how i ended up here

Where do i begin? this is always the hard part. as you’ll soon find out, the moment i start talking about myself, it’s hard for me to stop, even when i know i should. but because I’m starting this blog as an outlet for my frustration, i have chosen not to censor myself or impose a word limit. same goes for the subject matter: i’ll mostly be sticking to whatever goes on in my mind, whether that’s my thoughts or something i’ll find interesting or somehow relevant to my situation or what i think might help some of you.

I could beat around the bush and pretend like I’m only doing this for myself, but the truth is, ive been journalling for many years and it just isn’t enough. It’s good for venting and shit, but sometimes i would really like some kind of response. to know that somebody relates, that i’m not alone.

hence, my intended audience is mostly people who … are in any way interested in mental health. either in general, or in mine specifically — which is to say that while I don’t intend to share my story on social media or anything like that — i know it’s not that interesting — I’m not going to obscure my identity, either, and i might tell some people i know about my blog.

This is possibly because at this point i feel like my personality has crystallized enough that try as i might, i don’t think i can change much, which thus far has seemed like a prerequisite for any kind of self-disclosure. I’m trying to come to terms with “only” being what i am, and to let go of the shame I have always associated with that.

Moreover, I feel that being brutally honest about my struggles is the only way i’m ever going to be able to process the feelings that are preventing me from just getting on with my life. I’m stuck. I’ve been stuck for a long time. And unless i do something about it, i’m going to stay in that rut forever.

Brilliant. I know. I, too, am just a little bit annoyed that it’s taken me this long to realize something so simple. But I never said I was deep. Just because i experience emotions that to me are too overwhelming to deal with pretty much on a daily basis, doesn’t mean that the emotions themselves are profound revelations about the nature of the universe or whatever.

Which brings me to my second point: I’m just figuring shit out. At my own pace. Call me a late bloomer, and I’ll… well, I’ll probably disagree, as i don’t believe i’m ever going to bloom, but that’s precisely why i need this: to achieve a modicum of self-acceptance. Some people are roses, and some are… mistletoe. Parasitic, poisonous, and not particularly visually appealing. But for whatever reason it hasn’t gone extinct, so maybe there’s some reason for my existence as well… even if i have to look really hard to come up with one.

oh, i almost forgot: you don’t have to be involved in the topic of mental health directly in order to find my blog at least marginally interesting, at least some of the time. Because it’s a first-hand account of my own “dis-ease”, it can serve as a guide for people who have somebody like me in their life (which, admittedly, is pretty unlikely, as “people like me” tend not to have too many people in their lives. But still.).

Everybody’s going through their own shit, and this is mine. If you know me in real life, you’ll know that i’m not the life and soul of the party. This in itself is okay. But i have an insane amount of resentment towards life for not letting me grow into the person that i thought i should have. Yes, I know, a victim mentality, wallowing in self-pity, all that.

But I’m trying to change, I promise. Now I at least have some insight into my mental states. If i were to self-diagnose, which I know you’re not supposed to do but technically my doctor did write the same thing in my file, I most closely identify with borderline personality disorder (with narcissistic traits, haha). You wouldn’t know it from just looking at me, as “classic” BPD typically involves a lot of anger and other intense emotions, but reading descriptions of what’s referred to as “quiet BPD” feels like I’m reading about myself.

As of yet I don’t actually have a diagnosis, but i am going to therapy so that might change in the near future. I’m also on medication, which I’m kind of ambivalent about, but it has been helping a great deal. I guess what I’m trying to say is that while i’m hesitant to pathologize and call what I suffer from a mental illness, it very much is a problematic constellation of genetic predispositions, personality traits, life experiences and other factors that, combined, have contributed to a less than ideal outlook on life that I’m finding increasingly difficult to manage.

I’m not sure where I’m going with this, but i don’t feel like editing what i write. I’ve been editing myself for too long. This is a good place to point out that English, perhaps obviously, isn’t my first language. I am nonetheless choosing to write in it for the most obvious reason (an increased reach) as well as because this is the language I have always journalled in. Somehow I find it both more expressive and richer in the kind of vocabulary that i need to describe what i’m going through, and more… safe. Only when I remove myself from the situation and observe myself from a distance, can I analyze and attempt to change my behavior.

So yeah, I’m going to make mistakes. I will confuse words and mess up idioms. And I’m not apologizing for it, either! Partly because personally, I find it kind of cute.

But anyway.

A little bit about myself: I’m almost 25, I still live with my parents, I haven’t finished my studies and I’m a shop assistant. I also don’t have much in the way of interests or a personality…. and for whatever reason I don’t have that many friends. Go figure. I could make excuses, but the fact remains that i am pretty fucking boring. Oh, well. I can handle boring. What I can no longer handle is emotionally unstable and self-loathing.

But trust me, I do find some stuff interesting. I just never had the courage to explore it on my own or develop any kind of skills just because I wanted to. My own interest never seemed like a valid reason to do anything. Even though I could write all day every day about nothing in particular, it never even occurred to me to set up a blog until my dear friend T suggested it (thank you so much).

You don’t have to read it if you don’t want to. I am, ultimately, doing this for myself, and if it resonates with at least one other person then that’s cool too. But I recognize that i don’t have that much to say and i don’t expect anyone to find my life particularly fascinating. However, if you are into any of the following (the list is not exhaustive), you might find we share some things in common. I mean, they are pretty generic. You can expect me to share my thoughts on them on here sometimes.

in no particular order, here goes:

music. Mostly indie, but to be honest, most of the time I just rely on Spotify and trust what it feeds me. I might occasionally post playlists, like this one. I also adore European artists, particularly AnnenMayKantereit, Von Wegen Lisbeth, Balthazar, and anything French.

TV shows. some of my favorites include Twin Peaks, Mad Men, many older ones (my comfort watch is always either House or Friends). I’m not that well caught up on the newer stuff, but i did enjoy Mindhunter immensely! (btw, feel free to recommend any true crime books/ podcasts/ TV shows that you like.)

psychology… obviously. I’m no expert in the field, but I love reading research papers, weird as that might sound. I want to learn more about mindfulness, seeing as it seems to have helped so many people.

languages. I was supposed to get a BA in applied linguistics in English and German… we’ll see how that goes. ive always wanted to learn French, but lacked the self-discipline. Still hoping though.

travel. I haven’t travelled much (only Europe, my favorite trip by far was Amsterdam), but I might touch on the topic sometimes. I have a soft spot for Scandinavia, especially Sweden, and I enjoy reading non-fiction, so expect book recommendations!

running. I’m generally something of a couch potato, but I had this phase where I would go running almost every day for about a year and a half, and it was something I really enjoyed. idk, it just… really agrees with me. I’m trying to get back to it (though perhaps to a less extreme extent. I do tend to vacillate between extremes.)

atheism. I was raised by radical catholic parents, and it fucked me up real bad. More so than I even realized up until just a few months ago. I’ve been getting into the atheist YouTube community, they have some important shit to say.

pets. I’m an old cat lady in spirit, but sadly I can’t have cats because of our dog, Stefan. Just last month I got myself a pet mouse, his name is Pyciu:20200112_113308

eating low-carb. I have a history of eating disorders (part of the probably BPD thing), but from being severely underweight in high school I went to now compulsive/binge eating and being prediabetic, so there’s that. I know it’s trivial, but food remains an important part of my life, and a low-carb diet makes me feel good, so i might share some recipes, articles on it, etc.

Also coffee! I run on caffeine… ’nuff said.

Other than that my blog will largely focus on my personal experience of the world, and be about me trying to articulate the impressions and perceptions that have so far eluded me. Because I’m a slow thinker, I need more time than average to arrive at a conclusion. I’d like to think it makes me a good listener, but i’m afraid that’s not the case. i’m too judgmental and preoccupied with myself for that — which is not so much an excuse as it is a mission statement.

it’s one of those things it’s taken me a little too long to realize about the nature of my problems: that some of it may be due to focusing too much on myself. That having no “real problems”, I create ones inside my head because a part of me is too afraid or lazy to take action. but i choose to believe that underneath all the layers of bitterness and hostility is a good heart of a person who’s hurting and doesn’t know how to cope.

so whereas before i would visualize success as being superficially happy and having a career that i liked, now it’s more about not wanting to be a burden. i want to get a degree to the extent that it can make me less dependent on my parents, and i want to learn to regulate my emotions better so that i don’t take it out on innocent bystanders, which i know i’m guilty of doing. While external motivation is not ideal, it’s as good a reason as any… if that’s all you have.

Through this blog i hope i can find and develop my identity and sense of self. I hope that it, among other things ive been trying, can help me be a better person, for my own sake as well as for the people I care about that I don’t want to keep hurting. If you relate to anything i have said, join me and maybe we can support each other on our respective journeys (to use the clichéd expression that i think is clichéd because it so accurately reflects the process).

Thanks for getting this far. catch you later.

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