Sympathy Pains


They say laughter is infectious, but so are tears. How can you watch somebody’s heart breaking without feeling a pang in your own? 

My granny passed away pretty unexpectedly earlier this year, and my poor mummy is still grieving for her own mum. She stayed strong for the family, her dad especially, but now that things have calmed down a little, it’s like it’s really hit her.

Maybe it’s just as we’re coming into christmas or maybe it’s just gotten too much for her, but she is so sad. I look at her and I feel ridiculous for how I cried over the breakup this summer, because she’s lost someone who loved her unconditionally all her life – her heart really is broken. 

I wish we could do something to help. I just want the whole world to put it’s arms around her, listen to her, tell her it’s ok to be sad. It’s ok to go to bed and hide in a dream for a few days. It’s ok to just stop for a while – do not feel guilty. Just feel. 

We’re both melancholy souls, my mum & I, so I know how she’s feeling. I know that all she wants is to spend a week locked away from everybody else, with nobody else to think about, nothing to consider, no responsibilities and just sleep and be silent. But we can’t give her that – no matter what we say or do for her she will never be able to be that selfish. She is always considering other people and looking after them. She’s so tired from it all but she never stops. 

When you love somebody you wish that you could take all their pain away, at any cost. It’s hard to watch others hurting, especially when there’s very little you can do to help. 

I just gotta be there to give her hugs and hot chocolate. I guess none of us are ever safe from heartbreak. 

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I actually typed up this post about an hour ago and it became so negative I had a massive cry. Which was rather cathartic – I think I needed it. But for all our sakes I’ve revised it and tried to focus on the positives, so here goes:

I came across this text a couple of weeks ago and thought it was fantastic advice. Since then I’ve been paying attention to how the people and the events in my life make me feel and it’s wonderful to come away from spending time with somebody and acknowledging a feeling of contentment, or even excitement (and to actually mean it when you say “let’s do this again some time!”). But it goes the other way too. Sometimes I notice that somebody who maybe used to make me feel good, now leaves me feeling drained and pessimistic. It’s times like that I’d rather just bury my head in the sand…

Since taking note of the people and places that make me happier, it’s easier to actively make plans with them and set aside a bit of time and money to spend doing the things that put a genuine smile on my face – you know, one that lasts for a while even after you’ve gone home. But what to do about the people that don’t leave you feeling so good?

I’m turning 25 next month, with most of my friends around the same age. As we’re all trying to find a balance between our job, social life, family, relationships and some alone time too, it takes a lot of effort for us all to keep in contact with each other. Also, with our lives all going in different directions, we sometimes don’t have as much in common as we used to. One thing though. that every single one of us is experiencing, is the doubt, the uncertainty, the fear and the melancholy that comes with your twenties. As comforting as it is to know that we’re not alone in this, it can be a problem when it too often becomes the only easy conversation to have with one another.

Sure, smetimes we can laugh about it and walk away feeling a little lighter, but sometimes we don’t have the energy to laugh at the world. Sometimes we’re just tired and emotional and can’t say all of the things that we’re feeling – just acknowledge that life isn’t always easy and we’re not really all that happy a lot of the time. Now I have no problem with anybody pouring their heart out to me – I couldn’t possibly, because (as you may have noticed) I’m a fountain of negativity myself – but on days when it takes almost all of your energy to put a smile on your own face, it’s hard to find enough to put a smile on somebody else’s too. So, I am incredibly conscious right now of the impact I’m having on the people in my life. How do I make them feel? What can I do to repay the people that build me up? How can I make it up to the people who I deflate? I find myself carrying around a lot of guilt and putting off my atonement until tomorrow, or the weekend, or next week… Then in the blink of an eye (and whine of morning-alarm-clock) another week has passed and I’ve done nothing to improve on anything.

As I type it occurs to me that these things I’m worrying about would never cross the minds of some. We all concern ourselves with different things… Sometimes I look at people fretting over stuff that I couldn’t possibly ever bring myself to give two shits about. I wonder how they can care. How they can waste the energy on it. They would probably wonder the same about me if they read the shite I post on here, about the things that plague my mind. And that’s part of the problem – we’re all so different. It can take a hell of a lot of effort to figure out how to deal with each other and I just don’t have the energy right now, as I find myself spending time with people who leave me feeling tired and irritated.

For example, I have a friend who’s going through a tough time and her attitude to this makes her difficult to be around right now. The things that I would usually do to help (be a shoulder to cry on, talk things over, try to make sense of things, a night in with junk food, a night out for drinks), aren’t working. I do want to be there for her and be supportive but the selfish side of me struggles to make the effort when she doesn’t recognise what I, or anybody else, are trying to do for her. But I can’t be one of those assholes who only bothers with people who can offer them something. My friends are worth the effort and I’m lucky to have them so I just gotta suck it up. I’ll keep trying to cheer her up, or at least just remind her that I’m here to listen to her tale of woe over a cup of tea and family sized bar of chocolate.

Ultimately, I guess we are responsible for our own happiness (boke – such a cheesy quote and I hate it (but true fs)). If I do my best to be good to the people I care about, I won’t carry this guilt. If I get off my ass and get out to the places I love, I’ll be more energised. If I make the effort to see the people who get me, I’ll not hate myself so much of the time. And if I continue to call out the assholes in work who think they can land me in trouble, they’ll think twice before trying to use me as a scapegoat.

*This is where I cut out a bunch of super depressing stuff so I’m gonna throw in a bit of positivity instead, for my mental well-being*

The things lately that have left me feeling fabulous are:

  • Dressing up with a friend to attend a fashion show at the Galgorm
  • Taking a walk in the sun in a park full of squirrels
  • Seeing the leaves turn orange
  • Listening to new music (especially in the mornings on the way to work)
  • Finding a new show on Netflix (Hot Wet American Summer or something? Hilarious!)
  • Booking a night in The Merchant Hotel for my birthday in a few weeks
  • Buying a fucking fantastic pair of shoes on my credit card. I may be poor but damn I’m stylish.
  • Eating sweet potato fries
  • Taking time off work to go for walks in parks full of trees that are raining little crisp orange leaves
  • Going to Co Couture in Belfast for the most delicious hot chocolate and reading Anna Karenina. The most blissful alone time in a long time
  • Calling out the grown men in work who act like little bitches and watching them shit their pants and start being super nice to me
  • Wearing new lipstick (dark purple, ofc)
  • A Michelin star lunch date in Ox, Belfast, followed my shoe shopping with my most fashionable friend
  • Trying out a new hipster coffee shop with my mum
  • Seeing improvements every week at Muay Thai. I fucking love kicking stuff.
  • Meeting new people
  • Planning a trip to Paris
  • Going to the very first showing I could find of the new Guillermo del Toro movie cause I’ve been waiting on it for months! (It did not disappoint)
  • Taking the time to stop and look around, even take some pictures of the places I usually take for granted

Now I’m going to continue wasting my Sunday in bed, because it’s warm and quiet in here and I have WiFi.

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Negative thought for the night 

When is trying not enough anymore?

How long can a person try their best before other people give up waiting for them to be good enough?

We’re always told ‘as long as you try your best’, but in real life, trying your best doesn’t always reward you. Sometimes it just screams at you ‘YOU’RE NOT GOOD ENOUGH’, and eventually your chances run out. Even if you’re improving, even if you’re slowly but surely becoming better, time does run out. Then what does it even matter if you’re better? You’re still not enough.

I didn’t have to try very hard at school. I could get a B in most subjects with minimal effort. One year I had to study Spanish. I didn’t like my teacher and that year I was too concerned with feeling feelings and overthinking about them to care much about anything else. You all remember what those teenage years are like… A blur of hormones and underage drinking. At the end of the year we were all sitting in class when we received our final grades. A lovely big E plonked itself on my desk – I didn’t give a shit. The bubbly, preppy, gorgeous, looked at least 3 years older than the rest of us mere children, highly intelligent, super friendly, all singing, all dancing (literally, she was both a singer and a dancer), head-girl to be leaned across to me to ask my grade. I don’t think you need me to tell you what hers was… I showed her my E, not proud yet unashamed. She gave me a kindly, sympathetic look – though how she could sympathise with a bad grade I’ll never know! Maybe she came 2nd once in a Britney impersonating competition and could remember the sting of not being good enough. “At least you tried your best!” She said.

Ehh, no I didn’t. I didn’t try in the slightest. If I had of I would’ve done just fine. In fact I even went on to learn Spanish to A-Level standard in just one year at uni. ¡Te lo dije!

Fast forward to adulthood and I have to try every fucking day. I tried so hard to be good enough for him. He didn’t believe me. I was constantly trying to reach a point that was too far away for me to even see; I just kept going in the blind faith that the finish line did in fact exist. I didn’t reach it on time. He had enough of me trying my best and he will move on to somebody who doesn’t even need to try. Does that make them better for him than I was?

Now I feel as though I have to try my absolute hardest to make myself so good that he regrets his decision one day, be it years from now. But what if I never get there? When I’m laying on my death bed is ‘oh well, at least I tried’ really going to comfort me from the fact that I know absolutely, wholly, 100% that I’m not and never would be good enough?

Sometimes I think I’d feel better if I were sitting back at my desk in Spanish class, satisfied in the idea that I could have if I’d wanted to – whether it was the truth or not. And yet still I’m trying, exhausted, still trudging toward the supposed finish line. Why?

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Should I stay (in) or should I go (out)?

Everybody’s advice to get over heartbreak is to get back out there, socialise, go out with friends, enjoy life! And tonight I am actually in the mood to get dressed up to the nines and enjoy a cocktail, but I honestly don’t think going out will do anything to assuage this loneliness…

First off, I can get all dolled up, but really the only opinion I care about is his… As pathetic as it sounds, without his approval, looking good just feels kinda pointless.

Second, other people often tend to make me feel even more lonely. Even my closest friends sometimes. He was my best friend, my soul mate. I’ve never been more myself than when I was with him. There’s always parts of me hidden away from every other single person I know. That never mattered much before, but now, without him, it just amplifies how lost I feel. It’s like being surrounded by white noise.

Third, although I’ll be distracted for a few hours and probably enjoy myself for the most part, I’ll still have to come home alone and crawl into an empty bed. And I’m sad enough without adding alcohol to the mix…

So although he is able to go out with his friends weekly, is drinking nightly and is probably meeting other girls, I am spending my weekends home alone, comfort eating. Pretty pathetic huh?

What’s your opinion? Am I better off drunk and sadder or sober and fatter? She types while eyeing up the cheese…

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I’m a fucking walking paradox – no, I’m not

Anybody else out there feel like this? Sometimes I think I’ve just gone insane & am really good at hiding it.

To 99% of people I’m a deadpan, take no shit, who gives a fuck, realist. But to a very very small number of people I’m a die-hard romantic, lover, deeply emotional, passionate dreamer.

To some, I’m a quiet girl, a good girl, who stays out of trouble and keeps to herself. To others, I’m the bad influence, a sassy bitch who you do not want to cross.

Most days I’m incredibly low maintenance, messy hair, no makeup, hoodie & converse. Other days I’m dressed all in black, killer heels, designer jewellery, poker straight hair.

I either don’t give a fuck or I care immensely. I’m either on top of the world or crushed underneath it. Somedays I wanna run, go somewhere new, without a plan. Somedays I find bliss in routine and familiarity.

There are few invariables when it comes to my feelings and the one constant that I’ve been most sure of has fucked off and left me. Now I don’t know myself, or trust myself. Anybody else out there going crazy lately??

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