauty of ice, 
I can't resist the touch,
It takes over my body,
It becomes too much.

The man dressed in black,
Lingering like a shadow.
Feeding off my sadness,
Lapping up my sorrow.

The edge of the precipice,
Have I admitted defeat?
I take a step back,
I will not be beat.

The light, it's inviting.
The hope, it's intoxicating.
The happiness, it's enticing.
The future? It's tempting.



WE AIM TO PLEASE.

Over the past year, I've found myself particularly drawn to feminist books. Books about empowering women. Periods. Sex. Smashing taboos. Increasingly, I come away feeling like I want to talk about one thing in particular: men

I'm not someone who believes women are better than men. And for the record, those people aren't feminists. A feminist is someone who believes men and women should have equal rights. And let's be honest, we don't. It doesn't matter how much times have progressed (and they have), we are very far from being seen as equal. Jobs of power. Pay grades. But the thing I want to talk about today is: the way women act.

Without knowing this, women are brought up to please men. Women should be polite. Women should smile. Women should be revealing, but not revealing enough to be a "slut". Women should be quiet. Women should be flattered if someone of the opposite sex gives her attention -- this is the one I want to talk about.

Why do we live in a society in which we should be grateful for unwanted, undesired attention?