I have always been quite skeptical with the whole idea of “time heals you.”
This is because I have spent a great deal of my life watching people I love follow a familiar circle of self-destruction over and over again– never learning, and never moving on. I’m not going to lie, myself included. It’s hard not to, especially in the world we live in. How are we to stay happy, when there is sadness everywhere? How can we live, if there is nothing to live for? That’s what the pessimist in me would of said only a year ago.
Growing up I was a terribly negative person. I used to let everything bring me down, I took everything to heart and fired back like a rusty old cannon, throwing a negative vibe back into the path of my ‘enemies’. I felt as though no one was on my side. So I spent a great deal of high school swallowed up in self-pity and insecurities, of course I had some reasoning to it. I did have an incredibly hard time in high school, but doesn’t everyone?
Sometimes I was nasty, irritable and selfish towards my friends and then boyfriend. None of them deserved that, all for the simple fact that I couldn’t control my own emotions. I assumed that nobody cared for me and my problems – not even those closest. To be honest, most people didn’t, and that was quite hard to accept growing up. But I was wrong about those who cared for me, and instead of opening up and sharing my issues, I bottled them up and I held on to them for dear life. I was too consumed in my own self-pity to pay attention to anyone around me. And that was a terribly negative state of mind to be in. I was in a bad place, just like 99.9% of the teenagers surrounding me at the lunch table.
Whenever I was in a bad place, the same patterns and behaviours that I developed during school would re-emerge and it became so frequent that it knocked my self-esteem and my desire to live. I didn’t want to do anything, I didn’t want to see anybody, but I hated being by myself because I see now that I didn’t like who I was. I was already losing myself before I even had a chance to find myself. But that’s all about growing up isn’t it? The struggle to find yourself and what you want out of this world.
Once I moved away from the Isle of Bute I assumed everything would get better, that the mainland was my magical patch of green grass. I thought that I wouldn’t feel alone anymore and that maybe, just maybe I wouldn’t be so damn miserable. And for a while I’ll admit I did feel happy, but even that was short lived. I had thrown myself head first into ‘adult life’ and I had so much responsibility on my hands that I didn’t know how to cope. I was depended on and I spent a long time feeling as though everything was up to me, I ended up being more of a parent than a student.
Looking back at how I lived only a year ago scares me. At the time, I brushed both mine and his bad behaviour aside, I accepted it rather than deal with it and this was all because I was too afraid to let go. More importantly, I was scared that if I let go, I would lose a part of me that I based my whole self on. Maybe I can go as far as saying, I had no idea who I actually was because I got so caught up being someone else’s ‘person’, that I really believed there was nothing left of me. I was very wrong of course.
As time went on I realised that my inability to grow was all down to the fact that I did not believe that I deserved these changes, I did not believe in myself. I think that sometimes we fail to recognise that losing a certain aspect of ourselves is not a bad thing but rather a good thing. We are not losing ourselves, we are simply adapting to our circumstances, we are growing.
For a long time, I was carrying about with me the attitude of a negative person. Quite frankly I guess I still was, and I have unknowingly been holding onto it until this spring. I started to really watch my behaviour and pay attentin to how I was reacting with people. Was I being rude or was I being nice? I knew that I had a tendency to project my mood onto others and I realised that I did not like that about myself. I did not like me and I knew I had to change that if I was going to get anywhere in life.
This was my turning point, this was when I finally allowed myself to let go of everything I had been holding onto for a very long time. All the stress, all the anger, all the tears. I felt ready to move on and I knew it was time to concentrate on myself, because I didn’t want to be associated as someone who brought you down. I wanted to make people feel better, I wanted to have nice conversations and most of all, I wanted to be a better happier person.
In the end, time is important, you need it to grieve, you need to love and you need it to live. And sometimes time is all it takes for you to realise what is best holding onto and what is best letting go of.