The day I broke my own heart

Emotions ran high this week, with quite a bit of tears. Between dragging myself to work, hanging out with my best friend Lilian, seeing the band that brought James and I together, catching up with my friend Dylan, doing my assignment the night before it was due, confiding in my mum for the first time in a really, really long time — I think I fell apart a bit.

I saw Anberlin last night, with James. It was wonderful. James was the one who introduced me to the band from their beginnings, and we would listen to their music together and watch the band grow over the years. There would be songs we liked, and didn’t like, and others we had connections to. I would have bought a VIP ticket to meet the band, because it would have meant a lot to me, but it also meant a lot to me that James was willing to come along in the first place. I remember feeling very emotional when they played The Unwinding Cable Car as James held me for a little while.

Anberlin — one of the few good photos I got from my place in the crowd
Anberlin — one of the few good photos I got from my place in the crowd

Recently, I have been shutting myself away from people. I wanted to be strong and I wanted to help myself with my own problems instead of relying on other people. For so many years I have felt betrayed by people, often hurt, found myself opening up to people far too quickly, far too easily. I ended up getting heartbroken most of the time, especially when I cared so much for those people, only to have them walk away or not be there in my time of need. I looked back on my past as upsetting, as sad, and as terrifying. I was so scared of the past happening again.

I made people worry about me. I made my friends worry about me. And for some reason, I trusted people less. It was a shitty thing to do. I only realised in the past week how miserable it was making me.

Ever since coming out of depression, I have been able to feel. Instead of feeling sad all the time I actually have varying degrees of happiness and sadness and everything in between, everything I have not been able to feel before. And I think that the emotions have really overwhelmed me. So I poured my heart out to my mum, I talked to her and confided in her, and I cried and clung to her until I couldn’t breathe much more. I appreciate my mum so, so much, but I have never been able to show her because I never let her in. I never showed that I appreciated her concern and her care for me, because I was so defiant. I pushed her away when she asked if I was alright and when she gave me advice, thinking myself piss weak. But it’s never weak to reach out to someone.

My mum said I was stressed. I refused. She told me to look at myself and that even though I said I wasn’t, it was clear that I was. She made me take a day off work on Friday because I had barely done my university stuff, and it was obvious I had idiot eyebags (I just say idiot eyebags when I’ve got puffy eyes from crying). James and I had argued, and I was feeling unsure about our relationship.

For years I have been caught up in trying to be awesome. I have thrived off the comments I hear from everyone about how I must not sleep and that I manage to do so many things. That I’m superwoman, I’m amazing, and I inspire people. And I was a bit of a narcissist. I enjoyed hearing those comments so I kept trying and forcing myself and pushing myself and trying to do everything imaginable. I would get ashamed when I didn’t reach a goal, or do something I planned to do. I felt awful admitting defeat, and I felt disappointed in myself. And the worst part was not that I was doing it to please others — it was that I was doing it for myself. Just to feel good about myself, after believing so hard that I could do it.

Dylan told me that I seem to love torturing myself and stressing myself, it’s like I live off burning myself out, and I need to stop.

This week I just began to doubt everything. My motivation. My feelings. My abilities. My willpower. I didn’t want to work. I didn’t want to be in a relationship. I didn’t want to study. I didn’t want to do anything that made me happy.

I wanted to start over again. I wanted to just drop everything in my life, and start anew, just be a completely different person. It was the first time I had ever felt like that. I was talking to Tristan and I couldn’t bear to look at him because I knew I was going to cry.

Tristan means so much more to me than I can say. I have never had someone who I could get along with so well, who hasn’t judged me once they know more about me, someone I could care about and be cared for in return. Someone who wanted to help me. I actually might have fallen for him a little.

I didn’t even really know what the main thing was that was bothering me. I think everything just hit me in the face all at once.

At one moment, he said, “Sometimes I wish we could just… drive away.”

It almost made me cry, because it made me realise that maybe that’s how I really felt about everything, if I wanted to start all over again. Maybe everything was so terrible I just wanted to run.

“Sometimes, I think…” I said, “If I had the chance to go over every thing that happened in my life, or every decision that came to it, if I knew what was going to happen and if I could change my mind and choose again… I would do it exactly the same way.”

All these feelings and emotions made me feel like I was on fire. It felt like I had been playing with it, until I set myself alight, and the pain was honestly kind of awesome and really shit at the same time. And it was like I was falling down a hill with no control over where I was going or when I would stop. I was doing that, while I was on fire, and I was enjoying all the thrills of being burned but having the impact from the fire lessened by rolling down the hill. Occasionally I’d get bumped around which would still be shit, but I was still getting that ride as I rolled down the hill.

It became oddly comforting to feel those feelings at the same time: being burned, but letting go of everything. Then it became even worse because I wasn’t stopping and I was still rolling down this hill while I was on fire, and I had no idea where I was going.

I overestimated myself.

The pain sucked.

But honestly, given the chance, I would totally do everything the same way. I don’t care about all the hurt, all the pain, all the feelings I had to drag myself through, in all my years of living. I learned so much from them. I learned so much that I wouldn’t have learned any other way. I would do that all over again if I had to.

I listened to Jack Carty’s album, Break Your Own Heart. The relevance was surprising. Zack told me that sometimes most people are responsible for breaking their own hearts anyway. I saw Jack play live on Friday because I was also assigned to photograph his show. I really, truly, honestly missed that kind of folk-pop music. Hearing it pulled my heartstrings. I met Jack after the show and he signed a CD for me, and gave me another one for free. It was lovely meeting him, we had a little chat about my photography and how I came across his music, and how he saw me mention him on Twitter earlier. He said he hoped to see me at another show. But I left that night, and thought, well, maybe I wasn’t confused.

As I opened up to my friends a little more, I realised that it wasn’t healthy shutting people out, and that sometimes you need people. That’s what friends are for. It was wonderful to be able to talk to my mum again. And you argue even with people you love. James and I were fine — we were really okay. We worked it out, as we usually do. And I guess I hadn’t fallen in love. I just wanted to prove that I had feelings, just because I could.

But you can be wrong. And it’s okay to be wrong. And it’s okay to cry. And it’s okay to disappoint people, to not meet their expectations. It’s okay to fail, and to fall, because everything will be okay.

I guess it was a little fun breaking my own heart after all.

I’ve stopped rolling down the hill, and there doesn’t look like much here. I’m not on fire anymore, and I’m not falling. But maybe I’ll sit down for a bit before I even bother try climbing back up the hill again. Maybe I’ll sit here and write the story of how I found myself.

Comments on this post

I know that feeling. I’ve been through the same thing multiple times over the past few years. It’s annoying how everything kind of collapses on us at the same time. Then we start to question everything, all the decisions we’ve made, the actions we’ve done, the things we’ve said.

Last year, I took a theology class from an amazing Jesuit priest who has written multiple books and was even in the Exorcist (the movie). He’s an incredible person. And his course was all about how to live our lives, how to find ourselves, how to find what makes us happy and motivates us. (If you’re ever interested, try reading “Meeting the Living God” which I know makes it sound overly Catholic, but I know that non-religious people can relate. It’ll make you grapple with yourself and your beliefs on life but it’s great). Anywhos, at some point we had a conversation about happiness. And we all came to the conclusion that it is through the suffering that we find happiness. You know, the saying that we have to go through the highs to get to the lows. It’s so true.

And that is why I’m currently suffering financially and emotionally. It’s all hopefully so I can go somewhere that will make me happy. But that’s another story all together.

Big hugs, Georgie! Everyday’s both a joy and a struggle.

Stumbled upon your blog and wow. Three things: 1) I hope you feel better. I’m not sure how hard it is for you but I hope that you find strength to look at each day with hope and pull through. 2) We sort of have the same nickname. ♥ 3) Music just has a way to get to you, no? It helps you pick up yourself or drown yourself even more, depending on what you’re listening to.

Hugs from my side of the world! ♥

we’re on the same page. september wasn’t really my month. I cant blog it on my page cause im afraid some might read it and i really dont wanna talk about it. Just always love yourself first. Never forget that.

Now im starting to get pissed really. hehe

It doesn’t seem like your blog is getting as many comments as you usually get unless only a few are actually approved. :P Idk I can’t see the backend.

I wrote this reply out at work while reading this post about a week ago. I’ve been procrastinating blog hopping so I hope you don’t mind me posting this here. I’ll reply to your current blog post as well so don’t worry! :)

That is sooooo sweet! It is a great thing to get back to your roots. It reminds you just how much you love your significant other. Soooo romantic! /hopeless romantic here

Shutting yourself away form people?!?!?! BUT WHY?!?!?!?!
Even if you want to be strong you still need other people. THat is just TOO independent for me. That is seriously not good at all. You need to remove the people you feel betrayed by from your life.

I know what you mean about opening up to fast and getting hurt. I’ll tell you why if you would like to know in an email. I would rather not post it publicly though. Not something I am very proud of but it helped me “live and learn” like I wanted. Not the way I wanted but oh well!

OH! That is good that you are out of your depression at least somewhat.
I’m stuck in a depression now. I know it is clinical because I’ve started lashing out at people. Though it could be PMDD. Again email me if you want to know why. Too personal for internet people.

It definitely isn’t ever a bad thing to reach out to someone you know, love & trust. ♥ ♥ ♥
That is just amazing Georgie! I love you so much! ♥ ♥ ♥ /love /love /love

Ah, I haven’t been checking on your entries for a while, not sure why.

Anyway, hm.. how do I put this… I can totally relate this feeling though this isn’t the first thing I think I should be saying because it sounds super cliche and it IS cliche, seeing how easy everyone can say “I can totally relate” directly but sometimes, not all of them are genuinely relating to the situation.

But yeah, this is like reading something my mind has written. If my mind has a physical form of itself then I think this is what it’s going to write.
I’ve been shutting myself from the outside world, too afraid to trust others and too afraid of getting too dependent even though people have said it’s perfectly alright to rely on someone else because sometimes, we need that comfort, like you wrote there. And I get it, I totally do but when it gets too much and I spontaneously shout for comfort, I feel pathetic. it makes me feel like a defenseless spoiled brat so I kinda stop relying and I bottle things up, acting like i’m totally okay when i’m not. It’s nerve-wrecking but I kinda make myself believe that I can (must be able to) live like this. the last time I threw my feelings and frustrations out, I got people judging me that I’m just a depressed dramatic 17 year old who’s too selfish and too spoiled of a brat to see the world and I guess that’s the turning point.

Frankly, social networking site is shit. People believe what you tweet in a limitation of 140 words. it sucks. once, i thought i had my online friends that i could go to when i was having major breakdown because it sucks how in reality, my parents think depression is bullshit and that the scars on my arms are just for attention seeking purposes. It’s frustrating when I tried telling my mother about how shitty I feel (that I cut, that I think of dying, of death, etc etc) and she only shoved me off in return with a, “you’re just thinking too much. there’s NO WAY youngsters like you can get depression, etc” I remember her shaking her head and saying that I cut because I cause myself to cut, I’m depressed because I am my own problem and that only I can fix myself, not an expert or anyone else.

Guess I’m just too tired to confide in people that I feel like I’m growing more and more numb throughout days. It’s like I don’t give a damn anymore if an expert officially diagnosed me with depression or whatever or if I still cut and hyperventilate to the point where I think my eyes are on fire. It’s like…. when I breakdown then I break, as simple as that. I know I probably sound super bratty right now (18 and a brat wtf) but um, maybe I just uh…want to talk to people who used to be this kind of position, you know…? :(

There are too many things to begin with. I’m insecure but I’m also a narcissist, I always try to be cool but I feel like I’m such a big loser in life too; I have a tremendously high pride but at the same time, I belittle myself and think that I’m like a total shit, like what people around me have said. 😢
It’s like I don’t even know how to care for things, how to properly feel without thinking that I’m a jerk myself wow O_O everything has went numb or something.

Fortunately, though, you have real life friends and a mother who’d understand and will hear you out. Perhaps I’m being delusional by saying I don’t need and I’m too tired to look for such people in life because secretly, I DO wish for that kind of company as well, I think…someway or another. But yeah, like they say, life isn’t fair and you can’t have anything you want so I’m like.. hands down for too much wishing.

I wished my mom didn’t find it ridiculous and stupid and didn’t scold me when I couldn’t tell her everything because I was too overwhelmed that I cried and hiccuped more than I talked. /bash she end up getting tired waiting for me because i cried too much so she left instead… or maybe, like some people said, I’m just always asking for too much…like an ungrateful brat. At one point it gets really painful that I can just burst out crying in my room but some other time, I’m just….there, feeling numb and lost and just…feeling I should hide because I’m such an escapist.

Ack, I’m sorry for going all teary eyed on your comment box. *is secretly wanting to confide in you* I, uh, I’m just glad that you’re finally able to feel again and that you’re getting better by confiding in your friends and your supermom. I seriously am feeling teary eyed right now when I re-read the 3rd to your last paragraph… it’s okay to fall apart, yeah… :(

I read your blog for a long time now. It’s great you’re rationalizing aspects about yourself (introspection) and opening up to other people.
I hope everything works out for you – truly.

I’ve known you to be a popular figure of some kind online. Maybe it started with the forum Kya set up and email exchanges for windows live messenger over posts etc but I’ve never particularly followed through with your blogs or twitter because I feel most people who are as popular on the net get enough advice or get enough attention from everyone and it’s hardly ever two-way communication. Your blogs are relatable though. That’s what keeps me coming back every now and then. That, and since I suffer the same things you describe, I like to think you’ll be okay. It gives me some kind of hope that all the ones going through something similar will be too.
I’ve followed through enough to know you had been suffering from depression and even took a test, was diagnosed with clinical depression and ended up on meds. I don’t remember what you said you were put on but I do remember you saying it was a study of some sort?

All I can say is, I’ve suffered the same rollercoaster of emotions you have and I still am. I think I’ve been depressed more or less my entire life (if you don’t count 2008 and 2009 – the only two years of my life, during which, I remember being significantly happy.) I then started medical school late 2009 and I’m now on my 5th and final year. This profession doesn’t make things better in any way. I don’t think you were wrong at all to go for what you did instead of medicine. Physicians have the highest suicide rate in the world (if you didn’t already know that). People expect us to be super strong emotionally and breaking down puts you at a risk with your career. So I’ve kept quiet about it all this time and continue to do so.

I can tell you one thing though, if you have a great family who care about you and friends you couldn’t imagine your life without, hold on to that. Sometimes they’re all that can get you through. I know I lack all of that so it makes it much harder to deal with. Sometimes you wanna have a friend or loved one or anyone for that matter (even internet friends/strangers) to listen to what you have to say, help you unload. But you find nothing and nobody. You realise you completely lack companionship and what do you get? A terrible feeling of loneliness added to everything else. And the thoughts that follow aren’t anything anyone should have to deal with. They’re one’s that require immediate help.

I hope that you can find a way to pull yourself out of it. I know I’d be happy and hopeful to hear it.