Friday, 3 February 2017

The Return

I had visualised that coming back to my blog, hitting the keyboard would be far easier than it has been. So far there have been 3 drafts of this post; each and every one deleted and completely rewritten. It isn't that I don't know what to say, it's that I don't know how exactly to say it. Its entirely likely I am overthinking the entire process... After all one of the best pieces of advice I've been given is to get it all down on paper because it is easier to work with something than nothing. So here goes.

2016 finished with me defining it as a steaming pile of crap (eloquently put I know). I had been stuck in a situation where I was constantly undermined, and when I tried to speak out was merely told to "toughen up." It made me feel worthless, incompetent and useless. I was beginning most of my days by wondering what they'd find to call me out on this time, which rules they had introduced that I hadn't been adhering to. I was ending my days exhausted, convinced I was useless and incapable of the language I had spent so long learning. I stopped writing. I stopped believing I had anything useful or relevant to contribute. I told people it was the exhaustion, and to a certain degree it was. But truthfully? I felt so miserably inadequate that I felt nobody would want to hear my story anyway.

I stopped horse riding; admittedly that had been a long time before 2016, but in the past that was my refuge. The horse didn't care how good/bad ugly you felt, the instructor didn't give a shit if you'd failed your last essay. It was myself and the animal; learning to read each other and bond by instinct. For those hours I could be sweaty as hell, covered in mud, or drenched through from the rain, but it didn't matter. Because in that moment all that mattered was me and the horse. Last year? I didn't have my refuge. I didn't have the fitness or the financial stability to seek it either. I was stuck stewing in my inadequacies, and drowning in a situation that was slowly but surely turning me into a toxic, bitchy version of myself.

Shortly before Christmas, my relationship ended out of the blue. I don't think I'd been able to pinpoint a single moment so exactly before then, but I remember when I felt my heart break. I felt the truth wind me, and started to drown in the grief of knowing that I'd be the only one mourning. After all, who mourns someone who is still breathing, and loving and functioning? That is when the grief became my private loss; because while I knew she'd still be living, her happiness would no longer involve me. That is a bitter pill to swallow as anyone knows. But I still felt ridiculous mourning the loss of a person who was lost only to me.

Slowly everything has started to look up; 2017 has been an opportunity for a fresh start. I am leaving Norfolk behind and coming home to the hills of Sussex where I grew up. I am apprehensive because I don't have a "plan," and I don't know what this year will be for me. But I began by proving to myself that I am a survivor and I plan to carry on not just by showing I can survive, but flourish.

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